Due to its potency, and the bevy of perils that could possibly be wrought from its misuse, methinks written prose should ideally be allowed time to breathe prior to consumption. Like a bottle of wine. Or this guy’s brain. Take your pick.
Specifically, it is foolhardy to publicize a written work on the same day it was composed. You have to sleep on it at least once before entertaining any vague notion of letting somebody else read it. At the (very unfortunate) risk of sounding like your mama, a good night’s rest assists both the body and the mind to purge themselves of waste. Which is kind of important. After a good mindshitting, you’re a new (wo)man. You can approach your work with a clearer conscience. This is something my crazy boss never understood. The one with the magna cum laude degree from Harvard who went insane and stabbed a dude. Sleep was taboo to her. She could never be bothered to excrete her own mindshit because she was too busy running the world, and eventually found herself with a massive pulsating backlog of that ectoplasmic goop which ruptured all over the news.
The work itself likewise needs time to sit and rest periodically. Sometimes the best thing to do with a project is put it off to the side and not fuck with it for a while. Just let it age, like Kentucky bourbon. A quote that’s stuck with me for many years is that enlightenment is like a cat. If you chase after it, it will run from you. But if you remain still and free your mind of expectations, the cat will jump right into your lap. It’s good that I can just allow the cats to come to me now, after many years of working for somebody who was always insistent on chasing them (and extremely hostile towards any suggestion that chasing them might not be the best way to go). One of those cats just told me to leak more information about the nature of the Environment in the chapter I’m editing now. But not too much.
I roamed the Canadian wilderness for three years. In a location that’s at least a four hours’ drive from what the modern descendants of the colonists who plundered Turtle Island laughingly refer to as civilization. During that time, I gave burnt offerings to the seasonal solar energies and baptized myself weekly in waters sanctified by beaver urine, and slept under a dreamcatcher. One I created myself. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of it, because its strong cosmick aura frustrated my ability to capture it photographically in a manner that would adequately do it justice. But I do have this picture of an artifact from a makeshift temple I constructed somewhere in a nameless corner of the taiga. I had to burn Deep Woods Off for the incense and enclose it in mesh to keep out the skeeters, but it performed its function as a sanctuary…
Then I got bored with all that and moved to London. Not the London, though. A city in Canada, which shares its name with a certain British metropolis. You can tell they didn’t put a lot of thought into the name. They could’ve derived a really badass name that hasn’t been used yet from the native languages spoken in the area. Like Chicago did, or Winnipeg. But no, they had to be all imperialist-snoblike and name it for their beloved capital across the pond. It’s now the fifteenth-largest city in Canada, and probably stuck with the name permanently. I give you a picture of its filthiest street…
I like to think the dreamcatcher sucked something out of me in those three years. I sensed it when I saw my student card…
I don’t know if it was the lighting, or the particular way I had my facial hair trimmed at the time, or the fact that I spent the first six months in this unimaginatively-named city living in a Zen commune run by my fairy ganjamother (one of the sweetest women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting in my life). But there was definitely an aura in the picture. My first thought was: Holy shit! I look like a rock star! A certain rock star with vocal abilities that are either angelic or annoying depending on which critics you believe, who is well known for his pre-performance ritual of meditating in tipis with dreamcatchers. Specifically, this guy…
My other favourite holiday is coming up. Merrie 4/20 everybody. At the slight risk of pooping the party, it is with a heavy heart I announce that my go-to smoking implement is no more. Thankfully, I speak not of my bong Her Majesty, who is resting comfortably in her royal chambers until such time that she is summoned by the Parliament of Summer to make her grand entrance and throne speech at the state opening of patio season. No, I’m talking about my other pipe. My trusty silver bullet. I accidentally dropped it in a dumpster.
As many of us know, The Man has been oppressing and persecuting smokers for decades now, and because I’m such a slimy piece of worm-ridden filth, he won’t permit me to partake of my bad habit in convenient areas that are continuously well-sheltered from the wind, like the inside of my own apartment. Hence, I must necessarily go outside to see a man about a dog, regardless of whatever inconveniences the elements pose to hinder or frustrate the smoking experience.
The wind was being particularly inconvenient while I was out having a wake n’ bake in my usual neighbourhood. Inconvenient enough that I couldn’t get my lighter to stay lit long enough to toke. In order to remedy that situation, I tried leaning inside a nearby dumpster, so I could make use of its large lid as a barrier against the tormenting gusts. The ploy worked like a charm the first time I tried it, but when I attempted the same technique to smoke the last of the resin left in the bowl, I accidentally dropped the whole damn pipe. One moment it was clenched in my teeth, so I could have both hands free to work the lighter. The next moment it had plummeted to the bottom of the dumpster like an aluminum stone. There was a layer of negligence somewhere in between those two moments; I was admittedly a lot more mellow on the second attempt.
I did briefly consider climbing into the dumpster to retrieve the pipe, but ultimately decided against that. Too legally risky. Especially with all those security cameras around. I can smoke ganja in plain view of those cameras and not get arrested, because this is Canada. But climbing inside a dumpster is another matter entirely. The local authorities might not take as kindly to that.
So instead of going through the trouble to get the old pipe back, I opted to simply buy a replacement. Smoking implements of this type are not expensive; I only paid five dollars for the silver bullet, and it’s not far-fetched to assume I should be able to pick up something similar for similar. Why, there just happens to be a head shop literally right around the corner from that dumpster! Ain’t Canada grand?
I would go there later that day to pick up this snazzy new red thing on my keychain…
This is one of those stealth pipes, of the type that will be increasingly seen as charmingly quaint as more and more people and governments reject Nixonian pruditude and awaken to the healing powers of Our Lady of 420. Not quite an exact replacement, but the closest approximation the local head shop had in stock at the time. It’s similar to the silver bullet in that it’s small and sturdy and can be easily tucked away in a pocket and forgotten about when not in use. Close enough for me.
At first glance, it looks like an ordinary pocket flashlight. Of the type that people are less and less wont to carry these days, on the grounds that flashlights are as common a feature on modern smartphones as cameras. Like I said, charmingly quaint.
But wait… why does it have a hole in the side of it like that? Aha! It’s not a flashlight! It’s a Transformer!
This guy packs quite the mean punch for such a little thing. More than the silver bullet did. Way more. After two tokes from this Transformer, it dawned on me immediately that the silver bullet was a very utilitarian pipe. Not a peace pipe. It was not an esoteric whistle to call out to the animal spirits and departed elders who continue to roam Turtle Island. No, it was just a pipe. Just a metal chamber with a rubber mouthpiece, and nothing more. A training wheel the vehicle of my mind no longer had any use for, now that it had grown wings of fire, its motor roaring with the vibrations of ten thousand thunders. Verily, the silver bullet had died and resurrected as a phoenix reborn. I now had a god whistle. Like a dog whistle, only backwards.