Waking up on a cold Monday morning. With an 1/8 of mushrooms in my drawer, I knew what I had to do. I got up, took a shower, and got ready for the day, I had no idea what awaited me.
Mushrooms changes one’s reality, twists, and re-shapes it into one’s wildest imaginations. Going online to chat with friends, I saw my friend Will online so I took it upon myself to talk to him about what I wanted to do. I said to him, “Hey Will, you want to go to Venice and shroom?” Without hesitation, Will abruptly answered with an enthusiastic, “Fuck yea fool.” Our day was set, but we still needed to prepare ourselves before we left for Venice. Will told me he would be at my place in 30 minutes and that we had decided to also get some marijuana to smoke before we left Rancho. Once Will had arrived we left my house and picked up the essentials: Doritos chips (2 bags), water with ice for my Roor, and weed from Desmond. When we picked up the weed from Des, we had told him that we were going to shroom at Venice and he wished us good luck and to tell him all about our trip once we got back. We dropped him off back at his house and then me and Will thought, “Hey, let’s see if Amit wants to shroom with us.” The mushrooms I got was from my friend Amit. He was in school at the time and wasn’t too sure if he wanted to come, so me and Will decided that we would smoke a bowl or two of weed before we left, to give Amit some time to decide. We smoked, got really stoned, got onto the 210 freeway, and thus beginning our journey. Little did we know, but we were about to experience the greatest trip either of us had ever been on.
Our high was great; as we drove from freeway to freeway, we had hilarious conversations. One conversation involved a person we knew named Froggy. Froggy is a short black guy with a head bigger in proportion to his body, he looks freaky. We passed the La Brea tar-pits and when we did, Will had said, “Hey, imagine Froggy sinking in the tar-pits. He’d be like, ‘No you guys, want to smoke my bong?’” We laughed and continued driving toward Venice. We made up music videos in our heads to songs we heard on the radio since I had no CD player. Most of the songs we were listening to were on the Spanish station, I don’t know why. Finally, after an hours worth of drive, we arrived at Venice.
We pulled into a McDonalds so I could piss. I didn’t want to piss during my shroom trip because I didn’t want it to take away the effect of the shrooms; then we left McDonalds and drove closer to the ocean. We pulled into the parking structure closest to the beach, there was only one guy working at the structure. He gave us our parking ticket and we drove up to the very top of the parking structure. When we got there, we noticed a lot of graffiti, there was no other car besides mine and decided not to park there due to safety reasons. We drove a bit lower, but not too low where someone could see us, and parked my car. I placed 2-3 shrooms between 2 pieces of chips until every bit of my shrooms were inside me. Will had a little more difficulty eating his shrooms. I had given Will half of the 1/8 I had, but the half of the 1/8 of shrooms I gave him only consisted of 1 gigantic mushroom. It was fucking huge. He would say to me, “Nader, watch me eat this, watch me.” I would reply, “Fuck no fool, that shit is gross, I can’t watch you eat that shit.” I turned away as Will took that mushroom, put it in between 2 pieces of chips, and engulfed the whole thing. He told me it was like the shroom cap had exploded, bursting out little tiny shrooms inside of his mouth. It was just a matter of time until these shrooms worked there magic. It was 11:50am when we had eaten our shrooms. We left my car, and walked out of the parking structure. It was a cold, gloomy day at the beach, and we had no idea what journey lay ahead.
We began walking on the strip, passing all the stores Venice had to offer. The beach was empty, most of the stores were closed. Will said something like, “Man I wish I brought my jacket, its fucking cold.” The cold didn’t bother me; I had a jacket of my own. We passed this one store with a toy army man that was set outside on the sidewalk right in front of the store. The army man was laying down aiming a gun as if in war, the toy would move. It would crawl and noises of gun shots would come from it, Will and I would marvel at it and go, “Haha, that shit is tight.” We continued walking.
Bums occupied a big part of this beach; we both were scared of bums. We made up bum stories like, how each bum probably has their own territory and they kick the shit out of people who invade their spot. We were scared that we were going to be those people who invade their territories; we had to keep our distance. We came across a bum that was huge. This guy was a monster, we believed him to be the “King of the bums.” We were walking in the opposite direction of the “King Bum” so he was walking toward us. As he got closer, he went crazy. He flailed his arms up as if he was a bear and began to make stabbing motions with an imaginary knife. He was trying to intimidate us…..it worked. We were like, “Holy shit, did you see that?” to each other but continued to walk. It was now about 12:20 and I knew the shrooms where working. As we walked I heard many random things that I do not remember. One incident was when we were walking; we came across an older bum talking to a group of kids that looked to be the same age as us. He was telling the kids a story and acting it out at the same time. What he said to the kids were, “So I punched the guy and broke in his rib cage.” And at the same time he made a motion wit his hand as if smashing in someone’s rib cage. The kids were amazed and started clapping. I was confused. I wondered things to myself like, “Why are they clapping for him? He’s a bum.” I didn’t know what Will was thinking, but I know he was enjoying the story the bum was telling too.
We left the sidewalk and got onto the sand. We looked at the different graffiti designs that were on the walls and we watched a pair of kids as they drew their own graffiti. We continued walking until I saw something. I saw a tree with the bottom of it shaped exactly like a mushroom and someone had painted it with the cap being green with orange spots on it. I thought this was pretty neat since we were on mushrooms and we see a gigantic shroom. Finally, we got to a set of benches and decided to sit down for awhile. It was about 12:50 and I had said something like, “It’s been almost an hour since we ate the shrooms.” We sat there for awhile as I stared at the grass and the trees around us as they rippled like water. Will hadn’t said anything so I knew he was tripping too. We got up and began to walk again.
We came across a parking lot that was empty, hardly any cars at all if there were any. We decided to walk in the parking lot. Not before long since our journey in the lot, we realized that the whole lot was covered in bird shit. We got scared thinking that this was a trap set up by the birds to shit all over us; we quickly got out of the parking lot and headed back to the sidewalk that we originally were walking on. The sidewalk was now away from all the shops and was right against the sand. Bums occupied this part of the sidewalk where they would be sleeping on it. We began talking about the birds and how all they do is eat and shit. We didn’t realize a bum was laying down right beside as we said that about the birds. He kind of looked at us as if we were talking about him, about how all he does is eat and shit. I don’t think he realized that we were talking about the birds so I quickly said, “The birds, all the BIRDS do is eat and shit.” We started walking a little faster. I looked at my phone and the time was now 1:30.
I couldn’t even see Venice anymore since we had walked very far. I would say to Will, “Hey, let’s sit down for a bit, we walked so far.” We sat down and during the time we had rested, I had many things going through my mind. I would ask myself questions like, “What does it mean to shroom? Who thought of that word? I’m shrooming but what does that mean? Am I a shroomhead?” None of it made sense. We got up and started walking again. After what seemed like miles I would want to sit again and Will would say, “Man, it’s only been a minute.” I looked behind me to see how much ground we had covered. I thought to myself, “this fool has got to be kidding.” We had walked too far for it to have been considered a minute, but since I was on shrooms I didn’t really care. After what seemed like hours since the last time I looked at my phone, it now said 1:30. I started laughing thinking that time had stopped.
I didn’t know anymore where we where since we had walked for miles but then I realized where we were; Santa Monica Beach. According to the time on my phone (1:32), we had walked from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Beach in only 2 minutes. That is impossible, the time was warped and I thought we were going to be stuck in time forever. Before we got to Santa Monica pier, which we could see right in front of us, we decided to go walk on the bridge that was on the sand. There was no bridge, what the “bridge” was were wooden steps in the sand. We began walking on it and to me it didn’t seem sturdy, as if it were one of those old rope bridges you see in movies, and I began to sway from side to side. We walked straight from that path to the water. Once we got to the water we both wondered, “Why the fuck did we walk here, let’s get back on the sidewalk.” We finally got to the pier and began to go up the stairs that were on the side of the pier. We looked at the amusement park that was on the pier and wondered, “Why did we walk here, lets go back.” Before we went back down the steps, we looked over the whole beach and it felt as if we were Gods; like we controlled everything. The sand looked like an ocean, rippling and waving just like the water. We went down the steps and walked on the sand. There was a sign on the beach that said, “No Nadar” which in Spanish means, “No Swimming.” Since the word Nadar is very similar to my name, Nader, Will said to me, “Oh no Nader, you’re not allowed on this beach, cya.” I was disappointed, but we just laughed and got back to the sidewalk and began walking toward Venice. It was now 1:35; time was moving too slow.
We arrived to a place where some people occupied. The beach was getting crowded now. I can’t remember what Will and I were talking about but will said, “I should dress like one of those tourists; with a hat…and a map.” Right after will had said this, a bum in a red jacket came around the corner with a squeaky bike and a huge map on his handle bars. Shocked at this sight, we began laughing hysterically, the bum didn’t look too happy and I had felt bad for laughing at him and his bike. We started walking away and began talking about the incident that just happened and then suddenly we heard something. It was the sound of the same squeaky bike of the bum, he was following us. We started freaking out saying, “It’s like a fucking horror movie, you know when the killer is around.” Will said, “It’s like D-bo from the movie Friday with his squeaky bike.” We continued laughing and the bum rode his bike slowly and squeakily past us giving us a look as if he wanted to kill us. We freaked out. He rode far away and then suddenly began to ride toward us again, squeaking. We kept laughing but I tried my best not to. He rode past us and left, the horror was over.
The sidewalk we were walking on had two lanes. One was for pedestrians while the other was for bicycles. We were walking and came across a guy holding his bike over his shoulder. He was walking past us and while he was walking he gave us a look as if disgusted. He was Asian and had only 1 tooth in his mouth. He looked weird and I was wondering, “WTF?” It was the weirdest sight I’ve ever seen. Will too saw this man and wondered why he was staring at us the way he did. We got to the sidewalk that was against the shops, but we were not in Venice yet. A small lady came up to Will and asked him directions to some place, Will just pointed in a direction and came to me and said, “I have no idea what she said, I think she wanted directions to someplace but I didn’t know where it was.” A very tall man ran past us and he looked like Will. Will said, “Whatever, is he proud that he can run? It’s like he’s in the carpool lane.” We laughed. It was 1:48 now and I didn’t care anymore. I knew time was fucked up and just accepted it.
By this time I noticed that everyone looked the same. The faces of every person I saw looked exactly the same as the next person. Owner’s looked like their pets and pets where enormous. A girl maybe in her 20’s passed us on roller skates. Even with the skates on, she was no taller than 4 feet. We saw an Asian guy riding one of those vertical motorized scooters with 2 wheels side by side with 2 other people riding the same thing on the sides of him. We thought that maybe he was the president and those 2 men were his bodyguards. They zoomed past us and we couldn’t see them anymore. We decided to sit down on a nearby bench, I can tell I was acting weird. While sitting there, a man had walked past us giving us a look. He looked over at me, pointed at me and shook his head and continued walking, he knew I was fucked up. We got up and walked some more until we got to a sign, “Venice”, we were back in Venice.
The beach was really crowded now and everyone I saw looked familiar to me for some reason. I seemed like I knew every person even though I didn’t. A huge group of birds flew right past and between us scaring the shit out of us at the same time. At this moment Will and I knew we had to watch out for birds, the birds at Venice are deadly. We came across a group of birds but we were ready for them. We smoothly tried to walk past them trying not to step on them at the same time when all of a sudden we hear, “I am Zoltar! The amazing Zoltar!” We freaked out. It was those fortune telling machines. It caught us off guard and we began screaming. We started walking faster and off of the sidewalk and onto the grass. At the same time Zoltar was still screaming at us; he was saying, “Hey you guys, where are you going! I see you over there!” We knew it was talking to us and we had to leave, quick.
We began walking toward the Venice pier talking about Zoltar and to aware of him the next time we saw him. We got to the pier and started walking out towards the ocean. Will said, “Man it’s getting wet, we’re getting closer to the ocean.” I agreed. We passed a man who gave me a piece sign with the words, “How’s it going?” He knew we were fucked up. Then we saw a bum, this bum was big and slow moving. At the same time our friend Amit had called and Will answered his phone. Will said, “Sup, Amit, we’re on shrooms!” All of a sudden, a huge swarm of birds came up from behind the bum and darted straight for us, they were suicide bombing birds. Will screamed, “Ahhh we’re getting attacked by birds Amit! I’ll call you back!” He hung up and we began dodging the birds, it was too close. We finally got to the pier and looked out towards the ocean, and then looked towards the beach. The pier was very long, we didn’t realize how far it took us out into the ocean. While everyone on that pier looked out into the ocean, we were the only 2 staring the opposite way when a couple birds began to surround us. These birds were trying to step up. We started heading off the pier and back to the beach. We started walking back towards Santa Monica.
We got back onto the sidewalk and told each other to remember about Zoltar so he doesn’t catch us off guard the next time, we were ready for him. We passed the store with the toy army man. He was still crawling and shooting but I hopped over his line of sight and dodged his shots. I don’t know how but we managed to walk past Zoltar without ever noticing him, we had missed him. We had walked half way toward Santa Monica when we decided to turn back again to Venice, we didn’t want to run into the squeaky bike bum again. We entered Venice once more and walked until we got to Zoltar, but we had forgotten about him and he scared us again. It was the last and final time we were going to walk toward Zoltar, he had freaked us out. What we came across next was a dog on top of a store. Everyone was watching it taking pictures of it, we thought it was going to jump and commit suicide. I screamed, “No it’s going to jump!” Then everyone started to ignore the dog. Will and I asked each other, “Did they forget about the dog? It’s still up there.” Will walked away and I asked him, “Will, is there really a dog up there?” His answer, “I don’t know man. Yes, there is a dog.” Things were getting too weird for us.
I saw kids who looked very familiar as if from my school, but I know I’ve never seen them before in my life. A guy was sitting on something with his hood pulled over his head. He was screaming for a girl to “get inside the house!” It didn’t make any sense. We started walking back towards the parking structure, Will had seen enough and wanted to leave, he was getting freaked. He thought we would never leave Venice alive. Then I saw a clown sitting next to a fence making balloon animals. I said to will, “That’s it! Clowns are where I draw the line! We need to leave.” It was about 5:00 now and we got to the parking structure. The guy was still working and said something to us, I don’t remember. We got to my car and sat inside for awhile. I started looking in the mirror and saw my face melt and my teeth fall off. Will was staring at the cracks in my dashboard and started to trip on them. A group of birds came into the structure, I wasn’t sure if they were real because they soon disappeared. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive at the state I was in so we left my car and headed back towards the beach but this time I brought a bag of chips incase I got hungry. We left again and the guy working just stared at us.
Will told me it was a stupid idea to bring chips; it was like bait for the bums to attack me so I decided to throw them away. But Will said the bums would get mad if I threw away perfect food so I held onto them. We both went in opposite directions until we met up on the sand closer to the water. We decided to sit down and just stare out into the ocean. We had been sitting for awhile until a man in full clothes, jeans, shirt, jacket, started walking through the water. He was getting soaked and Will said, “Ok, I guess he wants to get wet, that makes sense.” We knew it didn’t make sense at all but just accepted it. Two men started walking in our direction and we were sitting down in their path. They got close until they parted and formed a circle around us and met on the other side and continued to walk. Will said, “We’re never getting out of here. We’ll never get get home.” We got up and headed back towards the parking structure and for the last time. We got inside my car and waited. I turned on the ignition and drove out. It was 6:00 and it was getting dark. We somehow found the freeway and got on and started talking about our trip. It was amazing and we couldn’t wait to get home.