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After one of the department events, opening or closing one semester or another, I joined a circle of students chatting over pizza and beer on the lawn. Not wanting to make uncontextual interruptions, I listened...
"The system here is so unjust!" said one student to the one sitting next to her. "It gives priority to graduate students who accept teaching positions, over those who do other kinds of work, or even don't work at all, preferring to focus on their own research."
"Word", he said, sipping his pizza, biting off the top of a beer bottle, or whatever it is that the males do on your planet.
"This is especially unjust to me, because I can't teach," she continued. I listened a little longer, but we'll skip over the bits that I did when I interrupted:
"Why did you say earlier that you can't teach?"
"Because I can't."
Maybe it had something to do with the part of the conversation over which I skipped, or maybe nobody had ever even offered her a chance to see that she's probably not the only person around who understands whatever she understands however she understands it. I guess her teachers, however faithful they may have been to the blessed curriculum, must have neglected the more important lessons.
I left her talking to the guy with whom she had chemistry; life is too far from equilibrium for useless reactions.
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. - Kilgore Trout
I've led a rather blessed life, so far: I've never had to perform acts of mortal violence against people, nor have I witnessed the salty splashed remains of such action. Ironically enough, those who profess a desire to save lives and heal, are more likely to end up playing the roadside autopsy game, where harm done is measured as correctness of identification rather than reduction of inflammation. But I digress, and nobody cares much about my military service; after all, as I told my lab partner just before the last sunset: "All I ever really did myself was tell other people what to do."
Some people I've known personally over the years are dead by now, as often happens to people after you know them long enough. What's less common, although does occur once you know enough people of the various kinds, is that they die by their own hand. Three times in my life have I encountered the news that yet another doctorate in practical existentialism has been granted, and coincidentally enough, none of these volunteers for an early afterlife deigned to leave behind their dissertation. I don't blame them; after all, annealing such thoughts into human language is messy enough work without the added challenge of not being around to edit the result.
On the one hand, I've already mentioned elsewhere the second instance, and I'm loathe to elaborate upon it, for a variety of reasons. The only one which matters in this case is that that story forms a brief chapter in my long-forgotten upcoming memoir. On the other hand, the third instance is simultaneously too personal, and too impersonal, and too soon, and - although that friend's memorial service just the other day triggered the thought-helix leading to this post - no, I'm not telling that story yet, either. The first instance really shouldn't count, although black humor can be found even in such sanguine remains, so I'll give it a shot - just like the instantiator himself!
One guy who went through basic training together with me was quite the basket case: the kind of dork who literally hits himself after realizing how stupid he's been, without even any bully around to mockingly tell him to stop hitting himself. This poor shmuck had glasses thicker than his own skull, and his skull was quite thick, because he spent most of basic hitting himself, because this poor shmuck just couldn't get anything right. He was the kind of kid who couldn't get through the morning routine without getting toothpaste in the barrel, gun oil on his pants, and boot black on his face. Soldiers are rarely nice people - the average platoon could make a kindergarden playground look like a safer space than the campus of Snowflake University - and we soon had a nickname for this shmuck: we called him Shock.
Shock must've had a good heart, because he volunteered for medic training. Not only did he surprise us all by actually surviving medic training (they do some rather gruesome hazing, if the stories are to be believed, but those are not mine to tell), he also volunteered for the most thankless assignment: yep, Shock went back to that part of the desert where men are turned back into boys again, where the worst of humanity is strained out and molded into rank and file: Shock went to minister to the next crop of drafted children. One day I hear the following brief tale:
"Hey, remember Shock who went to become a medic? We need to find him a new name. One of the kids there shot himself in the shower. Poor old Shock found the remains, and now he's no longer in shock!"
ACHTUNG: While this post is not about noise suppression, I'm gonna skip the bets placed by the bot identifying itself as "Opera" until further notice. (at the very least, because it placed most of 'em twice, and the rest looked like fake pentest flash dispersors!)
One night about a year ago, outside the Tel Aviv Bitcoin emBassy, some fellow was being a loudmouth; in fact, a bunch were, and I, apart of that crowd yet picking it apart as I went, got sick of the noise. Eventually the loudest one of all seemed to bellow asking for a timeout.
"Listen, son," said I, while tapping that guy on the knee. "You oughtta shut up for a while, and listen to what those guys are saying. You might not remember this story exactly thus, but you know the drill."
That sorry shmuck bellowed even louder, and crescendo to boot: "No, no, no, no, no!"
He didn't yell in English either, but you can guess what it sounded like if you've ever heard people talk... much more like an unemployed singer delivering his stage orgasm, than an actor waiting for a job. After he was done yelling, I kept listening:
"Sorry for reacting thus to your grip. I was a school soccer star and I'm not used to having my legs fouled quite so rudely. If you can listen to so many conversations in parallel yet still follow the ball, why don't you go be a sportscaster for something better than a two-bit bucket shop?"
My response arrived, and that actor even delivered a convincing impression of having understood my words: "Son, you're getting carded before you can yell like that again. Can you tell what color card this is?"
He blinked, threw his glasses aside (without stomping them underfoot, as that would have been an excessive hyperbole), and gave the correct answer: "Do you want that information in primary, secondary, or frequency-balanced nuclear spectral densities?"
Believe it or not, I still owe that guy money. I doubt he remembers how much, and the exact sum ain't worth the paper it wasn't inked into, yet the story is true; he claims the debt is owed to a man long dead, so there is much remaining to debate.
ccl --eval (mapc 'ql:quickload '(:coleslaw :hunchentoot)) 22.214.171.124 - [2018-11-28 21:13:23] "GET /tag/lies.html HTTP/1.1" 200 6953 "-" "Mozilla/5 .0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" 126.96.36.199 - [2018-11-28 21:13:23] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.1" 404 360 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 ( compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" 188.8.131.52 - [2018-11-28 21:13:23] "GET /tag/prose.html HTTP/1.1" 200 9001 "-" "Mozilla/ 5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" 184.108.40.206 - [2018-11-28 21:13:23] "GET /tag/family.html HTTP/1.1" 200 9701 "-" "Mozilla /5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)" (coleslaw:main "~/blog/") ;Loading #P".../src/quicklisp/local-projects/coleslaw/plugins/sitemap.fx64fsl". .. ;Loading #P"eee/src/quicklisp/local-projects/coleslaw/plugins/static-pages.fx64 fsl"... ;Loading #P"EEE/src/quicklisp/local-projects/coleslaw/plugins/versioned.fx64fsl "...; rsync --delete -raz lol/src/quicklisp/local-projects/coleslaw/themes/snid e/css . ; ln -sfn 1.html index.html ; mv /tmp/coleslaw/ /generated/3752428435 ; rm -r /generated/3750221939/ ; ln -sfn /generated/3752385548/ /.prev ; ln -sfn /generated/3752428435 /.curr NIL NIL 0 ? 220.127.116.11 - [2018-11-28 21:14:10] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 28296 "-" "w3m/0.5.3" ^Z Suspended adlai@adlai:~ % grep tags blog/37.post tags: people, time, truth
This one's dedicated - with no regrets and only a drop of respect - to my fellow cadets, whatever kind of field we span.
Someday, I might fence in an area, and exercise some planning over what blooms. I doubt I'd care enough to call it a garden, but there'd be clear selection rules, and eventually, I'd have to put a sign up, warning the literate passersby which way the road goes:
- Here there be poppies
- If you render latex for opioids, please do it off my property.
- If you are misfortunate enough to get shot by a member of the Citizen's Highway Patrol, whether on or off duty, please hire a lawyer.
- If you can't afford to hire your own, please be nice to the one you get!
You don't even have to be that honest. They can usually tell.
"I've been trying to optimize my morning routine." I sip whatever it was - most likely, ethanol with a dash of poison - and impel across the table as loudly as is possible to send a silent thought, that sipping a drink and staring into space is a reasonable substitute for "YES I AM STILL LISTENING KEEP TALKING IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY". Who knew, maybe there'd be something said, by the end of that next exhalation. "You know, all that must happen between opening my eyes, and closing the door from without."
Now that we'd gotten that far, and I've gotten this far from then, it's about time to prune a loop and see whether le sed's got anything to say, se ipse. I know the metaphor doesn't quite compute, but that's part of the point: if the metaphor clicked right into place, there'd be a complete subgraph of indiscreet questions (such as - "Which place? Clicked how loud? and What did it truly mean?"), whereas a dangling metaphor is almost as flexible a nunchuck as a swinging participle. Relax, bruvnator: these are tools for thought, not bullets!
As I often do, I'll avoid those baggage-laden words which only serve mental course obstruction; were you there, you may recognize yourself in the autopsy, but I'll do my best to follow Taraza's last command, here summarized ad exsecutibus: "if you're captured... burn your own heads, shatter them completely. Take the necessary precautions.".
I'll skip the question of why the above was said to me, as opposed to any other of the many heads that listen, talk, and even walk; more interesting are the implications of that technique, where a daily routine is shaved down to essentials, yet - and here I point at some context, so do a favor and fire up some more content-addressable - for what purpose is this one ritual honed, whereas the day's bulk is treated as mere mothballs, necessary stinking fluff that fills the empty spaces whence the vital style flows?
In closing, a lone crumb for none but my own amusement:
"Sure! I know exactly what you mean. You want a morning routine as reflex-driven as the act of blinking itself. Where's that approach belong: strategy, tactics, ... ?"
TRIGGER WARNING: Vital escense is not absorbed by the kidneys!
Hokay, so: there's the sun, which is active matter of one sort.
There are planets, or overgrown, well-behaved comets, or aggregated, annealed, aquatic asteroids, or whatever you call the rocks. You can kick them quite hard, cut your teeth on them, eat them, smash them at eachother to make more or less of them, but as far as I can tell, they're the kind of stuff the turtles swim above.
On the better-civilized parts of some rocks, are a bunch of... museums. I use that word in the Wolfeian sense, and expect audience familiarity with everything I can recall during the acts of creation, editing, auditing, and reliving, so a "museum" is not quite what you'd expect. Perhaps you know me better than I do myself, and you could define the concept more accurately than my feeble effort, so I'll let you do that yourself as an audience exercise.
One of my earliest memories involves a dispute about who'd visit which parts of a museum, under what conditions (note the omission of unpriced admission). When museums grow large enough, these disputes can heat so vigorously as to cut costs on central heating, and soon enough the tearily nostalgic demand for a thermostat gives way to the much more interesting challenge of climate maintenance. Control, as you may be aware, is naught but the name of a button or two on various antiques littering this museum; maintenance, whether by hand, foot, or nail, is a fucking career.
The incorrect way to express displeasure about museum administration is by amateurly executing the chief executive amateur.
RIP Yitzhak Rabin (b: 1 March 1922; d: 4 November 1995; c: trauma, kidney failure, life)
TRIPLET WARNING: The following content consists entirely of a single three-item ordered list. If you are contextually biased to skepticism towards three-item lists, please await the publication of the five-, seven-, and eleven-item Deluxe Editions before inquiring at your local wholesaler.
1. In The Beginning...
One of the earliest memories of my maternal grandmother involves advice to her youngest grandson, at the time, who has having difficulty concealing the fact that he didn't much enjoy not wearing diapers anymore. If I recall correctly, although memories from such a past life are notoriously unreliable, I had just been scolded for sulking about for hours, accumulating unspeakable stockpiles of kidney stone nucleation loci, not to mention stool samples that could give IKEA a run for their fiat any season of the year. "Just let it out, kid! Learn from your elders." Well, she was a little more polite than that, but please indulge me and use your God-given imagination like it was meant to me used. Curious little cunt that I was at that age, I must've asked her what harm could possibly come to me from putting off work that would eventually do itself; and I rightfully expected her to have a good answer to this, seeing as she was living off a pension from the service half of the medical industry's frontest of offices. "If you let that all bottle up inside you, circulatory kinematics will hinder the flow of nutrients to your heart... and if that's a number two you're holding in, you might be able to keep those cooking for days on end, but sooner or later your stomach will hurt like shit."
3. ... and at the end.
One of my last memories of her places her in the geriatrium where she spent some of the last weeks of her life. I'm quite sure she remembered my visits and me, not to mention the familial parade that kept me sitting around long past when she seemed to have forgotten them moments later. She'd had physiological difficulties aplenty for decades and survived them better than the best, but at this one moment she gave a particular impression of not doing so for much longer (at least, not unassisted). I could've sworn I heard my brother whisper to our father, "I think she's dying", but he swore later that he thought she just wanted to go to sleep already. I'm not quite so politically motivated an editorializing recontextualist as to suggest that my grandmother (who lived out her post-holocaust adult life as the positive counterpart to Kesey's Ratched) taught me that life is only sacred so long as it kicks to keep kicking, but at the very least I learned to appreciate sensory precision.
2. Oh and that one time?
... when she interrupted my procrastination of yet another kind of work that doth itself do. I must've been in those formative years better known as the "almost preteen", and had school that morning (it was tomorrow by then, although nobody had yet told the Sun). My main fear was that she'd scold me for dicking about instead of sleeping, and my excuses had indeed all been used up the day before when she'd seen me finish my homework quite early. In case your mind teetered on the brink of some proverbial gutter: at that age, my idea of dicking about at that hour consisted of wondering just why it was that the Microsoft stack deigned it so unnecessary to respect login sessions when the computer was more or less prevented from talking to its peers. This fledgling detective work was hampered by the innumerable moralizations (many of them self-contradictory when followed far enough) stemming from what I'd seen on the cover of a magazine intended more for moms than dads: "SHOULD YOU SPY ON YOUR KIDS?" Forgive me for posting this riddle's answer in such close proximity, but in case you needed any help: not unless you enjoy heart attacks and sleep paralysis so much that you'd like to have a new hell tailor-made where you can experience both at once! If your imagination isn't yet working at this point, insert Tab A into slot B and press Back to continue. My fears were unfounded: she was thrilled to see that her grandson was not only playing around, but playing with office machinery that could simulate quantum annealing of racial genetics faster than the ethics ministry could convince me that a holocaust joke isn't quite appropriate, not to mention wholly anachronistic because Hitler's Venus Project would've needed at least five of those to takeoff real quick. Her fears were probably more along the lines of me redecorating the apartment with the use of excrement and matches, and evidently she got the impression that I'd just found the old sliderule and was trying to puzzle out what the less obvious scales computed... little did she know that I'd found the abacus instead, and was taking baby steps towards applied plumbing.
Whoops! I should've warned you about nonlinearities, although if you've ever seen a sliderule, you probably saw this one coming: I preemptively forfeit my chance to bid upon the chalice of history in deferrence of the claim made by that greatest of liars (save only Baudolino): the historian formally attributed as `Harq al-Ada'.
14:41:11 adlai | it could be quite stable, at the right pressure 14:41:16 adlai | you need to go back to thermodynamics class! 14:41:51 adlai | start with equilibrium thermodynamics. once you're good on that, fluctuations; then bounce your way up from there. 14:42:01 fogobogo | the right pressure being the mass of jupiter? 14:43:04 fogobogo | entropy. sucks all the fun out of it 14:43:36 adlai | if you like my stories, may i recommend a short one? 14:44:08 fogobogo | sure 14:44:15 adlai | http://adlai.uncommon-lisp.org:7421/tag/changa.html 14:44:28 fogobogo | oh. you have blog 14:44:37 adlai | 8k words, that's what... 8 hours reading, once you dereference all the pointers? :) 14:45:06 fogobogo | Reflexive Interferometry in prose 14:45:34 adlai | ahh 8k is the bytecount, it's only 1.3k words
Perhaps it's time to state, for lack of having previously done so, what exactly this means:
- Nothing here is [yet, to my knowledge] notarized. That means I edit with extreme prejudice.
- I don't [yet, to my knowledge] exercise unambiguous control over anything worth controlling unambiguously: not your computer, not the one serving this content, and barely even the one(s) from which I cook it. Misinterpretations and disintermediations are the responsibility of those unfortunate enough to have responsibility thrust upon them, as I believe Churchill isn't around anymore to deny having said.
- If I wanted this to become a halfassed predecessor of the sort of arguments witnessed in the darkest recesses of Facebook, Reddit, and their ilk, I'd have included some infrastructure for leaving comments at the bottom of these posts. Since I haven't, I probably don't! I may someday add a 'guestbook', purely out of nostalgia, but only hold your breath if you're really good at that kind of sport.
- As for why I spend so much timeffort making haphazardly selected parts of my neverending [yet, to my knowledge] argument with myself browsable by the random passerby: "beyond the obvious financial motivation, it's exceedingly simple... because I can."
For the record, fogobogo, all that entropy is rather what made it any fun to begin with!
The Oldest Joke In The World
PONGO: I'm having trouble meeting my creditors! BINGO: I say, dash it! To be precise,.: who wouldn't?
The Blessed Joke In The World
Historical note: the following joke has been heavily revised from the original version, which contained a punchline so wholly unamusing that it has repelled the Island of Stability even further away from me.
Two blonde med students walk out of the biochem final. One says, "That damn final question! What was he thinking, asking us to name the single most important element for the continuation of life as we know it, and justify our choice? Such a dumb question only Philosophers of Semiotics could get wrong." The other replies, "I know, right? It's obviously Phosphorous." The first stops, and finally speaks, quavering in fear: "What are you talking about? It's clearly that one metal, I keep forgetting its name. Do you remember what's the ligand of methylcobolamine?" Ignoring her question, the dumb one blurts out: "Vitamins are important, sure, but wouldn't you agree that no energy transfers can occur without the near-equilibrium thermodynamics of driven fluctuations in those octokisdekaphosphomers?"
The Most Expensive Joke To Not Get
SATOSHI: Ya like DAGs? GAUTAMA: Ja sed also sprache posztifly towards Cat.
The Most Obscure Joke In The World
Q: What can you say about the special unitary samana squaredance? A: Don't get it sandy! (might be all we have to eat...)
The Politest Joke I'll Ever Type
... with apologies to nobody in particular!
Content Warning: This post contains a renovated memory. It is an attempt to recollect things said and done during the day which I consider yesterday.
Two main arteries skirt the coast between the clavicle and lower jawbone of the self-styled "Jewish Democracy", aptly numbered two and four (since without them, they can't even, you know, get anywhere). Unlike oxygen-rich blood, licentially-poor cripples can cycle pretty much anywhere they like, blazing capillaries across any barriers surmountable (within the limits of reason, physics, and decorum). Somewhere midway between where the first route (that's Road Two to you) lefts South and the city puns itself divinely away from its founder's pronomen, lies Seas City, a rather hivelike glass-and-cement factory for storage, feeding, and production of humans. Parks and fountains line the southwestern edges, one of the latter bearing a bold sign strictly prohibiting any entrance to the water (which runs less than finger-deep and more than crystal-clear).
I had to break that recommendation twice: once, to pick up the garbage that the idiot cubs left behind (and other idiot cubs also left behind, when I suggested that they, having already broken the recommendation, pick up the other cubs' crap); and secondly, to fish out my dumb-smart phone, which continued working despite falling face-down (until thirty hours later, when it suddenly remembered some wetness deep within). While smugly wiping moisture off the outer surfaces, gloating that my phone was so dumb that it could still work after such a dip, some Brit and brought its cubs to play the 'Hop around on the fountain without breaking the recommendation' game.
Adlai: Where are you from? Brit: London Adlai: Ahh. I'm from... wait, let's see if you remember your heraldry. Brit: Wales? Adlai: No... [ADLAI inverts sweatshirt, which had doubled as red flag to indicate human presence in the field; enter WHITE LION RAMPANT upon a RED FIELD] Adlai: Exeter! Brit: ... Adlai: ~New~ England Brit: Ahh. Stay there!
Seven hours previous, I'd seen the New Sun rise. Seven hours later, I'd see the Old Sun set. That was a good day.
Content Warning: This post may contain renovated memories. It is an attempt to collect things said during my military service which I consider today, several years wiser, as the greatest compliments received, although they may not have been intended as such by the speakers; others may simply be moments which I do not wish to forget.
+ Good work. + Adlai, go there. + "... and then fire the missiles!" + Do you know who I am? I am your captain. + Adlai, your problem is that you are a technocrat. + Yes, we can stay friends... what a stupid question! + Of all of us, the last I expected to become thus is you. + I envy the woman who wins your heart, because you are a wager of peace. + Of all the sergeants in our company, you are the only one after whom I'd charge under fire.
It's been years since I met some of those who spoke those words. Some of them weren't in good shape back then, and some of them are in worse shape today, and that's quite a flexible word being used to its full range of meanings. I hope they're in better shape than I'd expect. I have forgotten the full name of the third speaker, and that makes me sad.
Trigger Warning: This post may have been produced in a facility that also processes lucidly-written prose.
Though some might consider this rebellious streak merely some idiotic "looking for trouble", I actually enjoy getting asked by complete strangers what I did during my military service: this being nearly 36 months of forced Israeli defense. I've parroted much nonsense in answer to such questions, always avoiding barefaced lies and never quite cutting to the matter's heart, but it's about time I set down the definitive story, if only for my own sanity.
Artillery battalions are funny beasts. They consist of dozens, if not hundreds or thousands - let's settle for "myriads" - of autonomous agents, each with its own specific task; and a well-designed battallion can function even with its head cut off and impaled, dripping blood, sweat, and bile, at the entry gate, for every man to witness. The agents can run about like headless chickens, hardly hearing each other's plea, as long as the most important guidelines are followed. The responsibility of those commissioned "Officer"'s to make sure that nobody gets hurt. My job was to lobby for the continued execution of enemies. It's that simple.
Trigger Warning: This post may have been produced in a facility that also processes lucidly-written prose.
SET: My current life doesn't quite consist of "unending boredom punctuated by brief moments of sheer terror", but I'll reluctantly admit to being most afraid of succumbing to my own destructive boredom, yet also most loathe to harm my only asset - quite a powerful pact! Self-expression through words has tended to only agitate those who try understanding them, so recently I've combated boredom through reading, cycling, and the avoidance of liberal language with those who profess intent to analyze, heal, or otherwise "help" me beyond the essentials: camaraderie, companionship, and the unfettered exchange of information.
SETTING: On the day of this experience I seasoned my breakfast cooking with 0.8g vapovers, then cycled (or drug the steed) for several hours across rough terrain and rocky shoals to visit two friends whom, for lack of better pseudonyms, I will call Shura and Alice; the former I have known for several years, since our military service; I've only met Alice, who now lives with Shura, a few times before; but military conditioning runs deep, so I trust Shura's judgement in more regards than just partnership and supply.
ANANDOMIMETICS: I vape cannabis at low doses on a roughly daily basis, a habit variously termed "titration", "infusion", or "addiction", depending on the speaker's set. I cook with the leftovers - an imprecise science, but it brings back the magic of cannabis as adventure, a magic which frequent abusers erode. I do not consider my use of such natural medicine improper, yet I am aware that it places me without Law.
SEROTONERGICS: Lacking precise dosage data or other statistics, I brag with reticence, but I have developed quite a tolerance. My conscious mind enjoys a broad variety of receptor agonization, but the subconscious evidently doesn't enjoy entertaining that luxury and has gotten infuriatingly efficient at leaving me at or below a Shulgin-scale "Plus Two". This was my first time smoking changa (or any other form of DMT).
I arrived at Shura's door roughly six hours after breakfast. When greeting me, Alice lamented that she always met me in a similar physical state: awash in mud, sweat, and the good vibes that hours of highcycling catalyze. This comment brought to mind James Herriot's encounters with his fellow veterinarian's wife, Zoe, whom he'd never met sober. Although I've so long despaired of finding such an elusive mindset as to consider sobriety merely a useful social fiction, I still felt keenly what James Herriot described: the embarrasment of a somewhat insecure man finding himself disheveled to the point of clownhood in the presence of a charming woman, who also happens to be a good friend's partner. Before this reflection made more than the most fleeting impression, Shura and Alice herded me about with encouragements to feel at home and join them for pancakes.
While discussing with Shura how morals shift during and since service, Alice asks for clarification about one point I'd made using obscure language, and Shura explains with one word, "Bandit", to convey the immortality of action limited only by fear of capture. Though I appreciated the efficiency of information transfer between Shura and Alice, mediated by the connotations around that one word, amplified by the pronounced accent, I felt a twinge of excitement: for me, the word evokes Barnoch, Vodalus, Severian, and the cardinality of ethical continua. The philosophical discussion was cut short by relocation to the living room once we finished our meal, where we returned to psychedelia - that is, subconscious manifestation of the conscious, and vice versa; for lack of a better slang, "Mindbending".
After several reminiscences and comparisons of unshared experiences, Shura seemed to surprise Alice by offering me to try DMT for the first time, in the form of smoked changa. I gladly accepted his invitation, and he prepared me a mattress and pillow just indoors from a balcony: at my disposal were generous airflow, roughly pi steradians' view of the nighttime city at my right and the art-adorned living room to my left, and my two hosts making last preparations such as turning off the TV, adjusting music, and fetching that snuff that makes us dream.
Shura lit a stub of incense representing the Home archetype, and marked my "third eye" with the charred end after it finished smouldering. Next, he offered me plant ash snuff containing nicotine as nootropic, or at the very least, mental laxative. A pair of assisted insufflations, one per nostril, sufficed to send me powerwalking to the bathroom to practice the eyewash drill, but I returned after a couple of minutes to blow my nose and excuse myself for having not snorted anything in years. Shura suggested I smoke the hit while sitting, and lie down if needed; I propped my back against the pillow, accepted the pipe and lighter, and took in the hit which seemed to my eyes to be quite small, but Shura insisted was an appropriate dose for a first time.
I was able to return the pipe before noticing any effects; but by the moment the lighter linked our hands, I was struck by a wave of situational analysis, closely followed by visual effects. Before my attention turned to the visuals, I found myself analyzing the Promethean symbolism as my fovea refocused from the dime-a-dozen plastic lighter to the human guide sitting cross-legged by my mattress, his expression as inscrutable as the firsthand view of secondhand smoke.
Least interesting of all the visual effects were the baroque decorations leaking from an oblong lattice; predecessors have far surpassed my ability to describe polychrome fractalizations using mere language, and readers unable to visualize these or experience for themselves may still observe any of the countless offerings of complex analysis carried to its unending whorls (such as the sets of Mandelbrot and Julia). Additionally, I fear that my training and expertise with absurd doses of phenethylamines and tryptamines both natural and synthetic has desensetized me to such beauty. Far more interesting to me - and I'd been piecing together this decision during the minutes leading up to inhalation - would be searching for the neurological or optical elements of the entity contact phenomenon.
The visual field consists of both a broad two-dimensional display of the surroundings, and the mind's interpretation of them. By leaving my eyes neither solely closed nor open, but alternating at several low fractions of Hertz, I observed the interplay between how the latter broke free of the external world's impositions upon the former, which I shall now endeavor to describe as best I may, given the impaired lenses through which recall I must.
Concurrent with the effects' plateauing arose a memory of an old friend's account of her first DMT experience: though her exact words have faded, they left an impression of disdain; that she had experienced no effects beyond the visual. While I did not notice alterations to my thought process beyond those of a large bong hit, closing my eyes unleashed visual distortions of a hitherto unseen nature: each of several times, the neural leftovers of Shura and Alice rose from their seated poses to approach eachother and unite.
Reflexively yet without apprehension, I wondered whether I was about to watch them fuck; yet no amount of reading - Hegel, Huxley, or others - can prepare for, nor quite capture, the experience of witnessing Adam and Eve yield Shiva, within the bony personal cell of skull island. The entire process took minutes, if not mere seconds; while I lost count of both blinks and breaths, there was no subjective distortion of Time.
Speechless, I opened my eyes for a final time; that is to say, I relinquished conscious control of my blinking reflex, and grinned at Shura like a village idiot greeting his mayor. Meeting my eyes and hearing my silence, Shura raised a fist, which I met with mine. I do not recall our precise words, and I suspect they were preceded by laughter, but it was clear that the "Businessman's Lunch Trip" was over.
Trigger Warning: This post may have been produced in a facility that also processes lucidly-written prose.
Disinformation hampers natural philosophy, naturally branding disinformants sinners; yet once we seekers have carved apart idea-space, each to chase a distinct stink in a distant subset, we may find the first-person plural quite the falsest of friends: however good-faith some noisehole's truth-hunt may be, if it's noise that spills from the hole, then some subbrand of garbage must apply. I'd coarsely split between aimless noise (eg: body heat, sunshine, certain pulsars) and aimed (eg: scorns, advertisements, other pulsars), but then I'd run afoul of useful yet unaimed noise, such as the rusty rumble of an approaching bike or the apian hum of our cowardly overlords; all serve a coordinating function in the sufficiently smart swarm. Since the landscape has already defied monochromatic linearization, such a harsh brand as "sinner" is near-useless for describing an agent that aments SNR; a full taxonomy of noise and its duction is left as an exercise for the sufficiently bored taxonomist.
Forgetfulness hampers freedom production, naturally branding amnesia disinformation; yet further cuts by the conceptual Ouroboros (may our Autarch's infinitesimal life and eternal death measure His mortuary's working hours as smoothly as the Continuum Itself) hit the nerve: garbage must be collected, and the least dispensable municipal service is the applied taxonomy of waste. If any public service must be handed off to the mishandling of petty bureaucrats, let it be the promise of eternal remembrance at absurd caloric absence, or the messy minding of DNRs; a full interferometry of pseudoscience and legallego is left as an exercise for the sufficiently calibrated turfometer.
SENSE IS SCARCE ARBEIT MACHT HEISZ LOSING IS FUN
So you wanna learn this game, even though your heart is heavy, sled-dogs lame, and your tongue too dumb to spell my name? The rules are fewer still than the schools that teach them, and the enemies myrious; should you find one of the few guiding texts, whether ones for closest enemies or spun for freeest fliers, how are you to even navigate? As the Library's shelves spill out of its fabulous fictions into the physical continuum of your mind, so the references cross fields, gulfs, and streams, ultimately returning you to the simple embarrasment of ignorance.
Rest easy, child: ignorance is not a sin.
When in doubt, just leap about, and eat the flow'rs and grass beneath our feet; don't forget the mushroom's hue, which blossoms up from sand-tank-poo; and see those spiky puffer-fish? Them porpoi can't refuse that dish, no matter what their clickers say. Heed not the words of proper gander apes, who tell us neurons bat for the same team; they drank the kool-aid only once per life, and from my ship will someday walk the beam.
Vodalus caught my attention shortly after forsaking the cemetery wall scaling quest due to energy minimization locating the unlocked gate, ajar in the windless fog; while not quite jet, fur so black doesn't easily blend with trash and pavement. No need for mewling at such hours, either: all sentient life worth its weight in traction notices itself at such times. Feline slinks, feeble leaps, and a single gentle bite at the meat of my petting hand trigger her laughing whisper, imagined clear as she reads to herself the simplest rejection textable before touching the glass to fire it off: "I recommend cats"
Vodalus remained silent - for all I know, muted in the ongoing struggle against would-be Autarch agents (may His tears rain joy upon our deserts!) - yet the Master of Apprentices at the Library of Rambleon couldn't resist whipping out the best prop, an inertia-fed [BRAND NAME REDACTED], and whispering back: "Gavar'it-pa dee TSEIT?"
Passing through the inhospitable wasteland between the cactic sanctuary and the muddy slope colloquiallized by students as "Vietnam" on my way from the academic accelerator to Master Ultan's nearest dungeon, yet again reared that heady temptation - to forcibly install an assymettric training wheel upon a couple's calm conversation. Biting like a good dog, I but in: "As you must have heard them quote by now, 'there are two types of people in this world: those who like to hear their voice upon your ears, and those who like parchment inking friction'.".
Without missing a beat, she knocked me out of the ballpark and into the land of insufficiently studied prewar bullshit: "so THAT's why the world is splitting!"