Mirror, Mirror.

Mirror, mirror upon the wall,
I’m asking you, who is the most confused of them all?
Mirror, mirror, subservient twin,
screams back at me “You! You sick flawless mime,
I want to break you!”
— Mudvayne, Shadow of a Man.

As is the case with many of the memories that came to me around 1995, I can’t be certain how old I was, but the flashback was brief and vivid enough that despite the fact that no written records of it exist from the time of recall I am confident enough in how it played out. One could always argue that it was some vivid dream and nothing more, of course, but it certainly seemed to be a real occurrence to me.

I was in the bathroom at the house we lived in from my birth until 1988, and so no older than ten, standing on a small stool we had in the bathroom so that us kids could reach the sink and see ourselves in the mirror. I don’t know if I was brushing my teeth or combing my hair or if I was about to get in or just exiting the shower. In any case, I suddenly noticed, in the process, that something was wrong, peculiar, noticeably “off” about my reflection in the mirror. Unable to put my finger on it at first, it soon became obvious that my eyes were changing. They were slowly but with increasing speed growing at once larger and more slanted. I remember watching as I simultaneously felt my mouth falling open in shock, my growing, unblinking eyes unable to avert their gaze for a mere second. Uncertain if it was my actual face or merely my reflection undergoing this localized shapeshifting, I lifted up my hand to touch one of my eyes, sliding my fingers upon its smooth, slippery, rubbery surface.

Still later in 1995, after a night of what could perhaps be best described as a meditative exploration of my apparent past-life memories, I had gazed into the mirror in the upstairs bathroom with the lights off and had a strange visual experience. My reflected face was rapidly shapeshifting into what I presumed to be the faces of my former incarnations, many of which I had not formerly recalled episodically. It seemed as if my mirror image was trying to coagulate into a singular form that embraced the qualities of all previous corporeal containers. Unlike the earlier episode there was no question that this was an illusion, and one specific to my reflection as opposed to my actual face.

Many years later I came upon those who had experienced similar distortions of their reflections in Dr. Marlene Steinberg’s book, The Stranger in the Mirror: The Hidden Epidemic. For some time that has been my only lead for an explanation of the experience — assuming it was not some vivid, sensory-enriched dream. Until recently, that is, when I came upon the “Strange-Face-in-the-Mirror Illusion,” a 2010 publication in the journal Perception, by psychologist Giovanni B. Caputo of the University of Urbino in Italy. He ran an experiment in which some fifty volunteers sat in a dimly-lit room with a 25-watt lamp placed behind them. They were instructed to stare into a mirror for ten minutes and take note of the effects. After about a minute, strange shit began to happen. Caputo writes:

“The descriptions differed greatly across individuals and included: (a) huge deformations of one’s own face (reported by 66% of the fifty participants); (b) a parent’s face with traits changed (18%), of whom 8% were still alive and 10% were deceased; (c) an unknown person (28%); (d) an archetypal face, such as that of an old woman, a child, or a portrait of an ancestor (28%); (e) an animal face such as that of a cat, pig, or lion (18%); (f) fantastical and monstrous beings (48%).”

Their emotional responses were also interesting:

“The participants reported that apparition of new faces in the mirror caused sensations of otherness when the new face appeared to be that of another, unknown person or strange `other’ looking at him/her from within or beyond the mirror. All fifty participants experienced some form of this dissociative identity effect, at least for some apparition of strange faces and often reported strong emotional responses in these instances. For example, some observers felt that the `other’ watched them with an enigmatic expression – [a] situation that they found astonishing. Some participants saw a malign expression on the ‘other’ face and became anxious. Other participants felt that the `other’ was smiling or cheerful, and experienced positive emotions in response. The apparition of deceased parents or of archetypal portraits produced feelings of silent query. Apparition of monstrous beings produced fear or disturbance. Dynamic deformations of new faces (like pulsations or shrinking, smiling or grinding) produced an overall sense of inquietude for things out of control.”

In a follow-up publication the same year (2010), “Apparitional experiences of new faces and dissociation of self-identity during mirror gazing,” Caputo added that subjects reported that while they maintained self-consciousness of their own face they felt as if “a strange person was watching them from within or beyond the mirror”. He also concluded that the degree of lighting seemed to play a role in the illusion, which is to say that the lower the illumination the less time it took for one to experience the SFMI. More interesting are the effects of mirror-gazing on subjects suffering from depression and schizophrenia, two other studies of Caputo’s which he summarized in the abstract of his March, 2014 publication, “Archetypal-imaging and mirror-gazing,” in which he gives an overview of the studies on the matter:

“Recently, empirical research found that gazing at one’s own face in the mirror for a few minutes, at a low illumination level, produces the perception of bodily dysmorphic illusions of strange-faces. Healthy observers usually describe huge distortions of their own faces, monstrous beings, prototypical faces, faces of relatives and deceased, and faces of animals. In the psychiatric population, some schizophrenics show a dramatic increase of strange-face illusions. They can also describe the perception of multiple-others that fill the mirror surface surrounding their strange-face. Schizophrenics are usually convinced that strange-face illusions are truly real and identify themselves with strange-face illusions, diversely from healthy individuals who never identify with them. On the contrary, most patients with major depression do not perceive strange-face illusions, or they perceive very faint changes of their immobile faces in the mirror, like death statues.”

Why does this illusion happen? There are some pretty reasonable hypotheses. As Kaylee Brown put it in her December, 2016 article, “Eye Gazing: Science Reveals How it Affects Our Communication”:

“Our neurons can slow down and even completely stop their response to stimulation that is constant. This happens when you stare at anything — your perception changes until you blink or something within the scene changes.”

One way to put it, then, is that steady, prolonged mirror-gazing results in sensory ambiguity, and we have known for some time that the greater the ambiguity in a perceived stimulus the more fertile it becomes for psychological projection. Our brains naturally compensate for absent data and impose structure on chaotic information based on cues in the given context associated with data already stored in memory. Well, in the case of mirror-gazing, the cues are aspects of our face that remain detectable, and so another influential force here may be our capacity for facial recognition. This leads us to seek out the patterns of a face in our projections: as your face distorts due to neural adaptation, your brain conjures up faces stored in memory that fit the available — which is to say fluctuating — data, which result in illusions of faces that are not your own.

The weakest and mildest projections manifest as pareidolia, such as when we look at a spill on a counter, a stain on the concrete or clouds in the sky and “see” figures and even scenes. This can increase to illusions, as when someone is approaching you from a distance and you’re certain it’s a friend, only to find as proximity increases that it is a total stranger. In some cases projection can even produce full-blown hallucinations, as in cases of sensory deprivation.

My experience in the darkened bathroom after my exploration of my alleged reincarnational world-line would perhaps reside on the cusp betwixt illusion and hallucination, but my memory of my reflection of a child in a bathroom of full lighting would clearly have to constitute a hallucination — not merely in the visual sphere, either, but in a tactile sense, as I distinctly remember touching my eye to ensure it was merely my reflection that was changing, only to find that it was, despite my hopes, my actual face as well. Nothing that Caputo has published to my knowledge could explain that aspect of the memory, given it was not a vivid dream — not even the experiences of schizophrenics.

I must confess: that is not the least bit comforting.

***

For more information regarding the aforementioned studies conducted by Caputo (et al.), please consult the following links (or use the titles as search queries):

Strange-Face-in-the-Mirror Illusion,” 2010.
“Apparitional experiences of new faces and dissociation of self-identity during mirror gazing,” 2010.
“Visual perception during mirror gazing at one’s own face in schizophrenia,” 2012.
Visual perception during mirror-gazing at one’s own face in patients with depression,” 2014.
Archetypal-imaging and mirror-gazing,” 2014.

Desperation in Precog.

Slipping forward now
into a smoky labyrinth, eyes and arms striving.

Deep down, I’m panicking.
What insanity, that I would have accepted
such responsibility. Such a fool
to have someone I care for count on me.

Unethical.
Failure of empathy.
Death of hope for me.

Pull me back again.
Can’t face this. Confront what is to be.
Shame: already infecting me,
all as it should be.

Unforgivable.

Plow through the crowd,
casting mist away to feed frantic eyes
as I scream her name, demand
she comes back to me.

I’ll give anything,
anything,

just let me know
that you’re all right…

Polishing Ajna.

Jonas and Elizabeth come over between eight and nine in the evening. I had woken up from my post-third-shift slumber a few hours before, drank some coffee, relaxed, taken a shit and a shower and waited while trying not to think, think, think.

Elizabeth was wearing all black save for her tie-dye hippie socks. It had been awhile since I had seen Jonas, and his hair had grown and taken on a look that reminded me of the traditional style of the eighties. Kind of like Luke in Star Wars: A New Hope. I met them at the side entrance to my building and Elizabeth led the way up three flights of stairs and along the short stroll to the door to my one-bedroom apartment, where we all sat down in the front room in front of my laptop monitor. I had set up the papasan by the computer for myself, as I knew it would be the most comfortable thing for me to sit on during the experience.

Jonas has some initial difficulties cutting one of the tabs in two, finally succeeding by use of the X-Acto knife I typically use to clean out my bowl. Using their tweezers, he then places a whole tab on her tongue, one of the halves on his own.

This was happening. I felt wary. Did I want to do this? Me, I always said I’d never do this. Then he picks up the other half with the tweezers and extends it towards me.

Shit. This is the moment of truth.

I’m nervous, not entirely ready, and in my hesitation he accidentally drops it. Though this would be unfortunate in the event it could not be found, I was thankful for the moment of reflection it permitted me. We look around for it on the carpet between us all as I try and build up some courage. Eventually one of them finds that it had fallen into my shoe. With the tweezers, he plucks it from my sole and places it on my open sketch pad. With diminishing reluctance I go for the tweezers but Elizabeth says it would probably be easier to just lick it off my sketch pad. It seems a weird way to go and that typically works for me, so I do it. I feel mildly apprehensive after doing so, but curiosity of what may be to come quickly takes dominance.

We smoke a bowl, a cigarette each, and I try to keep it under my tongue, eventually realizing that it is gone. That I must have swallowed it. They tell me not to worry.

As I did not take notes during the experience, I cannot be sure of the exact sequence of all events, though particular events in and of themselves are certainly vivid. It began while we were watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

If I were to do this, I had decided some time ago, I had to watch Cosmos, most of all episode 13, “Unafraid of the Dark,” which was particularly visually stunning in its depiction of supernovas. Elizabeth also insisted we watch episode 5, “Hiding in the Light,” mainly due to the portion regarding soundwaves. It was still on Netflix, thankfully, and so we watched “Hiding in the Light” first.

At some point as we were watching it I suddenly feel as if certain parts of my brain light up, blasting me into this heightened awareness. My vision was crisp. I felt this intensity in my body. I felt a sense of euphoria with a side of anxiety.

As time went on I experienced periods of sudden, incredible and sturdy focus — which would be strange enough if it did not seem as if I could focus on several points simultaneously. Psychological absorption was at an all-time high. Fantasy seemed more like a parallel world I had equal access to alongside sensory reality; shifting between them was akin to changing channels or switching stations. In time I came to be very, very absorbed in what we were watching on my laptop.For other, brief periods — at least once, to be sure — I became tangled in a web of divergent attention and high-speed thoughts, achieving a height of frustrating confusion before wriggling myself out of it and coming back into focus.

To my left I could see my bedroom door, opened just a crack, and the light bleeding through kept catching my attention, fucking with me. I finally had to get up and open the door. Then I kept thinking I was seeing the lights and shadows from the bathroom, accessible through my bedroom, move as if something was there. At one point, I thought I saw something small and white run from the bathroom into the darkness at the other side of my room. None of it frightened me for more than a second, after which I realized it was just my imagination and laughed at myself in response.

When I was talking with Elizabeth and Jonas sometimes I would catch the laptop monitor out of the corner of my eye, convinced for a moment that something was playing on it, like a movie or something, but there was merely a motionless visual on the screen. It kept fucking with me in a fashion similar to crack in bedroom doorway.

In our conversation before taking the acid, they told me I should eat first and if I needed to poop, I should do it beforehand, because it was rather disconcerting under the influence of this chemical. They also told me that pissing was kind of strange, but I knew I would be unable to avoid that one — in general, I tend to take in a lot of fluid: water, coffee, iced tea, booze. This equals pissing like a race horse.

When I inevitably had to get up to pee, Elizabeth suggested I look at myself in the mirror. Piddling itself was a perplexing experience indeed. I felt high up, incredibly tall and skinny, and it seemed as though my dick way, way down there was pissing into a teeny-tiny toilet. After I went to the sink and washed and dried my hands, I looked up, into the mirror, focusing on my eyes. My face seemed to morph around my point of focus, though not into anything discernible. My vision brightened, everything seemed white and yellow. I was transfixed for a while, but eventually returned to the front room and sat in my comfy nest.

Over the entire course of the evening, I had only one fully-scale visual hallucination. As I was watching the bedroom door (which I had absentmindedly closed again when returning from pissing and skrying) this little transparent ball with a long, tadpole tail swam in a slow, wavelike fashion across my field of vision. It was like an oversize, slow-mo air-sperm.

Getting up, I opened the door again.

More subjective strangeness took place than sensory, hallucinatory phenomena. For instance, at times I felt that while I was inside my body I was not entirely attached to it. I often felt as if I was residing in my body in positions that I ordinarily did not. Typically I feel as though my consciousness resides inside my head, for instance, but for a period I felt as though I was hanging out in the chest area.

So we watched the two episodes of Cosmos. The segment on sound waves was astounding, though I got the feeling that it was not the “full experience” Elizabeth had experienced herself when she watched it on acid. When we got to the episode on supernovas, I must have been at or near my peak. More than just the beautiful explosions of dying stars, there was the journey through space in general that drug me in, embraced me. I even said to them, “Twelve hours of just that. Just journeying through the stars. I would love it.” In retrospect it reminded me of those dreams I had as a kid, just soaring through the stars at fantastic speed, alone in the vast, silent beauty of space.

At some point the journey ended as the camera pulled out from space into Neil deGrasse Tyson’s star-spore, dandelion-seed-shaped Spaceship of the Imagination through one of the windows — which initially looked to me like the gigantic, slanted, almond eye of your typical Gray alien. No one else seemed to make that connection. I don’t know if I felt sad to be alone or thankful for my isolated association.

After the two episodes, we watched Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, where I came to confront the Cheshire Cat, another symbol from my past. After we began coming down and had tired of conversation, we turned back to Netflix and watched the first two or three episodes of American Dad, which I had never seen before. I noticed that I was more prone to laughter, at times ridiculous laughter. While I felt in most cases the laughter was appropriate, it was far, far more amusing than it would have been had I been sober, or even stoned out of my mind on Mary Jane. I was laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes.

It was morning when we finally came entirely down. They slept on the couch in the living room and I closed my bedroom door and lay in my bed. My body was so comfortable. There was no tossing, no turning. My body was relaxed, vibrating, though my mind was still acute. They had given me half a pill of a muscle relaxer, and it finally kicked in.

When I awoke, to my disappointment, I didn’t remember any dreams, though I did recall that I had some that I would have found interesting.

A Tagged Fish Story.

Imagine a relatively isolated pond has been discovered. You are part of a science team dispatched to catch a dozen fish from various areas of the pond, examine them, “tag” them with an implanted microchip and then release them back into their fluid environment. The implant allows you to monitor the fish remotely, enabling you to not only determine the location of the fish at all times but their internal chemistry. Periodically throughout the course of its life-cycle the fish is recaptured for a more direct examination — a check-up of sorts — then released, just as before.

This isn’t all that unusual. We do not only subject fish to this sort of program, either, but bears, monkeys, birds — you name it. The precise manner in which the individual animals are apprehended and released differ for reasons that should seem obvious.

A fish might be captured by means of a fishing line with hooked bait on the end, perhaps a net. The bear and monkey pose more of a threat to the scientists, obviously, so they may have first been separated from their herd or troop and then shot with a tranquilizer dart from a helicopter or perhaps from the ground behind some trees.

Despite these surface distinctions if a monkey, a fish and a bird subjected to these procedures were able to communicate with one another in a support group they would find more than enough common ground between them to empathize with one another and realize they all shared a common experience — and, it seems, a common enemy.

Human scientists often execute such catch-and-release operations to study the natural development of an organism or their migration patterns.

Maybe they even altered the DNA of the animal, making it a transgenic or genetically modified organism (GMO), and are studying how the transgenes express themselves throughout the lifecycle. Some catch-and-release programs may extend to the animal’s offspring. Bloodlines could be followed for generations.

It is easy for us to imagine ourselves in the position of the scientists but imagine, for a moment, what it must be like for the animal. What stories might they tell the fellow members of their school in the wake of their recurring, traumatic, otherworldly experiences?

Just as it was in Plato’s parable of the cave, it would surely be nothing that would make them sound anything short of batshit fucking mad.

An alien abduction? Perhaps human beings are the fish, birds, or monkeys to some “higher intelligence.” Generations of tagged fish subject to catch-and-release by alien scientists out of their little, isolated pond…

Mindfulness Versus the Hypnodomme.

For a good while — sometime between six months to a full year — I came home every night, sat on my couch or my papasan, set the timer on my iPhone for anywhere between ten minutes and half an hour, closed my eyes and fought to remain motionless as I summoned determination to focus exclusively on my breath. Once I failed, I worked on not beating myself up about it and instead returned as gracefully as I could to my point of focus: the nostrils, the breath.

It was all going so well. And then it wasn’t.

I stopped my daily practice at around the same time I began drinking nightly, which was, I think, very early in July of 2015. It seemed counterproductive to continue engaging in both and I wouldn’t stop drinking, so the bottle won the battle. Two days ago, on Christmas Eve, I meditated for the first time in a long time and instantly remembered why I had once kept up with it on a nightly basis to begin with: the pleasant, however transient sense of focus I can achieve during the practice; the sense that it somehow serves to balance out my brain; the ability to reach beyond my emotions, thoughts and memories into a place more central, more true to me, a closer approximation my “original face” otherwise suffocating behind the thick and icky masque of the everyday.

Honesty, I was pretty damned surprised that after not having practiced for so long that I achieved any immediate benefit at all.

Then again, I have continued subjecting myself to hypnosis since abandoning meditation — and they are essentially the same thing, right? Meditation is just hypnosis initiated and guided by oneself. Hypnosis is just meditation initiated and guided by someone else. Even so, I prefer meditation, particularly since I have sensed something insidious about those hypnodomme videos on the net. Evidently, this means little to whatever part of me is under control in these instances. Typically I feel compelled to watch them when I’m alone and high. The issue, the urge, has continued to plague high-me with a rhythm comprised of piques and troughs.

It has been some time since I’ve consciously addressed it at length — even longer since I wrote about it. It embarrasses me that much. I mean, from at least as far back as high school I have intentionally avoided watching or investing any attention in commercials on television or the net because I fear being brainwashed. I still do this despite the fact that, when I’m high, I am overcome by this state-dependent impulse to seek out videos that essentially aim to do just that. Maybe it’s just the relative honesty that earns my respect.

Another contradiction about all of this is my profound distaste for the newest brand of feminism, whatever you wish to call it — the brand of feminism that seeks not egalitarianism but female dominance, idolizing women as it demonizes men, modeling their desired matriarchy over the perceived presence of an oppressive patriarchy.

Let me be clear: I’m all for equality, equity, egalitarianism. We all have equal value as individuals regardless of the body we happened to be born into. It’s Dualism (of the philosophy of the mind) at work in me. Sex, gender identity, sexual persuasion, skin pigment, point of origin and so on and so forth — prejudice on that basis is unethical. No one should be oppressed. We are all individuals and we have personal rights that should be self-evident and recognized by whatever typically corrupt social system we are embedded in. Do what you will, be who you are, so long as it oppresses no other. This does not seem to be what modern feminism stands for, however.

Chauvinist pigs and sexists can sport any of the available kinds of genitalia: it is by no means exclusive to men. Their are dictators, pussytators, and I’m sure their are hermaphrotators: there are -tators for everyone. And -tators are the enemy.

This malevolent quality is not always something I sense from the hypnodommes, but it does seem to be a prevalent undercurrent — and despite my distaste for it, I still keep falling under their spell. I pluralize it — “hypnodommes” — because it is more than one hypnodomme I have come to listen to, though Hypnotic Haylee was the genesis and remains the nucleus. My attempts to diversify in this area was an attempt to at least ensure I would not be owned by or bound to any single one.

I do not let this practice carry over into the sober state, either, as an effort to compartmentalize the issue, to quarantine the whole thing. The sober part of me of hates that it relaxes me, that it helps me shut my mind up so that I — drunk, high and hypnotized — can finally get some sleep. This makes it no less stupid of me, makes me no less of a weak minded fool, of course, and of this I am painfully aware. My shame and self loathing over this has helped me limit the effects, too.

Mindfulness meditation can help me own myself, find myself, be myself, create myself, make it so the mask I’m trapped within more accurately reflects whatever strange, unearthly soul hides behind it. It can make it so that my Original Face does not hide so much as merely, and inevitably, reside behind it. Hypnodommes? They seem counterproductive. As soon as I think of Hypnotic Haylee’s green eyes, however, and particularly when I’m high, I all-too-often succumb.

Still I oscillate between something approximating weakness and something approximating strength — but the weakness has taken over. Time to balance this out…

Journeys in Daily Journaling.

There was a time when I journaled every day. Back then I still enjoyed hating my job and I would go home every evening and vent through my fingers, bleed through the keyboard about things that had happened during my work shift. It served as a literary form of alchemy where I took the shit of my life, my daily portion of poo, and tried to transmute it into something meaningful to me. It seemed important that it was a daily process, too; otherwise, I felt backed up. Psychologically bloated in a sense, and it only promised to get worse as time went on. The writing was edited, elaborated upon, I cut and pasted and moved parts around. In no time it lost all sense of coherency because I tried to incorporate all I could into that single piece and express it in the most effective manner possible. With a daily journal of my thoughts, emotions, memories and experiences life fed art without constipation. Pressing “send” or whatever, I could flush the potty of the blog and it eased my mind.

I can’t take my writing too seriously, I have to make that daily deadline for satisfaction to result. I learned this by committing myself to this process for some time — and then abandoning it.

My daily journal entries ceased some years ago due to two factors.

For one thing, there came the day when I realize that the daily grind just wasn’t funny anymore. There seemed to be nothing new — or inspiring, in the very least — under the sun, and to spend an hour or more writing about work every night when I came home seemed to extend the shift of wage slavery into my free time. And without pay. I was taking the hell of the day home with me. This should have inspired me to change my life; instead, it changed only my writing habits. Second, people actually read my blog for some reason — people that I knew in my personal life, which is to say people at work, for the most part. It was not rare for people to react rather emotionally to some of the things I said. A few did not always like how I depicted them in my writing, either.

Despite the issues inherent in online journaling, it has always been more satisfying than a strictly personal one kept under lock and key and for my eyes only. It’s the same way when I’m writing someone a letter: the focus of an audience, be it in particular or just in general, seems to not only help the writing flow, but gives it structure and focus. Maybe that’s why Vonnegut always suggested that when one writes they wrote to or for a particular person, regardless as to who that person is.

In any case, I finally drifted from my blog, which I was by that time posting daily on MySpace, and began a WordPress blog, my “secret blog,” when I feared my girlfriend at the time would inhibit what I wrote on my MySpace one. It did not take long, methinks, till she found it. After we broke up again, and for the last time, I kept the blog going. I stopped writing about daily events, however, and instead solely focused on events from my past, topics of interest, and shitty poetry. I no longer found amusement in my contempt for my life. Eventually, when booze broke into my life, shitty poetry became the bulk of what I dumped in the blog. It was still a form of alchemy, of course, but it no longer kept me anchored in the here and now. It more closely approximated a form of escape.

Since then I have come to realize that I really miss the daily journaling. That it may have actually helped me. Not only as a form of catharsis and process of alchemy but as a sort of anchor in the here and now. With New Years approaching, as stupid as it is, I’ve been considering starting up the practice again — you know, as one of those stupid New Year resolutions that no one ever seems to follow through on.

Drumpf.

Yeah?
Good for you.
Now:

Eat my asshole.
Pox on your first born,
scum of the earth.

Don’t just bite
the bullet:
no, no:

fucking eat it.

Narcissistic
puppet-master. Savior
of the paranoid

ears fixed
on conservative
talk radio. Go ahead,
widen the divide:

it will only lead
to our demise,
inevitably
leading
to your own.

Empathy
could have saved you.

Selfish and shortsighted
aiming towards
blind arrogance:

sure to get
there: in an important
way, subliminal
self mutilation

along the path
to unconscious suicide.

Make your choice,
sociopath:

I’ll be busy loading my gun.

Six Six-Word Stories, Chapter 2.

7. News Flash for a Narcissist.

Trumpty Dumpty never got his wall.

8. A Timely Tale of a Baker’s Dozen.

Twelve stories, all written while stoned.

9. Power.

Grinning, she growls, “I own you.”

10. Green.

Green-eyed monster. Seductive, beautiful beast.

11. Strange Anesthesia.

Table cold. Warm, numbing feeling grows.

12. I.B.E.

Sensations on the skin: poking, stabbing.

Six Six-Word Stories, Chapter 1.

1.
Glenn. 

Survived apocalypse, finished off by bat.

2.
I Am Jack’s Enlightenment.

Listen, Tyler: my eyes are open.

3.
Tale of a Dead Man. 

As all dreams: weird in retrospect.

4.
Jack Asphalt.

A dolt, self-aware, took responsibility.

5.
Virgo California Girls.

Miraculous entry, bliss, an agonizing exit.

6.
Quest for Truth.

Reality rebels, he suffers through lies.