I like to get into the world, report on it from the inside. So I followed a few rumors I heard of a place on Broadway where you can go late at night and become a larger collective organism. It’s called the “Frothing Chamber”, and the way to find it is to walk down broadway and flail your arms like an idiot. Someone from the lookout building will shine a laser into your eye when they see your flailing signal. Follow that laser to the nearest alleyway. Climb down the latter in the fake dumpster. You might hear some electronic music on the way down. It’s going to smell too. Bad. But push through it. No good thing comes easy. And for a really good thing, you need to crawl through garbage and shit. Litterally.
At the bottom you’ll find a transitional room with a dim light illuminating a glass table. The table has threethings on it. One -- a pile of white powder. Two -- a stack of bandanas. THree - a list of instructions.
THE RULES OF THE FROTHING CHAMBER
1. Dissociated before entering
2. Leave before sober
3. Be instinctual
4. Do not think
5. Do not speak (although sounds are ok)
6. Keep eyes covered
7. Enjoy a chance to be a cell in a larger organism
Following a pale-faced but vital-eyed frother ahead of me, I snorted enough to fill my nostrils. I immediately felt numbness in my limbs, but a powerful energy in my chest.
Entering the next room, the music got louder. Pounding, frenetic music. Frenetic lights and mirrors and lasers. And a giant bowl, covered in oil, with a few dozen inebriated people laying down, squirming like worms on top of each other with blindfolds on. Some people watched from the outside as they waited for their powder to kick in, as which point they’d allow themselves to fall limp into the bowl, slide to the bottom, and thrash about semi-conciously with the rest of this underground community. At first it felt disgusting. Like humans becoming animals, losing their marbles on purpose because of some other emptiness driving them to try anything, anything at all.
I saw a man catch an elbow to the jaw. I could see a moment of pause in his eyes. It must have hurt. But after coming to terms with the pain, he enlivened, and flopped into the pile again, squirming ever more viciously.
I felt my own energy coming on, and my legs getting wobbly, and I too allowed myself to fall into the frothing pit. At first, there was friction, but as I was pushed around the bowl, I was covered in oil.The feeling of smoothness in all directions was amazing. It made me want to move more, to slide around amongst the many other bodies like mine. To respond to the music. To respond to the grunts and hollers. To push, to pull, to sway.
I exhausted myself and slept in the alley above. I haven’t been back yet. But, I do think the time will come when I am recovered and yearning to escape myself again.
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