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The Worms

Male, 160lbs, 28 yrs.

Male, 160lbs, 28 yrs.

Me and my fiancee (Sue) had tripped a year before and had a fantastic time, so we thought we'd do it again for her birthday. I got a hold of an eighth ounce or so and she and I took the day off from work.

We had cleaned the house, getting rid of clutter and then turned on plenty of cozy lights...lava lamps, purple christmas lights, etc. I'm really into setting the mood, so we made sure our environment was comfortable and pleasant.

9am. We opted to consume the shrooms by mincing them up and putting them on some leftover chicago style pizza from the night before. I had eaten about half of mine when Sue blurted out, "there are worms." I looked down at her pizza, and sure enough, there was a squiggly little white worm about 2 or 3 mm long. Quite a shock, and it grossed us out. I pointed out that mushrooms grow in the dirt, and if a few worms were in there, it's natural. Besides, we spent a pretty penny on these mushies. So for 15 minutes we painstakingly searched, removing about 4 or 5 worms before we declared the shrooms WORM FREE.

We continued eating the pizza (which was probably a bad choice of delivery method, due to the pizza's greasy and heavy feel) until Sue began to feel nauseated. She has a sensitive stomach, and the thought of ingesting worms upset her. Her nausea soon grew unbearable, and she jumped from the table and puked into the trash can. This bummed us both out, and as I tried to comfort her she snapped at me, and then insisted that she was finished and I should eat her remaining dose. Reluctantly, I went ahead.

9:30am, she was slightly grumpy and retreated to her room while I waited for things to kick in. I felt bad that things weren't going as planned, and within 20 minutes or so began to feel nauseated myself. I sat on the toilet staring at this blue star shower curtain, waiting for it to crawl...feeling my temperature rise. It was definitely beginning, and my stomach grew more sick. I wanted to be with Sue, but she told me to leave her alone. That upset me more, and I began to feel uncomfortable. I tried to put on some Deathray -- a fun, upbeat album we like -- and sing along to lift my spirits, but it was no dice. My breathing got shallow and I felt extremely agitated and twitchy, almost like I had drank several cups of coffee.

Sue entered the living room and we laid on the sofa for a while, talking. One of the best memories of our first trip was playing with a small customizable action figure, so I brought him out...but it wasn't much fun, and I felt sick. Here I realized how high my expectations were, and that nothing was measuring up to how I imagined it. My physical discomfort returned. Hot flashes, shakes, nausea. I attempted to get on my computer and work on some music, but couldn't figure out the software and just listened instead. It sounded vast.

I decided to play Animal Crossing. I took the controller in my hand but couldn't comprehend the controls. And then...I melded with it and the character on screen became an extension of myself. The game was amazing...the eye-popping patterns, hilarious animal characters. I tried to catch a bug sitting on a tree, but he flew away with a funny "bzzzz" sound. We laughed a lot at that, and upon finding a second bug Sue whispered, "creep on him!" So I crept slowly up, net ready, and caught a beetle. The world of that game delighted me. Visually it was astounding, and I was in high spirits.

But every so often I would glance up and see the kitchen table where we ate the pizza...and found the worms. With Sue barely tripping and thus largely silent, much of the time I was lost in my own thoughts. My mind kept coming back to the worms. Were they inside me? Was I safe? What would happen? Are they going to grow, like tapeworms? Will I have a disease? I could almost feel them wriggling inside of me. I couldn't take my mind off it, and I was so jittery that I felt panicky. I knew intellectually that it was all in my head, but hey, intellect wasn't running the show. I was scared.

At this point Sue suggested we watch Old School, so we popped it in and laughed a lot. Even then, two things bothered me. One, the worms. Two, Sue's disappointment/disapproval that I felt. At one point I looked over at her, curled under a blanket with her long hair falling over her face, and she looked like the little girl from THE RING, which also scared the crap out of me. I wished she would talk to me more, and share ideas, etc, but she didn't feel like talking other than the occasional complaint that she wasn't really tripping.

The trip wasn't very intense as far as visuals, disconnection, or that intangible feeling of innocence and wonder. It was basically hypercharged paranoia. Eventually I felt the effects dissipating and was glad. We headed to the grocery store, and by that time things had subdued to where I felt this cool sense of awareness...being around people was nice...I felt calm, at peace, and thought about how to go about being a better person.

In the end, despite the overall bad vibes, I realized that I often set my expectations too high and shouldn't be disappointed when things don't turn out the way I envisioned. It's all just life, a roll of the dice. All my preparations had only served to limit my experience. They had intended to make me feel safe, but only made me feel trapped. Not only that, but I worry far too much about Sue's state of mind and whether or not she's happy, when I should let it go and focus on myself.

In any case, it was scary at times and I had a HELL of a headache for the remainder of the day, but I've grown a lot since then and am ready to give it another try with a more laid-back attitude (and hopefully no more worms.)

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