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America is traceable to chemicals in food. He washes and scrubs most things he ingests. Not surprisingly, he’s a slight man: five-seven, a hundred twenty pounds. Ross trims his beard and hair bi-monthly; just enough to eliminate split ends and unevenness. He always wears a fatigue jacket, even in summer. Flannel shirts, sneakers and shredded jeans complete his unkempt image, supporting his background as a flower child in the nineteen-sixties. Whenever I mentioned his appearance, he used the Einstein defense, claiming casual comfort as justification. Ross confesses, rather brags, about taking LSD from 1968 until 1973. He admits it altered his brain chemistry, but insists the changes were positive ones. He adamantly denies connections to his psychiatric condition and claims, “Acid made me aware of the true nature of existence.” When I questioned why he stopped taking it, he said, “I maxed out on it. I’m perpetually in tune now, so I don’t need it any more.” Therapy sessions with Mr. Palmer taught me caution about what I choose to disbelieve. Sorting out paranoid verbalizations from expressions of actual perceptions is difficult. For example, the above statement: I can’t see you through your skin. When he said it, I suppressed laughter. I thought, That’s literally true. Reaching further, I wondered if he was saying something about my character, that I use my profession as a “skin” to hide myself from the world. This uncertainty led me to a vague feeling of fear during last week’s session. Ross said, “No one knows what ‘zero hour’ means.” “Which is?” His eyes were glassy and wide. “It’s where we’re headed. Back to zero.” “How so?”

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The Fine Line Issue 3  

The Fine Line presents its third compilation of art, fiction and poetry by contributors Francis Raven, Michael Young, Dorothee Lang, Raj Sha...

The Fine Line Issue 3  

The Fine Line presents its third compilation of art, fiction and poetry by contributors Francis Raven, Michael Young, Dorothee Lang, Raj Sha...

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