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Let's Go to the Mall

Maybe it sounds stupid, but I decided that a mall in my town would be an excellent place to trip on mushrooms.

Maybe it sounds stupid, but I decided that a mall in my town would be an excellent place to trip on mushrooms. Like the typical male, I don't like shopping much, but the environment inside of this large mall seemed so pleasant and relaxed. And there would be so many colors, people, and other stimuli within easy reach. My girlfriend, B, was delighted to find a way to go shopping with me. She would stay normal and be my safe guide.

I downed 3 grams of mushroom powder from Amsterdam. (I don't recommend going through airport security with it, BTW, but that's another story.) This was maybe my 4th of 5th mushroom trip, and I hadn't worked out the timing for when the stuff kicks in. So I was shaving and combing my hair, and all of a sudden these things turned into major tasks. I would look at myself in the mirror and see all my pores, each blade of stubble, individual nostril hairs. Ugh! If I took the reflection seriously, I would have shaved my skin off, but of course I knew it was fucked up. There was one point, looking into the mirror, where I felt my whole life was being recounted in a sweeping 3-hour docudrama. I could even hear the soundtrack--it was sorta like U2. These thigs happened within the first half hour or so. My imagination usually runs a little wild to begin with. Shrooms just 10x it.

And then B was getting ready and I was on the way up, trying to relax and feel not uncomfortable. I looked normal on the outside, but she didn't understand how freaky things were in my head. She asked me to get her purse from the living room. It became an epic journey in my head. I trekked miles to the living room, discovered and claimed the purse, and trekked back to the bathroom. "Oh, thanks honey." She didn't understand the hell I went through just to get her damn purse! So I mumbled something about trying not to ask much of me right now. And I think I maybe said it in a rude-sounding way and it touched off a little snit, which got magnified by the shrooms unfortunately.

Never again will I eat shrooms before I'm getting ready to go someplace. The whole hygiene routine is something of an irritation and stressor for me already. B can get a little uptight too, and we sometimes have minor scuffles on the way out the door. Better to wait until after I'm settled in and relaxed.

We got to the mall. It is majestic! Everything so bright and beautiful. Walking down the main stretch is like being bombarded with details. Things pass by before they can be taken in completely, but something new always appears to take the place. It's all just typical mall stuff--a rack of calendars, a big decorative fern, a mom pulling her kid along, an escalator, a coffee table. But everything seems worthy of attention. Walking through it keeps the spectacle fresh, like frames of a movie.

B is hungry. We went to the food court. I don't want anything, and I don't want to be around any people other than B. I'm afraid they'll ask me something and I'll do or say something really strange. The simplest thing like a compliment about my t-shirt would be really difficult to handle right now. So I separated myself from B and head to an empty table in the middle of the food court.

Lots of loud echoey voices from all over the food court. I really wanted to shut it out or turn it down. The sound is just the crowd of people talking from their various tables, but it is incredibly amplified, with a pulse to it, like you get on radio stations that are poorly tuned. It felt like a horror movie, and I'm trying hard to keep calm. B is gone for maybe 5 minutes and it seems literally like a half hour. I notice that I'm fidgeting a lot and start concentrating on appearing normal to anyone who might be looking at me. It's just impossible to do this. Am I moving my head around too much? Is my expression weirdly blank? I decide to get up and walk around. This seemed okay, but after a bit of pacing I think B will get worried if she sees me up and about. So the food court somehow turns into a horrible place. B comes back. She easts. I try to be reasonable, but I'm in a hurry to leave, and I want her to finish up quickly.

We take another walk down the... (uh, what do you call the big hallways that connect the shops together?) ...that thing. Again, it is really great for the same reasons, and I just want to walk up and down it forever. B is getting bored with that and wants to go into a shop.

We go into Electronics Boutique, which sells computer games mostly. Normally, I like to look at this stuff, but this time I feel assaulted by the geekiness of the place. All the little computer game boxes are clotted with information by some organization of soulless nerds. B holds up a disgusting box for me to look at. No, I don't want to look at it. Too much stuff crammed onto it--little squares and words and symbols. I ask B if we can go, and she agrees and is kind of amused. I wasn't panicing; I just didn't like the place.

Victoria's Secrets was like walking into a vagina. Femininity dripped off everything. It was sexy, but awe-inspiring. I felt like a 9-year-old with a crush on my babysitter. Bras seemed mysterious. Panties were sacred. I don't think I was sporting wood, but it was an exciting and slightly uncomfortable tour. Also, the colors in that place are overpowering under normal conditions, but then it was like I was swimming in hot pink soup.

Those were the highlights. All in all, a mixed experience--some good and some bad. The lesson for me is that public outings on shrooms are much harder to keep positive than when I'm sitting at home in a controlled environment.

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