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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


1.16.2004

Xanax & Zinfandel 

So this is a rough sketch of some discarnate ideas floating through my hazy brain this eve. The caveat being that, in an attempt to subdue the mounting stress from a crazy work day/week, and to deal with the aftermath of a faulty wood stove and a housefull of smoke (nothing like having to open all the doors and windows on a cold winter night), my sensorium is now gently slipping into the soft featherbed of Xanax & Zinfandel (wow, that should be the name of an album...). Thus, not only is this text a record of my attempt at cognition on a near and dear subject, but also a snapshot of the mind awash in sedatives trying to think coherently and maintain the thread of the topic. Short-term memory what?

Now without further ado... The Meat, as it were: If the collective experiences of a specific psychoactive agent, such as red wine, could be regarded as a diety, like Bacchus, does such a conception extend to pharmaceutical agents? While folk psychedelics such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, and peyote each inspire anthropomorphisms & personifications into the local mythology, what about Prozac, Vicodin, or Xanax? Could these synthetic agents also be considered anthropomorphically by the collective gestalt of the user experience? Does the Prozac egregore grow in strength with each new prescription? And what would be the personification of such a deity?

The Xanax deification I could imagine manifesting as a sort of mellow junkie, dressed in soft pink and blue pastels, friendly & upbeat, though slightly indifferent in a sort of detached, jaded contentment, drawn to stress and anxiety by sheer magnetism, the polarity of each pulling on the other, seeking equilibrium, balance. But the balance of the Xanax egregore is decidedly in it's favor. Those who invoke it's intercession are not terrified with the fiery visage of it's manifestation but, rather, barely notice the arrival like a soft, warm breeze settling in, the gentle stirring of the drying grass softly rubbing against itslef in a wheat & barley symphony, the lackadaisical sway of flowers, back and forth...back and forth, releasing their sweet fragrance into the air like the empty bed of a familiar lover on a warm, sunny afternoon. There is no opportunity to fight. This egregore is the diminisher of conflict, the emotional equilibrator seeking the lowest point of least resistance.

The Xanax gestalt is like that point in the late afternoon/early evening in any September (this analogy probably makes more sense if you've any experience of the west coast), when the sun is low enough that the entire living room and, most importantly, the entire couch are illuminated in that rich red-orange glow, warm and thick as luminescent sun butter, the motes of dust hanging in the sunbeam in languid betrayal of gravity & thermodynamics. In this light the couch becomes plainly supernatural communicating on the deepest levels, gutteral and visceral, a joyous malaise, like a telepathic teddy bear operating a tractor beam on your ass. You cannot resist yet there really seems no rational reason to resist. Just a few minutes lying down won't hurt...

In short time the same orange-red solar hot tub has soaked through the outer shells of the body armour, warming musculature, softening ligamenture. Slowly but shurely the body is fully displaced by the beam, totally at ease, under it's spell. Xanax walks the earth in fuzzy pink bunny slippers offering warm milk and temple rubs to any who seek an evening's solace from the relentless mechanisation and commodification of human existence.

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