Fade away, and radiate…

I can’t say I ever knew him.

It wasn’t even all that long ago that I heard his name, or knew anything about him.

Probably what first set me on the trail was in the notes for a Facebook event for some guy’s birthday party I got invited to by a mutual acquaintance, there was something about “what to bring to the party” that mentioned “unless you’ve got any designer stuff like the 2C-T’s” and, being the information sponge and eternally curious soul I am, I started down the rabbit hole. Searching for 2C-T found me 2C (psychedelics) and 2C-T-7 — and from there, a name:

Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin.

Just skimming through the Wikipedia article — this was a few years ago when I was still living with the Girl-Child and company — my thought was, “this is a brilliant mind. Holy shit!” Diving into a subject as I do, with blinders on and a disregard for “important” things like eating or excretion, I looked at more and more about the guy, and kept my eyes open for a copy of PiHKAL –which turned up at my local used bookstore in excellent condition not long after I started watching for it. I’ve yet to read very far through the first half; I’ve been horrible at doing much of any reading in the last handful of years, with no stability, and often my sole focus on survival. I do know that it, along with its “continuation” keep a special spot on my bookshelves (when I have bookshelves to hol books, that is, instead of being stuck with everything I own in storage) right at the top, just before the rest of the tomes dealing with pleasure in life: erotic fiction, non-fiction on topics of sexuality, feminism, fender, and sex worker rights activism.

Unconnected with any of my research into Mr. Shulgin, I had picked up a collection of short stories collected from NERVE magazine. The first piece in the book was “Slippy for President” by Steve Almond — and I remember being struck by a clear recognition of myself in the single phrase, “a pathetic little ball of inhibitions.” That was what the narrator was called by a friend offering MDMA… which I recognized from having looked into this Shulgin fellow — and of course, it mentions him by name.  I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to find myself with access to a ‘babysitter’ and an opportunity “to recognize the sadness of something without that heavy, blue feeling. It’s more like a math problem, something you examine, hope to figure out.” Because I’ve had so much sadness, and so much of that heavy, blue feeling, and for so long… that just a little break would be so very welcome.

At one point, when I was reading to The Rabbit from Shulgin’s Wikipedia article, I noticed mention of a campaign to raise finds to help cover medical costs associated with care for his foot.  I went looking further, and was shocked — then shocked that I would be shocked by something so obvious — to discover that he and his wife were still in the Berkeley area. After sending along what little I could, wishing it were more (but I always wish I could give more when I’m helping someone else) I realized that there might be some chance to meet this incredible being, to express my gratitude for all the many gifts that he has left for humanity — so many of which are still not nearly as widely available as they could be if it weren’t for the “War On (some classes of people who use some) Drugs” being fought so tirelessly.

And then…

On June, 2, 2014, Sasha, as he was known to those who called him friend, passed away. I hadn’t realized just how much I could care about someone I’d never even met until I broke down in tears at the news.  And again as I’m typing this, I’m overwhelmed with emotion, tears beginning to fall as I think about all the good that he has done, all the beauty and wonder and joy that sprang from his research and work and life.  If nothing else, I know I will attend his memorial service — wherever he’s flying now, I’m sure he’s happy.  Not gone, just moved higher. Onward.

“Our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit. We may choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence, but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can catalyze its availability.” –Alexander Shulgin

All I really want is some comfort, a way to get my hands untied

Tired and needing sleep, and my only significant thought is just how nice it would be to have a Mommy to pet my hair and shush and tut and coo and fuck me to sleep as she came inside me…

Comfort. It’s quite often all I really want.

(Enough about you, let’s talk about life for a while! Can you handle this?)

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.

At this point, it’s really the little things I miss the most.

I miss being silly with MFP. I miss learning new things about someone else, discovering the things they love and showing them the things that I’m fond of — showing off the “weird American food” as she would call it, lampooning typical American attitudes toward other cultures while ooh-ing and ahh-ing over IHOP, or being told “You sound so Indo!” as I (was attempting to) learn and speak a little bit of Malay. I miss sharing closeness with someone, and I really want that again.

And it’s the most stupid little trivial stuff that reminds me; yeah, I can say “thank you” in Malay (or Indonesian) but I’ve forgotten how to count to 5, and I don’t have anyone to endlessly croon in schmoopy call-and response strings of “sayang.”

I’m not trying to find those exact same things again — nobody could ever replace her, and I wouldn’t dream of trying to find someone who reminded me of her, since I’d remember all of the pain and anger and ugliness that marred our relationship, too — but I want that kind of closeness, the things that made us an “us.”

Ah, “freedom.” Well, that’s just some people talkin’.

Can’t see any fireworks from where I’m at. Can hear them, along with the boom and rattle from the movie that people are watching downstairs… home theater systems are fantastic, if you want to watch a film. Not so fantastic if you want to stay away from whatever crap is playing, because there’s not a single room in the house where you can’t hear it.

I’m alone, lonely, bored, and for the next few days there’s a man living here which means I’m even less safe than usually, at least emotionally and mentally. Oh, and of course I end up fully fucking clothed most of the time, which I HATE.

I guess this is the unfortunate contrast to just how awesome last night was. I rarely get more than a moment or two of fantastic before something crappy washes it all away.

And that fucking dog up the hill is freaking out even more than usual, no thanks to all the explosions…

I wonder who bothers worrying about all the soldiers with PTSD on this night when we’re celebrating “FUCK YEAH, ‘MURRICA!” How many veterans are sleeping on the streets tonight while the blasts in the air send a huge “fuck you for your service, we lied about that whole ‘giving a damn’ by the way” message?

I need someone to hold me through this crazy, crazy mess. Tomorrow’s going to be back to Business As Usual, I suppose, and I’ll do better then… I’d just go back to sleep but there’s no chance of that for a few hours — not with all the noise.

Wishing…

I wish I could speak honestly
About the beauty that I see
That others who see beauty too
Could openly discuss the view
That those who don’t enjoy the taste
Would pass on, and they wouldn’t waste
Their time and words to curse and scold,
To lock us up until we’re old
For daring to do nothing more
Than see
And smile
And love
And live
And harm none
And feel the joys
And the pleasures
And the fire
And the magic
That this wonderful world
And the future
Has in store.

All this bitchin’ and moanin’ and pitchin’ a fit… Get over it!

Do you know how many people in your life are left-handed?

I don’t. I know there are a few, but it’s not something that they mention much — certainly isn’t a topic that gets worked into every conversation, not by me trying to find out or them making a point of discussing their handed-ness.

Would you get upset if you noticed somebody’s letters leaning a different direction than yours? Would you confront them about what they’ve been “hiding from you,” or cut them out of your life because they’re some kind of “freak?” Maybe you’d be sure to tell them that it’s really cool that they were brave enough to live that way… because you’re just such a good friend, you might say, you’re glad to hang around!

Some folks, from what I understand, go around looking for left-handed people to date — apparently they find “South-Paws” a big turn-on. Here I would have figured that there’s a whole lot more to a person than which hand they feel more comfortable using to write or pick up objects, but that doesn’t seem to matter to these self-described “enthusiasts” and “fans.”

As I said, I do know a few left-handed people, but to the best of my awareness, they don’t exclusively associate with and date other lefties, and don’t spend all their time talking about how they’d never dream of trying to associate with those more mainstream righties… then again, the fact that I am right-handed myself means I might not see much of that talk after all…


By this point, some of you will have picked up on the analogy.  For the rest of you:

Do you know how many people in your life are transgender?

I have some idea; I know there are several — myself included — but it isn’t something that I really pay lots of attention to. I do know a few trans* folks who make a point of mentioning that fact nearly every chance they get… and if that’s what works for them, great! I know others who never bring it up publicly at all. I mention it sometimes, and it comes up with others on occasion, but it isn’t nearly the basis of my identity any more than most folks who are left-handed frame their entire existence around being “sinister.”

Unfortunately, there are many folks who go around looking exclusively for trans* people to date — they’re really turned on by one small physical aspect of  trans* people, at the expense of acknowledging the rest of the individual they’re fixated on. It’s creepy and unwelcome.

I also see some trans* men and women who surround themselves with other trans* people, who make their entire social circles trans*-only and rarely associate with anyone else.  To me, it seems a bit self-defeating, but then I’ve never much seen the benefit of separatism; standing in an echo chamber seems nice enough at first, hearing voices exactly like your own.. until someone in your little group has a slightly different take on a topic, and it doesn’t take long before the same oppressive structures replicate themselves in your little “like-minded” group.

Anyway, the long and short of it is, some women have penises, and some men have vaginas. Get over it!

Some women have penises. Get over it! Some men have vaginas. Get over it!

I’ve long since exhausted my supply of song lyrics that reference “home,” sorry.

I have to be up and awake and running in about 7 hours. I don’t know how much sleep I’m going to get before then. Have to be somewhere at 10am, because Tuesday at 10 is the only time that this particular housing resource thing is available, and it’s about the only resource available to me at the moment beyond my own feeble attempts at finding a place to live on a sub-poverty-level income, and I need housing.

No. I need a home. I don’t bother thinking about that very often anymore, because it’s such a vague, distant, uncertain concept that I don’t even know how to picture it. I have been wandering fo so long that I don’t know what it is to be still, though I would love to find out. I need stability in ANY aspect of my life, and I lack that. It hurts.

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