Magic

February 4, 2016

Officials in Bolinas, California are reporting that coyotes are confronting motorists on local highways, blocking the roads and acting seemingly unafraid. The coyotes sit and stare, according to witnesses; then they trot around the cars and sniff them before they take off.

What is causing this behavior? Hallucinogenic mushrooms growing wild in the area. The coyotes, the lucky dogs, are high as kites, higher even, and they demonstrate remarkable interest in humans.

At the risk of shocking my former students, I will admit that I used to “do” magic shrooms. I quite enjoyed the experience—except for one night when I was walking home, and I passed some concrete gargoyles on a brick wall, and the gargoyles broke free and chased me down the street.

I recall being at a party and trying to talk to a comely lass, me stoned. We were sitting on a bed, just for a place to sit—you know. Unfortunately, just as we seemed to be on the verge of bonding, the walls of the room started melting. The wooden doors turned to a mudslide. And the girl’s face, which I was studying intensely, became a Picasso—a walking Picasso, to be sure—as she left the room.

So I walked outside in the front yard and began tracing the rectangles of sod and talking to the grass, which was singing “Ode to Joy.” There was a small airfield across the street. I and some other shroomed folk walked onto the runway and lay down. The occasional Cessna landed, wings flapping like very large birds.

So I understand the coyote phenomenon: Been there, done that. I phoned the Bolinas authorities and explained that I was an expert on magic mushrooms, and that if they invited me I would fly out there, take some shrooms and talk to the coyotes. Heck, I’d even talk to the rattlesnakes. (“If I could talk to the animals. . .”) I’m waiting to hear from them.

The language of drugs, hallucinogenic ones at least, is an anti language. “Just say no” translates to Yes, yes, over here! “Don’t do drugs” means I’ll do them so you don’t have to. In the cause of scientific inquiry, I’ve nibbled peyote buttons and danced naked around campfires with Indians, taken a Whitman’s sampler of LSD and flown myself with winged arms over the OrganMountains in New Mexico, without a net, and shape-shifted into Coyote the Trickster, the guardian of the moon.

I’m still here—or I was. Heck, the drug taking was when I was twenty-something. I sort of miss it—the insights of it and the sheer beauty. If someone knocked on the door of Genehouse and offered me a shroom, Jehovah’s Stoned Witnesses say, I’d be open to it. Otherwise I’ll drink red wine and remain calm.

DON’T DO DRUGS, PEOPLE (FORMER STUDENTS, THIS MEANS YOU)—unless you’re a roid-raged Republican in which case you need all the help you get. Marco Rubio on shrooms: “Dudes, you’re melting, you’re a melting pot, you’re pot, you’re cool, you’re tres cool, vote for. . . what’s my name? Marco? Polo!”

Here, Coyote, Coyote, here, boy, come to Daddy.

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