The first time I took mushrooms was back when I was 15. My sister was going out with a dealer at the time, and he was the sort of guy who had little experiments and scams going on all the time. One of his little experiments was "Mushroom Wine". I don't know exactly how he made it, but I do know it had apple juice in there for flavour, and had been fermenting for months. Anyway, he was a paranoid kind of person, and didn't want the stuff in his house, so my sister decided to stash the two 1.5 litre bottles of this stuff in her wardrobe at my mum and dad's house. She asked me to keep an eye on it, and in return, I was allowed to "help myself" to a little bit. She did warn me however that I'd only need about a wine glass full to trip, and not to have more than that. But did I listen? No...
A couple of days later it was the half term holidays and I had a week off school. A friend of mine called Sam had come to stay for the weekend, and we were doing all the things normal fifteen year old boys do. Playing computer games, watching videos etc etc... you get the idea. I had been itching to try some of the mushroom wine since my sister had brought it and I decided that tonight was going to be the night. Sam is quite "straight" and didn't know that I did drugs, so I decided just to have a little sip to spice the night up, and not tell him. It was about 10:00pm. My parents hadn't gone to bed yet and Sam and myself were sitting in my bedroom playing "Gauntlet II" on my Nintendo. "I'm just going to the toilet" I said, and disappeared off to my sisters room. I unscrewed the top from one of the bottles and took a sniff. It smelt pretty nasty. I closed my eyes and knocked back a big gulp. I went to the bathroom to get a drink of water to wash away the taste, then returned to my bedroom with Sam. Everything was normal for quite a long time, so I decided that my sister had been over cautious in telling me how much to have and went back for another swig. This time when I stopped in the bathroom on the way back I felt strange. I looked in the mirror. My eyes looked hollow and deep set. My skin looked funny, sort of "hairy" and yellow, and everything had dots on it. I started to smile. This was it. I was actually starting to trip.
I returned to the bedroom with Sam, who was still non the wiser about my exploits, and returned to my game. Then things really started to happen. I kept laughing for no reason, and Sam was giving me the strangest looks, which made me laugh more. He would look at me as if he was really shocked, like a startled rabbit. I was trying to focus hard on the game, but found after a while that my little man would happily wander around by himself. It's not that I wasn't controlling him. It's just that I wasn't making any concious decisions about where to move him etc. I looked down at my hands holding the control pad, but they didn't look like mine. It was as if they were someone elses hands, happily moving around, and playing Gauntlet. I couldn't even feel them anymore. I think it was at about this point that Sam asked me "have you been drinking?". I laughed and said "yes". I wasn't lying either. I HAD been drinking. But not what he thought.
We carried on playing the game for what seemed like hours when I started to notice another strange effect. I don't know if you've ever played Gauntlet but it's quite a fast paced game. You get through a level roughly every five minutes, and there are hundreds of them. After each level a black screen appears for a few seconds, telling you which level you're moving onto next. As I started tripping harder, this black screen would seem to stay on for an eternity. It would just sit there, and the music on the game would slow right down. Each level of the game, I would come-up more on the mushrooms and the black screen would stay there for even longer. Sometimes it seemed like hours. Then something bad happened...
The bedroom door opened and my Mum came in. This was not good. I pretended I was sleepy, and let Sam say goodnight for both of us, but she took what seemed like ages to leave the room. My heart was racing. Eventually she left, and I relaxed. It was gone midnight by now, and Sam was tired, so we had stopped playing the game and were watching TV. I looked over at my wooden wardrobe and noticed that the woodwork seemed to flow as if it were liquid. I looked round the room and started to notice all sorts of cool things. Pink and green patterns appeared on the wall, and all the people on the TV had patterns on their faces.
At about 1:00am Sam fell asleep, but I was still wide awake, although lying in bed by this time. I was watching TV and there was some American sitcom on. It was one I'd never seen before and have never seen since and they showed about three episodes in a row (at least I think they did) so it seemed to last forever. I don't remember much about it just that all the colours on it seemed really "pink", and that I found it much funnier than it really was. Next was a program that I really used to hate. I can't remember what it was called, but it was basically a rock music show and I'm not a big fan of commercial rock music. This night however I loved it. The music sounded so good. They were showing clips from the Reading Festival (a big British rock festival) and it looked so cool.
By the time it finished I was tired and feeling a little ill. I decided to go to the toilet and then try and sleep. When I went to the bathroom I suddenly felt really ill and everything started to sway. I had stomach ache and when I looked in the mirror I looked ruff to say the least. I decided it would be a good idea to drink lots of water and go back to bed.
I lay in the dark in bed for what seemed like ages, although it was probably just an hour or two. I just couldn't sleep and I felt really messed up. Not just physically either. My head was a mess and I felt quite afraid, and just wished I could go to sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I could see strange multi-coloured ribbon patterns flowing against a sort of "pinky gold" coloured background. I can't explain what sort of colour it was except to say that I don't think it really exists. The colour of the ribbons reminded me of the rainbow colours you get when you put oil in water. They all moved in time with the quiet music I had playing in the background (I always sleep with the radio on).
The next day I felt tired but generally OK. When I later looked at the bottle I saw that I'd drunk almost half of it! I don't remember drinking that much but I suppose I must have done. With hindsight it probably wasn't a good idea to have my first trip on my own, with a person who didn't know I was tripping, in my mum and dad's house, but that doesn't mean I regret it. I really enjoyed it.
If anyone knows the recipe for mushroom wine please post it. I'd love to have it again!