I wish I could say I met the Circle of Gub through serendipitous, synchronicity-laden circumstances, like say a star fell out of the sky and hit the earth, raising a sparkling dust cloud that spelt out their email address, but the mundane truth was I just googled, ‘Ayahuasca circles Los Angeles’ and someone had supplied their details in a forum somewhere.
 I got into contact with the group and arranged a meeting with the shaman. I wanted to be careful. The growing popularity of the Ayahuasca movement had produced a recent spate of fake shamans or ‘Sham-mans’ and I didn’t want to put my soul into the hands of some unqualified poser. We met at Starbucks, which immediately put me at ill ease. I mean it was Starbucks. The jewel in the evil empire. The supplier of the b-grade amphetamine poison, fed to the masses to keep them locked in repetitive task-based labour hell. What kind of Shaman would arrange to meet here?
 When he arrived though, I was immediately put at ease. The first thing I noticed was his huge clear blue eyes. He had the gaze of a cosmic eagle that had flown through several blackholes to beat infinite at a staring match 3–0. We had a chat about many things I couldn’t remember, because I was too distracted by his oceanic eyes. The main thing though, was that I was going to do the June ceremony. 
 I was advised to go on the strict Ayahuasca dieta. This meant no meat, no processed sugar, as little salt as possible, no onions, no garlic, no processed food, no unfiltered water, no drugs, no sex — basically most of the pleasurable things that made life enjoyable. 
 I had already kicked most of those things, so it came down to kicking sugar, salt and unprocessed food that became the real challenge. I was living with a sugar freak at the time, so there was temptation everywhere.
 ‘Eat me, eat me, eat me!’ The gummy bears would chant from their jar. 
 ‘I cannot! I must be pure so I might become a conduit for the light!’ I’d yell back.
 ‘Just have one! Just have one!’ They’d counter.
 It was a strong argument they had. One I couldn’t rebut.
 ‘OK.’ I said, opening the jar.
 One gummy bear turned into three turned into five turned into ten. Before I knew it, my blood sugar had rose, but my vibrational frequency had plummeted, leaving me open to attack from negative entities.
 ‘Ah!! Ah!’ I yelped as tiny bat like creatures swooped and bit my brain, infecting me with thoughts of self-hatred and doubt. I shook on the floor in a sugar coma for a few hours, before I recovered enough strength to invoke the archangel Gabriel for strength and protection from the tiny sugared satans that taunted me from their Hell jar.
 I put the jar on the highest shelf in the cupboard and shut the doors on the gummy bear’s screaming faces. They seemed to hate the dark, but then again, didn’t we all?
 Salt, garlic and onion were the next hardest to kick. I mean these three things were vital in making food taste like anything, and once they were reduced, food seemed bland and unappetizing. It was almost like I was just eating food for nutrition and not a form of escape, entertainment or emotional compensation. 
 Like what the fuck?
 It made me think about how much food plays a part in people’s modern lives. It seemed to dominate it entirely. Like the goal in life was to taste as many nice things that you could, to make up for I guess the overwhelming lack of meaning in today’s society or some shit. 
 It made me think back to how one time when I was living in England with two gay guys I had met on a gay flat finding agency, which I didn’t realize was a gay flat finding agency until it was too late, how one day when I was by myself, I made myself this incredible meal of wild mushroom fettucine with a white wine and cream sauce. I remember sitting down at the table in an empty house and eating it by myself, hearing the cutlery clank on the porcelain plate and echo down the hallway of my empty heart.
 The tasty food couldn’t mask the bad vibes. 
 Being in America was like being in a country with a lot of people in a similar situation as the one I had just described. It is an addictive culture. Everything is designed to be as addictive as possible so you keep buying it to keep the economy afloat.
 But I no longer wanted to be a part of this gastronomical circle jerk. 
 I had had my fill of the tasty emptiness. 
 I was heading for the light now. 
 In terms of masturbation, it wasn’t too much trouble to hang my right hand man’s right hand on the shelf for a while. I had been practicing conscientious abstention for a while in order to preserve my vital force. The theory was that sexual energy was vital in the healing process. If you didn’t have enough sexual energy in you, you wouldn’t get as deep of a healing. As for sex, it didn’t really matter so much as I was kind of living a hermetic lifestyle. That was until I started working illegally at a Poki bowl restaurant in downtown LA. The front of house manager lady was a Korean lady in her early 40’s. While her personality was somewhat repellent in a neurotic, controlling way, there was an undeniable attraction between us and we started flirting immediately. Every time I talked to her, I became more and more convinced of our complete incompatibility. She was bossy, prone to micro managing and mean spirited. All the other workers did not like her, and even though some of them didn’t even speak a common language, they were united together in a common hatred of her, making devil horns whenever she left the room and giggling with each other. And yet despite her aberrant personality, my erect penis — that was thankfully restrained by my work apron — didn’t seem to give a hoot. I’d be listening to her complain to me about everything that was wrong in the world, while visualizing having sex with her in the supply closet with my hand over her mouth and saying, ‘Shut up, just shut up.’ Before shaking my head and shuddering, as my inner feminist severed my inner misogynist’s penis with a pair of gardening shears and threw it into a well before galloping off on the back of a red steed, into the distance, through a picture of a sunset and back into the void.
 I couldn’t stop thinking about her. It was torturous. It made no sense. There just seemed to be some kind of animal attraction between us and that was that. Some kind of animal attraction that transcended any reason. 
 One night while deep in meditation, it suddenly occurred to me that the woman was some kind of demon-riddled sleepwalker, and that having sex with her would mean certain death for me. 
 Yep, there was no doubt about it, I knew a succubus when I saw one.
 I called up Black Hole Eagle Infinite Gaze.
 ‘What’s up?’ He asked me in his slight Italian accent.
 ‘I want to sleep with my front of house manager. Every one of my senses tell me no, except for my sex drive. I think she is a succubi, sent to try and steal my life force to prevent me from merging with the light.’
 There was silence on the other end for a while.
 ‘Are you going to do it?’ He asked
 ‘Well. Gees, I’m thinking about. What do you reckon?’ 
 I thought about how absurd the situation was, to ask a man I had only met once if I could have the permission to have sex with a succubus.
 ‘Well umm I’d like to.’ I said.
 ‘Well it’s your choice. If you hold on all the way, you will have a deeper healing. If you don’t well, just make sure you don’t have sex with her three days before the ceremony.’
 ‘I see.’
 We hung up. 
 The next day I went to work.
 ‘I’m breaking up with my boyfriend. I’m gonna move into a new place on the weekend.’ She told me, giving me a suggestive look.
 ‘Oh, I’m so happy for you ha ha ha.’ I mumbled. 
 This was some kind of test. I could sense it. Would I be able to delay gratification for a deeper healing, or would I break my will and shoot my precious life goop into this succubi’s black hole?
 ‘Maybe we can hang out when you get the place.’ I said to her. As she smiled at me, I saw a shadow shaped like a flying lizard slither across her eyes and stop to hiss at me. 
 It was so hot.
 I went home, balls aflame. What was I to do? I had already done 8 months of celibacy and it had driven me close to madness. Also was it even good for me? When I finally broke that 8 month stint, in some terrible anti-climax of a release, I remember the substance being the colour of fanta.
 ‘Ooh that’s not healthy.’ I’d said aloud in my hotel room.
 I dry humped myself to sleep that night, dreaming of women-shaped devils trying to tempt me with their sinuous ways. I barely made it to dawn, somehow keeping a lid on my spurt through my sheer awkwardness around most women, including dream women, who were repelled by my fear-based trust issues.
 When I woke up in the morning I was horrified to find my pubis, buttocks and upper thighs covered in an unsightly red rash comprised of many pustulating pimples. I gazed upon myself in disgust. All bets were off. There was no way I could show my horribly deformed naked body to anyone outside of myself. 
 I went to work and continued to fantasise about her while I flirted with her. But all my fantasies now had some section where I had to explain to her that I just wanted to go slow and I wasn’t ready to sleep with her at least for a few weeks, and when she asked me why? I made up some reason about being a sensitive person, when really it was just because I had some kind of terrible leprosy analogue growing on my groin regions.
 I started thinking though. This seemed to be some kind of lucky occurrence. This groin rash was perhaps divinely ordained as a protective mechanism to keep me chaste. 
 ‘Alright whatever, I get the message…. I take a vow of absolute celibacy, until I see you next.’ I prayed to the Ayahuasca spirit in the sauna, making sure to cover my lower section with a towel to shield my divine shame skin from the eyes of the others.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.