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Simply: Datura

Too much...

Wow.  Yet........

Emerging from another realm,
another something,
another unknown,
because, well....
I don't remember where it was, or where I was in it.

It has been a couple of years since this experience, and it has been well over a year since I have entered any form of trip; a time to clear my head, if you will.

Regardless, I have felt a strong sense to share what I remember from this time, these few days of complete delirium.

Let me start from the beginning:
A good friend of mine, who entered my life just as quickly as he disappeared, asked me if I knew about a strange plant.  This plant wasn't rare, it wasn't tropical or illegal, or grown and harvested by large drug cartels running out of South America or Africa or Southeast Asia.  It wasn't being mass produced or being sold to junkies on street corners or going around seedy bars in the Midwest or even making local news as the newest drug invading high schools.  In fact, as soon as I made the connection, I knew it grew just about anywhere.  Anywhere; including wildly in my garden.  This plant, a beautiful one indeed, was Datura.

Angel Trumpet, as I've always known it...Jamestown weed, Jimson weed, Devil's something...

Anyway.  One night he made a tea for me from the 'stars', the pods which carry the seeds, one night after a nice hookah session.  He warned me that I would become very thirsty, but water wouldn't quench my thirst no matter how much I drank, and the eggshell walls of his apartment might start to ripple and provide me with a nice color show.  A few friends came and went, I lost attention to the things around me, but I was high.  Pretty high.

He had asked me if I was feeling OK, and I was...though I was thirsty.  So I drank a little more tea.  Big deal.  The night progressed, people had to work the next day, we drove home...Datura went into my mental archive as another possible territory to explore...

A few weeks down the road, and I found myself coming to a life-changing decision, though I hadn't realized it at the time.  It was nearing winter, and the first snowfall hadn't come yet.  My garden had ceased thriving long ago, and the stars of my Angel Trumpet were hanging heavily, ready to birth the next generation for the following year.  I couldn't help but remember how I had thought of this object; a beautiful white flower that only shared its face to the moon, blooming during the night because the sun was too harsh a force to live under, and connecting that to what I had recently learned about it as being one of the most powerful hallucinogens in the world yet still flying under the radar of the oppressive imposition of Man's laws...

So I decided to harvest the fruit of the Datura.  I gently warmed the pods to rid them of moisture and any unwanted critters...though I didn't really know what I was doing.  There isn't much history to this plant, and thus there is very little knowledge about it in recorded history.  It did occur to me that maybe this wasn't a good idea.  Regardless, I am an adventurous spirit who likes the occasional shove out of reality, so this seemed to fit right into my expectations.  A seemingly harmless little seed the size of, well...it's tiny.  Anyway, on to the story.  I don't have much patience for this and I've already spent so much time talking about nothing...

I still smoked cigarettes at the time.  An occasional break gave me a chance to bring myself to as close to the center as I could.  Too many drinks and I could be fine and dandy after those first few drags.  We had rented, or owned maybe, a Woody Allen movie.  Myself, my friend Rodrigo, and his friend had decided to make a night of watching aforementioned movie and experimenting with these little seeds I had collected from my garden.  Rodrigo's friend was going to school and had a few other roommates in the house that I had just met that evening.  Anyway, we popped the movie in, and I made some tea...I think it was me, anyway.  So we spent a few minutes, with the previews playing as the DVD loaded, Rodrigo and I, splitting open the stars and separating the seeds from the pith.

The seeds went into the tea.  Rodrigo's friend was packing a blunt, slowly, methodically.  I think my tea was apple cinnamon or something...

We never smoked that blunt.  In fact, I never saw it again.

I started to feel strange.  Woody Allen was getting to me, and I was feeling more and more like a third wheel to Rodrigo and his lady friend.  I went out for a cigarette by myself, under the dark rainy stoop just outside the laundry room, thinking to myself that this was a stupid idea as I concentrated on the distant woods, trying to convince myself I was starting to trip.  Nothing.  I went back inside, to Woody Allen.  I remember the seeds floating in the tea.  Thinking maybe they wouldn't do anything if we just let them float, I suggested that we should all probably eat our seeds, just to make sure.  I also remember a conversation about feeling drunk, then suddenly being very giggly.  Did this Woody Allen movie ever end?

I was laying on the couch.  Maybe it was 1:30 in the morning.  Maybe it was never.

Then, nothing.  For the next 8 hours, my life didn't exist. 

I remember waking up as sitting on the couch of a strange house the next morning, on plush furniture that wasn't mine in a living room I couldn't readily recognize, unable to understand what the view out the window in front of me meant.  I dreamnt about eating a porckchop that I couldn't chew through...I finally made the somewhat conscious decision that I had in fact been trying to eat the blanket draped over me.  I turned to my left; an oversized chair with big poofy cushions.  Only they weren't cushions, and it wasn't a chair.  It was in fact a Peruvian family.  In the same reality that I recognized it as being a piece of furniture in a living room in somebody's house, I simultaneously recognized it as an oddly shaped family of mountainous people from Peru, who, since they weren't speaking English, I obviously couldn't understand.  In this same moment of awake thinking, I also acknowledged one of the cushions as being a friend of mine's brother, who is paraplegic.  All three of these realities were talking to me, in the same time frame.  I shit you not.  Some people have memories of a trip where a tree or a branch or a painting seems to move or dance when focused on.  I was full blown accepting the reality that a couch was talking to me, and that that was just something that you do in every day life.

I mean, think about it.

It's funny to think or convince yourself that an inanimate object is doing anything at all other than sitting there.  But to be unable to differentiate between what is and what isn't at the same time...

My feet were on fire.  I remember sleeping in my clothes, but my shoes were off.  I'm not going to go to bed with my shoes on.  Come on, that's crazy.  I took my feet out from under the blanket and put them to the ground;my first attempt to stand and survey what kind of shit I had put myself in.  So I decided to take a picture of them, and in my unbelievable state that as a result of me being on some substance (what was wrong with me, anyway?) my feet were bleeding!  I could see a bright red emanating from in between my toes, oozing onto the hardwood floors.  Even in the picture I had taken on my cellphone, I could clearly see there was something wrong with my feet.  (To this day, I have that picture uploaded onto my computer, and there is nothing wrong with my feet, although I view it from time to time as the only "physical" token I have from this experience...)

Rodrigo emerges from the bedroom, a blank, sleepless look on his face.  His friend is still asleep, maybe not feeling well enough to get out of bed.  I knew that whatever state we were in, it was my fault.  I still don't remember how that Woody Allen movie ended.  Rodrigo and I wandered around the house for a bit, unsure of what was going on, remembering in the back of my head that at some point I had to be at work that day, hoping that this feeling would clear itself of my head, my prior experience with any other substance being that it wouldn't be too bad after a good 8-12 hour (at most) window.  So we wandered.  I tried to pee, what an intense feeling that was...like wating in line at a bar with one urinal at 2 in the morning.  Only there was no line, the toilet was right in front of me, and...nothing.  I couldn't pee.  I was so desperately wanting to pee, and so unexplicably dehydrated at the same time.  I remember the downstairs bathroom having a long sink with a mirror on the wall that went for about 8 feet, and each time I passed by to attempt to utilize the toilet to no avail, I remember seeing my reflection as something.  Something strange, something moving.  Whatever it was, it wasn't reflecting reality and had a scary mind of its own.  Almost like if it could, if I didn't have the bit of control over it that I did have, it would break free into my world and attack me.

No more bathroom!

I had the same cellphone as Rodrigo's friend, and somehow she ended up with mine and I with her's.  I remember a few very confusing conversations with her mother who had called, me thinking I was at work and this was a woman calling to talk to somebody she knew, and me telling her I didn't think she was scheduled to work today (all the while sitting in this still foreign house).  She seemed very angry and confused and demanded to speak with her (I would be to if I called my daughter's cellphone and got a strange man saying she wasn't available at the moment.)

Wow, OK.  This story is barely unfolding and I promised myself and Rodrigo that one day I would write it out, but it's getting to be a bit much.  What really struck me, and even to this day, is how similar our experiences were.  The most poignant example of this is when we both saw people hanging in the coats that were on the coat rack in the laundry room.  Legitimately, we saw two people hanging, as if somebody had grabbed them by the backs of their coats and hung them on the wall to dry, staring directly at us.  It wasn't one of those things where you turn to your buddy and say "Hey that cloud kind of looks like a face eating a piece of pie - Oh yea, I can totally see that".  We were standing in front of coats on coat hangers, on a wall, in somebody's house, convinced that there was a man and woman staring very scarily at the two of us as we walked by.

The hairs on the back of my neck still stand up thinking about that very moment when our trips collided, when that reality that we were in, wherever it took us, leveled out to a place that was truly beyond anywhere I've been in dreams or in waking life.

There is so much more to this story, but I simply can't keep writing!  There is too much to remember from this experience, and as much as it opened my eyes and I am drawn to its power, I don't know if I could ever be blessed by Datura's lull again. 

Please, if you have any questions, I am more than willing to share more of my experience...

An update as of 4/28...

So essentially I didn't want to have to remember this as an experience where "we did this, then this happened, then we smoked a blunt, then things got weird, then we drank some orange juice and every time we checked the time it was either 3 hours later or 5 minutes..."  My point is that the experience I had was unlike anything else I've experienced before.  Most of what happened while I was deep into it I can't remember.  One of the derivatives of datura is scopolamine, which is extracted in certain countries and used as a sort of truth serum.  All it really takes is the slightest whiff and you fall under its spell; you're awake, conscious and fully functional, but you have no real mental connection with the world.  If somebody drove you to an ATM and told you to withdraw all of your money and hand it over, you would probably say "OK".

Anyway, to connect this to my trip, a couple of weeks later Rodrigo's friend told me that her roommates said I wasn't welcome at their house anymore.  Apparently I had gone upstairs in the middle of the night and stood in the doorway, not saying a thing, and then I went back downstairs.  I had no memory of doing this, nor is that something I would do if I were aware of myself.  Rodrigo's friend also did this, and when her roommates asked her if she was OK she also said nothing, stood there for a while and walked away. 

I also took broccoli out of the refrigerator and placed it on a shelf on their porch, removed curtains from the laundry room and neatly folded them on the washing machine, and hid one of my shoes on myself.  That next morning Rodrigo and I spent most of the time wondering (a) what the fuck was going on, and (b) where I had put my other shoe.  He finally found it behind a couch that was out on the porch.

The trip, as Mr. Brown was wondering, went something like this:

We three snuggle up for a movie and make a tea with the datura seeds.
We finish the tea and eat the seeds.
I start feeling an uncontrollable drunkenness, dizzy, and heavy body high.  Like a smoked a pack of cigarettes and took 5 shots all at once.
I go out to the couch to try and sleep.....I fall asleep at some point.
I wake up the next morning, delirious, out of my mind.  I have to pee so bad but it won't come out.
I see the oversized chair next to me talking to me, as if that's what chairs do.  I talked back to it, out loud.  It was crazy.
I also see the mailboxes out front pulling themselves out of the ground, and walking around in the road, as if the boxes were their heads.
I also see a little black girl on a hill across the street chasing a small black lizard in the grass.  Turns out there isn't even a hill across the street...
I try texting with my phone but the words and letters are changing in front of my eyes, and I can't seem to focus on or make sense of words (kind of like in dreams.  Next time you realize you're dreaming, imagine you're reading something.  You won't be able to make sense of it!  Crazy but true!)

A few other things happen, and Rodrigo is really feeling shitty (after all, we did eat a highly toxic plant...) but after we find my shoe and start regaining our sense of reality, we head home to get ready for work.

Later that day, at work, the "hallucinations" start to kick in:

I start seeing black, snake-like creatures creeping into the sides of my vision when I look at something for longer than a few seconds.  They grow out of the walls, down from the ceiling, and up from the floor, just out of my field of vision, like a fast growing plant that disappears as soon as you try to look directly at it, poofing out of existence like a wisp of disturbed smoke.  Another thing I noticed that wasn't so evident at first was that everybody had an aura...the strange thing was that it was only around their heads.  It was very thin, and it looked like everybody had dyed their hair an orangish-red that was only visible at a certain angle.  In retrospect, this had to have been related to when I looked at my bare feet and thought there was blood oozing from between my toes; I was just seeing some kind of aura!  But why did I only see it around my bare foot and peoples' heads?  Dunno.  But it was interesting.  It's amazing to think back to how functional I was that day when I went into work.  My pupils were like giant whirpools of black, so big and dark they seemed like they were starving to open wider and eat more light.  Eyes.  That was another thing.  Everybody's eyes seemed very gray, like the zombie movies where their eyes become clear and glazed after becoming a zombie...weird.

All in all, just a very strange time in general.  Nothing like shrooms or acid where I felt like laying on the floor for hours listening to music, or staring at the moon or going for a walk in the woods or even watching inanimate objects move and shake for me...no.  None of that.  Just some totally unexpectedly out-of-this-world visuals and a complete disconnect with reality.  No I take that back.  It wasn't a disconnect.  I was very connected.  I had been disconnected while I slept, and woke reconnected to a reality I wasn't supposed to be in.
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