Humboldt Stories: Caitlyn & Jake – Life In A Grow House


Sharon Letts
No different than most, Caitlin’s smoking tray held a hand-blown glass pipe, a small, round grinder made from redwood, a vintage model ashtray, a sage smudge stick and a lighter

“It’s Not WeedsIt’s Real.”

By Sharon Letts

Jake shut the bathroom door behind him, cracked the window, dropped his drawers and sat down on the toilet.
And so begins the morning ritual of medicating.
Removing his smoking tray from the cupboard under the sink, he rinsed the previous evening’s dirty bong water, filling it with fresh, wiping it down with a rag, and setting it aside. Next, he chooses his medicine from an assortment of small, glass Mason jars.
“Cat Piss,” he said, adding, “Where in the hell do they come up with these names?”
Breaking up the bud and filling the grinder, he thought, “Down to the last nug.” He filled the bowl with soft, gray-green goodness and inhaled, closing his eyes, “Doesn’t smell a thing like cat piss!”

The ritual was the same each morning. It was a production, the production of medicating. For just as a diabetic readies the morning’s remedies, so does the Medical Cannabis patient. Jake’s place of preference happened to be on the morning throne, as Cannabis “relaxes the bowels,” he often chucked to himself.
The water in the pipe bubbled as he took a long, deep breath, releasing smoke out the cracked window. “Last night I smoked too much,” he thought to himself, coughing a little, but instantly feeling warmth come over his body as, his senses heightened, and the dreaded black that so often clouded his mind, lifted above his head. “I think the rain has stopped,” he smiled.
Caitlin fumbled in the dark in the back bedroom. She was fearful of breaking a branch heavy with new bud – dreading hearing the complaints of her boyfriend in the bathroom up the hall. She could feel the resin sticking to her skin, as she backed out to the door, wishing she had put a long sleeve shirt on.

Sharon Letts

“Jake, where did you leave the light?” she called to him from the darkness of the hallway. She knew he was in his own world, but it was frustrating being “clean-up girl.”
He was always walking off with the pin light behind his ear, then leaving it somewhere else in the house. To make matters worse, it was his turn to dump the humidifier, but lately she was the one having to save it from overflowing in the morning when the lights were off, and no light could be found.
Without the light she would disturb the ladies by turning on the room lights – a big, resounding “not allowed” from Jake, but she was tired from being up late feeding, pinching and then cramming for class.
She needed the chores to be done today, as her only and closest friend in Humboldt, Kirsten, was coming over with champagne. It was a new year and she had good reason to celebrate. Her life had changed dramatically by moving in with Jake the previous summer. She had a little more money and a home with a bedroom to sleep in – not the usual “futon in the living room” most grow houses offer.
She shopped at Hot Knots and North Soles on the Plaza in Arcata without looking a single price tag. Big perks were being able to buy organic at the Co-op, weekend shopping trips to the San Francisco and going to show at the Jambalaya. But, the biggest plus in living and working in Jake’s house was being able to pay for next semester at Humboldt State University,  in full, without taking out another loan.
“Sorry babe, here it is. I was in the bathroom – out of Cat Piss,” Jake said, light in hand. “Hey, don’t turn the room lights on,” he reprimanded. “I think the hum-dy is full, and check the babies again for mites – we’re out of Neem, add it to the list. I’m taking Buddy for a walk to Ramone’s. You want a latte? Apple Pan Dowdy? One of those cool mugs?” he asked.
“I have five,” she said to no one there. He was gone without an answer.
Sometimes she thought Jake was generous with money because he could be. Sometimes she felt like hired help, and all the gifts and plane tickets were bonuses to keep her here and working, without complaint.
Other times she felt like just another well-heeled grower girl, going to school on the 10-year plan. But, hey, at least she was productive and going to school. Other girls in her position were just pot wives, content to spend it as fast as their grower boyfriends could grow it.
Dutifully, Caitlin checked the babies for mites, dumped the humidifier without complaint, locked the grow room door, and closed the curtain hanging in the hallway behind her.
Once finished and her friend arrived, they went out onto the deck where Caitlin had set-up her tray. No different than most, Caitlin’s smoking tray held a hand-blown glass pipe, a small, round grinder made from redwood, a vintage motel ashtray, a sage smudge stick and a lighter.
While Caitlin cut and ground down the bud, Kirsten made Mimosas and poured them into tall glasses. “Nice bud, smells good,” Kirsten said, closing her eyes and inhaling from the bowl now fully packed with green. “What kind is it, AK-47, some kind of Kush?”
“Train Wreck,” Caitlin informed. “I pinched a couple of buds from Jake’s primo stash.”
“Bud thief!” Kirsten teased, laughing, and crumbling a small amount of hash over the green bowl. “What do you mean you pinched it? I don’t have to ask Eric for bud – that’s just wrong.”
“Well, he shares some, but not his best,” Caitlin said, a little embarrassed by the admission. “I mean, this is his house, his grow…”
“And you work your ass off and go to school,” Kirsten said, visibly frustrated for her friend. “He’s lucky to have you.”
“Well, we can say that, but we both know girls like me are a dime a dozen in Craig’s List, right… ‘Looking for pot wife with benefits,’ makes me ill.” Caitlin defended, dropping bits of bud into the grinder.
The two friends sat and enjoyed the bright Humboldt sky. Kirsten filled up the glasses again with Champagne – this time forgoing the orange juice.
“New shoes?” Caitlin asked, wishing to change the conversation. She lifted her glass and offered, “Here’s to us…”
“Here’s to Jake’s bud and Eric’s hash.” Kirsten laughed, lifting her glass.
“Here’s to Humboldt,” Caitlin smiled.