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Yoshimi, a Trampoline, and the Best Night of my Life

Ezuma's First Trip

Ezuma's First Trip:

Saint Patrick's Day, 2013.
  I wandered a city park with a group of close friends. We tried to help a homeless fellow find his stolen bass, without success. Generally we just wandered though, up to our usual mild adventures. Eventually we returned to the home of one girl, whose parents were out of town for the week. We jammed for a bit, though we all sucked, and it went nowhere. Ultimately, people began to leave quite early, having class the next morning. This left myself, and three friends whom I shall call Z, H and M. H asked, quite out of the blue, if I wanted to try mushrooms. Really this seemed to come from nowhere. Most of my friends had never done more than smoked weed, except H. He came from a bigger city, and was always the friend with 'connections'. 
 Though I knew very little about shrooms, for whatever reason, I wasn't put off. Z however, an anxious and reactionary young fellow, seemed ill at ease with the idea, glancing at me with his 'you aren't really going to do that are you' look whenever H wasn't paying attention. Maybe it was the boredom of art school, or the swig of alcohol given us by the homeless fellow, but I saw no reason not to take this opportunity. To this day it feels almost like it was meant to happen.

  So Z reluctantly left, nervously texting me to keep him updated of course. M meanwhile drove H to pickup the shrooms from his house. When they returned, I was excited. I hadn't done anything like this before. I am usually a fairly careful, calculated sort of guy, and these wild decisive spurts of adventure always seemed to pay off in amazing ways. H took some time to explain to me how Psilocybin mushrooms worked, and what to expect. Mostly I was too excited to really take any of it in, and eager to take them.

  H and I stripped down to our underwear and meditated in the Kitchen while M laughed. Then we ground up the shrooms, perhaps 2-3 grams each -I can't remember- and drank them in an orange smoothie. We decided we would want some music for the come-up, so we settled on 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' by the Flaming Lips. That there turned out to be  a great choice. To this day, I can't help but thinking of that trip every time I hear that album, and the opening notes fill me with a warm joy. As the mushrooms began to take effect we danced. This is something I don't usually do if I can avoid it, but H is an easy guy to be oneself around, and the music and mushrooms plaid no small roll either. In no time we draped blankets over ourselves. I danced like a jellyfish, and H flapped around like some multi-colored eagle, giggling hysterically as M looked on incredulously. The sheer joy of this was so great, rarely have I felt that good, before or since. It was like being a child again, but better.

  When the music ended we ran out into the night, to M's backyard, which seemed huge and magical. It must have been cold, but we went barefoot over the muddy grass to her trampoline, still draped in blankets. She came along to supervise us, which wasn't a bad idea, all things considered. 

  We were ridiculously joyful and bouncy, and the trampoline felt glorious. Nothing had ever seemed so freeing. 

  Eventually M went back inside, leaving H and I lying on our backs, staring up at the night sky as a light rain began to fall, and listening to the wind in the trees. Of all the things to discuss, I began talking about Wendigos, and in particular the novel 'Three Day Road' which I'd read for my first year english course. We discussed character arcs and other such literary things, before trailing off to stare at the branches, and mutter about the conectedness of things and the beautiful symmetry of nature and natural shapes. The sky seemed deep purple, and the branches looked like floating blueish tendrils, floating in the sky. It was beautiful, and it made me sad that I couldn't always see the world this way, as something new and wonderful and marvelously strange. H and I discussed this. He was probably tripping more than I was, but I felt this sadness then, like the trip was coming to a close, and there were greater, higher planes to reach, that I must wait to see. 

  We headed inside then, and that was when things became much stranger, and much more profound. M went off to bed, convinced we were sane enough not to do any harm to ourselves or her house. Without her sober mind to intrude, we were left to wander, interacting with her pets and the artwork on the walls.

  There were so many new and seemingly profound thoughts rushing through our heads, and we both seemed to be thinking the same thing at the same time. We later admitted to having believed we were psychically connected at that point, or even two halves of the same being, the ying and yang of one spirit. (So perhaps mushrooms do make one gay, hmmm) There were hours of this childish, beautiful exploration and quasi philosophical/spiritual discussion. We came to feel sad for M's hamster, trapped in its cage, trying pointlessly to chew its way out. We felt great empathy for the little guy, and reflected that even if he got out 'the house is just a bigger cage' and 'the world an even bigger one' and 'society too man' all of which seemed quite profound. We came to believe that performance art actually had a point, and to think that it made much more sense now, through this new lens. We ourselves felt like the hamster, pointlessly circling the little house, going from room to room. It was almost a ritual, we thought. 
  The darker, scary looking corners looked like the embodiment of death to us, so we decided the only thing for it was to face death head-on, and walk into it, accept it. But each time we got to what we thought 'symbolized death' it lost its menace, and became a 'womb' and the new 'safe place' within which we hid. So we went from corner to corner, room to room, eventually ending up in a high loft at the top of a perilous ladder, where we sat looking down at the large living area below. The wall across from us was covered with vinyl albums, and we spent a long time losing ourselves in the eclectic art. Then we lay back and just discussed what we had experienced, and our thoughts on life, all of which would probably sound very boring but to us seemed immensely important at the time. We were so in step with one another on this trip, we truly felt like one consciousness, and we both kept exclaiming how this was 'the best night ever' and decided everyone must try this wonderful substance. Then we both literally stared at the ceiling for an hour, lost in our own strange thoughts. 

  When we did finally go to sleep, it was about 6 in the morning, and we curled up on the couch. 

  The next morning, the world was a very different place than it had been.

  I decided to skip my classes that morning, and H cancelled his plans too. We left M's house and wandered a local mountain. It was gloriously sunny, and a huge feeling of euphoria filled me, so much so that I felt saddened we would have to return to our regular lives so soon. We sat at the top of the mountain, in the crisp air, and meditated for nearly an hour. Then we wandered more, walking between the trees and ferns and feeling the sun warm us through, hardly speaking for hours. It almost seemed we didn't need to speak anymore: the trip had brought us so close that we still felt mentally connected. 

  We spent many hours walking in that park, but eventually we began to head back towards the city, and then a heaviness set in, and a sharp resentment. I heard the cars, and saw the streets, and found that more than ever, I viscerally hated the city. Not just this city, but any city. I had grown up on the gulf islands, and now I wanted more than anything to go there, stay there, and never leave. The fact that I had to return to school and work and concrete filled me with dread.

  H expressed similar feelings, and we went on for a while about how we ought to run off to those islands, and keep chickens and grow mushrooms. If I had had the power right then, I would have made that dream a reality. 

  Even so, the trip was an amazing experience, one that changed both of our outlooks on life, and one that we would both describe as one of the best experiences of our young lives. 
  I only hope others can share this kind of experience, and appreciate it as we did. 



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