The miracle

He thought that he’d broken through to God. Most of the time he now at least believed in the existence of a Creator. He was still working on God’s exact personality traits, but he was going with loving and fair for now. The AA meetings he’d recently started attending always spoke of “a loving God” and so he accepted this as he did the programme. The recovering alcoholics emphasised that while only the belief in a Power greater than himself could restore him to sanity, this Power was the God of his own understanding. It could be the Spirit of the Universe or the AA Group Conscience, but Sebastian van Dyk leaned towards Jesus and the God of the Bible. This brought its own problems so most of the time he allowed himself the freedom to simply believe in a God that is good, regardless of whether He was from the Bible, as long as he cared for him and had the power to answer his prayers. His prayers were simple ones: happiness, a new job, the wellbeing of his family. Today however he prayed for a miracle.

In his mind his life over the last 4 years had been on a sort of downward slope. He worked as a civil servant, a job that was unstimulating to say the least and not as well paying as the more glamorous jobs he’d held in finance until the age of 36. There were all kinds of drags to his life. He had to budget, he gained weight, his body ached in places some of the time and he was not living up to  his own expectations. Supposedly brilliant, he’d from a young age underwhelmed his school teachers with his half-hearted participation in academics. After finishing high school he went to college to further his studies with a career in mind, but he soon embarked on a career of drinking and drugging with much more ardour than what he had ever reserved for his studies. The drugs got heavier and his grades lighter, until he reached the stage where he was barred from further studies in the same curriculum. Sebastian wasn’t too bothered at this state of affairs and floated deeper into addiction until he became a full blown heroin junkie. Today he still took a substitute drug – as prescribed by his psychiatrist – so that he could maintain his abstinence from the street drug. This, his antidepressants, mood stabilisers and – most of all – his sleeping tablets were like hooks in his skin reminding him about Lou Reed’s lyrics of one Candy hating her body “and all that it required”. Smoking was his other evil companion that caused him hours of worrying about his health.

But that day he only asked for a miracle – in any way, shape of form – because he felt sick of his life, and sure enough it happened. He’d long been looking for a supplier of magic mushrooms – ever since he’d heard about the spiritual experiences this drug could induce and the positive and lasting insights it could lead one to. He’d imagined he might end a good trip free from the smoking and pills and all. So when he went on a father and son weekend with a friend of his and the friend mentioned how he’d taken shrooms in his younger years, Sebastian was immediately interested and procured a number from his friend. He got it on the first day of the miracle and by the second he was consuming a fair dose of it at his local municipal swimming pool. There things became clearer to him. He didn’t need all the things he thought he did in life. He had everything a man could wish for and more. He saw a blind, spastic and retarded toddler swim with his mother and their caretaker. He spoke to a Belgian woman who was planning to move to his suburb from her native country. He exercised his limbs and enjoyed the sun as well as the cool water. He listened to the Mark Levin Show podcast as he did every weekday and followed that one by a Tim Ferris Show episode where the guest was a legendary hippie and music promoter/manager of stars like Alice Cooper. The guest was content and grateful, just like Sebastian was becoming. When he’d spent enough time at the pool and the mushrooms were starting to wear off he went to a nearby restaurant for coffee and lunch and spoke to a number of interesting people that included hippies and moms from his children’s nearby school. He realised he was lucky to have the kind of job where he could just call in sick without this affecting anything negatively. He realised that the world accepted him and that he accepted the world. There was a truth to life.

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