It was far too many bits for any one brain to process. It was the entire information age exploded inward, swirling like some three dimensional Rorschach lava lamp broken open onto a sea of psychedelic anemones, the complexity of which was now culminating in a way that made his eventual return to normalcy laughably contemptible.
In the last 48 hours, they had been in four countries. He’d stepped out of a theater in London’s West End after seeing a woman he’d made love to only hours before recite Shakespeare reinterpreted for the 21st century, and hoisted his first bitter ale in an Indian restaurant called Red Door.
A train would take them, and hundreds of others, like a shot bullet to Paris, where he’d sit (and she’d nap) in a university auditorium with hundreds of people smarter than the two of them combined, to hear a former roommate, now rising philosopher, deliver a paper on a recently deceased post structuralist, knowing that moments afterward, it would be the three of them flying to see the Greek national football team, meaning soccer, trounce Ajax, in front of 70 thousand more people in another country all together.
Perhaps it was the blond hashish from Lebanon, and the brownie whose ingredients were thoroughly unknown, and fantbulously heiroglpyhic, that was responsible for his current state of intellectual overload. But he was starting to grow dizzy with what the world had to offer.
The entire universe, much less Holland, was better analyzed sober. But no one told his brain this, and it was presently crunching the possibilities of however many other possible destinations they could have selected to train or fly or bike or hydrofoil to, which would be “on” when they arrived.
They were now crossing into Wuppertal Germany, where Wilco, one of their all-time favorite alt-rock bands, was playing an outdoor music festival. The plan was to scalp near the venue; they had enough broken German between them to get a fair price, and then they would fire up the pipe and be very high New Yorkers, in what was once Prussia, seeing a band from Chicago, Illinois.
That’s when the brain freeze occurred. It’s the drugs, he calculated. The planet’s innumerable possibilities had never really halted him like this before. Not on shrooms, or dope, or booze and shrooms and dope all together, even.
What he was feeling now was nothing less than deep psychological vertigo, one of the intended, and much sought after side-effects of this particular coffee shops’ highly recommended, very stinky, oil based hashish, proudly exported by Lebanon.
How many mind blowing events were occurring at this very second on the planet earth? And not just things he and she could buy a tickets too, like the 13 year old Chinese piano prodigy playing Rachmaninoff live at the Hollywood Bowl, or The National Poetry Slam Finals going down at the Nuyorican in New York’s East Village, or the Curling Championships all of Canada was watching.
There were the myriad acts of brilliance occurring in places no one would ever see: the artist who would not be discovered in his lifetime, painting what would be known in fifty years as a global masterpiece. A scientist pulling another all-nighter inches from a cancer breakthrough. A hungry mother giving birth to the next great philosophical mind of the epoch, by herself, in a run down hovel in Slovenia.
And further off, far from our blue green planet, dense molecular clouds were collapsing into balls of interstellar plasma to form a star that would eventually give enough heat and light for the spark of life on a nearby exo-planet richer, and more diversified than our own. It was only a few million years away, happening this very second.
What was he supposed to do with all this expanding awareness beside order a fresh brewed hefeweizen, and hope it dulled the synapses enough to get a few hours of rest. Tomorrow was a very busy day.