It only took me well over a year of distance between now and my ill-fated story to finally reach a point where I can now look back and write about what was a truly terrifying mushroom experience. The set and setting are as follows. A night out in Ocean Beach in San Diego CA with three friends (Ron, Mary and Bupkiss) tripping on about 1/2 gram each of P. Cyanasceans (sp?). It is mid-December 2001 and is about 8:00 at night. What originally was intended as a "fun" night out with my friends turned in to pure terror. Here is my story.
My three friends and I decided we would spend an evening in OB (Ocean Beach) enjoying a light trip on mushrooms and a few beers. We thought nothing of the dose and shortly after ingesting the divine inebrient we headed out to dinner. Not ten minutes in to our meal it hit us like Mike Tyson with cement gloves. We all looked at each other with that helpless look when one is in way over their head in a very public place. It took all we had just to look up at our waitress and not crack. She may have suspected we were high, but as you can imagine we had larger worries. So what do our dumb asses do? We pay the bill (I think?) and head down the street to a crowded bar! Oh man, talk about stupid. To this day I don’t recall whose brilliant idea that was, but I would like to know which of us was that stupid. We all should have known better, but you know how that goes!
We bumble in the door and squat on barstools facing this huge mirror and two bartenders in tuxes. How we were able to communicate we wanted beer is beyond me, but shortly after taking our seats we each had a frosty glass of beer in front of us. I turned to my buddy Ron, and with a petrified look on my face asked him if he was alright. Ron just mumbled something about being scared shitless and wondering if I was O.K. I lied and said, "I am fine, but damn, these mushrooms are powerful!" I then looked to my left and my buddy Bupkiss was leaning back in his barstool, almost balancing it on two legs, glaring at the ceiling and drooling. His face was of the light purple variety, like a blueberry! The bartender came over and asked me if my friend was O.K. Being stupified I had the audacity to ask, “Which one?”, as if my other two buddies were purple circus acrobats balancing their barstools and drooling simultaneously. I then looked back right and saw my other two friends in a way I will never forget. Both looked as though they had just stepped off of Mt. Everest, frozen and with ice sicles hanging off of them! It was a terrifying moment, because it was then I knew I was in really bad shape. This high might be manageable in private, but in front of a crowded bar it was unbearable. I quickly reached the point where I had to mentally tell myself to breathe and stand up. I even had to hold my head up, as it just wanted to flop on the bar. Sitting was nearly impossible and I had a leg planted on the floor. I am sure all of this looked perfectly normal to the bartenders…yeah right! Despite all of us being obviously incapacitated, the bartenders kept walking by and smiling. I am sure they were laughing at our sorry asses in retrospect, as we had to be quite the sight. This nightmare dragged on for about an hour, and I remember saying to myself that if these bartenders didn't call the police on us that we would be the luckiest guys in the world!
Finally Marty decided it was time to leave, seeing that his buddies were having such a great time in the absence of reality. With all of us in overwhelming agreement we all popped to our unsteady feet and followed Marty on that walk down Abbey Road. Not five seconds later we are at the door and a wave of great relief washed over me. I can’t tell you how much I just wanted out of there! My relief was to be very shortlived. Marty had led us right in to the bathroom! As our dumb asses pushed in we all looked at each other and out of sheer fear of admitting we were in deep we all lined up and tried to use the facilities. That was a joke, as I couldn’t even find the zipper on my trousers! After a few moments the rouse seemed pointless and getting out of there before the cops arrived a more pressing issue than dinner in the back of our britches. Fearlessly following Marty again we made our way, single file, for the door. When that first blast of cool air hit my face the relief was incredible! We had escaped a certain doom! We were free!
We could now make our way back to the hotel a block away that Ron had arranged for us. With freedom so close I could almost taste it. The trip was still strongly upon us and just like the ocean crashing down on the pier the waves of the trip were still a riptide to be reckoned with. Thinking we were in the clear we headed in the front gate of the hotel all smiles and dreaming of a private space where we could live out the rest of this horrible nightmare in peace. That wonderful moment was to pass much too quickly. There was only what can be described as a guardhouse at the entrance to this hotel and a very stern and angry old man emerged from it. He approached Ron, obviously recognizing him, and asked him who the Hell we were. He had only rented Ron a single room and he would not be having the three of us crashing at the hotel’s expense. I don’t recall what Ron said, but in what seemed like a flash in time the old man and Ron were on the cement brawling! I remember staring at Ron and this geriatric figure pawing each other and thinking I was in some other dimension. Ron would never fight with anyone, so this was certainly not reality we were witnessing. Suddenly the old man had gotten free and was racing for his guardshack, surely to call the cops on us. I couldn’t believe this, were we cursed to spend the remainder of our trip outdoors in the dead of night?
Now we were all running, with Ron out front, as if he had a clue where we were going. Ron led us out on the beach and we immediately headed towards the pier. The waves were now larger than life and I was sure they were going to crash down and drown us. We hid under the pier and shook with fear for what seemed like hours. I remember the cold biting and poking at us in our t-shirts and shorts. Once we were sure we were in the clear we all fell asleep under the pier and my next memory is of the sun burning through the wood on the pier and on to our faces. The warmth felt great, and I think we were all very relieved to have survived. I had sand on every inch of my body and a stiff back, but otherwise was unharmed. My brain was definitely not its normal self, feeling as if it had been stuck a few times with a cattle prod. Suddenly it hit me that I was supposed to be meeting my Cousin and her family for breakfast in Pacific Beach in half an hour! I bid farewell to my psychonaut friends and headed for my car. Despite all that had happened I was relieved to remember exactly where my car was. It was inside the gates at Ron’s hotel! Relief quickly turned to terror. Would my car be there? Would Grumpy Gus be waiting for me with the cops? I didn’t have the time to think about it. I just walked right in the gate and hopped in my car. As I sped away from the lot I looked back and didn’t see any sign of the cops or Grumpy Gus. I was so happy, I could finally put the entire night behind me and enjoy a quiet, legal and sane breakfast with my family. Not sure how to explain the sand all over me and the pillow hair, but it didn’t matter. I had escaped an experience I was sure would break me. I have not gotten that high on mushrooms since, even though I continue to take them every month or so with my buddies. It is funny how now when we get the urge we set up camp at one of our houses, and not in front of the public with our mental pants at our ankles!
I thank you for taking the time to read my long story and hope that you nurture the mystery that is magic mushrooms. Without a few crazy adventures to claim, the mushrooms would have no fun with us J