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My first trip was an event that I had been eagerly anticipating and planning for over a year, as psychedelics had utterly fascinated me ever since I’d learned of their effects. These aspirations came to fruition when I was able to acquire an eighth of shrooms at the end of my freshman year of college. I invited two friends (whom I will refer to by their shirt colors during the trip, Red and Blue). I planned on taking just over 2 grams, and Red planned to have the rest. The locale was my family’s lake house, a three minute walk from Lake Michigan.
We drove down together on the afternoon of the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. As soon as we arrived, I ate a light, healthy dinner and smoked a little weed, a drug that I had been using semi-regularly since discovering it midway through my first year of college. As we readied ourselves to consume them, Red backed out, but Blue stepped up in his stead, which was surprising considering he had absolutely no drug experience. At 7:15 PM, we downed them with only the help of water. I went first, and they were possibly the worst tasting substance I’ve ever encountered, though Blue didn’t mind them. I’m very tall, so I expected it would be about an hour before I began feeling the effects.
As I stayed alert for any perceptual changes, Blue put on some LCD Sound System and proceeded to dance to it. My nervousness and excitement steadily climbed until I couldn’t contain myself, and my hands started trembling. About 35 minutes in, I noticed the first changes: Blue’s adroit dancing was becoming increasingly interesting and hypnotic, and his Irish/Welsh/Scottish features became more exaggerated. The changes were such that it was almost as if I were perceiving a complete stranger rather than a close friend. About 50 minutes in, we made the short, downhill trek to the beach. By the time we arrived, I was immersed, though Blue wasn’t feeling anything yet. We sat on chairs and conversed, though I was constantly getting distracted and drifting out of the conversation. My favorite activity was to dig my feet deep into the sand and slowly slide them around. My second favorite activity was simply to repeatedly throw and catch a single stone. I gazed up at the clouds, and they looked like mayonnaise. Before long I was laughing at anything anyone said. A helicopter flew above our heads, and it was awesome (I laughed at it, too). When the chopper returned ten minutes later in the other direction, it was even cooler, and even funnier.
By now we were over an hour in, and Blue was still feeling nothing. I now started feeling guilt at having taken more than him, and this made me feel sad for a little bit. It was starting to get chilly, so we trekked back home, somewhat reluctantly, as we would be missing the sunset. There would be no more ventures outside for the rest of the night, something that in retrospect I slightly regret.
Being indoors, at least initially, was markedly less stimulating than being outside, and not as pleasant-smelling. It was jarring to so quickly relocate from a mostly natural environment to a completely man-made one. We immediately headed for the upper level as Blue, who was now suddenly and rapidly joining me in shroomville, broke out his headphones and was soon lost in a personal maelstrom of Daft Punk and dance. I thought some headphone time was a wonderful idea, so I grabbed them and retreated to a nearby bedroom, which conveniently housed the most comfortable bed in the house. I put on the headphones and checked the time. 8:45, exactly 1.5 hours in. As expected, this was when the peak commenced. I now deliberated for a bit on which music would be the best use of my precious time. Normally, my taste is loud, hard, rhythmic electro-house, but I decided to eschew my usual selections in favor of the softer electronica duo Odesza, thinking they would match up better with the playful, adventurous, and carefree mood I found myself in. There is honestly little I remember about the hour of warmth and music that came next, except that it was beautifully comfortable. As someone who had spent hours listening raptly to the grandiose psilocybin claims of Terence Mckenna, I was disappointed by the relative tameness and blandness of the closed-eye visions that my moderately dosed brain was able to generate, especially when compared to how actively and consistently the world around me would morph when my eyes were open. As the peak that seemingly lasted many hours drew to a close, I decided to check up on the state of my companions.
Surprisingly, Blue was still dancing. Red reported that there had been no interruption of his trance for the entire hour I was gone. Certainly a unique tripping behavior. I went to piss, an amusing activity in itself, and on my way out became transfixed by the large bathroom mirror. The image of my face was continuously but gently being pulled, at different points and in different directions. It strongly reminded me of the minigame “Face Lift” in Mario Party 2. My face had a lot of acne, but otherwise looked pretty good. I broke my trance, exited the bathroom, and headed out into the backyard for the first time. It was by now dark, but my vision was still solid, and I was surprised by how many sticks, leaves, and other debris littered the ground. Red, in responsible babysitter fashion, soon came to usher me back inside. We proceeded to spend the next ten minutes laughing uproariously at a variety of things, before finally being joined by a tired Blue. This was the moment when I realized that my eyes and mouth had been wide open in wonder for the majority of the last two hours. This trend would continue for the next three hours, leading me to have a sore face by the end of the night.
The next two hours were spent in often profound conversation with the other two. Topics included, but were not limited to: Blue’s personality/Bipolar older brother/budding music career/geometrically oriented mind, Red’s incredibly short attention span while on weed, the rubbery softness of skin, our sexualities, rudimentary Taoism, and rudimentary Jung. Red baked a pizza, which only tasted slightly better than a pizza normally would, but looked much more complex and colorful than a pizza normally does. Red pulled up a Spongebob greatest moments video on youtube, and I can say without exaggeration that it was the funniest thing I’ve seen in my life. It’s genuinely difficult to convey how hard I was laughing to anyone that wasn’t there. I realized how much subtle effort the animators of the show put into making every single facial expression humorous, no matter which character. I also realized that Spongebob was one of the less funny characters on the show, especially when compared to such comedic titans as Mr. Krabs, Squiward, and Patrick. For any Spongebob fans, watching a good scene involving Squidward and Patrick while tripping is an absolute must try. My favorite part of the night.
By this point, I was finally tired and ready for bed. Entering the night, I had planned on doing some serious self-reflection (I had been semi-recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder after a disastrous first semester of college), but realized with sadness that I had been too preoccupied to accomplish anything productive earlier, and by now was too tired and wanted only sleep. The bed that I had been contentedly enveloped by just hours earlier now was rendered uncomfortable and awkward by my enhanced sense of touch and contact. My last memory as I impatiently waited for sleep to take me was a shimmering painting of a rainforest river hanging across the room.
The next morning, the three of us awoke at about the same time, and decided to return the beach. None of us had much to say, and I just wanted to relax after such an eventful and stimulating night. At this point, I was able to engage in some of the reflection that had been lacking from the night before. We went to lunch, then I dropped my friends off at the train station and said goodbye, before returning to the house to await the arrival of my family a few hours later. Overall, it was a great introduction to a psychedelic realm that I plan on returning to in the future.