Every so often, Stetson Makakowitz would lose everything he owned and have to start his life over again from scratch. It was a terrible affliction that he could do nothing about. It was sort of like Turrets syndrome, but with dashes of Memento.
At first, he’d lose things in separated spurts. A baseball hat he’d acquired in a swap with a girl he’d danced with at a blue grass music festival not far from Mobile, Alabama.
He had given her a pair of bandanas, one with pink jalapenos, and another with siamese frogs, and she had given him her Redman tobacco trucker’s lid. She had a certain way about her when she held a mouthful of chaw. The way she spat through the space in her teeth was one of the first things that drew him to her.
On the bill of the cap was the number to a pay phone she frequented, and she instructed him to call her. He was giddy with excitement. There was a future here. And he had a pocket full of quarters. She was beautiful and smart and loved music, and she was moving to New York in a week, where he would show her around, and then, maybe, fall a little more deeply in love. He didn’t want to jump the gun, but he imagined proposing to her at the Liberty Island Music festival, and going to tobacco country for the honeymoon.
But the hat was suddenly gone, and who knew where? Was it in the cafeteria? In the bleachers at the college lacrosse game? Under his bed or maybe up his ass? He’d know where to find it then.
An upperclassman had pulled it over his eyes in the woods behind the football field just a few hours earlier, moments after he’d passed along a needle thin joint, and called him a cocksucker as a term of endearment.
Where the fuck had it gone? This, Stetson would soon discover, was only the beginning. And it would not be till years later that he put together the reason he was so expert at losing shit. It was something every one else around him already seemed to know: pot makes you stupid.
Over the next ten years, Stetson would lose two Tag/Heuer dive watches; one he’d drop into the mail for repair, stoned, and without insurance or delivery confirmation on the box. The sorting mailman at the Post Poffice was a happy camper that afternoon. The other would be left in the soap dish of a public shower after a long steam, very high.
A Louis Vuitton wallet (with everything in it) was left on a speaker at jazz club, cause it was digging into his thigh as he drummed along with the quintet, stoned off his tits.
A Bill Blass tuxedo, left on the hook in a toilet stall in the men’s bathroom at the Jet Blue terminal in Ontario, California, as he took a bat-hit before getting on the plane and heard the announcement that his plane was leaving.
A Mustang convertible in a shopping mall parking lot in Paramus, New Jersey, after smoking opium before an Imax U2 concert. He’d searched all 60,000 square feet of indoor parking, on all five floors. The car was found three days later, in a lot outside the mall, where it had been parked. $330 in tickets graced the windshield.
And his sister’s four-year old daughter, Nina, in the streets of Athens, after accepting a cigarette laced with hashish in a Kolonaki café. She was returned by a sandal salesman with thick gold chains and wicked fetid body odor.
This incident with his niece broke new ground. The other objects, though large enough, had all been inanimate. Stets was becoming a pioneer, some would argue: borderline autistic in the loss category. Had there been an all-star team, or some kind of Pulitzer for this skill, Makako would have been on the short list.
Oddly enough, in the rest of his life, he was thoroughly type A-nal. Never missed an appointment, never changed his mind, always early, fantastic about returning calls. He was, in short, dependable as a Stuttgart train schedule.
In his 35th year, in short succession, he would lose his mountain bike, an iBook G4, the chaise lounge of his uncle’s deck furniture, a television pilot of which there was only one copu, his duplex town house, the woman he should have married, and his mind, all while very, very , very high on dope drugs.
This was his fate. To be a hip– somewhat functional, utterly predisposed loser of things while stoned– lover of marijuana.
Stetson’s tragic flaw was his total inability to make the blatant correlation between cannabis and competence. Had he stopped smoking grass, his life would have been his own, perhaps even legendary. But he never did. Amazingly, one of the only things he never ever lost if even for a minute, was his lucky glass bong, his one-hitter, his sea shell pipe, and his brass octopus hookah. Those things were safer than a federal government firewall.