CLEAR CHANNEL (PT. 1)
My friend J. channels an entity called “Staria”. J. is a beautiful woman, an actress/model who worked non-stop throughout the 90s as a bikini babe selling beer for major breweries in advertisements you’d see during the superbowl. I’ve known her for 20 years and we’ve been roommates and neighbors over the years. She was a practitioner of meditation and other metaphysical endeavors, but she had never considered entity occupation of her body until one evening after she and I, along with another friend M. consumed about 3 grams each of very strong mushrooms. The magic of psyllocibin kind, not the pungent, but equally pricey Morel kind.
We were hanging out in the living room riding the gentle receding wave of hallucination when she looked at me, where I was laying on the floor with my dishtowel (mushrooms make my nose run and also make me drool) and she said, “Gary is standing right behind you.” Gary, my sweet friend, had died about 6 months earlier after a long and torturous decline into the hell that is AIDS, and I was still numb from missing him. J. knew Gary very peripherally through me. She’d taken some gorgeous photos of us when he was still healthy, but if he was going to appear to anyone there was no good reason why he would pick her. I mean he knew M. much better and adored her so it seemed that he would give her a psychic knock on the subconscious before J. I considered the possibility that perhaps she, in her lithe slenderness was metabolizing her shrooms more slowly and so was in the midst of an hallucinatory vision.
But she went on and said, “He wants me to tell you that everything you told him was true.” She was sitting up on the couch and M. who was in the chair against the wall was staring at her with really big eyes. Now I knew what I had told Gary when he was dying and I thought he was unconscious, but no one else knew so this was kind of freaking me out. I asked “what was it that I said that was true?” And at this point tears started streaming down J’s face, she said, “He said that he feels freer than he ever did in his body and that he is in the most beautiful place and he’s sorry for what he put everyone through. He’s sorry that he made you all suffer.”
Okay. That’s what I said to him. Verbatim. When he was in a coma and his respirations were labored and it seemed like minutes would elapse between raspy breaths. I climbed in the bed and put my arms around him and whispered in his ear that it was okay to go. That when he left his body he would expand and find himself freer than he could ever be in this physical life. That he should look for the light and move toward it because it would take him to the most beautiful place he could imagine.
I was winging it. Not necessarily making it up but pulling it out of my ass for sure. In that moment when someone I loved was so clearly struggling to jump off the mortal coil but couldn’t let go, I tried to give him a map and a flashlight to make his way. I told him what I believe is true – but there are lots of people who would disagree with my version of the truth. Gary in his glory days of hyper-intellectual Skeptical Inquirer super atheist would’ve been the first person to tell me I was full of shit.
But, at the time Gary was in a coma, so I felt free giving him my two cents knowing that he couldn’t argue with me.
So now I have J. repeating back to me the words I whispered in his ear and M. has her knees up under her chin in a seated fetal position staring at the space on the wall over my head. I glanced over my shoulder and I didn’t see or feel anything spectre-like there. J. continued, “he wants you to move on. You are still grieving and it keeps him near you. He would like to move on too.
Now all three of us were crying and M. was freaked out because this felt vaguely like something that you could go to hell for. Or at least that Satan might have a hand in. And it was very weird. J. was almost speaking in the same cadences that Gary used. She has her own way of talking that was kind of valley, kind of her own lingo, and she wasn’t talking like that.
And then there was the fact that we had spent the afternoon hallucinating after eating blue mushrooms grown in the Amazon. I decided not to think too much about any of it and just accept the information since it was probably what I needed to hear. Whether it was Gary who was reaching across from some other dimension to tell me to let go already, or whether it was blue shrooms giving J. a gift with language that would be gone the next day.
But there was something to that experience that didn’t go away the next day for J. and she embarked on a journey that some would call crazy.