LSD Heroic Dose Trip Report: Beauty and Heavenly Bliss, Dark Psychosis and Insanity

Christ Failed – Temptations in the Wilderness

Location: Sydney, Australia

Background

My new flatmate L was playing his first Gig at a cool bar on Glebe point road (Red bar). I was keen to turn up and show some support. On a couple of previous occasions, I had 1. Microdosed a 10th of a tab and gone to work. 2. Microdosed half a tab, 3. Taken a full tab and stayed up all night translating the Vulgate into English. I recalled that the full tab of acid didn’t really have much noticeable effect – almost no visuals and the headspace wasn’t particularly different. In retrospect this was probably due to the rapid tolerance buildup of psychedelics (I was unaware of this at the time). In any case, due to my lackluster experience tripping on a single tab, I decided that this time I would take two.

I took the two tabbies as I left the house and headed to the bus stop to catch a bus from Annandale down parra road to glebe. I donned my “trippercunt sunnies” – diffraction glasses that split light into it’s component colours. I also wore my most expensive shirt, a mambo “roses” loud shirt that hasn’t been in print for years and regularly sells for over $300AUD on ebayau. This fact became highly relevant the next morning.

The Gig

I quickly arrived at the venue, while still coming up, and rubbed my hands as I looked at the décor: The furniture all was semi-transparent and illuminated from within with many and various colours, purple, pink, blue, red, green. There was also all sorts of psychedelic and spiritual art hanging on the walls. I instantly got good vibes as I knew this was gonna be a kickass trip.

I found a seat middle and centre in front of the stage and listened to the opening solo act by HF, who is a regular opener in the Sydney gigging scene. I had invited my other flatmate (little A)’s sister S to come along too, and she arrived during the opening act. We chatted as I was coming up about her new job and my current job hunt and uni studies.

Eventually HF concluded his act and my flatmate L and his band mounted the stage. All of a sudden I started getting WILD visuals. My flatmate L has a bit of a hunch, but his lead guitarist was standing tall and straight. It suddenly hit me hard just how short L looked next to this guy. And now that the acid was kicking in, he looked like even more of an oompa loompa because his bass guitar was so damn massive. All of the colours of the lights, the curtains, the stage the walls started popping and jumping. The rug that the band was standing on started to melt and wave and the patterns on it looked like live snake sorta things. I could read every little expression on the faces of the members of the band. L looked so excited and happy that the gig was going well. He kept breaking out into these nervous but happy smiles whenever the crowd applauded. Seemed like I wasn’t the only one having a good trip.

I just sat there, shuffling in my seat due to the body load, but not feeling “bad” in any way whatsover. The gig was amazing. The entire show felt like a religious experience. I felt as if I was God, and this band was giving me glory. The fact that so many people gathered together to watch this performance felt as if it had some sort of cosmic significance. As if this is the meaning of life and the pinnacle of human achievement. I started thinking that the story of history is the story of the emergence of God: In the beginning there was nothing, and from that nothing sprung everything, and via evolution, humanity emerged, and with humanity, beauty, truth and goodness. I started to perceive that mankind is on a trajectory towards God, and that final moment of history IS God.

These were the utterly crazy theological and philosophical thoughts I was thinking, and they only got even more intense as the next band mounted the stage. This band was hilarious: on the right side of the stage were three really cool looking dudes with badass haircuts, clothing and moustaches, playing drums, keys and bass. On the left side of the stage was this super geeky looking guy playing guitar. His parents were in the crowd and got a shoutout. In the centre of the stage was what I can only describe as a goddess. This girl with a perfect feminine figure, just the right amount of makeup, brilliant, revealing attire that showed off her physical goods and beauty. While tripping hard on the acid, I was struck to the core by beauty and mystery of the feminine form. I felt drawn to it on a deep and profound metaphysical, essential level of my being. Suddenly I was reconsidering my vocation: Do I REALLY want to enter the priesthood (I had been discerning priesthood for about three years and up to this point, was super committed to signing up)? Considering that the mystery of the feminine has captured my heart in such a fundamental way, perhaps this is some sign from God that my vocation actually involves marriage?

I continued thinking all these thoughts, and absorbing the beauty of this diva with my eyes as they played their set. The sensation that I was God and these people were here to worship and glorify me intensified. The visuals exploded. I noticed every little detail that presented itself to me through my five cardinal senses simultaneously.

Finally, the headline act went on. I was tingling with excited ancipation as I saw the final band wheel their instruments onto the stage. “Holy fucking shit” I thought to myself, “these cunts are playing a fucking HARP and CELLO!” It was a three piece band, with keys, harp and cello. I still felt like God, and as the weirdly dressed keys player gave commentary and introduced the songs, I got this fascinating train of thought that was something like “Look at what my little people are doing, gathering to offer praise and worship to me. Look at how far they’ve come.”

As the harp and the cello and keys started playing, I just lost my shit, in the best kinda way. I could perceive all the infinite microtones as the bow crossed the strings of the cello, as if it were an auditory fractal. It was simply the most beautiful thing I had ever heard in my entire life. And the music was in a slightly sad and melancholy key. The emotions that were being conveyed by the music  were ineffable and beautiful and sad. It felt as if the entire story of history was encapsulated in the song: All the ups, all the downs. The tragedies and the victories. And it just felt as if it was a “movement forward”, as if there is only one direction we can go: onwards and upwards to the heights of heaven.

“It just keeps getting better” I remember thinking to myself. “This is heaven”. I was experiencing infinite bliss, but not just infinite bliss, infinitely INCREASING bliss. This beatific vision was completely exponential!

And yet the sad notes in the music made me remember. Remember all the tragedies of life and history, remember the holocausts, genocides, rapes and murders. And all of a sudden, for the first time in my life, I was struck with the full force of the mystery of evil. “What even is evil?” I remember whispering to my flatmate L, who had resumed his seat in the crowd. I simply couldn’t comprehend it. I knew from my theological studies that evil has no inherent existence or reality, that it is a complete illusion, and suddenly I realised just how mysterious that is.

It just seemed so baffling to me, that here I am, experiencing the heavenly joy that comes from listening to the angelic music of the eschaton, and yet ISIS is out there lopping heads off at this very moment. It just didn’t seem right. Like, of course this is a wonderful moment and I am enjoying it to the full, but fuck; what am I supposed to make of the fact that Hitler did what he did to the Jews? How should I understand this supreme symphony of good, in light of the incomprehensible mystery of evil?

These thoughts occupied me all the way to the end of the gig. At no point did the trip actually become a “bad trip”, but I started to take on a strong sense of apprehension and anticipation. Somewhere deep down, I realised that tonight was to be the night where God (me) confronts evil and attempts to make sense of it. And I realised that this fundamental interplay between good and evil is what is driving all of reality as we know it.

The Walk Home

As the gig was over, I exited with my flatmate L and we headed for the busstop. Now that the supreme beauty of the music had concluded, the trip started to get very confusing. I remember saying to L something about how girls don’t exist, and all girls are evil. I was pondering the fundamental dualisms of masculine and feminine, good and evil, and I was drawing some link between light, goodness and masculinity, and another link between darkness, evil and femininity. I thought of the story of Adam and Eve, and how Eve (the feminine) was the principle which introduced sin into the world. L had no clue what I was talking about, and probably was amused at just how hard I was tripping. I began to distrust him, thinking that he was an enemy in some respect. I hadn’t known him for very long after all.

As we got to the busstop, L called an uber and hopped in with his girlfriend. I decided to walk home. That turned out to be a very bad idea.

I walked down paramatta road, still thinking I was God, but this time the thought had a very Christian slant on it. I thought that I was Jesus. I was relating my trip to the gospel stories. I felt as if I had just descended from heaven to earth, and right about now the temptation in the desert was probably due to occur. As I walked home down parra road, pondering the mystery of evil, the insanity started to overcome me. It just sorta crept up on me as I was philosophising. It was as if wondering about evil with such intensity was driving me mad.

I started to feel as if I am invincible, and made the stupid decision to stop by a servo and buy a supersized energy drink. I seriously doubt that the massive caffeine and sugar hit had a positive impact. I even realised this at the time, and was thinking to myself “I am going to die tonight. And when they find me, it’s gonna make the newspapers and they’ll comment on how the exact moment where it all went downhill was when I decided to smash an energy drink while high as fuck on acid”

My thinking started to get more and more scrambled. And the thoughts loops got more and more intricate. Eventually I made it to the local maccas and decided I wanted to get something to eat. I stood in front of the touch screen interface where you order your food, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. I kept touching and selecting and there was just something that wasn’t working. At the time I figured the system was bugged, but in retrospect I was probably just tripping really hard.

I felt like I was standing in front of that touch screen for an eternity, punching the options and trying so hard to buy something. Notions of “Limbo” and “purgatory” became stuck in my mind, and I felt as if I had failed in my temptation in the wilderness and was being punished with this eternal torture of eternally trying to order dinner and not being able to.

Eventually I managed to snap out of it, say “Fuck it” and get out of the maccas. But my delusions of grandeur were multipling. As I walked through the carpark, I started throwing my wallet and phone away, thinking “I don’t need these”. I felt as if I was living out the most important moment of my life, and it was like “I don’t need a phone. There are more important things. I don’t need a wallet.”

I started to feel as if no matter what I do, I can’t die. I felt as if even if I stepped out into the traffic, something would stop me from being run over. I felt as if it was not yet my time to die, and I could therefore do any stupid thing and be ok. This was clearly VERY dangerous thinking.

Following that train of thought, I ended up knocking on the door of two of the brothels on parra road. There are a craptonne of brothels on parra road. Usually I just walk past them and laugh, but I had always been curious about what goes on inside, and I was in the perfect mindset to ring the bell and find out. I was let in to both of them, but very quickly ferried out once the mistresses realized I had no money on me.

Divine Madness

I was descending even deeper into madness. By the time I got to the empire hotel, I was thinking about the orthodox “holy fools” of Russia. These crazy dudes who get naked and wander around the towns and villages prophesying. I started to feel as if I was one such holy fool, with a message that could save the world. That idea, coupled with my sensation of invincibility, caused me to unbutton my shirt and cast it off into the wind and the night. As I crossed the road, I dropped my pants and underpants, and kicked off my shoes and socks.

I was stark naked, rambling on and on about good and evil, walking around residential Leichhardt. Thankfully it was a very quiet part of town, so I’m pretty sure not many people saw me, but still it was an incredibly wacky occurrence.

Eventually I made it home, but I didn’t have my keys on me because I had thrown them away back at maccas. I ended up pacing in loops between my front door and the front door of the house beside ours. My philosophizing was in overdrive. I was thinking about the trinity, dualism, masculine, feminine, the whore of Babylon, the virgin Mary, Jesus etc etc etc.

My drug induced insanity just kept getting worse. Eventually, failing to get in to my house, I instead continued to walk around the suburb, and eventually found myself walking in circles around the local catholic church, where the capuchin friars live. The visuals were labyrinth by this point. Not good, not bad, just alien and weird. I was stuck in insane thought loops, and the trip was oscillating between good, bad and neutral. When I was feeling good, I was anticipating that at any point it would head south, and when it headed south, I was holding onto the gospel promise that it’s all gonna be ok in the end and eventually I would return to the good. This was clinical insanity.

One common theme that kept recurring was the idea that “the unknown” could intrude into my reality at any time. And I was prophesying to myself as I walked around naked around the church that “yes, at some point tonight, something unexpected is gonna happen that sends me to hell.”

The Cops Arrive

Well, lo and behold, as I found myself pressing my naked body against the cold outer wall of the church for some reason, a cop appeared. Soon there were more cops. They asked me what I’d taken. I wanted with all my heart to cooperate and answer their questions honestly, but I was tripping so hard by this point that it was a struggle to communicate with them. They ended up pulling me aside and sitting me down on the concrete, as they tried to establish who I was, where I live, what I had taken, what the fuck I was doing naked running in circles around the local church at midnight etc.

I was very much in “bad trip” territory by this point. The cops were relentlessly asking me the same questions over and over again. “Where do you live?”, “Do you have any flatmates?”, “What’s your name?”, “How old are you?”, “Have you taken anything tonight?”

At one point one of the male officers laughed out loud and said “He’s the priest!” and I just felt so full of shame, thinking that I legitimately was the priest and was setting a terrible example and letting down the parish and the church and God. Suddenly one of the officers was saying “Look at his passport photo! He looks like a criminal!”. I was so utterly confused, thinking “how the fuck do they have my passport?”

After what felt like an eternity of shame and horror, the officers chucked me in the back of the paddywagon and locked me up. I felt resigned to my fate. I figured I was about to go to prison, my family was going to be notified, my life was coming to an end. The ride in the back of the police wagon felt like forever.

But wow what good luck I had. When the door of the wagon opened, I found myself out the front of my house, with L standing there at the front door looking sleepy, annoyed and bemused. I hopped out, walked up the steps and went straight inside to the shower.

The cops must have been able to accurately extract my address from me during the earlier interrogations on the concrete at the church. One of them had driven over, knocked on the door and asked L to confirm that I live there. L had gone to my room, found my passport and proved that I was a resident. So instead of locking me up for the night they just kindly drove me home. I was so infinitely thankful that it turned out like that, rather than something worse.

But I was still shaken up by the experience. As I hid under the covers of my bed, I had to leave the lights on so that I could stare at my clock and verify that time had passed and time was passing. The insanity was wearing off, but I was still terrified that at any time I could discover that it was all a dream, and I was actually in a prison cell or somewhere worse. I remember going down and brewing some tea and holding my head in my hands while praying “Oh God, please tell me it was a dream, please tell me it didn’t really happen”.

I managed to rest up a little. When I woke up, I discovered that it was NOT just a dream and it DID really happen, and I knew this because I didn’t have my phone, my wallet, my shoes, or my $300 loud shirt. I had to retrace my steps and literally pick up the pieces. I couldn’t remember where I had dumped all my stuff on the way home, and I had to make use of apple’s “find my iphone” app to locate all my stuff. I ended up finding everything except for my shoes, socks, watch, drink bottle and loud shirt. It had rained during the night, so my shorts and underpants (which I found in the middle of the road) were soaking wet.

Conclusion

In the end, I learned so much from the experience, and I don’t regret it. But It was the first time that I realized that bad trips can involve the police, and actual bad things happening, rather than just psychological terror. I have tripped many times since then, but not on acid. This trip taught me that acid is psychologically next level, and 25i-nbome is actually a safer drug in terms of the headspace.

This trip directly led to me reconsidering my vocation. After being so utterly fascinated by evil, darkness, the feminine, I figured God might be calling me to move away from ordination and instead investigate relationships with girls again. Maybe I’ll get married? At time of writing (A couple of months after this trip), I’ve picked up a new girlfriend. The future is bright, and even from a bad trip, good lessons are learned.

Ecstasy

sexyforeplayblackandwhite[1].jpgThe kiss, playful and testing at first, then committing to penetration with the tongue. At first I feel surprise, but then dive in and the kiss turned full body as we drew our bodies closer and closer together. We were melting into each other. I was losing my breath, she was losing hers. It was awesome. Her wetting her lips in expectation and tilting her chin back saying “I want this”.

The grope. It was great to play with her erect and electrified nipples and to delicately squeeze her wonderful breasts. It was brilliant to watch her smile and see her look of bliss, to hear her lose breath, hide under the covers, let out little moans, lose control, all just by my love, my fingers and her trust. As she guided my hand beneath her shirt and held it there. All too much. All too good.

Her eye contact, the avoidance of her eye contact. Every now and then she would look at my face, then close her eyes and smile and turn away with a look that said “How did I get here? How did this happen? why did he pick me? How did I end up with this great guy holding me? Who is he?”. The fact that I was so comfortable gazing at her and taking her in while she felt overwhelmed by it in such a positive way.

Her face, hair, nose, lips, cheeks, eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes. Her sleeping head resting on my chest.

The little, honest comments I would drop which made her feel special made me feel brilliant, like I was the man. “You’re beautiful” I would whisper, staring into her eyes, and her face would light up as she closed her eyes and turned away, looking as if she was melting under intense love from the manliest man on the planet. The feeling of making a girl feel so special is wild. “You’re lovely”, “So are you”. The fact that she was speechless. “You… There are no words that describe you…”. I felt like The Shit. My love is indescribable? Well thank you lord!

Her attachment. “Don’t leave without me”. Her tracking us back to the flat. “Come have tea with us”. “Come to breakfast with us”. Her stream of text messages! How did I manage to make such an impression on her? If it is the love of God, I can’t stand to see it perverted. By this point, there was all too much pride…

Playing with her hair and hands. Having her draw on me. The physical trust.

“It could have been anyone” “but you’re the one who stole my phone”

“fine… enjoy your stoopid walk”
“Oh I will 😛 Until next time :)”
“Next time?”
“:)”
“…”
Silence

Alex Herlihy – 2014

The Riddle of the Universe

space-960x460[1].jpgI sublimate all that I hear, smell and feel.
Savour that taste which I see is not real,
Believe that by this, it all comes together
As Identity for now and forever.
The choices I make, the best I can be,
Both to myself and society,
Life, the universe and all are the same,
For I have met God, and absurd is his name.

And now my head is spinning round;
I fly up only to come plummeting down.
For the final Zenith of Absurdity
Is only a proud ode to Insanity.
As I fall under the gaze of eternity
I look back, and there’s nothing to see
Where is the truth? The Light? The life?
I’m cornered by sin, surrounded by strife

To dive down into deepest despair
Nothing makes sense, I’m gasping for air
Pulled down by my pride

A bible story
A man in the desert, Tempted by Satan
What does it mean?

Faith

Alex Herlihy – 2014

Dark Nostalgia

dark-dream-christiano-torres[1].jpg

Did you dream about me?
That’s all I am to most people now.
No address. No phone. No facebook.
Dimly remembered.
I recognise people from long long ago everyday and when they see me
It is strange strained stares that I draw. Stares that say
“Who are you?”
“How do I know you?”
“Why do I recognise you?”

I am dark nostalgia
Someone who sat before you and shared your torture,
Someone who knows how to speak your language,
Someone who remembers where you live, the bus you caught, the school you attended
Yet you still can’t quite place that presence of the past in the present.

And yet my face draws dazed recollections into your eyes
Your gaze swiftly averted
Fluttered heart breaking
You don’t remember me
The only explanation
You never knew me
The final answer
Did you dream…
One last hope –
About me?

Alex Herlihy – 2011

Juxtaposition

Abandoned-manor-fireplace-marbled-fireplace-distressed-leather-armoirs[1].jpgThe fire burned as an uncontrollable inferno, with raging tongues of flame flying and jumping; leaping on top of each other in order to touch the roof of the fireplace, before falling back to the source and dying. Only to be reincarnated in the red heat of the furnace, and fight their way up again.

“Shall we begin?”

Locus continued gazing into the fire. It appeared to be a furious beast; a red monster, enraged at its’ imprisonment in a prison that would – if not for the rage it revelled in – be stone cold. Its’ murderous eyes locked their focus straight on those of Locus. Locus’ eyes reflected the flames; the fire flickering and mixing with his thoughts.

“You can spend your whole life getting ready”

Locus blinked and casually drew his face away from the fireplace, turning his head back to its’ natural, more comfortable position. The figure sitting opposite was barely visible in the firelight. The outline of a body sinking back in a chair could be discerned, and Locus could just make out half a smile curling at the edge of this strange person’s lips. Locus could see his own eyes reflected in those of the figure; revealing that the firelight continued to reside in them, despite his having turned away from the flames.
The half-smile adorning the shadowy face parted as it spoke for the third time.

“Still seeing red?”

Locus tilted his head and smiled back.

“Still seeing red.”

The fire – despite its’ intensity – was nearly silent, and while it burned bright, pouring out more light than the sun, the room remained shrouded in shadows. Shadows that extended further and further into the distance, slowly approaching pitch black before finally melting into pure darkness. And in turn, this darkness ran back, flowing and folding in on itself, becoming more and more incomprehensibly obfuscated until it had transformed into an absolute void. The little light the fire cast into the room was an oasis of warmth in a desert of darkness; an island of illumination in an ocean of shadow.
This flickering firelight revealed a strange scene. Two large armchairs were arranged before the fire. Their size would be reason enough to call them thrones, but there was a distinct modesty in how they had been built. Locus sat in one chair; facing the cryptic person who occupied the other.
Placed between them was an unremarkable square table: Wooden, with four rounded legs, one for each corner. Its’ surface had been raised to knee height. In the middle of this table was a chess board; the pieces arranged and waiting. They were all undefined in the low light, and both the little armies appeared to be of the same colour.
The only other object occupying the table was an unlit candle – placed on the side of the chessboard furthest from the fireplace.

The mysterious man’s mouth morphed from a smile to a void as dark as the room they were sitting in as he spoke once again.

“It’s been a long time Locus.”

Locus’ face projected an expression of amusement over the chess board. “What is time?”
He looked out at the void, gesturing with his arms and hands toward the darkness. “What place does time take in a place like this? In here, there is no time.”

His companion chuckled and shook his head.
“Oh if only you knew…”

There was a brief pause, and for a moment only the quietly flickering fire could be heard. The shadowy figure leaned back in his chair, his face fading further into the shadows.
“Do you know who I am?”

“Does anyone?” Locus thought to himself. “Many people have devoted their lives to understanding eternity. You are the only one to succeed”

“God?” guessed Locus. “Who else could you be? Why else would I see what I see in that fire?”

“I suppose you could put it like that” Spoke the shadows. “But you know the real answer”

“No, I don’t really know who you are any more. I don’t know if I ever did”

Two eyes briefly shone through the darkness, glinting and glittering like stars before quickly fading away.

“Do you remember my name?”

The man leaned forward in his chair and for the first time was fully visible in the glow of the firelight. He wore a caring smile that told of pure trust and honesty, but his eyes remained unfathomable.

“I know those eyes…” Locus frowned.
“Aeternitatis”

The man – still smiling – nodded. “Well, that’s a start”

The candle on the table suddenly ignited: Throwing light upon the chess board and dramatically increasing the contrast between the illumination and the shadows.
Crossing his arms, Aeternitatis leaned back and nodded at the chessboard. Locus followed the gesture and looked down, examining the chess pieces in the light. The side closest to him was red, the side closest to Aeternitatis, white.

“Shall we begin?” asked Aeternitatis once again.

“Of course” said Locus. “Your move”

Aeternitatis extended his arm forward, and made the move a million chess masters swear by; the same stereotypical move that opens every game of chess. The white pawn before the white king, moved two spaces forward.
Locus glanced at his opponent. Aeternitatis was sitting back in his chair again, his eyes sparkling above a familiar half smile.
“I know what you’re thinking.” thought Locus. He had to meet the white pawn with a red one. Accept the invitation. Make the standard response.
His face was expressionless as he brought his hand down to the chess board, and moved a red pawn two spaces forward.
Aeternitatis tilted his head to the side slightly and gazed at Locus in amusement.
“You did always like to defy convention”

Locus smiled silently in response and turned his attention to the candle.

The candle didn’t flicker like the fireplace. It burned steadily, inflating a sphere of soft light like a balloon, filling the room with warmth. There was something magical about it. He saw the image of a woman reflected in the flame.

She was sitting on the bed, her slender legs dangling over the side, her skin appearing as soft as the light. The red glow of the candle was just bright enough to reveal the bed, her beautiful body, and her long, wonderful hair.
He stepped into the light and stood there, looking towards her with eyes full of care, compassion and Love. She hadn’t noticed him yet.

“I need to know how you’re going before you’ve gone you know”

Her face lit up as she realised who it was.

Alex Herlihy – 2010 (Unfinished and slighty edited)

An Insult

I use an external CPU for a paper weight.

I remember it quite clearly, it was in Year 8 or 9 (Well, maybe not so clearly) and we were all in the canteen at one of the tables, no one as far as I remember was sitting down. We all stood around, preparing to move at any moment, merely letting our bags rest on the table to relieve our backs.
Scott had obtained a copy of the latest Artemis Fowl book, it may have been his Birthday come to think of it. I did not know of the existence of a new Artemis Fowl book and expressed my interest.
In the same way that memories are made memorable by strong emotions, they can also become corrupt and vague.
At my expression of interest, or shortly after, Scott remarked “You don’t seem like the sort of person who reads a lot of books” or “You don’t come across as reading a lot of books” or something to that effect. I wish I could recall the exact wording.
I was so incredulously offended by this statement that I broke down into hysterical, disbelieving laughter. I kept repeating myself as I didn’t know how to respond or how to put into words that which I wanted to say. I said things like “What? You’ve hurt me Scott” and “That is the most offensive thing I’ve ever been told” all while wearing a mad grin, a crazy expression and losing my breath to laughter.
Scott wore that innocent, confused, amused, slightly slack-jawed look which came to him so naturally in those days. Probably because he didn’t know how to react to my ignorance of how to respond.
He may have asked “Have you taken your pills today Herlihy?” or maybe someone else did, I vaguely remember Ranga coming and watching another hilarious show of Herlihy Hysterics, Ba doing his eyebrow equivalent of a joking facepalm, the bell going, everyone moving off, and me just standing there feeling as if I had suffered an acid trip.
I was so offended, no-one had hurt me that much for a long time, if ever. At the time I was incredulous that such a thing could be said to me, as I look back I am incredulous that I responded to such an insult in the way that I did.
Perhaps it was because I was struck more by disbelief than rage. Even then I had a well developed sense of absurdity, and was quite immune to personal insults.
The world is a comedy for those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel. Mum always said I have no heart, and I always hated and ignored her words. But looking back, I can heartily accept that she was right the whole time.

Alex Herlihy – 2010

A Dance

rsz_a1-5-740x555[1].jpg

Walking, talking,
Rushing off in excitement and me not pursuing.
A cross between a train station, my year nine camp accommodation sleeping quarters, and the bubblers outside at my primary school.
I let you go,
Head inside to the hall, meet people,
Talk to a troll for some reason that escapes me.
The troll provides some bogan philosophy,
I head back out,
try to find you,
looking through walls windows and mirrors,
they’re all the same anyway,
find you,
your face is just as happy as before,
but it has a falseness about it which I don’t know if it was there the whole time and I just didn’t notice or it is a new development.
I ask what is wrong, you say “nothing” and are so sincere.
You aren’t even acting; you ARE sincere,
and yet I know you are false.
“Alright… but just in case, I want to hug you to make sure”.
She does and falls asleep;

You slept with your head on my shoulder and your arms and legs wrapped around me.
As tall as me, and only a little younger, yet you were lighter than a feather,
and I held you as I would hold my one year old sister.

I walked and the world moved around us in a way that didn’t match up with how my legs were telling it to move.
Down the middle of a busy street,
across crossings that were lacking lights and painted stripes,
one second, or five, or a minute no cars, the next one hundred.
I moved out of their way, understanding the danger, but not feeling it.
Too calm, and you slept as if nothing at all were happening.

The scene changed to become more grassy,
and you flickered in and out of existence on my shoulder.
I carried you across the suburban Noork’s elbow.
Street, turned to bridge,
bridge over train tracks,
and before I had even stepped onto the bend, you had disappeared,
I forgot all about you, and the dream flowed on into the morning.

Only when my eyes open did I remember that,
and realise what a strange,
amazing dance we had just performed.

But you’ll never remember it.

The last message I received from you was sent before our dance, but only received after;
Dream about cruise ships and ball pit rooms.
Usually you are there, always there in case I need you. But not today.
I don’t remember my dance involving any juggling.
It wasn’t a dance of love, sadness, joy, happiness. It wasn’t a dance of the night, it wasn’t a dance of the morning, it wasn’t a dance of light, or of the moon falling. No guns were firing no swords were drawn, it wasn’t a dance of bullets or skin torn.
No words were said, but it was no dance of silence.
In simplicity lies beauty and perfection.
It was a pure dance, no more.
I dreamt of the cruise ship, but not the ball pit.
I dreamt a dance, we danced a dance,
And you’ll never remember it.
In simplicity lies beauty and perfection.
To walk while the world runs?
It was a pure dance, no more.
And you’ll never remember it.

Alex Herlihy – 2010 (Mildly edited)