Yesterday, Salon published a piece by writer Neal Pollack about his experiences with this year’s moral panic-inspiring quasi-legal drug, salvia divinorum, in a piece called Confessions of a Salvia Eater.
Fans of Mr. Pollack will no doubt enjoy his description of what he saw on the other side:
But then, fans might feel like they’ve been there before.
In 2006, Mr. Pollack reviewed a biography of Timothy Leary for The Nation and described the same trip: “I perceived that a flash of light had filled the room, though it didn’t wake up my wife. I heard, and even felt, an enormous thud. A squat, thick stone warrior was standing at the foot of my bed, unmoving, unspeaking. It was like he’d been sent to me as a gift or an offering, or maybe a warning. … Dude. That was freaky.”
Mr. Pollack called the Media Mob after an initial e-mail inquiry and said that when writing the Salon piece he’d forgotten about his Nation review (“I feel bad I forgot it”) and pointed out that he’d actually written about the experience on his blog in 2005. (He says his editor at Salon knew about that earlier version.) He says that the differences in his descriptions of the trip are reasonable enough. After all, it’s drugs.
“It’s as if I were writing about my dream,” he said. “Every time you describe it to someone, it’s different. It’s essentially the same dream.”
As for his roundtrip reports, Mr. Pollack explained them, too: “It’s a time-honored habit for writers.”