December 4, 1997: Tour of the Family Mansion

I'm planning to take mushrooms with T---- and a few other people. We are at my apartment and worry about the setting. F--- is there but leaves, saying she might come back later. I apologize for not having enough for her, but my words seem inadequate.

We soon realize that my studio apartment is actually one room in a huge mansion, and I set out to give the group a tour. It seems to belong either to my parents or to my grandmother, all of whom are in the building. At first every room seems to be a bedroom, each with an adjacent bathroom bigger than the last. My sister, also present, is occupying one room temporarily, suggesting that this is my grandmother's house that we are visiting.

While 'scouting ahead', I find the dining room. Places are set around a nice table, only I notice that a few settings lack spoons. After a few feeble attempts to fix the settings, I give up and move on. My family can be heard in a nearby room, and I consider informing them of my entheogenic intentions. It is not my house, after all, and knowing we had permission would help make it a non-threatening environment.

Back with the group,the tour continues. One of us, a short, arty woman dressed in black with bleached hair, sees my grandmother far off and wonders whether "that old woman over there" would be able to deal with her. Her concern was that she (the girl) was too unconventional, "And also with me being gay and all," she thought she was just over the top. She says this in a somewhat annoying way, which suggests insecurity and presumes that her whole schtick is really 'out there'. My sister and I laugh and assure her that our grandmother can handle it. She's dealt with far greater challenges than this college kid.

We look over then, through a window, and see our grandmother making her way out of the house. She is lavishly done up, with some sort of flowing robe and a silly little expensive dog in her arms.

The majesty of the house is drawing sighs of admiration from my group. I feel guilty -- as I realize I've always felt on some level -- for the relative luxuries my family enjoys. To what degree does this motivate my search for compassionate action? Surely guilt is no true compassion!

We are on our way elsewhere, but I become separated in the subway station. I do a double-take to look at a woman whom I think is a friend of S-----'s. Instead it is an unfamiliar japanese girl, but she has also turned and is looking at me curiously. Suddenly uncomfortable, we both turn away.

I am at the airport, but I am not getting on a plane. Perhaps I have just gotten off one, because I seem to be in Middle America. All the cars are huge models from the 1960's. I am running now, jumping from hood to hood in the parking lot, launching myself higher with each bounce. I can fly! Over to the side, I hear some old folks muttering, "If Jerry Seinfeld jumped on other people's cars like that, hell, he could fly, too." Somehow this is a jab at my being from "the big city" and having no respect for the locals and their property. Perhaps it is a reminder not to get too out of touch with the world beyond one's home??