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The Circle of Dying

What is happening...

Dosage: 2.5gs homegrown MS Transkei cubes, cranberry tek’d on an empty stomach, and 1 joint of Durban Poison.

Company: My friends B (tripping) and B2 (trip-sitting)

Setting: Half an hour before sundown on a strange farm.

Mindset: A bit anxious.

Alright, rather than tell you everything about my death-not-defying experience, I’ll rather just share the highlight reel by list of TERRORS.

Terror Number 1:
I’m thinking the cubes I’ve grown are weak, it’s been 30min since we nomnom’d them, and I have yet to feel anything more than the slightest relaxed sensation in my muscles. So, my brother B and I smoke ourselves some dank Mary, and figure, hey, hike on the farm, baking sesh, not such a big loss.

10 minutes later, I’m putting on my lip balm when I realize that it tastes exactly like Salvia. BAM! I’m officially tripping, getting a flashback of the emotions I’d experienced during my one and only Salvia trip – Terror with a side of terror, with some terror sauce and a glass of terror to guzzle it all down. NOT good vibes, I know I’m in for a rough ride.

Terror Number 2:
Visually, nothing has changed yet, but the body high is slamming. I am feeling extremely dissociated, when I hear a bakkie engine roar menacingly around the corner on the dirt road ahead of us. Nobody else hears it – I’m fucked, they don’t like trespassers on this farm! There is no bakkie, or there was a bakkie, I’ll never know, but this I do know – I was fucked, indeed.

Terror Number 3:
It’s forty-five minutes in, and look at that hill - a second ago everything was normal, but now… everything is moving… strangely… blending and unblending. Reds, yellows and greens are dancing and swirling among the grape vines in exaggerated motions. Is it the wind, or is my mind playing tricks on me… I’m not sure, and my brother B isn’t either.

Terror Number 4:
We make it to the top of a hill that overlooks another hill that dwarfs our own hill from our current perspective. That’s a lot of hill. The road here was distressing, but we made it, now we can turn back and head… Oh shit. The BIG hill is talking to me, and it’s not very happy with me, and it has eyes, scary, condemning eyes, and now it’s threatening me, warning me, disapproving of me.

I’m not ready to be lectured by a hill, and this one is so angry, and I’m such a fool for getting myself into this situation, what a terrible life choice, playing around with hallucinogenics in such a careless setting.

 I try desperately not to look at the hill, at that expression, but the ground isn’t exactly playing a fair game. Looking at my shoes, I see alchemy patterns covering the dirt around me, like in Full Metal Alchemist, but on everything. How can you look away from anything, when everything is projecting out from within, or am I projecting in from without?

Terror Number 5:
My friend B2 has morphed into a Satyr like creature, and then the stick that he’s been twirling around as a walking stick turns into a snake as he spins it. Totally normal… Actually, by today’s standards, this isn’t nearly as upsetting as it might normally be.

Terror Number 6:
All these turns that we are taking are the same, we are well and truly doomed. Things are repeating. The Guinea Fowl sing an ominous tune to match the looping repetitiveness of the Fever Ray album that I’ve been playing, playing until it started scaring me shitless and none of us could listen to it anymore. Only, I can’t stop the birds from singing their cyclical song just by pushing a button, and I fear that even if I could ask them to be quiet and that they’d listened, I would hear them still.

I sit down in the dirt, lost as to what to do to escape this hell, uphill, downhill, left and right. They are all flat to me, and we are no longer truly on the same farm that we began this journey on. Everything here has changed, and it all reminds me of the Eclipse in Berserk. From familiar into strange, without the soft kindness of a ‘Turn Back Now’ warning sign…

I close my eyes and hope for calmness, then feel something close around my neck, encircle my neck in its entirety, in my neck, or perhaps inside my soul if a soul can have neck - tightening, threatening me, it squeezes, I cannot breathe or make a sound, it squeezes as if to let me know, “You’re in my playground now. You are my plaything. I own you.” It releases me and I can breathe again, but I know it’s still there with me.

Terror Number 7:

We have been walking for ages, the Sun has gone down, it is dark, and yet, as we walk, light flashes behind me sporadically, illuminating the red dirt beneath my weary feet. The light feels artificial and its colour spectrum isn’t certain. There is no warning either, it happens or it doesn’t, but it definitely does happen.

I must sit down again. I close my eyes, there is something there in the darkness, an indescribable shape, inexplicably a ‘thing’ of pulsating colours, pulsing at me, observing me, judging me. I open my eyes, overwhelmed – eyes closed is too real, eyes open, is a different kind of strange affecting me.

Terror Number 8:
We have made it to B2’s house. Everything is morphing. Too much to process in the living room. Stripy couch is a swirling mess that tries to swallow you whole if you sit on it, not a fuck, not this room, must be a better room to die in.

Terror Number 9:
The visuals have calmed down, but the mindfuck, well, it’s fucking. My mind. To bits. I am disconnected and cannot fathom what my friends are talking about. Actually, I’m not even sure if I’m thinking things or saying them. I don’t even know if I’m crying or just blinking and rubbing my eyes a lot.

That’s not to mention the time. It has been exactly 19:30 for the last eternity. Look at my phone, go take a piss, come back, check phone, still 19:30. Friends take phone away – I want to call my family and tell them that I love them before I die, and that I’m sorry for a lot of things, mostly for being such a stranger. I don’t know if I’m apologizing to them or for them, but I know that I want them to know that I love them. Seems like we waste our lives not saying the important things, pity it’s too late for me now. It’s too late to say things when you’re dead.

Have another drink of water, go to the bathroom, take another piss, come back, where is my phone? I’m in my friends bed clutching his blanket for dear life, literally (in my head), pity, I’m about to take my last breath. I’m not ready to go. I’m not ready for this. What is happening. I’m at my own funeral aaaaand, I’m dead.

Well, that was traumatic, I’m back, and fuck me, but it’s happening again. Every breath is my last breath, the curtain is falling, aaaaaand, I’m back. No, no more, please, I’m resisting so hard, I don’t understand, why is this happening, make it stop.

I’m alive again, inbetween waves, have another drink, check my phone, it’s magically in my pocket again, and the time is… 19:30. Fuck.

I go to the bathroom, look in the mirror, normally my skin upsets me - I’ve been on four full courses of Roaccutane, and I’m done with that shit, but the acne keeps coming back, but now… now I don’t care, bad skin is the least of my problems for the rest of my life, however many breaths that may be.

I put toothpaste on my fingers. I’m cheating. I want it to be over. I need it to be over. I want this poison out of me. I want to be sane again.

I move to the toilet basin, get on my knees and push my fingers down my throat – I want to throw up. The mushrooms have other plans.

I feel my entire arm go down deep into my throat ( guess you could say I deepthroated myself) and then it turns into a serpent. I dry heave and see blood come out of me and full the basin. I blink my eyes and there’s nothing there. Nothing came out. Fuck, no shortcuts, I’m in this until the end. My End.

I enter the room again, phone is gone, then it’s back, then it’s gone, then I’m gone, then I’m back, then… It’s 19:30! FUCK FUCK FUCK!

I die again and again and again and again, in this space coffin of a room, unfamiliar, if home is where the heart is, then I am far from home. I keep coming back, and I keep resisting, but each time that I resist, I resist a little less.

My mortality is terrifying me, I’ve wasted my life being angry, being resentful, ignoring my fears, ignoring the child in me with real fears, convincing myself that I’m invincible, that I’m not afraid of dying… and now, the child in me is ANGRY, is FURIOUS, IS TERRIFIED with me, and we are getting punished together. What have I put myself through, so selfishly, I’ve changed myself forever, I’ll never be the same again.

It’s getting easier though. Easier to accept. Easier to die. Easier to come back. Easier, but still difficult.

There’s a certain peace to it now. I’m going to die. I don’t just know it. I realize it. It’s okay though, nothing I haven’t been through before, nothing we don’t all go through. I close my eyes for the last time. I wake up.

It’s instant. I know the trip is over. I know that I’m alive again. I know that I have things to work on. I know that I’ve begun a journey that for better or worse, I’ll be on for the rest of my life. Or more accurately, for the first time in my life, I’m fully aware that I’ve always been on this journey, and maybe that’s empowering.

Maybe it’s the first step on my path to inner peace, this tumultuous and humbling experience… Maybe I needed it. And maybe I won’t sweat the little things so much in the future, maybe I’ll love myself a little more and accept who I am. Maybe I’ll nurture this ego and go with it, stop resisting life so much, stop resisting love so much.

This trip humbled me, tested me, broke me, and remade me. It didn’t solve all of my problems, but it did make me aware of how unhappy I was. I live a healthier life now. My subconscious isn’t constantly being forced into silence, although I am still working on it. I am connecting more with myself more and more each day, through every lesson, learning to love and accept myself, and to let love back into my life again. I am happier, and my skin, well, it has improved a lot now that I don’t care about it so much. It has been difficult, but it has been beautiful.

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