Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: Chihiro. "More Toilets Kissed Than People Now: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp15639)". Erowid.org. Apr 21, 2005. erowid.org/exp/15639
First, I must confess that I don't know much about psychoactive substances. My language and lack of fine details will probably betray my newbiehood, but regardless, I'll do what I can to leave you with a useful or at least interesting report, my first (and so far only) encounter with mushrooms.
I'd never so much as touched a beer or smoked a cigarette until my third year of college, but somehow that year I decided for myself that I'd reached some kind of stage of self-grounding and that I was ready to start looking for new experiences. I tried alcohol first, then marijuana. Late in the year I decided I really wanted to try a hallucinogen, and managed to form a plan with three other friends, G, N, and R to 'do mushrooms.' None of us had ever done them before, but G, my roommate, had taken LSD at least once and thus became our mentor by default.
We acquired a whole bunch of mushrooms (for far too much) from someone else in the dorm, and proceeded to divide them up and consume them at around six or seven at night. I have no idea what the mass of what I ate was, nor even the exact number of fungi, but it was a mixture of caps and stems greater than ten and less than twenty. I recall they tasted nuttyish and not especially nasty. N, who had had hardly anything to eat that day, had brought in some Fig Newtons to mask the taste, and I tried this method too. After consuming the mushrooms, I felt suddenly very nervous, knowing I'd passed the point of no return.
G suggested that since the quasi-ceremony was over, we ought to settle down our minds a little by strolling to the campus convenience store and picking up supplies. This we did without incident, though I believe it was as we were returning (probably +20/30m) that N began remarking about how amazing the world looked. The sky was dark, but clouds were spreading the moonlight across the sky as a vast canvas, and even to me it did seem particularly rich and impressive, but I didn't sense that I was in quite the same stage as N. I let him know as much, saying 'I wish I was there with you, man.'
I don't recall if we did anything when we got back to the dorm, but I believe my roommate G told us to drop off our purchases and come right away to see an amazing place he knew of but couldn't tell us about. This place turned out to be up on the top platform of the fire escape of one of the buildings. Part of the trip therapy I had devised for myself was the reassurance that I would be completely safe and sound as long as I stayed away from places where I might potentially wig out and throw myself from a significant height, so naturally this seemed like the worst possible turn of events to me, but I went along anyway, all the time striving to be extra-cautious. The place was indeed a nice secluded spot, probably good for enjoying less wiggy substances, but I let G and the others know that I was feeling uncomfortable, and we agreed not to spend too long up there. G provided helpful tips for our descent, which I think proved most useful to N, who was definitely more affected than any of us. On the return walk home we passed a group of people, and N expressed his feeling that for an instant one of the girls had stared deep into the core of his being. 'Did you guys see that? Did you guys see that?' he asked (I hadn't).
When we finally returned to the dorm (somewhere around +1h), I had my first real visual effect. The lobby had a short flight of steps leading up to it, and they appeared bent and distorted as I glanced at them. As we walked down the hallway towards our room, where we were planning on chilling and exploring our altered reality in privacy, I noticed that as my vision passed across a doorknob, the doorknob disconnected for a split second and stayed in my field of view a little longer than doorknobs really ought to.
When we entered, I was dismayed to see that our room was not empty but in fact occupied by C, the last person I wanted part of our experience. C was a friend of G's, but he didn't much care for me at all, nor I for him. He was absorbed in a card game on G's computer and didn't want to talk to me anyway, so I decided to make the best of it by going over to my side of the room and simply not letting C into my experience. G's girlfriend was also over. She was aware we were tripping, and probably a little weirded out by it. She asked me cautiously if I was feeling all right, and I responded quite serenely that I was, I had just discovered the hidden flower pattern on the world. I had, you see; any texture I stared at, be it the floor or the side of a chair, had gradations of color suggesting a repeating pattern of flowers.
I found this quite comfortable, so I laid back in bed and looked up at the cabinet doors. Their wood grain was slowly melting into an endlessly fascinating procession of little figures, their slow march constantly morphing and twisting. I hadn't really wanted a large crowd for my experience, but while the other five in the room were undoubtedly doing something or talking about something, they seemed distant, shoved into a far corner of my vision and awareness, while I happily enjoyed the cabinets.
This continued for some time. At some point the notion tickled me that there were entities in the closet. I didn't actually believe this, but I was in a state where simply entertaining that possibility was fun and an impetus for action, so I suddenly stood and announced 'There are people I need to be with in the closet.' I then walked into my small clothes closet and slid the door behind me, all of which sent my friends into gales of laughter. I sat a suitcase in the dark and hugged something I can't recall, comforted by its presence. Geometric shapes in various colors spread from the center of my vision like a Winamp plugin. I had lost track of time (it felt like maybe ten minutes, but friends said it was closer to half an hour), but at some point I decided to exit back to the room and see what was going on, prompting cheering that I 'came out of the closet.'
Soon after this, N grew ill. The reader may recall that he had not had much to eat and had also been first to notice the effects. He suddenly began retching into our wastebasket, and people began to raise their voices and run to fetch the dealer, who was said to have a substance to counteract mushrooms, or counteract their nausea, or something (I never heard what this substance was). I was immediately worried that I was going to vomit, too, and the sudden change in atmosphere in the room made me feel extremely insecure, so I fled to the bathroom down the hall. The toilet stall represented a place of safety and privacy to me; I could puke all I like if I wanted, and if anyone appeared concerned I could claim I was drunk. I had recently turned 21, the legal drinking age where I was, and this became important to my sense of security. I repeated it as a mantra: 'It's all right, I'm twenty-one.' The logic I suppose holds out now, if tenuously, but I feel that more important than the validity of the logic was the fact that I believed in it. I needed something like that to hold on to.
At any rate, I didn't end up vomiting. But I did decide to stay in the stall, sitting in front of the toilet, and it is here that my recollections disintegrate. There was an indefinite period where my senses simply all mushed together (this would probably be the peak of the trip). It was nothing really describable, just a constant flux of sensations melting into sensations. I became lost in a thick morass of sight and touch. I have the vague impression of coldness on my face (though I didn't really concieve of 'face' at the time), so I believe I might have been rubbing my face against the toilet and the floor. If I sensed it at all, it immediately mixed into the whole horrific miasma of sensations, which by enveloping all of my existence began to erase my awareness thereof. I have heard that people heard me moaning 'I am nothing, I am nothing,' which I hope sounds like drunk talk.
When I 'came to,' it was tentatively, with only the vaguest belief in 'self.' I had arrived at the convincing realization that reality as such was entirely an illusion. I had the awareness that I was moving back into reality and that once I was firmly ensconced within it I would be unable to perceive the illusion, but in my half-in half-out state I was convinced that I could still grasp the magnitude of this realization. I didn't feel depression at my so-called discovery so much as dull surprise; emotion had yet to play a real part again in my existence. L, a very nice friend in the dorm who had done sitting in the past, came to check on me, asking through the stall door if I was all right, and I answered something like I was fine, simply surprised (meaning my supposed philosophical insight).
I stayed staring at that damn toilet for hours. There have been far dirtier toilets that have crossed my path, but I still find it gross now that I think about it. Gross, though, was not a concept at the time. I simply gazed at funny patterns on the pipes, in the bowl, on the floor. There was a bit of corrosion on the pipes that looked like a funny cat face. I had no real desire to leave the stall, so I stayed put until the corrosion started to look like corrosion and the floor speckles started to look like floor speckles. I finally stepped out as I was coming down (probably somewhere around +7h) to talk with L and R (who was also coming down). We both checked in that we were fine, and I pointed out how his face still looked grotesque (he verified this was true for him too in the bathroom mirror). I finally went back to my room and laid down on bed, glancing up again at the cabinets, which now flowed only gently and halfheartedly. I slept, and that was that.
N was okay, as it turned out. He had calmed down and taken the 'antidote.' He said later that it would probably count as a 'bad trip' for him but that at least he had coped with it. I too didn't have a thoroughly euphoric or blissful experience, but it was at least an interesting one, and I think just having had trying moments gives me some measure of (foolhardy, no doubt) confidence in being able to handle any future experiences. If I take mushrooms again, I will probably try to do it as part of a smaller group, perhaps with one or two close friends. It would be nice to be able to arrange a perfectly secluded and secure location where I can feel free to explore the experience in privacy. It would probably be a good idea to have a sitter, and it would probably also be a good idea to do a bit more research beforehand, so I can at least say for sure how much of what I have taken.
It's not a particular priority for me to trip again (I'd rather not reach the point that drugs of any sort feel like a priority in my life), but if I get another chance, and conditions look right, I'll probably take it.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.