Twenty minutes after our first mushroom ingestion, I was complaining that they weren’t working. “I feel completely normal. They may not work for me,” I declared. “Let’s take the rest, then,” Dave suggested.
Within minutes, Dave was jumping around the room, laughing at everything and marveling at the colors. I, on the other hand, was spiraling down into a dark cave.
My legs and arms couldn’t decide if they wanted to move restlessly, as they were beginning to do, or if they wanted to lie limp on the bed. It felt like someone was kneading my head and my stomach was threatening to start a revolution. The mushrooms were not doing my body any good.
Getting past that initial moment and the debilitating effects of the Mushroom chocolate bars was the hardest part of my experience. But once I was out on the street, walking among the New York characters, it became easier for me to forget how bad my body felt and how light my mind was.
My mind wasn’t cloudy (in that way it clouds when we’re drunk) and, with the encouragement of the city, thousands of connections flew by. I was aware of everything. Suddenly I was laughing out loud, at what? I don’t know or remember, but I was laughing and huffing and puffing until I couldn’t breathe anymore.
Did I just say that?
In our heightened state, Dave and I decided to walk to a nearby park. He still remembered how to put one leg in front of the other, but not much else. Nausea kept creeping up on me sporadically, and even though I hid behind my oversized sunglasses, I was sure everyone could tell I was high.
We sat on the grass, looking up at the sky and the trees. I’ve been told that the colors seem brighter when you’re eating mushrooms, but I didn’t see the park’s greens and blues as more vibrant than usual. David noted every detail: “Did you notice that all the trees on our block are the same species?”
After studying some puzzling elements in the park—a teddy bear skating, tourists asking for directions but not moving, people running to and from a tree with brightly colored balloons—Dave concluded that all of these characters strange and wacky had been planted for a game of Bingo, sponsored by Disney. Now it all makes sense, he told himself.
I had settled into a mental acuity that was unfamiliar to me. There was a stark separation between what he was saying and what he was doing and who the person behind it all was. It was as if he was watching me at the same time that he was being. And even though I had been living in New York for two years now, it seemed like I was seeing everything for the first time.
An Altered Perspective
My mind was discovering connections it wouldn’t normally have made. On the way home, we stopped at a deli and Dave suggested, “Let’s get a bottle of water.” I instantly replied “But first we have to pay it!” He looked at me strangely.
I realized that I was paranoid about not doing anything wrong. My unconscious, I suppose, he is tenser than my conscious self.
Soon, in the comfort of our air-conditioned bedroom, I was listening to music famous for sounding better when under the influence of hallucinogens. The lyrics became epiphanies.
At times I wondered if I really lived with that person (me) and if I liked him. It was a strange back and forth of reflections, which sometimes he could verbalize and sometimes he couldn’t. I reveled in this strange but satisfying state of consciousness. And when, three hours later, the drugs wore off, I was left with a lingering curiosity about the world and about myself.
If I would ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms again? Yes, sure, but she would do it outside of New York. Even when I’m sober and fully conscious, this city is too intense.