“IT IS IN YOUR SELF-INTEREST TO BE VERY TENDER.”
The latest issue of Gossamer features a nine-step guide to having a bath. The level of detail here is extraordinary: step seven is about periodically draining in order to add more hot water; step five describes the ideal teak bath tray to balance all your different snacks on, while submerged. The slow pace fits the subject matter: this is a magazine that is (partly at least) about weed. Not many features are about weed specifically, but there is a curiosity and a mellowness to the writing that makes reading Gossamer feel, pleasurably, like being high.
That is not to say that pieces are unfocused. The insight here is so sharp. One superb essay, by Foster Kamer, scrutinises the psychological messiness of being a door bitch: manning the phones and taking reservations at a hyper-exclusive NY restaurant. Describing the occasional feeling you get, when deigning to gift some polite nobody with a table that would usually only be open to the likes of Anna Wintour, Kamer identifies a peculiar sort of communion: “You realize they share in the same struggle that you do, to want things you can’t have… and you’re also, both of you, maybe, trying to fight the feeling of whether or not entry to these places, or even the mere longing for it, somehow denigrates something essential about you in the first place.” Kamer finishes by quoting a Jenny Holzer aphorism: “IT IS IN YOUR SELF-INTEREST TO BE VERY TENDER.”
Speaking on The Cut on Tuesdays, a podcast from New York Magazine, the writer Jia Tolentino describes the joy of smoking weed as sort of liberation: “The thing that weed actually does for me is it decouples purpose from experience. Like it places the experience I’m having over the purpose that it serves.” This is precious, Tolentino says, because “it’s hard to decouple experience from purpose in an age where everything is monetised.” Like weed, Gossamer has a capacity to engross you — to make you submit to its slowness — to let go of any pressure to put this high, or this magazine, or this bath to productive use. You just enjoy it. It’s a gift.