By DAVID ZHA
After one raucous night when Fratman copulated in his bed and subsequently puked all over his record player and Algernon Cadwallader vinyls, Iggy the Nerd Bro Hipster had had enough. It was time to put that smug, womanizing, salmon-shorts-wearing, CoCo-loving, privilege-waving douchebag in his place.
Botany is one of many odd hobbies NBH enjoyed when not working out to Anberlin’s discography or crushing midday beers during League of Legends drinking games. He liked the privacy it provided him and the opportunity to get away from his busy lifestyle of archetypal shape-shifting. He also liked the psilocybin mushrooms.
Fratman — like any super-douche — has a myriad of crippling Kryptonites. One of his more well-known Achilles’ heels was his extreme aversion to psychedelic drugs, which developed after an acid trip almost taught him that desire and ego were roadblocks to happiness, the boundary between self and universe was an illusion, his physical reality was a manifestation of consciousness and there could be no external peace without internal peace. Thankfully, three seasons of Entourage and countless 30-racks of Natural Ice later he finally managed to suppress the dreadful experience from his memory, but the fratstar did not forget the dangers of hallucinogens.
It was this knowledge that allowed NBH a smug smile of victory as he watched Fratman grimace over his oddly flavored morning latte.
Fratman was in lecture when it hit, a feeling of queasiness in his stomach that bordered on nausea. When class ended he raced home, beginning to feel his senses warp and giddiness overtake him. He returned to his room and collapsed on his bed as invisible atomic galaxies once invisible to his naked eye careened above him on the ceiling, frightening him to no end. He closed his eyes and felt himself soar out of his body into space.
He found himself in a white room that seemed to stretch out infinitely and confronted with a tall, well-dressed, bearded man with a tangled mane of shoulder length hair. Confused, he clambered to his feet, and stared at the person in front of him.
He finally managed a stammer. “J-Jesus?”
“Nope,” the man responded in a crisp English accent, “My name’s Russell, actually. Russell Brand. The resemblance is uncanny I know, but I think these fabulous boots of mine give me a one-up.”
“Oh my God! You’re that dude from Get Him to the Greek! Rock on!”
“Why yes, I am in fact a celebrated comedian and actor and while I thank you for being a patron of my comedy, I do wish you were more privy to my recent work. But what I really am is a mental projection created to help your mind grapple with the highly intense conscious experience you are currently undergoing by bringing in some element of the known material plane so that you may sanely cope with the magnitude of infinite space.”
Fratman scratched his head. “What … are you like a … drug fairy?”
Russell clapped his hands in acknowledgement and exclaimed, “Sure! Right! Whatever it takes to help your brain digest what you’re about to see. Come along, Fratsby, let’s take a walk.”
Suddenly the surroundings changed into what Fratman recognized as his university. Only things weren’t quite right. People seemed … cheerful. At least Fratman didn’t notice any of the customary grimaces worn by passersby. There was an air of pleasant chatter. People of all ages were scattered everywhere, doing the strangest array of things.
Russell began to walk and point at things.
“Look there, mate. Construction guys working on a new housing project. They’re a bit loud, but that’s quite alright, bless their souls. Some real strapping lads those guys. Aha, painting party going on over there. Must be impressionism. Frisbee players there. Good old traditionalists keeping our college traditions alive, bravo. En garde, some fencers having a go on the stairs there. Must be more fun when there’s an elevation differential involved. Ooh, Dale’s leading his tai chi class again. Cam brought his free weights out, good for him.”
As they strolled through campus, Fratman was shocked at people’s open display of their interests, people who seemed genuinely unconcerned with his ogling eyes and completely lost in what they were doing, unfettered by scheduling.
“Why are there so many people outside?” he asked.
“Well, it’s a nice day. People understand they could die at any moment, the present is the only reality and that time is an eternal thing that shouldn’t be chopped up and regulated. So they’re probably just carrying on with their usual happy work and these are just the ones who felt like doing it outside with some sun.”
“So what’s the deal?” Fratman sneered, “Everything seems about the same. Do people just hold hands, sing ‘Kumbaya,’ play ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ all day now?”
“The difference is in the internal paradigm shift, mate, which is invisible. You’re viewing humanity at a time when it has moved on from an age of brutality and hierarchical oppression to a point where all individuals are seen as equals, not because of cheap political exhortation, but because it has realized each person alone is a microcosm for humanity itself. Humans have left behind the negative parts of their mind, the parts that produce judgment, fear and anxiety. Naturally war, violence and deceit have vanished. Kindness and truth have proliferated exponentially due to the understanding of the oneness of our inner divinity, and that looking upon someone else is literally looking upon yourself.”
“OK, I didn’t follow any of that.”
“That’s alright, mate. Just understand that as a conscious being, you are a conscious embodiment of life itself and that life works through you to observe itself. We are all small parts in this greater universal entity and must surrender our feeble illusions of control in order to internally align with greater consciousness and achieve our true external potential.”
“You’re a hippie.”
“Right on, mate. You could just keep on hiding behind the facade of your identity if you like, but I’d encourage you to do some real digging within yourself. The needs of your body and desires of your mind are just aspects of your temporary self my friend. You are a receiver, tuned into the frequencies of a greater universal consciousness. How long can you keep up with this whole ‘Fraternity Man’ business? Isn’t your real name Herbert?”
And with that, the trip was over. Fratman rose from his bed, his senses still ringing, with a strange fear gripping his chest. He sits in silence, alone with his mind until NBH knocks on his door.
“How was your day?” NBH asked with a smirk.
“You know … that Russell Brand is a real asshole.”
David Zha is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Angry Spirit Bear appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.