December 7, 2022

Michael Anthony: An Airport Story

Read Time:3 Minute, 6 Second

The day starts like any other, piecing together any loose articles of clothing together. I soon drive off in my small car, made as if I were in the muse in mind. Then shuffle myself off to a lonely shift at an airport store. 

The days are long as I stand there, watching the busy people with their luggages. The New Wave radio plays and I spent the next couple of hours cleaning glass. It’s never until after 6 pm the most interesting people come in and this night was no different.

I should have known better, but he was seemingly typical when he walked in. Hunched over, holding all of his belongings up on his shoulders. His Hawaiian button up, indoor-sunglasses and whiting hair should have been a tell-tale sign of what’s about to happen. I mindlessly walk up to him, innocently smile and familiarize him with the store’s deals. He then slowly turns to me, mouth agate, arms up and open as if he had just been caught and yells, “I’m so sorry! I’m very high right now” in a very southern accent. This moment, by no means, is the blog worthy moment. If a high person coming into my work place was all that was warranted to get a blog, that’s all I’d be writing about. 

No, this strange, well-mannered, yet incredibly loud man was something different. I approached him later again, asking if he had questions. He yelled his apologies and explained that he was “Very high right now”. I laughed. He then looks me up and down and says, “You don’t smoke, do yea?” accent and all. I just replied, “No I don’t, but I write about weed!” He then leans in a bit closer and asks, “Would you like to interview me?” 

Insisting that I’ll be free to ask him whatever I like, so I take the opportunity! He then tells me, “I should probably go with an alias, uh?” Then gave me the name, Michael Anthony. 

This past summer, I met my hero, Richard Blade, who shared with me the secret to a successful interview. So with his advice in mind, I improvised an interview.

The first question I asked him was, “So, how long have you been smoking?” To which he replied with his sweet southern charm, “Oh, some 45 years now.” He pulled the straps to his backpack and watched me, as I scribbled onto the neon pink post-it note. I made sure to leave a pause before asking my next question, Michael then took the opportunity to share with me his first experience.

“I was in the 7th grade.” He then continued on with a reminiscent gaze, “I had just joined the football team and I was this tiny thing.” He then tells me about how his new football friend’s took him up to “Weed Hill”. They rolled paper and lit up. He shared with me this term they used to say a lot more back in the 70’s, “Maintain.” He leaned back on himself and lowered his arms. Eye slightly closed, he giggled to himself and repeated the word, “Maintain.” He remembers that one of the first things he said was, “Look how green the trees are” and giggled the same way I imagine he did some 45 years ago. 

It’s needless to say that it was an extremely short and strange interview. Nothing really was gained but the term “Maintain”. Michael simply wanted me to share his love for weed, and hopefully I was able to do that for him.

Images: Andrei Tanase, Koolshooters, Nerd Wallet

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