A Stoner’s Trip

DISCLAIMER:  This is fictional story.  It is an instalment of a series of fictional stories involving drug use as a central plot theme.  Reader discretion is advised.  The provision of this story over the Internet, or through any other means of communication, is not to be interpreted as a suggestion or recommendation to use drugs.  The reader assumes any and all responsibilities derived from his or her actions.

2008 09 04, Marijuana and My Salvia Flashback, by George Bookman (.txt)

Last night, I smoked marijuana for the first time since my first and only panic attack back on 6 May 2008.  Once again, I was with Frank Clear when this happened, although this time it was in his apartment.

Recognising what had happened four months ago, I decided that I could go easy at first to see what effects it would have on me, and if I would once again experience a panic attack.

I had the first hit, but I didn’t get much into my lungs and therefore had to follow it up immediately with another.  In total, four of us there smoked that night.  (I unfortunately cannot recall the names of the other two.)  When the mini-bong got passed back to me again, I took another hit.  I decided not to take a third hit when it came around the third time, and for the reason I explain above.

I find myself at this point pleasantly baked—which is not the same thing as being stoned out, but is quite nice.  Euphoria kicked in, and the music was good.  We talked about this and that.  I recall explaining briefly the nature of my one and only ’shroom trip.

In not too much time, everyone migrated to another bedroom for some purpose that didn’t concern me and that I do not recall.  I followed, and spotted a kids clock that I used to have.  The clock’s owner informed me that he had had it since he was a kid, and that it had never failed him.

Once business was completed in this other room, we migrated back to Frank’s room, wherein the mini-bong was repacked.

I inquired Frank whether he was planning to pack more than two times that night or just two.  If it was to be more than two, then I would hold off until the third packing before smoking more, as I was quite enjoying my pleasantly baked state and did not want to leave it just yet.  However, he informed me that it was just going to be packed twice, and thus I decided to smoke again.

I should add that my condition at this time was great.  I did not feel necessarily as high, as forgetful, as I had been in previous uses.  There was no sign of panic attack.

I smoked second, after Frank.  It got passed around to me one or two more times before the final passing, at which point it was fairly dead and not conducive to producing much smoke.

I sat on Frank’s bed cross-legged enjoying the music, semi-dancing to the music.  Eventually the two persons whose names I do not recall left the room to do something else.  Frank was at his computer checking his email or something.  Eventually he suggests I come over so that we can watch some things on YouTube.  At this point, I'm stoned out.  Frank points out that there is a chair behind him, which I then manage to bring closer to the computer.

At a certain point, I lean back in the chair, and feel it tip.  As it turns out, this was a rocking chair.  I had not realised that until the tipping feeling.

I don’t know exactly what set it off—perhaps it was the rocking feeling—but I started to have a salvia flashback.  As I explained in June when I used salvia, the substance (which is completely legal here in the state of North Potomac) caused in me the sensation of repetition from which I could not escape.

At first I thought my salvia flashback was going to be temporary, but as it turns out, it lasted the entire night.  It was weaker than the actual salvia experience, so I was fairly conscious.  I knew who I was, I knew everything I needed to know about me, yet I kept slipping into the feeling of repetition.

As I was sitting there, I felt constantly like I was rocking back and forth, or that my legs were moving in a manner similar to the legs of a bike-rider, or that my legs and arms were wobbling in and out.  But because the salvia-esque nature of this experience was weak, I kept returning to consciousness of what I was doing.  Each time I returned to consciousness, I realised that I was actually making the movements I was feeling, despite having no intention of making these movements.  For example, when I felt like a bicycler, I actually discovered that I was picking one leg up then the other, back and forth.

I decided to try to explain how interesting this was to Frank (without sounding like a dolt, which I’m sure I did given my condition).  However, my description was too long-winded, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I rambled; while Frank was still wanting to watch this stuff on YouTube.  I realised that I, too, still wanted to watch, and thus resolved not to continue this discussion until another time.

I had cotton-mouth, and was very appreciative that Frank offered me his water.

I laughed at things on YouTube that probably wouldn’t have made me laugh were it not for the pot.  Frank also played the introduction to Doug, which I had not seen in years.  I had little control over my mannerisms (that’s not to say I did not bear complete and total responsibility for them, as I had smoked up voluntarily), and thus had to be careful not to stomp my foot, which I think I accidentally did upon seeing Doug.

After a while of that, we went to the living room and watched some television.  Family Matters came on, and cracked me up (just as it had when I was a kid, which was the last time I saw that wonderful show).  However, we went to another station when a commercial came on and never returned.

When we flipped to C-SPAN, the Republican National Convention was one.  I suddenly got extremely pessimistic.  Whereas I am generally pessimistic about gaining Liberty in the short-run (e.g. my lifetime), I am optimistic that mankind will be liberated in the long-run (i.e. long after I die).  That night, I pessimistically proclaimed that humanity will never be free.

It just seemed to make sense last night that the state is simply too ingrained and that anarchy (peace, Justice, Liberty, order, free trade) will never be achieved.  It just seemed to make sense that the only thing any ethical human can do is live the life of an anarchist stoic, that is to say all a person can ever do is refrain from aggressing against others in any situation whatsoever.

(For clarity, aggression is the initiation of force, not the use of force.  It is not unethical to use force defensively, only offensively.  An anarchist stoic would therefore be one who refuses to initiate physical coercion (or advocate the initiation thereof) ever, no matter how many other people think it’s okay, and no matter how many other people are doing it.  It is, indeed, the only way to live an ethical life.)

I was also struck by how purely evil John McCain and Barack Obama must truly be to wish to be slave-masters over others.  (Evil not in some subjective religious sense (I’m an atheist), but in a natural, objective sense.)  The only ethical reason to ever seek such an office is to work to dismantle it.  These men, however, fight each other to gain this office; an office they would both use to enact unmentionable aggression against millions, maybe even billions, of people; why?  Because they want their names to live on in the history books and don’t care what unspeakable evil it takes to get them there.  They want to be admired for their crimes once they’re dead and gone, and they don’t care that it takes slavery to maintain that station in life.  They are, in short, entirely devoid of any concern for the ethics required by human nature and natural law.  They are anomists, and lawlessness is their playground.  They are scum.

I typically don’t ascribe the term “evil” to persons, preferring to say merely that they live ethically or not, since the term “evil” could be misconstrued.  But “evil” definitely felt like the right word last night.  Seeing Joe Lieberman, I couldn’t help but to think, “What a totalitarian!”  As you likely know, he’s pro-censorship, pro-high taxes, pro-war, pro-so many senseless things.  But, enough about politics.

Frank had some reddish liquid which he shared with us.  I don’t know what it was, but it tasted exquisite.

The rolling salvia flashback did not cease all night, at it felt strange to walk to get more water.  While I was standing at the counter, I reasoned that I ought to hold onto the counter to ensure that I did not fall.  I also noticed that because of the flashback, I was moving rather slowly.

The flashback, I realised, typically retreated a little whenever I would begin engaging in something different.  When I began walking to the counter, things were fine.  When I was at the counter, however, I had to hold on.  When I returned to my chair, I had to pass in front of the television, which at this time was being used for playing a video game.  Thus, I crawled under the line of vision; this action was also rather different.

Whenever I was in the chair, if I were to stand up halfway and then let gravity take me back down, only then could I recognise how slow my other actions truly were.  I'm used to gravity being at a certain acceleration (g), which is why it was able to make me conscious of my rate of movement.

I also found myself constantly wanting to crack my joints, which isn’t too odd for me.  But, whenever I would make some movement, I would seem to continue in that direction as if I were flowing (not flying, but flowing; again, this is all a result of the salvia flashback).

I began comparing this to other experiences with pot; this experience was unlike all my previous ones.  Whereas my thoughts would often by cloudy under pot in the past, they were more rigid last night.  (I know that sounds weird.)  To put it another way, my forgetfulness on pot in the past would always flow smoothly, whereas my forgetfulness last night came in “chunks,” as though it were to the beat of my heart.  (I worry that this still makes no sense to the reader, given the abstract nature of the concepts I’m addressing.  By “forgetfulness,” I mean to imply that it’s hard to maintain a specific line of thinking while high on marijuana.  One will often find himself or herself forgetting halfway into a paragraph the point he or she intended to convey.)

To be honest, my last experience with alcohol reflected my former typical experience with marijuana more than my two experiences this year.  It felt very “flowy.”  Perhaps alcohol will become my new favourite drug?  We’ll see.

I was quite absorbed into my own world, and kept analysing everything about my experience; I felt almost autistic because of this self-absorption, but more on that later.  Another thing I noticed is that my heart was beating very rapidly (or it at least seemed to), and thus one might assume I was having another panic attack (which I’ve only had once, four months ago, as I mentioned above).  However, one key element was missing: the panic!  I also found myself less able to breath, and so I kept taking deep breaths.

Yet, no panic!  Perhaps this is because I recognised early on that this salvia flashback was probably going to last all night, that I would continue to slip into and out of it, and that ultimately I was going to be just fine.  Nevertheless, the odd physiological reaction was indeed there, even without the actual panic.

And so I kept making weird little repetitious movements, kept cracking my joints (including shoulder and back), and kept combing my hands through my hair.  And, I kept on noticing.  The next thing I noticed was that everything felt scratchy.  Even while combing my hands through my soft hair, my scalp interpreted the slight tug on my hair to be a light scratchiness.

I began at a late juncture considering the nature of autism.  As my readers may know, autism can appear in a variety of extremities, depending upon where the person appears on the autism spectrum.  This light salvia-esque experience would be, I thought, akin to a lighter degree of autism, as I could still communicate with the outside world; whereas my actual experience on salvia three months ago would be akin to a very profound case of autism.  I realised, of course, that this can only work as an analogy, since for Salvia divinorum to simulate the literal heavy-autism experience, then my state last night would have to be the literal light-autism experience, and I highly doubt it is.  I highly doubt that those who experience light cases of autism actually experience the repetitious feelings I experienced last night.  (On the other hand, my erratic physical movements (e.g. the wobbling and the back-and-forth step-stepping) did appear similar to me to those I’ve seen from some autistic persons.  Still, I’m sceptical.)

In any event, the human brain is an extremely interesting organ, and still—unfortunately—not well-understood.

I don’t really recall much what was going on around me while I was engaging in this self-reflection.  Eventually, everyone went to sleep, and I was alone on the couch watching television.  The Daily Show appears to have gone downhill some in the past year or two.  Unfortunate.  I eventually went to sleep, and had dreams that reflected my experience that night.

When I woke the next morning around eleven o’clock a.m., the high was gone but the mild euphoria was still there.  In fact, that lasted half-way into today.

Previous Story


Next Story