Monthly Archives: March 2004

March 31, 2004

One of the results of the many imbalances in my brain chemicals is that I have an anxiety-spectrum disorder that seems to land somewhere between generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. My history with medication is long and complicated, so there’s no need to offer me advice unless you are comfortable using terms like tachyphylaxis in conversation.

The thing is, there seems to be credible anecdotal support for the idea that shrooms have significantly helped people with OCD–credible enough, in fact, that the FDA has approved a study testing the effectiveness of sub-hallucinogenic doses of psilocybin as a treatment for OCD. The more I read about this, the more interested I became in trying it, although I have never ingested a substance stronger than alcohol, and the last time I did that was about six years ago (with one recent exception, which I’ll blog about before too long). I approached several friends who seemed like they might know where to get shrooms, but in the end none of them came through.

So I’m growing them myself.

Back in October, I went online and ordered a mushroom grow bag and some psilocybin spores. They arrived along with a slide suitable for examination under a microscope; naturally, the company was selling the spores for research purposes only, as they would never support an illegal activity like growing shrooms from spores. I injected the spores into the grow bag, as instructed, and placed them in a cool, dark place (my closet). I checked on them every few days and the bag looked like what the web site said it ought to (if one were involved in an illegal activity like growing shrooms from spores, which of course no one who bought spores from this web site would be), so I looked forward to a day sooner or later when I might both have my first experience with hallucinogenic drugs and feel like a normal person for the first time in years.

The problem, of course, is that this was all happening during the time my apartment was infested by mice. I could give you an extended buildup.

But the long and the short of it is that the mice gnawed through the bag and ate my shrooms.

And, really, what else is there to say? I imagine the mice had a great time tripping, and perhaps it was this experience that led them finally to abandon my apartment for greener or more fungal pastures. I recently decided to try again; there’s another batch of shrooms growing in my closet, but I’m wondering if I shouldn’t take what happened the first time as a sign that I should just leave well enough alone and continue to live in fear and dread.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

March 29, 2004

Okay, so here’s the deal: you know when a friend calls you and you don’t call her back for a few days and then you go to call her back and you feel so guilty about not calling her back that you decide you’ll just wait another day and then all of a sudden it’s been forever and you haven’t blogged whoops I mean called, and even thinking about sitting down to type whoops I mean picking up the phone paralyzes you, and also your anxiety disorder is raging out of control and doing its level best to ruin your relationship with your boyfriend, oh and your upstairs neighbor is, I swear to God, a professional whistler, and the floor/ceiling between your two apartments is about a quarter as thick as it ought to be, so you can never concentrate because he’s always fucking practicing, including right now, and you haven’t slept more than six hours a night for the last two months?

That’s my explanation for the sparse posting of late. I promise I’m not giving up. It’s just slightly rough going at the moment, especially for the last three minutes, as the whistler has been practicing “Un bel d

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 13 Comments

March 26, 2004

Well, aside from the fact that all I could pay attention to were the glaring flaws in the writing, the opening went fabulously.

Now I want to go to sleep for a year.

Unfortunately, I have too much rewriting to do.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

March 24, 2004

Opening night is tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Just think–after that, I might even be able to write posts of a decent length again.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 12 Comments

March 21, 2004

E.S.’s mother’s birthday was delightful. It was just her, her husband, E.S., me, and my dog A.; after we took A. on a long and undoubtedly baffling walk through the woods behind the house, we all piled in the car and went to a steakhouse for lunch, where I had something called a chocolate bomb for dessert. It was delicious.

In other news, I’ve lost count of the number of times over the past week that I’ve almost told E.S. I loved him but luckily managed to stop myself in time.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 16 Comments

March 19, 2004

Erratum: The show on Saturday the 27th is at 2:00, not 3:00.

Now I have to go to Brooklyn, where I’m staying the night with E.S. so that I can go to New Jersey tomorrow for his mother’s birthday party.

For a search for love in Manhattan, I seem to be going pretty far afield.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 2 Comments

March 17, 2004

If you are going to be in New York next weekend, you should come to my show, Blood and Other Humours, with music by me and book and lyrics by my brilliant collaborator L.N. (as opposed to my other brilliant collaborator N.F.). The show is being produced by the NYU Department of Vocal Performance with three terrific actors.

Performances are at the Provincetown Playhouse, 133 MacDougal Street (between 3rd and 4th), Thursday the 25th at 8:00, Friday the 26th at 8:00, Saturday the 27th at 3:00 and 8:00, and Sunday the 28th at 3:00.

If you want to come, call 212.998.5281 to get a $10 ticket ($5 with NYU ID). If you want to come but can’t swing the ticket price, e-mail me and I’ll see what I can do.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 4 Comments

March 16, 2004

I should clarify, by the way, that the attack of generalized fear and panic and self-loathing I referred to two days ago lasted about an afternoon, and now I’m over it. In fact, in my saner hours (which are in the majority most times) I understand exactly why he’s with me: I’m fabulous.

But it’s good to know E.S. recognizes that fact in moments when I can’t, and responds brilliantly.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 4 Comments

March 15, 2004

One of the most important features of my apartment is that there is a Vitamin Shoppe across the street. Since I have body image issues like nobody’s business, it is vital to me that I have ready access to a source of protein bars, loathsome sugar-free chocolate, and the like.

More than its proximity, however, what makes this Vitamin Shoppe so attractive is that the assistant manager has a big crush on me. He knows I have a boyfriend, and besides, though he’s cute as a button, he isn’t really my type, so it’s not so much the romantic potential that makes this so wonderful.

No, it’s the fact that he gives me free stuff whenever I buy anything.

When I arrive home after making purchases, I always find an extra or three of whatever it is that I’ve bought. Or I’ll look at the receipt and realize he’s given me a huge discount. At the end of last year, he manipulated my member account so that it seemed as if I’d bought a great deal more than I actually had during the year; this led to my receiving a certificate for $290 worth of goods (instead of the $50 or so to which I was entitled).

As you can imagine, I understand fully the value of this treasure. However, a few months ago I made the mistake of telling E.S. about it, and he instantly got jealous. He knew that the assistant manager of the Vitamin Shoppe was no threat to him; nevertheless, it clearly rankled.

So yesterday, after I suggested going to the Vitamin Shoppe to get some loathsome sugar-free chocolate and E.S. said something about seeing my boyfriend while I was there, I decided to put his concerns to rest and show him that he had nothing to worry about. The assistant manager already knew I had a boyfriend, so I figured no harm would be done.

Oh, how wrong I was.

As soon as we walked in the door, the assistant manager’s face darkened to the emotional shade of a tsunami. The glare he threw at E.S. would have killed a lab rat or possibly a guinea pig; I’m surprised, in fact, that the digestive enzymes on the shelf behind him didn’t burst unaided into flames. The “hi” he spit at me brought the temperature of the room down to about 0 Kelvin, and, as E.S. pointed out afterwards, if he could have peed on the loathsome sugar-free chocolate we bought before handing it to us, he would have. E.S. and I left, thankful to have escaped unscathed.

But now I have a big problem.

It’s not so much that the encounter itself unnerved me, though it did, at least slightly.

It’s just that I’m clearly never going to get free stuff from the Vitamin Shoppe ever again.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 11 Comments

March 14, 2004

Yesterday afternoon, I had an attack of generalized fear and panic and self-loathing unmatched in recent memory. E.S. and I had the following exchange:

FAUSTUS (in tears): I don’t understand why you’re with me.
E.S.: You don’t need to understand.

Then we watched four episodes of Six Feet Under on HBO on Demand.

What on earth could I have done in a former life to deserve such a man in this one?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 11 Comments