On a roll in Jamaica, learning to make paper burritos

I’ve seen and done many things that many people wouldn’t dream of doing. Though it occurred to me, minutes before the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve in Jamaica, that I have never rolled a joint before. I still haven’t. While vacationers were enjoying champagne and ice sculptures at a resort’s New Year’s Eve party several feet behind me, I sat on a plastic lounge chair on the beach with my toes in the grainy Jamaican sand next to a man who was teaching me the fine art of cigarette rolling. The main ingredient had been purchased from a local. He was a Jamaican man with skinny, graying dreadlocks that were pulled back into a ponytail. He had a scar on his nose, like his nose had once been ripped in two pieces. He smelled like he hadn’t bathed in a week, like hair grease and dirt had been stagnating in his dreads through several days in the humid warm weather. It was perfect weather for bacterial bloom. When he walked, he seemed to be dragging one leg. At dinner, this Jamaican man talked about the spirituality of reggae music and how he could hook me up with some herb. He spit out fish bones into his hand and set them aside on a plate. To clarify, I didn’t purchase any herb or roll it or anything. My hands are clean, I promise. I was too curious to not at least look, though.

At the beach, I heard the sounds of the ocean and the New Year’s Eve party music against this joint rolling lessons. Rolling papers are surprisingly thin and delicate like the paper used to fill gift bags. The man took little clumps of weed from a plastic bag and put it into a creased paper before tightly rolling it up. I’m surprised how amused I was by the whole process. Ultimately it was like making a paper burrito.

Besides that, my New Year’s Eve celebration was not especially eventful. I had a glass of champagne and I believe I may have been asleep by 1am. I need to think of a good resolution. Later, though. I’m on vacation.


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