Citation: Ephraim Rage. "Ego Death: An Experience with LSD (exp88579)". Erowid.org. Jun 6, 2018. erowid.org/exp/88579
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The Cheshire cat lounged upon my tongue as I waited. A thousand teeth lit up the cavern of my mouth, anticipation speeding through my veins like a rocket. For the fifth time that minute I inspected my stereo. 11:44 AM, it replied, and I imagined its disapproval.
“Kids these days,” it would mutter, stealing a patronizing glance in my direction before leaving my imagination and becoming lifeless once more.
The Cheshire cat yawned. Had it pumped its secrets into my body yet? The stigma against psychedelics intrigued me, and eventually led to this day. I idly traced random shapes upon my living room coffee table, waiting for the trip to take me away. Hallucinogens don’t just happen- I let the tab sit on my tongue, and then I wait. And wait. And wait.
Impatience ripped at my throat, a strange viper that showed no mercy. Defensively, I rose from the couch and paced around the room, fumbling at my cell phone, glancing at the piano, now the bookshelf, now the TV, attempting to trigger whatever this experience would turn out to be. How much longer? My mind and body were upset with me. They wanted a release.
My eyes trailed to the Oriental rug. Burgundy, honey colored rings and wavy lines danced across its length. Isn’t it insane how our brain gives us the ability to distinguish these patterns? And what exactly are patterns anyways? My mind was lost in thought while my eyes danced along the fabric. This is just a photograph of life itself, I mused, like how I get fucked over, again and again and again. The brown and reddish lines were swimming in the larger pools of the cream colored background. For a second, I had the weirdest urge to jump into the carpet and surf along the shores of the fractals I saw. After weeks of what was the bastard child of agony and numbness, I felt connected. And god damn did it feel GOOD. I let out a sigh of relief which echoed electrically through the currents of my body. Energy. I had to move. I broke my trance with the rug and rose from the living room floor- I hadn’t even realized I sat myself down. I traversed to the kitchen, and there, in all its glory, lay my iPod.
Why weren’t you listening to music before? My mind ventured, irritated.
Milliseconds later, my headphones were on, and Radiohead was blasting through my skull in a dazzle of alien time signatures and chords that have yet to be named. Normally, I wouldn’t listen to Radiohead- I couldn’t understand their music and thought it was overly obscure. And there I was, staring into space listening to the ambience penetrating my eardrums. It smashed into me like a brick wall. The jigsaw fell into place out of absolutely nowhere. While I normally had no sense of rhythm, beats were beginning to reveal themselves to me and the strangeness became oddly clear; music was redefining itself.
“Wow,” I whispered, and it was in this stretched out moment that the world opened her dreamy eyes and let me in. Having remembered the ever-sleepy Cheshire cat, I opened my mouth-cavern and pried the feline off my tongue. I couldn’t help but stare at the now faded contour that made up its face. Just like in Alice in Wonderland, its body was nearing invisibility, while its infinite grin tore through my field of vision. 'Couldn’t you have given me five more minutes?' The teeth didn’t move, but the cat seemed aggravated- the disappearing curves and lines were writhing around like wet noodles. It disturbed me, so I tossed the tab into the garbage, cat and all. “Well, that takes care of that.” It’s extremely unnerving to have inanimate objects be unhappy with you, so I left the kitchen, returning to the living room in search of adventures.
The rug was literally throwing a dance party- I could see every thread and seam moving in unison with each other, swaying to my music.
'How can you hear my music from all the way down there?' I was mystified.
“It’s because you are one in the same with the rest of existence, and you never bothered to realize that,” Life responded nonchalantly.
“It’s because you are one in the same with the rest of existence, and you never bothered to realize that,” Life responded nonchalantly.
If reality was truly based on perspective and perspective only, life had a point- everything around me was changing its shape based solely on what I was hearing. The wooden panels of my floor resembled nighttime on the fourth of July- the warped oak was expanding, contracting and wiggling around, and within the crazed orgy of movement I could discern faces that had no distinct features other than the emotions they conveyed- that one was happy, this one afraid, that one surprised- there were millions of them. And though they all were so different, they were the same. I had once again managed to sink to the floor, a fluid motion that felt like an elongated second. Once down, the floor became a cloud and the faces floated around me. I couldn’t feel myself sitting, which was odd, because I knew I was.
“This is…so weird.”
Did I just say that, or did I simply think it? I couldn’t tell
, because Radiohead was set on grabbing my attention. My hands rose, and I began to conduct. Every swish and hand movement felt like a tectonic plate moving across millions of miles. The wooden faces danced to my conducting, changing their emotions and expressions every beat. I was a maestro. The synthesized music was reaching a climax and my head was rushing like a coaster in mid-drop. My hands became blurs, leaving salmon pink trails behind them every time I moved. Like comets. A benign pit in my stomach lifted me upwards, begging me to move. I couldn’t resist. Why would I refuse? and walked straight to my front door. My hand reached for the doorknob, its cold metal touch seeped through my skin, shooting through my body like an icicle. I was a snowman, but I could move. The door opened, my feet moved forward (though I couldn’t feel them) and the world was reborn.
A bright, white light shredded my retinas, but I wasn’t blinded- I was seeing life for the first time. When the white smoke cleared, the colors that emerged sent me spiraling into a thousand thoughts that had no beginning, end or middle. Although late December was generally dreary in the Northeast, today…today was breath-taking. The strip of forest across the street was glowing, the bark much more purple than the brown it was supposed to be. Rather than seeing every tree as an individual, I saw them as a unified entity- they were melting to the ground while simultaneously shooting upwards. Mesmerized, I hadn’t even remembered to put my coat on and descended the stairs, zombie-like, towards the trees. The magenta branches were waving at me, holding hands, dancing underneath a sky that was burning sapphire. They were beckoning, calling my name, and it rustled through the wind which blew through my face.
“Come to us,” they called, in a voice that was not verbal- it was too ancient to be auditory, for the trees were so very old and did not have the ability to speak. It was…telepathic.
'How long have these trees been here for?' My mind asked me.
“Who knows?” I responded, walking across the asphalt street which looked more like a stormy sea of blackness. “You think these trees are old? You do realize that there are redwoods that were born centuries ago? You can’t even begin to perceive a grain of time.”
The trees were now in front of me, tall and looming. I walked beside them, without any particular destination in mind. I was too involved in my surroundings…but why? What did this mean? Why was I so transfixed on these trees? This asphalt? I still couldn’t feel my feet, but I sensed the movement. My mind was trailing into millions of directions at once, and at some random moment it hit me.
I am being watched.
This thought invaded every fiber of my being instantaneously, without any warning. It reminded me of those times when I was a child, when I’d face one direction in my sleep, petrified that a monster was about to rip my head off from behind me. But I didn’t have eyes in the back of my skull, so it could happen at any minute. And I knew it would- I felt its eyes searing through my spine, eyeing my body like fresh meat.
“This is ridiculous,” I muttered. Was my voice shaking? Why? Why? My mind was chattering and I longed for it to shut up.
The feeling hit me once more like a thousand knives. IT’S GOING TO EAT ME AND GOBBLE ME UP. I jumped, whirled around, and came face to face with no one. I could have SWORN someone was behind me. What’s going on? Why is this happening? I didn’t like these feelings.
I jumped, whirled around, and came face to face with no one. I could have SWORN someone was behind me. What’s going on? Why is this happening? I didn’t like these feelings.
Uneasiness was now joining this new found paranoia and as I turned to seek comfort in the branches of the forest, uneasiness turned into pure fear. The branches that were purple just seconds before had become dark brown bramble and thorns dripping a black substance that oozed out of the pores of the bark. The thorns rose from the forest floor and were reaching out, reaching AT me, trying to grab me- each thorn was a spike that splintered off into a thousand other little thorns. They didn’t have mouths, and yet their mouths were foaming. They were after me. I heard myself losing control and screamed. Had I been rational, I would have realized just how loud I was. And the trees spoke to me.
“Poor little girl, got yourself lost in Oz, have you?” it was the most malicious voice. It enjoyed my pain, it enjoyed my suffering. It wanted me to be afraid, and it wanted to get me. It fooled me into thinking it was behind me but GOD no it was NEXT TO ME. Oh my GOD. I felt fear physically for the first time- boiling lead poured down my mouth, my throat and spread into my esophagus tingling every nerve it could find. It controlled me and I tried to run, the world around me losing color by the second, becoming more and more alien. I ran, crossing streets, and roads, how fucked up I must have seemed, how so very crazy and manic. The trees were behind me, laughing, screaming and pointing their oozing, broken fingers at me.
“COWARD! COWARD! COWARD!” their words hit me like bullets and panic was holding me down. I wanted to fall into the pavement (which now seemed translucent and blue) and hide. But I kept going. Before I knew it, my phone was in my hand, and I was struggling to remember numbers.
“What are numbers? WHAT ARE THEY?” Mind shrieked, and the touch-screen was swirling with pixels that I couldn’t understand. After mindlessly punching in random digits and tearing my headphones off, I somehow managed to dial my friend, Karen. The phone was ringing, but to me it sounded like a blaring horn, blazing at a million decibels. I was still walking, though my legs now felt like pieces of steel. I was molasses, and I could barely move. As the horn ravaged my ear, I was nearing the a local Pond.
“It’s…the best place…the safe place. It’ll be better. Right…? Right?” I couldn’t answer my minds whimpering, because I didn’t know. I didn’t know ANYTHING. I was a fool, and I was weak. I was a single human being, a human being plagued by madness and panic.
“Hello?” Karen’s voice drifted from the metal pressed against my face into my head.
Help me. I’m having a bad trip on acid. Help.” I babbled pathetically. My voice sounded robotic- it wasn’t my voice. I was losing my sense of identity…that wasn’t my voice.
“THAT’S NOT MY VOICE” my mind was nearly wetting itself. But it wasn’t my mind anymore.
“You’re what?! Try and calm down. It’s just a drug.”
“HOW CAN YOU SAY IT’S JUST A DRUG?” I shrieked, and a couple birds flew out of a tree nearby. Their beaks dripping blood, and their faces were skeletal, burning through me with gazes that sent the urge to vomit straight through my system.
“…Calm down. You’re overreacting. Where are you?”
I couldn’t even respond. My throat was closed, closed by adrenaline, sewn shut by the fractals that were dancing through my peripheral vision. I didn’t want to answer her because:
“She’s in on it. This is a scheme.” Mind said to me, and each word it spoke sent another jab of panic down my spine. “They’re all in on it. They want me to go crazy. Every single one of them. I’m fucked up. I’m dead. GAME OVER”
My phone slammed to the ground and I followed. I saw a girl lying on the pavement by the pond. Contracted into the fetal position, rocking back and forth like a boat in a storm. Muttering gibberish. Was this me? Suddenly, I lost sense of existence. I was staring out into the world, but I couldn’t comprehend what that was. I just saw colors, lines and shapes. I didn’t know I was lying on the street, and I didn’t know what I was. I didn’t know I. I blinked, blinked and blink, and then every negative emotion and every positive emotion ever created rushed deep inside my brain and exploded there. If I was able to comprehend physicality, I would have screamed, but I just lay there, mental shrieks bouncing off my brain and into the nothingess of my minds oblivion. It was the loudest mute sound I had ever heard and it was tearing my insides apart. My organs melted and oozed out of my body. I took the damage. I was no longer seeing the physical world. I was seeing photographs of my past, but not visual pictures…it was more like a bat’s echolocation. Quick, sharp, blinking visions of rainbows and spectrums that was epileptic by nature. They spoke to me.
'Who are you?'
I…I don’t know, I replied. All I could think about was how pathetic I was, and how broken and crazed.
'Why don’t you know?' The rainbows pulsated whenever they spoke, the colors shifting and changing with no actual order. They understood that patterns were simply figments of a humans need to comprehend the world around them.
Be…cause nothing actually makes sense. That’s why. I’m crazy. And hated.
The rainbows grumbled. They didn’t care for human emotions, for they had transcended that.
'You shouldn’t be here.'
Those words stung like the black ooze that poisoned the evil trees from hours ago. No. I shouldn’t be here. Then the bile came like a flood, and I vomited. Again, I had no vision, but I could feel the panic and absolute fear pouring out of my body with the fluids torrentially. It was never ending, and the rainbows simply observed.
What did it matter if I was dying? I asked of them. Does it really matter? I’m one fucked up human being, and I’ll be dead in minutes…the world is so unified, so BIG, and I know that you will go on and the world will be alright…isn’t that all that matters?
The rainbows continued to exist, not answering me. Shadows without origin or fire leapt to and fro, adding dimensions to the colors. I remembered the trees again, and my self-loathing contradicted my feelings of unity with the world. I was a self-loathing martyr. My ego would die, and so would my body…but the world would go on, with one less screw-up…one less me.
The rainbows faded, and I gained my sense of my physical surroundings. Panic still controlled me, regardless of the serenity the rainbows emanated- their tranquility was NOT for me, and my madness was growing like a tumor.
“Go home. NOW.” Intoxicated by emotion, I grabbed my phone, unaware of the fourteen missed calls from Karen and began to walk from the way I came. The road beneath me stretched like a rubberband and it didn’t end. It kept going…on…and on…my legs started running but the road wouldn’t end. This was a nightmare. My mind was shrieking again, shrieking at this abomination, why the HELL were the laws of physics breaking down?
This was a nightmare. My mind was shrieking again, shrieking at this abomination, why the HELL were the laws of physics breaking down?
The road was sucking me under and I struggled to keep my head above the current. The asphalt was reaching out, calling my name like those god damn trees. It wasn’t going to end. This road is infinite. My heart was beating faster than 500 beats a second and I was losing my mind. I am a fool. I am pathetic. This road was my punishment.
Millennia later, my house (resembling an amalgamation of shapes) came into view.
It’s going to feel better…once I go inside. The doctor inside to me lied. I braved the stairs, glancing back into the strip of trees that destroyed me at the beginning of this nightmare and entered my house. It all seemed so different from this morning, but I couldn’t comprehend my surroundings very well. The world was spinning not unlike a carousel and I stumbled to the bathroom to continue my vomit fest. The bathroom tiles were no longer just in the wall- they were moving in and out of their natural places, almost 3D, while others seemed invisible. The square tiles on the floor were becoming circular. I was melting into them. The toilet chuckled and I lost whatever sanity I had left.
Screaming, I ran into my room, bundling myself in my green comforter, only to be greeted by thousands of spiders that crawled on me, in me, and into my skin. I was dying. This was fear at its worst and I was losing my mind. Foaming at the mouth. This had to be over soon, right? Right? Then I’ll be okay…I won’t be crazy anymore, right, Doc? Right? Frantically, I looked across the room to my clock on the wall. Everything was buzzing a deep red, angry, infuriated, and evil. It wanted to end me.
The clock read 12:30 PM.
45 minutes had gone by,
and I had eight hours to go.
The LSD had no intentions of stopping.
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