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The Fountain & Rift

October 22, 1999: A friend of mine drops in to offer some shrooms that I and J had told him to keep an eye out for.

October 22, 1999: A friend of mine drops in to offer some shrooms that I and J had told him to keep an eye out for. Since he had just tripped the previous night, J and I have no qualms about relieving him of his last eighth ounce. We also smoke him out for good measure.

J and I don't have a chance to eat until about 11:30. We feel them hit pretty fast -- I have a strong body buzz by 11:50, and by midnight, J and I know damn well that these are not weak shrooms as our hookup had warned us.

The first part of the trip we spend with my roommate S. S enjoys a night of moderate drinking, but since he plans on going into federal law enforcement after he graduates, he elects not to do other drugs. J and I decide that we won't tell him we're tripping, but we want to see if he says anything. (The next day, he said it was pretty obvious we were on something other than weed, but he didn't know exactly what.)

We listen to some Metallica and Springsteen with S. J is valiantly trying to keep up conversation with S, but I am just fooling around with my computer. Whenever I close my eyes, I start to see skulls taking shape. Since this frightens the living hell out of me, I try to stop closing my eyes, and pay attention to the computer.

Around 1:00, I close my eyes again for another round with the skulls. Their vague shape quickly disintegrated into the green and blue fractals that I was more familiar with for CEVs. J and I leave my place not long after to check out the fountain on campus.

The fountain on campus is something else. It just shoots a broad jet of water about 20 feet into the air. There are 4 tall concrete "towers" around it, each lined with colored lights. The fountain is as beautiful as we had ever seen it before -- the color just seems to leap across the gaps between the towers, through the water. It sparkles. The lights turn on and off in a slow, random pattern. It's way too cold to be out tonight. We go home.

By the time we get back, S is asleep. We turn out all the lights except a string of red pepper-shaped lights. J takes another round at the computer, and I sit down in my armchair to trip. We continue the peak we began at the fountain.

I have a copy of the poster they used to advertise the Phantom Menace. It's the full, movie-theater size, and it's framed and set behind glass. It looks very impressive, and it seriously starts to mess with me. Darth Maul's face is quite prominent at the top of this poster, and he looks at me angrily for most of the night. The poster itself appears three-dimensional.

By this time, we're listening to Phish's Rift. The wallpaper in my apartment is swimming. Translucent, colored polygons superimpose themselves over my field of vision randomly. I decide to try my hand at CEVs again. A wireframe of green and blue fractals form bizarre shapes and tunnels for me. I wander around to Phish's "Maze" -- very neat, and not nearly as frightening as I had thought it would be.

As I try to get comfortable, I take my glasses off, since I reasoned that they're not really necessary for closed-eye visuals. I have to do a double take, though, since at first it seems like my CEVs actually lose focus when I take my glasses off. I'm still reasonable enough to realize that this is just not right, so I take them on and off again several times. The phenomenon repeats itself, but eventually I manage to convince myself that that is absolutely impossible, and successfully get the CEVs focused with my glasses off.

I play around with my stuffed Pikachu. It breathes. It is looking at me... differently, as if there could be life beyond those plastic eyes. Later on, I could swear I see its ears twitching.

As I hit the fiercest part of my peak, I notice red swirling into my fractals. When I open my eyes, I notice that shadow is being randomly displaced by green splotches again. The walls start breathing heavily. I see large, Easter Island moai-like faces pulse out of them. For about 2 minutes, the entire room seems to have taken on an identity of its own, and watches me.

After the room settles back into its proper inanimate nature, I do a little more eye closing. I intermittently play with a few Legos and my Pikachu. J and I eat some chocolate-filled caramels. They taste and feel really good.

J has just finished playing around on the computer, and has decided that Final Fantasy I is not terribly fun tripping. We study my wallpaper (http://www.spowers.net/Tolkien/TolkPics/lotr-html/tolk-
balrog2.html, if you're curious), which is the scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf battles the Balrog in Moria. J has never read the books, so I explain to him what's going on in the picture. He sees the army in the background of the art for the first time. I see the mists and smoke in the hall swirl around. After we turn the monitor off, the black screen serves as a bed for further CEV-like effects. In time, I decide that I prefer the immersion of actually closing my eyes, and do so.

As my fractals melt into the randomness of normal closed-eye colors, I suggest to J that we take some resin hits out of his bong, as we smoked the last of our stash when we ate. My resin hit brings the fractals (and my peak) back just long enough to finish off the last 2 tracks of Rift. It's about 2:30-3:00 by now, and once the album finishes, I start to come down. J follows a few minutes after.

We turn on a very gentle light in the room so there's more than the intense, warm red light of the peppers. It gives the room a cool, reflective feel to it. Though I'm coming down, I'm still distinctly tripping. The wallpaper continues to swim. The poster is still 3-dimensional, but at least it's not looking at me anymore.

About 3:30, J decides that he wants to sleep in his own bed tonight, so he takes off. I stay up for another hour or so, at which point the hallucinations have distinctly stopped. I fall asleep quickly.

* * *

I enjoyed this trip more than my last. It was a little less intensely introspective, and a little more fun. It was, however, the second time I'd tripped in as many weeks, which is wandering into dangerous territory. J has declared that he doesn't want to trip again this year. I'd like to think that I have that kind of self-control, but it's a lot of fun, and I may find myself succumbing in late November. Of course, that presumes that I'll have a supply to partake of. Maybe that's the real reason growing can be such a bad idea. Who knows?

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