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Trippers Down Under
I scored a heap of mushies from my backyard, we've got a big block and it's covered in bush. Mushrooms and toadstools of every description grow all over the place around March through to May. I'm not sure what the magic ones are called but they grow to about 8cm high and have a brown cap with a golden centre. I guess they're a psilocybe of some sort but we call 'em Gold Tops. A friend and I decided that it would be cool to go tripping and camping out in the bush, so we grabbed some shrooms, borrowed mum's car and took off to this spot that I know of. Actually, the spot we went to isn't in the bush, bush being defined as Australian native flora, it's a pine plantation and we chose that spot because it wasn't to far to drive, it proved to be a bad choice. On the way we bought some hot chips to eat the shrooms with. I was in high spirits. I had done a lot of different drugs; acid, speed, morphine, cocaine, too much hooner, and I had loved them all. I had done mushies before and enjoyed their effect. I had never had a bad trip on any psychedelic and I didn't expect to have one now. I think the experience I'm about to relate is as close as i've ever come to a bad trip.
We arrived at our camp site and got set up. We pitched the tent, wipped out the mushies and ate em down mixed with the hot chips. Yukky! We each ate about ten decent sized shrooms, by decent sized I mean they had caps which were about 4-6cm across and stems about 5-8cm long. We were pretty green when it came to camping. I had only been out a couple of times and I hadn't yet learned the necessity of prepration. My friend and I had just grabbed the tent and hit the road. I'm trying to justify the fact that we forgot matches. It gets pretty cold at night in Tassie around this time of year and I had been counting on a fire. Oh, well, we decided to rough it. After we ate our mushies we got out the footy and had a kick (Aussie rules football of course). After about 15-20 minutes I could feel the mushies kicking in. They had never come on that quick before.
Things were starting to get really trippy. I remember I was getting these cool visuals, the clouds were merging and boiling as the sun cast it's dying rays over the horizon. Colours stood out and every thing seemed to be bordered in black. As the sun went down and night took hold, a feeling of oppression settled over us. I don't know if you have ever been in a mature pine plantation but the pines kind of create a stifling atmosphere. The air was perfectly still, silent. Noise was muted. It was eery, the feeling of foreboding was almost tangible. It was like all those massive pine trees were looking down on us, watching, and they dissapproved of us being there. I remember thinking that it was a good thing that we didn't have a fire because the act of burning wood would almost certaintly provoke those ancient trees to violence. I remember fantasising that those trees were communicating, brushing their leaves together and edging closer to us and our tent. So there we sat. Under the pines, in an environment that had suddenly taken on the unreal characteristics of a Tolkien novel. ! I tried to brush off the feeling of apprehension, making light talk with my mate, but we inevitable returned to the subject of 'no fire'. It was bloody cold after all.
I had brought a torch and I was using it to shine around and look at my body. My hands amazed me; normally so purposeful and deliberate, now they seemed to be unable to find a purpose. It seemed to me that the colours red and orange stood out on my skin, slowly mixing, merging. My hands moved randomly, in search of twigs to snap or leaves to fiddle with. I shone the torch onto the tent. It seemed unreal in this fantastic world of huge, living trees and unnatural, stifling silence. Its metallic, silvery colour seemed to clash with the stagnant darkness and I remember imagining the tent as being symbolic of all the pollution and environmental destruction created by humans. It was pretty freaky. I was doing some deep soul searching about the world that I lived in, the values that my society regarded as important and I was deffinately not liking the answers that I was coming up with. Then something really amazing happened (probably not all that amazing but it was at the time).
Remember those hot chips we bought? Well, after we had eaten them we had chucked the wrapping paper into the bush. Now, there were these evil rustling, scraping, squealing noises coming from where we had chucked the paper. Oh god! What a nightmare. I kept comparing what was happening with sci/fi, fantasy books that I had read. I kept thinking, "If this were a book, it would be right about now that the hero got attacked by the nasty goblin dudes." We went and had a look. I shone the torch around. Possums! Possums are way cool, the fact that two fat little possums had turned up to say "G'day" made me feel much better. Normally possums are shy, don't let you get real close but these guys were letting me and my mate get within reach. They just sat there and took it in turns chewing on the chip paper.
This was good, maybe it was a sign sent by the trees to say that they didn't mind us spending the night within their realm. I was hopeful. I tried to pat one, to see if he would speak to me and tell me the will of the trees. Theyran away. Oh Shit! This was bad. The possums hated us. I couldn't stand it any more. I ripped up the tent chucked in the back of the car and made ready to leave, all the while my friend was demanding to know what the hell was wrong with me and why did I want to go? I paid him no attention. It was clear to me that we were not supposed to be here. I was convinced that we had to get back to urban reality and that once we were there the purpose of all would be revealed.
Needless to say, it was one spun out drive home. We just sort of drifted along the highway at 120km/h in a swirl of car lights, and tunes. The world was emerged in eternal darkness, night. I'm not gunna go into detail about what happened over the next few hours, really it was just much of the same. I recall that apon reaching the sleepy town of Launceston, the true nature of existence became no less baffling to me. I couldn't hack being with anybody, so I dropped my mate off somewhere, (much to his disapproval), and spent a long time just sitting in the car at the end of a dirt road. I rememer the radio host told me smoking was bad. I agreed. He said that music was good. I believed him on that too. Finally I was straight. In the early hours of the morning I let myself into my house. Mum woke up and raced out thinking the place was being robbed or something. "What are you doing home?" She asked. "We couldn't get a fire going." I said. If only she knew.