Retrospection on a Hookah Fail

In the year he & she had met and began calling themselves a couple, they had came upon an idea one weekend… To buy a Hookah! At the time, it seemed like a well thought out plan. He drove them to campus from the dorm in which they met. They had researched locations downtown to buy such an item. Since college had just begun, they still had some money from their high school days and decided to share the costs. Upon walking in, they  were I.D.ed and sent to an upstairs room full of wondrous glass pieces and scents of flavored tobacco and incense. They quickly learned that the term “bong” was not to be used since cops were strict about keeping weed from any of the smoking devices. So, “hookah” and “water pipe” were the options.

Looking around, she was in awe of the pieces people had constructed with glass. There were swirly colored ones and oddly shaped ones. They felt like they were in a candy store picking out a lollipop. Then, there it was… their soon-to-be hookah. It was on the smaller side but beautiful. The color was a light pearled blue with 3D white lines and speckles to give it a design and texture. She was overjoyed by the decision, feeling like she now could do anything with her life.

The next part that coincides with buying a hookah is getting the sheesha to smoke in it. They were enthralled by all the choices. There was Mint, Blueberry, Raspberry Lemonade, Adios Mofo, Apple, and several others they decided to try. She decided to buy the hookah and let him pay for the sheesha. The piece came to be around $175, while the sheesha came in at around $5 a box so around $30. She was fine with the deal. The part where they failed didn’t come from the actual purchase, however; it came from the execution of trying to use it that caused disaster.

She held onto it in the car like it was her baby. He seemed a tad jealous as though he wanted to hold it too. It may as well been a baby or a kitten by the delicate manner in which they cared for the piece.

Since smoking was prohibited in the dorms, they decided to use it in his car once they got back. She had only smoked hookah once at her friend’s house the year before. Since her friend’s family was from Jordan, this was something her family just did around the house.

He set up the hookah, filling its ceramic bowl with a fruity flavor then setting the tray across the top to light the cylindrical coal. It seemed odd to her that there was no cover over the coal especially once he lit it and it began to ember. The hookah seemed balanced as it rested behind the shifter in between their seats. They had only one hose to pass back and forth, so he used it first, showing her how while also starting it up.

It was her turn as he passed the hose gently. She sucked the smoke into her lungs, getting a rush to her head, then slowly let it all escape. He watched her smiling as though he was proud of his pupil. Feeling cocky, she pulled the cord toward herself for another go overestimating its length. With that yank, the hookah wobbled side to side. She let go in fear of knocking it over but  from her releasing the hose from her hand, it fell towards him instead. It didn’t stop falling as the firey coal slide from the tray right into his crotch.

The immediate panic made him whip open the driver side door, flailing rapidly as he tried to brush the hot coal from his crotch out the door. Not wanting to cause a mess of sheesha in the car, he had simultaneously grabbed the neck of the hookah with his left hand, so the piece was being held outside with one hand while his other continued its attempt to get the burning ember from his car. From the urgency of the moment, he hadn’t realized that he had been holding the hookah by only the top portion, the portion that wasn’t actually attached. Just as he had stretched out his arm to pull the hookah from the scene, it dropped to the pavement and smashed into several pieces.

They sat there in disbelief, staring down at the corpse of their recent purchase. After a few moments of anguish, sadness, and loss with the knowledge that they couldn’t return it, they began to find the instance comical vowing to go back and get a new one the following day.

They split the next one 50/50, naming the large green glass hookah, “The Green Monster.” To this day, it still remains in his closet.


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