Citation: VibeBox. "Imp's Mischief: An Experience with Magic Mushrooms & Cannabis (exp85666)". Erowid.org. Nov 30, 2011. erowid.org/exp/85666
“It's the mushrooms man, they're impish.”
That's what my friend Joe said late in the night around a fire. He was definitely right, and this is a brief story about how some mushrooms had some impish fun with me. I suppose most people would call what I experienced a “bad trip”, but really I just feel like I didn't make proper mental preparation, and subsequently fell into a simple negativity trap. I don't regret the experience or the dosage, and had a great time for my entire weekend save for around 3 hours of strange, sad, paranoid negative emotion.
It all starts with a 9pm call from my friend Joe asking if I'd like to hang out this weekend because several people are going to be in town. I hadn't been planning on doing anything because I had things to do Saturday and can't catch a ride out to the secluded farm everything is happening on. The logistics are worked out though, and so I agree to go. This is the point at which I make my mistake. Instead of doing any of the meditation or mental preparation I would normally do before a trip I just hung out and smoked cannabis with a friend, then went about seeing to a busy day before my friends got there at 3pm. So, having spent no time putting myself in an appropriate mindset I was left with only the banal thoughts of everyday life, plus whatever was on my mind at the time. Unfortunately for me, for the last few days I had been playing a game online that involved suspicion, paranoia, and deception.
We arrived at the farm around 5pm, and begin smoking cannabis. In attendance are Jay, Joe, Ed, Jim, and myself. We're all close friends, and there is no one in the world I would trust more, so we're all looking forward to good trips. Jay and Joe are both dropping a hit of LSD. Ed, Jim, and I are doing 3.5 gram doses of raw dried mushrooms. An extra dose is left over, so we split it roughly evenly and I end up eating about 5 grams. We all dose together around 6pm, smoke some more cannabis and just hang out enjoying ourselves and waiting. The weather is nice, the sun is out, the trees are beautiful, and all is well.
Its hard to say, but Jay seemed to be the first to start tripping, as he quickly made his way to the grass, sat down and began drawing a map. It was only about 10-15 minutes later that I began to realize I was no longer just very high, I was seeing things. Looking out at the rows of corn, it was no longer just a matter of thinking you see patterns, but actually seeing them. The reality of an object could be anything I choose to make it. “The little corn stocks look like walls of spear” says Joe, and they are. With little effort I can turn the field of dead corn stocks into an army marching on a far off hill. “Don't march your armies here” I say, as we share a laugh.
This goes on for about an hour. The five of us sit there on the porchand feel the wind move the world in the way you only can when you've tampered so heavily with your perception. We watch the sun's playful rays hang down at us through the leaves of the trees. Time loses all meaning very quickly, and from here on out everything is a guess until the fire at night. After some amount of time Jim says he isn't feeling well and goes inside to lay down. A bit more time goes by, and I decide to go see how Jim is doing. I get inside and see he is alone on a couch listening to music. I lay on a couch in the next room and realize I actually really wanted to lay down as well. In retrospect I realize two things. First, this was where things went wrong. Second, Jim and I came in because we were experiencing a bit of sensory overload and a we were probably seeking a less stimulating environment. While lying on the couch I began to trip hard. I lost all sense of where I was or when. Once I was able to sit up I wondered why I was inside. I looked over at Jim, and he glanced at me. Sober I would have made nothing of it, but under the influence of the Psilocybin a negative thought crept into my mind, and nothing was there to keep it in check. I thought Jim was glaring at me, wondering what I was doing, monitoring me. From there I surmised Jim was there to watch me because something had gone wrong outside and I wasn't wanted there. I became convinced Jim was mimicking my every movement. Looking back I can see I was just clearly hallucinating this pattern, but at the time I was sure that when I moved my leg he would move his. If I held my arm up he would do the same. I hear a lot of talking from out on the porch, and have now for whatever reason decided it is all because they are upset and unsure what to do about me being there.
After some time I go out to the porch to try to ask what is going on and why everyone is upset with me. In reality this was met with assurances that everything was fine, and concerned looks from friends who were also tripping, but what I perceived at the time was much different. I began to hear every sentence as a half-veiled reference to me or joke about me. At one point I thought I had figured out that perhaps what was wrong was that I had offended Ed, but before I could do anything about it the wind blew hard, the trees rustled, and I was back to tripping so hard I couldn't tell where I was. I'm not sure how long I was back on the porch, but eventually I ask Jim to talk privately around the side of the house. He follows and talks to me, but I can't remember what about. What I can remember is that I'm pretty sure this is when I began to have the constant auditory hallucination of my friends' voices repeating everything I say in a mocking tone. There were other things I hear that I'm now sure weren't there, like Joe whispering to everyone where I was and what I was doing, people sitting in the next room discussing something, or a voice giving Ed instructions on something, but the voices repeating me were always there.
I think I sent Jim away after a few minutes of what was probably just him trying to convince me he wasn't mad at me, and afterwards I sit on a small stoop on the side of the house and don't move. At this point I thought they were all just mad, and if that was so that I should just leave them alone to have fun without me. I even started trying to think of a way to leave so they wouldn't have to worry about it. I never figure out a way of course, because I am still tripping so hard I can't conceptualize the relevance of the place I am. This is when things change again. A couple of small coincidences and a couple of remarks that probably weren't even real convince me that they aren't just mad at me, they are playing tricks on me. I even come to believe the whole point of bringing me here was to execute some grand convoluted scheme to embarrass me.
I begin to plunge deeper into trying to figure out what the plot is. I spend a great deal of time not saying anything to anyone, only trying to reason my way out of it. I spent what felt like days just sitting and thinking about how I could outmaneuver them and foil their plan. This point was probably the time at which I was peaking, as every tiny thing was all a part of this plot. I began wondering aimlessly through the rooms of the house, trying to see if they had messed up in any way, had failed to plan for any small contingency. I pick up a phone to see if it works. There is a tone but also voices whispering in the crackling electronic tone of someone listening in. Of course they new I'd try the phone. I put it down and begin walking again, hearing voices around every corner, but finding only empty rooms. All I could see was elements of the plot and how far ahead of me they were in orchestrating it, as by this point I was thoroughly convinced everyone was in on it and all had mean spirited intentions. I had “deduced” that the endgame would take place in the backyard where some final mean joke was to be revealed. I decided the only way for me to win this game was not to participate, so I stop saying anything at all and decide to go to bed, figuring I'd just leave in the morning and never talk to them again.
The plan was ahead of me though, as it always would be since anything I perceived got twisted until it was all part of the plan. When I arrived at the upstairs bedroom I had chosen I realized it too was part of the plan, that I was only meant to come here as part of some further humiliation. I walk toward the bed feeling the full weight of destiny, knowing that they all knew I would end up right here looking down at the bed like this. There is something under the sheets, and it is moving. I realize that I am meant to find whatever is under here and be laughed at. At this point I spend a great deal of time trying to figure things out. I begin to believe that whatever I had done to deserve this must have been so awful that I should simply look under the covers and find out what it is to give them their “payoff” on all this planning. (A brief aside, oddly enough through the whole trip I remember being impressed with how elaborate the plan was, and admiring the logistical efforts put into it) I decide I don't want them to get what they want though, so I just sit down in a chair in the bedroom and don't move.
At this point my friends are all outside in the yard trying to throw a football around, but tripping to hard to succeed. All I see though is them putting on a show to mock me. It was as though they were feigning ignorance of their machinations by appearing to be as carefree as possibly, however so much so that it was obviously meant to be a flagrant fabrication, just to remind me they could make me watch whatever arbitrary thing they chose, because they were in control. I hear Jim walking up the stairs, and I stand up, but refuse to say anything to him, because anything I say will only fuel their games. I feel that Jim is being sent to mock me again because he has a cigarette in his mouth despite the fact that he doesn't smoke. Later I'll learn that this was his “adventure cigarette” that he became quite fond of while tripping, but at the time I thought it was a dig at me for smoking. I even thought the shirt he had on was meant to mock me, as it resembled my favorite button up. I tried to come up with questions that would throw him off, anything I could do to interrupt the game, but I can't. With my own mind making the rules and creating the situation I can't puzzle my way out. I give up and simply sit back in the chair silently.
After Jim leaves I look at the clock. I try to figure out how much longer they could keep it up, but the concept of time is still to hard to cling to. All I could figure out was that it was 9:46, but I didn't understand what that meant, or why it would be important. I start looking around the room, and it all looks to have been obviously engineered for this cruel joke. (even though it looked exactly as it did all the other times I had slept in that room) A small plastic skeleton looking out the window was just absurd enough to “have” to be part of the plot. I stare at the lamp on the table and think “I'd better not turn this on or something weird will happen” because they obviously would have planned for it. After what I would guess was another 15 minutes or so everyone comes upstairs to explore, and stumble on me sitting in a dark room by myself next to a skeleton. Dark.
They ask me a series of questions I am sure are related to the game, and begin looking around the room. All the while I'm thinking “haha, I didn't pull back the covers and find out what is under there” and I am for the first time happy that I have foiled them in some small way. Then Jay turns on the lamp.
The room is suddenly filled with blue light, shifting and writhing on the walls, making everything it touches dance and wave. My mind was fucking blown. For a moment I was convinced it was further proof of the elaborate plot, but looking back now I see how funny it is that there just happened to be a black light in that random lamp in an old farmhouse. I begin t wonder what purpose the light serves in the plot, but the illusion had been broken. First I had gained a victory in an unwinnable game, then the light, and of course seeing all my friend there having fun and tripping while I was less tripped out. I was coming out of it, and in a very short time had gone from sure the plot was afoot as they came up the stairs, to only about 70% sure anything was going on by the time they turned to leave.
“You should come down with us” Jim says to me, backing toward the stairs. I'm still extremely wary, but I decide to go for it in that moment and test all my theories. After all, they had left without caring what was under the bedsheets. “Let me just check something real quick first” I say, as I walk slowly toward the bed. I pull back the covers where the small squirming mass is, and nothing is there. Not knowing what else to do, I follow Jim and sit with him and Joe in the living room. After just 5 minutes there I am down to 60% sure it's all real, but decide that on the off chance it's not real I should tell Joe about the whole plot I was convinced of because he would find it funny if he had indeed just been tripping and having a good time. I told him “I'm stuck in this whole paranoid delusion. It's awful, but kind of awesome”.
It was kind of awesome. Throughout the whole thing I think there was some part of me that kept feeling incredulous, and realized how ridiculous it all was, because I never felt in any danger, or that anything needed to be done about the plot. In fact I never really even experienced any intense feelings of fear because the world in which the plot existed was one that had been fully fabricated, and was without consequences. My only regret about it is that I must have sent out some very negative vibes for a couple of hours and made things less fun for everyone. I didn't feel devastated or deeply hurt by my experiences when they were done, I only felt silly for having fallen into such a simple trap of negativity.
After a half hour or so of sitting in the living room with Jim and Joe I quickly realize what had been going on, and am no longer convinced there is any kind of plot, or joke, or trick. I explain it briefly as best I can to Joe, and we walk out to the backyard where I had thought the whole time the “endgame” would be. Of course, there was an “endgame” there. The fire we had planned on sitting around once it was dark. I had known it was coming the whole time, but my mind had warped it into something nefarious. I think that's the perfect example of what went wrong. Because I wasn't in the right mindset I was unable to keep my thoughts focused and positive, so once negative thoughts came into my mind I was in no condition to keep them in check, so they were allowed to run rampant and skew every fact and every little observance.
I tried my best to explain what had happened to everyone, and though they were concerned I think we all realized how cool what had just happened to me was. It was around 10:30, it had gotten dark, and the warm fire felt like a smooth transition between the hot interior of the house, and the cool breeze the night was bringing. I had chosen a very hot room to go to. As being in a hot place has been a recurring event in all of my trips I increasingly think there is something happening on a very primal level in the body having to do with thermoregulation or some such thing that drives me to seek heat while tripping.
I start to come down, but after a while I start to realize I am still having auditory hallucinations. The lyrics of the music we listen to always pertain to the conversation, and I start to feel like the fire is talking through the music. Jim gets drunk by the fir with Joe and Jay who are still tripping on Acid while Ed and I have a long talk inside while he rolls some joints wherein I make sure I really didn't offend him somehow earlier in the day. Ed and I come back out, Jim is shitfaced. We talk about getting him a podcast he can only update while drunk. We talk about how weird mushrooms are compared to other trips. We talk about the odd feeling everyone had that there was a 6th presence with us there at the farm that day. We talk about what a strange creepy vibe the house has. We just talk. Aside from Jim passing out very quickly that's how the rest of the night goes. I slowly come down, hearing less and less imaginary things as I revert to being “just” really high from the near-continuous smoking. We have a great time just sitting, talking and feeding the fire, until just before the sun comes up when we decide to move back to the living room, and finally to go to sleep. I stay up for a bit and drink a ton of water. I make sure the fire will safely smolder out, and consider listening to music a while, but eventually I see a reclining chair with a blanket on it, and I pass out from exhaustion.
Overall I had a great time, and don't regret a thing. It was an intense and unique experience that was unlike any other trips I'd had, even on mushrooms. I believe it was something worth experiencing, and that no matter how negative it may have felt at the time it was still an inherently positive experience, in that I felt something intense and wonderful, had fun with my friends, and got to push the boundaries of my consciousness outside of their normal comfort zones even if it wasn't in the direction I wanted to. I now feel like I have a clear picture of exactly how negative patterns can work their way into a trip, clearer than I even could have had without this experience.
I now agree with Joe that mushrooms are something of an impish entity in that they will gleefully play tricks on you, but it certainly won't keep me from using mushrooms in the future, and having a “bad trip” certainly won't keep me from exploring altered states, or my own mind.
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