What follows was written three years ago when I was being caned by the International Baccalaureate program in Oman, as a result of the urge to break out of creative languishment.
Bali was a wonderful escape from regularity, the recent paranoid horrors that ultimately terrorized the end of each blaze session and most importantly, the IB. It had that laid-back and relaxed ambience that was essential for disposing of every single fuck you had at that point. The people projected a friendly aura, but like most of the drugs some tried to sell, from toxic hash to powdered-down cocaine, you had the sense that what appeared on the surface as authentic crumbled down into something hideous after further inspection. The exceptions, however oddly enough, were the ubiquitous mushrooms (the magical type, indeed), which seemed to sprout up everywhere, like goddamn McDonald’s drive-thrus. This was amazing in an absurd way – getting caught with some chronic would land you up to 10 years in jail, but personality-changing, globally illegal shrooms were perfectly tolerated. This place was rife with cheap alcohol and drugs, placid beach sceneries and fiendish Australians to remind you where exactly decadence had reached its peak, somewhere between penis key chains and stickers sold publicly that read, “NZ IS AUSTRALIA’S BITCH”. The issue was, this was a family trip.
It took many light, ill-constructed articles about the beneficial aspects of magic mushrooms and some wise words from a wise family friend to convince my mother into embracing the idea of witnessing her son unlock his mind, completely unaware of the possible gnarly consequences. The group comprised of three females and I, my sister, cousin-sister and mother. My sister was no stranger to psychedelics however she was frightened of what sort of maniacal riot she might turn into in the presence of sensitive company, refusing to indulge in the island’s most widely publicized product. Nonetheless, my cousin and I were eager to open our doors of perception.
After a couple days of moseying around Kuta, browsing the neon lit markets and winding walkways with the odd pair of happy looking dudes with a portable fridge full of mushrooms strewn all over the place, we decided it was finally time. We bought two puffed up plastic bags with a sizable amount of what looked like stale noodles sticking out of UFO’s from a foreign exchange/mushroom seller, who gave us a good deal on both, with some reluctance. To mask the rancid taste, my cousin and I consumed a bag each at a Starbucks with some pastries. The ceremonial picture-taking and instagramming didn’t quell the thought that they were defective. I knew shrooms took at least an hour to kick in, but this underlying pessimism at the root of my thoughts negated at least 7 youtube videos. As we walked back to our hotel after calling it a day, bitter bitching ensued about the ethics of drug tourism and the closer we got, the more animated I became as heavy thoughts flooded my mind, eventually requiring some sort of record of it all, hence, below. We entered the room. I went bonkers.
8:23 PM: Feeling a bit strange… a bit giggly… I want to go for a dip. This show is comedic, but missing that edge.
8:27 PM: Reception isn’t answering… I feel like ripping my tendons out, it’s like they’re fucking calling me…
9:08 PM: The pool was beautiful… The kind, non-English speaking lady let me wad around for a while. My tendons kind of feel normal again… Post/pre sleep feeling… When they kind of just zone out and disconnect from the rest of my body, they feel energized while I feel like stale Asian food…
9:23 PM: The room bored me. The sloths were in their primitive position… I’ve found this lovely nature infused place… One of the sloths join me, I’m guessing they were frightened at the potential chaos I could cause… Three pages in and this journal’s already redundant, my hands can’t keep up with my mind… The sloth leaves then returns again… My mind is an ocean and my train of thought or consciousness, as you like, is a tiny fishing boat that paddles by looking for a big catch…
9:36 PM: This song is peaceful, house with overtones of brilliant jazz. The stuff black people put on the table for their right to live back in the 30’s in America… Why does everything revolve around those fat, capitalistic bastards? Such hate for them across the world, there’s good reason however, what with global spying and shit.
9:42 PM: Continuing from my previous point… One sec, letting some thoughts boil… This blend of rock and Biggie is actually quite nice… Stomach hurts, sit back down… These black, shiny cement sofas are deceiving; they look comfier than they are… I wonder what the sloths are up to, probably slouching around their brain numbing vortex… What were those TV’s from the book, 1984, called? That concept will materialize soon with technology facilitating governments and corporations that are already spying on us…
9:53 PM: These shrooms ain’t defective that’s for sure.
10:06 PM: The sloths came and picked me up for some grub… We’ve plodded to the Hard Rock Restaurant… Time to get some nutrients…
11:45 PM: Just enjoyed half a scrumptious burger… My consciousness and sub consciousness have meshed into one slate of thought, guiding me through a snowy black forest.
12:11 AM: Watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, my new favorite TV show. Brilliant sitcom, truly displays irony at its finest.
12:22 AM: I miss Veda, thoughts of her re-occur more vividly and life-like than any vision a drug could induce. Love you, Bear.
The day before we left Bali, I ingested some by myself, in a juice this time. It struck faster, but left me mellow and euphoric. My face was painted with unfocused joy, my eyes darted everywhere and my life was encapsulated in the ethereal beauty of a Roger Waters riff.
Turned out that I never watched an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm again and Veda and I parted sourly. While I was tripped out, profundity and love seemed to define my existence. As I look back on it, shrooms was to weed what Bali is to Oman, an intense change of every sense of being and a nice break from reality as I construct it.