This past weekend, my friend tried mushrooms for the first time. It had been on her list of things to try for a while because she was intrigued by reports that they make you feel smarter, more creative and happy, and even give you spiritual insights. She wanted to have spiritual insights!
Lots of people have advice about how to try shrooms: You should do them in nature–like a national park, but “safe ” nature; you should do them with other, like-minded friends who can babysit you; you should have enough time to get to the nature, trip and come down so that you can drive home. So, like 18 consecutive hours maybe. On top of this, Reddit notes that: you’ll want to be near a toilet, and a source of water; bring paints or an instrument or a notebook to play or paint or write; bring some food for when you are coming down…
This is a lot of organizing for someone like my friend, plus, she’s not really in the ‘shroom loop: she only had a little baggie of the fungus given to her many months ago, not really enough to share with all the like-minded friends she might find.
On Saturday afternoon, my friend had her apartment to herself. She was feeling a bit lackluster in her writing, and possibly just in life, and she had quite a bit of housecleaning to do–which she was actually deigning to do since the writing was going so unspectacularly. In the midst of this, she had an epiphany. She thought “I feel safe in my apartment, it has a toilet and water, and food in the fridge, and I can see trees out the window which is kind of like nature. I will do the ‘shrooms here, now. It might make folding laundry more fun, or maybe I will have amazing thoughts and write them down, or draw pictures. Maybe it will make the same feel different!
She commenced reading advice on how to imbibe the mushrooms… eat them plain and bitter-tasting; bake them into brownies; eat them with dark chocolate; chop them up small and boil them and make a tea. She chopped them up small, and boiled them per instructions, and added some hot chocolate mix, which she thought was pretty clever. She also ate the last mushy mushroom grounds at the bottom of the mug, which according to the internet, was optional.
Then she waited to feel different. She researched a little more: It could take between ten minutes and an hour to feel the effects, said people on the internet. She remembered that music was also advised. She’d been meaning to figure out how to transfer music between computers, so she did this now, hurriedly, figuring it might be more difficult after the ‘shrooms kicked in. She did some dishes, she finished folding all the laundry and made the bed. She went to the toilet and while she was there she watched a specific tree she liked outside the window. It was swaying in the breeze. Was the tree more captivating than usual? She wasn’t sure. Did she feel different than usual? She wasn’t sure. She was a little tired, but she had started out a little tired. It wasn’t unpleasant. She sat on the expanse of freshly-made bed, sat cross-legged and rocked back-and-forth and in circles…It made feel pleasantly tipsy. More so than rocking in circles without a drug? Maayyybe?
After a while she went outside to see if what was missing was the nature. It was nice out, but also sunny and a bit too warm and she hadn’t slathered herself in sunscreen, so she went back inside. She didn’t feel like painting, or writing…but she thought she might feel a less anxious about that than usual. Or not. It wasn’t like she didn’t have occasional sober moments of un-anxiety, right? Whatever. She was happy with her made bed. She was happy with the music. So she lay there and listened to the music and rocked back and forth and thought about nothing she could remember later, she maybe took a little nap.
A couple hours later, she had the coming-down-munchies…or maybe it was dinner time, so she got up and looked in the fridge and ate something. And then she felt a burst of creativity… or maybe not, but she opened the computer and wrote something anyway. Was her concentration better than usual? Possibly? She worked until it was time to go to sleep.
The day of magic mushrooms was over.