Category: Writing

Tripping in context

Let’s say you’re sitting at a bar. You’re 1.5 drinks in: confidence blows in the sail of your diaphragm, smiles are beginning to seep from your cheeks, and the voice in your head informs your sad, previously sober-self: What the hell – I really can achieve my goals, and I really do take myself too seriously, and thank the lord for alcohol! We have to do this more often, you mopey fuck!” As GABA floats across the lanes of your head-highways your brain – rather, you – find yourself settling into a disorganized and disinhibited state of bliss. Euphoria is too complicated a word for a feeling this normal. You’re calm once more.

You’re alone in that sense. Somehow your eyes receive some brainspace from your nose, which has utterly hijacked your experience with an awful perfume smell. An older woman 2 seats over is the hare to your tortoise and the current colonizer of your nostrils. You see that she is already a walking (sitting) vessel for a bottle of wine. She orders another. Some song that your dad really likes plays on the bar speakers as you peek down at her right ankle. No mistaking the Louis Vuitton purse at her side, nor the 3 prescription bottles inside of it. Your background in medicine, druggery, and institutionalization have taught you about privacy, but being medication savvy, 3/4 of a second is all you need: notice that the pill bottles all look fresh but bear different logos: St. Paul Corner Drug, CVS, Walgreens Pharmacy. Citizen-healthy-voter you shouldn’t peek, shouldn’t judge, so you look away and try to mind your drink. Hospital-you sees the after-image of the bottles in your mind’s eye. Amphetamine, Xanax, Prozac. Yet another rich lady with a gaggle of doctors. A gaggle of neuroses, sure, and based on her medication choices she’s well aware of her own difficulties. The problem is, these medications shouldn’t be prescribed together. Any legitimate care provider would know not to prescribe an antidepressant with a benzo with a stimulant anywhere other than a college basement. The bartender asks if you want another – in the 1/2 second before answering you have a moment of sadness for all the doctors who are persecuted for prescribing. Yeah, America, blame the doctors for your kids taking adderall. Keep blaming the doctors for Prozac being ineffective. Keep blaming a bunch of debt-laden medical students for doing their best to please you. And then jump onto the next miracle cure, why don’t ya, until the next miracle cure fucks you up. And fuck wine, you think to yourself loudly. You try to remember that there’s no need to be judgmental. Even though you won’t ever relate to this lady she’s ruined your state of mind, which honestly isn’t her fault. So much for the calm.

Then, Grandma-Glamorous yells something that actually resonates: GOSH, I MEAN FOR A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WITHOUT MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, NONE OF THESE ANTIDEPRESSANTS WORK ANY BETTER THAN LIFESTYLE CHANGES ! THEY SAID ON THE NEWS THAT THEY’RE USING THOSE MAGIC MUSHROOMS TO MAKE THE BLUES GO AWAY, HAVEN’T YOU HEARD? DOESN’T A LITTLE WOODSTOCK SOUND MORE FUN THAN WHINING? Fearfully, you almost glance down at her purse again to see if she’s carrying any tabs. She isn’t. What is this lady onto, anyways? She’s not like you: She’s never hallucinated (recreationally or clinically), she prefers medication over lifestyle changes, she drinks like a fish, and – despite her ability to rattle off study findings – appears completely medically irreverent. She’s also upper class and has uttered words supportive of the Trump administration. You wonder if she has a therapist and realize that it doesn’t really matter. She is a consumer and she wants what she wants what she wants. So how do these folks, abusive yet wary of all things prescription, come to love magic mushrooms?

What about the clinicians who are eager to publish? Their credibility requires that they not abuse medication, and that they be less wary of prescriptions. In fact, they must plunge headfirst into pharmacological interventions despite any wariness they experience. Their patients rely on it.

What about you? The nerdy, liberal-leaning undergrad? You have seen in your own body the disastrous effects of various prescription drugs. You’ve also seen in your own body the disastrous effects of various psychedelic drugs. You’ve also seen the benefits of both of these classes of drugs. So, let’s get serious.

What do psychedelics have to offer to the everyman? To the world of clinical psychiatry? Are psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, or MDMA beneficial for mental health? Are they harmful for mental health? How do their effects differ between younger and older people? Between men and women? Are these drugs more effective for people with diagnosed illnesses? Less effective? Dangerous? If I have major depressive disorder, and medications aren’t working for me, should I ask the young fella at the bar if he knows where to buy some shrooms?

 

 

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Creating a moment

Sitting on campus by the rock garden outside of Olin-Rice. A couple has a professional photographer taking pictures of them with their puppy – or, on closer inspection, perhaps just a tiny little dog. It’s interesting to watch.

There is a bench just left to the stairs leading up to Olin-Rice’s north-facing door. Theyve spent a few moments over there as the sun passes in and out of clouds, going back and forth between blurry and broily. It’s humid. The dog’s tongue is visible from here

They are climbing down the small slanted bit of grass between the sidewalk and the edge of the building. The basement windows of Olin-Rice overlook a meager 1 or 2 feet of rocks followed by a wall of grass – from the sidewalk, you have to peer down to see that the windows do indeed have offices inside of them. The dog-couple and dog-couple-photographer are walking along this largely unappreciated stone track, using the shade to their advantage.  Maybe the photographer’s wide-brimmed hat is, well, to aid in their photography? I’m not sure.

 

As for me – 1/2way through a YouTube video on the pharmacology of lamotrigene. I’ve watched it before but this morning when I was making breakfast didn’t feel like I had properly memorized its contents, so here I am again. It’s downloaded on a flash drive so that I can keep an eye on it. sodium-gated ion channels!

On today’s episode of crowtalker

16 dorks sitting in a tree across the street from CVS (across Fairview)

Saw them yelling up there from my spot on the Grandview Grille stoop. Came over here next to the NiceRide bikes to have a closer looked. We yelled at each other for a bit:

 

caw-caw-caw-caw-caw-caw: 6 caws, high-pitched, was came often

cawww-cawww-cawwww: 3 caws, longer/slower, deeper & more prounounced

3 or 4 of the screamers were really bouncing, & their torsos bobbing & bopping looked like they were heaving each caw with all their strength. Really neat to see. The eensy weensie ittie bittie branches atop the tree where they sat absolutely rocked as the screamers dedicated their entire abdomens towards crow-calling

After 10 minutes they all took off in unison, headed north/northwest. Fun stuff.

As I type this, I hear 3 more caws from a single crow. I look up – a pair of them have re-entered the eensy wensie ittie bittie branch zone

When I looked up just there, they left. For some reason I feel or expect that there should be more crows up there, lingering silently. Maybe there are but I can’t see them

 

crane violation

was droning today at @Shaw field and had two run-ins (fly-ins?) with cranes.

 

the first run-in (fly-in?): a large construction project is taking place on campus. amidst that building-site is a large crane that soars upwards with yellowish branches and breathes onto the shoulders of the janet wallace fine arts center. its arm can swing over jwall and neill hall so it is pretty imposing and you can feel it on the edges of your arms and the back of your head when you walk among or in those buildings. i flew the drone up and around the insides of the crane successfully a few times – that was intentional and was ok

the second run-in fly-in?): this one was not intentional and not ok. as i was droning up above shaw field a very very very very large bird flew past overhead – very far overhead. it had huge huge huge huge wings and long long long long legs dragging behind. Seemed like a crane even though (for no real reason) the word albatross kept shooting through my head. The drone was on its way up with this big fella came into view and though I wouldn’t call it a near-collision, I def invaded this bird’s airspace. It banked right with some pained, large, slow wing-flaps and my friend remarked that he could see the light through its wings, and that this bird seemed pretty large. I brought the drone down

 

So, to the metal crane – thanks for the giggles

to the flying crane – sorry 😦

 

[side note – videos were not filmed today]