Friday, June 23, 2017

Ambiguous Amphibian

An aquarium is perhaps one of the most wondrous venues for marijuana consumption ever conceived. That's where we found ourselves after dinner last night, Cleopatra and I. We walked, she like an Egyptian, and I, like an alcoholic amphibian in need of another drink, to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. It was there, in the subterranean bowels of the building, that I thought it prudent to inhale a prodigious chestful of vaporized liquid hash. After the initial wave of coughing had lifted, a team of sea horses stole our attention as they floated and flapped their thin gills, moving their glued-on googley eyes in gentle little jerks. Then there were the starfish. Their skin, if it can even be called skin, was hard and bony to the touch and could be likened to coarse sandpaper. Soon we stood in front of a tube of jellyfish. As we watched, the tank slowly changing colors, now taking on a shade of deep crimson, I couldn't help but realize how much they resembled red blood cells. All day long they just float in perfect tranquility. Not once have I even seen a jellyfish eat. If the Buddha were reincarnated, surely he would return as a jellyfish.

Mesmerized, the whole world seemed to melt away. In other rooms there were eels and manta rays and colorful clownfish, but presently we found ourselves walking through a massive dancefloor. Music beat out from the speakers and ricocheted off the giant curved glass at the left of the room, enveloping us in a distorted, shimmering bubble of sound. Once we passed through the ocean of people, we arrived at an enormous glass arch. Well, to be more precise, it was less of an arch and more of a low-hanging ceiling, which, when one stood under it, in the middle of this sort of glass tunnel, gave the impression of being underwater. Above us, fish big and small swam. Some fish moved slowly while others darted and slipped expertly out of sight. Perhaps it was the pot, but looking up I was able to see, for the first time, the branches of a great and swampy evolutionary tree; little fish that had over time grown and grown, seasnakes that would eventually make their way out of the water, creatures that were clearly the result of fish and frogs fucking, an alligator that was still much more fish than gator. A marvelous sea of evolutionary beauty had quite literally surrounded us. Ambient light from the party above, in wavy streams of purple and neon green made their way through the water and glass and danced softly on Cleopatra's lap.

Soon, giddy on our newfound Darwinian discoveries, we exited the Academy and made our way through the thick darkness of the park at night. Before we knew it we found ourselves celebrating the summer of love on psychedelics in front of a glowing Conservatory of Flowers. Floral patterns and blooms of variegated light danced across the white face of the building, dressing it in electric swatches of texture and shape. Dozens of people took photos and laughed and laid in the grass as the colors crawled. I sighed and smiled and everything felt right.