they’re a bunch of fucking natives, and they spout all this hippie shit about self-discovery and journeys into my soul and what-not. i nod politely and agree, but just so as to be polite. i don’t want to offend them, but its all a load of crap as far as i’m concerned. i’m here for the trip of my life. i’ve heard about these mushrooms, ever since i started taking drugs. the most powerful hallucinogenic on the planet. the trip of a lifetime. they are legendary and until now, i wasn’t even sure they existed at all.
i look at the pile of goo the old woman spits onto the plate. i understand why she has to chew the mushrooms first. she has been doing this for years, and there are enzymes in her saliva that will break down the mushrooms and prevent me from vomiting too much. novices have died, choking on their own puke, from not understanding this. i have travelled thousands of miles for this trip. i have done acid and psilocybin and peyote until i could go to work tripping on all three. i need more. i need the ultimate trip and, if what i have heard is right, this is it.
i hold my disgust at bay and swallow the muck on the plate. the actual flavour revolts me, and its not her spit, its just the ‘shrooms, they taste like the bitter flavour of hell. they all smile and mutter some dumb native prayer. within minutes the nausea hits me like a tsunami hits a beach hut. they have to hold me up over a large bowl as what looks and feels like everything i ever ate explodes through my mouth and nose. my head erupts and my body shakes and i vomit with such force that i am barely able to hear their stupid prayers. suddenly it stops, as violently as it had started, and almost immediately the hallucinations begin. they are like acid hallucinations at first, shapes forming from random patterns. i see dragons and belly dancers form and disappear from the smoke bellowing from the old man’s pipe. i see a forests grow and die in the plaids of the old woman’s hair, and then the hallucinations take over my vision completely.
i am no longer in their disgusting mud hut but in a large ballroom in a great mansion. expensive and beautiful things glisten all around me. i can still hear the old man’s voice, and he is asking me, with some urgency where i am. i tell him i am in a house. “what kind of house?” he asks.
“a huge house.” i hear my disembodied voice tell him, “a fucking castle.”
“you are both lucky and unlucky.” he tells me, “this is your soul. some people’s souls are tiny little apartments and their subconscious, nothing more than a damp basement, but castles have dungeons, not cellars. you need to go down there.”
‘whatever.’ i think, i’m here to get off my tits, and across the room from me are ten of the sexiest women i have ever seen. they are barely dressed and are dancing and beckoning me to join them. my cock throbs with anticipation. i knew this was gonna be good and i hope that i don’t wake to find that i have wanked off in front of the silly old natives. fuck my subconscience!
“you won’t be able to hear me for much longer,” the old man’s fading voice rattles in my head, “you need to go downstairs. you need to enter the dungeon of your mind. you need to face your demons. you won’t get another chance.” there is something in the urgency of his voice that makes me hesitate.
‘maybe a quick peek’ i think. what harm can it do? these girls will still be here when i get back.
the door is locked with a large padlock. it crumbles at my touch and i imagine that i think i hear him say
“that is all i can do for you.” the door swings open and i am hit with the darkness and the stench. it smells of fear and hate and anger and ugliness. i step into the cold dark horror. almost immediately, terror grabs me by the throat and threatens to choke me. i turn back, but the door is no more. panic smacks me in the face like a cricket bat, and i realise that i have no choice but to descend.
the stairs are rickety and feel like they want to throw me into the unknown abyss below me. i find a candle and light it but its almost like the stink of fear prevents it illuminating anything other than the next few steps. its like fear itself has blinded me. as i descend and explore, doors creak and some slam, inexplicably behind me. i am too consumed with fear to even look back in case those doors too have disappeared. i curse the old man. i scream “you cunt!” at the top of my voice. the echoes ring in my ears for minutes, until I believe the words are for me, and far below me i hear the snarl of a hungry demon that i fear i have woken.
i work my way down the stairs, at times treading on and crushing things that feel horribly human. i dare not look down to see. then i tread on something that squeals in pain and i start. i fall backwards and plummet, god knows how far, and land with a soul-shaking thump on what feels like bones. the candle is gone. pitch blackness, and terror surrounds me and closes in on me like a gang of satan’s hungry children. the howls of desperate rage and pain from the demon become my only direction, and as i crawl away in an attempt to cower, i feel my knees cut open. there are shards of glass all over the floor. i pick a particularly long and sharp one and attempt to regain my courage.
i edge my way, blind, around the wall until i find its door. i piss myself literally as i swing it open.
it is huge and has its back to me but i can see it is horrific. it spins and snarls, and if there was anything left in my bladder it would have fled my body in an attempt to flee. i see the demon is chained but as it turns and faces me, the rage in its eyes has such fury that it breaks its bonds without a single thought.
it knows me, and i know it. trembling, i hold my pathetic shard of glass in my hand. knowing full well that i can never kill such a monster. our eyes meet and we see each other. tears stream from the demons eyes and its chest heaves with decades of non-stop sobbing. i see that despite how horrific this beast has become, that it is me. a forgotten me, a neglected me. an innocent, child me that has been hidden from even my view. giant, grotesque and locked away. growing more ugly by the day.
i drop the weapon, not from fear but from pity. this monster doesn’t need slaying, it needs to be hugged, and nurtured and freed from his prison of lies and hurt.
i wake to find myself still in the hut. the wise old folk absorbed by breaking bad. they hear my sobbing, and without turning, they smile.