Want to go on an adventure? It’s a short trip, no need to pack. Forget passports and transportation, you’ll be far away without leaving your seat.
The ticket costs $20.00, enjoy the ride…
Thick smoke slowly drifts toward the ceiling as the peace-pipe passes from one willing hand to another. It’s my turn in the rotation and my fingers firmly grasp around the fragile glass. The herb burns a brilliant red color as I light the bowl, inhaling the thick smoke deep into my lungs. I exhale, then repeate. I raise the piece to my mouth again for another hit, but I pause…I feel different, very different. I pass the pipe.
What is real and what is dream? Red and white candy cane striped lines race across the blue dormitory carpet of my friend’s room. Why are there so many lines? Everything is made of lines!—and those lines are wonderfully vivid…and moving. Some are filled with small red blocks traveling neatly inside the line like the flow of an electric current through a wire. It is all so strange. Some seem like Christmas lights. Why is geometry so intensely frightening?
I feel wet all over. My clothing is soaked. I must be sweating. It is really hot. It’s winter, why is it so goddamn hot? I feel an overwhelming need to shower, but have no ambition to move.
My stomach itches so I stratch it. My friends are laughing; I am laughing, and I can not stop. Why are they calling me the Pillsbury Doughboy, I wonder? What the fuck!? I feel like I’m in a cartoon and become afraid. I try to speak but slur my words in unintelligible fragments. No one understands me!
I sit idly in a chair perplexed and horrified by this madness as a bridge appears behind me. I feel compelled to walk across. I must.
Suddenly the bridge disappears before I can cross and I awake confused, lying on the floor with my head resting on my friend’s shoe. Where am I, what happened to the bridge, and how did I end up on the floor? Why is everyone staring at me? How long was I gone? I was crawling, REALLY? How did the bridge turn into an air-conditioner and where did the tunnel behind the bunk bed go?
I panic and stagger to the door, hastily making my way toward my own dorm on the opposite side of the building. I stumble over dying shrubs and fresh pine straw until I finally arrive at my residence. I’m freaking out. I’ve never experienced something so intense…and so terrifying. I’m consumed with fear.
I kick open the door and yell to my suitemate. “James!” I know James can help me, he always knows what to do—he’s a red bearded Buddha of sorts. Wait, where the hell is he? Why is he not in his dorm? Damnit, I forgot he did not return this semester. He left me, what am I to do!? I need to call someone who can help me, but who?
Wait…never mind, I shouldn’t call anyone…it will pass, I am sure. I collapse on my bed, resting on the soft, camouflage sheets. I keep telling myself to calm down and relax, this is all only temporary. But still I don’t feel right. It’s all just a dream—a bad dream, a horrid nightmare. Nothing makes sense anymore. I doubt everyone’s existence, including my own. Is this life real or simply another hallucination? Am I being tricked? Am I dreaming? Yes, yes, it’s all a figment of my imagination. It’s all just a dream.
I shouldn’t be alone right now I decide, gathering myself together for the walk back to my friend’s dorm. They are gathered outside smoking cigarettes. Corey hands me a Newport and I light it, thinking that maybe the cig will get me straight…but it doesn’t. I am overwhelmed with intense anxiety, paranoia, and skepticism. Fear embraces my very being as my mind races.
Do I even exist? Does this cigarette in my hand exist? Is it real? What about the others: Alex, Josh, Corey, and Big Rob…are they really there, is that really them? Are they simply characters of some greater dream, some grand, malevolent hallucination?—it feels like the Matrix. I can’t guarantee they are real; I tell them they aren’t real. They laugh at me. I must sober up! I have to chill; I have to relax.
I come to slowly. Only a few minutes had passed but it seemed much longer. I had just been brutally plunged headfirst into a steaming vat of Descartes philosophy. “I think, therefore I am.”
No more salvia. I will never try it again and that is for damn sure!