The Acid Test
Ayelet Waldman's adventures in LSD microdosing
I know three people microdosing LSD or mushrooms: a very young, pearly-cheeked web editor from California; a wealthy, jarringly enthusiastic computer programmer I met at a warehouse party; and a catalogue model with a demure husband. Like everyone, they appear happier and more productive than me. They work in midtown. They live in better neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Their existence does not, however, propel me to alter my consciousness, much as a low-level aversion to scientific nonfiction from independent publishers will forever keep me from reading the book that "popularized" microdosing: The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys (2011), by psychologist James Fadiman, a "former psychedelic researcher." I'm equally resistant to reading a drug memoir that comes in the form of a thirty-day diary, especially one with a self-improvement bent that purports to help you make a "mega difference" in your marriage in a month. (I'm not currently married. I'll never take LSD.)
But I make an exception for Ayelet Waldman's A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life. It is by no means a remarkable book, but it's thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless, thanks to the irrepressible levity of its author, from whom we get an honest play-by-play of the emotions required for domestic maneuvers and a handy, abbreviated history of the war on drugs. (Don't forget the "medicinal garden at Monticello," the cocaine in Coca-Cola, or that "there have been no documented human deaths from an LSD overdose.") I bristled only at
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