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On the Beach

My first real trip was at a beach on the Oregon coast.



My first real trip was at a beach on the Oregon coast. Up until that point, I had only had two failed attempts at shrooms at low dosages. About fifteen loosely-knit friends and I carpooled up from our college and camped out in the woods the night before. In the morning, we all had mushroom tea. Most of us had an eighth of an ounce of dried shrooms. Having missed the opportunity to buy them with everyone else, I got mine from a different source, which may have contributed to my feeling distanced from the group. We walked through the woods down to the sea. I talked about nature with Mike, an artist whom I met there. I was mesmerized by the silent beauty of the trees. At last we saw the ocean glowing through the trees, accompanied by a low roar. I was speechless at its magnificence. It was warm and sunny, which we were very grateful for, as it was the middle of November. We played in the waves for a bit, then sat around in an oblong circle and passed a pipe or two. I noticed Mike sculpting symbols of some kind in the sand, which inspired me to sculpt. I consciously tried to stretch my imagination, as the imaginative content of my weed trips had become tiresomely consistent, and I was hoping to break out of that with this new experience. I soon discovered that I wouldn't have to try!

We exchanged glances around the circle as we mutually recognized our expanding consciousnesses. Everyone began to appear absurdly superimposed on their surroundings as in a surrealist painting. I saw a dog run by, another kind of being jetting through space, and it seemd very funny to me. Someone mentioned how we must look, a group of kids staring into space, and this seemed even funnier to me. I became increasingly absorbed in the sounds of the ocean, and I heard layers upon layers of frequencies that I had never noticed before. It seemed to me that I could hear an electronic music piece that I had recently completed in the sounds of the ocean. One guy and I got up simultaneously and headed towards the water (why I know not). This seemed to me to be sufficient reason for us to go together, so I said to him, "We got up at the same time." He didn't respond, but we explored the beach together. I flowed over the water and sand, captivated by the fractal patterns of the ripples and ridges.

After a while, more people got up to go for a walk. I wasn't sure that I wanted to go, because I felt that there were infinite possibilities to explore, but I didn't want to get lost, so I went along with them half-heartedly, tracing long, sweeping arcs out from their path. I noticed the clothes that people were wearing and pondered how their clothes reflected their personalities. I was captivated by the brightly colored trees, cliffs, and sky. I wandered back to "home base", noticing Mike meditating on a rock. I investigated everything with child like fascination. I had the feeling that every grain of sand contained a world of beauty, if only I could access it. I met someone coming back to the group from the other direction, and we stared at each other, mouths open in wonder. I discovered a new toy: the sand. I rolled around in the sand, enraptured by its silky texture. I heard someone say from somewhere outside myself that one could tell I was a drama person, which seemed particularly appropriate, because rolling around in the sand reminded me of a skit I had done for our college television show in which I rolled around in a pile of bread. This gave me the bright idea of eating the sand. I soon discovered that it was not as palatable as bread, not even the cheap-ass bread we used in the skit. I found myself carrying out, at the request of others, the action of sifting sand through my fingers as if searching for something and ending up with empty hands, which they found to be very funny.

I was feeling empty at this point, when I noticed Mike sitting on a log reading the Bible. This seemed to me the strangest thing to find on a beach: a BOOK, with WORDS in it. I scrambled over to him on all fours like a dog, intrigued with this new object. It had a brown color scheme different from the rest of the beach and the words seemed to contain a quiet, forceful dignity. Mike read me a passage to illustrate how the others would regret having wasted their lives, and this made sense to me in relation to my relentless curiosity that no-one else there seemed to share. He said, "We're the ones who never stopped playing in the sand," to which I responded automatically, "I didn't know there were more than one of us," feeling some spiritual connection between us. At this point, I lost track of linear time and became confused about my identity. I thought about issues with my girlfriend, and my inability to act on them at that point may have contributed to my getting caught in a time loop, as others have suggested; however, as time loops go, it was a rather pleasant one: taking in a sweep of sky and cliffs, accompanied by a muted seagull-cry from my ever-gaping mouth and a wave of semi-audible tinkling harmonics. As a composer, I pondered how I might translate this gesture into concrete music. I felt amorous feelings towards one of the girls in the group, saw her crying, and somehow felt that I had made her cry. I told Mike that I felt like an asshole because I had made her cry. He gave me a Drum cigarette, which I was too distracted to smoke.

A friend of mine called me over, wondering what was going on in my world. I talked to him brokenly, telling him how I couldn't believe how much FUN this was. After a while, we walked across the beach to a waterfall, which was gorgeous. I ran part of the way, feeling like a roadrunner, and I heard someone behind me say, "Look at him go!" We all went upstream into the woods to have another smoke. They said that I had had enough, because I still had an amazed look on my face, and that was fine with me. I hung out in the trees on the fringe of the group, feeling like some kind of strange monkey-boy. I felt like I was balancing the distribution of people in the space. One of the girls looked at me and said pointedly, "You're weird," to which I responded with a resigned nod.

After that, we made our way back to the cars. I was too absorbed in my thoughts about what had happened to talk. We drove home, I ran to my room to change clothes, I ran to the music building with one other guy from the trip, and we entered the auditorium as our choir was rehearsing for that evening's concert. I sang that night with new-found vigor. Luckily my mom (who had come for the concert) didn't notice the sand behind my ears. In conclusion, I would most-vociferously urge you to trip outside during the day, if you can do so in a safe environment. There is unparalleled beauty!

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