(I don't know exactly where to classify this trip - I'd say it was predominantly level 3, but there was awhile in it that was level 4, possibly approaching 5.)
Just yesterday I re-read a fortune cookie I got before I left on my first visit to see my boyfriend: Travel this year will bring your life greater perspective.
Little did I know to what extent that would be true. On Tuesday, I answered a question for which I hadn't entirely decided an answer until that moment.
"Do you want to try mushrooms with me?"
I curled up on the bed as he shuffled around his room, collecting the mushrooms, hopping online to do some dosage figuring, and dividing the mushrooms up between us. He came over with a fairly good handful of dried mushrooms and I had to joke that I was glad I'd recently become more fond of mushrooms.
So down they went. One by one by one. Cardboard had nothing on these bad boys. *smiles* They weren't bad until the last couple. But I got them down and we curled up on the bed to wait for the first results to hit.
I don't know if he or I hit visuals first, but I think I at least said something first. I noticed the spray patterns on the ceiling growing more pronounced and a slight trail left behind when I moved my hand in front of me.
We curled up together on the end of the bed to wait some more and see what developed. The visuals crept up on me slowly - I noticed the patterns behind my eyes developing more and more. They were like a lot of the psychedelic '60s art - the one image that stands out in my memory of that part was a flash of a tongue of fluorescent fire against a field of black, with the internal part of the flame filled with maroons and greens and blues like paisley patterns.
I think somewhere there we decided to take a few more mushrooms, just to make sure of an effect. (Whoo buddy. *smiles*) Which then also put the relative time-frame we were operating on back a little bit.
I mentioned before I came to visit that I was curious as to what sex would be like on mushrooms. I remember moving to the higher side of the bed, laying on my back, and him entering me. At that point, I remember some added physical sensitivity, my skin being more feeling to touch.
That moment dims in my memory slightly, but I think we did it missionary position first, then moved so he could enter me from the rear. I remember that more so - each thrust was activating bursts of rainbows in my vision. It wasn't a disconnect from reality, more like an overlay over what was there. I think there was one of the first all-out hallucinations, though, however brief - a flash of a black universe, horizon line drawn on an angle, and white chains at various intervals throughout. A ball of flame flew in the middle of several chains.
The feeling from that sight was not negative - I think I reacted more to the artistry of it, and I loved that.
There was a definite drop in self-barriers - I know I at least felt more open and reactive to his touches, and when he licked my ass, rather than squick me out, I loved it. His stubble rubbing on my shaved pussy was driving me mad with pleasure, and the visuals accompanied. I remember tiered black and white Japanese gardens with pink lotus blossoms floating on the water.
"The choice to kiss me now is up to you," he said when he resurfaced, and I remember grabbing him and kissing him hard, tasting the earthy tang of myself on his lips. It was ... arousing, to say the least.
The visuals had continued to grow for me, and I was seeing a lot of curvilinear patterns -- Celtic knots, black-tribal designs, and so on. When I took his cock in my mouth, there was an overlay of a Wild West feel design - black Celtic knots wrapped in silver-grey fire with black edging, purple background, and buffalo skulls.
After that, he pushed me back on the bed, at an angle across it, and climbed on top of me. The visuals that accompanied that time blew my mind. Literally. As I lay there, my hands running up and down his back, my vision flashed to a universe-wide field of bright yellow flame and a tribal-design bird stretching its wings, covering me with them. I glanced up at him, seeing him in almost the same pose, then I flashed to a look up from the bottom of a lake or river, sun shining brightly, and a school of fish swimming from my toes to my head.
The phoenix got me. I don't know what emotions I was showing then - I wish I could have seen my face. Just the huge breadth of it on a visual basis and the accompanying emotional catharsis scared me for the depth. But it was...amazing. I don't know if a word has yet been invented to capture the depth of that moment for me, those visions.
After he'd made me come, we curled up horizontally across the bed and began to talk. He'd stayed more coherent than I had, I think, so he began asking simple yet profound questions whose answers and our reactions surprised both of us, I think.
I remember him telling me he feared never being heard, never making a mark on the world, and tears beginning to flow as he talked.
"It's been a long time since I've cried," he said softly.
Leaning up toward his face, I gently kissed beneath his eye, tasting the salt, wanting to offer myself as safety and a buffer for tears. My hands found his jaw as I kissed him softly, trying to with my lips say I would always take his tears and offer myself in return. Our hands drifted over each other's bodies as we talked, and I know then I was having a bit of trouble with my words. Or at least I felt like I was. The thoughts that were in my head, growing more complex, were not easily finding form in words.
I vaguely remember telling him my deepest fear was living my life alone and my own tears beginning to fall. To never have someone to share my life with, to come home each night to an empty bed - that frightens me. It still does.
It was strange. Whether mushroom-induced or just a general feeling, the desire for sex had dropped to minimal. Somehow, sharing these deep questions and our tears felt just as if not more intimate than the times our bodies melded together.
The visuals had slowed some, then, for me, but there's kind of black-out feelings, where I was not conscious of the room around me, only him being there.
I have no idea how long that was, but around this time I think I remember some nausea setting in. I was beginning to get more physical sensations, and I could feel my body digesting. It felt like snakes writhing in my stomach, and I was beginning to fear that they were going to try to make their way out.
I was trying to hide that from him a bit - not entirely sure why, but I did. We sat on the edge of the bed, and talked a little bit about things we loved. I remember saying something about sunsets and roses and smaller, memento things that came to mind right away.
Some nausea had set in, then, and I think I belched on his shoulder, making him think I was going to barf. Wasn't sure I *wasn't* going to. I remember looking at the sun shining through the blinds on the far wall, feeling like it had been forever and this feeling was never going to go away. I could feel my heart beat and I half-wondered if I would go mad or get very sick or what.
There was a few moments there that I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep and make it all go away, but I was more afraid of what would show up in my dreams than trying to stay awake and deal with the negative feelings I was having then.
Even in that state, I could kind of get it through my mind that "This, too, shall pass," and I could learn from the experience.
Sometime then he offered to make some chamomile tea. Still not feeling great, I slipped on my shirt and tottered out toward the kitchen. I remember feeling like those were not my legs that were carrying me. My brain was not in command of them.
It was a struggle to stand upright at times, and the stomach-writhing feeling had kept me leaning over the counter. I sipped the tea, and on one hand, it was very calming. A real sense, something that I could feel and touch and know was reality. But my taste was slightly jacked, I think, so I could taste the herbs more than usual, bitter-harsh, but good. My stomach writhed again, and I still didn't like feeling things moving in me, as the diastolic motion pulled the warm liquid to my gullet. He asked about a walk, and the mere thought ... ugh, at that point.
I kept thinking of a Ray Bradbury story where a man freaks out when he comes to the full realization that there's a skeleton under his skin and veins that pump blood. At that moment, I really couldn't disagree.
And I was fearing what more was going to happen. I felt like I was clinging to my Self by only the tiniest string, and I was terrified of losing that.
Part of me wanted to cry, then, but I thought back to my experiences in the hospital when they were first drawing blood without my parents there. Conquering the fear was half the battle, and I knew that was the case here. If I could just accept the experience for what it was, wait patiently without fear, let everything happen, I would be OK. And he had stayed close by the whole time through, so that helped. He was at least a sort-of anchor in reality.
Thinking that perhaps sitting on the toilet would help, I tottered back toward the bedroom, my legs heavy and feeling like they were moving of their own volition. I really wasn't entirely sure my upper half wasn't going to go walk somewhere else, and that was a very odd feeling.
I sat on the toilet, and I knew I was in for it when the patterns in the aluminum of the shower stall door where undulating, like little mouths in and out. I stood to flush the toilet and my whole perspective was mad from then on out. I felt like I was in a series of fun-house mirrors. The toilet looked like it was around my ankles in height. When I went to pull up my pants, I felt like my legs were the height of a dwarf's and my arms the length of a giant's.
Madly thirsty, then, I reached for the glass on the sink. It was a graduated sort, meeting to a small, flared base. When I took a drink, I stared into its depths, and the pattern began to fractalize. Looking into the glass felt like looking into a mirror across from another, repeating and repeating to eternity. That got too big for my mind, and I had to put it down.
He came in to find me in the bathroom (while I studiously avoided the mirror - they can freak me out SOBER), and I remember looking at him and parts of his face were gone. The only explanation I can give is that if he were a photograph, certain pixels throughout his face would be gone. But they would move. I'd not be able to see parts of his eye, his nose, his chin.
That scared me a little - I'd never realized how much of a visual sense I'd enjoyed and how much it would bother me to lose that. At that point, I wasn't entirely sure if that was drug-induced or if it was some true effect.
I stumbled back out into his bedroom and sat in the middle of the floor. I glanced around and could see everything, but I really wasn't connecting that it was his room. The grain on the door to his bedroom began to undulate and so did the pink carpet on the floor.
I felt like I was candlewax, and my lower half had melted and I was only as tall as my suitcase, which sat across the room. He asked if I wanted to help tidy up his room, and I said I didn't think I could. I could vaguely place myself in the room, but objects felt like they'd lost their meaning. And perspective was doing doozy things - in reality I was a matter of feet from his bed, but it looked like half a mile. The space between the far side of the bed and the wall looked like the Grand Canyon.
His cat meandered in at one point and sat on the chair. The only thing I can say is it looked like she was a heart, swelling and shrinking. She was still a cat and still her colors, but beating like a heart.
As I sat there, and he sat cross-legged in front of me, everything looked like it sank deeper into the carpet than it should. All I could think of was Einstein's theory that objects in the universe bend the space-time continuum, and the pictures I'd seen of that in magazines and such.
He had a picture of Einstein and galaxies on the front of his shirt, and all I could get out, really, was "It's like your shirt." Made perfect sense in MY head.
It was strange to pick up a piece of paper with typewritten words and have no idea what the black markings meant. I could read them - see and recognize they were words - but I could not put any sort of meaning to them. For someone so word-oriented, it was bizarre.
I lost time connectivity to some extent. We had conversations I was certain we'd had before, and I couldn't remember sequences of events. He'd tell me something and I'd ask if he did. I remember him carrying a blanket by and asking him if it was red. I wasn't sure.
After a bit, he told me to come up on the bed. He pulled me over (the half-mile or so...*smiles a little*) and I laid on my left side. My legs felt like they weighed hundreds of pounds each, dead weights, still not connected to me.
"They're still not mine," I said.
Laying there, I stared accusingly up at the sun out the window above me.
"It's VERY BRIGHT," I said crossly. "I don't like it."
He joked, "Yeah, I know. Who had the NERVE to put a STAR so close to earth?"
I was suddenly very conscious of the aural aspects of everything - I hadn't consciously been hearing noise, but suddenly it felt like everything had gone unearthly quiet, except for the grating drone of a lawn mower.
Again, I said I didn't like it.
But laying there in the bed was giving me the weirdest connections on the grand scale of things. I could feel me on the bed, a tiny box, inside his bedroom, another box, inside the house, a bigger box, and on the world. The perspective of who I was - me, laying in a bed on the third rock from the sun, a little speck on a bigger speck on a bigger speck (etc) - was overwhelming.
I truly saw how time worked - small bubbles, connecting each of us, each of our moments, strung on a white string.I said later I wondered what would have happened if I had pulled on the bubbles - probably better that I didn't. That could have been a DOOZY of a moment. *smiles*
There was a curvilinear connectivity to everything that I still can't find words to explain. That was one I remember trying SO hard to explain, because it felt absurdly simple, but he just said, "I don't get it."
I laughed a little and said, "I don't either."
After awhile, the greater perspective issues felt like they were slowing, slightly. I could place myself solidly in the room, on the bed, next to him. Thoughts were making MORE sense, though not lots.
But it was like as my reasoning powers came back little by little, the visuals kicked it up a notch. Looking at him, he had lavender and burnt orange checkerboard over his face.
Later, he pulled a blanket over our heads, kind of cave-burrowing, and it sent a greenish pallor over his face, and I got wiggy for a moment, thinking he looked like an alien. That later amused me, though, and I made him do it again.
Staring into his eyes, the softer blue showed more of those curved designs I'd been seeing connecting everything. I half-saw the soft patterns of galaxies exploding in them.
My visual cortex seemed to be placing a tribal, curving design over everything. I remember looking at his face, the patterns of his jaw and hair, and seeing beautiful, black designs, all curving and solid, augmenting his looks. He sat on his crossed legs for awhile, and I saw strong black tattoos across his chest and stomach. I traced them with my fingers, and they were beautiful.
"Lines," I said softly, dragging my fingers vertically. "Curves," I said, doing them horizontally across his chest, seeing the dark collar design. "Pretty."
I stopped, glancing at my hand on his chest, and abruptly started to cry.
"I hate my hands," I said. They seem so stumpy, so wide, so ... unelegant.
(Whether that was still under perspective issues or my true self talking, I don't really know. They seemed particularly unpretty right then, but sometimes I don't like them anyways.)
He took them in his hands and kissed them, and I cried again.
Kuchina-doll-style markings appeared in the woodgrain in the windowsill behind us. I saw stained glass lilies surrounded by more of the curving designs that had emphasized everything. Celtic knots appeared everywhere I looked. The ceiling was an amazing shade of magenta and purple and sometimes looked flowered and all kinds of traditional patterns.
There were times I was laying next to him, talking, and I could FEEL when I was losing coherency. I'd be trying so hard to talk, and I could feel my eyes bugging open and my mind racing, and I knew I was losing him. It was very odd.
Overall, the last part was most intriguing, I think. The bigger insights on the other side of fear, just the amazing riot of visuals that I took in. It was...phenomenal.
Eventually things seemed to slow and drift back toward normal. I informed him my legs were mine again and moved carefully to get a drink of water. I didn't glimpse eternity in the glass, so I thought the worst was over. And it was.
"I'm hungry," I said, and he heated some rice and chicken for both of us.
We stood in the kitchen, talking things over, quietly analyzing what had happened. Leaning against the counter, still, this time from exhaustion, I was struck by the contrast of the warm yellow and maroon rose against his cat's black and grey fur. I pointed it out to him and we spent probably 10 minutes staring at that, taking a good close look at the rose, and smelling it.
Both of us, I think, had lost the passion to do that. Seeing him lean over and smell the rose, petting Ziffles softly, I thought my heart was going to break for the unutterable beauty of the moment.
We went for a walk - I wasn't ENTIRELY clear, yet, because I got a flash of a garden of yellow lilies after he gently kissed me. And the patterns and arcs of everything outside were amazing but vaguely agitating. I think my visual cortex was rebelling a little from overstimulation.
So what things did I take away from the experience?
The main is an intense feeling of clarity, of rebirth, almost. Like I walked through fire and came out stronger for it. I faced fears, I faced a primal, strong experience and had an amazing time. Not all of it good, but all of it learning.
I learned that in a greater sense, a shift in perspective is good. We are not as trapped as we think we are.
I feel like I need to express more of the creativity that's in me. I focus on words, and I think that's probably my forte, but I can't ignore the visual. There's too much there for me not to feel that, to taste that.
I remain curious if the visual forms my experience took had to do with reading "Modern Primitives" not long before (suggestive context) or if my brain was taking those from some greater source, as many times I've read tribal designs are repeated by people who should not or would not know them. It's an interesting question.
During the better parts, I remember saying I could see how drugs could get addicting. But especially with how intense this trip was - and I know not every one probably would be - it's something not to take lightly. But it's fascinating.
A spiritual experience can take a variety of forms, and that's not a bad thing.