Mushrooms - P. cubensis, Cannabis & Alcohol
Citation: Mundane. "I Should Be Floating: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis, Cannabis & Alcohol (exp83173)". Erowid.org. Jan 17, 2011. erowid.org/exp/83173
I'm far too analytical I'm far too analytical for this.
I mean, where most teenagers would be eating psychoactive mushrooms before a fun evening (and just how square do I sound?) of hanging out with friends and going to a show or seeing a movie, I just sit around on the couch thinking about how wonderful light is and writing a theory posit about whether a plant growing in the sun is more feminine and female-knowledge empowering than a not-plant, more masculine organism which grows in the dirt.
But we'll get to that later.
I'd never had any psychoactive mushrooms before except for the two I had the other night when they were fresh, but those were plump and medium-sized and just made me feel a little anxious and had me wondering for a while if I was seeing the screen waver or was just hoping to and thusly projecting that into my mind, but these had dried since then and were all withered and small-ish. I got a late start life-wise (and I wish I were telling this as a fifty-six year old male instead of a twenty-seven year old female), as far as 'these things' go. We're only coming up on my one-year anniversary of trying marijuana in about a week, though I have only had a handful of weed-free days in this past year (and will have far fewer, now that I'm legally enjoying my meds [and they do very much help, which is one of the many reasons why I'm so very fond]).
I guess I took to it like a duck to water. Or maybe a turtle to water. They take to it even better.
Also, I'm very solitary and private. I don't necessarily want other people knowing about this, whatever posting it on the internet for whomever to read may suggest. I mean, if people ask, I won't deny. But I don't talk about it, even with people who could probably help me get some access to some of these substances I'm interested in trying. Which is to say, I prepared and drank the cactus tea myself. And, it took me the full eleven months (the last couple smoking vaporizer duff and resin) to ask for the recommendation, because I still didn't know how to find marijuana on the black market.
All of that goes to say that I grew these things myself from spores in a syringe (and boy was getting that thing illegally smuggled into California a pain - seriously guys? So that I can't sit on my couch on my day off and think about how cool light looks?). Bought the jars online, too. I basically wanted to do as little as possible for the results, though I'd be willing to do a little more if it meant not interacting with anyone and keeping this all to myself(ish).
Anyway, a couple of months after the jars arrived, I had fruit bodies! And yes, that's a good thing to have - though it does sound like some terrible skin condition, now that I think about it.
I'm feeling very Al Pacino on this. Today. Very 'hoo-ha'. Not in a goofy way, really, and not physically at all - my eyes are all but buggin, but that's probably because of the Chem Dog and has nothing at all to do with Mr Hermaphrodite (what are fungi, anyway? fun guys?). But I mean mentally, my UnendingInnerMonologue has been very jokerish, very deprecating. Almost anti-human, and not the way that I am normally. Feeling very superior to silly humans.
Oh right, because of the bacteria. But that's hours ahead of us!
Wait...I'm going to let the dogs in. Jeez, and then there's that whole thing. Haha...as I was in the kitchen preparing Sabrina's (my dog, life companion and overall 'soul mate') dinner, I noticed the giant pile of dishes that I'd meant to wash on my day off of doing nothing. For a moment, I thought it would be a good idea to write on our household message board: 'Sorry I didn't do the dishes. I was on mushrooms all day.' I still think it would be a hilarious note for my roommates to come home to, but I doubt I'd find it as funny tomorrow.
Right, so let's just get it out there. At 11:00 AM today, I ate five dried psilocybin-active mushrooms of the B+ strain (don't ask me what that means, exactly) that I grew in my own little Tupperware container.
See, this is what I came up with: Let's look at this scientifically/biologically (for they are the same thing): The male is responsible for the good genetic material; the female is responsible for preserving that material until it can fend for itself.
Largely powered by the sun, an orange tree is going to produce sugary, sweet fruits. Down in the ground, a potato is going to be very dense and starchy. Someone who lives off of fruit growing fat in the sun is not going to have the same constitution as someone who lives off of tubers plumping in the dirt. Not only does food dictate physical nutrition, but also physiological nutrition. It could be possible that someone living off of a sun-powered, vegan, raw diet feels more mentally uplifted than someone in a similar climate eating a largely processed carbohydrate (though still vegan) diet. But...it could be the personality which attracts the food, rather than vice versa. Someone with an already 'sunny' personality might just be attracted to 'sunny' foods, rather than the food itself affecting the personality. Likely there have been studies on this one.
Therefore, just maybe perhaps: Plants themselves have personalities which are dictated by their relationship to the sun. A plant whose reproductive capabilities are dictated by sunlight and photosynthesis, would be more of a nurturing/'female' plant. A plant (or 'organism' should the definition of requiring photosynthesis be the standard for 'plant') which does not need the sun would be more of a great-reproducer/'masculine' organism. Biologically. Affects-wise, it's my thought that one of these female 'sun worhippers' (like, say, a mescaline-producing cactus) would be more nurturing/insightful/'feminine' in the same way that I think an orange gives its eater its own warm, sunny disposition. And one of these male-ish/need to spread the genetic material organisms (like, say, a psylocibin-producing mushroom) would affect someone in a more jokester/creeping/'masculine' way.
Just my theory.
But I wasn't even at that point in the timeline. I should get this out of the way, too: it's now 5:19, making it about six and a halfish hours since that initial ingestion. And, lemme just say, go for the damn peanut butter. Don't even think twice about it. Cause fresh they don't taste any more or less palatable than any fresh mushroom (a taste which I usually enjoy). Dried, however - I dunno. Take the taste of any mushroom and make it super-concentrated. Are you going to like it enough to chew on? Then just get the damn peanut butter. When I ate the two fresh mushrooms, I didn't understand what the complaints were about. I stuck one dried one in my room and was immediately going for the crackers and peanut butter. Anyway, that would be lunch. Breakfast was a bagel and egg.
This was after a workout. I ate that protein-rich lunch and then went about doing some household chores (taking out the recycling, dealing with the compost pile, getting some seeds planted, crushing cans, generally doing everything except washing the dishes, I guess). In regards to that last part of the parenthetical, it was mainly because I found that I didn't want to be inside. The house was cold at this time of morning on this oh so cold January morning in Los Angeles where the temperature was probably in the low-60s F, and anyway, I wanted to be in the light.
By half an hour after ingestion, I'd begun to feel vaguely different. I was very restless, but I also found I had to take deep, slow breaths after even mild exertion. I was feeling very anxious, mostly about absolutely everything. Everything had something wrong with it. I didn't want to be inside because it was dark and cold, I didn't want to be outside moving around because it was making me feel uneasy, I didn't want to be resting outside because it seemed like a waste of a morning.
I came inside and took a shower, but even that felt off. 'You are experiencing everything as it always is,' I told myself. 'There is nothing strange about any of this. You're okay.' Normally I'll smoke weed to get rid of my anxiety, but since I'd eaten these mushrooms an hour and a half beforehand (and still no results - did I not eat enough? Is anxiety all I get from this?), I thought perhaps I should give the mushrooms some time to do their own thing. But I had to get away from the house. I was a bit afraid of going for a walk and being away from home with all of the distance to recover, but I had to be away from the house and all of those anxieties and out in the open. So I grabbed Sabrina and we headed for the dog park.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
Yes, in my car. Insert all of the official warnings against driving impaired that you can right here, but at this point, all I felt was terrible anxiety. Which actually improved my driving. Because I'm normally a very aggressive, every-second-COUNTS driver. But with everything feeling dreadful, I realized that people who drive like that are very disrespectful and apparently unconcerned with the wellbeing of others two qualities which I would mark as 'Strongly Dislike'.
Getting to the dog park safely was much more important than getting there timely. I mean, what would I be doing with those seconds I'd shaved off? Curing cancer? Is that when it happens? Because normally I just spend those 'precious' seconds sitting in front of my computer, getting high and reading Dark Roasted Blend. Yeah, worth risking the lives of other motorists and pedestrians, not to mention the possums and the squirrels and the sad, stray puppies, for that.
Anyway, we got to the dog park very safely and I spent the next hour waiting out my anxiety, which instead waited out me. I walked around a bit, kicked the ball around a bit. Things still felt uneasy to me. Mostly. I was able to interact with another dog owner fine. And I talked to Sabrina more than I usually do (because talking out loud to animals conversationally is for crazy people or hippies on LSD). Also, I found laughing at things easier. I've grown very fond of dogs through work (kennel), and I laughed at a lot of them and their personalities. It's very interesting how our ancestors managed to take the wolf and turn it into so many varieties with all of these personality quirks, no doubt retained by us because we like them, not because it does much for the dog outside of being a good a human companion. I've found that dogs are just as personality-driven and emotionally-rich as people.
Right, so I'm ranting about dogs now. Oh yeah, and there will be much more of that.
It's a big park in a more upscale section of the greater Los Angeles are. It's not Beverly Hills, but it's a beach city, and the area I happened to grow up in. The park's mostly frequented by white professionals in their 30s and retired, but similarly white, folks in their 60s. With the odd beach bum kid like me who was from the area, but would never be able to buy a house there. I laid down on one of the stone benches in the park because that's what felt best to do and turned a bit introspective just based on my wardrobe. I don't own nice clothes, seeing as I never go out and I work a dirty, physical job. I think the thing was that I was wearing this pair of slip-on Vans that are over ten years old and were my workout shoe for a couple of years, and so are hardly being held together by their canvas anymore.
I spent a bit of time thinking about myself, what I've turned into. I felt that I had turned into the stereotypical directionless, over-privileged late-20s white kid who has the dead-end job, wears the same stuff she's been wearing since high school, has too much money to spend and too much time free, and sits around smoking reefer and shrooming. Normally I'm mostly happy with my life, but of course it sometimes gets to me, considering what I am, a chronic underachiever who knows better. But I dwelled on it then, and it bothered me. No wonder people don't like interacting with me.
I continued to remind myself that I'd ingested something that was making things seem different, but that everything was the same. Things were okay. Everything would return to normal in a few hours. But I had begun to wish I'd never eaten the things to begin with. I spent time me wondering why the hell I take these things and figuring I should just call it quits before I have a really bad experience. I just wanted to feel normal and sober again.
After an hour of being there, I was bored and getting hungry and was willing to face home again. Anyway, I felt the anxiety was better under control. And so far, the only other thing that was happening was that textures would creep about a bit if I stared intently at them long enough. Oh well, I figured. There’s my mushroom experiment. If I try it again, I know to take more. Time to get home, smoke some LA Confidential (my favorite Indica of the moment) to knock out the anxiety and unease, eat some Indian food, drink a cold pear cider, and enjoy the rest of my (mostly) day off.
So I drove home, once again as cautiously as before. This time, though, it was also because I was fixating a bit on how interesting travelling in an automobile really is. We're just sitting a few feet above the ground, but going over it at these incredible speeds. I mean, flying down the road while being just a few feet above it, especially in a sitting position at 80 mph is quite the feat. We're very blase to it, and it's not something that we spend much time dwelling on. Or at least I don't. I dunno, maybe some people do. Anyway, we're still very connected to the ground, a chain of contacting points that really isn't very far removed from us experiencing it first-hand. Yet I rarely notice what the road feels like, aside from the occasional pothole or speed hump. And I don't just mean the asphalt's surface, but the topography itself. The way the land moves underneath all of that concrete and man-made surface which we essentially make to smooth things over for ourselves - nothing else really benefits. Yeah, I was thinking a lot about going up and down sills whilst sitting in this odd contraption that I was powering.
And, I dunno, but the way the power was being transferred seemed more interesting, too. Like, clutch out, gas down, engine powers up. Cut off gas, disengage gear, idling. And this is a Honda Civic here, we're not talking some Hemi engine (though I did enjoy listening to one as a truck went by).
Some drivers made me feel more anxious, just because of their driving style. I get it now - drive with confidence, but don't make the other drivers uncomfortable. Some people just aren't as comfortable on the road as someone operating such an impressive piece of heavy machinery should be, but most everyone out there has passed the test.
Alright, I'm going to go do the dishes and get ready for work and leave for work and work and then maybe I'll write some more, but I promise you won't even miss me.
Didn't miss me, did you?
The only thing is, I've only come down since then. So I've missed that window. I think it's important to try to capture the altered mind, since it does think so differently than the sober one and I find it impossible to recapture thought process, especially when trying to reimagine an altered and rarely-experience thought process. That said, I got home and got the pipe ready to go. I had one of those triangular glass filters which takes up half the bowl, so I didn't have much. But still, this is a Cali med weed, so even a little bit is enough.
I smoked slowly, focusing more on the taste and the way the smoke looked as I exhaled it (quite interesting, actually). After pull four or five, I looked at a pile of clean laundry on my bed that I had not yet dealt with and thought I could see it 'breathe' a bit. 'Too little, too late,' I thought and smoked on. As the marijuana took over, I looked back on this and thought that I had missed my window - that there was a time when the two substances could have worked together, but I'd passed that point and the psilocybe was going to be overpowered by the cannabis.
I finished smoking and went about getting lunch together. Now here's were that better-than-humans joker took over in my head. Suddenly the concept of sanitation became very amusing to me. It started when I tried to find a dish to put my lunch in. There was nothing clean (everything's connected), so I grabbed the cleanest looking pasta bowl in the pile and 'washed it' by running it under clean water and scrubbing it with the same sponge that's been at the sink for several weeks. 'Yeah, you're really cleaning this thing with that breeding-ground-for-bacteria sponge,' I thought. I grabbed a paper towel to dry the bowl out with. 'Right, I'll bet those are going to help. These things have been sitting around in this kitchen, feet away from where you prepare food and from where you clean up the mess afterwards. Guarantee you those things are crawling in bacteria, too.'
Then I went to the fridge for the container of cooked rice. 'Fluffy white maggots,' I thought, and laughed. I took the package of microwave-ready chana masala out of the cupboard. 'Oh boy, Indian food! Now there's the cuisine of a sanitary people,' I thought. 'Drinking from the same river they wash clothes and shit in. No wonder the food looks the same going in as it does coming out.' It wasn't even so much that I was stereotyping India as a dirty country, but more that I was scoffing at all human ideas of cleanliness and sanitation.
As I usually do when I'm eating Indian on my day off, I again opened the fridge and went for the cold pear cider. 'Screw it,' I figured. 'I've got mushrooms and cannabis imparting their wisdoms, might as well add some fermented fruit to that. Let's see what she has to add.' I sat down to my lunch thinking about the nature of these organisms and the different ways they affect human mindsets and switched on the TV, looking for something I could watch that wouldn't mess with my thoughts (I did still have some anxiety about that). The first thing I saw was 'The Windmill Movie,' which I only knew was a documentary. I love documentary film and figured I would enjoy the movie and feel comfortable with its style, so I started it.
From the get-go, I was blown away. A documentary incorporating filmically analytical autobiography with reconstructive acting and interpretation, all tying together what it's like to be human, what it's like to attempt to autobiographize on film, what it's like to use film conventions to present and explain oneself (or to be interpreted through another). Basically, if there's a movie that 'my sort' of movie, this is it. When they threw in the reenactment for the first time, I actually had to pause the thing to regain my bearings. I was in awe.
I'd noticed when I had the TV paused that the screen text was skittering around a bit, so I started looking about the room to see what other stuff was doing. I’d fallen in love with watching the gold band along the sandy wall dance in the sunlight while I was on mescaline, so I looked to that first. Whereas the wall (and carpet and floor and cabinets and everything else) had been dancing while I was under mescaline's influence, now it was creeping about in a more organized, mathematical way. I stopped the movie and threw on a music station instead, suddenly finding the wall even more interesting than the film. So I sat back on the couch, pulled my plate of food (from which I was eating very slowly - quite unusual for me) onto my lap, cradled my cider against my body, and stared at the wall.
I started to think how unfair this all was. I like to think that I'm in control of my mind and my body. I knew that everything I was seeing was something that my mind was showing me. I started to feel a bit resentful towards the mushrooms - they could trick my brain into seeing such amazing things when I could not make it do so myself. 'Puny human,' I thought, just like Bender. I was having a great time watching the wall, but I suddenly thought that if this all being presented to me through my own mind, then what I should do is put on some music that I love and let my brain present its images knowing what was going to come next, sort of setting my experience to music rather than having music as a backdrop.
Yup, you know what that means. 'I've got the perfect thing,' I told myself. 'You're going to love this.' And I ran into my room and put on Panda Bear. Only before 'Person Pitch' started, I put on 'What Would I Want? Sky', a new track by Animal Collective that has Panda Bear all over it. I heard it for the first time recently and spent much of the past couple of weeks listening to it on repeat.
I happen to reside in a room once occupied by a young girl, so my ceiling has poorly painted clouds on it. And despite the poor execution, I've found it to be my favorite thing to stare at throughout both of my hallucinogenic experiences. I really can't even describe how delightful the shifting paint clouds look. Also, my roommate painted the rest of the house (quite well), so every wall (and most ceilings) has something wondrous to watch for a time. Anyway, I put on the song and decided to stay in my room for a bit, watching the clouds.
And then there were FRACTALS!
I get it now! Whereas mescaline was about watching the way objects moved (and, for me, what that meant in regards to their character), psilocybe makes me see LIGHT! See light! I will never be able to describe the quality of light, the infintesimal prisms throwing patterns of hair-fractioned rainbow light in infinitely-intricate displays that covered all depths of vision. For the first time, I felt I was seeing light and not just what light looks like when it strikes a surface. I could see the way it strikes other light particles and what that does to change the colliding waves. Also, I totally get Mayan and Aztec art now. It's all about the fractals, the patterns, the light and color and form I see when I’m on mushrooms (as they were).
When the song was over, I repeated it and went back out to the living room to eat some more (which I sort of felt like doing, though perhaps mostly out of obligation) and watch the wall. Whereas mescaline gave me the impression that everything was working together to put on an uplifting show (mainly for the benefit of the sun; feel free to read that story for more of that), what I saw today seemed much more to be the product of a chaos of individual organisms which just happened to be arranged and interacting in a way that was coincidentally pleasing to the human eye, in the way that rainbows and waterfalls and other enchanting objects are there for us to enjoy, but aren't specifically there for that purpose.
I sat there comfortably for about twenty minutes, letting my mind interpret this outsider in its way while listening to some of my favorite music and feeling a wonderful bodily euphoria that was marred only by a slight unsettled feeling. I finished up lunch and drank a second bottle of cider. I felt the need to be outside again, so I went out to see what Sabrina and Baby (roommate's dog - very neurotic and jealous) were up to. They were just napping in the late afternoon rays, so I sat down next to Sabrina and started to run my fingers through her fur and scratch her belly. I'd given her a bath yesterday and her coat felt so clean, and my fingers through it felt so good, so I just kept on doing it.
I sat there, looking at her and appreciating her as my companion. I've always hated calling her 'my dog,' because that suggests a mastering/ownership that isn't what I feel for her. And as I sat there, scratching her ears, I thought about how I liked the word 'guardian' much more. It was the one used by the rescue group I adopted her from, and one I agree with. Only, it's not just that I'm her guardian; she is also mine. We protect each other and care immensely about the physical and psychological well-being of the other. If she were in trouble, I would do anything for her, and the same is true of her for me. I felt that we have this amazing bond which many other relationships, based on money, or sex, or physical attraction, or prestige, likely lack. At least I don't see how it could be otherwise. I feel more bonded with her than I do to any of the people in my life, excepting my mother and my best friend.
And I realized that I'd been petting her for half an hour and thought that I'd normally consider that a waste of time. I would usually rather be watching a movie (alone) or reviewing experiences for some website or other. But what could possibly be more important than having a deep and meaningful connection with another living being, of sharing an empathatic moment? So I sat there perfectly contentedly, watching the grass shift about and the light go from white to golden. Things were winding down.
Sabrina left to check out a skateboarder rolling by and to bark at some pigeons, so I lay back in the grass. She came back over to me, and finding me prone, went about licking my face madly and trying to wrestle. For some reason, this freaked out neurotic Baby who started barking madly at us. I tried to calm her by saying her name soothingly, but she was just going crazy. Sabrina had started whining and becoming very agitated and it was the first time I realized how bothered she is by these episodes of Baby's. I finally grabbed baby and tried to calm her down with some pats on the head, thinking I had finally figured out that it was just insane jealousy and she just needed some scratches once in a while to feel worthwhile. But then she just started up with the crazy barking again, so I guess I don't know everything about dogs. I finally got her distracted with her rubber ball and was able to reassure Sabrina (and myself) about the whole thing.
It was now nearing 4:00, and I knew I only had a couple more hours to take advantage of this state I was enjoying before I had to get ready to go to work. 'Chem dawg' was my thought as I headed inside to preheat Rufus (you still with me here? It's a Da Buddha, by the way). I loaded up some of this decent-enough indica and started inhaling from the whip. Gotta love those thick vapor clouds.
Things started to get going again, so I sat back with the vape in my lap and watched the ceiling clouds as they tried to outdo the visible, fractured light. I eventually got so caught up in it that I stopped drawing in more vapor, completely forgetting that I had that going. I listened to 'What Would I Want? Sky' on repeat for a while, always becoming incredibly physically and mentally uplifted whenever the second part of the song kicks in and I start thinking, 'Yes! Sky! I Want Sky!' as I stared at my poor-imitation one. The next hour I spent enjoying what I knew would soon be ending for good.
Like the mescaline experience, I felt the overwhelming urge to share this as soon as I could. Throughout the day as I sat experiencing these strange wonders, having these empathy-laden insights and generally feeling rather good, I wondered why the heck some people out there are so uptight about me doing this. And why does my government want to stop me? Are they afraid of housewives doing mushrooms? And what would be so bad if that did happen? What terrible thing is a housewife watching inanimate objects move for a bit going to usher in? Are they afraid she might start seeing things differently? Are they afraid we’re all going to do that? Does this all boil down to keeping citizens off of substances which make them feel good, think positively, empathize with a wider range of living beings, feel a deeper connection with the natural world, and perhaps question the routine? What harm did me sitting comfortably on my own couch under my own roof, listening to music and watching a spectacular light show do, exactly?
The more I actually experience these things and what 'trip' means, the more angry I get that I could be arrested for doing this and put into jail. Yup, because I ate a naturally-occurring substance and spent my day at home, enjoying myself. And the more convinced I become that not should only these things not be illegal, not only should they be available to responsible adults and regulated, but that they're use should be encouraged. I fully understand how they can be used therapeutically, and I think that everyone could benefit from getting into a different, more empathetic, interested, and connected, mindframe at least once. The cultural taboo placed on these substances is as damaging a result of the war on drugs as the effects on the prison system or the criminalization of addicts or any of the other myriad negative consequences.
For myself, I think that moderation is the key. 12' of a San Pedro cactus gave me a great day full of wonderful sights and insights. Five mushrooms and some marijuana resulted in a fun show filled with empathy and feelings of connectedness. I'm sure that eating more would have resulted in an even more perception-altering mindset, but I think that any more could have gotten overwhelming for me at times and brought back anxiety.
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