There's No Stamping Out This Magick
matter how hard they try
By Preston Peet
For the November issue
of the New York
posted at DrugWar.com
October 22, 2003
Thomas rings the downstairs bell, the door
clicks open, and he bounds up the stairs to the second floor.
The apartment door opens just as he reaches the landing, and he
slips through into the warm apartment.
"Hey, you wanna get high?" Thomas
grins at Kelly, the owner of the apartment, as she pushes shut
the door. It's a rhetorical question because Kelly is always ready
to get high. Her roommate is out for the evening, doing a number
on some rich gay white guy on the Upper West Side who's into getting
tied up and beaten by a strapping young black man.
Thomas breaks out his bags of coke and dope
and they set up their works on her bed. Outside the snow is coming
down hard, with the wind making a howling through the windows,
making the inside of the room feel even more comfortably warm
and dry. Thomas loves getting high here, enjoying the respite
from ducking into doorways and stairwells to shoot up his much
needed and repeated fixes.
It doesn't take them long to shoot their
way through both $20 bags of cocaine, and 5 of the 6 bags of heroin.
Nearly one hundred dollars in just over an hour, right in their
veins. As Thomas tweaks out on the bedspread, the rush still overpowering
and debilitating, he's already thinking about having to go back
out into the Winter night air, and not at all relishing the prospect.
But his jones for cocaine overrides almost all thought once he
runs dry. He doesn't have to go on a mission quite yet though.
Even if he'd wanted to immediately he's unable to, the ringing
in his ears and the trembling of his knees from the massive influx
of coke nailing him to the bed.
Kelly is thinking along the same lines though,
knowing there isn't any more coke. She makes a suggestion that
Thomas will always remember.
"Ever done Ketamine?" She asks
through her coke-clenched teeth.
Kelly climbs off the bed and goes to her
closet. Reaching up onto the shelf, she pulls out a small white
box with printing on it.
"I got this yesterday from a friend.
It's straight from the vet's office."
Bottled, injectable Ketamine
Sure enough, when she puts the box on the
bed, Thomas can see that it is full of little vials of liquid
Ketamine. He's never seen it before, much less tried it, but it
doesn't matter as the printing all over the box and on the vials
themselves lets him know these are the real deal.
"Not like that, that will dull the needle."
He's getting ready to stick the needle tip right through the rubber
stopper on the top of the vial as he's seen done in the hospital
and on tv many times, but Kelly stops him. "Do it like this."
She breaks off the top of the vial with a snapping sound, then
sticks the tip of the needle unimpeded into the solution inside.
Drawing up 30 mils, she hands him the rig. "Here you go."
Having exactly zero idea of what to expect,
Thomas leans back against the pillows and ties off. His veins
are at this point in time still fairly cooperative, so he has
no trouble registering a hit. He watches the ribbon of blood spurt
up inside the set, then loosens the tie, leaving the needle sticking
out of his arm. Then he carefully takes the needle, gently bracing
it as he pushes in the plunger, not wanting to push through his
vein and into the muscle. He's totally unprepared for what comes
Thomas is about to take off
He barely has time to pull the rig out of
his arm before hearing an approaching roar, as though the wind
outside has gotten into his head, filling his ears with the sound,
completely overriding any sensation of cocaine or heroin in him.
The sound gets louder and louder, filling him up completely until
he think he must be about to explode, but before he can panic
he hears a giant ripping sound and he's out of his body, seeing
himself and Kelly on the bed beneath him, both lying in a stupor.
This is surprising to say the least, but he has no time to dwell
upon the weirdness.
This view lasts but seconds before the air
around him grows dark, and he finds himself now surrounded by
what look like giant amebas, gesturing with appendages that protrude
larger and smaller from the writhing mass of colors that make
up their core. He can hear them communicating with one another.
He cannot understand what they're saying, and while he's not even
sure whether it's about him or not, he's not at all frightened.
He feels like he has returned somewhere he vaguely remembers being
before, but can't put his finger on when. So enthralled is he
with what he's seeing he doesn't consider at the time the "where"
of his situation. In hindsight he decides it looked a lot like
far outer space, with millions of stars or light nodes of some
kind glittering all around him as far as he can see in all directions
and dimensions with these creatures floating as though underwater.
Finally blinking after what feels like hours,
he can make out something new beneath him, some sort of design
growing large, likes it's rising to meet him or he's descending
towards it. He can't be sure which it is. As he, or it, draws
closer, he realizes he looking at a timeline, just like something
in his junior high school books. It has his past, present, and
future all marked out with different colored arrows signifying
which is which. He can see where he's been, where he is now, and
where he's going, plain as day. An unsettled feeling comes over
him as he sees where he is going, but it is still an awe inspiring
event. Who made this? Why is he being shown this? How long as
he been here? None of this occurs to him to wonder at the time,
only later do these questions come to mind. He's locked into a
total state of NOW, simply taking in all he sees. The sense of
actual time passing is nowhere to be found.
Then he's suddenly back in his body with
no awareness of movement, only that he is now back inside his
shell, still very high and unable to move but conscious of the
skin between his bones and the bedspread beneath him. Both he
and Kelly slowly start to move at almost the same moment, gaining
control over their limbs once again, sitting up in the bed and
staring groggily at one another.
"What the fuck was that?" Thomas
gasps. He might sound upset, but it's excitement, not anxiety
that forces his words out in an explosion of breath. Kelly shakes
her head, still fogged by the drug. Thomas is only immobilized
for a few minutes. As soon as he is able, he reaches out for the
box and sets himself and Kelly up another couple of shots, and
off they go again.
Three or four times in the span of about
two hours they do this, mainlining 30 mils of pure, liquid Ketamine,
and rushing off to wherever it is that the drug takes them. Because
Thomas is forever convinced that the drug definitely does take
him somewhere, as near as he can tell to another dimension entirely.
While he can remember these basic events, he knows there is a
lot more he cannot remember clearly but that he is still aware
of, fleeting images which occasionally race across the backs of
his eyes in odd moments.
That was the night he decided that there
is still magick in the world, magick that the Rush Limbaughs and
the George W. Bushes and the Dick Cheneys and all the prohibitionists
and moralists and greed-headed fear mongering war pigs of the
world want to stamp out and deny. There's a lot more to the universe
that these types don't want people like Thomas to know and access,
a lot more knowledge decreed sinful and banned but which is really
gnosis, self-awareness, love, the apple, the fruit of the tree
of life. Drugs might not be THE way to attain this magick, but
sometimes they sure as hell can do the trick.