Letters from Berkeley

BY ALLISON MARGOLIN

I am so high, right fucking now. Outside the light is dimming, and the sky is slowly relinquishing its pale salmon hue in favor of something more like seared ahi. With a light ginger mayonnaise, on sourdough bread. Try getting that kind of lunch in fucking Cambridge! Ha!

Where was I … oh yes, the sky. It’s so much like my boyfriend, miles away, and so very dim. Saying to me, over and over, in those cute little letters of his: “Allison, legalize drugs or make people happy. Legalize drugs or make people happy. Tastes great or less fucking filling!!”

It all just makes me so sad. So profoundly, indignantly sad. I’m kind of sad-ignant. In-sag-nant. Or something. For the past two years, I’ve been achieving the irrelevance of my existence (one toke at a time), while dodging the perilous rave-drops that maturity wants to squirt in my eyes. While everyone else has been cramming the newspaper into their collective unconscious, I’ve been sending calls of awareness, for all your sakes.

And still I’m getting high all alone. (Except of course for my friend the CD player, who I keep loaded with gangsta rap: Life ain’t nothin’ but bitchez and money! Word.) It’s tragic to live in a world of such misinformation and disappreciation. Too bad I’ve learned nothing in law school to help me change it.

It all reminds me of an anecdote about my class, Drugs and Your Perineum. One of the naïve freshmen gave the cutest response to my Professor’s question: “Should we have class outside on the quad today?” She was like: “As a fruitarian, I would personally object to such indiscriminate trampling of innocent blades of semi-sentient vegetable grass-matter! How would you like it if we had class sitting on your pet dog, or your grandmother?!” And she ran out of the room crying.

I remember when I had that kind of enthusiasm. I was so enthusiastic then. All I wanted was to succeed in my chosen field — the absolute legalization of drugs, for everybody — and to make the world of myself a better place. And I was willing to do anything to get there. I never would have compromised my principles for a day in the sunlight, and like that girl, I would have made sure everyone else knew why. I had so much strength and youthful energy.

Yet that day I decided to follow my class outside onto the quad. Because this girl’s principles weren’t my principles, for one thing — I respect an entirely different kind of grass … but also because I’ve learned that rationality is the drum on which the successful protester beats.

Yeah. When my first Law Review article (on legalizing drugs) gets published, I’m going to use that. And I’m going to give a shout-out to that girl, and to my excellent Perineum prof. They’ve both taught me so much.

A.T., J.T., M.L, M.M., Mr. T. — you know who you are. Stay being.

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