Excerpt

This is an excerpt from my book, Memoirs from the War in Heaven, about the Black Iron Prison. (Have you ever seen it?) And I will acknowledge that back then I did do drugs, but man, how I would pay for that later:

This one time, I was beginning to psychedelicize and was looking through some interesting subversive material in the form of The Book of the SubGenius; when I was about to snicker about something therein, I happened upon the words, “Don’t Laugh,” and wow: the Conspiracy had suddenly infiltrated. Like my mind were being read by nefarious forces. I was listening to the radio, but what I heard now was some simplistic tune-like simulation, not real music but an aping of what music was in reality. And I could swear the “song” lyrics were talking to me, or about me. Trips don’t normally go like this, folks. I looked out the window: holy crap on a stick! Where did these bars outside my window come from? WTF is outside?!? This isn’t Pittsburgh! This isn’t Earth! I got the sense that my room were one small cell in an immense building, shut off from everything. I had been transported, somehow, elsewhere.

The sky was dim with red, and was there an oppressive presence of something above we didn’t want the attention of. (We dared not whisper the word, “evil.”) All the buildings were black, a landscape the likes of which I had never seen before. Alien. Like the ancient crossed with the future in architecture, and sinister, iron tortured into the shape of claws at the joints. Black, all black everywhere. Other people had seen this place too: they called it the Black Iron Prison.

That was the first time I thought I had been removed to another dimension, but it was certainly not to be the last. That first time, I believed I had literally died and had gone to Hell. It was Hell. Not that I was in any pain, but the sensation, the atmosphere was exactly how Dante put it: abandon all hope, ye who enter here. The land of utter despair. I imagined how they in the waking world were finding my body. I had thought that I had leaned too far back and crashed my head against the glass, so uncoordinated I had been in my wasted state. So this was going to be my eternity? It was as if my room had been taken with me in it and installed in the netherworld. In the bad place.

That year, one of my posters was Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, hanging up right above my bed; and on one of my stays in the ’Prison, I looked at the face of the Tree Man in the third panel (which was entitled, “Hell”), and I knew that that was where I was. Bosch had seen it too, apparently. If you look in the rear of that panel, there was that immense building where I had been prisoner. I did happen to get out all the times I was there, 3 maybe 4 times, and there were some weird productions on how that was accomplished each of those times, but it was the very last time which was the most interesting.

Once again, I looked out the window to that alien expanse. Black? Check. Iron? Check. Prison? Check. I didn’t feel worried in the least. Completely old hat. I was sitting in my chair, I think it was, doing something on my computer. (How exactly was it Hell when I had a working Macintosh IIci?) Then came a voice, a whisper, that let me in on the joke, told me the secret to it all: “Walt Disney is God.” And with that, BOOM! Not just me was it that were freed from the ’Prison, but everyone was now free, according to the landscape I could see with my mind’s eye, my eye into Halospace. (That was the beginning, I later realized, of the free floating apparitions of people, living and dead, whom I would interact with.) Note that this trip, too, I would come down from, but my psyche was by then quite tweaked. I was more LSD than man.



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