Citation: Tyger. "A Visual Trip: An Experience with PCP & Cannabis (exp55456)". Erowid.org. Dec 13, 2008. erowid.org/exp/55456
This experience took place the summer following my senior year of high school, in 1992. My parents went on vacation without me and I had a few friends over one night. We went a few blocks down the street to a wooded area to smoke some weed that one of them had brought. We loaded up the pipe and passed it around. After 2 hits, I started to feel incredibly stoned, and realized that I was having visual hallucinations. I could see a black and white carousel through the trees, complete with horses and lights and everything, but no sound. I also found myself touching the ground, because it felt 'fuzzy', and I realized that my friends were also behaving oddly. I knew something was wrong because I smoked a fair bit of pot on a regular basis at that time, and shouldn't have been very high after 2 hits. I asked the person who procured the weed what was put in it, but he wouldn't tell me.
Everyone was too high to reload the pipe in the dark after the first go-round, so we decided to walk back. Halfway back up the block where I had lived for ten years, I realized that I was lost. I started asking my friend where we were. He wasn't as visually impaired as I was and was able to point out my house up the street. It looked so strange that I was unable to identify it until we were in the driveway.
After we got in the house, we sat around very very stoned for a little while (don't remember that part at all), and then my friends left. At that point, I went to go lay on the couch. I started having intense visual hallucinations. There wasn't much of a body high at all, but everything looked very strange. I could see faces in the houseplants and it felt like they were looking at me. It was hard for me to tell what things were - my visual senses were completely screwed up. I also became fairly paranoid and freaked out, and called another friend to come over and babysit me. I was quite coherent verbally, and actually could think well enough to explain what was wrong and why I needed her to come over. I was actually sane enough that I had trouble convincing her that I was fucked up enough for her to need to sneak out of her house at 3 am. However, I had a lot of trouble dialing the telephone - the numbers looked like a foreign language and I couldn't make my fingers use the number pads properly.
I remember sitting on the couch behind her while she read a magazine. I was looking at a picture in the magazine and was totally unable to identify it. I asked her what it was, and she said it was a goldfish in a goldfish bowl. After receiving this explanation and working hard to make that match what my eyes were seeing, I was sort of able to make it understandable visually. Prior to the explanation it looked like a incomprehensible abstract mess of curves and angles and shadows.
After a few hours, I started to come down. My friend went home, and I was able to sleep. The next day I felt quite tired and ill, almost like I had the flu or similar.
It took me ten years to get my friend who brought the pot to tell me what was in it that night. He eventually admitted that it had been dipped in liquid PCP by the guy who sold it to him. I also found out later that another friend who had smoked with us that night spent the entire rest of the night sitting underneath his computer desk in his apartment talking to himself. Despite the stereotype about PCP making people violent and impervious to pain, I did not experience anything that made me believe that I would get crazy or out of control or throw myself through a window or anything like that. In fact, I was in some ways quite in control of myself inside my own head. The most negative emotion I experienced was fairly intense paranoia/fear at times during the trip, mostly due to being extremely 'lost' visually and having some muscular impairment.
I thought about this particular trip many times in the years following it. I've done many other hallucinogens, including acid, nutmeg, and mushrooms, and this one was in some ways the most unusual trip I ever took. I felt fairly mentally clear the entire time, but was unable to function well outside the very small space of my brain. I also think now that many of my visual problems stemmed from an effect of the drug that made me unable to see pictures or visual input as a 'whole' picture (as we usually perceive what we are looking at) instead of a collection of many millions of small details. With the picture of the goldfish bowl, I couldn't step back from all of the tiny details and shading and light to put it together to make a coherent 'Gestalt' out of it. I think this was what was happening to me when I was lost in front of my own house as well - I couldn't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
I've read some books about how autistics think and see, and their own descriptions of how many of them interact with the world visually always remind me strongly of my sensory experiences during that PCP trip. I wish that I had thought to try drawing or painting at the time, because I wonder now if I might have had the temporary ability (as many autistics do) to reproduce pictures or other visual stimuli in an extremely detailed and accurate way.
It was an interesting trip. I can say that now many years later. I would never do it again, and it was quite frightening at the time, but it was an experience I don't regret having now.
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