Citation: whitewhale. "Air, Stereolab, from Psychosis to Delight: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp37073)". Erowid.org. Sep 1, 2006. erowid.org/exp/37073
I bought tickets to the Air/Stereolab show on the Internet, several weeks before the concert. I am a graduate student in the biological sciences, and was working in the lab on the Friday afternoon before the concert.
Sublime sounded awfully good on a Friday late afternoon, and I was getting lab work done. The people in my lab work very hard, but I had noticed that people were clearing out for Friday afternoon, so ~6:40 p.m., when I unsealed a white envelope and dumped my mushrooms out onto clean, tared weighing paper, no one was around to notice. There is one big cap which weighs 1.8 g by itself; together I've got 2.8 g with 2-3 small mushroom caps and the rest are stems. That sounds good to me because I don't want to overdo it, but I definitely want to put myself out there, which means that over 2 grams is good. GOOD. I make a foil pouch for my mushies and write 2.8 on it in magic marker.
I've got extra energy, and freshly committed to my plans to ingest drugs, and realize that I need to start wrapping up things in the lab so that I can set the plan into motion, so I finalize two small projects, and then turn to the protein G column. Now this experiment is *important*, and my sample is going to be taken to Stanford in less than a week to be tickled with light, hopefully giving us results that will take a place among cutting-edge peer-review research. So its grade AAA IMPORTANT. I calculate the mL/min rate and my cell lysate volume, and realize that Air could be playing if I let this column proceed, an event which would be completely unacceptable and depressing. I turned the stopcock, flow ceased mise en place, and headed out of lab for my house.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
Although I am venturing out alone, in the back of my mind I know a couple of people at my school who like Air, so I imagine maybe meeting up with them, maybe not. Driving and tripping is definitely NOT suggested, but I couldn't find a ride, so I convince myself that it will be safe if the timing is carefully orchestrated, so I plan to ingest my mushrooms around 7:30 before the show at 8:00, and I expect that I will be fine to drive by midnight since the mushroom is usually a short trip for me. Also, I will let myself walk around downtown for a while if I am not ready to drive home when the show gets out.
At my house, I put on a brown velvet skirt and morning orange tank top, checked it out in the mirror and it looks cute, but I definitely want closed-toes shoes for tripping instead of my sandals, and this line of thinking leads me to change the skirt into jeans. I imagine navigating the venue in my sneakers, plus having pockets is good. Before I left, I had achieved a balance of functionality and sexuality in my outer garb.
Put on a bracelet, ring, braid hair a little, a bit of eyeliner. Need to go! Hoodie, keys, ticket (!), money, i.d.
I eat the mushrooms standing up in the kitchen with a few water crackers and JIF peanut butter using my fingers because I don't want to bother washing a utensil. Licking my fingers, I immediately leave because I don't want to take any chances with driving and tripping. Driving is good. I'm listening to music and jamming out on the California highways, and I'm feeling good about the show and curious about the drugs. It occurs to me that this is my first dip into this batch of mushrooms, so I don't know how strong they will be. I've never seen Air perform before, but I adore them, and I am positive that this is going to be an incredible show. I'm mentally disciplining myself to not consider my trippy condition until I get there. Everything goes smoothly, although I am really ready to get there as I can tell that the mushroom is coming on strongly, just as I am parking.
I exit the car. Standing up allowed the mushroom that was building up at the gates to flood out into my limbs as I walked away from the car. When I'm 200 yards from the car, I realize I forgot my hoodie, and I have a mental war with myself, 'get it, leave it, get it, leave it' going convincedly back and forth. I'm annoying myself and decide to forget the hoodie, as the mushroom is warming me up nicely. The cement walls of the parking complex are breathing, and I can hear and feel myself descending the stairs.
I have come four stories down from the parking complex and my sense of direction is very gone. I ask a lady 'where is the street?' and I am immediately embarrassed as this sounds to me like the most lost question in the world. She points her finger down, and I thought, 'hell?' I was more confused, but then realized that access to the street was actually one floor down, and that this parking complex is bullshit confusing, and some other people nearby me look confused as well. Then I think about my hoodie again and I *really* want to get it because being cold is the worst. But I am so disoriented at that point that I realize that I could not navigate back to my car if I wanted to. A little bit of panic with that thought, but I know that I will eventually come down, right now I just breathe in the mushroom visuals in to be happy again.
I realize that the symphony has just been let out and I am looking at the semi-serious crowd, dressed in fancy clothes; they touch my heart because I love the symphony. I am then aware of being downtown because the symphony-goers are filling a plaza, and there are high-rises around me. Then I regain my direction and see that the street is in front of the plaza, and when I get to it, I can see the sign for the venue, 4th and B. yes! I made it. Approaching the venue, I am happy for getting myself here, and it is easy to stride up to the venue feeling like my legs are 10 feet long. This is amazing! More interesting feelings keep entering my legs, and the trip is definitely coming on strong, but I know there is nothing to fear.
Standing in line outside the venue, I am kind of lonely by myself because most people are with someone, and the head trip is definitely starting. I cannot believe that my body is moving because nothing in me is certainly willing it to move, and I am looking on an my body's ability to do and behave as the other bodies around me. I am no longer excited about the feelings in my limbs, which are feeling more heavy and bizarre, and my abdomen has a melty warm excellent feeling, that is interfering with my ability to tell whether I need to go to the bathroom or not. I have tripped plenty and am not drawing attention to myself even though my mind is racing and I think about leaning against the wall for physical support. I'm definitely rushing upwards in terms of visual stimulation and off-kilter feelings in my body, and I wonder if my condition will lead me to a state of 'flipping out' but then I remember there is no reason to feel scared, and I start looking at a tree that is growing in front of the venue. It reminds me of tress that grow by my workplace. The tree is my brother. I think about the inherent balance of products and reactants that this tree and I are capable of sharing.
I realize that there will not be trees inside of the venue, and I feel suddenly sad, as I starting thinking about being in the park on mushrooms, which was my first time. Actually am I thinking about Zilker Park in Austin, TX and I am sad and even a little anxious that I'm not including the daytime with my mushroom today, but I look up and see the dark sky, and that makes me think about Austin Music Hall, and I recall a Rabbit&the Moon Show that was a night-time trip, and that was great, so I am happy again that it is night and I am going to a show ! I come full circle, realizing that the first time that I heard Air was on that night of Rabbit& the Moon. My mind is all over the place, but I'm taking everything in stride and even remembering to breathe a couple times, and the line is moving forward.
The doorman made fun of me because I handed him my ticket without separating the receipt part. I can't barely hold onto my ticket, so to me it is not very funny.
At this point, I am taken back a little by the strength with which the trip came on, and I started thinking about the potential potency of those small mushroom caps. Little bitty caps with loads of drugs and not a lot of weight. But I also considered the change in blood flow due to walking around.
All I want to do is SIT DOWN as my body was feeling stranger and stranger to me, and I've never been floored with mushrooms before. When I was walking, I felt as if I would get off track yet I seemed to be doing it well enough and that reassured me. Fear was entering my dialogue but I was managing, and I secured a cup of water from the bar, and smiled at the bartender. Still, I can't believe my legs are moving, and I think I am walking a bit off.
I am pretty rapidly making my way up to the seating section to find a spot to sit, alone enough but among enough people. I spot the perfect place, which is dimmed and in the upper seating of the venue. My ticket said that the show began at 8, and there was no way I was going to miss any Air or Stereolab, so I was there by 8. It was only then that I realized that there was going to be the 'first act' at 8, and I didn't know the guy who was performing.
This was definitely a body mushroom. As I sat in my spot, occasionally sipping water from a straw, I must have looked to others as being very tired, because I kept yawning. It wasn't so much a yawn as a physical unclamping of my jaws to digest the mushroom. I didn't like it too much, and things starting going off into my head pretty badly; I must have 'yawned' 30 times. I could see the stage, but it was one guy with a guitar and he seemed to me like a cheesy lounge singer, so I couldn't get into the music. Also, there weren't any special lights to look at and I was sitting in a dim area, so these things led to a very intense head trip. It wasn't nightmarish (no demons were eating my flesh), but I certainly was NOT enjoying myself.
My general affect became one of mostly depression, and I resigned myself to being a 'tired girl' and interspersed my uncomfortable yawning with closing my eyes some. Not getting any closed-eye visuals. I started thinking about all the problems in my life, which I knew would probably surface with tripping, but the paths through my problems seemed illuminated, and I had the mental image of changing my Plinko (the price is right) path into a single road, and an image of sloughing a shell. I accepted with very much gravity that it would take a lot to change certain things about myself. As much as I can remember, this period was an inner monologue that contained a lot of criticism and truth.
It was not a good time, and ((like every good trip, I have come to know from experience)), I told myself that I was going to stop tripping. This is horrible, and I have entered a black worm hole where senses shut down and I am all by myself. I thought about going to the bathroom, but I felt like that could be too disorienting, and I wasn't sure that I needed to go because the body feeling was strong enough to mask my senses of urination. I also knew that I could probably pull myself out of this situation by walking around, but I felt rather powerless about walking, so I gave myself to a massive head trip with nothing better to do, even somewhat encouraged that there was no one with me to interfere with this opportunity. Also, I kept telling myself that things would get better when Stereolab and Air came on. Still, the pre-show was agony, and was a real experience in time-investment.
I feel like I have truly entered a state of psychosis in the upper seating. The mushroom has claimed my body and mind. I probably crossed and uncrossed my legs 2 times in about 1 hour. My senses are closing in on themselves, and I cannot focus on the stage even though that is all I am looking at. Part of me is dying for stimulation in the form of lights and music, but there is only one guy up there singing pathetically about love. I am feeling very negative about love and about his love songs. The stage is swimming around in front of my eyes and I cannot perceive the entire space of the venue even though I tried to.
In the middle of my psychosis, suddenly, I spot the red shirt and haircut of someone I know! It was Aaron, another student who was rotating in my lab, and he was with other people from my program! I wasn't romantically into him, but he seemed like a cool kid. It appeared that he dressed out of thrift stores, but we had not talked much or hung out. I had been atrophied for probably an hour or more, yet I amazingly bolted from my chair to go talk to him. It was almost like I was expecting them to show up. I think I almost knocked over another chair, and I felt like some people were staring at me, but I didn't care. I quickly left my dark seat behind.
I made my way to Aaron, and he seemed really happy to see me, I think he knows I'm into music by the stuff I play in lab, and he asked me to join them when he realized that I was by myself, upon which I inwardly breathed a sigh of relief. I was really happy to see him too. Later, when I was sitting with them, I realized that I had relinquished my ability to go off on my own, which seemed kind of bad, but fortunately it was a concert, and it wasn't a major talking-oriented activity, so I was mostly with myself. I like having trip buddies but they have to be of a very particular demeanor, and in the overall scarcity of this persona, I prefer to trip alone. Ideally, I like to be the only one tripping but in the company of others, who don't have to know that I'm tripping because that would probably complicate things, and that is exactly the situation I found myself in.
While we were talking, I was leaning on the banister for support because I was waiting for another body assault from the mushroom after standing up again. Talking was easy and I felt wholly different from one minute ago when I had been sitting by myself. Aaron was really excited about the show, and I was too, and just as the mushroom was pulling me down into the banister, we thankfully took seats in the front seating section, and Stereolab came on. The metal seats we were sitting in were poorly designed, and I actually had bruises on my back the next day, indeed I was so planted in that chair. I felt that the mushroom had been 'reactivated' by standing up, but my affect had shifted into a positive light, so I was peaking through Stereolab in a way where my senses were anything but closed. Suddenly I had complicated my situation by joining up with these people, yet I felt on the whole happier for having met up with them, but my faculties were not under control, and I sunk in my chair and was controlled by the music, and pretty much couldn't move, although I managed to talk to Aaron about Pumas v. Adidas for a prettylong while. I had other mindless conversations with the other grad students and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
In my melty shroomy state, I had the idea that Air & Stereolab were going to play together for some reason. I tried asking Aaron about this, and he said, 'nope, looks like only Stereolab up there.' Even then, I still didn't understand until much later in the show that Air had not been on stage. Yeah, I was trippppping.
The students with me were ordering drinks and it felt fun. I didn't drink, or tell them that I was on the mushroom because I thought I was behaving coolly enough, plus my sober person could pass for saying weird stuff at any moment so I felt just fine tripping among them.
The sound in the venue was AMAZING, especially to me having grown mushrooms for ears. We were in the seating area, which was on a platform, under which was the bass and massive speakers for 4th and B. I could feel the music through my very toes in the ground and coming from all around.
Stereolab played an amazing show. I was tripping so hard during it that I couldn't even realize how awesome they were, except in a very abstract way. The way I was drawn into their musical regime was very tribal.
I was completely enraptured by the highs and lows in the music from Stereolab, They played with incredible energy, and at times they played dissonantly which extremely affected me, I felt the impulse to scream even, my emotions were so bound up with the music. My abdomen, face, and neck had elevated energy, my trunk would tense in tumultuous ways with the music, and I felt wonderful physical release in my core if the music released. It was the most physical way I have ever experienced music. Sterelab incorporated a lot of interesting horns in their music, which I couldn't really see so it looked to me like they were playing on spirals, some of which made some really cRaZY sounds that I just couldn't even believe. Delicious wonderful sounds that came in long phrases, that oversatisfied me.
The venue seemed to be divided into cubes and my perception of the depth in the room changed a lot throughout the trip. I could see the stage, but it only took up about a quarter of my vision. Yet, when I looked at the stage, I was able to fill up the rest of my vision by reflecting the quarter into a full frame. In this way, I was able to perceive the full space of the venue without looking at the whole image.
When Stereolab was over, I felt like venturing out to the ladies room, and that experience brought me in contact with beautiful females. I felt a little mousy among the blonde goddesses of California. I could finally tell that I needed to go, and urinating felt incredible, and I thought I had been holding it for a while. Good bathroom time: trippy bathroom tiles, looking at myself in the mirror and thought I looked beautiful. That's nice, definitely euphoric. Walking back to the seats, the feelings in my limbs were no longer those of potential atrophy but those of lightness.
When Air finally came on, I was thoroughly enjoying the mushroom that was left in my body, coming down but I was completely ecstatic. It felt like the moment of glory, when I thought about the huge contrast in my feelings with the pre-show, and I had just realized how beautifully I had tripped throughout the Stereolab, and all fear had melted away and I felt 100% open with the people I had met up with, and Air was about to start playing, and everything was right, it was very much like ecstasy and I felt alive and wonderful. Someone in front of us gave up her seat, and I was offered a front spot (with a better chair) from which to view the show. 'The best seats in the house' I said. The standing crowd was right below me. I was separated from them by 2 huge sound boards backed up against the seating area. These boards had appeared to me during Stereolab like writhing glowing intestines, the electrical guts of the venue. They also seemed to me like pianos, considering the size of the panel and difficulty in moving them. Later, when I was looking at them, I could make out the dark green metal on the board, and the panels of switches, and it reminded me of my own synthesizer! Then I imagined my own synthesizer glowing like the intestines had.
I had regained complete control of all my faculties, and I enjoyed moving my arms and limbs. I could stare at the show while resting my arms on a banister in front of our seats, and I found this to be a very versatile and comfortable position from which to enjoy the show. The skin on my face and arms felt smooth, I enjoyed smelling my hair and touching my skin, beads on my wrist are glowing. I found a small quartz crystal in my pocket, with a rush of joy, and enjoyed part of the light show through the crystal. Oh, that was the perfect activity and I was 4 years old for a while.
A beautiful part of the light show had white lights flanked with royal purple. Looking at the edges of purple on white light gave me the same satisfaction of drinking water when I am thirsty. The experience that I had with this color was the best part of the trip next to my musical experience. My eyes were drinking the color, and my being was warmed, just looking at the color was turning on all kinds of wonderful feelings inside. I thought there was a tear in reality, which was the edge between purple and white light, and a 'force' was leaking through this tear into my pleasure centers. I couldn't get enough of the color and softness of the light, and the way that it was satisfying my thirst; not a physical thirst but a thirst for beauty. The experience with this color purple was the first time I have been aware of my senses getting crossed while tripping.
One of my very favorite Air songs is 'Alone in Kyoto' because this song is beautiful and it evokes deep reflection. Also, it is associated with San Diego for me (I had been living there for one year). I had forgotten that I might hear this song, and when it came as an encore, I absolutely melted. The lights were orange and yellow with light green. It felt like I was making one zillion connections in my brain, merging all the times I had heard this song into a solid reflection of myself --- laying on the rug in my tent room, my time alone in Japan at a nanotechnology conference, the blond waitress at Influx with dyed pink hair floating across my vision, my hot Powerbook underneath my palms while I am trying to pass take-home exams. It felt like the first time I had really reflected on myself since I came to San Diego, and when the final waves washed over the end of the song, I knew who I was and had disintegrated into nothing.
Air was amazing. The songs were there in all their familiarity, but the new musical structures imposed on them were truly genius, like Radiohead. I adored their French accents and mild stage presence. The light show was beautiful and filled my eyes, there were probably 20+ 'active' lights. Throughout the entire show, I had a smile on my face and wonderful feelings in my heart as I listened to the beautiful music that I love from these artists. An amazing show, and I was receiving it ten-fold with clarity and emotion.
I am down tripping by the end of the Air show, no more visuals, and the last two songs I even feel less interested, and the idea of eating half a roll sounds appealing because I realize that things have really sobered up, but I don't have any such drugs, and I am still glowing from everything else and happy with that. I am looking at the 2 sound boards again, and couldn't believe how they appeared to me earlier.
We exit the venue, and part ways. They are going home, and I am not interested in hanging out any more, and we have plans for going out Tuesday night to a show. As I walk back to my car, everything looks more realistic than I remember seeing the first time, and I get a secure feeling that I have 'scoped out ' this territory, and I know it like the back of my hand.
I am back in my car. Driving is no problem. Overall I am feeling very positive about indol compounds, and happier than I have felt all week. Reflection on my trip consumes me, and I feel grateful to the mushroom. I am convinced that the mushroom had worked in beautiful chemistry with my mind and the technology at the venue and the musicians, and I had allowed myself to have a truly beautiful time. I am more curious than ever to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms underlying the change that I experienced over the past couple of hours.
I arrived at my house at the same time as one of my other housemates; she was coming back from a show and was a little drunk. It felt very warm to me to talk to her for a little bit, and I gave her an ode about my love for the stain on the kitchen floor while she prepared vegan dogfood for her dog Jadie. I like being around animals tripping because I think they know what's up, and Jadie, who is about 7 years old, looked to me like a 2 year old because her ears were all perked up and she seemed excited. I drank some lime-carbonated water, which was the first thing I had had to drink since the water at the show, and it was extremely excellent, but I still felt too spiritual for eating anything. Then it was time to go in my room, and the feeling in my legs was _barely_ there; I am rocking back and forth on my feet to feel it, relishing it. I laid on the floor looking at rainbows on the ceiling from CDs, and feeling wonderful.
The trip was completely over but far from out of my head, so I decided to go back to lab. Everything about the whole night seemed to continue to flow perfectly and smoothly. I dropped by another lab to talk to cute boys in my enlightened mood but they were all out, probably getting 'wasted'. I checked on an experiment I was doing in their lab, and headed back to my lab, where the all-important column finished up beautifully, as I had left it, and while it was drip-drip-dripping, I wrote up a couple parts of this trip report.
Even though I had experienced a state about which I couldn't remember much and in that sense it seemed like a wormhole, I emerged from the trip feeling like I had gained much more than I had lost, and overall I had had a very beautiful mushroom trip, to which I was very grateful to the mushroom. I knew that I probably wouldn't have been as euphoric if I had not spent some time mentally grinding myself to a pulp, and the thing which had effectively caused so much release in my soul was the stark change I had gone through, some people call this 'ego death'. Besides all this potential, the mushroom is a righteous time.
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