I was flying to school somewhere and I was being a fuck up. I can’t remember the specifics. I met a man flying and stayed with him for a night instead of connecting maybe. I was on my way home either rway.

I was flying and I had already fucked up and I was scared. Substance abuse seemed to play a role. I was leaving the airport and a lady was breeding bonzais that were also cuddle fish. That was pretty cool but also a little scary when I swam with them. I first saw her: a black lady shovelling gravel by the overpass.

I dance with the man and he laughed and said he wished he was there to teach me to dance. He said I should not blink quite so frequently. That seemed like good advice and I also told him about my ex but I remembered that’s not something you’re supposed to do and so I said “I wish you’d been there to teach me how to dance too – and I’ll leave it at that” by way of acknowledging my hesitation.

I was heading home from the airport with my dad and he told me he was reporting me to the CIA. I was the passenger and I later learned he had a buck knife handy. My lung felts like they’d collapsed and I couldn’t understand. Rehab sure but the CIA? Was missing my trip that bad? Then things got worse. He started talking about my mother and sister’s cleaning the fridge, he said that they thought I was the golden state killer and that once they applied that lens it seemed to explain a lot about me. They felt they had a real bead on me.

When cleaning the fridge they’d found a toe. I was choking on tears and unable to breathe. A memory came to me and I suggested it was Benni’s toe. I couldn’t remember what had happened but I remembered Benni having nine toes and her tenth would be the type of thing I’d hold onto. My dad said it had looked like that; it was a beautiful, angular toe.

As my world fell apart I crawled. I crawled to the tops of staircases and allowed my body to cascade down them emitting only a solitary, muted, customary “ow”. My hands didn’t feel apart of my body as I tried to call Lisa, the Mississippi momma from when Granddad was dying. The man from the airport called at the same time but I missed it and did not call back. Lisa picked up and sent her kids and husband from the room so that we could talk. As they were leaving I threw away – the CIA threat had resolved but the winding of the accusation still rode high in my head – that “ya, send your husband away so that we can have our time” to which she replied “you tryna raise kids in that time too?”. I wasn’t. I think Lisa pulled me out of the dream; Lisa pulled me off the stairs, out of the tears, away from the killer accusations, away from my bad dancing, and away from Benni’s toe.

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The Singing Soldier

The singing soldier sings to me,
Today he had a shiner.

The singing soldier sings to me,
He used to balance books.

The singing soldier sings to me,
His blue eyes reach me stronger.

The singing soldier sings to me,
His beard is never longer.

The singing soldier sings to me,
You could say that he’s got the looks.

The singing soldier shares with me,
His 300 bucks has been delayed.

The singing soldier talks to me,
His microphone-hand goes numb.

The singing soldier sings to me,
Hand cream, I’ve got some.

The singing soldier says to me,
The lotion is in his locker.

The singing soldier sings to me,
The coat was a gift from his mother.

The singing soldier sings to me,
Today he had a shiner.

The singing soldier surrenders to me:
“It is what it is”
Before marching towards the night.

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Of Science and Salvation

Although I wrote this during the period of a walk, the truth is that this piece represents the fruits of a 12 year labour: a struggle through anxiety, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, self-harm, and abusive relationships in which I was most often the bad guy, and a pretty deplorable partner by all accounts—I have a lot to not be proud of, it is fair to say.

Now, amazingly, and to my surprise as much as anyone else’s, over the last one-two months, things have started to get better, like, a lot better, to the extent that I have a lot of difficulty articulating the profound nature of the change—so this is what I have endeavoured to do below. I hope you will enjoy what you see when you look into my soul.


Of Science and Salvation

I feel foreign to my own head. My mental geography has changed so rapidly that the map-makers could not keep up. Everything is familiar other than the feeling—I feel safe. I have a home in this strange land, somehow.

I feel content; comfortable.

It’s as though a genius inventor took hold, tore at the seams, reduced my mind to its component parts, then reconstructed it in such a fashion as to radically alter the landscape while fundamentally changing nothing.

Every piece, still recognizable. All the spikes and barbs still remain.

Yet they’ve been enfolded, nestled, and woven into one another in so brilliant a pattern that they no longer threaten the witness.

There is a peace. A harmony. A melody out of mad parts.

Three feelings born of composition and not addition.

I am at once disoriented and calm. Things have found their places. The machine no longer grinds against itself; no longer are two parts moving in opposite directions forced into territorial contest of great exertion, where even the winner leaves as less than before. The pieces still possess opposite natures but space has been allowed for them to move smoothly—like a mad carnival whose Ferris wheels run through each other by every conceptive angle save the perspective of the rider.

How do they do that? I cannot say.

Had this transformation not taken place in my own head I doubtless would not believe it had happened at all. Even as it moves in my domain I am hesitant to believe it—yet move it does. Round and round. Every narrowly missed collision prompts not sweat on the brow nor lightning-panic, but the gradual redefinition of what can be considered narrowly. As though ten years of emotional oil flooded forth in a month, surging from some un-surveyed, unseen dam, remedying all maladies of machine mischief. For before I knew not of oil in application, just in theory, and I could not look at the chaotic clunking of best intention and identify its lack—the well lubricated and the languished are inseparable to the neophyte’s eyes. To the eyes who know from books and diagrams but not of experience, never having felt the very thing they so eagerly profess!

I have felt it now.

I have touched the truth, and only now know that I knew nothing of what I dealt before and could never forget; could never fall; back into ignorance.

So familiar. So foreign.

Finally to have found form in family.

Finally free.


Grim features forged in flame suddenly, without warning, bear flowers.

From where?

Long supposed dead buds, planted in a lost age—it must be!

All logics defied; fictions fill the void that was not known to be there.

As charred wood brings forth life without forgiveness; unabashed, transcendent growth—Holy miracles! Am I worthy of thee? For so long I have suffered!

I dared not dream beyond; and alternative I could not conceive!

Yet before me it stands, thrust upon me, smuggled in while I slept, no hand in this have I—Fair Father! Mighty Mother! Sensitive Sisters! You stood by me while I floundered. You stood by me while I spat venomous slander; accused you of standing idle; accused you of abandoning me; accused you of every sin I knew; of every sin I had learned to commit! Oh evil of evil! How horrid I’ve been to the ones I tried most to love!

And they loved me all the while; showed me how to love, what love was; is; showed me how to love a most unlovable brute, for what else could be said of me in those years!

You showed me how to love myself.

Thank you for standing by me.

I cannot ask for forgiveness when I have done everything unforgivable.

But as I slowly stand, as I crawl my hands up your most formidable family, as my legs shake in memory of their treachery—Oh how I’ve misused them!—I slowly find my balance, a foal from foul fool!

Twenty-five years it has taken me to find my footing.

Any sensible animal would have left me to die during that first formidable winter, yet you stood by me, and I didn’t understand.

For twenty-four winters I didn’t understand.

But now, at last, I do. I see what is true; I see that we are not sensible animals at all!

We are lovers.

And so I clamber to my feet at last to find my legs firm, for my heart finally beats without the hapless interference of thoughts.

Thoughts may make the world, but actions make the man.

And so at long last I stand. I stand by you, my blood, as you have stood by me, for finally, after twenty-five years, my heart does honest beat.


In my excitement to consider myself a quick-learner,

I failed to realize when I became the slowest of them all.

For one last time, to all those who have stuck with me over these years,

I’m sorry, I was only ever doing my best.

I love you all

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I just don’t get to get it

I feel like a kook saying some of the things I say, yet I test very highly in formal logic and critical theory courses — I don’t know why, I just get it. But I don’t get to say that outside of the parameters defined and understood or taken to be significant by governing bodies. Now hows that square off? It may as well be a circle ’cause I’m not confident I’ll see an answer in my lifetime. Bah-Zing-Gah

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We will be fighting a war at the time the planet can no longer support human life.

It’s very hard to conceive of an alternative reality.

People with stronger technical skills than I can probably plot this as a visual trajectory: Climate Catastrophe over Moore’s Law.

A world in which a child of any wealth level may not live longer than their parents.

It’s time to start throwing Hail Marys.

Our short game is taking too long.

We’re addicted to speed; life’s getting faster, we’ll pull out of this nosedive into cataclysm.

Wake Up

Our speed has no intention, no strategy to pull up.

Our best hopes are that speed will allow us some development that will reset the meter.

Paddle boats in the ocean kicking up water molecules that generate clouds to block the sun.

Excuse me?

This is not thinking new.

This is not thinking green.

This is a magic trick of hope.

This is accountability avoidance.

We’ll plummet from a renewed height and call ourselves saved.

None of us want to consider our lives and adopt an individual practice of genuine sustainability until everybody else does it; why are you telling me I can’t I do x but they’re doing x right over there.

I can’t blame anybody who thinks this way, I do too.

And this is why we’re all screwed.

I give a shit. I care. And I do nothing.

Are you going to convince me otherwise?

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An Artist Identifies His Muse

Long have I known that I come off as a flirt, oft even when speaking to those I have no such intentions with. I suppose I hadn’t given this much thought until a sense of value I was able to attribute to the consideration by way of a mentor figure—today, as a matter of fact!

And what I discovered is this: language is my muse.

That is whom all this flirtatious activity can be attributed, and why it is indeed so transcendent of specific interactions!

That guy that had looked long into my ground floor apartment window in a seedy part of town, ogling my body much to my appall. Why did, when I finally encountered him in the narrow constraints of the back entrance, did I not tell him off and instead flirted with him?

It was because it was not with him at all but a case of my ongoing attraction and love-play with language!

He was merely the moments vessel through which I was able to connect with that deep-set desire.

I chatted him up just like anyone else for that reason.

At the time I had questioned myself inwardly; did I really require that ego boost of his infatuated eyes as I weaved poetry through his ears?

Fuck no I did not!

Well maybe… but that can now be seen for the minor player it is.

Is it an innate need to be loved due to a cold childhood?

Maybe, but not by that particular person.

And why too has every roommate heard my hearty chortle through the walls, triggered by the presence of no one and no thing?

I mean, sometimes it is a show or something—someone else’s language.

But even then the case can frequently be seen as one triggered simply by the self-pleasuring of thought.

I just love language and I thought you all should know, should I meet you in the street and talk you up, I’m sorry it’s not you, and it’s not even me—my own brooding insanity crackling to the surface—nope, it’s language, the eternal bae.

See even that bit about an “eternal bae” had me going!

What a stupid concoction of this omnipotent power.

god bless Her.


I would be remiss to omit that this can sometimes be hijacked.

When someone flirts back, that is. Without realizing it I end up in these spiralling situations where the intent changes unbeknownst to me and suddenly I am in trouble with my partner!

Well, now that I know who I’ll be with forever (re: eternal bae), I need not fret nor frown about such instances. I will simply understand my true calling to the moment, take a deep breath, and not damage any commitments I’ve made. And for this reason she, and She, need never question where my mind goes at those times, and we can all be happy together!

But would you call it monogamous? Ahahaha, that’s not one I care to hassle out the answer to.

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The Hemorrhaging of a Crystal Soul

I suppose it’s his swarthy complexion that leads men to offer him drugs.

He is my friend and I am his sage and thus his recent acquisition of meth came into my hands.

Yes, meth.

The big bad.

In spite of my experience it scares me.

The state of instability one must find themselves in to encourage use of such a compound is surely severe; I believe a past self would ask no questions.

I do have questions, however, and thankfully the gay scene—the scene in which my friend of ambiguous exotica was offered the small baggy of chemical achievement—is rich with nodes of experience.

So was the man that approached me as I breathed a contemplative cigarette on the 2am curb of this twilight hour.

From Halifax, a formative ground on which my memory falters and emotional resonance dictates the account, he entered my abode.

Invited, of course. I needed a sage myself; I needed a man mentored in the minefield of meth.

Trouble is, I don’t have a pipe because I’m not a meth user and the inclination was not rooted on my radar. Yet circumstance took its course and so was I, Halifax man, and an Indian man with earrings sitting in my bed and desk room on what is thankfully a weekend.

The man was of a peculiar sort, yet absolutely recognizable to me.

He was a Halifax gay.

His wife knows of his craving for cock and his children will surely piece it together as the teasing intensifies.

A jolly banter of Reflections and The Fruit Loop ensued! Only in chastise had I mentioned these names before — to be a part of the culture and identify with another member, what a thrill!

I found myself conscious of where my knife was in the room.

Indian man left on an excuse less viable than a damp cigarette.

You give a man drugs, drink, and conversation, and still they want more.

Acceptance is an all or nothing package, apparently.

Halifax man probed and I parried; he groped and I guarded; he insisted and so did I.

You have a story, I told him.

Is that not better than a piece of ass?

He did not seem to agree.

I asked him what I liked.

I had told him I liked to read and write. I had told him I was a bottom.

He told me I liked to bottom.

Misfortune lies in the ear of perception.

An objective reading of the evening would highlight a net win for the man who dared cross the street. His objectifying reading came to a different conclusion, although came is perhaps not the right word.

I fed him a grape and directed his hand towards his own body.

Like a child at a toy store told firmly and finally by that all too engaged parental voice—you are not getting that, you have plenty of toys at home—I lead him outside to his quickly cooling friend.

That was the end of eye-contact and civility, but perhaps the beginning of courteous behaviour reciprocate.

It’s okay to have urges, wants, desires—passions of a moment. But if in following those most carnal impulses you find yourself in a position lacking empathy and consideration, then the best recuperation is found in withdrawal. Pressing forward with an acknowledged mistake is surely the most egregious path a person may take. I know; I am the sage.

And so I sit now at desk and laptop, wondering: What will wear off first? The meth or the man’s impression on my soul?

First times have an uncanny knack for imposing titular dominance and alas, I have forgotten his name.

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the puzzle, The Puzzle, THE PUZZLE!

Last year I started doing the city paper’s daily crossword. It was free to pick up on campus and I found it a useful way to occupy myself during long lectures in a manner less consuming than the internet i.e. it allows me to multi-task faithfully. Furthermore, being an English student, it was not a non-academic diversion and the pseudo-learning aspect gave my enjoyment of the practice more legitimacy.

And it was a simple engagement! Availability on campus was not only convenient and free but it also naturally set the sort of parameter a man of my appetites finds useful, nay necessary, by being a regimented dose so-to-say. One a day; no more, no less. It was indeed a finite source of pleasure that I looked forward to as a part of my day.

People would comment when they saw me doing it too. Saying things like ‘I don’t know how you do that’, which was all the reinforcement I needed to further associate joy with my crossword. This joy, however, was of a different nature than my own self-assertion, it was validation, it was recognition that I stood out and above and it was addictive. Hooked, I started directly affixing my identity to completing the crossword. No longer was it one of the ways I manifested my love of puzzles and games, it had become the way. Strategy games, video games, these things are nerdy. But the crossword, that’s smart.

In tandem with my developing social views on the puzzle, I was also just plain getting better at it. When I started I would be happy with, say, 50% completion. Then I started picking up more ‘crossword-words’ and completion rose to 75% and so did the standard. Then I was at 90% until finally I fully completed my first puzzle with minimal assistance (my rule is that, if all other avenues are exhausted, I may Google a biographical clue – the type that you can’t logic out – to give me some fresh ground to work with). Either way, it was a terrific feeling, one that redefined my relationship with crosswords, as now, as I’m sure you can guess, the standard became perfection.

Perfection(ism) has plagued me throughout life, starting in elementary school when we had weekly spelling tests. The feeling of teary Thursday nights where all I wanted to do was be done with school but was not permitted to leave the kitchen table until I could spell all the words accurately (and then again, just to be sure) stays with me. It was not a standard I imposed on myself but one levied by caring parents who just wanted the best for me. I learned that 100% is on the grading scale and so must be achievable and I learned that I was a special boy so 100% I must achieve.

It’s all well and good to strive for such a grade in the case of a 15-20 word spelling test where it’s not only achievable but also pretty reasonable (although I remember my teacher accusing me of cheating after a streak of perfection). Unfortunately, I did not take away from the experience an appreciation for knowledge as the reward of study or any other positive growth. Instead, what I had learned was that 100% was good – it met expectations – and anything less was not-good or, bad.

For grade 7 I moved from the public school system to a private school and this standard became crippling. It soon became apparent that I was not to be a standout in this environment, in fact, I was very average (if not a little below), and nothing I could produce would meet this engrained expectation. So I stopped. Stopped studying, stopped paying attention in class, stopped engaging with school altogether, because if I wasn’t putting in effort how could you hold my sub-perfect grades as being representative of my abilities. Alas, the point of this long tangent is that, that mentality took me years to break out of. I am indeed still working on it to this day (maybe one day I’ll be able to write without rereading and rewriting every sentence along the way) although it no longer impedes me quite so significantly.

So back to the point then: with the crossword I was beginning to find myself back in the spelling test space. Here was something 100-percentable, and I had just 100-percented it. Of course it took some time to achieve this reliably but the more times I did the more painful failure to do so became. Achieving far more than I was capable of just months before ceased to satisfy me. On particularly bad days where the clues just didn’t fall within my wheelhouse I’d get angry. Angry at my super fun puzzle game! But still, it just meant learn more, pursue more, keep at it and more 100s will continue to fall. And this is the way it was until midsummer.

For whatever reason part way through this last summer the paper stopped being delivered to the school – and yes I had still been going to campus over summer just to pick up my game damn it! I was made to adapt or let this newfound and prideful part of my identity die at the hands of unknown forces. Fuck that! The subway in my city has a free paper as well and it too has a crossword in it and that is where I started going for my fix. The crossword in this paper is markedly easier, thus providing a weaker dose of those feelings I was all too hungry for. In actuality, this was probably the worst direction for my pursuit to take at this time. Diminished was the feeling of accomplishment upon completion while heightened was the sense of failure if I couldn’t complete it. Furthermore, as with any poor quality drug, I started looking to quantity to make up the difference.

In my search I found that the city paper had an online daily crossword as well but this was not the end of my issues for the fiend in me had already been set free. The seeking nature, alongside the euphoric hit from completion, set me on a treadmill. Now whenever I complete a crossword the pleasure is immediately followed by a desire for more. I started recognizing problematic habits forming; it was no longer something I did just to get through class, now it was almost always my preferred activity. Many a time I’ve gone to the library with schoolwork in mind… but first let me just quickly tuck away that easy crossword – some mental flossing before the real work began – and two hours later I’d be chain smoking away the nagging feeling that comes when you take adderall and fail to apply its energy to work. And to make matters worse, it was about this time I found the holy land: the 5th floor of the library. Not only did it still got the paper daily, but it also held onto weeks of previous issues – a puzzle junky’s paradise!

I’d like, at this point, to analogize crosswords and working out. When I started my journey doing the puzzle, it was supportive and supplementary to my assigned studies. It was perhaps like physiotherapy, stretching or even the choice to take the stairs over the elevator whilst intentioning to better one’s shape. It did not impede the progress of my true pursuit but merely complimented it – like an extension of my English major lifestyle. However the occurrence of fixation has shifted this dramatically. I’d now liken it to obsessively flexing in front of a mirror. I go to the brain-gym and sit placated by the mirror of my intelligence, so engrossed and narcissistic as I am. No longer does it support my development but instead impedes it.

My infatuation is so, that, throughout writing this journal, there’s not been a moment in which I was unaware and un-wanting of the crossword waiting for me in my bag. For context, I’d also like to smoke a bowl, but the pull of the puzzle proves stronger… and this is after 4 hours of doing nothing but whilst in the library. Worse still, I’ve noticed the compulsion ramps in kind with the importance of the docketed work, confirming its position as an exercise in escapism – all this as I head into crunch time.

I’ll need to get on top of this soon or my semester will suffer. But before that happens, I have a paper to attend to, and I’m sure as shit not talking about my essay for Caribbean lit!

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Dirty Mind Tricks

As is oft the case, I found myself musing on the potential benefits of a DMT experience to my ever present desire for self growth and development into a more spiritual being, one grounded in expressions of love, acceptance and understanding, as opposed to my more familiarly indoctrinated tendencies towards greed and selfishness. It’s an urge representative of discontent with the materialistic and shortsighted, emotionally driven, nature I succumb to regularly, an urge easily seen as harmful to my relationships with others and, ultimately, myself.

In following this fantasy, which need not remain a fantasy as – and this is often the trigger of such imaginative wanderings – the chemical is available to me, I found myself spelling it out in practicality. From what I’ve read I understand that the trip quickly overcomes the individual’s abilities of regular motor function and thus ought to be conducted in a safe and unchallenging environment, with certain safeguards in place. For example, it’s likely that upon smoking DMT, as per the desire to allow the drug to have the strongest influence possible, the pipe will still be in the hand as the effect takes place and will be dropped as a result of the aforementioned loss of control.

I just moved into a new apartment and am not fully comfortable with exercising such behaviour around my roommates, with whom my relationships are still in their infancies. The other indoor space available to me is the house of my parents which, in my idyllic mind, is the perfect place for such an activity. Who else but your parents should be supportive of your endeavours for personal growth, especially when it takes the direction of expanding one’s capacity for love and compassion? But unfortunately this is not the truth of the environment in question, and here we see a lovely chance to use a great word from the Greeks: Pharmakon.

Pharmakon is the notion of duality between what is a medicine and what is a drug; what is remedy and what is poison. It’s a concept I, and I’m sure only I, find interesting. The notion of the power of context: morphine on the battlefield is an essential anesthetic that serves great benefit to the wounded and those trying to tend to them, while morphine on the streets of Toronto is fuel for addiction in service of self-medicating issues the user faces, likely to the tune of emotional pain, not the physical pain intended as the target.

This framework becomes more intricate in the personal case outlined above because the ‘correct’ use for the compound is less clear. The medicinal quality of DMT is a more difficult argument to make than the blatant value of morphine to battlefield medics, although the drug quality of DMT, the potential for harm, carries a latent acceptance. Being on DMT will objectively make carrying out normal life tasks very difficult, however, the question to DMT users is of course the effects rendered from the drug trip, not the effect of the trip itself. It’s a means to an ends, not an end in and of itself. This seems logically simple to grasp, yet the emphatic emotional response of people such as my parents keys off what can be witnessed from the outside during the twenty minute trip and nothing more, thus spawns the tension – a tension of perception.

Now I suppose the easy solution is to just not do it at the parents’ house. If the twenty minutes is the trouble, extract that part from their experience, exact your means in privacy, and share with them only the ends. My trouble with this approach though is the narrowness in the potential for change it offers. Here I can ostensibly achieve my goals but the potential ripple is managed unfittingly. It would be like throwing a rock into the stream feeding the pond instead of the pond itself. Sure the stream water that experiences the ripple will eventually come one with the pond, but the pond will lose the chance to experience the ripple directly. Well I’d rather like to change the pond if that’s where my stream of conscious is to end up, so a spot of trouble we now have on our hands.

Taking a turn, Takashi 69 taught me something of value in understanding this predicament, something to do with perception and indeed the root of his rampant 69 tattooing. The purpose and meaning of the 69 symbol to him is far from reciprocative oral pleasure, however I still think that misunderstanding is itself illuminating of the value of his philosophy. No, the 69 symbol, to him, is a characterization of the power of perception; where you see a 9, I see a 6, and visa versa, and in 69 this truth is constantly present and unavoidable: there is no angle to take in which someone across from you will not see the reflection.

This can be related back to the idea of pharmakon, where you see a drug, I see a medicine, or visa versa. I remember having the argument with my parents, as I started smoking weed, that, while they villainized my smoking habits, I could just as easily villainize their coffee consumption. Oh you need it everyday to feel normal do ya?

If the idea of pharmakon is thus dependent on at least the two variables of context and perception, then it would seem the best approach to my DMT pursuit problem would be to define the context before trying to sway perception. If it can be agreed that the nature of the pursuit intrinsically carries the objective of long term benefit, and that the short term disabling effect is not the totality of what is desired, then there is hope of bringing the outside viewer to share in the same perspective.

Now the question comes, is this mutual understanding to be achieved through convincing factual presentation or a more Freudian meddling of the unconscious to the tone of Edward Bernays? This is the question because the qualms of my parents do not lie with my goals of self-betterment, but with the representative quality of undermined progression their perspective lends to the act of mine taking drugs. They’ve seen me in the trough of my addiction, which could not be easy for any members of a love based relationship, and to act as what, in their eyes, would be the same way now – now that I’ve shown many signs of improvement – would be devastating. Thereby the difference in perception roots itself in emotional disconnect, not a logical one. So the task becomes aligning DMT with a notion of positive growth and not malignant addiction.

At this point this feels impossible, yet in the search for evidence of its achievability I need not look further than myself, for within me it holds the metaphorical 6 value, not the 9, or whichever way one wishes to artificially ascribe the digits. It’s curious too that we’ve both experienced my addiction but in different ways. Let’s say I saw my use, at the time, as the 6, and they the 9, yet now we stand closer to sharing the same outlook on it; I still hold out that value did come of it, despite the egregious costs, but ultimately our perspectives are close enough to read the symbol the same, despite one of us perhaps reading an italicized version. Either way, it is clear that such perceptual shifts are possible, and it is indeed for that reason that I wish to throw my rock in the pond – do the DMT at their house with their knowledge – for I want to feel loved, accepted and supported in what I hold as a valuable pursuit. I want my perspective to be shared by my family.

The mechanics of effecting this shift evade me still. Perhaps it’s a matter of exposure similar to Bernays’ Easter Sunday stunt; I must construct DMT as a torch of freedom, I must show them individuals of merit who, to some extent, credit DMT for their desirable psychological position.

It seems to me I have reached a research phase and that hypothetical musings can take me no further. I will let y’all know of the successes or failures of which I am met. Hopefully I am on the right path despite the painful irony: I bet DMT could help me figure this puzzle out! But then again, where’s the glory in chemical solutions? The saying is mind over matter after all.

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Medication Mancala

Today I was prescribed Adderall in the manner you might hand someone Advil. It was an absolutely bizarre experience, as Adderall is something I have been asking doctors to allow me to try for some time, to no avail. I guess it’s no more the job of the doctor to know the literature supporting a correlation between untreated ADHD and drug addiction as it was my job to know myself enough not to engage in non-regimented drug intake. Regardless, having struggled myself into sobriety, the potent amphetamine medication was handed over to me with few more than five sentences – almost none of which were questions about my history of use.

The message behind this seems clear, put yourself together and we will support you with the tools at our disposal, come in depressed, anxious, and addicted, and you will leave the same way, perhaps with the addition of a mind-numbing SSRI that will no more help you get a hold on your life than smoking weed will.

It is now my duty to manage this privilege of power – the trust bestowed upon me – so as not to revert back to the confused and frustrated state in which support is hard to find.

To achieve this, I think I will get one of those days-of-the-week pill organizers intended for the overmedicated oldies; play some medication mancala. My dose is low, only 10mg, so there will be days on which I want to double up. I don’t need to dose on workdays, as stock work already requires a laughable level of engagement from my mind. Pills from these days can be carried into the week to bolster heavy workload days, so long as I stay mindful of ‘spending’ saved days as opposed to ‘indebting’ myself against the upcoming week.

Perhaps a curious outlook I have on receiving the prescription is that I finally feel as though I’m on a level playing field. I remember overhearing a group last year before walking into a final. The word ‘Adderall’ caught my attention and the next thing I heard was “Does anyone have any more notes?” Sniiffff – laughter. It was a disheartening and revealing experience. The abuse of medication is common social currency. Who doesn’t know people using it? And yes, I acknowledge the hypocrisy of my outrage; here’s my proposal.

Taking Adderall should not be a doctor’s decision, it should be adopted as an opt-in/opt-out component of university life. In September, along with the dental plan and medical insurance pestering, there should be presented the simple option: Would you like to try using Adderall during your studies? Here are the benefits and side effects; take it at your own discretion (like all the other drugs you’ll encounter at university – you’re an adult, do what’s good for you).

The standing system, although veiled by regulation, does not, in practice, seem altogether different from this implementation, it merely encourages doctor shopping and the sourcing of ‘Adderall Doctors’, who will dispense, as mine did, without careful consideration. In truth, these doctors seem to see it the way I do: the medication helps people with school, you are a student, if you think the help would benefit you, here, have the help.

Furthermore, it seems a strategy that supports self-accountability and discipline, traits surely acknowledged as part of the skills learned at, and necessary for, university. If you abuse the privilege and university becomes unmanageable, you lose your access. However, everyone enrolled participates in the same, honest, academic arena. The system is understandably not without downsides, but it seems to alleviate the problem of disempowering committed students unwilling to doctor shop. And would we rather have policies that attempt to protect degenerates from themselves or that propel successful students to greater accomplishment? I think the latter. I’ve been the degenerate, it doesn’t hinge on Adderall control, it is a path forever available, and relinquishing the quality relies entirely on self-imposed will, not law. It’s time to let the path of empowerment be of equal access.

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