Ketamine is the new gluten-free diet, in so far as every single circle of friends I have can’t stop blabbing on about it.
For psychiatrists and therapists, it’s the new miracle drug to treat depression… and OCD, and bipolar, and ADHD.
For junkies, it’s the most comfortable high one can get reliably under the constraints of the ever-busier 24/7 modern world.
For hippies, it’s the new liminal space that people can mind meld in and disagree about.
For corporate-type people, it takes the edge off and helps them relax while causing no hangover.
For biohackers, it’s a neuroprotective nootropic.
For crypto bros, it’s just in, and it seems to be on a rise, so you’d better buy now while the first dip hasn’t happened.
I walk into a friend’s house, I haven’t seen him in a year, on the dining room table there’s a vial of ketamine. I’ve never seen him do ketamine nor discussed it with him, yet I find it entirely unsurprising. It’s of so little note it doesn’t even enter the conversation: “Oh, I see you’ve cut down on smoking”, “shit, you’re taking piano lessons”, “damn, I like how you switched up the wardrobes door”, “really, Balenciaga shoes? Did you get named into this bs too?”
There are many subjects more surprising and interesting than the tinny opaque pharmaceutical, because ketamine is everywhere.
Festivals have carts going around giving free ketamine.
Every single blog I read has an article about ketamine.
I’m pretty sure it’s readily available in the bathroom of suit-wearing institutions where people take ironic pride in the suits.
So any way, I like low doses of ketamine?
Like, 2 or 3 bumps, but I gotta do them every few hours
That doesn’t sound low, don’t you get lazzy
No no, if you are careful you get into this sweet space where all the visuals go away and it’s just a slight “breathing” left on every object and textures, kinda like you’re on acid, it’s revelatory.
Were you mixing it with acid?
Well, one the times I was, or multiple times, but I’m pretty sure I got there once with no acid.
Anyway, how often do you do ketamine?
Not too often, I’d rather not build tolerance to it, 3 or 4 times a week tops, and I take breaks
The marker of any great drug is its ability to generate disagreement as to its effects and favored mode of consumption.
And ketamine has a k-hole and not-k-hole, and nobody can quite agree what the k-hole is, except everyone that’s entered the k-hole, in which case they can all agree until one guy describes it quite differently, and then everyone’s certain they missed the point.
The not-k-hole is much more fun though, every 2-bit guru now has their own ontology of the effects of ketamine. And every life coach knows how to progressively up the dosage in order to help their clients get to their inner selves. I’m yet to see two people agree on the exact effects of ketamine, and the dosages at which those effects appeared.
I previously felt like I could be aloof in this whole thing, I tried once and I didn’t like it, it was boring. Then I tried it again some 2 years ago and it was… sigh … a transformative psychoanalytical and psychedelic experience. The cliche is fucking true.
And now it’s getting to the point where I feel like a bit of a weird outsider for only having tried it twice, and for only having tried low doses. I have to treat the subject of IM ketamine like I treated the subject of kissing a girl in 8th grade, trying not to outright lie, while simultaneously dancing around the subject, else I’d be forced to admit I’ve never done it… wouldn’t that be fucking lame, both my grandparents and my dad did IM ketamine, what would you tell me? Get a life
And I can’t just let go it’s trapped my wanna-be-neuro-connoisseur personality facet because, for the life of me, I can’t explain even the effects I did get from it. Before I thought I had it figured out, and I felt quite smug about it, lowered bandwidth for motor control and proprioception ⇒ 2A activation ⇒ psychedelia with some nice anesthetic properties on top.
But then I talked with some other wanna-be-neuro-connoisseur with actual degrees and labs and they both told me my theory was a dump and the effect is actually:
But really, the resurgence of ketamine brings to mind the fundamental question of whether or not time is a line or a cycle. And whether the cycle is internal or external.
I know that ketamine was supposed to be “a thing” but it was “a thing” in some time and place that to me seemed like a foregone eon from one of Tolkien's niche islands where lord Risperidone lead his coalition of Sindar elves in order to avoid going to war with Morgoth.
There were people that did ketamine but they weren’t “my people”, they were barely human. Now everyone I know has done it, is doing it, or is planning to soon do it.
Is this just another face of progress? We stumbled our way into a new minima of our drug finding hyperplane. Ketamine is popular because it always deserved to be, and none of the people I knew had figured it out yet.
Or is it social cycles? Did everyone do too much speed in the later 2010s and now needs to chill the fuck out and integrate.
Or is it aging? I’m afraid it’s aging, I’m afraid it’s just that both me and my friends are now old. And ketamine is just “the thing” that you do in your late 20s and early 30s. It has come and it will pass, and it will make room for something worse, probably benzos, then z drugs, then opioids.
Right now the world’s on ketamine, and isn’t that suitable. As we are slowly loading up all of our conceptual prowess onto machines, we communally delve into abstract geometry and feeble bodies, hoping to reemerge on the other side having understood our actions. How could this be? The mechanism of introspection and the actions have no relation.
That’s the exact fucking point!