Dangerous Compassions

fungal activism, Gatito, loss

“I believe eating magic mushrooms might have been what caused apes to become humans,” I told Ming.  We were talking about radical mycology.  What is it?

“Oh,” Ming said.

“Didn’t you ever read Terence McKenna?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“Yeah, like the apes ate magic mushrooms and that helped them get language.  They saw things in a new way.”

“Well, why don’t we feed mushrooms to apes now?” Ming asked.

“What?” I asked.

“Give mushrooms to apes now, so they turn into humans.”

“Go ahead!” I said.  “Something tells me they’re not going to like that at the zoo.  Pity the zookeeper!”

We laughed.  “I really don’t understand evolution,” I said.  “But I guess we could give magic mushrooms to all the animals.  We could get bat-humans, bird-humans.  Horse-humans.  Ugh.  Glad it’s not night.  This could give me nightmares.”

We were in Tehachapi headed to Steampunk Cafe for breakfast.  “I love mushrooms,” I said.  “I could become a fungal activist.  I think it’s cool they’re their own thing.  A lot of people think they’re vegetables.”

“A lot of people talk with the mushroom god when they take mushrooms,” I said.  “That would be cool,” I said.  “I would talk with the mushroom god, or listen to her.  But I’m already crazy enough.  Don’t need to be more crazy.”

I reminded him I went through a phase of watching Terence McKenna videos on youtube–people had taken clips from interviews and assembled then into hour and a half long things.

“My favorite quote of his is something like, Nature is speaking to us–this is not a metaphor.”  I ordered a mushroom provolone omelet.  It was filled with a ton of mushrooms, so delicious.

I don’t like personality cults.  I do love people, but worshipping Buddha (who specifically said not to worship him) or Terence McKenna or anyone seems like a painful thing.  I’ve been there.  Those days are over, I hope.

Gatito was crying her cute little cry in my brother’s room, and my mom let her out.  Last night she was attacking my pen, nipping me, and jumped on my back, which scared the crap out of me.  I yelled for Ming to help me, but he was afraid she would dig her claws deeper into me, if he tried to remove her. 

She’s so soft, little, and seems impossibly light.  She weighs nothing at all.  Very pretty but overwhelming to me as I was trying to finish an important letter.

I feel skeptical about letting another being into my heart.  Seems inevitable.  I don’t want pets for a lot of reasons.  Lately I see death everywhere.  Why do anything.  Loss is destroying me. 

I make friends with people who have kids, and it feels like dangerous territory because I’ve done it before, losing the friend so losing the kids who I loved just as deeply.

My friend has a four year old who says my name wonderfully.  Other kids don’t even try or garble it.  This kid is amazing.  He sees death everywhere too.  Ming said at vacation bible school they were talking about hotels, one day, the kid saw death in every room.  Not sure why–one of their dogs died, but it was a while ago.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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