I am 31. The day after being the subject in a lengthy, complicated resection, I experience the cryptic process of death, finalizing in me waking up in my old, partial body. I am forced to to navigate myself through several worlds on my way back to join you all on this plane, but man, I see some shit along the way.
In the first hallunimation, I am flying around Mark’s old bedroom as a teenager, with no control over my movements. My aunt Mary is crying under the belief that I have crossed over to the dark side, and she is screaming, “The future is a banana and he’s inside this building.” At this point, I move on, either purposefully or because this particular world has run out. The materialization happens so quickly that there’s no real way to tell.
In another, I am still flying, this time around a college parking lot, unable to touch down because of the wind. I keep trying to slow down and steer myself using my foot as a rudder but it is not functioning adequately. Myself and Mark, who is also flying, although with much better control, are trying to decide what to do on this Tuesday. Our important diplomas arrived that day, not that we cared. As I fly, I am listening to other people in the parking lot, but my erratic movements make it difficult to eavesdrop. I catch James Thorburn speaking to his mother, the passenger in his car. “Sure a Ford Focus owner would give half its passenger door away to get to park next to a Cube,” he says. The hierarchy of vehicle models is obvious to us all. He continues, “Why are so many Ford Focuses next to Cubes here?” His mother replies, “Bill Smith just bought a Cube, so it could be his.” This presents itself as the funniest thing I have ever heard, and I try to slow down to repeat the line to Mark, but I’m not having much luck with that. As I survey the scene I notice there are a number of Focuses parked next to Cubes. I hear a few different drivers having the same conversation with their respective passengers about Ford Focuses, Cubes and my father’s recent purchase.
Death is so crazy and funny, but sure is a lot scary too. At least considering the circumstance and the feelings surrounding them, I assume this was a death. It is the closest I have ever come to remembering most of what happens immediately before the end. The hallunimations continue.
A black prisoner, wearing an olive jumpsuit and dreads like Sideshow Bob, is lazily swinging on a half decrepit swing set. The shadowy view is from the ground behind, where only the swinger can really be seen. Each time he comes back around the chains make a loud crashing noise. The pusher is a deranged older white man, smiling maniacally. He is crouched down, proud of himself that he’s doing the pushing.
[Hallucinator’s note: The above scene has a similar tone as the Clint Eastwood video. Also, I would like someone, possibly me, to create a still image of the view, mid-swing, but with the sound of the chains crashing kept on a five second loop.]
Zooming in to a high resolution view from the subway, a Rihanna-like cowgirl is leaning against the descending stairs with an immense, wisdom-filled and wisdom toothless smile. The train peels away, but the perspective remains the same, except the camera shows movement through the subway car windows. At one of the frame changes, the girl disappears.
Kenny Sharpe is in the arcade. He keeps winding up to throw a ski ball, but because he doesn’t want to make too much noise, he never actually throws the ball.
A woman resembling Rosemary is wearing a headset, hiding in a tree. She notices that I spot her, although she doesn’t mind. She’s producing a television show and needs a better view of the scene below.
Science professor Forsey becomes a graduated cylinder, contracting and expanding with the liquid inside him. His smile is constantly altered, and one plane of his body, the vertical, disappears.
Jennah is etching Mad Gabs onto tombstones.
A young girl is complaining because no one notices her. She shows us photographs that she’s in and it turns out she has an opacity of approximately 3%.
Five large women in an improv troupe are tasked with creating a wall out of themselves. They do a surprisingly good job, considering how hard a human wall is to set up, with none of them arranged in spatial efficiency.
There is a photograph of a naked Kenyan and his seven-year-old daughter. He is dejected in the mostly empty room, with his hands tied loosely to the ceiling. Her head rests on his stomach and she is crying.
There are two different versions of Dave Bridger in my room, each finally noticing his counterpart. Neither lumberjack, bearded Dave nor clean shaven, ???? Dave thinks the presence of the other Dave is that big of a deal.
“I keep my gun in my (man) bun”, a lyric from a very popular song, is sung repeatedly, hooky and catchy and ahead of its time.
Someone asks Kelly if she wants a red curry taco. She accepts, but says it tastes like potato salad.
A red flower growing in size by adding on different geometric shapes is creating the universe.
The scenes extend in length.
I’m a witness to an alternate ending to the film “Christine”. Michael C. Hall takes Christine to a Florida college sports match. She’s upset that the city has to pay for stadiums to be built, instead of the teams and its fans, so she gives Tottenham a $50 bill. Hall is distressed because he wants Sarasota to get more money, so he starts putting a competing $50 in their donation box next to the bathrooms. However, Christine works to prevent this. There’s a struggle, and one of them pulls out a gun. A shot is heard, and she ends up dead on top of him. He screams and tries to get up, but in order to do so he must pull the gun out through a tiny hole made in the wall. He yanks vigorously, repeatedly, enough to hurt his hand, eventually damaging his nose as well. I come to in the hospital, having pulled out the actual tube from my nose. Although I quickly realize this should not have been done, I’m unable to convey this to anyone who could help.
I imagine a Kelly next to me. I’ll make a little acknowledgement about the situation as I perceive it, sometimes including a distinct hand movement. I catch myself admitting to her that I’m stealing. I fall away, then come back to hallucinate, and repeat. We’re listening to Eddie Pepitone on WTF. HalluciKelly gives me a look like, “This guy is insane, but not funny.” I don’t find it that bad but I turn it off for her anyway.
Toast is kind of missing. He isn’t with us but he’s been detected around the neighbourhood. A busy scene is unfolding, featuring big dogs, a family of raccoons, a rabid cat, other strays & large animals, and people. It’s acknowledged that there is danger in the area, so there is constant scrambling, as everyone works to get back to their own safe space. At the top of a random swing set tower is where it happens. A maaaassive raccoon has taken Toast as a hostage. I silently communicate to another helper that my dog is in danger, and he manages to free Toast and toss him down to me. I catch him just as I am attacked by a panther. I wake up hours later at home. Toast is definitely missing now. The attack has left me battered, but for some reason I am not taken to a hospital. There is a crowd of humans around, some who think I’m half faking my injuries, although I’m not sure how it could look like that. I’m getting knocked around, with people repeatedly asking me what time it is, where’s Toast, where am I. I recall a flash of something before the sizable cat got me. A woman left her contact details on a spreadsheet and would know where Toast was. We’re all happy and try to get in touch with her. When she is found, I dance with her in a circle of friends, which includes Jon and Jess Montes. I collapse, and Erin, under the impression I’m faking it, goes, “but he doesn’t need to go that far with it.” A doctor who’s also there replies, “Yes he does. He’s not breathing anymore.” I’m dead. I come to in the hospital, connected to tubes, only wishing I was.
Danny Aylward tells me a story about how he was completely broke but took his last money to fly to Calgary to find this guy he had a feud with for years in order to fight him. He ran into the guy in a bar and they went at it. Danny had the upper hand, but then a huge guy jumped in and started hitting both of them, so they ganged up against him. In the end, they wound up half tolerating each other.
Everyone is very relaxed in the bed room. Meg is under the bed, Dad is on top of it, and Hogan is hanging over the edge, very relaxed. Occasionally a random butt floats by in the darkness. Kelly got me to come in the room in the first place by pointing this out.
Kelly is driving our friend’s bus in a small town in Newfoundland. The road collapses and there are accidents everywhere. She goes against all advice and drives directly into a mirage, which happens to be a sunny spot with a diner. I am prepared to be crushed at any point. A gay server lifts me up going, “We made it! We made it!” but then immediately changes his exclamation to “Ahh shit!” apparently because I vomited on him, knocking him to the floor. I end up on the grass outside, feeling dizzy, feeling like shit, and now the restaurant is closed. Then I come back.
Near a lodge in which I’d spent time in a previous mountain dream, there is a section of the city where most of the black people live. They transform the neighbourhood into an elaborate and mesmerizing show every year, without being able to enjoy it as spectators, because many costumes render them unable to see. Their version of Hallowe’en and Christmas is combined into one event, and everyone participates. This year they have all dressed as atoms and molecules that can attach and detach as necessary. The flow is uncontrolled and haphazard, although when certain colour molecules combine they become “power sections” which contain more energy. Visitors from outside regions come to watch them show, although they’re unable to see inside the costumes, since a layer of cell wall is always there as a fun protector.
[Hallucinator’s note: It doesn’t matter, but the colours of the molecules were either red, black, white, blue, yellow or white.
There is a clip of Virgil in the early 1990s doing his “running hammer line” move, a flying elbow into a group of seven or eight wrestlers. They all get knocked out, and he has sex with their girlfriends before he pins the guys. A documentary video describes how useless the move truly was, how it never made sense and wasn’t approved by Vince. However, the other wrestlers eventually concede that maybe the move actually did work somehow, at least psychologically.
Mr. Rosso is my night orderly but is terrible at his job. He forgets to cap my drain and so bile pours out of me. He stops in his tracks, then looks at me with a “ta-da” face, crossing his arms confidently, expecting a positive reaction, which he does not get.
[Hallucinator’s note: The bile-spilling-out part eerily coincided with what my body was going through. It was trying to tell me something, but I couldn’t grasp it enough to help myself. I periodically quote a Mr. Rosso line in my real life, something about how if going to a dance is the worst part of your life I’d say you have a pretty good life. I like to think it keeps me grounded, but really I just enjoy trying out my Dave Allen impression where he kind of sounds like Droopy.]
Letterman’s Top Ten List consists of ten different playing cards, each containing a different affiliate + owner + enigmatic tagline. The seven of clubs, for example, is “Harold Rollins from NBC in Sacramento thinks that there’s no way in, and no way out.”
Jon Daly is in the opposite twin bed from the attractive but annoying sister of the studio manager. She’s an asshole but he kind of likes that and keeps trying to sleep with her.
I see screens of poker games where I recognize my addiction and attempt to deposit money to play.
There is a close up of Danny Devito at the Big Bite drive-though window, doing troll foot, yelling, “I need a pizza!” Me and a bunch of my friends throughout the years are all inside. Most people’s clones are there as well, with the doubles either jokingly making their counterparts redundant, or barely noticing their doppelgänger. Penney jokes that I’m not really in Big Bite and I’m actually lying down in a hospital bed, and it turns out she’s right.
I’m fifteen again. After a crazy day, we’re all getting ready to go to a party, by picking up beers, calling our friends. There is excitement in the air, with hundreds of people all preparing for a fun night. We meet a group of our buddies at the party and go up to say hi. No one speaks, but we communicate by flicking our heads and pointing them around. I’m aware I have this surgery the next day, but I still do whatever I want this night. I enter the hallucinatory room. There’s still no talking but this time everyone gestures primarily to indicate low gravity. Instead of snapping out of it to write, I choose to watch. Good night again.
Peter and I are outside a bar on George Street, having just arrived by horse. The street is packed, we can’t get in, but he is happy to wait on the bench outside. I’m fine with it, but instead of sitting I float off the ground, up to about thirty feet. Some people cheer, commending what they believe is a party trick. I try to relax completely but my body won’t let me.
I can fly again, this time outside a friend’s house where we’re priming for the night. I’m unable to return to this plane, even if I slam into walls. I accept my fate and fill up on food and drink platters.
I come back, possibly for real. I did it, I made it through the madness, through the chowse, and now I’m alive. Unless this is just one of the many afterlife dimensions, which I will willingly accept.
[Hallucinator’s partially-redundant postamble: After my initial surgery, which successfully removed my gastrointestinal tumour and my stomach, I become quite ill for a couple of days, later determined to be caused by a leaky gall bladder, which led to me hallucinating for around 36 straight hours. I become so accustomed to the visions that I manage to write down a lot of what I see immediately after it happens, fighting the upcoming apparitions in order to type the previous scene. Unfortunately, with the excitement of managing the constant apparitions, I neglect to relay to my doctors what I’m experiencing.
Once it’s time for you to go, you must first actively accept death, this iteration anyway. When you finally welcome the end, you will see flashes of a trillion screens, in what is a combination of the Price is Right wheel and Ozzie Smith portal. If you focus on any of the screens, you get stuck in that world, and this can go on forever if you’re not careful. True acceptance comes in refusing to focus, and so the flashes fly past until you come back to where you were, in my case a hospital bed, hooked up to tubes, unable to move. You is I, but it could also be you.]