Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Long View: Being, in no particular order, 25 things I've bumped into along the way and have not forgotten. Yet

16. Snorkeling
Ever since I first took lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) at age 13, I'd been looking for a way to duplicate the experience, and especially the fantastic polychrome hallucinations, without actually dropping acid. It took me a couple decades, and a couple hundred trips on psychedelic drugs, but I finally discovered snorkeling. For the cost of a plastic tube, a swim mask and some rubber flippers, I was able to turn on, turn in and drop out without the angst, wear and tear, tour through past lives, and tearing the doors of perception off their hinges. My first underwater trip was in Hawaii, at Honaunau Bay. It was there I fell in love with the Hawaii state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Say it fast. Or just call it a trigger fish. I also became besotted with 25 or so spinner dolphins, and they with me, I like to think. I'd go swim with them every morning when they dropped into the bay to feed, leap 10 feet above the water, and twirl their lovely sleek bodies in the Hawaiian sunlight. Later I snorkeled in Mexico, at the Great Barrier Reef, and off the coast of Zanzibar (OMFG!). I saw giant clams, whales, sharks, huge turtles, lion fish, shipwrecks, barracuda, giant grouper, manta rays, parrot fish gnawing on coral (crunch, crunch), trigger fish, eels, octopus, jellyfish, chambered nautilus, bright blue starfish, and a naked girl laughing under water. Later, on shore, she explained, "I wasn't laughing at you. I was just coming on to some acid." No explanation necessary, my dear.

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