Citation: Tragic Fool. "Of Mango Juice and Famous Folk: An Experience with LSD (exp73122)". Erowid.org. Nov 17, 2016. erowid.org/exp/73122
It was time again. Every couple of years Tom felt, he would tell his closest friends, 'acid calling'. Wondering whether these intuitions were the product of self-hypnosis/delusion or just some cultural hippie norm he had picked up subconsciously, he got into the car with with two of his traveling companions to drive a few hundred miles to a contact of theirs. Being of the persuasion, that there are essentially two kinds of acid, the acid approaching purity produced with a lot of care and the mediocre nonsense that he had found to be of less worth than the piece of cardboard it had been dropped onto, he didn't care as to whether this belief was factually true or not. He just found that procuring a bottle of Acid in an alcohol solution from a specific contact was 'appropriate in effect' for the circle he found himself experimenting with in that time. Better in subjective experience than the blotters and sugar cubes even after an expert had maintained 'acid is acid, man... it either works or it doesn't'. It was a pilgrimage to procure the bottle, with battles and problems that had to be confronted or laid aside along the whole route: traffic jams, stormy weather, route changes and adjustments as well as no place to stay at their destination. All this trouble and stress to procure a little bottle of madness juice.
On the journey back home the three of them had decided to visit a botanical garden that was displaying a rare carnivorous plant in bloom. As Julia was a plant person, this stop was mandatory and the botanical garden was rewarding and what Andy liked to call 'authentifying'. At the entrance however, the group was told that the flower had just fallen. The bloom lasting only around two to three days, the plant's flower had finally given way to gravity about an hour before the arrival of the returning pilgrims. 'It's clear what happened here... the acid did that' was Andy's response 'It dissolves everything, even this monster flower at a distance, so when we approached with the bottle...'. The day was one of those breezy summer days and the botanical park around the greenhouses was filled with strong old trees; the kind that have character and beards of moss that are softer than mattresses when they aren't too wet or too dry. The place was relaxed, beautiful, and quiet enough to tolerate a session on the part of this group and so a toast was made to the security guards; their ability to stay out of sight was a skill that the so-called guardians, protectors and police people of our society could learn from. Tom hoped that no 'hooligan druggies' would ever find this place to necessitate more security and trash cans and coke machines and fast food stalls and that kind of what he considered to be consumerist crap spoiling nature's performance.
Only 20 minutes after a glass of Mango juice with 2 drops out of the bottle, Tom found himself wrestling with the day's first issue. In his late twenties, a part of himself had always thought his career would pick-up sooner and was hurting him. An impatience was brewing inside of him with all the compromises he had made and all the concessions his art had to suffer in the process. Instead of studying music and working for diplomas in teaching, he felt he should've just went for it and become a full time singer-songwriter. He blamed himself for being a typical hypocrite coward to walk the 'safe route'. Then the mp3 player jumped to his Playlist with songs by Charles Ives for piano and voice. The turning point in this episode was remembering that Ives had actually become an insurance executive instead of trying to live of his music. The reason for this was simple: Ives didn't want to be in a situation wherein he was forced to sell his baskets. Instead, he made money in business and bought his own freedom along with helping many young composers feed themselves and live. When he was free in this sense, he was able to write the most original, experimental, and courageously beautiful songs. He was not the bitch of any audience or crowd and he didn't have to accept pay from idiots that knew less about music than children know intuitively.
Beauty to Ives was not simply prettiness, sweetness, darkness, coolness or any other limiting aesthetic criteria and it certainly could not be adequately grasped by language. But most of all it was something that we don't really know.
Tom had always felt jealous about not being popular enough or people not recognizing his passion and had thought that success in a commercial and career sense was something admirable and something absent from his life. Acid on that particular day changed that negative emotion. Instead of successful singer-songwriters and famous bands and musicians deemed to be excellent, he saw a bunch of empty idol worship. After all, Pavlovian research had shown 100 years ago that all that is needed to like a song is repetition and 'getting used to it'. People can be hypnotized to like any crap as long as you repeat it often enough; just look at how people vote or believe the news that they see on the net or on TV. The problem here to Tom is overly reductive thinking: when people reduce themselves to liking certain styles, or genres and keep rationalizing that with 'everybody's taste is different, you can't argue about taste' and that 'this music/band is part of my personality' they deceive themselves in that they think they know what it is they want or seek. At this very moment, Tom felt, a person goes blind. What they perceive to be openness for a style, an artwork, a book, or a music is inversely the closed-mindedness towards everything else. A truer openness is constantly shifting, probing, fluid, and at the same time strong, with integrity. An open aesthetic person makes bad aesthetic judgments and adjusts accordingly. Beauty and truth not as some formula that you know and that is part of your style; but as a wild animal that requires a lot of chasing after, a lot of seeking, a lot of questioning, purifying and readjusting of your methods and strategies.
For the first time in a long time, Tom felt happy about choosing the Ivesian route or at least he believed his own lie without cynicism. Hollywood and signed bands are for the masses to which he said goodbye and spoke a chant ending in something like: 'I love you guys, but I know better than to open my mouth when you don't want to listen and for this reason my stage, music, creativity is reserved for my loved ones. There is nothing I want nor care to prove to strangers.' To Tom, in his delusional intoxicated state, the mango juice had removed a huge weight and with his mischievous grin he said he was gonna make some serious cash and become as fucked-up as everybody else. His next toast went to Ives.
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