I have no idea how to convey the things I’m feeling. I need some kind of closure, but I don’t know how to interpret what is happening to me. I used to think I kind of understood the universe. Not everything you know, but my place in the universe I had pretty well fleshed out. My experiences had all become pretty pattern-like, and it seemed like any new thought or emotion was just a variation of something I had known before… I don’t know what to believe anymore.
I first entered my friend Rebecca’s apartment 3 months ago. I mean, I had been there before many times, but this time started 3 months ago.
Rebecca lives near our hometown, and I had made promises to see her when I came back. So, towards the end of winter break, a small group of our friends decided to have a psychedelic journey together. We wanted to end the break with a bang knowing full well that we wouldn’t see one another for at least another year. We planned to go to Rebecca’s place because she doesn’t have any roommates and it has this inviting quality that pairs well with a shroom trip. The colors are bright and warm, the walls splayed with abstract artwork, the music cozy and pure escapes from a quaint record player in the corner, and the air seems to breed tranquility. It’s a safe place and we were all quite excited for the experience. There were five of us who planned to trip, and two sober babysitters (Rebecca’s boyfriend and my friend from college) to guide the journey. We had all been friends since middle school at this point except for the babysitters. We were all very comfortable in each other’s presence, and at the start of the trip the vibes were tantamount to nirvana.
We sat around her coffee table and divided up the shrooms by eye because I forgot to bring my scale. Our friend Carl was supposed to come as well, but he had something come up so we were left with an extra dose. We divvied up the drugs as well as we could, and I took Carl’s dose for myself. I should note that none of us were new to this. We had all tripped before and were pretty certain what to expect. I ended up taking about 6 grams of shrooms with both Carl’s and my portions. The others took about 2, but again I was not just shoving things into my mouth. I had taken as much before, and felt okay taking it again. So, we all choked down the fungi with extreme prejudice and ample orange juice.
We decide to watch the movie Frank at the start of our trip because there’s this guy with a giant fake head in the picture for it on Netflix. That was really the reason. We saw the fake head, laughed a bit, started it just to see what it could be, and ended watching the whole thing (It’s fantastic and arresting). Towards the end of the movie the tone shifted to a slightly dark place, and left us all a little uneasy. Nothing too weird, but a slight tone shift is enough to throw a psychedelically impaired brain off balance. The trip goes by and nothing to out of the ordinary happens. We go to a park. We play a game. We look at things. Pretty innocuous stuff until we start smoking blunts.
At this point, my mind is racing. Moving a million miles an hour trying to process all the crazy that just exploded into my world. The weed kicked that up another couple notches. We were passing around a blunt and listening to tunes when everything started to come apart. Talking to my friends became a chore. Each time I was talked at, I fought back valiantly with a couple quick words. It was a brutal cycle of conversation that seemed like it would never end. I became exhausted. This is where my experience diverges from everything I’ve ever known or probably will ever know again. The walls started vibrating and pulling apart at their corners. I softly mumbled that I thought I was going insane. They all looked at me at once and in unison said where? I was confused and a little frightened, but I tried to play it off like everything was normal. I mumbled something about the bathroom and rushed away to it. I was still kind of with it going to the bathroom but I was slipping fast. Once in the bathroom, I lifted the toilet seat. I was about to pee but then I noticed the toilet seat was still down. I tried a couple more times, but when I lifted the seat it would just disappear into the tank and suddenly be down again. I couldn’t rationalize what I was seeing. It threw me for a loop, and I just stood there for a couple minutes staring… Something didn’t feel right. Then I started to hear these very distant voices. They were talking about me.
“Oh god… not again.”
“Yeah, sure, let’s just go anywhere, it’s no trouble at all.”
“He thinks it’s the bathroom.”
The bathroom door was closed. I stood. Frozen. They kept talking about me. My initial thought was that my friends were just fucking with me from the other room. I noticed, however, that the voices were describing my movements in that second. When I looked in the mirror, I heard the voices warn about getting trapped in mirrors. The bathroom held no peace of mind for me, I had to get out. I went back to where my friends were still wrapped up in their conversation. I still wasn’t up to talking as my mind was now even less sure of reality. I laid on the couch and closed my eyes hoping for some respite and a moment of clarity.
As soon as my eyelids fell, I was transported to the floor of a mental institution. I was lying in the fetal position in what felt like pools of my own piss and slobber. I could hear the voices again, much more sharply, talking about their weekend plans and making jokes. I couldn’t move from my position, but I was able to glimpse the people right in front of me. They were wholly uninterested in me until I noticed them. Once I did they were complaining and wishing I was moved to a different ward. Wishing I wouldn’t piss myself. Wishing their shifts were over. I retained my mental faculties which was cruel because I seemed to be completely indisposed physically. I began to notice that these people talking were very familiar. Imagine my surprise when I recognize my friends and some family to be my ‘caretakers’. I was appalled. Mortified. I was under the impression that my whole life previously was a delusion and this was the real state of things. I was a burden on those whom I loved. A burden they didn’t even care for apparently.
I closed my eyes again, furiously trying to go somewhere else. I couldn’t get out. I was stuck motionless on the floor listening to them complain about me. I retreated in my mind. I tried to distract myself, and it ended up working kind of. I could still faintly remember that I had taken shrooms and was desperately trying to hold on to that. They were talking about me as if I were brain dead. I was sure I wasn’t. I kept thinking I couldn’t be that stupid. I couldn’t be. This thought repeated itself in my mind until it lost all meaning and I was just stuck in a cycle. The voices had stopped, and a strange thought occurred to me. The voices the whole time had been closely following and narrating my own experience. Therefore they must be in my head! This place isn’t real! I focused all I could on that. Really accepting the idea that I was adrift in my own mind. I was finally able to start shifting my weight around and wiggling my limbs a bit. I tried to open my eyes and get up, but I could only slightly and slowly do both. My eyes were slits allowing the tiniest amount of light in, and I was writhing around trying to get my coordination back.
When I could see something it wasn’t the asylum I last found myself in. It was just a long tunnel with a spec of light at the end (how cliche right?). Despite what I’ve been told I started striving towards the light. It was not easy. It could be most accurately described as trying to move through quicksand. It was slow and restricted more when I exerted any effort. I found that I made the best progress by just floating and letting the tunnel take me. As I got closer though I became impatient. I grabbed on to whatever I could to try and grapple my way to the promise-land. There were couch legs and tables and rugs and people’s legs; whatever I found in the tunnel that I could use for leverage, I did.
Things seemed to slowly taking shape. Very slowly. Excruciatingly slowly. I could hear the voices again, but this time they were encouraging. They were cheering me on trying to get me to the end. The tunnel was molding itself into Rebecca’s apartment. My friends were egging me on, and I couldn’t help but think that they were all figments of my imagination. I mean, the mental asylum and the tunnel and the bathroom, they were talking throughout all of it. This is when I began to suspect that I was schizophrenic. I was really trying to find some kind of explanation for what was happening. I was getting closer to the light, the room was forming little by little. I started to hear Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the music was intensely glorious and welcoming. I felt orgasmic. Literally. A full body orgasm as I headed out of the tunnel, and I remember thinking that Rebecca’s apartment and the people in it was my ideal environment.
I swirled back into reality, which amounted to me standing up from the couch and escaping my mental prison. Then I looked around, and everything seemed the same pretty much. It was quite a bit messier than I remembered, but I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t think much of it, because I didn’t want to think at all. I wanted sleep. Sleep was all I needed to restore my balance. I could try and make sense of the trip in the morning.
Awake. Still in Rebecca’s apartment. Look around. Still messy. Nobody seems to be here. I called out wondering where they were. I looked at my phone and it said 11:00 am. Rebecca must have gone to work, I thought. Everyone one else must have left when she did, I thought. They must have wanted to let me rest up, I thought. Shit, what did I actually do last night? I must have acted really weirdly, I thought. I’ll just pack up my shit and get out of here. I wished that they would’ve woken me up to say goodbye. I wouldn’t see them for a while, but whatever it’s not the end of the world.
I go to open the front door. It opens, but not to the outside. To the fucking bathroom. The bathroom door, you ask, well that opens to the living room obviously. WHAT THE FUCK? Now I am here… for the foreseeable future. Stuck in some kind of loop. I haven’t seen anyone for months. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared, but I don’t even know what to be scared of.