Tanya (Wilderness, South Africa)
It was the last weekend in my apartment, and a long time since my last trip.
So I invited three special people around on the Saturday night.
Unfortunately, they all work in the entertainment industry, so we were
planning to start at about midnight. Lo and behold, if I don't go and
develop my first cold in ages, nasty chest, headache, runny eyes and all.
That just couldn't be.... No problem, I thought, popping a couple of flu
tablets into my mouth and downing some cough mixture. Sadly, I didn't think
of checking the ingredients. I had just primed my system with codeine, to
which I am hypersensitive. But it helped. By the time they all arrived, I
felt much better, and was looking forward to the trip so much, I could taste
it. (And who doesn't taste it, when you just think about it? The trip starts
way before you drop.) We dropped at about midnight, just as planned.
We knew it was good when the weedle only lasted twenty minutes or so
(weedle: the time between ingesting and going up). It was a lovely weedle,
too, everyone in such a good mood of happy anticipation. I was settled in on
the floor, everything to hand, blankets and pillows, outdoors on the other
side of the door, music stacked up, all my precise requirements (which are
SO important), ready to go.
And go I did. Half an hour in, and I lost all consciousness of this
dimension. I was floating in space (but not our space), the place between
the dimensions. Below me, stretching to infinity, was a spiral of what
looked like slides of the scene in my lounge. Each one was slightly
different. I knew that they were alternative realities, slightly removed
from my own, most likely in time. And so many of them. In total panic, I
realised that I must find precisely the right one, or never be able to go
home. I would never see my kids again, I'd be out of place forever.
In the meantime, we later realised, my temperature had peaked at over 40
degrees centigrade, very high indeed. The codeine was trying to render me
unconsious (its usual effect on me) and the acid wouldn't let me go.
Occasionally,. I would dive into one of the worlds, and surface in my
lounge. I would ask my freaked-out friends, "Am I back? Is this real? Oh no!
I'm going back, this isn't it! I have to find it!" and more of the like. As
they were tripping off their faces themselves, it was all rather traumatic.
I was burning up, in pain all over, thinking I was going to die, and knowing
no-one would dare take me to hospital. (It turned out to be Sydney 'flu,
also known as death flu, which killed a lot of people here last year. I was
sick for another week).
At one stage, one of my friends thought it would help if they gave me a
mission, and sent me to the kitchen to get water. As I stood at the sink, I
knew that they had sent me here to kill myself, took out my carving knife,
and was about to cut my arm when I remembered that I was tripping.
Bad trip hardly begins to describe it. Five and a half hours later, I
surfaced enough to be able to ask what the time was, a question I then
repeated every 30seconds or so, for the next half an hour. I was actually
hoping to find the reality from six hours ago, dive into it, and arrive
before I took the acid, thus erasing the trip from existence. I really
thought I could do it, too. But time marched on in its usual fashion, and I
started coming out of it slightly, six hours in.
Of course, I was actually delirious from the fever, knocked out by the
codeine, and tripping hectically, all at once. It took a full day for me
stop seeing things. Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru visited me in my bedroom...
nice chat we had, too. All of us have never been so happy to come down in
And yet, and yet.... the places that I went to inside, the things I saw
about myself, and the longings I'd hidden from myself. I was stripped to the
bare bones, by fear and isolation. I think the trip saved my marriage,
showing me as it did that I could not live without my husband and my
children. (It was my greatest fear - permanent separation from them.) Quite
something to come out of a trip. And cheaper than therapy.
I waited a long time before the next one, though.