“I am a glass of orange juice, I am a glass of orange juice…”
Drugs are bad children, never forget that. However, we all reach a point in our lives where we realise that there are worse things out there and indulging in a few mind altering substances doesn’t seem all that scary. We all have our poisons, right? The safe and the boring choose booze, so that they can forget about those bills that need to be paid. Others choose tobacco because they need to take a few minutes out of every day to concentrate on breathing. Then there’s the stoners who choose cannabis for an hour of chilling and mellow vibes. Opioids for those who need a kick of euphoria to remember what’s good about this messed up world. I have no idea what motivates meth heads…
They all have their reasons for their drug of choice. I feel that the main reason, the unifying reason, for most people to get into their vices is that they need a way to escape from reality, however temporary the escape may be. Amongst all of these druggies, there is one druggie who has found a way to literally escape from this reality. We call them psychonauts.
The psychonaut’s drug of choice is, you guessed it, psychedelics. In this class of trippy substances we have the naturally occuring chemicals such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, and DMT. Three chemicals given to us by Mother Nature herself for an introspective high into your own mind or an out-of-body trip to the stars. Mother Nature gets it right each and every time but man likes to take on the challenge of trying to one-up her. Dr. Albert Hoffman developed a synthetic compound that he called d-lysergic acid (that’s LSD to you and I), in the hopes that he could develop a drug that would cure his mentally ill patients of their psychosis. The FDA denied his request for clinical testing so he decided to test it out on himself. What a trooper this guy is!
Psychedelics are not to be messed with. We’ve all heard the stories about that one guy who dropped a tab and jumped out of a fifth-floor window, convinced that he could fly. And then there’s that other dude who’s locked away in a loony bin somewhere, convinced that he’s a glass of orange juice and begging the orderlies not to spill him. The stories aren’t all bad though. We have tales of people who went on ayahuasca retreats and came back cured of their addictions to heroine and cigarettes with fresh, inspirational outlooks on life. Who is to be believed? Journeyman says neither of them. He says that the only way to know for certain is to try a few of them out. So he went out and got a few psychedelic substances which by the way are incredibly difficult to find, from sources who will not be named (Ross Ulbricht for president! The Silk Road will never die!), tried them out for himself and had me document his experiences so that you don’t have to risk breaking your brain. What a champ!
The first of the psychedelics that he tried was DMT, dimethyltriptamine. That’s right, this stuff has ‘trip’ in its name so you know it’s going to be a good one. First, he brewed a cup of Syrian Rue which he forced down his throat. He says that it was the most vile thing that he has ever tasted and only drank it because the word on the nets is that Syrian Rue, an MAOI, is the best way to move the psychedelic experience out of your head and into your body. Next, he gulped the DMT freebase down with a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (because orange juice makes everything better) then sat back…and waited.
DMT is a substance that occurs naturally in all of our brains in tiny doses. That’s right, your brain is actively making a substance that your government has deemed ‘unfit for human consumption’. By that definition, your brain is a drug dealer that is pushing drugs on you. Let that sink in for a minute…
Anyway, a few minutes later Journeyman started to see light flurries across his eyes and then waves started to roll up and down his body. At the peak of the high, Journeyman said that he would close his eyes and his consciousness was transported to another dimension where he could feel a dark presence all around him and he could see shapes forming and morphing in the darkness. I was watching him the whole time and he’d only close his eyes for a few seconds at most before the nausea forced him to open them again and when he did, he felt like he’d been gone for hours. The effects wore off soon enough but by then Journeyman was curled up in a corner of the room and wouldn’t let anyone touch him. He says that it was the most mentally taxing thing he had ever been through and swore to never to touch the stuff again.
A month later, he tried shrooms. This time he decided to skip the Syrian Rue. Nothing could ever get him to sip on that awful concoction ever again. By this time the Feds had caught up with Ulbricht and his rebel site so he had to find a new source. Lucky for him, the deep web is here to stay. They took down Silk Road but from its ashes arose the Silk Road 2.0 along with a whole host of other black market sites, and he got his product. It arrived in a vacuum sealed pack, 8 grams of psilocybe mushrooms and the crazy nut dropped all 8 grams at once.
“Did you learn nothing from your last experience?” I asked him.
He just shrugged and ate them. All of them. Stalks, stems and all. He chewed slowly, feeling the crunch of the dried fungus and frowning at the taste. His chest heaved as the body rejected the shrooms and his cheeks puffed out as his mouth filled with vomit. He tried to keep it down but his diaphragm gave another mighty heave and he couldn’t hold it in any longer. He upchucked all 8 grams all over my shoes then looked up and gave me an apologetic grin.
A week later, the second order of shrooms came through. This time, he crushed them up, put them in capsules and swallowed them.
Half an hour later, he was chilling on the sofa, staring into space with the widest grin I had ever seen. I asked him what he was looking at, and he said that he could see a whole other universe in the wisps of smoke that filled the room. Music played in the background and he said that he could feel, rather than hear it. The guitar rips resonated with his rib cage, the chords felt like they were being played on his heartstrings and each bass hit rocked his spine. Everything around him was happening and coming in 4s. The high lasted about six hours with a gentle come up and a light let down. All-in-all, a good experience but a little…boring. No unicorns or dragons. No epiphanies or conversations with God. He said that he might try it again but it wasn’t something he’d go looking for.
After the shroom experience Journeyman decided that he was done with the psychedelic experiment. In his (now expert) opinion, he felt that they were overhyped and didn’t that want anything more to do with them. But fate had other plans for him and a good friend of his who goes by the name of Pacman called him up, told him that he had recently come into possession of a few tabs laid out with Hoffman’s magic potion and was looking for someone to take a trip with him. Journeyman agreed, on the condition that he bring along his scribe (me) to record the experience. And that’s how I found myself, once again, as the only sober man in a room full of druggies.
Well, a watched kettle never boils and an hour after they dropped the tabs, Pacman was still asking, “Can you feel anything? Has it checked in yet? I think I feel something…wait, no that’s just gas.”
I got the feeling that as a kid, Pacman was the one sat in the backseat constantly asking the driver “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
I got tired of waiting and passed out for a bit. When I woke up, Journeyman and Pacman were glued to the wall. Pacman was convinced that he was a gecko and Journeyman was falling in love with how the paint felt on his skin. He sniffed on the wall and swore to me that he was getting high on the fumes. After a while, Pacman realised that he wouldn’t be able to reach that fly on the roof and that made him sad. He collapsed into a heap on the floor and started crying. Then he said he wasn’t feeling very good. Being the responsible, sober friend that I am, I picked him up and helped him to the bathroom. I opened the bathroom door and pushed him in, but he took one look inside, screamed and ran off.
A ‘monster’ he claimed to have seen. A monster with a wide mouth, porcelain lips and a long, flat forehead with an unquenchable thirst and he didn’t want to go near it.
He went back into the bedroom and dove under the covers.
Journeyman sat on the floor, facing the window, legs crossed in the lotus position and meditating, with a peaceful expression on his face. He opened his eyes when I came in and said that I looked beautiful. He said that he could see Sanskrit patterns dancing across my face. I didn’t know what to say to that.
“What should we do about Pacman?” I asked him.
Journeyman gave me his signature shrug.
“Leave him be,” he said. “He’s having a bad trip. Let him ride it out. Just make sure that all of the windows are shut.”
NB— The tale you have just read, like everything else on this site, is a work of fiction. Neither Journeyman nor Kabirium, and not even Pacman produce, promote, market, engage, indulge, partake, ingest, digest, nor ‘trip on’ any illegal substances. But sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are legal, so let’s go get high on those.