Note: Some names and people have been changed for personal reasons.
Einstein once said that we should learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow. But what if you don’t have hope for tomorrow? What if you don’t have any hope at all?
I wanted to die in the beginning of the year, but unknowingly I was already dead in many ways.
The cause of my death was not due to the many wounds that had been inflicted upon myself months and years prior. It was not caused by those wounds or the blood that they continuously drew which made a mess but did not drain any of the life from within me.
Rather, it was caused by my heart giving up and never desiring to feel anything again.
Having met man throughout my life as I always wanted, I was appalled to see the things which I did not want to see. It is often said that seeing is believing and what I began to see was not something I wanted to believe.
If I saw, I would believe, and if I did, as I did, it would leave me with a peculiar perception: a perception that would make it hard to focus on anything but the ignorant and deliberate evil I observed of those around me and around earth.
I know otherwise now and I know not to focus solely on those things, but I cannot say that I did in my previous life.
If my mind was a stage with actors at that time, performing through a scene, they were all disoriented and depressed. None of them wanted to act or live anymore.
Having been beaten, bullied, and sexually abused throughout different or simultaneous points of my previous life, and having known the same of others I loved, I had seen way more of man than I ever wanted to see. As soon as a week prior to January I had also been kneed in the spine and roughed up during a fierce domestic incident. I did not understand that incident and I did not understand much for that matter.
Seeing did let me believe and I didn’t want to believe anything. I particularly didn’t want to believe in the binding of evil and the verbal and physical curses of those who bore its obedience, or rather, those who adored its obedience.
There was nothing I wanted to see plagued by this evil so I decided that I would see nothing instead.
During my time with psychedelics in December and prior, I had been able to look up beyond it all as one looks up beyond the horizon to the stars. No matter what blood lined the lands and rivers of earth, the stars above would be clear and clean as they had always been.
My experiences with psychedelics were not akin to the escaping of reality I have deliberated in the past with drinking, marijuana, and porn, but rather, they gave me a new perspective and feeling of transcendence similar to the one that might be experienced when looking at the stars and realizing that your own body began as a star, that you too make up a piece of the universe, and that everything is on the right path: always. Not that you are small and insignificant as an individual, or as a “wave in an ocean,” but that you are great and shine bright as every other star in the sky.
However, even with my spiritual use of psychedelics, I gave them up due to the personal opinions of two people dear to me. Along with putting off mushrooms and loaning all of my remaining doses to my landlord, not knowing if they would ever be in stock before I left Maine, I also ceased indulgences I would have allowed myself prior.
Ceasing the indulgences that I used to escape reality made everything become starker than it had ever been for me before.
It pulled the lines down from the constellations and the connections I would wonder about, and all that could be, and they wrapped around my legs as I walked aimlessly into entanglement.
Along the way there were only lines to trip over, the blinding sun of day, and the complete darkness of night. If I wasn’t blinded by light, I was given none. There were no more stars and I became tangled in lines trying to connect dots light years apart. I was no longer wondering about what there could be, but instead I was stuck in the things that I didn’t want there to be.
Without being able to escape reality, my next and illogical step was to denounce it and to leave it without having to see or accept any part of it.
It certainly wasn’t the addition or subtraction of psychedelics that made me feel this way. I had been suicidal my entire life, and even though I attempted to scoff at the idea that I would ever would do it in a piece I wrote on January 1st; it was a forced scoff which I tremendously hoped was not forced.
At the time I was writing that piece I felt more alone than ever before, in the state of Maine, a place I moved to months prior instead of starting my senior year of high school in a home and a city I too felt alone in.
If there was a tomorrow to my existence it was moving out of Maine at the end of January which I had decided since the middle of December. If there was a tomorrow, it would be driving down to Fairfax, VA, visiting for a week, and then continuing my journey south to Georgia.
It’s odd, but none of those planned “tomorrow” events had any connection to what I was seeing or where I was going in the beginning of January. I was extremely sad and not even the food I owned seemed to have any connection to my body and my life. I was eating very little, at times a bagel or a bowl of cereal a day.
Sometimes it was less, which is not something I am proud of.
My body was starving, it was dying from hunger, but there was also no appetite for food. And my mind was starving, it was dying from the hunger to live, but there was no appetite for it either.
Using $250 I had asked my mom for (to use for gas on my upcoming drive to Fairfax), I bought Bitcoins for online Blackjack gambling. That isn’t to say that I decided I would gamble with those funds before asking for them, but it did happen within 24 hours of the deposit.
My desire to gamble came in part from wanting to have money for food, car insurance, and my phone bill for upcoming months. I also was under the impression that I wouldn’t have enough. But it would turn out that I was mistaken about that.
My desire to gamble also came from wanting to indulge in something that would fill my emptiness.
Which is always problematic, engaging in any activity because of such a desire, not knowing what it is being fixed or filled.
On January 8th, my Bitcoins arrived through Coinbase. And at the Downtown Portland Planet Fitness, in a massage chair, I gambled away $110 in less than a few minutes. I went home after that, still giving seemingly no shits in my playing manner, and turned my remaining $140 into $600.
That night, throughout the gambling process, I sent a friend a video in which I doubled about $250 to $500 in ten minutes. During the rendering of that video which took half an hour, I also turned roughly $30 worth of Bitcoins into $298.4’s worth.
Then I sent him a text letting him know within the next two weeks I would lose it all. He advised me to sell my Bitcoins for cash, through Coinbase where I bought them from, and I responded that wouldn’t happen because I am a dirty greedy gambler.
Sitting on a 240% gain meant nothing to me at that time. It wasn’t enough. I didn’t know what I had set out to gain, so there was no ceiling. I was throwing gains into a blackhole that could never be filled.
The next day I woke up early and with half an hour before needing to leave for work, I took $600 to $1,100. With me still not giving a single shit, I proceeded to lose $1,040 in less than two minutes.
To put that into perspective for you, the highest monetary balance I have ever had was $1,800 a year or two prior. To put that into perspective for you, my average two week check came in at about $550–650. To put that into perspective for you, I essentially did not cash in a playing sum that went from $140 to $1,100.
The reality of that situation was that I threw away three weeks of work which I had earned within a combined total of about three hours.
I walked over to my mattress pad and fell on half of it, and half on the floor. Dress shirt and slacks, arms splayed out, legs dead, veins feeling as if blood had been replaced by hot and dirty engine oil.
A lot of shits entered my body during that moment and because of it I felt like literal shit. I might as well have been a big pile of shit in that instant.
At the time, I certainly wasn’t able to tell the difference.
I thought that the one thing I would have done with the money was visit my hometown in Virginia or someone from Pennsylvania I had met online; and with the rest of it I would have paid off a big chunk of a debt I owed. I thought that I would have gotten a haircut which I had not been able to afford for months. And most of all, I thought that I was the biggest idiot in the world.
I kept thinking but got up and went to work. My manager there was complaining about his back which was giving him pain, as well as the expensive doctor visits he needed.
I told him he should be glad he didn’t lose $1,000 that morning and told him, laughingly, about my gambling.
Later when I came back from lunch he asked me how it went and I told him I lost the rest of my $60, surprised he knew exactly what I went to do during “lunch time.”
The last time I gambled, many months prior to January, I had taken $14 to $140 within a combined seven hours or so. I lost all of it within a few minutes as well. Prior to that, it was the 1,700% increase of an amount less than a dollar that a friend and I started out with.
So without an appetite for anything I did something on January 11th I had never decided before: taking my life.
I knew that by the time I would carry out my plan I would not be motivated to leave an explanation for those that might want to know why I did what I did. So I wrote my note as soon as I made my decision:
January 11th 8:18 PM, Starbucks on Commercial Street:
I understand that by not killing myself I will have given myself time to experience greater things with life. I truly do. However, I do not want to keep my body around if my mind does not desire so.
And why doesn’t it desire so? Because the different way I think, and the rejection it will bring throughout my life, as well as my confusion with everything in it, will never disappear. I don’t care about the pain which pierces me, has pierced me, and will pierce me. I care about the limitation I have with my connection to the world and everyone and everything in it. It is the limitation of my happiness which I do not want to subscribe to. And I will not.
In the next two weeks I am going to gamble all of the money I have, a little under $1,000, knowing that every time I’ve done so I’ve lost everything, and if I lose it, I will lose my life too. I see the world through the lens of a depressed dramatic romantic poet, and that is the way I will see my end too. I will either buy myself some temporary happiness or I will make use of my right to put my body in a place which mirrors my mind.
On the 19th I will purchase Bitcoins for my Blackjack gambling. They will arrive on the 15th or 16th. After a night of gambling I will proceed.
**Note that the “15th or 16th” is a typo, I had meant to write that the Bitcoins would arrive on the 25th or 26th [which was an evening that I had planned on gambling and suicide].
From then on I didn’t once think of winning. I thought of losing. I understood that I could go through with the gambling and stop myself short if I decided I wanted to live and not lose everything, but I did not have any desire to. All I desired is the moment I thought of, the purest moment I wanted to come into existence.
And what I thought of was losing everything and my life. I thought of the drive to Downtown Portland and walking to the middle of the Casco Bay Bridge, taking off my clothes and shoes, and jumping into the icy waters below.
Every single thought of mine went into seeing that moment, my body either unconscious from the shock, or fighting to stay afloat and drowning either way. I could see and hear myself calling 911, claiming that there was a corpse under the bridge, hanging up, and jumping.
In the previous months at work I hid my sadness as I have my entire life and did everything I could to cheer others up. Now, it was easier than ever before.
I knew for certain what was to come of my life in two weeks, and there would be no more surprises or confusion. There was comfort in certainty, especially if the certainty was something as easy and permanent as the moment I wanted to come into existence: my own inexistence.
I went through the motions of cheering others up, even singing along to songs while driving to work as I always had in December and prior; entranced by how easy it was to wait for those final chips to come in so I could throw them all away.
Einstein was well-known for his love of thought experiments and the benefits one could derive from their use in problem solving. If it does not make sense as to why a man would spend all of his money on chips for gambling, sit down at a Blackjack table, and move all of his funds towards the dealer and leave, you might be able to answer it with a thought experiment.
If it does not make sense why a man would sit down at a table to gamble and then proceed to give up his last chip after losing everything else, then you might be able to make sense of it with a thought experiment as well.
Essentially, the problem question you might want answered is “what sickness could permeate through a man’s lungs and mind or what sickness could he allow to break down his core so much that it causes him the desire to forfeit his lungs, body, and mind alike to it?”. What error could the world have made to let such a sickness exist and spread, or rather, what error could he have made to let it hurt him or to believe that it existed?
If you consider the fact that numerous groups of men have decided to exterminate other races and religions in the past, and validated the destruction of others so easily for accepting similar in-existent sicknesses and threats of others, then you may too consider that a single man can make the same error in validating his own extermination.
During January, I engaged in the thought experiments above one way or another. My conclusion was that if I valued my life my decision to end it must must be rational.
I didn’t think I was being 100% rational, so I decided I would reach out about such a decision. I concluded that if I still wanted to take my own life after reaching I would have a valid and reasonable desire to end it.
With that in mind, I shared with my roommates (who were neither roommates nor friends, but rather something much more than either words could ever describe), the desire I had of my own destruction.
A day or two after they attempted to impart reason and wisdom with me so that I may see things differently, and a day or two after I told them I did see differently, I wrote my note on January 11th.
I did not see differently.
At the moment I wrote that note, intending to not turn back on my word even if it was to myself and no one knew about it, I died in every way, shape, and form. My body was starved, my heart was poisoned, my mind was empty, and my sight had failed. Until January 18th I would remain dead, a shell of a man merely awaiting the gambling and bridge jumping to come.
I started writing my note as my roommate Joe and his friend went out to smoke. My head was on the table and tears were pouring endlessly from my eyes. By the time they came back the note was complete, my tears had been wiped off my face and the table, and the only certainty in life I held was death.
January 15th, Approximately 11:30 PM
While driving a friend home using my “landlord” Todd’s car, I lost control of it in the middle of turning into his neighborhood. The car skidded over an icy snow bank and became lodged with its front down and the back wheels off the ground.
I was dressed in a long and casual dress shirt, and another passenger was in flip flops. We called everyone back at the house to come help us and an hour later the car was freed.
I drove that car over the snow bank because I lost control of it. Then it had no traction and my roommates and friends’ ideas to get it loose did not succeed.
Revving and rocking the car forward and back was useless because only one tire had weight on it, with the middle of the car held up by ice. Breaking the ice was futile as well as was the salt that got added to it. Sitting on the front and back of the car did not bring any results either. All of those actions failed in getting the car to move whether revving forward or in reverse.
I got that car into such a situation because I lost control of it. I also got that car out of there by gaining control of the situation itself.
I shared my idea with the half dozen people there to lift its back as it revved to let it slide forward and gain traction, and it worked.
At the time I did not know it but I had lost control of much more than the car and it would take the next two days to gain traction for myself. The car was just the tip of the iceberg, in some way or another.
Back at the house Todd and his girlfriend were about to head out to her house for the night. He invited me along to write poetry and talk, company I knew he enjoyed but company I had never heard him invite someone for directly.
I agreed, got a few things, and half an hour later I was at Carolyn’s home. The time was 1:30 AM, my feet and hands were frozen from the unlodging of the car, and even though I had to wake up at 7:20 that morning to drive home, shower, and head to work, I did not sleep.
Todd and I did not talk and we did not write poetry. Instead, we drew and seldom spoke that night. I went to sleep at 4:30 AM and I woke up less than three hours later, drove home, and went to work.
I worked from 9 AM to 7 PM that Friday selling glasses and adjusting them so that people would see better.
They did not know that the person selling their glasses was wearing a prescription that had been outdated for months and that had stopped providing clear vision many months before that.
They did not know that the person adjusting their glasses opted for less food and not getting a new prescription so that he could finance mushrooms which would supplement his body, mind, and sight.
They did not know that recently he had given up psychedelics, indulgences, and hope, and that he spent his time and assets gambling instead. And they did not know any of this as he smiled and bid them farewell, certain about nothing but his upcoming death.
Interestingly enough, on December 19th, 2014, one woman described her bifocals as giving her an impression of acid. I whispered across to her and asked if the rolling across the walls felt more reminiscent of LSD or mushrooms.
She was about 50 years old and whispered back laughingly “mushrooms.” That inspired me to take off of work the next day, for the first time, as well as my Sunday job for the first time, to begin eating mushrooms that evening until the next evening where I found myself in CoSM, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in NY State, wearing nothing but pajamas and a hoodie.
But alas, I digress. No one knew anything about me as I sold and adjusted glasses, and I do not think I knew much at that point either.
Maybe I did… but I certainly wasn’t letting myself know it at the time.
After working for ten hours on January 16th, I got into my car and headed home.
On the way back I stopped by Bass Clothing and Shoes, the place I worked Sundays, to see if I was scheduled to work that weekend. I was two weeks away from taking my life yet this job was something I still wanted to make an appearance for.
I didn’t necessarily have anything to do at home while I waited for my last check to come in from my other job.
It seemed that my manager was under the impression that I was leaving earlier and because of it I was no longer scheduled to work that Sunday. Not to mention that I also had Saturday and Monday off at my other job: which made things interesting.
While driving home I connected these three days and the line between them lit a shining lightbulb in my head. It was the same lightbulb of adventure that burned brightly the rare few times I got a three day weekend, having become used to merely one random weekday off each week.
Do I Go North or South?
When I lost $1,100 worth of Bitcoins I figured I would have visited Fairfax if I had cashed in those chips. With the three day weekend I had three days for visiting Fairfax and I knew I was throwing away everything soon. Knowing all of this, I figured I would throw some chips on a trip to my hometown while waiting for my last check to arrive.
A bus had already left at 8 PM from the Portland Transportation Center to Boston, which then connected to a bus at 11:30 PM that would make its way down to Washington, DC.
I ran down and asked Todd what he would do if he were me, go up to Northern Maine with them to his cabin, a literal log cabin, or go down to Fairfax, VA, knowing I had less than ten minutes to decide, shower, and speed my way down to Boston, find paid parking, and hop onto that bus.
Todd was torn, as I was, between going on a new adventure and visiting my hometown. Yet his verdict was that he would go to Fairfax.
It seems he made a good call.
The cabin’s lock was frozen solid and they ended up staying the night at a neighbor’s and leaving early. Or rather, it seems he made his second good call of advice within those 24 hours of my life.
I can not imagine how differently my life would be today, if even at all, had I not had his invitation to sleep over at Carolyn’s or his guidance on my quivering question of whether I should make my way north or south for the weekend.
I showered, packed my book bag, jumped in the car, fueled up, and made my way down to Boston: obedient to nothing but adventure.
Once I got there I found a parking place and started running in a general direction which I hoped would take me to the station that would take me to the bus to Washington, DC, that would take me to the Vienna Metro Station, where I would meet my friend for the second time since I had left Fairfax.
That was the plan. But there’s more to every trip than meets the eye, especially if the eye happens to be looking out through the lens of a depressed dramatic optician poet with an outdated lens prescription.
The Fairfax Trip
While heading south I decided that “tripping,” making use of psychedelic substances, while on the Fairfax trip itself, would be in order. I knew a few people that wanted to try acid for their first time, and with time and circumstance it ended up Tyler, someone I love deeply, and his girlfriend Marion. I purchased five tabs and the trip began at around 7:10 PM on Saturday, January 17th.
Patterns were coming in for everyone, music was playing, and the night began dancing with excitement.
Tyler and Marion began tripping for the first time, and I was on the carpet floor on my back texting Donny: someone who I wanted to trip with the next day.
This desire was more intense than my desire to eat food over the past two weeks had been combined. However, the trouble of tripping with Donny was that him and I hadn’t spent any time together recently.
Furthermore, my pansexuality which he had just learned about made me uneasy with the thought that he would conclude I would want to trip with him for anything more than to experience a beautiful night together.
While thinking about all of these things, I saw my phone’s screen change from the text message app to the incoming call layout. It was Donny and it was now time for my heart to dance with excitement. As quickly as I could, I picked up.
He asked about Tyler and Marion’s experience and also if I wanted to trip with him the following night. That started a lot of thoughts for me and I agreed. But before I elaborate as to what those thoughts and realizations were, I would like to mention what Tyler and Marion were experiencing.
For Marion, I am not too sure. I know that she enjoyed the night, relatively, and a friend gave her a ride home since she had something scheduled early next morning.
During my time with Tyler and Marion I was overwhelmed with the love, truth, and respect in their relationship which I had previously accepted as a difficult if not imaginary intensity between partners.
I don’t know what Marion was experiencing or thinking herself, but I know what I was feeling about her and Tyler.
I felt pure awe.
After Marion was picked up, Tyler and I went outside to walk and look at the swaying trees. There were four memorable experiences I remember having happened.
Yet none of those experiences made me decide I would not take my life in the upcoming week.
The first experience was Tyler hearing some leaves and starting to run away saying “there’s someone there!” I grabbed his arm and said that “the interesting thing about the substance which we have taken hours prior is that it is of the essence of childhood: if anything, it is a substance of youthful curiosity.” And I also mentioned the idea that “as children if we heard something which we did not know the cause of, we would [likely] explore instead of run away.” With my hand clasped around his arm I guided him over to the tree which made the noises and we looked up at it.
Later when we circled around and stood on frozen grass beneath us, he looked at the sky and said that I know everything and that he wished he did too. My mind, body, and heart began to laugh during this second experience.
He was not aware of the limitless things which confused me from the moment I woke up every day, as they still do today, to the moment I put my head down to sleep. He was not aware of the dozens of answers to questions I had which were all “I do not know, but I will find out.” I laughed and laughed and I told him that he knows as much as me, me thinking that all I truly know is that I know nothing.
The third experience happened during the first, when Tyler realized that it would have been silly if he ran away because of the leaves without at least looking to see what caused the noises he heard.
In the middle of myself expressing the idea of youthful curiosity I also realized that life has its own leaves which may make noises, but that one should explore and not run away when they do so.
Tyler was experiencing psychedelics for the first time and thinking about things in a different way, and here I was, on my twenty-something psychedelic experience, and I was learning just as much as him. This realization led me to understand that we guided each other to those leaves.
He had tried to run away and that made it possible for both of us to observe an alternative to flight or fight: exploration.
Explore the leaves, and explore the leaves of life too.
The fourth experience was him and I looking at the trees across a hill, the street, and the stars above. It was a memorable and good night which Tyler, Marion, and I will never forget.
When Tyler went inside he asked me where [my] home was. He was still experiencing the psychedelics and I could hear from his voice that he was baffled as to where I was going next.
In fact, he seemed more baffled as to where I was going than I have ever been about my own direction. I answered that home is where I am, and that for the night it would be a friend’s house, for the next two weeks it would be Maine, and for the next few months it would be Georgia. After that answer, which he seemed just as baffled about, he got picked up and went somewhere else.
It sort of made me question his question and my answer all together.
And as I sat on the curb in front of his house, waiting for the friend I was staying with to pick me up, I became extremely cold. I had a thin jacket on me and no hat.
My body was shivering uncontrollably and I remembered when I was in a similar position nearly a month ago at the entrance of CoSM at 4 AM. I was sitting down and putting on my shoes when a beautiful woman I had danced with saw how not well dressed I was for the snowing night.
She placed her hand on my head as she walked inside and acknowledged my coldness, and likely my shivering, and stated that I have so much stored up energy within me that I could use for warmth. I might as well have been touched by an angel, because a month later I remembered that and warmth flooded over my body with the same intensity it had that night. The coldness was gone, I was smiling, and I began beat-boxing, dancing, and playing air instruments all at the same time.
It was a beautifully good and memorable night, but it wasn’t over yet. My friend arrived and I began texting Donny on the ride [back to home, and eventually back to traction].
The Thoughts Arising From His Call
After Donny called and asked if I would like to trip with him the following night, I knew two things. The first was that we are all connected, which was apparent in Donny calling and asking me something I wanted to ask so much at that exact moment.
I had known that we are connected for a long time, both physically and spiritually, but my answer whether we really are connected spiritually remained “I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m trying to figure it out,” until that call.
I was an agnostic atheist Buddhist that took everything with an overdose of skepticism: karma, past-lives, and everything else imaginable. But my connection with Donny and what it allowed me to feel that night helped me understand that we are connected as I had never understood, felt, and accepted before.
I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.
The second thing I knew was that if I was holding back something so small such as a question of “will you trip with me tomorrow?” from someone I have known for years, I must truly be holding a lot back from others that I have known for even less time.
What this really means to me is that if Donny had not taken the initiative in giving me a call, my cowardice in not being open, in what I wanted, would have resulted in us not tripping the next night and in me feeling regretful for it.
That specific time I was lucky that Donny expressed what he wanted, but I understood that in the future and with other people I would have to be just as open as he had been with me.
For his guidance, I am grateful.
While texting him that night we were discussing a wide range of things. A few times I asked a question and Donny texted at the same time asking the same one. I was literally being asked the same question twice, once by myself and once by him, and I felt like I had just taken psychedelics for the first time in my life.
It is refreshing when one asks the right question, but even more refreshing when two ask the right one.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”
― Albert Einstein
That night I had seen Tyler and Marion’s partnership indicating to me what was possible of not just romantic partnerships, but connections with others as well. That night while texting Donny I also saw what honesty entailed, and the wisdom I was gaining was endless, exciting, and overwhelmingly positive.
Also while texting Donny I brought up my note for the first time, having just noticed the typo which stated that I would gamble and take my life on the 15th or 16th instead of what I had meant, the 25th or 26th.
Along with this typo I found it interesting that a week earlier I saw a photo on Twitter which stated the following:
“It’s possible that the most important part of Harry Potter, the entirety of the series, is in PoA when Harry realizes that no one is coming to save him, that it wasn’t his father he saw casting the Patronus and sending the dementors away. When he realizes that he has to save himself and he does it.”
And at the time I read the idea above I asked myself if we write our own stories in the same way that Harry Potter manifested the saving of himself.
Here I was, a week after having favorited that tweet and I just found out that I had written a typo in my own “story” which played out in an interesting way.
Here I was, thinking back to the 15th in which the typo called for gambling at a time I didn’t even have the Bitcoins to do it, and instead on that day I drove the car over a snow bank which led to Carolyn’s house.
Here I was, thinking back to the 16th which began with artwork and thinking, and which ended with the start of an adventure that would lead me back to Fairfax, VA.
And finally, here I was realizing all of this on the 17th, exactly five months after arriving to Portland Maine for the first time.
I shared the note, the typo, and the question of whether we write our own story with Donny. It made me wonder just what fate was, which him and I would later conclude as something that is determined by your free will and the way you harness it.
Today, I wonder what my free will and harnessing of it would have amounted to, and what my fate would have amounted to, if I had decided it was meant to end in January.
Donny responded to the note, the typo, and my question of fate. He said:
“I think that’s really brave of you, and really cowardice at the same time. Let me explain. The bravery comes from not taking your life, from wanting to experience more even though you do not necessarily want to be living. It is also brave to gamble all of your money, and it is also stupid to gamble all of your money. It’s brave that you are willing to put your body in the same conditions as your mind, and it’s very brave that you are actually going to do everything you typed. A lot of people have a plan of action and are too afraid to do it.
Here’s why it’s cowardice: it’s cowardice to determine how your life will be based off of the outcome of your gambling, it’s cowardly to run away from people that care about you, but I understand it’s what you feel you need to do and I can respect that.
Let me ask you something, what do you think of or about when you hear the word home?”
It’s interesting to me, because Donny didn’t know that Tyler had asked me this as well.
When Donny and I weren’t asking the same questions, he was asking the same question that Tyler had asked.
I couldn’t wait to see him the next night.
My Acid Rebirth
While tripping the next day with Donny I thought back to some things across my life, fate, and free will all alike.
I thought back to a week or two prior when I asked myself if I should visit Romania, my native country, and the next night at Carolyn’s house when I found a pile of coins on a dog bed next to a sofa, one of which was a Romanian coin.
Then I thought about visiting Romania for less than 6 months or staying longer, knowing that if I stayed longer it would make it harder for me to come back. It was essentially a question of America or Romania, and I decided that I would likely visit but not longer than half a year until I became a citizen.
That decision was made by taking into account my love and admiration for America, and the inexistence of such feelings for Romania.
I figured that wherever I end up living in the world, I want to be an American on paper because that is accurate of how I feel and identify.
When I came back to Fairfax on January 17th, my friend gave me a coin his father had given him to pass on to me. It was a U.S. Dollar coin from 1901.
The first coin had confirmed a question, having come all the way from Romania to be picked up by myself in Maine, and the second coin validated my conclusion, having been given directly to me as a token of appreciation in return.
Thinking back on these coins I remembered two things that my grandmother gave me when I visited Romania in the fourth grade. One of those things had been a circular piece of metal which resembled a coin. My grandmother said it was Roman and very valuable.
My parents on the other hand both thought she could set spells on people and things, and they believed that this particular item was bad.
If that sounds a little superstitious it wouldn’t sound that odd considering the pain that my father’s mother brought onto him and later onto my mom as well. With all of this in mind, my mom figured that I should sell the coin-like metal and not keep it around me.
Truth be told, I would have sold it but I did know its value at the time.
At first I tried to find a necklace to wear it with but I couldn’t afford one as a fourth grader. Instead, the metal sat in a little tin tray until I remembered it in January. And I eventually got it back from my mom along with the other thing that my grandmother gave me: three statues of a Buddha.
Well… I only got two statues because the middle one had been lost. (Donny later gave me a small Buddha when he found out that the head of a larger one I had broke off [when I totaled my car on my drive to Fairfax two weeks later].
What I find interesting is that the Buddha he gave me ended up being the same exact size as the missing middle Buddha from my grandmother).
I find it fascinating that my grandmother gave me the metal piece and Buddhas, because I later became a Buddhist when I learned about it during the eighth grade, yet I never thought back to the statues she had given me in Romania. I find this fascinating since I also ended up loving the idea of the Roman man and his honor, respect, and dedication. Furthermore, that interest led me to taking three years of Latin.
If my grandmother could set spells on people and things, then I am glad to have been one of the enchanted.
And if you have ever watched Charlie Goodman, then you know the exact sort of coincidences that are connected across my life. It is a thought-provoking movie in which the main character gets a calling to go on an adventure to Romania after being guided by a spirit. Once he gets there he ends up coming across endless coincidences and fate leads him further and further along life (and death).
In addition to the Buddha statues and coins, I began connecting an endless amount of things in my own life while tripping with Donny. It felt like my body and mind had been a vacuum in space for the past two weeks but that an atmosphere was finally developing in which air molecules were bouncing into each other, vibrating, and becoming ready to be breathed in.
Those connections that I made, and many other ideas, were all bouncing into each other, vibrating, and giving me the opportunity to see and live. The atmosphere which had ceased to hold the air I needed became existent once again, for what felt like the very first time in my life.
It wasn’t just my being that had been reborn, but the very air and universe around me had been reborn as well.
So I took my first breadth that night and my life has not ceased to be as beautiful or inspiring as the first time I inhaled.
Today, I continue to feel my blood rushing through my veins, the air pouring into my body, and the life within me as I did in that moment. I feel the warmth and energy which is within all of us, and I feel that it is no longer trapped or concealed. I breathed and with it I grew.
With my acid rebirth, the depressed lens that veiled my vision was lifted and the the space-less vacuum that needed air was filled and warm, ready for breathing and growth.
Going Back to Portland, Maine
The next morning I was in Washington, DC at Union Station and I passed by an advertisement. It was basically the universe nodding my way.
I took a breath of air and nodded back, knowing that my trip from Portland to Fairfax that January, and my two trips there, were all meant to be.