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Old 09-17-2011, 01:05 AM
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Devon (Offline)
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Default Untitled - medusapath

My secret was that I had taken them all for myself. Every last one of those blue gel pills was secured in the small tin can, rattling in my backpack as I ran through the trails. He would notice, I was sure, but till then, who cared? I had gotten more. I had the power, now, to cross the threshold.

I found a tree with a large base, soft and plentiful grass inviting me to sit on it. I sank in the ground, breathing heavily, eyes glued to the sky. Would he find me here? And if he did, so what? I would be tripping by then.

I shook the black bag underneath me and heard the pills rattling around in the can, a psychedelic Macarena. My heart skipped a beat – it’s that craving, you know. The world seemed to fragment for a moment, the tiniest shift that I could detect with my entheogenic memory. That other world, other presence was vibrating underneath me, and I wanted to revisit it.

I swallowed a pill. Then another. Now, if I swallowed three, I would have exceeded my personal maximum dosage. These were dense capsules, so an extra was no light addendum. But I remembered the fading golden trail last time, the absolute inability to muster any more cosmic energy to further my wide-eyed tripping ghost into the realm of understanding, of a message, of meaning. They wanted to
show me something. I was not properly equipped. Now I was.

I swallowed the last pill.
That’s it, I thought. It’s diffused in my system. A bird chirped. The sun still blared. Nothing had changed, yet. Knowing I had the key inside me though, it felt good. Real good. I was like a walking bomb, timed to erupt into a series of magical and life-altering labyrinths. Of course, what any passerby would see would be a dazed young girl with long auburn hair, droopy brown eyes, bemused and fascinated by each natural object existing in front of her. I would be an unintelligible chest of secrets.

Now I had to deal with a small stretch of anxiously drawn out time. I had to hope the nervousness of getting caught dissipated with the rising high. Otherwise that would be a cocktail for a panicked disaster. Those were the sorts of risks I was willing to take in order to get to the other world.

I lied on my back and stared up at the sky, which was always beautiful to me between the maze of bark and leaves. I squinted, letting my vision blur into a kaleidoscopic mess of blue, green, and golden beams. My limbs twitched, and the familiar tickle began to stir in my belly. But it was too soon; my imagination was getting ahead of me.

I hopped up, and stretched my limbs to disseminate the nervous tension. I jogged in place, did jumping jacks, punched the air lightly a few times. I hated this part, the waiting. I almost wished he would show up and give me enough distraction before the high set in. I was sure that in that half hour, I could appeal to his sympathies, promise him the money, and explain just how dire my situation was. I’d tell him how I saw the divine threshold, how alien deities embraced each surface of my exposed and quivering soul matter – how I saw my the topography of my bodies thermal activity, glowing magnificently – how I was gilded in cosmic benedictions, shedding skin endlessly until I was but a thread of gossamer string, a piece of threadwork in the quilted universal enigma. And how I was so close to receiving a message that would transmute seamlessly through the dimensions, but lacked the chemical impetus, that extra secret coding that transferred my brain waves from the mundane to the insane.

I imagined his face, smirking despite his anger. He would scoff at my “psycho babble,” and I could hear it already:
Knock it off with that shit, kid, it takes a lot more that just popping a few pills to get any real understanding. But he was wrong – it didn’t. He was hanging on to some artificial concepts of ethics and work: the idea that true meaning or understanding could only come from hard work, and nothing meaningful could come from something easy. But I found it hard to believe that the objective reality of things was concerned with making a judgment call on individual self-discipline – these concepts were merely of our own making to make sense of our own lives, and while they did prove useful in some contexts, they weren’t required for others.

And besides, tripping was not easy. Many succumbed to fear, and many could not manage to give in to the drug, to treat it like an entity rather than a subordinate chemical that they had power over. Others used it as an escape, but let their nihilistic preconceptions deter them from any real unification with the drug, like Jed. Jed had the kind of steel cynicism that managed to keep even a sliver of a wall up in the midst of a euphoric MDMA-induced trance. Cuddle piles, unity, peace and love, sure, but remember:
we’re just enjoying a drug. Well I took the drug as more than that, as another level of experience, another cognitive lens, interchangeable with my default setting, which was no more real than any other ones I could buy.

Of course, there were times were I detached myself from my core, let a strand of rationality disengage and hover over me for a second, saying:
What a fucking nutter! Get a job, do something useful, ya bum. I suppose this was like my second parent. Second, because I only had one parent, or perhaps half a parent, if you want to look at it that way. My father died in a motorcycle accident before I was born, and my mother was a scientist, loving but definitely existing on the more autistic end of the spectrum. I think my mental parent was harder on me than she was.

There was a tingling in the base of my spine. My face flushed, and my mouth spread into a wide, uncontrolled grin. I envisioned the pill’s cerulean color, the magnitude of its depth like the ocean, overcoming my body, whose shell was equally nominal compared to the massive intelligent enterprise underneath. I walk, watching my knee high black boots, conceptualizing the intricate lacing that weaved in and out through the eyelets: so simple, and so perfect. Small mathematical precisions were everywhere. A wave rolled smoothly up and down my body. I reached into my bag and pulled out my studio headphones. They fit snugly over my ears, and I clicked the power button on the side of the right phone, and held it down.

“Vibes of paradise,” I sang. The headphones whirred for a few moments, and then the lush bass reverberated through my head, amplifying the wave. The drums set in, and that was all I needed to feel on top of the world: a good beat, sunlight, and sensory galvanization. If Jed were to show up, I would just smile and spread my arms, casting my glow on him, and then he’d have to understand. Things would be okay.

The trees seemed to part as I strolled through them. The sun was iridescent; it seemed to be laughing, congenially, as if to say,
you never knew I looked like this? But I did know, I had seen it before, and it was like reentering a dream world, realizing that yes, things have appeared this way once before. The sensation of flying while one’s feet are firmly planted on the ground: this is a sure sign of coming up. You begin to feel lust, but you realize that lust is much more than a base desire. Lust is transcendental. Lust is a tremulous shiver that binds you to the heavens.

About an hour into the trip, the peak was fully revved, stable, not going anywhere anytime soon. I had reached maximum potential, maximum speed – anything could happen now. I could keep my eyes open and transform the world around me, or I could close my eyes and escape my body; the choice was mine to make. I decided to explore the latter, in hopes of returning to the same place I had been before. I worried that this was only a theoretical possibility, but I tried to ignore the doubt. Doubt becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when tripping in a controlled environment, but out here in the woods, I had to have my wits about me, while at the same time, paradoxically control my ability to lose all control. I had to give in to the drug with the trust that my latent ego would activate itself immediately if need be.

I found a hidden path, one with a decent amount of undergrowth. This would be fine. I lied back, and commenced the spiral as soon as I shut my eyes.

Plummet upwards, that’s right, up is down and falling is flying and soaring is diving and crying is laughing and seeing is believing. The clouds part but they’re worlds apart, and I can see it all because my scope of vision has been stretched like an elastic band, infinitely tensing itself, vibrating with the intensity of a rapidly oscillating sine wave. Geometric patterns and textured coils traverse the crossways of my optical horizon, and a chorus begins in my head, gauzy butterfly, mellifluous stream of syrupy powder, the militant bass line, marching around and around my universe, merging and purging to draw the infinite ribbons, the color of which no one knows the name of. Petals bloom and duplicate like butterflies, psychedelic platitudes hold the deepest wells of meaning, and valleys shed the sun-burnt snow to show the-


You came prepared.


Yes. I am that which you conceive of. You’ve succeeded in your mission.

I didn’t realize it would be so easy…

It won’t be. You will be granted something higher than you can imagine.

Why me?

You chose it.


Open your eyes.

I opened my eyes as instructed.


I raised my finger to the sky, and traced a circle. There was a faint glimmer, and then nothing. I frowned. Raising my finger again, I pictured, in my mind’s eye, a deep blue, like indigo. My finger felt as though it was bleeding all of a sudden, but my body was not shaken at all. From my finger, which slowly delineated a long loop, came an indigo thread of vibrant string, echoing my shaky motion. It stayed there, just as I had placed it, beaming at me. I lowered my hand slowly, still gaping at what I had just drawn. It stared back at me, almost humming with a sweet frequency.

“Oh my god,” I said. My words felt prophetic. The bass taunted me in my peripheral. A momentous feeling surged through my right arm. I lifted it, clenched my hand into a tight fist, and slid it through the purple ring. I lowered my arm, slowly, watching the indigo ring, eyes locked with the viscous cosmic paint, until it was directly in line with me.

I sat up slowly. My bulging eyes did not escape the circle. I brought my left thumb and forefinger to it, and gave it a soft squeeze. It gave in to the pressure of my fingers, but as soon as I let go, it snapped back into a perfect, untouched state, sending light waves ripple through it on either side. I slid it up my arm, feeling a shiver ebb through my body as it fit snugly to my skin.

“Ay!” The voice barely cut through the music, but head spun around instantly. I could make out Jed’s spiky hair wobbling over the branches.

“Crap,” I muttered, pulling my headphones off my ears. But the euphoria in my chest was still there. I smiled. Good drug. Brave drug. I laughed inwardly. I stood up and rubbed my eyes in an effort to look nonchalant.

“Hiiiiii,” I drawled. He emerged from in between two large bushes as I said this. His dorky Hawaiian-print button-up matched with khakis and hiking boots, all this underneath a face twisted in parental frustration, silver rings shining brilliantly in his septum and eyebrow, made my knees give out beneath me. I was doubled over in laughter.

“You’re a fuck, you know that?” he said. He walked towards me and I nimbly rolled away and sprang up, maneuvering my body into a myriad of ridiculous made-up ninja positions.

“Do not approach me. I will end you.” I gave him my most sinister grin, and then erupted once again in laughter. I couldn’t help it.

“You keep taking too much of this shit. It’s not about the money, you know that, you’re fucking frying your brain. Will you lay off it a bit?” I imagined his words bouncing off my ears like they were trampolines, jumping in a frenzy, never entering my head.

“Oh, please, oh please. Not now Jed. I’m too deep into this to give a shit right now. Don’t be a mood killer. Please,” I begged. I wrapped my arms around him tightly and did my best monkey impression. I felt him loosen up beneath me.

“Ok little monkey. Ok. Just get off of me, it’s hot as fuck.” I released my grip and let out a howl aimed for the heavens. Would it reach them? I pondered my voice, traveling up high, like digital data soaring through the air, reaching some angelic sentinel leaning back lazily against a golden gate.

“How much did you take?” he asked, lying on the ground next to where I had collapsed.

I held up three fingers.

“Forehead, meet palm,” I said, as he did just that.

“Dammit Rory, three? This shit is potent as FUCK. You’re too coherent to have taken three. You trip hasn’t been any different?”

Like a tsunami, it hit me. How could I have forgotten? Incredible. Just five minutes ago.

“Yes. Yes!” I scrambled upright quickly. “Something incredible happened.” His face was not matching my enthusiasm.

“No no no no,” I said, pummeling my fists into the ground. “Listen! Take me seriously! This is serious news! Seriousness!”

“Till you say it, I’m not taking you seriously. Go.” Jed stared at me unflinchingly, waiting.

“Well, so… I was having… my mind was going crazy, ya know. Words, thoughts, jumbly mumbo. Fun stuff. Um and then, and then…. Oh yeah! This voice! It, like, interrupted me! I know that’s not out of the ordinary, hallucinating voices, but this voice was like no other, Jed, I’m telling you. And it like… told me that I was prepared… I succeeded? Um… fuck…” I tapped my forehead violently with my finger. I caught his gaze, which was a little too patient, too composed. I had to get to the point, quickly.

“And then, I fucking, I drew this…. This thing in the air. With my finger! This circle! It was like, I was painting with my finger! Painting man, I was creating shit out of thin air. And I wore it like a bracelet and everything!” When I realized this was the end of the story, it dawned on me how utterly ridiculous it was. Pure psychedelic bullshit. Jed should be laughing right about now.

But Jed wasn’t laughing. He was staring at me with a serious look on his face. “Rory,” he said. “You’re fucking with me.”

“Uh, no? Yeah, that’s a great make-believe story, I created a fucking imaginary bracelet. I’m being dumb and I know it. Taking hallucinations too seriously.” I instinctively wrapped my arms around myself, like I always do when I’m feeling stupid or silly.

Under my left hand, I felt something warm and smooth. I looked down at my upper arm. There was the purple bracelet, shining magnificently, wondrously.

“You see that?” I asked him.

“Uh-huh,” he said, his voice still not showing any sort of emotion. “Now, Rory, I can usually read you like a book, and it doesn’t seem like you’re lying, but fuck, this is a little too crazy. You did not just draw that bracelet with your finger, did you? Tell me you bought it at some shitty jewelry stand off 9th avenue.”

I shook my head sincerely. “Honest,” I said softly. “I made it. Like the voice told me to. I just can’t believe you see it. You sure you’re not on something…?” I was beginning to feel skeptical of everything, like Jed. He held his hand up.

“I’m not. I had a shot or two of scotch. I’m sober, Ror.”

I widened my eyes, and giddiness bubbled in my chest. I felt my own natural euphoria combine with the drug’s manic presence.

“Jed! Jed. This is
insane.” I grabbed his hand. I saw him trying to fight off a smile. He was chewing his lip forcefully, staring into this distance.

“Let’s just wait till you’re sober and then we’ll talk about it,” he finally said.

“Oh that’s right. I’m not sober. Hah!” I suddenly became aware of the music beating away mercilessly just underneath my chin. I felt the drug more than ever in that instant. Its powerful waves of liberation just a daydream away tempted me with every heartbeat.

“I shall retreat back to trip world. I’ll see you in a bit, captain.” I crossed my eyes, stuck out my tongue, and saluted him. Jed pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, still chewing his lower lip like a fiend.

“I’ll be waiting here kid. Have fun.”

I put the headphones back on, sank back into the ground, and let the music overwhelm me while I closed my eyes and drifted into incomprehensible, inscrutable, beautiful worlds.
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
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