Audible Edibles

“Welcome to Audible Edibles, you melomaniacs! You just bought a ticket for the Magic Carpet Ride of my life. Join me as we “break on through to the other side” and I spin some self-deprecating, deeply personal, and wit-filled stories on the metaphorical turntable that expose my soul and are laced with that powerful drug we all know so well – MUSIC.”


His name was Mike, his breath was stale, and his tongue tasted how Winston cigarettes smelled.

How did I know?

Up until I was 13, my dad smoked Winstons. Then, he smoked Marlboro Lights, eventually he got his fix from the Seneca Nation and their cigarettes. Then, he stopped smoking at 66.

Anyhow, let’s take it back about four decades. Like many kids in my day who were born into blue-collared families, I was often the unwilling participant of secondhand smoke in the car.

Shit tons of it.

It was an assault on my young lungs and my hair and clothing were the second greatest casualties. Without question, I smelled like the Winston Cigarette Factory each Sunday evening when dad took me back to mom’s house after “every-other-weekend dadding” me.

But the truth is, cigarettes were part of 80’s fashion. And, granted it wasn’t until 1989 when Mötley Crüe made a lotta ladies squeal with “Smokin’ In The Boys Room, but it was still a smokin’ hit. My point ? Everyone smoked. It was cool and en vogue (not the all-female music group), as they say. Sure as shit, my dad and my stepmom, Les, would light up as soon as their asses hit the seat in the silver Buick. Old habits die hard, I suppose. Les would read the Sunday paper and cut out the coupons, dad would drive, and they both would hotbox me in the car as they smoked Winstons. Impressively, they lit one after the next off of whichever cigarette still had the cherry burning.

Another truth? Between the chain-smoking and living the first seven years of my life across from the Bethlehem Steel plant, my childhood asthma was no coincidence. *Cough, cough*

Thinking back, none of this is surprising to me and it was all quite normal. It was 1981. I mean, seatbelts weren’t even a “thing” at that time. Rock stars were poster children for smoking cigarettes. Ahem, Keith Richards….need I say more? In fact, right about now I am feeling quite nostalgic for the smell of Winstons and hearing the lascivious three minute rant from the Rolling StonesLittle T&A.

Want a bonus truth about the chainsmokers (again, not the band)? After sucking the shit out of their cigarettes straight down to the damn filter and tossing the butt into the car ashtray (remember those?), wanna know the only time the smoking stopped?

Stay with me.

When they ceremoniously lit a joint. Yes, a joint. In the car. With me in the backseat. Now, now, Dear Prudence, it’s ok. I grew up to be a law-abiding (kind of) citizen, with only a few (probably more than a few) skeletons in my closet, and my parents often gushed with pride for me, so no need to retroactively call Child Protective Services on the fam. We good.

Back to the joint. Ah, marijuana…good ol’ Mary Jane

(I can hear Sugarman himself, Sixto Rodriguez strumming my ears with his raw, drug- fueled ode to the sweet smelling herb itself, “Silver magic ships you carry…jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane”. )

Pinky swear, I knew I would eventually grow up to enjoy weed. Why? ‘Cause I loved the smell of weed from a young age. You may recall in Episode 1 of Audible Edibles that my father prided himself on what could be fact or urban lore that he and my mom conceived me on marijuana and pizza. If not, take a trip back and give it a look-see.

It’s scent delighted me. Marajuana smelled like the incense my step mom would burn on weekends.

Ok, an extra bonus truth?  I reeeeeally looked forward to those joints. My child lungs would expand with each ginormous inhale. And I would….hold….iiiittttt.

We didn’t have a lot of money, so for shits and giggles, we would hop in the ol’ jaloppy and head to the country. It was on those many long and winding Sunday drives that the not-so-parental figures lit joints. I was along for the ride in the backseat and songs from the radio danced in my ears.

Games People Play” by Alan Parsons. 

“Take It On The Run” by REO Speedwagon

“Take the Long Way Home” by Supertramp 

(Breakfast in America still gives me all the feels!)

Music and marijuana…I felt fiiine. Honestly, it would have been more fitting to have Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” playing on the airwaves ’cause the adult Jaycee can tell you with complete certainty that little Jaycee was…STONED.

Again, I reiterate my earlier plea to not call the authorities. Save that for the real criminals. Still, I am not sure getting me inadvertently stoned is quite what the doctor ordered for a child of my age. I should have been getting Hooked on Phonics instead of hooked on the smell of weed. Ah, c’est la vie…it makes for a fantastic Recordholics Anonymous post, I hear.

So what the hell does all this have to do with my first kiss? My fellow melomaniacs, just take a page from the Eagles and “Take It Easy”…I’m getting there.

In 9th grade, I made friends with a chick named Amy. She was COOL, unlike me. She dressed cool. She listened to Led Zeppelin and RHCPs’ “Blood. Sugar. Sex. Magic.” She did cool things. She just acted cool. And she was absolutely cool enough to hang out with older boys who went to a private Catholic school up the road called St. Francis.

These boys were known as “Saint Franny Boys”. Hormone-fueled girls were warned to watch out for these smooth-talkin’, fast-movin’, tie- and uniform-wearin’, God-lovin’ boys because they always had “ulterior motives”.

Before I go any further, let me take you back to my 15 year old self.

I was not cool. I didn’t have an ounce of cool.

Even more, I didn’t have the confidence to even try to act cool. And this was especially true when it came to boys…most definitely Saint Franny Boys! I was awkward and I had no game. I hid under my clothes –my mom’s blazers were a fav, as they covered my blooming curves. I certainly wasn’t comfortable in my own skin and I felt like it was tattooed across my forehead the size of the Hollywood sign. And I never had a REAL kiss…yes, there was my friend Peter on the 4th grade school bus who unexpectedly kissed me on the cheek and John in 6th grade who gave me a peck on the lips. But never had I ever…French Kissed…or “worse”, gotten felt up and done the feeling. That was uncharted territory for this maiden.

This leads me to Mike — the Saint Franny Boy who changed that and was my first tongue kiss and not so hot make-out sesh.

Looking back, I was such a novice that August night. I was in way over my head with 17 year old boys. They drank. They smoked. And they definitely have not only gone to first base, unlike me, but they were also familiar with hitting the damn sex ball outta the park!

I thought we were going to just watch a movie, but later learned that I was along for the ride with Amy and her boyfriend because Mike was the third wheel and they needed me to make it Even Steven.

I can’t recall the exact order of events, but I do know that after a 6-pack of Zima and some Bartles & James wine coolers, we paired off in the cold, dank basement to do what was inevitable…make out.

Drum roll, please…

My heart pounded so loud that I heard it in my ears. My mouth was as dry as the Sahara. And I babbled on nervously, which I tended to do back then in uncomfortable situations, especially in situations that included talk of kissing, thoughts of kissing, and that night, actual kissing.

Thoughts shot around in my head like a ticker tape parade. I saw them scrolling across the billboard in my mind like the NASDAQ feed. They rudely shouted at me, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?! YOU’VE NEVER DONE THIS! ARE YOU CRAZY?! HE’S GONNA TOUCH YOUR BOOBS! UGHHH!” 

Despite those loud words, we proceeded to do what hormonally-driven teenagers do…we laid down on the cement floor of Amy’s boyfriend’s parent’s house, fully clothed, awkwardly positioning ourselves, him on top of me.

Laying as straight as a board –stiff– I continued rambling on about God knows what, perhaps the Buffalo Bills and their Super Bowl loss, or maybe asking him if he knew what Amy and her boyfriend were doing in the room with the door closed (Duh!). I figured if I kept talking my lips would be a moving target and it would be too difficult for him to plant his on mine. But Saint Franny Boys are skilled ninjas and before I could take a breath, he jabbed his tongue into my mouth like he was bobbing for a goddamn apple, very mechanically I might add. It darted, it searched, it poked…and with each jab, my tongue retreated. I gagged. I panicked. I didn’t know how to reciprocate. I was certain that his tongue was on some sort of excavation in my mouth, and with his next plunging dive, he started grinding on me.

THA FUCK? SOS! HELP! My computer systems short-circuited! Instead of “all systems go” all my systems said NO!

It was my time to find the metaphorical life preserver….the parachute…the emergency exit, and get the hell outta there. In that instant of panic, I pried his wet suction cups off of me, inhaled deeply, and looked at him with disgust and said, “Ew, you taste like Winstons and remind me of my DAD!”

Now, there aren’t many things that would stop a virile 17 year old boy from having an orgasm in his pants, but that sure did. I think being likened to a father figure at that age really did burst his bubble. It certainly took the steam out of his erection.

And that was it. My first, not-so-hot make out sesh.

He awkwardly rolled off of me, wiping his sopping lips dry with the back of his hand. We both sat up and scooted ourselves away from each other to the couch, sitting on opposite sides…in silence…for what I am sure was only five minutes. But in teenager years that was an eternity filled with hellish shame, self-judgement, and embarrassment…at least for me.

I felt humiliated. Young. Violated.

I felt like a slut. I had let a boy –a St. Franny’s Boy– kiss me! *GASP*

On the boombox, “Winds of Change” by The Scorpions was playing. It was 1990. I didn’t know where in the hell Gorky Park was, but I would have given anything for a one-way ticket there….anywhere but on that couch in that basement, sitting next to a boy I let kiss me with his stale Winston cigarette breath.

“Follow the Moskva. Down to Gorky Park. Listening to the wind of change. An August summer night.”

It was an August night, and goddammit, with that kiss everything had changed. Those Winds of Change they were singing about? Yeah, they were blowing and nothing was going to be the same.


I am a self-confessed logophile who loves the beauty of stringing together words to create moving and inspiring experiences for myself and others. Just call me a lyrical gangsta. In addition to loving language, I am a naturalist. At the age of 7, I had my first sensual and spiritual experience in a patch of ferns. I am a writer, creator, and candlestick maker…also a music maven. An intuitive mover and a shaker and a dot-connector with an uncanny ability to visualize the Matrix of how Person A and Person B go together to create a Kickass C. I am a lightworker with a smile like a 1000 megawatt lightbulb that emanates from my heart and soul. My “future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

COURT THE MUSE – Subscribe to “Audible Edibles”