Esquire‘s Man-About Brooklyn, Waylon Yutani, examines the newest and hottest trend among the rich, white, and existentially bored: microdosing. Can you hack yourself? Is there any substance that can’t be whored out in pursuit of money? What if we disrupted disrupting things? Is ‘Micro’ enough for a Valley as large as Silicon?
Are the cool kids hanging out without you?
The weirdest thing about dropping acid at work, as I did one day after breakfast, is the faith required. And the turtlemonsters, but I’ll get back to them.
“Drugs are for working, we know this; everything is for working. Alvin Hoffman, the Swedish scientist who invented LSD in 1931? He was trying to invent super-coffee,” Dave Aspie says to me as he lines up his daily pills. There are nootropics, energy supplements, carb-blockers, and unpronounceable Chinese powders that purport to fix the Feng Shui of your internal organs.
Aspie is one of the leading lights of the biohacking movement, almost as worshiped on Reddit as George R.R. Martin or the racist frog. He started experimenting on himself when was 19 and–in his words–“a bloated, greasy cumrag with pimples on my neck.” Aspie leaped into this new obsession with both feet: he studied biology and neurology at his desk every night with only brief rest periods to masturbate and contribute to Libertarian web forums.
In 2002, Aspie (freshly wealthy from disrupting something or other) bought an MRI machine that he converted into a bed; recently, he has modified a FitBit into a FitButt, which he jams up his ass every morning and connects to his smart phone via Bluetooth. His newsletter Your Indolence Is Shameful reaches 40,000 subscribers. The centerpiece of his biohacking empire is Bullyproof Coffee, a proprietary blend of Folger’s, Philly Cream Cheese, and several foreign oils; it sells on his website for $29.99 a cup.
“I’m still a fan of the original smart drugs: caffeine and nicotine,” Aspie tells me while taking his blood pressure for the third time since I’ve entered his office.
“Coffee and cigarettes?” I asked.
“Oh, God, no. The caffeine is pure mulled anhydrous isolate from the southern peaks of Java; it’s blended with aniracetam and a touch of cinnamon, and then administered through a sublingual lozenge.”
“And the nicotine?”
“Boil down some patches and bang that shit.”
Dave Aspie’s newest crusade is LSD, specifically microdosing. As you may have guessed from the name, microdosing involves far lower amounts of the drugs than what your average Phish fan might take to go to a show. In the experimental days when the first hippies were eating acid, a trip may have been 250 micrograms; in later years, 100-150 became the standard dose.
“But that’s not what we’re talking about with microdosing,” Dr. Georgina Nichopoulos tells me. She is the CEO of Wellanos, which has just received $100 million in startup funds from Andreessen Horowitz and plans to announce a business plan sometime in the third quarter of 2021.
She continues, “A dosage of five micrograms activates the signal transduction enzyme phospholipase A2, whereas a ‘trip-sized’ dose activates the enzyme phospholipase C. So, we can see that the phasionomic variation produces enzymatic discrepancies.”
“What does that mean in layman’s terms?” I ask her.
“Absolutely nothing,” she says “Microdosing is the future, and the present. Soon, it will be the recent past. LSD’s true potential lies in work. It makes you a better employee, boss, unpaid intern, wig mistress, whatever.”
“What about a better person?” I ask.
“‘Better person’ cannot be measured and entered into a spreadsheet, and therefore does not exist,” the doctor tells me.
Tuesday the 12th was the day I began my microdosing regimen. The small, blue, glass vial had an eyedropper with a black plastic gripper, and it had come to me via a friend of a friend. Its contents had been vouchsafed as the “real stuff,” and the instructions were to put one drop on my tongue, and so I did while eating my whole wheat toast. I spilled a bit on my thumb.
The first hour at work was a frazzle: had I taken too much, too little, just right? I did noticed that I was killing it with my e-mails, really snapping them out like a stud, and the ficus in the corner of the office, the one by Shawna with the lazy eye, was greener than it had been in quite a while. Mostly, I felt on top of things. Usually by 10 a.m., I’m on my third cup of coffee but not today; I could not bear to swallow anything, in fact, and I did not want to move my neck as I felt a bit pukish and hot, and then a shark swam up my spine; it was made of electricity and lodged in my smile, and I felt it urgent to not have everyone looking at me at the moment.
Everyone was looking at me because I had removed my shirt. I do not recall removing my shirt. I had removed my shirt.
I remember needing to go to the bathroom, not to piss or shit, but just to be in a place with tile–tile seemed very urgent at the time–and then there was a mirror that was full of me, and my face was full of the freckles of my father, which should be Barack Obama’s next book, and the pebbled glass fresculated the morning sun into swathing and pulce when I matched the fine fandango in–
There was someone in the stall. He was named Todd, and worked in a department. Was he the one who always talked about that cartoon? I knew his name was Todd.
Bah-WOOOOOF I projectile vomited on Todd, and then I felt so much better and also I removed my pants because Jesus Christ have I actually been wearing fucking khakis?
“I’M MICRODOSING, TODD,” I said much louder than I intended to, but it didn’t matter because Todd–covered in vomit–had already left the bathroom but before I could tell him anything about Jonathan Edwards.
“WE ARE SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, TODD!”
Todd did not respond, but I knew Shawna would. I was tackled by a turtlemonster.
EDITOR’S NOTE: These are the last notes of our reporter, who has not been seen in the office since wagging his dick at us while screaming “You are all missing the point” over and over. Esquire regrets the inconvenience.