The Silver Room

Peter Pastorelli

A guy I new briefly in New York died last month. Through the great synchrony of the Universe, I also found this old journal entry written shortly when I took this photograph which has been on my office wall for decades with the tittle—Peter Pastorelli Smoking a Joint in the Silver Room. The room was a small high ceilinged chamber wallpapered with silver foil in Xanaplanetooch, my father’s expansive medical office at 53rd and Madison.

My 1968 New York journal ended when events reached a frequency that could not be recorded. Peter, Paul, Stanley, and Frank, one strobe light, and eight joints. The room was bathed in black light, interrupted by a strobe. Peter rapped endlessly about conceptual metaphysics that kept touching on the point, but sliding past it from the momentum of his rap. He spoke with his hands, comical because the strobe took the flow out of his gestures. With only one joint left, we were on edge from Peter’s rap. The strobe messed with our senses, hours of non-redundant discontinuous visual stimulation regressed our egos. The joint spoke, morphing into a banana, a turd, a snake, an angel. We rhapsodized, wept, worshipped. Tears filled my eyes. We grieved for that joint, holy, pure, telling us all we needed to know. It was the apple. It was god. We smoked in catholic communion. The strobe kept blowing its number and we gradually left its orbit, our heads aching, and tried to sleep, trying to forget, but you can’t forget what you’ve known. That’s Adam and Eve and a hallucinatory garden. When you’re there you can’t leave, but you can’t go back either.

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