Sunday evening two weeks ago was particularly strange.
I was right in the middle of staying at my friend Mark's place for a couple of weeks. Both of us are philosophy geeks who spend the majority of our time contemplating truth, morality, techno spheres and other things that you probably think are pointless and boring. Nobody likes us at school; Buffy and Big Brother are not very compatible with Friedrich Nietzsche or Steven Hawking. We probably belong on a university campus somewhere, or at least I do (about two or three years ago).
Coincidentally, we like to take a lot of drugs. We also talk about drugs a lot, which is actually a very good way to encourage people to leave the school lunch room, or a Deviant Art journal entry for that matter.
Anyway, let’s cut to the chase.
We were studying for our Modern History exam like all good philosophy geeks. Actually, what a lie. It only took about five minutes of studying for us to become horribly bored. Rather than spend yet another evening reading about the Boxer Rebellion, we quickly concluded that we would much rather be getting totally fucked up.
Now, Mark grows magic mushrooms. We eat two or three every week or so. It's good to have a unique perspective on things when you are studying. So anyway, I wanted to eat some mushrooms. Mark, on the other hand, was more concerned with getting stoned.
I grabbed a bowl of rather old, dried mushrooms from his refrigerator and took it to his room. There were probably about fifteen mushrooms in the bowl. I decided right then and there that I would eat about eight. I doubted the potency of these mushrooms, because they had been picked a few weeks prior, but I ate them anyway.
"Mark," said I, "Are these old, dried mushrooms going to have as much psilocybin as freshly picked ones?"
"No, it evaporates or something after a while. I don't think those will be very strong." was his reply.
So, Mark grabbed his dirty bong and we went into the kitchen. I was casually munching on my mushrooms when he exclaimed, "Crap, we have no weed."
"Maybe you could scrape out all of the resin from inside the bong and smoke that." I suggested. He agreed.
After cleaning the bong poo out of his bong (there was enough for about one cone), Mark thought it would be a good idea to dry it out. The resin had absorbed a bit of the bong water while he was removing it from the pipe, so he put it on a tray and put it in the oven to dry it out. This turned out to be a horrible mistake. After it had been cooking for about five minutes, he slowly opened the oven and a festering stench bellowed out. The entire kitchen instantly smelt like we had smoked about fifty cones in there. Stale, stinky bong smell.
Then, the "scare the fuck out of you while you are tripping out" express arrived, right on schedule.
"Mark, is something burning in the kitchen?" shouted his mum.
Mark quickly flung open the windows and hid his black, smelly resin. I put my half eaten bowl of mushrooms under a pile of books on the kitchen table. His mum walked into the kitchen.
"What's that smell?" she enquired.
"Um, we decided to cook some pies so we put the oven on. There must have been something left inside the oven after dinner tonight. I think that is what's burning."
Mark's mum gestured for Mark to come out of the room with her. I sat at the kitchen table, a bit wierded out because of the mushrooms. Oh, I should also mention that at this point, I was absolutely fucking terrified.
"Now, tell me what really happened in the kitchen." I could hear his mum say.
"I think you left the oven on after dinner." said Mark.
"Oh no! Sorry to accuse you like that. I thought you boys were smoking pot or something."
The day was saved. Mark's mum went back to bed and he proceeded to smoke his resin.
About half an hour later, I had eaten all fifteen of the mushrooms in the bowl, and I hadn't noticed very much changing. Another half an hour later and I still felt quite normal. "You were right," I said to Mark, "There wasn't much psilocybin in those mushrooms."
I went into the kitchen again (which still smelt like year old bong) and pulled a jar of mushrooms soaked in honey out of the refrigerator. There was probably about another fifteen mushrooms in there, so I grabbed a spoon and ate it all up, including every drop of honey. I also got a bowl of yogurt.
I went back into Mark's room. Appropriately, there were some funky colored green and red light bulbs turned on, and the room looked awesome. Mark had gotten ridiculously stoned off of the bong poo and was sitting on his bed listening to "In Bloom" by Nirvana. I sat down at his desk and began eating the yogurt. That is when things started going very, very weird.
I've taken mushrooms many times before. I'd go so far as to say that I am an experienced shroomer. The most mushrooms I’ve ever eaten before is probably about fifteen (fresh). That is enough to have a very psychedelic trip. However, tonight, I had made a terrible mistake, and that mistake was underestimating the potency of my mushrooms. About five minutes into eating my yogurt, I was struck by a startling realization.
“Oh fuck, I just ate thirty mushrooms.”
"Woah, everything is going weird now." I said. I couldn't stop proclaiming to Mark that everything was going weird, and indeed, I was feeling extremely weird. Weird was the only word I could think up at the time, as it was quickly becoming obvious that I was losing vocal function.
Mark was busy putting some Jimi Hendrix into his CD player. Apart from being general stoned and spaced out, he had total vocal and motor control, so he was coping fairly well. I, however, had finished eating my yogurt when the walls began to melt.
"Something is wrong, man, everything is going weird." I told Mark again. I did not know what was wrong at that point, however. It was like an itch in my brain that I could not scratch. My thoughts were becoming irregular and brief.
By this time, Mark had gotten Jimi Hendrix going and the trip began to take a whole new light. I would like to lay something down on the table right now. Listening to music while on drugs is the most amazing thing in the entire world. A lot of music in the world was made for people on drugs, I realised, and I couldn't stop thinking about how unfortunate it is for people who have simply never tried it. I almost wanted to cry. But I couldn't, because the music was simply sublime. I lay back on Mark's bed; not so much lay, but melted into it. My pupils had dilated so much at this point that my retinas were needle thin. I was momentarily in a state of pure bliss.
I closed my eyes and I saw the most amazing shapes and colors. Fractals of so many bright and beautiful colors were forming on the back of my eyelids, like splendorous solar systems fast forward, spinning around their centers everywhere around me. It seemed like everything was the same color at once. What I was seeing while my eyes were shut was so chaotic and beautiful that I began to feel extremely sick.
"Man, I'm going to throw up."
"Don't do it on my bed. Can you get up?"
I couldn't even force myself to say anything. I felt like I was paralyzed. I simply was not in control of my body or my thoughts for a couple of minutes. Maybe it was seconds, or maybe it was hours, I did not know.
All I can remember after that cloudy period is that I stood up and ran through the lounge room to Mark, who had retrieved a fairly large kitchen bowl. I promptly threw up in it about eights times. I thought I was going to die, or at least I my mind was going to be totally obliterated. It is impossible for me to put into words exactly (or even roughly) what my brain was doing at this point. All logical thought had been replaced by a totally chaotic string of emotions and revolutions, like infinity and the total nothingness collapsing in on each other. The only logical thing that I could think of at this time was that what was going to happen to me over the next eight hours or so was going to change me in some way or another.
I awoke from something, like I had endured a very long sleep that actually only lasted for about two seconds. I had finished violently vomiting at this point and was holding my massive bowl of vomit. I realized then that this probably a punch bowl, and I had almost totally filled it with vomit. My stomach had nothing in it.
But the vomit came from me. I felt like I had just given birth to something. I cradled my punch bowl of vomit and couldn't stop staring at it. It was simply beautiful. I guess only a person as fucked up as I was could find something as vile and filthy as vomit beautiful. I shook it around for a while as it blobbed up and down, spun round and round in the bowl and little pieces of my last meal floated around on the top.
"Look at this, man. This is totally radical," I shoved my bowl of vomit under Mark's nose. The look of his face gave me the impression that he was about to vomit too. "I know it's really smelly and gross, and that I'm showing you my vomit, but I think it is totally awesome."
"We should pour that down the toilet, man." said Mark.
"No, lets keep it."
I put it on the kitchen table and did not want it to move for a long time. Over the next four hours or so, I was constantly going back and forth to my bowl of vomit to stare at it and marvel in it's beauty.
The hallucinogenic period of the trip was over by now. I was slowly entering a period of intense thought. My level of consciousness was rising like a balloon. I paced back and forth for several minutes while Mark was munching on things from the refrigerator.
"What's on your mind?" he said.
"I am thinking about everything at the same time," I replied. "Let's go for a walk."
We walked down the dark street outside of his house. It must have been about one o'clock or so. I simply could not be bothered giving any consideration to time at the moment. Time is only an illusion, after all. For most people, the inadequacies of life's perception become the inadequacies of life's reality, and I simply did not want to allow myself to be fooled by the concept of time any longer. Being able to see through time is an inadequate explaination for what had happened to me at this point; the universe simply was.
For a few seconds, I had found truth; the meaning of life, if you will. The sensation of realizing this makes you feel like you are dying and being born at the same time. I cannot think of any words to describe what it was like, so I will stop.
Unfortunately, I forgot what it was shortly after. I can only remember it through vague abstractions. My pink, fleshy brain is simply not powerful enough to understand it at this point. Maybe I will again one day (hopefully without the assistance of drugs).
I wanted to tell Mark about this, but I simply could not put it into words. All I could say was, "I have something to tell you, but I can't... I can't think about it. It's too hard." Mark understood.
So instead, I told Mark he looked like a snake.
"I was born on the Chinese year of the snake." he said. I thought that was neat.
We had only been walking for about two minutes when I wanted to go back to his house. I was terrified. I do not know what I was afraid of, but I know that I don't want to have to face that fear ever again, whatever it may be. I felt like I was going to end up as just another raving lunatic in the slums, which seemed perfectly fitting at the time.
We got back to his house and I looked at my vomit for a while. Mark sat down and started playing Nirvana videos. I felt like I was and had been thinking on a totally different plane of thought for the past fifteen minutes or so, and all I wanted to do was talk to Mark about it. Neither of us can remember what I was saying anymore, but both of us agree that next time we shroom, we are going to record our conversations. It was something about God, no doubt.
And eventually, as anticipated, I entered my brief state of enlightenment. This has happened to me once before while tripping, and all I can say is that it is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. The entire trip; all the mental anguish, chaos and torment of my soul was worth it for this one brief moment. I had totally empathy for everyone, and I felt like I understood everyone and everything in the universe. It all fit together perfectly. Time slowed down and finally lost its relevance totally, and everything I look at was vibrant and surrounded by a warm, cozy glow. I couldn't stop smiling and laughing. Everything was perfect.
I knew this was artificial, however, and that it couldn't last much longer than an hour, and I was right. After I went to bed and tried to sleep off the mushrooms, the haunting thought that I might never achieve that state of harmony again was crushing and humiliating.
I entered a state of suicidal depression for about one week after that night, which is understandable. I am very glad that I have overcome it, though. Mental anguish is exponentially worse than any physical pain. But if someone were to ask me, "Was it worth it?" I will say, "Yes." Having walked through this very dark tunnel, I have walked through the other side happier, smarter and less egotistical. Whatever path I walk for the next few years of my life, be it for money, my family, self-improvement or knowledge, all I want to do by the end of my life is a surrender to a total, permanent state of enlightenment and share it with the rest of humanity.