Citation: Shpongle. "Funeral for a Wooden Effigy of Jack Nicholson: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (40x extract) (exp67664)". Erowid.org. Dec 20, 2007. erowid.org/exp/67664
W had informed me earlier that he had indeed procured some salvia extract, 30x and 40x, a gram of each. I grabbed Ike Turner (our water bong) and a torch lighter (as suggested by the internet) and escorted W into my private quarters to inspect the goods. We had read enough about it to know the correct means to ingest it, but the widespread legality of this substance was far stronger evidence than any amount of online literature could refute – thus we remained completely skeptical of this mystery herb. In retrospect, I cannot think of a better mindset to have approached salvia with than one of complete doubt. It was just one more layer of mental reinforcement for Lady Salvia to rip through.
W loaded his bowl of the 40x. We were thinking along the lines of “It isn’t going to do anything anyway…why not.” W proceeded to torch it in 2 massive hits, then calmly handed it to me, along with the salvia and lighter. I loaded my bowl in silence whilst eyeing W for any signs of psychedelic activity. Though W’s blank stare and subdued reaction had essentially dissolved any hope I had for salvia by this point, I remained silent – I figured a placid environment would make it easier to discern whatever minimal effects this drug may or may not have, though my expectations for this legal herb remained a solid zero. At the time, I considered myself a well-equipped psychonaut with a library of past experiences to draw upon, and a solid knowledge of my limits – prior to W’s visit, my roommates and I had been riding on a huge wave of constant psychedelic experimentation, averaging multiple trips a week between LSD, Mushrooms, DMT, and occasional research chemicals. Salvia was still nothing but a legal novelty in my mind, and having recently experienced a full DMT breakthrough and the resulting rebirth of the psyche, I naively assumed I had harvested all the mindfuck there was to be had in the realm of psychedelics.
I torched my bowl in the same manner – 2 huge bong rips, held in my lungs as long as possible. I exhaled the first one and noted the strange and soon-to-be-familiar taste. As I held the second hit, a clammy, cold sweat broke out on my hands and face, accompanied by mild gridlike visual distortions and a strange but transparent feeling of uneasiness. Grateful for any effect whatsoever, I set down the bong and lied down in the bed to more comfortably enjoy what I considered very mild psychedelic effects. I wasn’t impressed in the least, but I figured it wasn’t going to get any better according to W’s lackluster silence and blank staring. “Well, no surprises here,” I thought smugly. Thinking back on it, I can’t help but laugh at myself and wonder if I will ever put my foot that far in my mouth again. At least I didn’t say it out loud.
As soon as the very last particle of smoke left my lungs, I was greeted by two simultaneous incarnations of supremely evil and inescapable lunacy; one imagined, and one completely real, though I am able to distinguish between actual events and hallucinations only in retrospect. A wave of viciously chomping female faces swept across my field of vision and ripped/chewed a huge gash in the fabric of my reality. As I fell farther and farther into infinite black nothingness, I was annihilated with the most complete and encompassing sense of failure and dread that I have ever experienced. There was no getting around the fact that someone or something had SEVERELY fucked up: in the instant that I was thrown from my complacent and self-righteous throne, ALL hope of ever returning to anything I considered good was exterminated and replaced with a feeling I can only describe as ‘Wrong.’ I had lost the game of existence in the most complete and irreversible way.
The crushing impact of this hallucination lied in its complete opacity. Memories of events that transpired in “Salvia World” are as vivid and affecting in my recollection as anything that has happened in actuality, and in this way, Salvia’s hallucinations transcend the transparent visuals provided by drugs like LSD and mushrooms. Unlike the traditional psychedelics that I was accustomed to, Salvia had offered no mental safety net; the option to take a step back into reality and tell myself “You are hallucinating.” is completely eliminated. Words like “drugs”, “reality,” “hallucinations”, and “tripping” instantly lost all meaning as soon as the Salvinorin A reached my brain. The ego-murder brought on by Salvia WAS reality at that point in time, and no amount of explanation that I was on drugs would ever allow me to see past the sensations that Salvia was feeding my brain.
Compounding my confusion is W, who has abruptly transitioned from the initial ‘silent trance’ phase into the ‘absolutely-incoherent-but-convincingly-earnest screaming” phase at the exact moment my universe was decimated, providing an equally disturbing stream of non-hallucinated stimulation to go along with Salvia’s inescapable sensory assault. Though his face has become a mosaic of numerous mouths, eyes, and other superfluous facial features, I am somehow able to discern an expression of frantic concern on W’s face as he feverishly gropes at my clammy skin, loudly and menacingly introducing a new set of apparently urgent problems:
“WAKE UP MAN! WAKE UP!! YOU LOOK DEAD! DUDE, YOU’RE DEAD! YOU DIED. YOU’RE DEAD, AND…” (his facial expression distorts into one of absolute horror, as if he has just realized something even more terrible than my apparent state of lifelessness) “…you’re made of STICKS!”
His tactile examinations of my flesh become even more furious and threatening to me as I feel my body severed perfectly in half by a strange cutting/tearing sensation. I am transported to a dimension I will later revisit every time I smoke salvia, comprised of a slanted landscape of identically patterned ‘shingles.’
My field of visual connection to reality had become about the size of a dime; however, this dime-sized window to reality was iterated and handful of times to form a single ‘shingle’ which was subsequently multiplied hundreds times over to form a mathematical landscape - an exponential equation in the form of visual feedback. Imagine feeding the video from a camera into the entire mosaic of televisions you will find on the back wall of any electronics department. Now, take that whole wall of TV’s showing the same image, shrink it down to the size of a shingle, and multiply it out infinitely in every direction, and you will have an idea of the landscape I was helplessly trapped in.
I attempted to break free, but soon I realized the cutting/tearing sensation dividing my body into two was due to the fact that I was lodged firmly in the ‘ground’ (if you can call it that), with the cutting sensation running along my body at the precise place my body protruded from the ground, dividing my body into two halves – one above the ground, one below. I am driven to look around a nearby corner, convicted that the solution to everything lies just out of sight, but this shred of hope is merely the bait Lady Salvia dangles in front of me, humbling every notion of self-affirmation or accomplishment in my being. I pursue my goal with every ounce of my being, it, but no matter how close I get, the Promised Land remains just out of reach, perpetuating a state of absolute frustration and failure. I do not have a choice. I am forced to utterly submit to the deity responsible for the strange things happening all around me, all the while W’s voice booms omnisciently from the sky, becoming steadily more earnest as he continues to berate me with increasingly ridiculous revelations:
“YOU DIED. YOU’RE DEAD AND YOU’RE MADE OF STICKS! LOOK!! YOU’RE MADE OF STICKS! YOUR NAME IS JACK –”
He pauses abruptly in what I hope is the end of his antagonistic tirade, but that hope dies as I realize that these quiet few seconds are not the beginning of my salvation, but conversely, a dramatic pause to increase the impact of the somehow soul-devastating finale to these preposterous observations:
While still half-embedded in the shingles, I finally gain enough composure to end his crazed monologue and offer some resistance to this unchallenged tyranny. I struggle to ward off his prodding examinations/attacks, and as my head clears, I begin the arduous fight to reclaim my dignity as a sentient human being, rather than a lifeless and wooden version of the man whose fully bared teeth petrified most everyone who saw them in the film “The Shining.”
“I’m not fucking dead! Look man, I’m alive, and I’m not made of goddamn sticks either!”
Though I’m far from winning, my progress towards a place amongst the rest of humanity is put on hold as my roommate opens the door just before W launches another volley of hand-examinations. We freeze in what must have been the most hilarious and outlandish looking action shot I could ever hope to be genuinely caught in, and after a few seconds of silent standoff, my roommate cautiously inquires under his breath,
“Did you guys…smoke salv-”
Before he can finish W firmly interjects:
“Yes. Please leave the room NOW.”
This short lull in the action gives me the opportunity to fully gather my shattered psyche and resolve this mess once and for all. Free from the shingles, I am now absolutely confident in my status as living human made of flesh, but there’s one thing left unaddressed. After a few moments of pondering, I accept and submit to the new identity that W and Lady Salvia have jointly bestowed upon me.
“I am not made of sticks.”
I pause for precisely the same few dramatic moments W had utilized so destructively only minutes ago.
“My name is Jack Nicholson.”
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