Sunday, November 20, 2005

The other day I was introduced to man at a bar, we'll call him S. S was tall and thin, greasy hair tucked behind his ears almost touching his shoulders. He wore loose linen pants and a multi-colored wool parka with some sort of geometric pattern on it. There was a musty smell in the air. It reminded me of a story someone once told me about touring with the Grateful Dead. "Those damn hippies," he had said, "they always smelled like wet wool and patchouli. To this day the smell of fucking patchouli makes me want to fucking puke."

S stared from across the table, and the look in his eyes - he gave me a look like he was about to eat me for lunch. Someone leaned over and whispered, "I think S has a crush on you."

"I have a little bit of a tattoo fetish," S proclaimed with a grin. A friend had lifted my shirt to take a peek a few minutes ago, and I guess S was watching. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat under the weight of his stare. Heaven forgive me if I've ever made a woman feel objectified!

"Your tattoo reminds me of the rainforest in Brazil," S continued.

"Let me tell you about when I was in the Amazon rainforest. I went there with a friend of mine. She was sick, sick with Parkinson's. The doctors here couldn't do anything for her, so we went to the rainforest to do Ayahuasca. The shaman there, he said 'You will die if you continue to take those pills, and you will die if you stop taking those pills.' So we took the Ayahuasca."

"Did the Ayahuasca help her?" I asked.

"Yes, but.." Silence. A moment of blankness in his eyes. He shifted gears.

"Do you know anything about Tarot?"

"Sure, a little," I lied.

"Zero is the number of the Fool. You've got two zeros on your shirt so you're doubly a fool. Do you know what the Fool represents?" Before I could lie again he launched into an explanation.

"The Fool is a part of the Court, but he's separate from the royalty. An outsider on the inside. There have even been cases where the real power is hidden in the Fool, but that's rare. Why, it's only happened two or three times."

I shook my head as if I understood. "So..Ayahuasca?"

He continued: "I took Ayahuasca three times, and the first thing she told me is 'I am ancient'. She is ancient and she is everywhere. You think you're ever alone? You're not because there she is, right underneath your feet. The Earth's alive. We're trying to kill her, but she's still alive. Scientists can't figure out how the Indians discovered Ayahuasca. You know how? The plants told them. They can talk to the plants."

This part I'd heard before. The active ingredient in Ayahuasca is DMT, but it's not orally active. You need to combine it with a MAOI like harmaline for it to be effective orally. Somehow the Indians managed to figure that out. As I pondered the implications of this, I turned and noticed S had disappeared. He was replaced by an awful smell.

A voice behind me said, "I think that guy farted and ran out of here, man. I tried to warn you. Jeez that fuggin stinks."

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