Citation: TravelLogix. "I Couldn't Speak: An Experience with Absinthe (exp111776)". Erowid.org. Mar 27, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111776
Not Like Other Absinthe I Couldnt Speak
In mid-winter after walking for a half hour through streets with well over a meter of snow, I went up to my female friend’s apartment with my wife and a second male friend. The four of us are all academics from different countries, and none of them had ever seen or tasted absinthe before.
I explained to them that I’d had absinthe on several occasions during my undergraduate studies in the United States, and that the rumors I’d heard about it causing special effects appeared to be unfounded. I’ve tried similar amounts of absinthe on at least 7 occasions, 3 of those occasions were absinthe alone, and at no point prior have I experienced something that couldn’t be attributed to high alcohol content.
I explained that I had recently been given the small 50ml bottle of Absinthe from my friends who flew in almost 6 months earlier from the Czech Republic, and that I was interested to see if it would be any different. This liquid was olive greenish and clear like other absinthe I’ve seen, but not the lighter annoying blue-teal-mint of some brands. There was a small sprig of what I presumed to be either dried wormwood or sage inside the small bottle, and all labeling was written in Czech. The small glass bottle had a metal twist cap. I do recall that the thujone percentage listed was around 7%.
We had various breads and Asian snacks in addition to some special cheese from Cypress. I poured the entire bottle into my favorite wooden cup, and filled the rest with cold water resulting in dilution around 1:5. Everyone was offered a small sip to taste it before starting their own drinks.
I sipped from the cup and within 5 to 10 minutes I’d already finished about half, and was puzzled that it was becoming more difficult for me to speak. It wasn’t that I couldn’t think of words, my brain was just having a very interesting struggle with ordering my thoughts out of my mouth and anytime I spoke I felt very deliberate and sluggish.
By 15 minutes in, after almost finishing the cup I just decided that speaking out-loud was a total waste of effort and I was feeling disassociated. My body had become much more relaxed than alcohol alone would sufficiently explain and my ability to parse words had completely escaped me. My wife and colleagues noted that I was acting uncharacteristically quiet as I am usually a very sociable person, especially whilst drinking. I explained to them that I was “having a very difficult time speaking”. When they asked why, and if I was feeling something from the absinthe I was at a complete loss for a logical response. What came out of my mouth was something to the effect of: “I… I’m… um… … … One second… … This is very difficult to explain…”
They granted me some time to put my thoughts together and I decided to say “I’m feeling very disconnected but very here… like Ketamine or something” (I’d been accidentally dosed with Ketamine once in the past and I remembered a similar feeling). Naturally this was very interesting for me to experience so I focused on what was going on and noted the following:
My vision was not impaired and I was able to see strait.
My space perception was fine, but I had some trouble with peripherals.
I was not at all drunk and only lightly feeling effects of the alcohol.
More than anything it was like a dampener had been put on a small portion of my brain making it difficult for me to arrange speech properly, my thoughts were clear but a bit tilted and I’m not sure if it was do to my mild shock at the situation.
They granted me permission to remain silent until I slowly became aware that my ability to speak properly had returned about 25 or 30 minutes after starting.
I went into this experience thinking that all absinthe stories were myths. I expect my experience resulted from special herbal interactions present in this brand of it.
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