Friday, January 25, 2008

The full moon theory

Phil had a theory. See, he had studied fungus at UGA for two semesters and thought he had a good grasp on the stuff we were eating. "I bet you they follow the phase of the moon!" he said, and it made complete sense to me.

We rode up to our buddy Red's land on the north end of the island, just as we had done every week or so for the past few months. Red's mom owned a horse stable on the north end. The sons and daughters of the island's rich boarded their prize thoroughbreds along side the not so rich folks nags.

The property had four grazing pens, two walking arenas, a polo field and a large unused field that connected to a wooded area that Red's mom let us build our paint-ball installations. All told his family probably had about 20 acres or so dedicated to the stables.

We drove up to the first gate, lights off. We had to avoid the caretaker's little house at the head of the property and walk to our destination, bags and unlit flashlights in hand.

About a quarter mile down the dirt road, we had to make a left to the trail we had built and hidden a few weeks prior. The new trail eventually connected to a series of trails we had made encircling our makeshift paint-ball village. From there we gently walked to the northernmost grazing area.

We got to the open field and put away our flashlights. Three days before the full moon and a crystal clear night in October was all the light we needed to see our crop. The ground was pocked with white-grey spheres, trying to mimic the stars. This was the mother-load.

Three days was the morning.
My focus three days old.
My head, it landed to the sounds of cricket bows...
I am proud man anyway...
Covered now by three days...
Three Days

On a normal night to this point we were able to seek out and find 5 to 10 good mushrooms to pick. We giddily galloped through the field picking samples as small as a pencil and as large as a baby's hand. Eventually, we just left about half of the crop to shrivel and die in the next morning's heat. That first full-moon theory night we filled 3 garbage bags full of them. Yes we picked mushrooms out of horse manure. Free of charge with more than adequate amounts of psilocybin .

We got back to the Condo, our little Ocean Side place that also belonged to Red's family. All three of us lived there at the time. Red was intermittently working in Film and Commercial shoots as a grip, best boy, and PA. He naturally had the master bedroom. Phil and I worked as wine stewards in one of the most prestigious resorts in the world. Phil had the smaller room and I slept on my futon in the dining room, in the middle of the place. For what I lacked in privacy I gained a prime space on the island with little rent. I was willing to make the trade off. Besides, the frequent times Red was out of town I got the master suite.

We commenced calling everyone we could think of to partake with us. We found no one.

Given we all had limited experience with dosage, we decided to make a vat of tea with the contents of one of the bags. We still planned on having some people over, so we wanted to have plenty.

If you've ever tasted mushrooms, you'll know that it leaves much to be desired. Instead of drinking tea, we decided to make Cherry Kool-Aid mushroom tea, with plenty of sugar. By the time we gave up on anyone else joining our 'tasting' we had about 2 gallons of tea and the smushed up remnants of about 1 or 2 pounds of freshly picked mushrooms.

Early in the summer, Phil and I had attended an auction. It was one of those auctions where the owners of the storage units would open up the door and start the bidding on the contents. One of the items we won that day was a large box of plastic Pepsi cups, like a big gulp from 7-11.

We agreed to one big gulp full of tea apiece, then give it an hour and see where we were. Shortly after I finished my big gulp, I took a pinch of mushroom remnants and chewed on those too. Red and Phil followed suit. Shortly after that, we agreed to drink another half cup apiece.

I sat on the swivel chair in front of the TV and waited. Red and Phil suited up for a walk outside. We were going to stroll down to the beach once we started to feel the effects.

In a matter of minutes, my stomach felt heavy, but not sick heavy. I remember the feeling of my esophagus, arid and empty. I didn't feel like throwing up, but I breathed, mouth open as the warm sensation emanated from my mid section. Once the drug started kicking in, I felt like I was yawning all night, gasping for air. I remember loving the sweet taste of the ocean air, and the reciprocal feeling of drowning in it.

We sat there in the living room, silent. My body felt like a brick and I needed to break the spell. We agreed to move, and walked out the side entry to the beach access two floors below.

We reached our first obstacle, the rocks. During high-tide the water laps at the rocks for hours depositing trash, dead stuff, and crabs. At night, the palmetto bugs come to pick through the trash and dead things, the crabs would scurry about, picking them off.

As we walked towards the rocks they seemed to teem with life, the dance of shadows and light made the rocks crawl with real and imaginary fiends. We made our way quickly and gingerly over the rocks to the dampened beach. The tide was receding, bearing the smooth, rippled beach under the moonlight in front of us.

I tried to gather my walk to a sprint down the unearthly terrain westward toward the marshes and away from the prying moon. I came to realize quickly that my legs weren't going to comply, in fact I realized that it was very hard to balance at all. The wet beach stretched out in front of me and breathed like the belly of some great sea serpent. I fell flat on my stomach then rose to my hands and knees and balanced against the undulating terrain.

I laughed, Red and Phil were behind me laughing too. Huge spectre-like grins on their faces. "This is too much" said Dave. "Too much input!" I rolled onto my back and looked up at the stars, dancing, vibrating in a rainbow of colors. I agreed, a controlled environment would be best.

We ambled back the roughly 400 Feet we had made it out of our little cocoon, and flopped down in the living room. I regained the swivel chair that would witness the most swiveling it had ever enabled in a five hour period. Phil got the over sized chair and ottoman, Red laid down on the couch.

I managed to flip on the CD player, found Reckoning, and hit repeat.

Over the course of the next few hours we talked sparing, incoherent sentences and moved little. Phil disappeared to the bathroom for what seemed like an eternity. Red laid on the couch, his hands would occasionally reach up to move the air, or an imaginary item. "The colors...its so huge I can taste it." He said.

I sat on my chair and swiveled, I kept moving because the room was burning images into my retina, the whole Condo was creating shadow effects on my vision. I constantly blurred my vision in order to keep focus. I needed to listen to the music. It was so fragile and beautiful.

To lay me down once more, to lay me down
With my head in sparkling clover
Let the world go by, all lost in dreaming
To lay me down one last time, to lay me down

To be with you once more, to be with you
With our bodies close together
Let the world go by, like clouds a-streaming
To lay me down one last time, to lay me down

To lay me down, to lay me down
To lay me down one last time, to lay me down

To lie with you once more, to lie with you
With our dreams entwined together
To wake beside you, my love still sleeping
To tell sweet lies one last time and say goodnight

To lay me down, to lay me down
To lay me down one last time, to lay me down
To Lay Me Down

Phil was a very private kind of person. He didn't associate with many people who he believed were below him. He was an honor student in high school, a band geek. He never drank, never did drugs.

College changed things for Phil. He found out that he was no longer one of the smartest, and that it didn't always matter how smart you are, only how well you played the game. He gave up on college after that first year with a low C average. He couldn't get by on just being smart and didn't have what it took, or he decided the effort wasn't worth it. Either way, he left college with a desire to check out. He didn't want any part of a 'normal' lifestyle. He wanted to travel, to be happy and to live his life devoid of the grind of societal norms.

I was certainly open to the corruption of Phil. We became best of friends after he quit college. He and I enabled each other's drinking and drug habits. We also shared a deep desire to explore the unknown, to try and reveal the 'truth'. We would be apart of each others lives for a much shorter amount of time than we anticipated.

Phil came out of the bathroom wearing only his boxers. His hands lifted slightly out to each side, palms up. He had an incredulous look on his face and said in a pleading voice "So much stuff!!". "Why do I have all this stuff??" "What?" I said, my voice sounded like it was being sifted through mud coming from the depths of my gut.

"Why do I have all this stuff?? Wallet, pens, a notebook, a flashlight (yes he carried a flashlight most of the time), a phone, change....." he trailed off. Distracted by the sounds and visions around him. "Yeah, change.... I need a shower." I spun my chair around an told him to stop. "Stay OUT of the mirror" I said, calling out from the mine(mind)shaft across the room. He nodded in silence and walked back towards the bathroom.

"Wait, I need to pee. Can I pee??" I said. "Yeah" he said to me, confused. "No I need to pee!! Please...I need permission." We discussed my need for permission and my need to pee for a while, finally he agreed to give me permission, "Just pee dammit!! " said Red, so I did, although I neglected to actually move.

The warm embrace of urine coated my legs and lower torso. I enjoyed the freedom, the loss of every bit of fear, of every notion of self. I was floating on a wheeled ship of my own, my own planet, my sphere of influence, the 10 or so cubic feet of living room in which I would stay for an indeterminate amount of time.

A pistol shot at five o'clock
The bells of heaven ring
Tell me what you done it for
No I won't tell you a thing

Yesterday I begged you
Before I hit the ground
All I leave behind me
Is only what I found

If you can abide it
Let the hurdy gurdy play
Stranger ones have come by here
Before they flew away

I will not condemn you
Nor yet would I deny
I would ask the same of you
But failing, will not die

Take up your china doll
It's only fractured
Just a little nervous from the fall
La la la la la la la
China Doll

Red went back to his duties, grasping, pulling and arranging the imaginary items in the air above the couch. Phil went back into the bathroom, unsure of what he had just witnessed.

I remained...swiveling and listening. I fell into my mind and listened and thought. ....The Grateful Dead...why are the grateful?...I don't want to be with the dead, I want to live...I love life, it is so....colorful, it tastes so good...everything breathes. Everything breathes and everything listens, and I am one. I am one with the living and we are alive.

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la

thanks for the inspiration...

1 comment:

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