Joyland

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A Craigslist Ad for a Mind-blowing Self-Actualization Party

by Margaret Wappler

"A Craigslist Ad for a Mind-blowing Self-Actualization Party" was first published in Joyland Retro Vol. 1 No. 1. Wappler is currently working on a novel.

A half-Japanese man and an artistic woman seek companionship for an all-night party in which we will rip open our souls and spear out the tangy ego with a cocktail fork. We live off of Mulholland Drive in a painfully minimalist pad with the kind of turquoise swimming pool that’s witnessed a few instances of virgin blood and a couple of near-fatal overdoses. But let that darkness motivate you to form a tender militia outfitted in gauze and amethyst, linen and leather, who will march from Cold Canyon Road into our home that we’ve rented from a fallen ‘90s director with an autistic son. If you can see auras or feel vibrations—and we prefer those who can—you can glide your hand over the sleek smoked glass of our home and feel the snapped-off dreams of all its residents, past and present. In the living room, where we once grappled on the floor after a rough night of too much cocaine and a confessed abortion, the aura is a pulsating, sweaty purple that starts screaming like a schizophrenic little girl obsessed with cats and numbers if you’re on enough mushrooms. If you’re really deep, you can set your hands upon the stone-tile floor and feel the constant tremor, the lowdown talky rumble of the Big One, coming any day now to eat us, eat us, eat us all. This seismic clusterfuck, once it dawns, will open The Great Chasm of California, a goddess of monstrous demand with an open shuddering mouth, into which all the people of Los Angeles will fall, delicate figurines exploding at the bottom, spraying out Champagne and implant juice, bottled water and matcha tea, exhuming smog and rare medicinal marijuana strains from their lungs and pores. But before any of that happens—and this is our only hope for staving off the faultline’s rupture for a little while longer—we must tap into the great divine, the spirit rapture, the buzzing grid of the self united with other selves to make one knotty dreadlock of self-actualization. Let’s tip into awe together. Let’s make friends we can also fuck. Let’s find a giant vat of gold-speckled oil and anoint each other in a frenzy of writhing limbs and torsos, set to the music of a band whose biggest claim to fame is playing every Monday at the Waikiki Hilton but somebody’s invested a ridiculous amount of money in them so the CD has been forced upon the hosts of this party. Children, plants, pets and skeptics welcome. We have compassion for all: Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pusa. Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pusa. Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pusa. Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pusa. See you soon…

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