The Tale of The Live Chameleons
This room, I’m sure I recognise it, remember it from a dream maybe? The dark and the smell, that smell, I remember that stink of incense smoke, hanging in the air like a cloud of sick and flowers. The figure sat in the corner. I know him I think. Am I dreaming? Something’s not right. What’s going on?
I don’t like this.
When was I born? Where am I? Who am I?
We live in something called reality. This is reality. Is this reality? Oh shit, I’ve got to get my head together, I am real, and this room is real. I remember. I’m feeling better now. God that was mad, I lost it for a second then, head went a bit west. Best close my eyes. Relax.
I’m rocking, in a cot, feels nice, just got to relax. Floating, cradled in the arms of who…Mother Nature? She’s telling me,
Lying in a field, orange sky swirling above, grass warm and thick. Inside I’m glowing, heat flows through me. Everything feels right. Everything feels like it’s joined together.
I open my eyes.
This room. So familiar, I was just here. But then where have I just been? In a field? What’s going on? What does all this mean? I feel so strange; am I going crazy, or am I asleep. I hope I’m asleep. That man, in the corner, small guy, little beard and glasses, scruffy hair. I know him, I’m sure of it; I’ll ask him what’s going on.
“Whurp gaaaa” I dribble.
He just stares. He looks so strange.
“Are you ok Nogsy man?
I think of an answer.
“I told you it was strong didn’t I. Salvia Divinorum, it’d a type of sage, one of the strongest hallucinogens on the planet and it’s totally legal man, you can buy it down the road.”
“You take this often then Mac? Intense innit?”
“Heh heh, no man, only have it now and then, it’s quite a spiritual hit, not to be taken for fun.”
“So why did you give me a big pipe of it to smoke then?”
“Hey sorry man, but you need something to help clean up that black aura of yours, plus you said it was bollocks and that nothing legal could be that good”
“I was wrong.”
“I know man, I know.”
“I still feel off my head, how long does it last?”
“Twenty minutes or so, you’ll be cool man, just relax.”
It was easy for Mac to say just relax, he took the wildest types of drugs you could think of, so he was used to having reality well and truly warped, he called himself a psychonaught, dedicated to pushing the boundaries of human conciseness or something. But I had things to be doing tonight, I needed Mac to give me the tablets so I could meet Stewie and I’d chosen the wrong time to push the boundaries of my conciseness because at the moment I felt like I was nailed to the chair and my mind off visiting other dimensions when really I needed to be out making money.
“Nogsy, do you know what the I-Ching is?”
“Never heard of it mate, what is it, another mad drug of yours?”
“No, it’s an ancient Chinese oracle, you know like fortune telling, but it’s more than that, much more. You want me to do you a reading?”
“Er, look Mac, I gotta be going really mate, can’t we just leave it?”
I tried to stand up and felt like I was being pulled back into the seat by some giant magnet. The Salvia was still working its magic. It was strong stuff. I sighed and looked at Mac who was looking at me, eyes smiling.
“Ok mate, go on, looks like I won’t be going anywhere too soon.”
“You’ll be sound in no time, it’ll wear off, just let me go get the stuff”
He came back into the room with a cardboard shoebox. He put it down took off the lid and brought out three tattered paperback books, a jotting pad and a small wooden box with a yin yang symbol on. He opened the box and tipped out three Chinese coins into the palm of his hand.
“I need you to take these coins Nogs, and think of a question, you can tell me if you want or keep it to yourself, but just think of a question and when you are ready throw the coins on the floor. You’ll throw the coins six times and each time I’ll make a note of what you threw, at the end you’ll have a symbol called a hexagram and I’ll consult these books and tell you what your hexagram means. Does that make sense?”
Mac smiled and handed me the three coins, small and round with square holes in the middle. They looked ancient.
“Think of a question and throw the coins, that’s all man.”
I held the coins in my hand like dice and shook them. I thought of my question, what was the best way to deal with this Stewie kid, and could I make even more money off him somehow.
I threw the coins.
Mac looked down at them then drew something down on his jotter pad.
“Ok man, that’s seven, Yang”
He showed me the pad; he had drawn a horizontal line in pencil. I nodded.
I continued throwing the coins, each time Mac looked at them mumbled a number, drew a line then told me to throw again. I did that another five times then he told me to stop.
He finished drawing lines, wrote some numbers then he looked in one of his books, he handed me the pad while he flicked through one of the paperbacks.
“That’s twenty-four, Fu, The Returning, it means a turning point, timing must be cultivated, patience is needed, new energies will appear, be cautious as with anything new.”
“That line with a little cross through it, that’s a moving line, that represents change, the line reads –
“Quiet return, good fortune”
“And the other hexagram is nineteen Lin, Approach, it means advance with care, consider others more and warns that rash decisions are costly now, so be careful, don’t rush things and things should turn out fine for you.”
I nodded and considered the sagely wisdom of the oracle.
“Have you got those tablets then Mac? I need to go.”