I tripped for the first time two days ago, and it was one of
the most completely pleasurable and fulfilling experiences of my life. I've wanted to do it for a long time, but
circumstances never allowed it. Kay
found a hook-up, and she and Elle, who are seasoned veterans, were as excited
about it as I was. Our vague plan was
to eat the shrooms and hang out in the national forest and walk a trail (I
really wanted the experience to take place in the midst of nature), heading
home as we come down.
I spent the most of the morning researching the effects of
psylocibin and psylocin and reading trip reports, so I could be aware of what
was happening to me, which I felt would maximize my enjoyment of the experience
(and which I feel paid off). I also
packed some potentially handy items for our trip to the woods: voice recorder
with two tapes, notebook, colored sharpies, extra socks, and my Yoda Pez
dispenser. I'm not ashamed of being a
nerd. We also had a bag of Blow Pops, a
bag of Twizzlers Rainbow Twists, and, later, an assortment of Laffy Taffy. Around 1:00, the three of us divided ¼ oz of
mushrooms as evenly as we deemed necessary, and crumbled them into a bowl of
pasta with marinara sauce – I couldn't even taste them! We left the house ten minutes later, and I
could already feel them taking effect – my face was tingling and I had a grin I
could not get rid of. Within five
minutes, I had a mad case of the giggles.
Just before we turned off the highway to head toward the
forest, we began to realize how vague our plan was: none of us knew how to get
to the trail we'd decided would be least populated (and this is a 23,000 acre
forest we're approaching). We took the
first available turn-off toward the forest and started down a poorly maintained
two-lane road that bisected an empty field.
Kay mentioned that the trees along the edge of either side of the field
looked dark and menacing. I agreed, and
suggested they resembled a fairy-tale Bavarian forest where a wicked witch
would live. Elle joked that we should've
brought along breadcrumbs, and we all chuckled as we continued to look
nervously at the otherworldly darkness emanating from the trees.
We crossed an old bridge and were faced with a choice. We chose left, since left promised
trails. We were now on a narrow gravel
road winding along the edge of the enchanted forest. Just after narrowly missing a squirrel, we spotted a
camouflage-bedecked hunter up ahead, poking around the bed of his pickup truck. We passed him slowly and I looked back at
him through the rear window. He was a
young guy, no more than 20. He nodded,
and I waved, and the unassuming exchange added another layer of tension to the
scene. A short distance further, we
encountered the first traffic since turning off the highway when a minivan came
around the corner taking up most of the road (we were doing the same, as the
road was only about 1 ½ lanes wide). We
passed them, rounded another turn, saw the highway ahead of us, and knew that
we should get home ASAP.
As we followed the highway back to town, I noticed that the
trees lining our side of the highway not only looked enchanted, but had taken
on a cartoonish quality, which made me uneasy in a different way – Just because
a goblin is cartoonish doesn't mean it can't eat you and use your bones for
weapons. Just after we rolled back into
town, we passed a little old lady dressed in purple, and I mentioned that she
must be visiting from the enchanted forest.
As we arrived safely back at the house, I began to feel very heavy, and
found it difficult to get out of the backseat of the car. Once I pulled myself out and started across
the yard, I began to float above the grass, which I noticed had taken on a
geometrically spiky quality, and seemed to be emitting a dull glow from within.
I peaked within minutes of our arrival, just after Elle
plugged in the orange lights. The
entire house was slanting and swaying, the walls warping and pulsating. As usual, the living room, which has a
hardwood floor and wood paneling walls, was fairly dark, but it was still
pretty early (round 3:00, maybe 3:30 PM), and the fading light from the gray
November day was cold and intrusive, especially when contrasted with the warm,
reassuring glow from the lights in our cozy, nest-like living room. The kitchen and my bedroom, in particular,
were giving me trouble. The kitchen was
emitting a harsh bluish glare, and my bedroom had taken on a pale green cast,
and reminded me of a sick person's room.
Only the glow of the cocoon could soothe my mind.
We played some music, notably a few choice David Bowie
songs, The Very Best of Talking Heads, disc one of The Essential Neil
Diamond, Bjork's Debut, and Bossanova by the Pixies. I wrote a little and drew a lot while
Talking Heads, Bjork, and the Pixies played.
At some point Kay found her kaleidoscope, and some of my strongest
memories and visions of that night involve the things I saw in that
kaleidoscope, which wasn't like a regular kaleidoscope, but was actually a
prism on a tube with an eyepiece – more geometry I'm only now noticing.
When we realized the sun was almost gone, and Outside didn't
seem so scary, we had an adventure in the back yard with Banjo the Big Black
Dog and God the Chipmunk Pez Dispenser.
The still-overcast sky now held a dull bluish-gray tint. The grass was still very mathematical, and
wasn't glowing anymore, but had taken on a dull bluish-green tint, but had a
frosty sheen that seemed totally appropriate.
It was all very pleasant at first, especially through the kaleidoscope,
but the cold and the gray were getting to us.
Through the back door, Kay noticed the glow coming from the inner belly
of the house, and we unanimously decided we'd had enough of Outside. We left God the Chipmunk Pez Dispenser
behind in the shiny-dull grass as an offering, and returned to the safety and
warmth of the cocoon.
Most of the rest of the trip is a hodgepodge of
memories. The kaleidoscopic prism was
utterly mind-blowing with the orange glow (which by now felt wholly organic and
alive to me) and the room's brown motif.
Euphoria. I looked at myself in
the mirror more than once, and I thought I looked really good ("You're a
handsome devil, what's your name?"), a feeling I was unable to confirm
upon next morning's reflection. The
texture of Miles Davis. The simple act
of eliminating waste from my body was hilarious to me, the universality of it,
the necessity for it, the yuckiness of it.
The candy made my lips very sticky.
Coffee pouring from my carafe into my cup was a wondrous sight. I was haunted by a desire to shove my arms
into a bucket of peanut butter, and just try to move 'em around. Kitchen Standard Time. I experienced my single most intense visual
when I got up off the couch to put in a new CD, and saw the pattern on the
cushion begin to melt and flow onto the floor even as the dog lay on it
perfectly still, watching my gawking dumbfoundedness – "How is he not
fallin' off?" The word for the day
is "tact." I kept feeling
like a little old man, Kay kept feeling like a little old woman, and we both
had hilarious cases of gas. Ideas
flowed around me faster than I could keep up with them (tho' I did manage to
snag a few), and I found myself fascinated with words and sounds. I gained several new insights with regard to
myself and my life, and I became very aware of the connectedness of everything. A strong state of well-being.
I spent most of the next day in a kind of funk. I missed the cocoon, and I missed the trip. I woke up today in a much better mood, and spent the vast majority of the day smiling as I sort out the bits and pieces, the colors, the sounds, and the satori of my first trip. I can hardly wait till the three of us get a chance to listen to the tapes together.