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Third time's a charm

My friends and I ingested the mushrooms with little ceremony, drinking the half-crushed fungus in plastic cups with orange juice.

My friends and I ingested the mushrooms with little ceremony, drinking the half-crushed fungus in plastic cups with orange juice. I consumed approximately four grams, as did Greg and Mike; Will only had a little less than an eighth. It was a chilly late November afternoon, and we had a big night ahead of us. I bided my time looking around the small grove we were seated in near a church. When Will went to the car I noticed my size constancy had gone (always the first thing to go for me with mushrooms) -- Will looked like he was itty-bitty as my mind was having trouble compensating for his movements.

A few minutes went by, and Will and I decided we wanted a bowl. We decided to move to a less-populous place, as the church had a few people at it this afternoon. We piled into the car, no one really coming up yet, but everyone feeling a little off, and drove over to a nearby school. The car ride was a bit disorienting and nauseating, especially for Mike, who had to rush out of the car once we got there to settle his stomach.

We walked around the fence and through the gate, and entered the large field at the front of the school. I scouted around, looking for a place to smoke (as we had here many many times before), and settled on a few bungalows huddled together on the other side of campus. We went over there to the relative seclusion their alleys provided, and on the way I got out my small black waterpipe for Will to fill. He detoured and braved the perils of a black widow-infested drinking fountain. I bided my time by taking a piss at the bungalows. Soon enough, Will returned, and Greg got out the weed to load a bowl.

I loaded one for Will and I, and by this time I was beginning to feel the first faint hints of the mushrooms. Well, two bowls later, Will and I were nicely stoned, and the weed was melding with the oncoming trip. I emptied the water and put the pipe away, then Will and I had a cigarette. At this point, Will was coming up wildly and I was pleasantly out of my wits -- we debated whether a trailer parked ahead was a building that had always been there or not.

We began walking over towards the field, taking a scenic route around the back of the school. Will broke off from us, wanting to take a different route, then hurriedly returned, complaining of a loud "bang." At this point, it was clear he was tripping, the mushrooms were crowding his brain and addling his perception, making him see dome-shaped trees and large rainbow auras around lights. As for me, I was stoned and coming up, but other than feeling a gangly mushroom awkwardness in my body, I wasn't really tripping yet.

We began to trek across the field, intent on scouting my house to see if it was clear yet. Will was out of his mind at this point, he described it later as mushrooms gushing into his brain and his mind being torn open to the world. Well, whatever it was, all it did for the rest of us was garner suspicious stares from a janitor. When Will was done having his brain getting cudgeled by mushrooms, we got up and left.

We left the school and Will and I waited while Greg and Mike went to go scout my house. I was sitting there, thoroughly enjoying the cool night, the trees around me, and the weed and mushrooms (that were about equal in potency at this point, as they were still kicking in), while Will was watching trees melt. Greg and Mike returned a few minutes later with good news, so we set off to my house.

On the way there, we were presented with a number of interesting sights. There were heavily-pruned trees that had branches cut short with thick nobs on the end, which made them resemble heads and necks. There were large trees with pale leaves, ready to fall, that looked neon whitish in the evening light. When we arrived at my house, I scouted it out a bit, then let my friends in.

We were happy to be there with our creature comforts -- a new computer equipped with Winamp and visualization programs, my two foot bong, and the warmth of central heating. We hussled to my room and loaded up Winamp, intent to watch it while coming up.

Greg and Mike eagerly set to loading the bong (they had been aloof earlier, stating they did not wish to mix substances, but after Will and I finished a couple bowls wished they had partaken). We decided to play White Rabbit. It was beautiful on the program, and the music seemed to take on an all-new depth and clarity. The visualization program looked fantastic, I felt as if the complex patterns and vivid colors had always been there and were put in for trippers, and I had missed them to this day. In fact, White Rabbit was so great we played it a second, then a third time.

Meanwhile the bong was making its rounds, though after a couple hefty hits I was happily baked. I opened a window and turned on a fan to direct the air outside, I didn't really feel like hotboxing in my room when my parents would be home the next day. We moved on to listen to other songs such as Sober, 1979, and some other stuff (I don't remember too well, I started phasing out music). By now, Will was totally out of it, he kept saying "I am so gone," which turned out to be his mantra for the night. Greg and Mike were enjoying the effects of their bowls, though Mike just kept loading more for himself.

With the lights out in my room and music playing full-blast, the mushrooms really began to hit me. The best way to describe it would be a rush to my head. It felt as if, all of a sudden, my head and neck accelerated, and I heard a whooshing sound around my skull. Each rush would push me up higher and higher. My closed eye visuals were distorted, sort as if they were projected on an IMAX theater. I began to enjoy keeping my eyes closed more than having them open, as I felt the world grow distant. I would zone out often with my eyes closed, paying no attention to what was going on around me.

Greg and Mike were in the throes of mushrooms by now. Greg saw my dresser melt -- as did Will -- and Mike was writhing around against the wall. A poster I had pinned up looked like it was flowing, and Mike claimed Will's face was melting and combusting. I kept feeling those head rushes, which by now felt almost as if liquid mushroom was coursing through my veins. I recall one point getting about six head rushes in a row and loving it; it caused my jaw to clench from the faux-acceleration.

We were all paying little attention to the music by now, and much more attention to the hallucinations. While sitting there with my eyes closed, I felt something odd. My closed eye visuals, though pleasant, weren't very strong, but I perceived a white light behind me; it almost seemed as if it were casting a glow on my visuals. Even weirder, I felt the presence you feel when a person is standing near you, even though when I opened my eyes and turned around no one was there. I could swear there was someone behind me, I believe this recurring experience I had through the night was my first time encountering one of the entities people claim to see on hallucinogens.

I went to lay on my bed to be comfortable, now tripping nicely. We would go through long intervals with the lights out, then turn them back on as required to "bring Will back to reality." When the lights were off, I started to see all this neat alien imagery. First I saw what looked like a bunch of alien heads superimposed over everything in my room, then I saw forms moving about faintly in the darkness.

At this point, I had my best hallucination for the night (and my best thus far in my life). I was laying on my bed with my eyes half-closed, when all of a sudden the room became shrouded in mist. I was on an alien spaceship, and two forms were hovering around me on an operating table. I couldn't make out their features as bright lights shone in the fog behind them, enshrouding their front sides, but I could tell they were aliens. One passed a tool over the table to the other one, who accepted it, and then they both disappeared. It was very vivid and the best part was I knew it was fake the whole time, so it wasn't disorienting or unpleasant.

When I came to in the room again, I saw those alien faces on everything. I also kept seeing things throughout the night such as my door opening or my fan turning into a walking person in my periphery. At one point, I thought I saw the door open and heard my father say, "Hi guys," only to realize it was a hallucination (and thank heavens for that).

When I sat at the chair again, I got a couple more mushroom head rushes, but by this time was peaking. The bong had stopped making its rounds, and everyone was pleasantly enjoying their trip, though at one point we had to uncoil Will from the fetal position.

As the night wore on we slowly drifted to the front of the house, where we watched television with little interest. We mostly talked about what we experienced in the room. Greg spoke of melting objects, flowing wood, and lively closed eyed visuals, Mike about writhing on the wall, observing us through a mirror and thinking it was like looking at us through a window, and Will about visiting other worlds (which he no longer remembers). More cigarettes were passed around and I lusted after another bowl, but did not thrust my desire on the others.

The evening began to wane and we were running short of time. With a little over an hour and a half left, we decided to tour the neighborhood and drop by the car to pick up a magic eye book. When I looked up at the sky it was fantastic; it was the most beautiful sky I've seen in my life. I know not to this day whether it was from the mushrooms or just nature's magic. The moon was full and was shining from behind two thin, nearly-translucent layers of clouds. One layer was moving faster than the other, and as they slid across the sky, I was enthralled. The myriad stars were out as well, enhancing the scene. I remember later when I looked at the cloud I observed no less than sixteen breaks in the layers that looked identical -- I'm pretty sure that, at least, was from the mushrooms.

We walked to another church and sat at some benches, coming down and having cigarettes. We discussed the night, and I was satisfied (as it was more successful than my previous two trips). Eventually, all four of us made our way back home and had some tea to sober and wake us up.

They headed home while I had another bowl (along with a couple bowls of mushroom shake). I had a pleasant experience, smoking it in the pitch blackness, though I wished I had had the opportunity to do this when I was still peaking. After enjoying enhanced patterns from the mushrooms and a couple minor visuals, I turned in for the night.

It's hard to say what I've gathered from my experience. I know this now: mushrooms are fickle. The first time, I ate slightly less than an eighth and had a little trip, the second time, I ate less than a gram of a different kind of mushrooms and had a radically different experience (almost all the effects were cognitive), the third time, I ate a little more than an eighth of the same mushrooms as the first time, and had a totally different trip with more visuals, cognitive effects (like feeling the presence behind me), and more longevity. I have gained respect for mushrooms' abilities, though I still have the feeling I've only scratched the surface of what one can experience on them, and I'm currently preparing myself for a headfirst dive in.

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