Anyone up for Ketamine? *
Some dispensary sent me a text saying that, like that was their ad for their unlicensed Ketamine services, depression, PTSD, genital warts, everything will be better after a dose of Vitamin K.
I’m not saying that’s right, one way or another. Summer of 1994, I was the local Ketamine dispensary.
At the start of K Summer, an ex approached me, told me that Ketamine was the only thing that would cure her migraines and that, y’know, if I could let go of a vial we could…. A buddy offered an ounce of pretty swell bud for a vial. By fall, I was fat with coke, acid, shrooms, Xanax and other goodies. And about a grand in cash—even though I preferred trade—that I spread around stashed in books or rolled-up socks.
Obviously, there was a moment in my life when I lucked into a fuck ton of ketamine, fifty-six vials, traded to me by my professor for a quarter ounce(!) of some shitty local grown. He didn’t know what he was giving away and I didn’t know what I was getting.
Itching to try it out—and knowing dick about how to ingest it—I cracked open a 10mg vial and poured it into a Petri dish so it could set up into crystals I could chop up to snort. Once set, I invited my best bud over to give it a shot. It burned like fuck and the high didn’t seem much more intense than the buzz we were getting from the booze and bud. That was, until I opened my apartment door and looked into the void of the universe. When John looked out the door, he was likewise convinced that K was more than we’d assumed at first.
It was then that I pulled the pages from the little box that held the vial and read that it was an anesthesia for cats and sub-human primates—MAGA we assume they mean by that—and baseline for putting a 3-5 pound cat was 5mg intermuscular. I didn’t want to have surgery so I decided to stick my thigh with 1mg and see what would happen.
What happens is you’re chatting up someone after the injection, this, that, other things, and then you’re suddenly not you, you’re a fly at your father’s funeral or shifting between z and zed, a moth emerging from its cocoon, sticky and hot and then rising to the nearest light, spraying a scent around to announce your presence, your light escaping as a beak breaks you in two.
Moments after his third hit, Gooch watched the world around him fade to a dark spot in the center of the universe—all places viewed from the middle of space—stars and galaxies shooting away from where he tumbled. Growing less disoriented, he became aware that objects were also moving toward him, some barely perceptible specks, others much larger and gaining definition as they approached, all corkscrewing their way to where he floated. Without warning, he was hit by an enormous silver locomotive from a 1940s Sci-Fi comic book, his form exploding into sparkled parts crackling into the pull of a planet’s atmosphere. Those particles re-emerged to form in a muck-filled cocoon warmed in the jungle’s balmy night, goo inside a cigar-butt casing hardening into a final stage of being with wings breaking free, shivering off slime in the morning sunlight and then slipping to the sky above, shaking away every hint of what he once was, to fly off into what he now was. Gorging on the sweet-lime sugars of a red flower’s pollen, flattening himself beneath a broad leaf to shelter from an afternoon shower, warming his wings in the sun’s last light, then finding a spot where he could stay hidden for the night. Waking with the chatter of birds but not yet safe to fly—better to wait for the midday heat—feasting some more and then finding another like himself, one doing the correct dance and emitting the right scent, rising together toward the sun then descending in parallel vortices to land in tandem on a leaf. Abdomens locked, an aedeagus inside him, shaking with its splattering of sperm, his mate shuddering with release, wings battering the air around them and then flying away in ecstatic loops. After adhering all his eggs to where his progeny might thrive, he was lifted in a gust of wind that tore him into dust carried across wood floors, wood walls, a structure built of pine and meant to burn. An assay office with huge books of claims, the aroma of horseshit embedded into floorboards. Flipping a page, he watched characters tumble, twist, turn into abortions of words and understanding. Listening, he caught uncertain meanings with quick grasps, pulling them to him and then burying them in his gut. Turning his eyes back on the pages of the assayer’s ledger, symbols skewed themselves into arabesque curlicues as they tumbled across the page, unravelling their meanings with whispers of not here or not this and lurid alternatives to both. Then, after asking where he was, Here! Here boy! a finger like kindling pointed at words that rolled around on the page that defied comprehension. Here boy! The apparition still insisting and pointing and then, finger taps sending him into a waiting room, one of those where he’d sign in Gramps and endure more Goin to Denver, are we? but without any sense that a name would be called, it would only be checking in and waiting until the end of time. Impatient, rising from his seat and his Architectural Digest, stepping to the counter, he watched letters flip and flop as he looked for his sign-in, letters drifting into an infinity of scribble. You’re not here boy, and then tumbled back into other lives, beings, existences, realms and realities flipped his way for him to ride as far as the run would take him.
“What the fuck did we just smoke?” Dave’s face and voice cut through a confused place in the universe. For a moment, Gooch grasped desperately at the shards of reality surrounding him, urgently hoping his trip would tear him away to a safer world. Flynn was gone but Indian Leo returned, beaming in the room’s subtle light and cackling about the fires of Hell. Dave’s august words were an anchor back to the reality he’d left before smoking Leo’s magical weed.
*If so, don’t put Sun O))) fwtbt on your playlist. Trust me.