I once took part in a lively online discussion about the invaluable assistance of employing mind-altering substances to enhance the creation of one’s art, a discussion that was compelled by my posting the following quote:

“See, I think drugs have done some good things for us. If you don’t think drugs have done good things for us then do me a favor. Go home tonight and take all of your records, tapes and all your CD’s and burn them. Because, you know all those musicians who made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years? Real fucking high on drugs, man.” — Bill Hicks

As for me, I tend to believe that altering one’s consciousness — by whatever means works for each individual — is an integral part of what it means to be a human being. We have done so since the beginning of time — this root, that weed, those mushrooms, that fermented fruit juice, those 60 seconds spent spinning around on the summer grass when you are 5 years old, or dragging over a chair and climbing up to sit on the refrigerator when you are 8, just to see what the world looks like from a different vantage point.

And if the freeing of your mind through such tactics helps you achieve what you wish to achieve, helps you see what you need to see, helps you create what you are compelled to create, or helps you survive what you need to fucking survive, then we will do it…because it is in our nature to do so. It’s a mathematical certainty, my friends. The young will experiment, indulge, overindulge, and eventually learn their limitations; they will learn or they won’t survive. That’s how nature works. Heartbreaking and tragic though it may be, that’s the reality of the situation.

As for me, though I certainly spent the years before I had babies with a cold, frosty one in my hand or glad-handling a baggie in a bathroom stall at The Wild Blue, I don’t partake anymore — but not because I am against doing so. I just no longer need the filter, the impetus, the refuge, or the pose — TIME and TRUTH ARE ENOUGH TO CARRY MY FATASS NOW. I am who I am and I require shelter from NOTHING. Bring it on, I say — the past, the present, the future.


I now insist on being PRESENT in this life…through all of it — the horror, the ecstasy, and especially the precious mundane. As a writer, a chronicler, a witness, I NEED to gaze at it, feel it, smell it, taste it, savor it, juggle it, kick it in the taco, sway through it like a gentle manatee, run my fingers over its surface, carve my initials into it, make out with it, or even scrape it off the bottom of my shoe — but to do this, I HAVE TO BE PRESENT.

And aside from all that, whenever I lament the fact that I never got to drop acid, be a tree, or bellow hallucinogenic dirges into a mailbox with my teenage trip sisters, my husband, Gregory, always smiles, shakes his head, and tells me, “You don’t need drugs, honey, BECAUSE YOU SEE THE WORLD LIKE A PERSON ON ACID EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE. For someone with a mind like yours, drugs would be redundant.”

Indeed. I feel like a tree.


About muffybolding

Muffy Bolding is a mother/writer/actor/knitter/feminist/withered debutante who likes the smell of asparagus pee, and remains obsessed with the bathroom hygiene of her three children -- despite the fact that they are 23, 19, and 16. She is blissfully married to a cute Jewish boy who looks like Willie Wonka, but remains tragically in love with the dead poet, Ted Hughes. She has the mouth of a Teamster, and her patron saint is Rocco (pestilence relief.) Ms. Bolding lives in Southern California, where she enjoys typing words, making movies, and plucking the rings from the fingers of the dead. She was the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of the award winning satire zine, Fresno Lampoon, and in between writing screenplays, carnival barking, and savagely threatening her trio of darling larvae with a wooden spoon, she currently publishes the zine, "Withered Debutante." More of her work can also be found in the anthology, "Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", the compilation zine, "Mamaphiles III: Coming Home", as well as in The Cortland Review and hipmama.com. She is currently writing and producing for film and television, and working on a book of essays entitled, "Inside A Chinese Dragon." She has slept around, but not nearly as much as she would have liked.
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