Mary Shelley wrote of Percy Shelley’s doppelgänger, which he and another woman had encountered just before his death:

. . . talking it over the next morning he told me that he had had many visions lately — he had seen the figure of himself which met him as he walked on the terrace and said to him — “How long do you mean to be content” — No very terrific words & certainly not prophetic of what has occurred. But Shelley had often seen these figures when ill; but the strangest thing is that Mrs. Williams saw him. Now Jane, though a woman of sensibility, has not much imagination & is not in the slightest degree nervous — neither in dreams or otherwise. She was standing one day, the day before I was taken ill, [June 15] at a window that looked on the Terrace with Trelawny — it was day — she saw as she thought Shelley pass by the window, as he often was then, without a coat or jacket — he passed again — now as he passed both times the same way — and as from the side towards which he went each time there was no way to get back except past the window again (except over a wall twenty feet from the ground) she was struck at seeing him pass twice thus & looked out & seeing him no more she cried — “Good God can Shelley have leapt from the wall?…. Where can he be gone?” Shelley, said Trelawny — “No Shelley has past — What do you mean?” Trelawny says that she trembled exceedingly when she heard this & it proved indeed that Shelley had never been on the terrace & was far off at the time she saw him.

My friend Cera is visiting Berlin. Cera is from Vancouver, the Canadian one, and I’ve known her for nearly decade . . . but we did not meet in person until last October when I was in LA:

. . . and again when I was there in December for Secret Reasons:

And now, hey presto, here she is in Berlin. Yesterday we went to Babylon Theater to see NOSFERATU with a live orchestra. And to celebrate 4/20, we both popped a nice and gentle 5mg gummy during the opening credits. Wow! It was an amazing thing to behold, to have a whole host of musicians not twenty feet away from us the entire time, and the whole thing certainly elevated to some upper echelon on account of the good stuff juicing through us. When the credits rolled and the lights came on, everyone clapped for the orchestra for a solid five minutes, and then Cera and I bolted for the door.

Back outside, we stood beneath the lights of the marquee and wondered at it all. Too bad it was cold as hell last night . . . the warm spring weather we’d had ended the day Cera got here. It even hailed one day last week. But no matter, we ZIPPED UP and headed to Kottbusser Tor, The Filth Zone, to visit my old friends at Fahimi, where we were treated like royalty and given fancy cocktails. I don’t know anything about cocktails on account of I’m a huge uncultured idiot, but I drank what was given to me, and it was very good indeed.

Afterwards I walked Cera back to her friend’s place in Kreuzberg, not far from where I lived in 2019 and 2020, just before the pandemic hit. I had not been to that particular part of Kreuzberg in some time, and after I’d hugged her and said goodbye, I walked around for a little bit and felt a sort of sadness at that. It really was a different time is all, not so long ago but also a long time ago . . . and so much darkness had come between me and the time I had spent there. The wind was cold and I was alone on the street just then. Everything felt unfamiliar and a little sinister. I shivered and turned up my fur collar and headed towards the U7 train which would take me home.

in a cartoonish way this is what being alive feels like to me lol

For fifteen years, whenever I had a nightmare, or Dante had a nightmare, we could wake each other from them. They say cats have extrasensory abilities, or some such thing, and I believe it . . . I’ve seen evidence of it my whole life. You know, like cats can sense ghosts and impending earthquakes, and can tell if you’re sick or sad, and will come to you when they sense this. Once, when I had strep throat and was the sickest I’d ever been in my life, Dante stayed by my side for all eight days of it:

There were countless times I cried alone in the dark in my bedroom, and Dante would push my door open and come sit beside me. Leila said he did the same thing when she was crying in my bed when I was at work. I’m tearing up now just thinking about it. Dante was such a sweet cat.

And now I don’t have Dante to come and sit quietly beside me when I’m sadder than hell, and look up to me with love even though he couldn’t fully understand the complexity of what was happening, and all the better for it. This was such a comfort to me. These days I have nightmares pretty much every night, and I wake up in fright. So real are my nightmares that it takes me an hour after I wake to fully divorce them from reality. I didn’t have to deal with this when Dante was still alive, because he saved me from them. And similarly when I heard Dante making little sounds in his sleep, and twitching his face because he was having a bad dream, I would gently shake him and call his name until he woke up.

How did Dante know I was having a nightmare? I guess it was just one of those extrasensory cat abilities, and his being attuned to my moods and demeanors. Now I wake from a nightmare into a different one . . . an empty apartment where he isn’t sitting on my chest and gently pawing at my face so I won’t feel scared anymore. Every day was a good day when I got to wake up to Dante. What is my life now? Endless nightmares with no one to pull me out again.

Last night I imbibed six mescaline capsules, which is three times as many as I had a few weeks ago, thinking it would utterly launch me into the stratosphere. I took them around nine pm and waited for the come up, and it took quite a while . . . nearly two hours by my reckoning, which a random guy on Reddit assured inquiring minds such as my own that this was Totally Normal. With any hallucinogen, no matter what it may be, it’s always a bit of a mystery when it will affect you and in what way, which you might say is one of the many fun parts about the whole thing.

Before downing the cactus capsules I had taken a shower and shaved as though I were going on a date. I wanted to feel clean for the long strange trip. And so as the sacred dust worked its way through my broken tired world weary body, I lay on my couch in my pajamas, my skin still warm and my hair still damp from the shower, with headphones on and an album playing on my TV, which had been recommended to me by my friend Monty. We had listened to this same album on my birthday in New York City when we were cruising through Starlight Central on MDMA I had got some time ago in San Francisco. This particular album was comforting and built up slowly, and I thought that I needed something like that just then.

NEW AGE OF EARTH is the perfect thing to put on when you’re alone and waiting to ascend for a meeting with benevolent Lord Cactus, as I was. By the time I got to Nightdust, the 22-minute long song that caps off the album, I had drunk three cups of tea and about a liter of water, and had done many pull-ups and had stood outside on my balcony looking down at the lighted windows of my neighbors’ cozy little apartments. It was warm outside with a little breeze, and so I figured I ought to suit up and go for a walk through my neighborhood.

I remember the first time I ever did mushrooms, 16 years ago now, my friends and I sat inside a basement listening to music and waiting for whatever was going to happen to happen, and use having absolutely no idea what that might be. And once we started hallucinating, we decided to go outside into the summer night. I remember this intense distinction of Inside World and Outside World. Walking in and out of a house felt like teleporting to a completely different environment with its own unique properties. There was the safety and consistency of Inside World, whereas Outside World felt like an adventure whichever direction you took, and possibly danger too.

And so saying, I knew last night that I had to see Outside World for a while. It was 63 degrees out, but I wore two layers anyway on account of the peyote making me feel slightly cold. I walked through many of the parks in close proximity to my house, and it hit me then how twisted I was. The strangest sensation was that I felt 15 feet tall and among other giants. Mostly everything else had a sort of mushroomy feel, more so than acid. I dug it. . . .

In Kleistpark I saw teenagers huddling together in the grass or beneath old columns, smoking rolled cigarettes and looking at their phones, and music playing from a little speakers. It made me feel vaguely lonely that I didn’t have any sort of group to go to then.

A long time ago now, when my cousin Jack and I drove all the way Los Angeles on a bust writing assignment, we did mushrooms at 2 am on Santa Monica beach, crossing under the pier and the rainbow ferris wheel into Venice Beach, where we lay down on the sand by the shoreline and watched the pink sky and listened to the ocean. Heading back up to Ocean Boulevard, I spotted five or six people sitting around a bonfire in the sand. I approached them and asked how they were doing, and they didn’t treat me strangely at all. We talked for a little while, and then I said good night and walked with Jack to a nearby park where we befriended another group of strangers. You would be surprised how friendly people can be at night, I suspect because to be out that late, it’s usually intentionally. And so Night People are alike in that way.

It’s like the fella said:

I know the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.

Back in the Here and Now, I was stoned to the bone on mescaline, and I felt that same sort of night loneliness that I frequently feel when back on planet earth, probably more times than I could possibly count. However, I endeavored to swerve from the nightmare path that leads to the Dark World, which would have taken me all the way down, such was the fragility of my altered mind. I thought instead of how nice a night it was, and how I was excited to eventually end up back in my warm apartment where I could listen to music and watch movies till the sun came up. I passed through the dimly-lit park and through the wrought-iron gate in the direction of home.

Back in my fortified tower in beautiful Schöneberg, I washed my face and brushed my teeth. I saw that my neighbor Isabel had texted me back from earlier, and I asked her if she wanted a gummy. She said yes, and so I went one floor down to give it to her. She invited me inside and said she had to meet her friend at our U-Bahn station, and I asked if I could come along. And so we went back out again and met her friend Lea halfway. She immediately hugged me and offered me a sip of her beer, which of course I took. I ended up hanging out with them in Isabel’s apartment till four AM. They were very sweet to me and it made me feel less lonely.

Eventually I went back upstairs to my starry purple apartment and peeled off my jeans and put on my pajamas again. I made tea and lit incense and lay down on my back on the floor. I wished that I had plants I could water, and thought that the first thing I will do this week is to get plants to put all over my house. I thought also that it was essential I get a lot of cacti, now that we were such good friends. I felt that so strongly that I have no choice but to follow through on this, lest I disappoint almighty Lord Cactus.

Did I, like my friend Monty instructed, become one with cactus? I do not think I have yet glimpsed Cactus Empyrean as Dante and Beatrix did . . .

. . . but I reckon I can advance further to it by adding a few more capsules. For now I have to let my brain reset, such is case with all hallucinogens. And a few weeks from now when I have got low on all the chemicals in me, I will once again dial the number of King Cactus, Lord Castus—my brother, my captain, my king—and kneel at the foot of his spined throne, seeking wisdom. I can’t wait!


Every night my sister takes her dog on a loop around our beautiful neighborhood, and sometimes I go with them. She took this the other night as we were walking down the long path which connects the cathedral to the nearby fountain, which they uncovered and turned on a few weeks ago now that it’s warm again here. Everyone was out walking their dogs and drinking beer and playing ping pong in the park. I love it . . .

i don’t think i’ve ever posted a meme on my website before, mostly because i don’t like them, but monty sent me this today and . . . damn lol