I´m having some trouble with the online journal today. Not sure why. Below is another version of something I posted this morning which seems to has disappeared. Oy. I´m not even sure it´s worth it, but I just want to wrap up the whole "high in Amsterdam" story, which has gone on longer than anyone could possibly deem necessary. The post was orginally entitled "Itchycoo Park in Amsterdam," for all you British Invasion/psychedlia fans.
Eventually I´ll get around to writing about hanging out in Paris with Monsoir and Madam Droithomme.
When we last left off, I had gotten back to my room at the hostel. I locked the bag with my camera and videocamera in my locker, used the bathroom, and decided, safe as the hostel felt, it was not where I wanted to hang out. It was a little too sterile. I´ve never understood people who hang out at hostels. No matter what time of the day you stop by, the same people seem to be there, hanging out in either the common room or the bar or cafe. If they´ve traveled to visit a city, why spend all their time in one spot? It´s like somone who spends their entir vacation in their hotel. And yes, I am re-typing this while sitting in my hostel in Barcelona. But I don´t think that´s relevent, thank you.
There was a wonderful park next to the hostel, large enough to get pleasantly lost in, and I decided that that´s the best place to be in my altered state. I headed there, aware of one small problem. Even though I had used the bathroom, I couldn´t shake the feeling that I had, to put this delicately, crapped my pants. Curse you, pot brownie, with your delicious chocolatey mind-altering goodness. No amount of positive thinking could change this into a good experience. Now, I knew I didn´t, yet as I got to the park, I couldn´t shake the feeling that I had. I would try to subtly check, by pulling the back of my underwear up, to see if I felt anything in there. I also walked in front of other people, to see if anyone would pull me aside and point out that I had a stain on the back of my trousers. Before sitting down on the grass, I thought "Okay. Now I´ll know for sure." After I sat down and shifted my butt around, I thought "Still can´t tell one way or another. Oh well."
But it was while sitting in the park that I had a moment where I suddenly felt different, a change coming as sudden and different as flicking a switch and light entering a dark room. A voice inside my head said "all the fear has left me now" and indeed it had. All the worrying I had been carrying that afternoon, and some before I had flown to Europe, was gone. I felt only calm and contentment. To test this, I even tried to make myself worry about something, but couldn´t.
I looked at my watch for the first time in a while, my obsession with time have fled. I ate the brownied at 4:00, the effects kicked in at 5:00, and now it was 7:30 and I felt good. I sat in the park awhile, pleasanly misunderstanding things (are those guys practising dance moves? Good God, why?). After sunset, I went for a walk to enjoy the canals of Amsterdam at night. It is such a beautiful city. Do the residents grow bored or jaded with its wonders? How could they when turning any corner reveals something hypnotizing in its beauty?
The next day, I returned to th Red Light District. There were two reasons: one, I never did make it to the house with a church in its attic, and two, to see that section of the city with clear eyes. I was vindicated. The Red Light district is like a maze, and the prostitutes aren´t too alluring. However, one my second trip, I did get to see two prostitutes killing time by talking to two guys who were fixing the cobblestone road: just a bunch of workers, taking time off from their physically demanding labor.