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.

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Intersection of Midwich and Innsmouth (3/END).

It was the sixth of July, 2002 when I had the dream with Angela. Her and I were having sex on a bed pushed into the back corner of a dark and otherwise vacant room. Halfway through I got up and exited through the door on the wall opposite the bed to do something I could only recall as being of intellectual importance. Upon my return, I found her waiting, legs spread, and we continued.

In the midst of our romping it came to my attention that her face was shimmering and shape-shifting between her own familiar facial features and that of Trinity from the Matrix movies, complete with her black, wrap-around glasses.

Looking to the left, I saw a door I had not noticed before. Light poured in from the open doorway, and there were people walking in and out of the door casually, though not apparently noticing us in the process. The only one who noticed us was looking directly at me from where he sat in a chair to the side of the bed facing me, the door to his back.

This was a guy I had not seen in some two years. Though I believe him and I spoke in the dream, I cannot recall so much as the gist of what the subject might have been. Little time was available after waking up to write down any details, either, as I soon realized I was late for work.

After driving there and clocking in, I went in the kitchen and started making sandwiches on line at our fast food factory. A short time passed before Angela arrived, clocked in and put on the headset for drive-thru. Then she broke routine by walking into the back kitchen, which made me feel guilty about the sex dream, because I’m goofy that way. When I turned around to look at her she was just standing some distance behind me, looking dead at me. Then she pointed to me, and right before abruptly departing for the front she said my name, announced, “I had a strange dream about you,” and grinned a wide grin.

Instantly I got that same feeling I get every time the world I live in casually contradicts concencus reality. After all, we had never before discussed or mentioned dreams to one another, and I had never recalled having had a dream about her before. Though the specifics of our dreams differed, as I was to learn later, both involved her and I on a bed, having sex at the climax of the dream.

While the fact that her and I were having sex may certainly be a manifestation of the literal carnal desire, it may also represent how we were telepathically connected.

As we were having sex in the dream, her face shifted back and fourth between herself at Trinity. I have had this sort of illusory experience before, in waking life, when looking at girls I am interested in — they briefly morph into the faces of past women of interest. The only men I have seen face-phasing have been myself and my father, and in both cases this was glimpsed through a mirror. My father appeared as an iridescent, phosphorescent blue-purple alien, whereas in my experience my eyes simply grew slowly to the size and shape of those Gray alien eyes.

In dreams, this unprecedented character switching, transforming or hybridization is thought to suggest associations between the two individuals in question, and that is likely the case here: what I am projecting is revealed through hallucination. Perhaps I was projecting Trinity onto Angela.

When the Trinity face appeared, it was the image of her in the dark sunglasses — the get-up she elected for her “residual self-image” when plugged in to the Matrix. Given that, perhaps the dream scene in which Angela was shape-shifting faces with Trinity as we had sex was conveying that she had telepathically hacked her way into my dream.

The dream carried themes not just with The Matrix, however, but with Jungian alchemy, which I was amongst other things reading about at the time. It was during this period, which began before my encounter with the child some seven months prior, that I was struggling to perceive my experiences — alien and all else — through either a psychological or psychospiritual context. This had brought me deeper into the writings of Carl Jung and those who built off his core concepts. One of the books I had read was Jay Ramsay’s 1997 publication Alchemy: The Art of Transformation. This book intrigued me, as his description of the alchemical stage of Nigredo appeared to echo the experience and circumstances around the evening in October, 1999 when I lost my virginity to Anne. Interestingly, the dream with Angela seemed to be a manifestation of the same, underlying alchemical formula.

The alchemical tale, condensed here and in my own words, is as follows. The alchemist meets his soror mystica, a mystical sister with whom he shares an unusually charged relationship sometimes expressed as incestuous. This is likely due to projection of the alchemist’s Anima, or the attractors activated in his maternally-bond-based pair bonding tendencies.

In any case, the soror mystica, with a finger held to her lips, inspires silencing of the mind and receptivity to the emotions; inwardly, consciousness becomes receptive to the unconscious.

This act is expressed on both levels at once as the two proceed to have sex, to make love. This transient reconciliation of the psychological opposites is alchemically referred to as the coniunctio. The act brings us back to our psychological and spiritual core, journeying through childhood experiences, traumatic emotions, our deeply-held self-denials and repressed instincts.

At the activity’s climax, so to speak, one receives a vision of “what could be” — what sleeps in latency yet can be awakened and nurtured into manifestation, and this comes as a vision of the alchemical Mercurius. In his studies into alchemy, Jung saw the figure of Mercurius as a symbol of psychological synthesis that displayed the unification of the conscious and unconscious, the worlds of matter and spirit, and — given the hermaphroditic nature of Mercurius — the reconciliation of our inner male and female aspects.

In the dream between Angela and I, Mercurius is represented by the aforementioned fellow sitting on the chair beside the bed on which we rumble. Wayne, as we shall call him, had been one of the group of regulars at the all-night restaurant I used to habitually visit to drink coffee and write. He was an intelligent guy from a rich family, gothic in style, and was both skinny and tall — with Static-X hair that made him look all the taller. He was also the target of countless salivating women. Most of those whom I knew who lusted after him were bisexual, which would along with many things, to my utter embarrassment, would only make sense later on.

Despite the aforementioned embarrassment, when it came to Wayne my naïveté earned me a unique perspective. Though I was fascinated by him, I could confidently say that his unique biological mutation had no direct bearing, as I was, however seemingly miraculously, in entire ignorance of it. Instead, it was what I observed of his character, the reactions of people to it, and how he responded to the collective feedback that made him a curiosity. He used image, persona, but it did not use him. Often he came into the smoking section in gothic cross-dress, and I believe he was a model as well. He embraced duality, reflecting perhaps a hybrid psychology corresponding to his two-in-one package deal.

For my unconscious, perhaps he served as a symbol of hybrid fusion — much like the Trinity-Angela hybridization and evidently much like the minds of Angela and I in our telepathic dreamscape. Much like Angela and I having sex as well.

Even further, then, it may extend to the door with the light. The Matrix element in the dream with Trinity-Angela, especially given the mutual and quite conscious desire for one another that was only expressed later on, may also find association with the line in the movie, spoken by Morpheus: “I can open the door for you, but you have to walk through it.”

In this context, perhaps the open door with light pouring in suggests an open opportunity for enlightenment that would allow me to walk between these rooms or worlds at will through telepathic hacking. A sort of Cheshire Cat.

Which brought me to reflect on the fact that Angela would be my third major telepathic experience in roughly seven months. Breaking tradition with the incidents the previous December and April, however, she was not a toddler and this happened during dreamtime rather than the dining room of the fast food joint where I work and loiter. Why suddenly was I having these telepathic experiences? Was it them, was it me, or was it some strange affinity these kids and Angela shared with me?

Curiosities were to continue ten days later, on July 16th, when I awoke just before noon to write down another dream. My sister Eve had told me that this guy had been calling me, leaving weird messages on my answering machine. As I listen to one message that initially sounds like dead air, I play it back again, hearing two things said in a barely-audible demonic kind of whisper reminiscent of alleged EVP recordings. Playing it back over and over, I finally make it out.

“Creep,” it rasps, and then, after a brief pause, adds in swift speech: “You don’t know incest.”

Even in the dream I was perplexed by the message, as I have never experienced incest nor had I found reason to ever proclaim that I had. Despite these facts, for some reason I could only suspect that the voice-bearer had read something I had posted in my online e-zine. Dark as those writings may be, however, I did not recall having ever had that subject or theme manifest itself.

Though it could perhaps be interpreted as an extremely exaggerated way of my unconscious accusing me of not nurturing my family ties, it could also simply signify something taboo, and accusing me of not knowing it could suggest I do not know what it is like to live with a certain stigma. I toyed with possible interpretations, but the accusation of the voice in the dream still perplexed me.

After writing the dream down I went back to sleep, only to awaken later with another dream to document. From a short distance away I had watched as Angela, clad in her work uniform, ranted to someone about her parents, and I believe she mentioned one of her brothers as well. She said it all as if she was standing up for herself. These were words of passion. Never had she defended herself in real life — certainly never like that.

Afterwards I wondered if the demonic-sounding voice of the person that was “trying to get through to me” in the first dream was some part of Angela, and if the answering machine suggested telepathy. Perhaps the second part of the dream was the message translated as dream material. The fact that I saw her speaking to someone else implies that the message was for me, but not to me.

It was either shortly before or after this dream that I attended the birthday party of a coworker. When Angela and her boyfriend arrived, her and I got talking and she let something slip regarding how her father hits her, and she put her hand to her mouth quickly, as if it was some secret between her and her boyfriend and I was not supposed to hear. Adrenaline shoots through me and before I realized it I’d asked, in reaction, “He hits you?” Then he jumped in, looking at her and saying, “You don’t have to talk about that,” as if she needed to be reminded of her own free will. I apologized and moved on, but it still hung there inside me. They are physically abusing her, too, not merely psychologically abusing her.

She had spoken of her father’s violence to her boyfriend when I was in earshot, and in the dream she seemed to do the exact same thing. It was not overtly directed at me, but meant for me nonetheless. Was the dream some telepathic message from her suggesting their abuse went deeper still, into the arena of the sexual?

Her family seemed populated with psychopaths. My first introduction to her parents came through what I gathered from Angela through our conversations, which despite her ruthless optimism and kind heart painted a picture of two vile monsters. Her brothers routinely stole things from her.

Not only was Angela sensitive, but they knew her every weak spot and probably produced them through their twisted style of parentage to begin with. Her parents would blame her for things she never did and ultimately had gotten her thrown into a juvenile detention center for drugs, though she had never taken them. Right after she had gotten out she had come to work here.

She had a ruthless optimism despite the relentless onslaught of bullshit life rained down upon her. Holding back hell with the strength of a smile was her approach to life, and I often found myself in sweet envy of it. Still, it only made her a volcano. The pressure of her darkness building beneath the door she held down with sheer will. How long could this lovely girl keep this up until she exploded?

Whenever I would look at her, she always seemed to be in motion, like her sole anchor was this kinesthetic distraction. Sometimes she would twitch and even thrash in her sleep. At night, she would wake herself up she spoke to herself in her sleep so loud.

Strangeness bled into her waking life as well. Often she would explain to me how she would just “know things” without knowing how and felt at times that she could manipulate things into happening. The energy around her felt like a furnace, and she had this habit of getting real close up to my face while staring me in the eyes. The energy intensified and often my eyes would ripple like the disturbed surface if a pond. She had what seemed to be telepathic effects on me through both eye contact and the dreamscape, and that kind of capacity, however unconsciously governed, may indeed provide for her an unconventional access to extrasensory data-streams and paranormal puppet strings.

She had frightened her boyfriend during a car ride in which she had proceeded to answer questions he hadn’t asked. Then by freezing in the middle of a sentence and maintains that suspended animation for a time before just turning back on again, picking up right where she had left off and having no conscious recollection of her “lost time.” She then saw a hand waving in front of her face, but when she turned to look at her boyfriend, it was clear that he had not done it.

This sort of thing happened to her all the time, she told me. She recounted how she had once been driving when a car behind her with blaring headlights suddenly “disappeared.” When she was once alone in her house, she found the kitchen on fire. An animal lover, she rustled up all the dogs quickly to get them outside. The fire, it later became clear, was never there at all.

One other experience she would explain to me far later was what she called “the blurs.” This same experience had been happening to me
as well. Later I found out that these were migraine auras. My mother always had them when I was young, but unlike her, Angela and I never got the headaches, only the aura.

Though I did not understand what it was or the neurological affinity it suggested between her and I at the time, she had a severe migraine aura attack on July 22, six days after the answering machine dream and roughly two months before I would have my own first aura experience.

I had come into work four hours early or so to write in the dining room. Soon enough I had learned that Angela was on shift, but she had been feeling incredibly ill. Evidently she was seeing colors and occasionally thought someone was talking to her. I went in the break room in the back to find her sitting down, crying, her head on the table, barely able to speak. She seemed scared out of her mind due to her blurs and in total agony at the same time. She wouldn’t know it was her appendix until her boyfriend took her to the hospital when her parents again refused to the following day.

When the best thing for her seemed to be to just leave her alone, I went out into the dining room to write. It turned out to be one of those days where I seemed fated to have company. More than that, it seemed we had a small, unofficial high school reunion there in the dining room. Melanie came in with her father and two kids and Jamie came in with her baby girl. They sat with me at my booth and through the ensuing conversation I learned that Maddox had a lot of problems and saw his fair share of shrinks. Then they told me they had diagnosed him with ADD during high school and loaded him up on medication.

Suddenly my mind went back to the whole Indigo Children subject, thick as I considered the new age bullshit to be in which its peanut of truth was buried. Was this really what it had all come to suggest to my paranoid mind — were aliens executing a program of slow, cumulative transgenic alteration of certain human bloodlines in which each generation is “tweaked” a bit further towards alien neurology, with the effects showing themselves through earlier onset of childhood development and sexual activation, perceptual anomalies, paranormal effects and distinct behavioral patterns?

Some, such as Angela, tended to be empathic, whereas others — Maddox, the first kid as well as Angela’s parents, as I would soon discover — seemed to be on the polar extreme, exhibiting psychopathy. And it still seemed present in the latest line of transgenic toddlers, and that was a bit discomforting. Was this an unintended side effect of their genetic tinkering, or was it a desired characteristic? Could an empathic go psychopathic or the other way around, or was the wiring fixed?

What bothered me most about the initial child on December 15, 2001 was that the boy seemed to know precisely who he was. If he is more neurologically “them” than I am, perhaps he did not have that duality of consciousness but was born fully integrated.

As I explained all this to Channing, he stopped me, laughed, and said, “You have the Innsmouth Look.”

When it was clear I had no clue what he was talking about, Channing told me to read HP Lovecraft’s novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth. As he explained the story to me it became clear that it seemed to resonate with the theme of The Midwich Cuckoos, though added an important twist that Channing felt to be particularly relevant.

Upon a visit to the town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, in his early twenties, the narrator found worthy inspiration for the wild tales surrounding the local residents. The population of the old, run-down town had flat noses, bulging, unblinking eyes and narrow craniums — an appearance he refers to as the “Innsmouth Look.” Asking around, he comes upon a man who proclaims the residents are actually the immortal hybrid offspring of human beings and a deep sea-dwelling species of amphibious fish-frog creatures called the Deep Ones. After forced to spend the night there, he witnesses the fish-frog creatures and manages to escape the town without issue. He contacts the government, who goes on to conduct a secret investigation into the town.

Upon looking into his ancestry and recalling his relatives, he comes upon disturbing evidence that he is a descendent of Innsmouth, but is unable to cope with the idea. For two years he ignores it, until “disease” strikes him. As he begins to have strange dreams regarding an underwater world, his features also begin to change until one day, upon looking in the mirror, he recognizes himself as having the Innsmouth Look.

That made me think of being a young child and studying my features in the bathroom mirror, trying to pinpoint what seemed out of place. I stood and watched in wonder when I realized that it was my eyes: they were growing larger and growing more slanted. I could not blink, and that brought me to wonder whether it was merely the reflection that had changed or my real face. As a consequence, I reached up a hand to touch the surface of one of my eyes, and it felt rubbery and slick.

I remembered the Goblin Man of my youth and his accusation of somehow being my real father. I remembered scenes of a dead, desert world.

So there I stood at the intersection of Midwich and Innsmouth beneath a street lamp casting an Indigo glow…

Yet if I were indeed one of them, why wouldn’t I know it for sure? The first child, in the very least, seemed to know precisely what he was. Channing suggested that the human ego may just be a masque for the true, alien personality behind the scenes.

That would make the perfect sleeper soldier, he told me, and I thought of that August morning in 1995 when I woke up already awake with fading memories of being amongst the creatures, aware that I was one of them beneath it all.

At this point, the possibility that I was simply going around the bend became the more preferable option for me.

Black-Eyed Rabbit in the Feedback.

If you could not feel the pain when grabbing a hold of a pot of boiling water off the stove with your bare hands, the damage to those hands would surely increase in severity. If you could not hear or sense vibration, you would be unable to tune your guitar. If you could not see or feel the wall you are walking towards, you’d be liable to walk right into it. If you had no reflective surface on hand, shaving, applying make-up and combing hair would increase in difficulty. 

 
We need feedback in order to adjust ourselves. Feedback is ultimately provided by someone or something that serves as a mirror. 
 
Self-awareness is a necessary prerequisite to self control, consciously-directed personal evolution, and educated choices. Only through feedback are we truly the whole of ourselves, and only through feedback are we free in any sense save freedom from ourselves and reality. The more aware we are of ourselves, the less apt we are to contaminate our perceptions with projections. 
 
So there is only gain in striving for greater self-knowledge, right? So long as one can separate the pile of shit from the peanuts of truth, it would seem to be so. 
 
What could constitute the noise with respect to the signal-to-noise ratio in my self-feedback, however? This is an important point to consider. Their allegation, the suggestion of my memories — these could be symbolic, metaphorical, allegorical, literal. They could also be inventions of my own, and by necessity ones that are effectively “unconscious” or “alien” to me, that feeble ego on the other side of the goddamned looking glass. They could also be inventions of some external force. Or they could be literal. 
How the fuck do I tell the difference? How can I learn to separate the signal from the noise? 
 
This could be a trap, this could be psychological suicide, this could be the path to greater understanding. Do I follow this rabbit or give it the finger?