The drug, I’m told, is a fairly potent offshoot of the LSD compound studied by Timothy Leary in the mid-late sixties, whose experiments (and subsequent documentation of said experiments) with the drug were in no small part responsible for its explosion in popularity with the Flower Powerers. As the acid kicks in, I begin to wonder whether the old adage “they don’t make ’em like they used to” can be applied to hard drugs: I have a difficult time believing they made shit like this in the sixties.
The reputed hallucinogenic properties of this particular concoction, nicknamed The Bengal by the ever-growing population of acid-users in the Greater Toronto Area, would seem to explain not only the sudden appearance of the fuzzy death machine, smack in the middle of a reluctantly-attended dinner party, but also why I, sitting on the couch, seem to be the only one who is vaguely unsettled by its presence.
I scream: THIS BENGAL IS DAMAGING MY SENSE OF CALM
The fichus beside me has no immediate response. I wonder if I’d have better luck with the poorly-potted orchid across the room, where a man with a stunning Selleck-esque moustache and a woman wearing a sweater made of what appears to be ocean waves are enjoying a lively conversation about what I’ve found to be the only obligatory topic at such gatherings: American politics (what with Canadian politics being completely devoid of the incendiary talking points required of the vaguely-informed yet heated exchange that always occurs at these sort of functions). I ignore the roars of panthera tigris and tune in.
The overwhelming cultural and political ambiguity surrounding the renewed American presence in the Middle East…
Selleck 2.0 reaches for an hors d’oeuvre. The tiger watches. For God’s sake man, not the cocktail weenie: YOU’LL LOSE A HAND.
I yell: YOU’LL LOSE A HAND
The tiger looks to me. Green eyes ablaze, tail twitching with a sort of unsettling anticipation, it watches me.
I yell: WHAT’S HIS NAME
If I’m going to be eaten, I deserve to know who ate me.
Reginald, comes the disinterested response.
The woman, in waves, pipes up.
Rather regal name for a tabby, isn’t it?
He goes by Reggie.
I yell: TABBY…TIGER?
A light-bulb flickers in my acid-soaked brain. A tiger morphs into a tabby. At first, I am relieved. As the man drones on about drones, I long to be eaten – give me death over politics at any time of the night.
word by Josh Elyea
colour by Akvile Magicdust