TELEPATHY: contact on the nonverbal level of intuition and feeling

I know from my own experience that telepathy is a fact. I have no interest in proving telepathy or anything to anybody. I do want usable knowledge of telepathy. What I look for in any relationship is contact on the nonverbal level of intuition and feeling, that is, telepathic contact.

— William Burroughs, Junky

The orgasm of a hanged man when his neck snaps

I lay on the narrow wood bench, twisting from one side to the other. My body was raw, twitching, tumescent, the junk-frozen flesh in agonizing thaw. I turned over on my stomach and one leg slipped off the bench. I pitched forward and the rounded edge of the bench, polished smooth by the friction of cloth, slid along my crotch. There was a sudden rush of blood to my genitals at the slippery contact. Sparks exploded behind my eyes; my legs twitched — the orgasm of a hanged man when the neck snaps.

— William Burroughs, Junky

I never could mix vigilance and sex . . .

In the French Quarter there are several queer bars that are so full every night the fags spill out on to the sidewalk. A room full of fags gives me the horrors. They jerk around like puppets on invisible strings, galvanized into hideous activity that is the negation of everything living and spontaneous. The live human being has moved out of these bodies long ago. But something moved in when the original tenant moved out. Fags are ventriloquists’ dummies who have moved in and taken over the ventriloquist. The dummy sits in a queer bar nursing his beer, and uncontrollably yapping out of a rigid doll face.

Occasionally, you find intact personalities in a queer bar, but fags set the tone of these joints, and it always brings me down to go into a queer bar. The bring-down piles up. After my first week in a town I have had about all I can take of these joints, so my bar business goes somewhere else, generally to a bar in or near Skid Row.

But I backslide now and then. One night, I got lobotomized drunk in Frank’s and went to a queer bar. I must have had more drinks in the queer joint, because there was a lapse of time. It was getting light outside when the bar hit one of those sudden pockets of quiet. Quiet is something that does not often happen in a queer joint. I guess most of the fags had left. I was leaning against the bar with a beer I didn’t want in front of me. The noise cleared like smoke and I saw a red-haired kid was looking straight at me and standing about three feet away.

He didn’t come on faggish, so I said, “How you making it?” or something like that.

He said: “Do you want to go to bed with me?”

I said, “O.K. Let’s go.”

As we walked out, he grabbed my bottle of beer off the bar and stuck it under his coat. Outside, it was daylight with the sun just coming up. We staggered through the French Quarter passing the beer bottle back and forth. He was leading the way in the direction of his hotel, so he said. I could feel my stomach knot up like I was about to take a shot after being off the junk a long time. I should have been more alert, of course, but I never could mix vigilance and sex. All this time he was talking in a sexy Southern voice which was not a New Orleans voice, and in the daylight he still looked good.

[From William Burroughs’ Junky]

The Facts about Weed

Tea heads are not like junkies. A junky hands you the money, takes his junk and cuts. But tea heads don’t do things that way. They expect the peddler to light them up and sit around talking for half an hour to sell two dollars’ worth of weed. If you come right to the point, they say you are a “bring down.” In fact, a peddler should not come right out and say he is a peddler. No, he just scores for a few good “cats” and “chicks” because he is viperish. Everyone knows that he himself is the connection, but it is bad form to say so. God knows why. To me, tea heads are unfathomable.

There are a lot of trade secrets in the tea business, and tea heads guard these supposed secrets with imbecilic slyness. For example, tea must be cured, or it is green and rasps the throat. But ask a tea head how to cure weed and he will give you a sly, stupid look and come-on with some double-talk. Perhaps weed does affect the brain with constant use, or maybe tea heads are naturally silly.

The tea I had was green so I put it in a double boiler and set the boiler in the oven until the tea got the greenish-brown look it should have. This is the secret of curing tea, or at least one way to do it.

Tea heads are gregarious, they are sensitive, and they are paranoiac. If you get to be known as a “drag” or a “bring down,” you can’t do business with them. I soon found out I couldn’t get along with these characters and I was glad to find someone to take the tea off my hands at cost. I decided right then I would never push any more tea.

In 1937, weed was placed under the Harrison Narctotics Act. Narcotics authorities claim it is a habit-forming drug, that its use is injurious to mind and body, and that it causes the people who use it to commit crimes. Here are the facts: Weed is positively not habit forming. You can smoke weed for years and you will experience no discomfort if your supply is suddenly cut off. I have seen tea heads in jail and none of them showed withdrawal symptoms. I have smoked weed myself off and on for fifteen years, and never missed it when I ran out. There is less habit to weed than there is to tobacco. Weed does not harm the general health. In fact, most users claim it gives you an appetite and acts as a tonic to the system. I do not know of any other agent that gives as definite a boot to the appetite. I can smoke a stick of tea and enjoy a glass of California sherry and a hash house meal.

I once kicked a junk habit with weed. The second day off junk I sat down and ate a full meal. Ordinarily, I can’t eat for eight days after kicking a habit.

Weed does not inspire anyone to commit crimes. I have never seen anyone get nasty under the influence of weed. Tea heads are a sociable lot. Too sociable for my liking. I cannot understand why people who claim weed causes crimes do not follow through and demand the outlawing of alchohol. Every day, crimes are commited by drunks who would not have commited the crime sober.

There has been a lot said about the aphrodisiac effect of weed. For some reason, scientists dislike to admit that there is such a thing as an aphrodisiac, so most pharmacologists say there is “no evidence to support the popular idea that weed possesses aphrodisiac properties.” I can say definitely that weed is an aphrodisiac and that sex is more enjoyable under the influence of weed than without it. Anyone who has used good weed will verify this statement.

— From Junky, by William Burroughs