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College Tripping

October 12, 1999: My friend E gets in touch with me to let me know that "there is some fungus on campus.

October 12, 1999: My friend E gets in touch with me to let me know that "there is some fungus on campus." To make a long story short, I manage to make it up to his place about 8:00 on Monday night. This is going to be my first time tripping.

I still collect toys. I'm a big fan of having all sorts of oddities around to play with stoned, and I'd always planned on doing the same tripping. Unfortunately, most of my toys are in another city right now, including my plush Pikachu (which is a bitter disappointment to me), so the only thing I can scrape together for my experience is my Lego Darth Maul. Not that he isn't neat and all, but I'd really hoped to have more.

We divide up the eighth ounce evenly and eat it at about 8:45. They are dried, but they appear to have been relatively well taken care of. E insists that we eat them straight instead of using girly methods to mask the taste. I'm not about to argue with him, in spite of the fact that he further insists that we chew them for at least 5 minutes. After all is said and done, they really don't taste as awful as a lot of people make them out to be.

E selects music for the evening. There is some Bob Marley and some Cake in his selection, but I don't know about the others. By this time, I've finished the rum & Coke he gave me when I arrived, so we start smoking nugs out of his dugout. My dugout is regrettably not accessible for this evening (right next to the Pikachu), but his is very full, so we manage.

Acceleration is fun. My first sign that the mushrooms are hitting is that I just got a lot happier. Being a very lukewarm personality in general, this is very easy for me to spot. I'm telling E some story when he interrupts to point out to me that what we are experiencing is called acceleration. I appreciate this, since I really want to have a good memory of what's happening to me.

This is where I really begin to trip. Things start to get introspective. I have a number of stunningly fascinating revelations about mathematics and its relation to the natural world. I'll not bore you with the details. I also have a very significant revelation around this time - it occurs to me that this is the point of smoking weed. It's like what I am experiencing is exactly what I've been trying to achieve by smoking marijuana, although since weed is fundamentally the wrong medium for achieving these sensations, smoking has never brought me close to what I'm experiencing on mushrooms.

As I begin to peak, I start to lose track of the fact that I'm tripping. I relate something vaguely along these lines to E, who reassures me by saying, "Remember - it's only a drug." This statement slashes into my consciousness like an cold iron spear, and brings me back to the reality of the situation. Though he doesn't repeat this again, it becomes my mantra for clinging to sanity through the entire evening.

I experience some closed eye visuals - lots of green fractals. I find them intrusive, and am initially somewhat afraid of them, though I know they're harmless. E assures me the same. This is also around the time I notice that a lot of random "blackness" - just shadows and the like - is being replaced with green. Nothing very traumatic; I realize that there's no terribly good reason that shadows should be black instead of green, and I enjoy it. I tell E about this, and he tells me that it's a somewhat common occurrence, although most people see red instead of green. Very cool.

There's a really nice arboretum on his campus. I've gotten really, really high out there with him and another friend before, and he smokes out there on a daily basis, so we agree that we should go out there. It's only a slightly chilly night, so it's a comfortable walk. On the way, hallucinations continue full force as I begin to see colors (not to be trite, of course). It wasn't what I was expecting, though. I had always assumed I would see opaque, possibly swirling and changing colors. Instead, they were simply lumps of a single translucent color that would appear for a while, and then vanish. Very strange.

We meander through the arboretum. When we get to our favorite bench, there is a strip of plastic taped across it with a "Wet Paint" sign on it. We're tripping. This bench defies us in ways we haven't been defied before. We discuss this at length, and decide that the word "defy" is in fact the perfect word to describe the experience. We check the paint, and it is indeed dry, but the plastic continues to antagonize us. In the end, I convince E that we should just ignore it and find a new bench. We do.

We sit and stare at trees for I don't know how long. The dirt around us flows like a lazy river. The second or third time people walk by us, we decide that it's time to relocate. We go and sit in front of the chapel on campus and talk for some time. When we decide that it's time to go back, we discover something interesting about each other. I found the fresh air reassuring and felt that it steeled me for a return to E's room and the introspective journey. E on the other hand finds the outside frightening, and considers that the greatest comfort is found within. This discussion does not distract us from our plan.

I hallucinate more at his place. The lights on his stereo system dance for me. I find this intriguing and amusing. I watch this for some time, when D, a mutual friend stops by. He smokes us out with some good green bud in spite of the fact that he's been up and working himself stupid since 6:00 that morning. By now, it's nearly midnight. D is a really, really cool guy. He basically stopped by just to share with us, since he almost immediately left to go home. E and I agree to accompany him part of the way, since we want to go to the stadium, which is on the way.

I stop off at the bathroom first. This is the most traumatic experience of the night. E and D go downstairs to wait for me outside. Some guys are playing football in the hallway, and give me crap for not being a resident of that hall (it is a school night here, after all; my school is on fall break). I mumble something at them and brush my way past into the bathroom. After urinating, I guess I just passed out on the way to the sink. I woke up seconds later, though.

Let me tell you something. You haven't lived until fainted and wake up tripping hard. I forget I'm tripping again. That is bad. After a lot of struggling, I manage to claw my way out of the darkness. Since I realize I'm in trouble, my knee-jerk reaction is to call to E for help. It takes me a moment to realize that he's not in the bathroom, he's in his room. It takes me another moment to realize that he's not in his room, he's down 3 flights of stairs. Fuck.

I don't know how I got downstairs in one piece. Actually, I really don't know how I managed to wash my hands on top of this feat. Nonetheless, I did. I sat on the ground outside for about five minutes before we left, though. I felt bad about further delaying D and E, but after I gathered enough strength to explain myself, they forgave me.

We walk for a ways, and then we part with D. We go to the stadium. Even though it's closed, we're carrying no ID by design, and E has his school sweatshirt on. This is all we really need to avoid an unpleasant encounter with campus security, so we head on up to the stands. We elect to not risk our lives trying to climb on top of the press box, but instead lie down on the bleachers and watch the stars.

The stars have lines connecting them. This disturbs me, because my head is much clearer now, and I'm able to realize that this is quite simply not right. The real disturbance comes when I realize that I can't exactly remember if it's just a hallucination, or if I just never noticed the lines before. Since I'm staring at Orion when this occurs to me, and I've been fascinated by Orion for a long time, this is doubly disconcerting.

That's when God decides to start fucking with us. He sends some weird guy out to run laps around the track. It's 1:30 am. This does not sit right with us. He doesn't even say anything to us, though he obviously sees us. We both see him, though, so it's clearly not another weird hallucination. This is about the time that E and I form a hypothesis that God created the heavens and the earth explicitly for the purpose of fucking with tripping people for fun. This idea is both funny and a little uncomfortable to us, so we leave.

A bunch of people are back at E's place (visiting his roommate) when we return, which is not comfortable to us. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that one guy is this giant, scary-looking black guy that could probably take any 3 of us in that room. He's a friend of E, and I can tell he's a nice guy, but I don't care much to deal with him while I am tripping, since he is still a stranger. E and I quickly leave.

E takes me to a little white trash diner called Alice's Restaurant. It's like stepping back in time. We each get some coffee and biscuits & gravy, but neither of us can finish it. The ambience, while not disgusting or scary, was just a little too sad, too forlorn for my state of mind. We're coming down fast and hard, and the diner is filled with the echoes of unfulfilled dreams and the reek of heart-rending nostalgia. It's just too much for me. Though E seems to have the same feelings, we don't talk about it, so I can only assume. We pay our bill, compliment the cook on the food (it was pretty tasty, after all), and take our leave.

After we get home, we chat for about 15 minutes. I then make my one musical request for the evening - I want to hear Phish's "Taste" (the last song on Slip, Stitch, & Pass), since I've always adored coming down to that song. E puts it on and goes to bed. I listen to it, then fall asleep.

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