Sorry for the radio silence: I’ve been traveling and promoting the new book. (More on all my tour events in the near future, except to note that I’ll be in Seattle on Monday, then Powell’s Books on Tuesday!)
And set your Tivos: I’ll be on the Colbert Report tonight, trying not to make an ass out of myself.
In the meantime, enjoy this youtube clip that I can’t stop watching. It’s a home video of a 7 year old shortly after experiencing nitrous oxide (?) at the dentist for the first time.
His epistemological confusion reminded me of two things: 1) my own encounters with lysergic things and 2) that totally apocryphal story – it’s way too good to be true – about T.S. Eliot doing mescaline. Apparently, while Eliot was hallucinating he became convinced that he’d discovered the secret of the universe and wrote down the secret on a cocktail napkin. A few hours later, after Eliot sobered up, he remembered that he’d had a revelation but couldn’t remember what the revelation was. So he went in search of the cocktail napkin, which was stuffed into one of his coat pockets. This is what the napkin said: “The world smells like turpentine.”
I heard this story from an old literature professor, and I’m rather sure that it didn’t actually happen. But it should have happened.
Bonus story: Coleridge was one of the first people to play around with nitrous oxide.