Slow summer days were in dire need of ignition. As I rode along the same highway, towards the only town I ever leave my own to visit, my subtle feelings of excitement, which were all too quick to light up my heart, were stifled by the dull stain of familiarity. I neared my destination suspicious of success, and drifted closer to my predetermined destination.
"We have 20X, 40X, or 80X, the grungy shop employee told me. I checked my wallet and eagerly shelled outs sixty dollars for 80X." He clasped the cashed, carelessly flipped through it, placed it in the register, handed me a bag, and continued.
"You're also going to need a torch-lighter. Do you have one?"
"No," I said.
"They're fifteen dollars."
Profanity flashed in my mind, then I reluctantly handed him fifteen more in return for a weighted, silver torch.
"Alright, have fun," he said with a smirk.
My friends and I left the barren store to a beautiful, freely unnoticed day, and then drug ourselves back to my car.
"Let me see it," one of them demanded.
"After me," I shot back.
I opened the bag to see a tiny bounty of grey, ground leaves. It smelled metallic with a hint of ash, and gave me an impression of synthetic mystery. I gave it a quizzical stare then handed it to a friend that didn't ask for it.
We passed the bag between one another on the journey back home, all the while hearing stories about what were in for by our senior member, self-proclaimed veteran of drugs. Im not sure if I had been speeding to get to the destination quicker or to simply shorten story-time.
We entered the room and sat down in our usual circle: two on the couch, two on the bed. As it was prepared, I surveyed the room, as I knew it would look far different from how I was seeing it at the moment.
The room had a soft, incandescent glow that bathed the furniture in a calming shade of yellow-orange. The floor, tan carpet, and littered with a variety of objects that accented the abnormally structured Feng Shui of the walls, which held a compilation of Van Gogh paintings, motivational posters, and Christian iconography.
After my surveillance, I was handed a pipe full of the mysterious grey matter and the torch-lighter, of which I was told to roast the whole bowl and keep the smoke in my lungs for as long as possible, about 5-10 seconds.
I placed the pipe to my lips, flicked the torch-lighter on, and witnessed its intense blue flame disintegrate the grey leaves in a brilliant red glow. The smoke crossed over my tongue and rushed into my lungs, leaving the noxious aftertaste of burnt plastic in its wake. My chest and throat began to tighten, but I knew I had to hold it in. After about eight seconds of this unrelenting discomfort, I was told to blow out. Smoke billowed from my mouth, and for that first half second, I didn't really feel any different.
Then my skull felt flooded with ice-water. The faces and figures of my friends seeped into the background and warped with my vision. I shut my eyes, threw my head back in laughter, and witnessed my head split apart at the jaw. Ribbons of vibrant crimson and mauve erupted from the corners of my eyelids, intricately connecting in a sequence that peeled my eyes back open and yanked my head down to my lap.
But as my body thrust downwards, my vision remained above, and I watched myself plunge into a dark mass, rippling the airwaves into colorful, dancing strings as I passed. Then, my body and mind snapped back into one.
The floor was now a wavy, shimmering sea of gold fractals. My friends were surreal, cartoonish, and laughing at something I wasn't aware of at the time. My sanity felt effectively curb-stomped, and forcibly contorted into perceiving a realm that bled outwards from my very mind. There was no BFP anymore. That idea had shattered into dust and was being used as paint for my subconscious to color the world around me.
It was as if peering through an illusion. I could see the images swirling behind reality. They appeared chaotic, but after the first initial glimpse, they were orderly, down to mathematical precision. After that, I was possessed to straighten out the objects that littered the floor, vacuum cleaners, books, DVD cases, anything I could find, into a kind of portal for something to come through. I lined everything up by their angles to complete the first part of an archway, and then looked to my friends, as I could slowly feel my mind regaining a grip on the agreed reality. I pleaded with them to help, and grew frustrated by their laughter.
During this stroll through eternity, my mind world began to melt off the face of reality. I felt physically and mentally exhausted, and as if I had just woken up from a dream. What was real and what was not had almost no meaning to me now, as I don't think I'd ever really know the difference. I looked around at my friends, who were all still laughing, and I joined them.
I picked up the bag, looked to one of my friends, and said, "Your turn." Then promptly thew the bag his way.