I wanted to be a cannibal—no you don’t understand. I wanted to transform out of my mundane husk into something more enlightened, something new—in a word, an adult. I explored the books of the Indigenous library at UBC, and found out about the cannibal dance of the Heiltsuk, which involved kidnapping a young man, feeding him little except for hallucinogens (in some cases) and making him dance for three days, tied to a pole, while dancers in mythical bird headdress danced around him, clacking their great long beaks. There was even Qulus, sister to the Thunderbird, which was the name of the first company I ever worked for: all the signs were matching up. So I decided to have my own go at it.
I got 18 grams of Silly Simons (psilocybin mushrooms) from a stranger on the stairs—he told me not to use his name. It was the windiest Sunday I could remember, dark and gloomy, but I took them anyway in the middle of the day because I had done this shit before. I’ve done 10 grams before, so I nibbled just over half the bag (a bit more than 10 probably). As I waited for them to kick in, I began my ceremony.
No one really understands the cannibal dance; it was the most prestigious of the dances that anyone could do (the other category of dances, were inherited; not for everyone). The idea is that the person kidnapped is considered to be a cannibal (and if you’ve ever seen someone on heavy psychedelics or starvation you’d understand the comparison). Lashing, foaming at the mouth (lol), they’d gradually come back to reality and be allowed back into society. There are all sorts of causes to why this experience formulates as such, but I’ll show rather than detail. In this sense, Jesus was a cannibal. He consumed his bodily form as it were; a parallel the Heiltsuk saw and realized. Hence their wiliness to live among the missionaries to better understand such parallels.
Well such a transformation doesn’t come for nothing. I was soon in sweats as I read Psalms from the Bible, in my blue robe and yellow sash. After one passage, the earth shook and rattled (though it was the neighbours upstairs). I was so startled once finished, and it was only 20 minutes in—I knew I was fucked. I lied down, closed my eyes, and saw Jesus in neon sort of lights, gesturing to me openly. It was a glorious sight, but these closed-eye visuals only got stronger and they were already overwhelming. Tears streamed down my cheeks.
At this point, I was fucked, and I knew I was fucked, so I tried to make some tea to warm my body, as I was shaking with cold and fright. I put some water in the kettle and turned on the stove AND TO MY SHOCK THE RED LIGHT CAME ON. It might as well have been a fire; it scared me so much. I then realized I was in no state to properly use the stove: you can’t use the stove, you’re so fucked up you can’t use the stove, look at this you’re gonna’ light the house on fire, you’re going to die—is how the thought chain went. Absurd, but absolutely convincing at the time—I quickly turned off the kettle and tried to bring myself down. I grabbed oranges and tore them open desperately, leaving peel upon the cold dusty floor.
I huddled about my little trash bucket, with my teddy bears and blanket, eating oranges, sticking fingers down my throat trying to throw up. Someone in the hall of my apartment heard, and I heard the most guttural, “Oh noooooo,” I’ve ever heard in my life—she knew I was fucked, and then (for real) I knew I was fucked. I thought I was dying, there was no doubt I was dying. I tried calling the nameless drug-dealer, but he didn’t answer. I think I left a message. I then bit the bullet and called 911.
“Hello, 911 dispatch, what is the case of your problem?”
“Hello, I think I’ve eaten too many magic mushrooms,” I said. “I think I need my stomach pumped.”
As soon as I heard her voice, I realized I wasn’t fucked, but way too fucking aware—I heard every inflection in her voice, and was totally aware of her thought process. I was suddenly happy, and even orgasmic (only 50 percent ashamed). Talking to her was like sex, every breath felt like ecstasy, yet the subject of the conversation was anything but.
“I have an EpiPen should I use that?” I said.
“No, sir, do not use the EpiPen!” she crescendoed.
I explained to her what happened and how I got the mushrooms.
“Do you want to give me the number of the guy?” she said.
“What—like the guy I bought them off of?”
“No,” I smiled. “No, then he would get in trouble.”
Her voice rose an octave, guilty. “Ok,” she said.
“No, why would I do that?” I said.
“Iono, maybe we can phone them up and ask him where he got them and help you.”
I was dying, but I was no snitch. “No, I can’t do that,” I said. I was dying, but I still had morals damnit. This was clearly my doing and blaming someone was only gonna’ make me feel even worse, that I betrayed someone. So I just continued breathing somewhere between orgasm and terror until she finally said, “They’re here. You’ll have to go downstairs.”
You’d think it would get better, but it only gets more extreme. I left my iPhone on the kitchen counter, still on call, by the kitchen door that I left open, as I went downstairs to the lobby, only wearing boxer shorts. I was completely naked otherwise, at the end of winter. I got downstairs to see two parked police SUVs on the highway, spinning their red and blue lights, and a young male police officer. I was hoping for the paramedics, but at this point, I thought I was already dead basically, or if not dead, going to jail.
The cop was smiling though, and I felt at least I was safe by him. He asked questions about my information, and I felt he was checking my awareness. I felt much better talking to someone. His name was, “G for anything,” to which I thought it must’ve been God, God himself stepping down to help one of his forlorn sons (jk jk). Once the questions were over, he put away his notebook, and I became the questioner, which quickly became, “Am I going to jail?” He said no, it’s not illegal to eat mushrooms, only to posses them dried, to which I was overwhelmed with relief. But then I felt he was pissed that my attitude changed because I felt I was no longer going to jail (or dying for that matter).
They said they’d have their boys come check me out, which turned the matter to another ordeal. Why were the cops here and not the paramedics? I said I was dying damnit. But then I realized they thought I was a junky or meth head—the dispatcher asked me if I felt violent, to which I refuted (off-guard) giving my most feminine, “No, why would I be that way?” The ultimate leap of faith came when they told me I aught to grab some warm clothes, and I asked one to go upstairs into my apartment and get my clothes. “Yeah?” they performed a doubletake, then an officer went upstairs. I quickly realized they could fuck me over then. “There’s some marijuana here on the counter,” radioed the officer back down, and I heard it blare out before me. I was quickly saddened, but the officer in front of me said, “Don’t worry about it,” which didn’t help, because interrogators say that shit all the time to murderers when they fess up they did it. “It’s ok it’s ok…. so where’s the body?” right? Anyways.
The officer brought down some warm clothes for me which I quickly put on, as fellow tenants scoffed by my sweaty nakedness. They were very helpful. Even loving…which is when things got really gay. I could feel them turning on to me, and vice versa, which made it very awkward. God damn, every time the breeze started up (which was strong that day), it would collect and build up in me akin to any monstrous orgasm I’ve felt before, except here were two police officers awkwardly before me. It was fucked, and I knew it was fucked. But it was completely natural really. Sexuality suddenly had no meaning—I was TRANSFORMING! But at the sake of others. The one officer shook his belt, trying to snap me out of my trance, but I just thought him to be a belly dancer who was getting horny…so he went outside in shame. The realizations were uncanny, which was intriguing though shocking to others: truth is often shocking.
The day was particularly busy for paramedics, so G-for-anything ended up driving me in his cruiser to the hospital (the first time he suggested it I laughed: as if I was gonna’ be a criminal riding in the back). It was actually pretty fun. “Man, this is the 21st century,” I said with great excitement looking at the computer and front console of the car. “21stcentuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrryyyyyyyy,” he said back, jokingly. He was a good guy, I felt bad involving him. I kept asking him questions and learned he was a bus driver beforehand. “Yeah one of the bad things about being the bus driver is everyone wants to talk to the driver,” he said, at which I recoiled from my joy, realizing I had upset the officer—though only slightly. I still felt extreme, and so stopped talking and kept my gaze on my feet. I felt he felt my sadness, that I didn’t want to irritate him to which he was genuinely surprised at, empathy is a funny thing. He parked outside the ER and opened my door. He accompanied me inside.
At this point, I hadn’t the slightest idea why I was here—the thought of death and imprisonment was long past, and I felt quite benevolent after the police ordeal. I tried to tell the lady why I was here, but I couldn’t even speak—whenever I spoke, I could see my words spiral out in waves, like seeing the trees but not the forest. I could hear the sound of my voice, but had no clue what the words I said meant. It was really funny, but not because I was in the ER.
“Why are you here?” she said.
“I don’t know!” I said, with great defeat. I turned to the officer, and I felt he was there for me. Might as well have been God. Eventually I got the information out well enough, and he said he would have to leave me. I was very grateful to him.
At this point, I was like Jesus. I was caught up in my own vision which others could only catch fragments of. I sat down and quickly realized how bullshit an ER room is—half the people there were just there for a Sunday night, talking to their partners as if it was a meeting hall. Most of them were never called up either to see a doctor. It was a joke on their part, and the staff knew it—only the real cases were called up, and they got dealt with right away. There was some lady talking about the street I lived on, (because she overhead me tell the lady about it).
“My, what a good neighbourhood that use to be!” Just a typical bitch wanting attention—she never got called up. I was doing my best not to have orgasms, which were full-blown overwhelming convulsions of shameful joy—I was now peaking on mushrooms. Every time I closed my eyes, I forgot where I was, swallowed by the most powerful interplay of colour and shape I could imagine. I saw a baby vibrating with great joy, radiating the most beautiful colours, then opened my eyes realizing there was a pregnant lady holding her belly due any minute now—she was the first to get attention, with her family following behind her. I could tell everyone knew I was fucked, but they wanted some of what I had because the orgasmic feeling was evidently something they weren’t accustomed to—it was great, but really fucking weird. Eventually I get called up.
I explain to the doctor in the little room what happened.
“So you’re having hallucinations and stuff?” he said.
His voice seems to float among the myriad of sound I was hearing. “Yes,” I say somewhat proud.
“Did you take anything else with the mushrooms or just the mushrooms?”
“Well I smoked some marijuana,” I said. Smile, “That’s when everything went wrong really.”
He then asks me to roll up my sleeves—he thought I was a junky I think. I just sat there waiting for him to look at my arms, while he wrote away, but the way I held myself I think he realized I was innocent with heroin. He was looking for something that he couldn’t find, it was obvious at this time that medical personnel had no idea how to deal with someone on this many mushrooms. They thought I was on something else for sure. “Just go sit back down,” he said defeated.
I took a seat by his little office, away from the others I was with before. I think he thought I was funny the doctor because he went and told his colleagues something eagerly, raising his arms like, “This kid’s so high!” Then they took selfies for god knows what reason. Laughter is the best medicine. I saw the one officer from earlier, who looked like a new man, or a child who’s seen something new. A new lady took over clerk duties, and I remember her turning to me with cool blue eyes, as if she knew I was on mushrooms—she probably did reading the logs. She turned out to be the new doctor/nurse inspecting people waiting in the ER. I could tell she was a nice normal lady, who was intrigued by this experimental degenerate (me) like a princess to a dragon or something cliche like that. I thought she wanted to take me home with her. She began to cry at one time too, closing the door, saying, “These people are just going to have to wait.” I felt it was all my fault, and I was sure why, but who knows—maybe someone just died on her.
At this point, I was coming down—the same three thoughts and urges rang around my head: you have to go pee, you have to escape, am I still here? Basically, all thought processes can be knocked down to these three strains, although built up to appear as to not. I realized no one was being helped any longer, and this was a good typical Sunday night in the ER, so I got up to leave. I almost fell over cause my foot was so asleep, so quickly sat back down. The blue-eyes looked at me in shock. No clue what she thought besides intrigue. After waiting a minute or two, I got up and asked the dispatcher, “Why am I here?” and, “Can I leave?” to which she gave me scornful eyes. I still thought the cops brought me here when I called them.
I left the hospital, and the partner of the bitch accompanied me out. He was balding and ugly and scheming; he followed me so I started running. I’m not sure if he wanted to fight me or learn my secrets. It was raining though, and I quickly realized I’d have to run to stay warm or end up back in the hospital. But then running I felt like my heart would explode. But I just kept running. I ran through the park, where the geese were clearly talking to me happily. I ran past the mall and city blocks, where thankfully no one walked the streets. I ran through the Chinese district where one stranger smiled; I felt our hearts beat as one. I loved him, a stranger. Finally, I made it home which was somehow still there. The door was actually locked, the one officer must’ve locked it (good guy), but the heat was still on, and my mess was still strewn across the floor—the pillows, teddy bears, oranges, and small garbage bucket.
At this point, I realized my phone was gone, and I wasn’t sure who had it. Maybe a douche-bag neighbor jacked it when I was downstairs dealing with the police officers and my door was open, maybe the cops took it to try and get the dealer’s number. At this point, I didn’t care—I thought everyone was gonna’ come after me. So I took a shower and bath in the dark. I still hope the dealer is okay. I decommissioned that phone the next day.