The therapist asked about my grandparents. Investigating why my jaw clamps tighter and tighter, the longer someone holds the baby. Grandparents are prime meat. The therapist asked if they showered me with unconditional love. The way grandparents do. No, I said. In the silence carpet between her couch and mine, I thought about my grandparents. They were nice. The one time of year we saw them. Very pleasant. But I don’t think that qualifies as a shower of love, more like a half-teaspoon droplet. 

Aunts or uncles? she asked—digging. No. 

Teacher, coach, neighbor? Nope, nope, and nope. 

Born and raised on the East Coast, my parents moving trucked the clan to the midwest fairly early on. My reading is that both grandparents resented the distancing. My parents said they were pursuing jobs, and the rumored chill pace of life in the heartland.

Is the absence of the paradigmatic i-heart-you grandmother a cause of my psychological EKG spike? Why I can’t sit still when my daughters’ grandmothers shower her with love? I’ve got no map, no understanding of what greater family means. I drink dandelion tea to detox.  

I chant om. 

Then I hold om. 

Cannabis slows thought, stills the cognitive racquetball game. So does meditation, experts say. The resulting stillness is the experience of the slippery word we call happiness. 

Speaking of, Atlanta took a big step toward decriminalization. This week the city council public safety committee approved a bill that would reduce the possession of less than an ounce to a $75 fine and no jail time. This is welcome news generally. But also good news because the previous penalty was up to $1000 fine and six months jail time. This particularly insidious in a city where 93% of arrests for small amounts of marijuana are arrests of African Americans. Most biased arrest rate in the country. Despite the progress, Atlanta major Kasim Reed told the media he’s on the fence. Pot being a gateway drug, he says. 

Capitalism is a gateway drug. 9-5 is a gateway drug. Black Friday is a gateway drug. Student loan debt is a gateway drug. iPhones are a gateway drug. Facebook is a gateway drug. The Alt Dad Diary is a gateway drug. 

Pot is a plant. 

In other news, the stock market is down. But I don’t have a stake. Mouse bought bacon this week. Former vegan, former vegetarian, former paleo, I’ll eat anything now.