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Beautiful Nightmare is perfect for watching snow fall


  • Baynard Woods

I know a lot of you live for snow, watching weather reports and checking conditions like surfers waiting on a swell. But I don’t ski or snowboard and the thing I enjoy most about snow is getting high, kicking back and watching it through the windowpane as it falls and swirls and settles quietly on the ground, muffling all sound. I like when, due to wind patterns, different layers of snow at different distances crisscross one another. I like the way it perches, precariously, on the branches of inky-black winter trees like inverted or negative shadows.

Everything about falling snow invokes, for me, the passage of time. Right now that sense of time seems to be doubling back on itself. I recently logged off of social media for a few months — at almost the exact time that the Trump administration assassinated a high-ranking Iranian official, and potentially set off a war or inspired retaliatory attacks (“Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue,” as actor Lloyd Bridges immortally phrased it in Airplane!). It has felt like 2001 and 2003 over the last week as I’ve kept updating the homepages of news sources to see what will happen next. It was that sense that something else will happen that prompted me to get a cellphone back in 2001 — my now-wife and I were long-distance and had lost touch briefly. I think that terror has a lot to do with our cell-phone addictions.

Now that I’m off the social media, I spend a lot of time staring out the window and I feel so much better for it. All of this together, the mood of this moment at the beginning of 2020, feels like some infinitely recursive, slow, European art film or the wildly claustrophobic avant-garde novel In the Labyrinth, by the experimental French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet. But it’s also fast and frenetic and fractured.
So a strain called Beautiful Nightmare seemed like the bud du jour. It’s a cross between Blue Dream and Black Cherry Maduro and it is some extremely weedy weed. It’s got the kind of high you think about when you think abstractly about being high or remember being high not in a particular instance but if you were combining every time you’d ever smoked into a single average experience. It’s not a maximalist strain that crams too much in. Instead, Beautiful Nightmare is coherent and cohesive with a lot of the best qualities of both Indica chill and Sativa jazz. It may make you marvel at perception itself (“whoa dude!”) or get giggly at the absurdity of the world.

The smell, too, is hard to describe because it comes across so strongly as “weeeeed.” It smells the way pot smells in your mind, which is nice, but it also lacks some of the quirkier characteristics in taste, flavor or appearance, that distinguish truly exceptional strains.

I was a little bummed when I first opened up the jar. The buds felt dry. But when I tried to crumble one, I realized that it was just dense, and while the outermost layer of crystals and hair might feel crisp and stiff, inside the bud was fresh, giving in like a sponge when I squeezed it and emitting a whiff of its odor, like a perfume bottle.

Really, it was quite pleasant, so I ground it up and put it in the vape and have been sitting and staring out the window at the weather.

Strength: 7
Nose: Weeeeed
Euphoria: 7
Existential dread: 4
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 3
Drink pairing: Cold-brewed yerba mate iced tea
Music pairing: “Dark Fantasy” by Kanye West
Rating: 7

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