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That's not a crack!

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I realize this is EXTREMEMLY long, but I don't feel like I can express the feelings and events of my trip in any fewer words than this. Bear with me.

It was the first day of spring break, and the weather was amazing. Me, Dan, Chris V, Chris S, and Jake met up at our high school, and from there we headed to the beach. We got into the town where the beach was located at around 9:30 AM and stopped at the grocery store for some peanut butter. Then we drove the remaining few miles to the beach itself.

Dan and Chris V. had been to this beach numerous times in the past, presumably to drink and smoke. They assured the rest of us that this was a completely isolated beach and nobody would show up today. We arrived in the empty parking lot and walked the 1/2 mile down to the beach from there.

The beach was great. That 1/2 mile walk made it feel separated from civilization which was very reassuring. It was coarse, white sand boxed in on one side by cliffs, two sides by rocks/reefs, and the other side by the ocean. The waves were fairly calm but big enough to be worth watching. Because of our location, heavy fog provided kind of a umbrella from the sun, but its warmth still poured through in liberal doses- perfect weather.

We set up a blanket on the sand and put down our bags on top of it. Dan unpacked a small chess board to serve as a table. Soon the shrooms, the peanut butter, bread, and jelly, as well as a digital scale were produced from our collective baggage. We sized up the shrooms while Chris V pulled out a giant cigar. Dan and Jake, who were the most knowledgable about shrooms, dosed us each at 3 grams, and started to make peanut butter (and jelly for me) sandwiches. We all finished our shrooms at around the same time, and tried to pass the time by smoking, eating, and tossing around a football.

After a few minutes we walked over to a sizable reef to see if we could scale it to reach the beach on the other side. Before we got to the reef though, we saw something amazing. Scattered evenly in a wave-like formation across the beach were hundreds of blue, white, and transparent gelatinous blobs. It was way too early for any of us to be tripping, so I looked closer to figure out what was going on. I quickly identified the formation as jellyfish that had washed up on the beach. It was still amazing... the creatures had inadvertently formed an exact replication of a wave, even down to the color gradient.

Chris V. went back to our blanket base, and got his camera. Dan used it to take a few pictures of the jellyfish for preservation. We soon established that climbing the reef would be dangerous, if not impossible. We returned to our little camp, and engaged ourselves in conversation.

After about 10 minutes, Dan began pouring handfuls of sand slowly on to the beach. We both lay down and watched as the sand seemingly formed mounds on its own. Instead of it looking like the tiny grains were falling from his hand and piling upon eachother to create the piles, it appeared as though the little hills were just growing on their own. Dan seemed to get a bigger kick out of this than I did, and I quickly bored with it.

Around this time we reached the laughing phase. Chris S. was the only person doing shrooms for his first time, and he seemed thoroughly amused by nearly everything, including the over all pleasurable sensation that had overcome his body. I had told him about the "orgasm legs" I got on my previous trip, and here on the beach we were both experiencing the same affect, only spanning our entire bodies.

While we were discussing this, I looked across at the cliff and realized that it was sort of wavering. This movement grew into full on breathing, and I shared it with my friends. We all watched it for a while, and then looked around for other similar phenomena. Chris S. and I laughed at the shrubbery dancing on hilly part of the cliff, and we all were amazed by the beauty of the waves while under the influence.

This was the point where we all started to break apart. I became enthralled with the physical sensations I was experiencing while Chris S was engaged by the novel idea of "humor"- he couldn't stop laughing. Meanwhile, Dan became very self absorbed, lying in the sand and talking to himself. I couldn't really keep track of what Jake was doing, and Chris V. just seemd to be kind laying back and letting the trip come to him.

Dan mumbled something to me about how he would see little movies when he stared into the sand. He also complained about all the eyes everywhere, especially on my face. A couple mnutes after that, I decided that the way humans walk has no tangible basis. I started walking with my arms waving and bouncing around in a very absurd manner, shouting "why don't people walk like this? Is there any reason why people don't walk like this?" That got Chris V. and Jake to follow my lead for a bit and walk like neurotic apes until we all collapsed into the sand laughing. Jake then made a proposition. He held a neon football in his hands and said "Ok guys, when I throw this ball to you, the football isn't rotating... it's stationary, and the entire universe, including us is rotating around it." This was a good idea, but it failed, resulting only in dizziness.

It was somewhere around 12:00 now, and everybody seemed to be having a good time. Dan was still in his own little world, talking about "making love to the earth" and "going home to his mother (the earth)" while eating sand and slightly scissoring his legs in the sand.

This is where everything went wrong. At the top of cliff, a middle-aged woman appeared, looking out at the ocean. She was far enough away that the reality of her existence came into question. Was she a hallucination? I checked with everyone, and they all saw her, too. Jake and I decided to go up the stairs from the beach to the top of the cliff to investigate. When we got to the top, we saw her in the distance and realized that we weren't alone on the beach now. We went back down to the beach and reported our information.

This posed a serious question: What are we going to do if more people show up? Jake calmed our fears by convincing us that nobody would bother us and nobody cared what we were doing. We decided we should put away all the illegal stuff and paraphanelia that we had out, but didn't really act on it.

The woman must have left, because we didn't see her again, and we began to settle back into the fun of our trip. I was still nervous though, and my mind was filled with worries about the consequences of getting busted today. It was kind of far-fetched since it was already noon, and only once person had even shown up at the beach, but I was scared.

A few minutes later a man showed up at the top of the stairs. There was a moment of confusion as I realized that Jake and Dan were wandering the beach, and I had no control over them at that point or any way of contacting them other than yelling, which seemed out of the question. After a few seconds of trying to figure out what was going on, Chris V. said to me casually "Damn, it's a cop. Well that's it, we're busted." This freaked me out beyond belief. The guy was wearing sort of dark green shorts and a shirt, and a brown hat. His clothing resembled that of a park ranger, and Chris V's observation didn't appear too far off.

As he reached the beach, I was prepared to give him some kind of explanation and try to get us all off the hook. But he didn't approach us. He just walked toward the ocean away from us, and produced a camera from somewhere (maybe a bag?). We decided that he was just a normal guy on the beach taking pictures, and that reassured us for the time being. It was enough for me to realize that I hated the idea of other people being on the beach with us though.

After these two initial encounters, it became obvious that the beach wasn't as unpopular as we had previously thought. Two surfers showed up, a family came, and other assorted individuals... each one feeding my building sense of paranoia.

Jake was now off on an epic adventure, while Dan was still lost in his mind. Me and the two Chris's decided that we needed to leave the beach. First we gathered Jake and Dan, amidst some resistance. Jake was really pissed that we were going to vacate the beach, as he was on a heavy trip and had some huge goals to accomplish in some sort of fantastical, mythological way. He said things like "All I can feel right now is hate" in response to us (me specifically) essentially bringing him down from his high.

We sat around debating what to do. We wanted to back to my car in the parking lot, but I was scared to because we would have to pass people on the way. In addition, our logical capacity was failing, and we didn't really understand how to get to the car with all of our belongings. Chris V. and I took charge and started to put our things away. It seemed like such a daunting task at the time... just to get all our things into our bags and carry them between the 5 of us. We did it though, and started walking frantically toward the stairs away from the beach. Something spilled all over my pants, but I was too busy being paranoid to even care.

When we got to the top of the stairs, I realized that I had no idea how to get to the parking lot from their. Luckily Dan and Chris V. were able to lead the way. The whole time, Dan was seemingly counseling Jake while Chris S., Chris V., and I led the way. We reached the car eventually and all got in.

Chris V. wanted to smoke outside, but I made everyone get in and lock the doors and roll up the windows. My logic escapes me now, but I thought that these measures would prevent us from getting caught (which wasn't likely anyway). We all wanted to leave, but I was in no state to drive, so we decided to wait out the trip in the car. It was only around 2 PM now, so we still concievably had 4 hours until we came all the way down.

Jake asked to roll down his window, and I denied him. Chris V. wanted to smoke out the window, but I wouldn't let him. I really thought that having the windows rolled up would protect us somehow. It was at least 90 degrees outside, and hotter inside the car. Dan began sweating profusely, and looked unhealthy. The windows began steaming up. Finally, I allowed Jake to roll down his window "a crack." He rolled down his window about 3 inches and I yelled at him, "THAT'S NOT A FUCKING CRACK!" The absurdity of the remark is obvious now, but I was serious. I believed that the difference of inches the window was open would have a profound effect on our safety. Jake laughed this off but humored me and rolled it up a little. Meanwhile Chris S., in the passenger seat , had his window rolled all the way down with his head hanging out of it.

We spent the next 4 hours in the car talking. I was totally freaking out, making everyone whisper in the car so we wouldn't be caught. I saw cops EVERYWHERE. We were facing a somewhat busy street, and everyime I saw a red break light, I thought it was the lights on top of a police car. Every few minutes I would ask "Is that a cop?" when a car pulled into the parking lot. Nobody else seemed as scared as me, but they were empathetic to my position, and reassured me.

During this period, I let Dan outside for a stretch break, in which I gave him exactly 30 seconds to get some air and stretch. I actually timed it.

During our time in the parking lot we only made real contact with one person. A guy getting out of his car looked into ours and asked through Chris' open window, "are you guys stoned?" He was asking jokingly and I don't think he expected a serious response. I replied "No. Mushrooms." His smile was suddenly broken and he looked like he really hadn't expected that answer. He nervously collected his girlfriend and walked to the beach. Probably 15 minutes later he returned and met up with a couple from another car. They were all adults. The man who asked if we were stoned and his girlfriend seemed to be hippie types, while the other two seemed like typical middle aged uptight people.

They were arguing about something, but I couldn't figure out what. After a little bit, their furtive glances at our car revealed that they were talking about us. They were seemingly concerned for our safety (5 kids in a car for hours in the heat intoxicated on illegal substances). The uptight couple seemed to want to do something, like call the police or something, and the hippie couple seemed more like they'd rather let us be. I interjected into the conversation after opening my door. I said "We're ok. We're not going to die. We'll be fine. Thank you for your concern." After that they agreed to leave us alone, and they both drove off with the warning "you kids be careful."

After this I realized that I meant it when I said "Thank you for your concern." Even though they had considered doing a foolish thing like calling the police, they had genuinely cared about our well-being. These people had never met us, but they were taking a stake in our safety. Combined with my high, that thought gave me a sense of wonder at the greatness of humanity.

A little while later, Jake needed to go to the bathroom. I wouldn't let him. We argued, and he agreed to hold it until we all came down and I felt like he could handle himself with people. This was ridiculous of course because going to the bathroom doesn't require human interaction or all that much coordination. Still, I was having a bad trip and couldn't hold down the paranoia and fear of getting caught.

This went on for some time until I reached a point where I decided to test myself. I opened the door and stepped out of the car. This was like a huge epiphany. We had all been waiting for this event for hours, and everyone broke into huge smiles when it was discovered that I could actually leave the car and not be instantly arrested by hiding policemen. I said "I'll be right back." and went to the bathroom myself. When I returned I said "Ok. It's safe. Everyone can get out of the car." A small cheer erupted, and that was the end of our bad trip.

We made a small pilgrimage back to beach for memory's sake, and then returned to the parking lot and drove home.

There are a few things that took place during the trip that I didn't put into the account because I can't recall their chronological place in the story.

-I remember feeling like I was going to lose the friendship of all 4 of the guys because of the shit I was putting them through in the car.

-I remember feeling amazed that they were all actually submitting to my will and allowing me to command them to do these unreasonable things... I had control over whether someone went to the bathroom or not? Amazing.

-I remember having a huge amount of trouble figuring out what time it was. It was impossible for me to read Dan's watch, and the clock in my car (analog) was all twisted and the numbers meant nothing.

-I remember the feeling that we had talked for an hour in the car, and then hearing from Dan that only about 5 minutes had passed.

-I remember saying that I was never doing any drugs or alcohol ever again, and making all my friends promise not to let me. I have since changed my mind on this, but Jake, being a good friend, has kept true to his promise and I'm going to have a hard time convincing him to let me do shrooms again.

Anyway, I learned a few lessons from all this. These may not be universal, but they apply to me:

-ALWAYS have at least one sober person with you. They can provide a feeling of stability and control, and can deal with anyone you encounter in a sober manner.

-Make sure you pick a controlled environment. You have to know whether people you don't know are going to be there or not. You need at least one place where you can retreat if things go wrong (NOT A CAR!)

-It's all in your mind. If you tell yourself that you're going to have a good trip, and keep that mindset, you will.

-Be careful what you say under the influence. Your inhibitions are down, and though you may be speaking honestly, your words could have unforeseen consequences.

This whole experience hasn't soured me on shrooms, it just made me aware of the dangers. I will make sure to prepare better next time, and I hope to have another trip as good as my first one (this was my second).

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