Tarzan Kay

<tarzan@tarzankay.com>

December 26, 2023

to you

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Subject:

seggs, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

 

BOXING DAY RECOMMENDATION Check out my brother Ollie’s Etsy shop. He turns used clothes into works of art.

 

I promised in my last (100% educational) email that the next one would be nothing but sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll and I intend to deliver. 

Let’s start with the most interesting of the three, which I will thus forward spell “seggs” for deliverability purposes.

(Wouldn’t you just skip to that part anyway?)

I kicked myself off Feeld, which is my preferred dating app as it’s a welcoming place for people with unusual tastes – bicurious daddy doms, couples looking for a unicorn, and one silver fox named “RustyX” playing saxophone under mood lighting in a pair of navy-coloured Hanes briefs i.e. the kind my dad wore.

But it wasn’t unfashionable underwear that led me to evict myself from Feeld; It was bad grammar. 

(I promise this is a real story. I wish it weren’t. ) 

Specifically, a case of too many ellipses. 

Overuse of ellipses is a personal pet peeve of mine, one I’m constantly correcting in my students’ emails. Y’know like…in the middle of a sentence…featuring random sentence fragments…instead of a single cohesive phrase?

Or when people randomly use four periods in their ellipses instead of three ….With inconsistent spacing and capitalization …..  which makes Tarzan red in the face?

This email physically hurts!!! I will have to instruct my team to bypass our usual grammar and spelling checks. I’m not even sure I will be able to approve the final test email.

OBLIGATORY EDUCATIONAL PORTION: Creating your own grammar and spelling conventions is fine, but be consistent, or your writing starts looking messy and unprofessional. Use proper grammar and spelling at least like 98% of the time. That way, your unconventional editorial choices look interesting and deliberate, rather than like the work of a 7-year-old child. 

…which doesn’t preclude you from using your own dialect.  “Proper grammar” is not a synonym for “British English”. That would be racist.

If you insist on putting two spaces after a period, do it consistently (and know that there is ZERO CHANCE we are going to match on Feeld – ew).

Shoot, my seggs email just became a cranky email about grammar, which probably explains why I am getting so little of the former. 

Let’s move on to an unrelated story about drugs.

I will attempt to tread carefully because Sandra is off for the holidays and thus not available to say, “Tarzan, you need to rethink this email.” (Fck it! When the cat’s away, the mice will play! It’s the holidays, and I am here in your inbox merely to provide some seasonal edu-tainment.)

Here goes.

I used to judge people who do cocaine. 

What a stupid drug! It gives you extra energy for 5 minutes, and then all you can think of is when would it be appropriate to have some more cocaine? Plus, it’s super addictive, hard to get quality, and is occasionally cut with fentanyl, which makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. 

But then I made friends with a person who thinks cocaine is great, uses it responsibly now and then, and enjoys sharing it amongst friends.  

My friend doesn’t abuse it. 

My friend tests their product like a grown-up drug user. 

My friend doesn’t secretly snort rails off the top of the toilet paper dispenser in the public bathroom at a gay bar (and anyway, who cares if they do). 

It’s just something this friend does on occasion, the same way some people enjoy a glass of unoaked chardonnay (i.e., alcohol, a drug that kills more people than all drugs combined).

I understand this is a controversial thing to say. It would be safer to talk about, say, how I microdose LSD on days when I have important meetings because it makes my brain sharper. It would be safer to use the words “plant medicine” instead of “drugs.”

Not gonna do that.

My drugs of choice are not more righteous or sacred than anyone else’s. 

It’s that kind of thinking that pushes necessary conversations about substance use underground, making those very substances even more dangerous. And the assumptions we make about drugs are often just a racist as reducing proper grammar to British English. The drugs that end up approved for dinner conversation – like psychedelics, for instance – are the ones broadly used by white people, while drugs more commonly used in the Black community end up the subject of coordinated propaganda campaigns, like PCP in the 70s, for instance, which was mainly about imprisoning Black Americans.

For a lot of people, it’s not safe to talk openly about safe drug use. Talking openly about my own use (even the drugs I’m embarrassed about because they are so uncool) is one way that I use my privilege as a white person and hopefully get people to bring their critical thinking skills to this conversation. 

And it’s not a conversation I come to lightly. 

I’ve seen chaotic drug use rip through the lives of some of my closest kin, which is how I know drug use doesn’t exist in a vacuum. For a lot of people, drugs are what they have to manage their lives. (I strongly recommend The Wisdom of Trauma if you want more background on that.)

Using drugs has helped me and my kin manage the complexity of our lives. I do this because being human is really hard, and sometimes I don’t know what else to do. Drugs have helped me access feelings and memories I wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. 

I’m fortunate that I have enough access and education to use drugs safely. I also have a qualified therapist to help me unpack my experiences and who will notice and speak up if I’m using drugs in an unhealthy, chaotic way. Many people don’t have any of that. 

If you have questions about it, you can ask me. I understand that just thinking about this topic can be uncomfortable and hard. It may require you to think about things you don’t want to think about.

Also— 

I’ve been around drug users my whole life, and I don’t need anyone educating me on how dangerous fentanyl is, or how people just need to get proper support from mental health professionals. For a lot of people, drugs are what they have to manage their lives and their pain, and I hold those people in respect and compassion. 

That’s all this story is about. It’s not even about me. Everyone deserves the dignity of making their own choices, which is also why I like Feeld. 

You can play the saxophone on your undies if that’s what turns you on. You can pick up a couple on the internet and have a rockin' Saturday night listening to Kenny G and lathering yourself in pineapple-flavored edible lube if that’s your thing. 

We all get to choose. 

Just like you get to choose whether or not you still want to read my emails, knowing all this about me. 

But I really hope you stick around. 

As for rock ‘n’ roll, the truth is I like pop music better. 

Right now, I’ve got this song by Glass Animals on repeat after watching three seasons of Never Have I Ever, which led me to repeatedly fall asleep with fingers crossed that Paxton Hall-Yoshida will climb through my bedroom window in a wet t-shirt and look at me like this…

 …then, in my teenage dream, we make out and fall asleep watching TikToks.

What can I say? Christmas as a divorced person can be painfully lonely. 

So it’s with a tender heart that I thank you for being a reader. Having a healthy community of subscribers who read and reply to my work makes me feel really seen, which makes the world a lot less lonely. 

Happy last five days of 2023. 

Tarzan

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