Last night my wife, Lisa, and I ate the “magic” brownie a friend gave us with the strict instructions to only take half of one on an empty stomach an hour before going to sleep and you will sleep like a baby. To all you veteran pot smokers, my wife had never smoked marijuana so it was a first for her and, in my case, it had been several years since I had indulged in a weed high. After about an hour, we kidded one another in recognizing no difference in our feeling state causing us to wonder if we had received a dud. We reconciled the situation by our agreeing that we both, at least, could enjoy the sweet tasting chocolate just before turning in for the night.
When we went from a vertical standing position to lying in bed, we suddenly became aware of some dazzling perceptual changes. Almost simultaneously we broke into a laughter, and we enjoyed each other’s presence immensely. Subsequently, upon attempting to fall asleep, floral designs of novel shapes and colors burst out in front of me. I felt my mind had turned into a kaleidoscopic prism channeling amorphous images that appeared eerily tactile. Feeling a loss of control, I momentarily became unnerved fearing that I would not be able to stop the chain of images bubbling up from my mind. But when I silently assured myself I was not losing my mind, I glimpsed these images, with closed eyes, while laughing out loud not trying to explain the inexplicable to my wife. Rather, we laughed in concert with one another.
The quasi visual hallucinations I experienced differed hugely from an experience I had upon completing some final exams when I was in graduate school. I had joined some colleagues in celebrating the end of the semester and school year with some heavy-duty drinking. I had decided that I was on a mission to get more intoxicated than I had ever been in the past with the goal of experiencing the utmost joy of being totally inebriated. And so, we drank and drank. When I returned to my dorm room, I started feeling violently sick resulting in my vomiting. Although that happened quite quickly and abruptly, it now felt as if I was going through utter doom as I started to experience what some have called the “black whirlys.” I can describe this most unpleasant phenomenon as a dizzying sensation with a black spinning top swirling down sucking all the energy out of one’s body. Unlike the pleasant hallucinatory experience that the marijuana brownie had brought on, my drunken state had produced an invasive ugly force that seized my body. None too soon, but fortunately, it went away.
Because it reminded me of the first time I had ever gotten high, I mentioned this most recent experience I had shared with my spouse. I remember it clearly as I was in my mid-twenties, and I had made a number of futile earlier attempts to achieve this wondrous state. When I was in high school, the era of smoking pot had not yet reached the white middle class. A colleague from work introduced me to his friend and, when hearing my plight, told me, confidently, that he would get me high. My friend from work assured me his friend was both reputable and, on the level, so I agreed to have him meet me at my apartment on the West Side in Manhattan.
When he arrived at my place, he told me not to worry insofar as he had brought a sufficient supply of pot. He then took out his pipe filled it to the brim with some marijuana and proceeded to demonstrate the method of getting high. He chimed: “Puff it, breathe in, see the glow of the grass as you take it in, hold it for a as long as you can without coughing it up and exhale.” As we switched off taking hits, after a few inhalations, I felt I had established a rhythm inasmuch as I could feel the smoke enter my body and see it as I exhaled. He was the teacher so I simply followed his lead. After a while, he asked me if I felt anything different going on and I told him not in the least. This seemed to surprise him and, as he glanced at me, said to try standing up. I laughed when he said the word “try,” as if it were some unimaginable feat, he was asking me to perform.
Upon rising from my chair, I became overcome by weird angular distortions and experienced a certain amount of difficulty in balancing myself. When I related to him I was having some weird perceptions, he confirmed the fact that I was indeed high and not to worry. It felt as if I was standing up, but swooning at the same time, as my “teacher” held me and said “you’ll be all right, trust me.” Because what I was experiencing was so unique, I do remember his presence clearly being an asset.
I suggested we go to a neighborhood singles’ bar called the Library located a few blocks away. We were the only ones in the elevator as we started going down from my floor, the 15th, to the lobby. With the smile of Mephistopheles, my friend randomly started pushing buttons of different floors with my immediate reaction that the elevator was out of control and was in berserk mode. “What are you doing,” I asked in a frenetic state. “Don’t worry,” he laughed, “we’ll get there sooner or later.” I had an immediate sense of time evaporating in front of me and was pretty pissed. When we finally reached the lobby after several stops, he showed me the time, told me to relax as I took a breath and realized my sense of time had become completely distorted. Only a few minutes passed.
As we walked to the bar, I felt a light sensation carrying me through the sights and sounds of the street. When we arrived at the Library, I knew we were physically there, though there was a sense of disconnection between my mind and body. But it all felt quite delightful and my guru, if we can call him that, was all smiles as he could sense I was enjoying myself. I remember only one event occurring at the bar: A young woman, that I was not particularly attracted to, approached me and asked me what time it was. As she was asking, it did not occur to me that she was really trying to meet me, so, almost mechanically, I picked up her wrist that had a watch on it and read the time to her. We looked at one another, and then I walked off noticing that my friend had seen me from the corner of the bar. When he and I rejoined, he informed me that she had been hitting on me.
Upon returning to my apartment, I passed a kid that must have been around 9 or 10 years old. When our eyes met, he suddenly transformed into a fierce lion. But he did not spring at me so I recognized that what I was seeing was coming from within me. I have no idea what it was about that child that made me see him the way I did.
To conclude, this first experience of getting high, compared to getting drunk, was for the most part, a good one. Although marijuana is legal in some states and in others is legal for medical use, I do not recommend indiscriminate use of it that could result in psychological dependency. Many years ago, my father gave me good advice: “Moderation is the key to much of life. Take things in moderation.” Any substance that alters one’s state of consciousness such as alcohol, marijuana or any other drug need be indulged in with care. Given this precaution, I have little doubt that my wife and I will brownie up again in the future.