Laura and I ate mushrooms a few weekends ago. We walked all the way from my fortified compound on the Oakland-Berkeley line to the Berkeley Rose Garden. I have no idea how long it took because we left our phones at home and had no sense of time anyway. We just walked up Euclid Avenue and cut through little side streets if they looked nice or had a lot of flowers on them. As we neared the Rose Garden itself, we found a massive circular field just off the road a bit. Laura said it looked like a UFO could land there. I can’t describe the scale . . . it was football-field size, and perfectly round. We stepped inside and were encircled by many tall trees. We started running till we reached the center of the field. It felt very good to run. We were laughing and chasing each other around. I looked up at the stars. My pupils were dilated—were big black zeroes. It made the stars brighter. I watched them flicker. I saw airplanes rocketing across the sky. Everything was perfectly silent up there. I told Laura I could see the curvature of the planet, and a sort of grid overlaid across space. She said she saw it too. I couldn’t stop looking at the stars. I wanted to sail through them. I was filled with so much energy so I started running around the circumference of the field as fast as I could. It was a good feeling. My eyes were pointed toward the stars. I started crying. I couldn’t believe how beautiful they were. I returned to Laura and, out of breath, said, “I love stars so much!” We made our way to the dark rim of the field, far away from the street. There was an opening in the trees . . . a sort of archway of branches. We stood in the darkness and gazed back out at the starry field. The sky was this deep dark purple, which is my favorite color. I asked Laura if the sky was purple for her too, and she said for her it was a deep dark blue. The sky was my favorite color because subconsciously I wanted it to be. I wanted to be in a purple world filled with stars. “I love purple,” I said. My vision pulsed that same dark purple when I said that. I kept saying the word. Every time I said it, the world turned more purple. “Everything is purple!” I put my hands on Laura’s shoulders. “Laura, everything is purple.” It was so beautiful seeing the stars dotted along that deep dark purple. The sky looked so peaceful. It looked like a petri dish of life, even though it was just a bunch of burning plasma spheres. I had tears rolling down my face. My two favorite things were harmonizing above me in a million miles in every direction.

We went into the forest together and made our way through the darkness— through several winding paths in the woods and across a playground and into a tunnel till we reached the Rose Garden. Mostly we talked about our friendship and how much we love each other. It was a good night. I love you, Laura. Thanks for coming with me.