Citation: Fiskadoro P. Snake. "Paxelism, Trichord; Glasshoppa: An Experience with Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) (exp5910)". Erowid.org. Feb 6, 2002. erowid.org/exp/5910
Last night was my first Dramamine trip. Got home bout 10:30pm on a Monday, and decided to entertain myself by downing the 10 pack I had picked up at the urgent pharmacy. During the previous two weeks I had popped 3 E trips and life had seemed a little mundane since. My friend, Josh had spent the Sunday night on an insane dose of 20 dram pills and people on acid were commenting on how strung out he was. I'm sure the irony wasn't lost on him. He had spent the night looking at the flame of a lighter through 3D glasses, seeing a massive, intricate spider web, which wasn't there, and squealing at a ghostly hand wrapping itself around a friend. All in all, he seemed to have dialed into some pretty interesting frequencies so I decided to give it a shot and compare notes with him later.
From many previous chemical collaborations I suspected that I would require a much lower dose than Josh so I decided to remain within the recommended first trip range of 8-12 pills. Because I had read of intense trips at lower doses I chose to first take 5 pills, allow them to come up, and then top up with the rest when I knew I could handle it. The packet warned against use for those with heart problems and also asthma. The first 5 drams I followed with a NoDoz to counter any drowsiness I might experience.
I had set my mind to making this as creative a trip as possible and decided that in particular I would like to spend it drawing. I laid out many sheets of paper all over my coffee table, and grabbed my watercolour pencils and some brushes. Oh yeah, I forgot that in doing so I found a stray bottle of amyl nitrate in the jug I dip my brushes in so I figured a hit or two of that might give the whole process a bit of a jolt. I put some ambient drum n bass on the stereo, turned the lights off, and the lava lamp on. With the light from the street and the docks it would still be just light enough for me to draw. My brother was quietly computing away in his corner room of our apartment and I popped in there to get him to open up the erowid FAQ on dramamine. I flicked through it and found that it confirmed most of what I knew about the trip. Within about 20 minutes of setting everything up I found that my memory was shot to pieces and I couldn't remember what I had been looking for just a moment ago. Standing in the kitchen, I felt a strange sensation in my legs, not so much a weakening, but a change in my centre of gravity and a lack of coordination. I sat down to draw and so began the trip.
The first image to come into my head was that of a sea horse and as I marked its strange frame onto paper it occurred to me that the sea horse is an unsual creature indeed. I mean, what other animal even resembles it? Surely, if natural selection dictated that it should survive then there should be other similar species around - a sea camel, perhaps? The music washed over me and it was as though my latest creation was travelling through this sea. In the darkness I saw and paid attention to nothing else. At this point I decided that I wanted the other five pills because more of the same couldn't be a bad thing at all. I continued my drawing, which took on a process similar to MC Escher's auto-tesselations, by which I mean the negative space of one creature would form a part of a new one so as to eventually cover the page. The sea horse melted into a gingerbread man on one side and a monstrous face on the other, these new shapes in turn giving birth, melting into newer shapes.
My involvement in my drawing became more and more intense and I soon found I was bearing down on it, passionately meshing one vision into the next. After a while it no longer seemed like I was nurturing my fragile sea horse in a raging ocean. The relationship became more like that between the matador and the bull and I respected the growing energy with which the paper was imbued. Although it irritated me to do so I occasionally got up to change the music when a CD finished or to sharpen my pencils. I experienced an odd moment of paranoia as I stood sharpening pencils over the sink, wondering 'Is it possible that I might just be standing here shaving slithers off my fingers, convinced that I'm holding a pencil?' That passed quickly enough though when I showed my brother what I had drawn thusfar and noted he didn't seem phased by my appearance.
I sat back down on the couch and, taking in my surroundings, I experienced the first distinct hallucination - a very small brown frog, making circular hops a few meters away on the carpet. As I approached it the image dissolved into a dark, textured patch on the floor. While I was up I noticed that all the colours of my pencil shavings had mixed in droplets in the sink, forming purple, red, and blue liquid swirls. I took photos of these with a digital camera, which I then plugged into the TV and their colourful patterns on a metallic background amused me for a few minutes before I returned to my drawing. As the pills had reached their peak I felt the familiar twinge I had felt before on mushrooms, a mixture of anticipation and anxiety. I was quite glad to be alone, and even more importantly, to be in sanctuary. When it came time to add colour to the finished forms I needed to switch the lights on. Dabbing away with my brush required less concentration than forming fine lines so I became more involved in my music, getting caught up in the siren wail of Cat Power. It's hard to describe just what listening to music was like, but I guess the new dimension was a sense of immediacy, of envelopment.
My interior monologue was running at full steam and I might have even been speaking at some stages. A couple of times I felt the urge to write down phrases that seemed to force themselves into my mind. Here's a quote: 'PAXELISM, TRICHORD..!? THAT GRASSHOPPA -> GLASS -> HOP -> A IS RUNNING AWAY WITH MY BRAIN. ARREST THE BIRD IN FLIGHT' However, this doesn't seem to translate to text all that well because it was expressed somewhat pictorially, with arrows, a bird, and a hieroglyph of an eye. Okay, maybe it didn't make sense even with the pictures.
At some point during the trip I stepped out onto the balcony and, looking at the street below, patches of it became illuminated as if by a floodlight.
By about 2:30 I had finished colouring my drawing and generally messing around so I decided to go to bed. I had felt no real tiredness during the trip as I had expected and when I lay down realised that getting to sleep would take some time yet. My bedroom was much darker than the rest of the apartment and I felt a little nervousness about this. Standing next to my bed I saw a figure in the darkness, but by turning my head this melted into my own shadow. It was just as I felt the trip was coming down that I began to have a long series of audio hallucinations. I heard fragments of conversations as though I was changing stations on a radio and soon this was accompanied by synesthesia in the form of electronic noises (similar to a Hammond organ) as I breathed in and out. Rolling over in bed produced an unusual creaking sound and I heard many seemingly random electronic sounds. Without much further disturbance I eventually got to sleep.
This morning I had quite a sore, dry throat, which was even more unpleasant than the speed drip I'm used to. I still felt like I was tripping when I got up at 10:45 and at 11 a group of four people arrived for a work-related meeting. This part was not fun and while they are quite used to me being a wreck during these morning meetings I found the situation quite hard to deal with. Analysing reports and making logical decisions was beyond my grasp and I tried to remain as quiet as possible. Communicating was difficult and this difficulty was probably obvious to the others, who were staring intently at the surreal art and scribbled notes which littered my coffee table. At this stage I still experienced some distortion of vision, particularly objects at close range, which appeared to have soft edges. I drank lots of juice, stayed at home for the day, and was pretty well recovered by late afternoon. On reflection of this trip, I did find dramamine to be quite a powerful creative aid, but due to the intensity of its effects, one that should be used sparingly and wisely.
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