Monday, August 04, 2014

SAFE FLIGHT, EVERYBODY

As parties go it is a fairly stylized affair. Each guest has a formal place setting, and on the salad plate sits five grams of dried psilocybin mushrooms. I've known people who steeped their shrooms in hot water and drank the tea with relish, but me, I'm an old-school guy: straight up and down the gullet. Just make it quick because those things taste nasty.

There are maybe 10 people at this particular trip-in, and I only know the radio guy who invites me along for the journey. Everyone else seems normal as they chew and swallow the offering before them: take this, all of you, and eat it. See you on the plane.

There is always a lot of light, real and imagined, during a mushroom trip. Rooms seem brighter; the air crackles with little bursts of illuminating electricity. At five grams the retina of your third eye is wide open and everything is pouring in; it's a gush of stimuli in super high-def, 4k-plus clarity.

An hour into the flight I see my friend having an animated conversation with the host's wife. Their words hit my ears as colors: my friend's voice is a rich purple; the wife sounds orange. The lamp next to them throws a weird ghostly cat face on the ceiling. This being the time before smartphones, I can only wish for a keyboard in the palm of my hand.

At two hours in a crying teenage girl is tripping in the room; not cool, I think, this is a bracing dose of a strong hallucinogenic and where the hell did she come from, anyway? I don't see her again; she vanishes from the room while I am concentrating on my fingertips and the streams of light pouring from them. Later I learn the host couple has a daughter about that age, but I have no idea if she was actually there.

Three hours into the flight someone turns on a television but I can only watch for a few minutes; C-Span is showing some rally in Washington, D.C., and I am sure the people there can see us — they keep sneaking peeks at the camera, and one of them is moving her lips and I swear she's saying, "I can see you tripping balls, dude. Don't you have better things to do?" The connectedness of humanity has never been more penetrating.

Four hours in, and the host is talking with my friend, who now has his hands in the air and his eyes wide open. The host has something in his hands that looks like a rifle and he is saying something about other men fucking his wife. His voice is bright blue, and mixed with my friend's purple tone, it makes the air look like a deep bruise.

Thank god I'm tripping, but in the next moment I know I'm not hallucinating, that dude really has a gun and he is pissed. His wife joins the argument and keeps trying to tell her husband he's tripping, put down that gun and chill. He starts crying. She squeezes out a few tears, too, but her voice never loses its orange glaze. It takes a long time for him to do as she says, and that kind of puts a damper on the party.

I leave a little before 3. By the time I get to sleep the first tendrils of dawn are throwing pink, and everything in Dreamland Is infused with the color, even the guns and the fire belching from their barrels.

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