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turkeyphant's Adventures In Wonderland I - http://turkeyphant.livejournal.com/
turkeyphant's Adventures In Wonderland I
                                                                      Anon, to sudden silence won,
                                                                          In fancy dream they pursue
                                                                      The dream-child moving through a land
                                                                          Of wonders wild and new,
                                                                      In friendly chat with bird or beast—
                                                                          And half believe it true.

                                                                      And ever, as the story drained
                                                                          The wells of fancy dry,
                                                                      And faintly strove that weary one
                                                                          To put the subject by,
                                                                      “The rest next time—” “It is next time!”
                                                                          The happy voices cry.

                                                                      Thus grew the tale of wonderland:
                                                                          Thus slowly, one by one,
                                                                      Its quaint events were hammered out—
                                                                          And now the tale is done,
                                                                      And home we steer, a merry crew,
                                                                          Beneath the setting sun.

                                                                      Alice! a childish story take,
                                                                          And with a gentle hand
                                                                      Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined
                                                                          In Memory’s mystic band,
                                                                      Like pilgrim’s withered wreath of flowers
                                                                          Plucked in a far-off land.

Prologue; an introduction to a day after the prefatory poem
      Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”
As the narrative begins, it is the duty of your humble raconteur to inform you that it was never intended for these events to be chronicled in this form. No text can ever do the pupils' experience justice and even userinfoturkeyphant promised himself that he would never try to describe it, never dilute its meaning with his poor writing skills and rein in its intensity and depth with the limits of language. But still, he felt he couldn't keep his vow, for it is almost worth breaking just to let the story be told. Let us admit it – this is something they couldn't keep to themselves. The experience is owed a detailed report, for this kind of event cannot be allowed to go by without a narrative. It's better to be watered down by the restrictions of words than to be lost forever in the mists of time. Nevertheless, userinfoturkeyphant felt it a necessity that he make but one fact clear. Without a single doubt and lacking in the tiniest hint of hyperbole, his superlative is really meant: that trip was certainly the most intense experience of his entire life. As for the job of describing it without resorting to the usual exaggeration or fabrication, that falls to the narrator. Here goes...

The build-up – preparing to step Through The Looking Glass
      Suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
      There was nothing so
very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
      In another moment down went Alice after it; never once considering how in the world she was going to get out again.
userinfoturkeyphant's last examination had just taken place. It was Pure Mathematics Module 2 and it had gone very differently to how he had planned, but he didn't care. In fact, he couldn't even seem to evoke any interest whatsoever in the outcome of the examinations. It didn't really seem to matter much that they were over – that only meant that lessons would resume soon and lie-ins would shortly be curtailed. But anyway, as the story goes, he was waiting outside the Shirley Hall for Val and Eric. Val had picked the first homegrown flush of psilocybe cubensis mushrooms a week earlier and had been drying them since.

It was still only ten o'clock, so Val led as they snuck into the Physics block and, shitting themselves the whole time regarding the prospect of discovery by Dr. Allday, weighed their stash with the super-accurate balances in McG's lab. It was found that they had about five point nine six grams in that clear plastic bag (if their memories are to be trusted). Once this was done, they met up with George who had an exam the next day and didn't want to do the 'shrooms. He thought that it would be foolish to tripping out when he ought to be cramming and, although he didn't say precisely that, it was implied.

And so it was decided that, what the hell, the three of them would do the 'shrooms right there and then. Eric first took them both to Val's room where he told tales of his first time taking 'shrooms and they swiftly coerced each other into taking the class A drugs. They didn't realise they were class A at the time, but the narrator thinks that saying things are illegal just makes them sound cooler.

Beginning the trip – Down The Rabbit-Hole
      The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.
      Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.
      Down, down, down. Would the fall
never come to an end? “I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?” she said aloud. “I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think—” (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over).
...he found himself seeing mandelbrot arms arching away from the wispy edges of the clouds
Eric had warned the others of the foul taste, and they soon found that it really was rather bad. Eric even found himself retching after the first few mouthfuls, but the rest of them chewed and chewed to release the chemicals as instructed. userinfoturkeyphant wasn't sure whether this really mattered all that much, but didn't complain as he washed them down with orange juice and sliced white bread. Chocolate was avoided because, apparently, milk reduces the effect somewhat.

In preparation for the dangerous psychedelic trip and accompanying hallucinations, userinfoturkeyphant went out through the window onto a dodgy bit of roof that overlooked much of the school. The sun was shining, he had a free day to spend with his friends and lying back on the tiles he looked down on the people from forty feet up. Though he said nothing, he felt like he was the king of the whole fucking world.

It took quite a while after dropping the 'shrooms for the drug to kick in and, having done no research whatsoever, he didn't really know what to expect. He had put the initial premonitory butterflies down to the placebo effect, but soon he found himself seeing mandelbrot arms arching away from the wispy edges of the clouds. Then, when inclining his head toward the sun, he experienced some crazy kaleidoscoping closed eye visuals. But still he wasn't sure whether life always looked like this. Surely the clouds usually have weird images in them and you often do get dancing red patterns through your eyelids when you stare at gargantuan nuclear fusion reactors ninety three million miles away? Nevertheless, he was soon persuaded to come inside and then reflected on the mandelbrots he'd seen. It gave him an insight into the fundamentally fractal nature of the infinitely universe and everything within it. Yeah. Just think about that for a few moments... Forget everything you've read: userinfoturkeyphant knew that the universe is but a vast fractal pattern with a paradoxical and confusing nature Mauritis Cornelius Escher would be proud of.

Val wasn't feeling much. He only felt a bit strange, kinda like being stoned. But, as he looked to Eric, he knew the 'shrooms were really starting to affect him.

userinfoturkeyphant's body was light and felt like it were filled with helium. He felt he had no feet but the top of his ankles were tied down with string onto concrete shoes. His penis tingled and, when he joined the others outside, everything was suddenly uproariously funny. Hannah soon joined them, and he sat there blissfully pointing out patently obvious factoids before bursting into laughter. It was great – life was just fantastically great for him. None of them could stop laughing. He would look to the sky and state that the sun appeared yellowish or suddenly realise that ground is hard and the others would think for a moment, agree, and start giggling again. "Hey, people have two legs!" – he was tickled pink. Someone suggested food (it sounded like a good idea to userinfoturkeyphant, for none of them had eaten yet that morning) and so, at ten past twelve, they all trooped off into the dining hall early when only the gardeners and other assorted workers were dining.

It kicks in – A Mad Tea Party
      There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep.
      The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded round together at one corner of it. “No room! No room!” they cried out when they saw Alice coming. “There's
plenty of room!” said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large armchair at one end of the table.
      “Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
      Alice looked all round the table but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don't see any wine,” she remarked.
      “There isn't any,” said the March Hare.
This turned out to be a poor tactical decision. userinfoturkeyphant recalls that, as they entered the dining room after perambulating the rear entrance, the shrill laughter of the crazy man rung out. The man's manic delirium echoed throughout the wooden vessel that was empty but for the twenty or so workers quietly dining. userinfoturkeyphant would be sure to tell you that, just as Reigate has its Stow and its Robert, this school has a man working there – the son of one of the staff – who once had an accident befall him and has been severely mentally damaged since. The man performs his duties admirably and his appearance is completely normal but, admittedly, userinfoturkeyphant isn't aware of the details regarding him; only that the man has an unfortunate tendency to wander the school grounds laughing to himself for no apparent reason. He devotes thought to whether he wishes to learn the details of the man who laughs continuously with a crazy sort of guffaw that he can't help finding disconcerting, even scary. Even though he can't help it, userinfoturkeyphant often feels guilty as he finds himself cringing or stepping over to the other side of the road to avoid closer proximity with this man. And so, as the four of them literally fell into the dining hall giggling uncontrollably, it was a very uncomfortable moment to encounter this guy at such a time and userinfoturkeyphant could already sense something ominous about this midday meal.

While they obtained their nourishment, userinfoturkeyphant informed Eric that he would be consuming "'shroooooooms dude!" before asking for a huge fleshy fungus cap topped with bacon, cheese and breadcrumbs to be deposited on his otherwise clean plate. Eric didn't even notice. His eyes were fixed on the bubbling mixture in front of him. The heaters brought the thick concoction to a simmer as grotesque pockets of gas formed within. They expanded and warped as they rose toward him. He stared intently at the ebullition, unable to take his eyes off the delicate gargling. He only snapped away from the effervescence when the dining lady asked him what he wanted to eat.

As they sat down on an empty table at the far end of the hall, userinfoturkeyphant started giggling again and only stopped when he realised the man was still wandering about and laughing to himself. This made him, and I'm sure the others similarly, feel very uncomfortable as the psilocin was taking effect. He was torn between the inane giggling that the drug was beginning to induce and the respectful silence that was expected from him around the man. Every time the man walked by laughing, they started cracking up and trying to stop themselves simultaneously. They had to pretend they didn't notice how different the man was. It was torturous and, to make matters worse, userinfoturkeyphant's food tasted foul too. Getting up to collect a glass of water, he realised the mushrooms had really kicked in and, as he walked the length of the hall past all the men, he felt incredibly physically self-conscious and all the time the man's laughter was reverberating at a hundred miles an hour in his head. This self-consciousness wouldn't leave him for the rest of the day.

After a short while, food largely untouched, it was decided to leave as quickly as possible and escape that environment. And ergo he followed the others out. They almost ran to the door only too aware of how obvious it was that they were only leaving because the man was disquieting them. At last, they were free in the outdoors to laugh to themselves and begin to enjoy the trip, but not before userinfoturkeyphant caught a very scary porcine angle of Hannah and her plate of spaghetti.

He was just walking with the others again, enjoying the sun and planning the rest of the day, when the scary mad man emerged from behind them. He walked past and turn to address them with what the narrator can only assume to have been gibberish, given that no one remembers any of it. The narrator believes it likely to have been some remarks regarding his abnormal behaviour and basic thought processes. All that is known is that it was particularly freaky given the circumstances and left Eric cowering behind the others whispering how fucked up the trip was turning out to be. Val could hardly believe what had just happened and this was despite his not feeling the 'shrooms much, as he felt the effect fade away. Hannah just laughed at them all. They briefly returned to the house for some reason, a detour during which userinfoturkeyphant noticed the floor sloping up in places. That was before they all went marching out of the school gates into the sun and made for the secret place.

Visiting the secret place – beside the Pool Of Tears
      She found a little bottle and tied round the neck of the bottle was a paper label with the words “DRINK ME” beautifully printed on it in large letters.
      It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do
that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not;” for she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked “poison,” it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.
      However, this bottle was
not marked “poison,” so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot-buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.
      “What a curious feeling!” said Alice, “I must be shutting up like a telescope.”
      And so she was indeed: she was now only ten inches high.
userinfoturkeyphant weaved his way through the pedestrians with Val, Eric and Hannah. They slowly progressed toward the secret place and it seemed that, on this very day, the most eclectic mix of fucking weird people were out in Canterbury. They came from nowhere – grannies with pink mohawks, perms from hell, kids with the most contorted faces you can imagine, kids with ears the size of hands and other kids with hands with more piercings he'd seen in any ear. Everyone who had a slight abnormality and his dog was out that afternoon, cruising past the traffic and giving the four of them weird looks. The 'shrooms were now playing with their visuals and, since the strangest people in the whole of Kent had decided to do their shopping that afternoon, userinfoturkeyphant wasn't sure how to explain what he was saying or who to blame. And then, Hannah very badly freaked him out by pulling the old tap-someone-on-the-wrong-shoulder trick which caused him to violently spin round and fail to discover what had happened. They turned left at the Super Noodle bar which was now painted a brighter yellow than he'd ever seen before and seemed to radiate more light that the sun.

This being a bright summer's day, the children were out playing when they passed the school. Thousands of individual shrieks from chasing, skipping and falling rushed past their ears as they walked on past the abandoned garages. They followed the fence round behind a stagnant pond and into the secret place – a small grassy clearing with a couple of trees right in the middle of Canterbury city centre. During their journey, userinfoturkeyphant had been gawping at everything in his view, full of wonder at all these uniquely new sights. Val had been there many times before, but he still couldn't bear to not to see in every direction at once. His eyes had to be dragged away as he turned every corner.

They sat there in that clearing soaking in the Nature that surrounded them. userinfoturkeyphant didn't know where to look, Val offered his complete attention to a tree trunk that he fixed his gaze to for over half an hour, Hannah said stupid things that pissed everyone off and Eric soon announced that he would be buggering off. Though, of course, it ought to be mentioned that Americans rarely use that particular turn of phrase to announce immanent departure. Eric was already starting to feel uncomfortably weird. It was truly fucking with his head by now, and he was worried. He wanted to go for a walk.

At the same time as this, userinfoturkeyphant remembered that he was with a really strange group of people – semi-outcasts of different ages who all had difficultly opening up and weirder eccentricities than the next. Clearly this affected his thoughts and he asked them all a question. "Why do I end up taking 'shrooms with the most fucked up group of people I know?" Actually, the student was just thinking how wonderful these people were yet how annoying it was that they never really shared themselves with each other. He really wanted just to join with them in this experience and trade ideas of what they were feeling. He wanted to learn how the drug was affecting them and somehow gain an insight into them as people in doing so. Everything about people seemed so absurd and so nonsensical.
The thousands of individual velvet blades each became a tiny verdant faerie person...

After Eric had left, userinfoturkeyphant felt uncomfortable as though he were encroaching on Val and Hannah as a couple. Though, as ever in these instances, Val gave no hint that he would prefer him to leave and userinfoturkeyphant even got the impression that his continued presence was wanted. Hannah sat by herself saying silly things and giggling at the two boys' newfound fascination with the world. The grass was long and a deep green. userinfoturkeyphant stared at it and, as he watched, it turned into people. The thousands of individual velvet blades each became a tiny verdant faerie person holding their arms up high and swaying en masse in the wind. The breeze fluttered over them and they waved with it. Ripples of moving air caused their graceful movement before his eyes.

He was sitting cross legged and was slight disconcerted when, upon gazing down at his legs for a few moments, noticed that his feet were rather bigger and closer to his body than they should have been. It appeared as though the lower half of his body had been folded up and, while beforehand he'd been seeing all the world at once through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars, his legs now seemed shrunken and, when stretched out, only a foot away from his stomach. He had shrunk down to half his usual height. userinfoturkeyphant managed to get up, however, and told the others he too was leaving – he wanted to explore the Earth.

Sensory overload
      She went on talking: “Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!”
      And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have changed for any of them.
And so he got up and walked and all the while he walked he was deep in thought. So much so, that he barely even noticed the strange vulgarities of the strange people he was sharing the pavements with. Once, he thought he saw Miss Astin walking down the street toward him and got rather worried about the number of rules he was currently breaking, but when she came closer, it turned out to be someone nothing like his physics teacher at all. In fact, later on he often found himself seeing familiar people approaching who later turned out to be far from familiar. More often than not, on closer inspection, he could not even understand how their visages could have confused him.

But anyway, userinfoturkeyphant was still walking and he couldn't have told you where he was headed or even where he went, for he was so deeply occupied with thought. His experience with 'shrooms led him to believe that they remove the automated layer that acts as a filter between your senses and your brain's interpretations. It felt like his impression of just having been born, when one's still trying to make sense of and interpret the barrage of chemical signals. Five different senses allow for information overload, so a child has to learn which inputs to discard and which to really pay attention to. Canterbury has the most diverse selection of the perverse and while the people out that day would seem pretty eccentric when sober, userinfoturkeyphant felt that, with the 'shrooms accentuating every tiny detail, he was still walking round what turned out to be the most super fucked up city in the entire word.

Graeme Carl has used mushrooms many times before. He wrote something about the sensations that they bring about on humans. The narrator has reproduced this description so that others could hope to understand the profound effect mushrooms have on a person's way of thinking. userinfoturkeyphant would later read it and realise that this extract gives a good idea about how he was feeling and what he was discovering.
In order for the human entity to survive, it must learn from an early age how to shut out the masses of information reaching the brain. This process of selective filtering allows us to become centred on a single thought. (Imagine being completely aware of all the signals coming into your body at one moment. Imagine being aware of every square inch of your skin and how it felt. Imagine being eternally aware of your tongue in your mouth, that itch on the end of your nose or the sound of the air conditioning hissing softly in the background. I believe that tripping brings back the awareness that has been shut out ever since we were three.

Have you ever noticed children walking into a shopping mall? If you notice next time, they appear to be tripping, staring wide eyed at all the amazing colours, walking along looking up at the ceiling and watching themselves in the mirrored surface. As children age, they gradually learn to shut out the onslaught of information, they no longer seem to notice the world as their younger siblings do! By the time adulthood is reached, these sensations are even lost to memory.
Everything userinfoturkeyphant saw turned to a total headfuck. "Man, this is far too crazy," he was thinking, "thank god I expected this coming." He could only presume what terrible things would happen to someone who'd had 'shrooms slipped into their food and started tripping out having no idea why it was happening. All the little things he'd barely even consciously notice because before the brain instantly edits them out were blown up out of all proportions. The tiny details that would sometimes make him go "hmmm" were enhanced and magnified eleventy billion times. He didn't know what to think, how to think even. His senses were being overwhelmed and he was even unsure of himself. He thought he was going crazy; he didn't have control over his own brain at all. All the symptoms of schizophrenia jumped out – circumstantialities, an expansion of the horizon of meaning, lengthy delusions, hallucinations, incoherence, catatonic behaviour and running commentaries. He began to become scared of himself and was so very glad that he understood and knew roughly what was happening. He truly appreciated it and gave thanks for being fairly sure that it found be over at some point.

At that moment, he suddenly realised everything at once. He saw through it all, he was the one, he was at one and godliness was all his. In the same way as Neo sees the symbols of the Matrix code, userinfoturkeyphant could now see and understand the fundamental machine code of nature. He could comprehend how the world ran. The 'shrooms had given him a greater understanding of everything and everyone else. All of a sudden he realised the single most important basic fact of existence: THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EVERY SINGLE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT INDIVIDUAL IS HOW THEIR BRAIN INTERPRETS THEIR SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT. He was aware that it seemed simplistic and blinding obvious, but the more he thought about it, the greater profundity it leant itself.

The narrator everyone just to think for a moment – we are identical in all but this one aspect. Think about what that interpretation actually means. This knowledge washed over him in eddy currents and flowed within like a spring of enlightenment. The cogs that make up the working of life were superimposed by his corneas onto all he saw. Warm blood flowed through his veins as he looked around in every direction and was overcome by how much sense it all made. He understood it all and, through this, possessed everything.

With mushrooms, userinfoturkeyphant saw that we can change the way we think, the way we interpret living. It is possible to become a completely different person (or, maybe, that's only his reaction to the drug?). He discovered that the sole difference between the typical King's pupil, the laughing man, Stephen Hawking, the pikey on the streets of Reigate, Hitler, Marx, TD, Gandhi, Gonk, a randomly chosen Afghan child, a Kenyan prisoner and himself is the way in which they interpret the information around them. The way they are affected by their senses. The way they are affected by creation.
The Mexicans call it God’s Flesh ... within the psilocybin and psilocin [lies] a cure for humanity.

He understood everyone else through being able to think like someone different. If only all people could realise this, if only people could understand. The 'shrooms had enabled him to transcend everything in the universe. He had a complete understanding of everything, but knew it couldn't last. After making that one groundbreaking discovery, it was a race against time to learn as much as he could. He had to discover it all before he forgot. Have you ever read Flowers For Algernon? The narrator feel the reader should be informed that, in it, a retarded man has his IQ surgically tripled and struggles to come to terms with the way he was treated in his old life. He sees how other less intelligent people such as he used to be are constantly mocked and finds he can no longer relate to people as a genius. Then, after he learns more and soon has become by far the most intelligent person ever to walk to earth, he learns that his knowledge will soon fade away and be lost forever. The effect isn't permanent and he'll shortly be the stupid man who everybody used to laugh at without him even realising. He was in a feverish hustle to find a way to provide permanence to his IQ boost before he's no longer even literate. It's a touching tale that gives an insight into the mind of the mentally challenged. But, during that time, userinfoturkeyphant knew exactly how it felt and the sense of urgency was overwhelming. But still, he'd learned one thing he was sure he would never forget. He had become convinced that mushrooms are the answer to all the world's problems.

The Mexicans call it God's Flesh. It's easy to see why. For when he was on the 'shrooms, he was convinced that within the psilocybin and psilocin lay the answer to all the world's problems; a cure for humanity. This drug allowed an insight into other people's psyches and would surely eliminate all misunderstanding and the causes of all suffering. Now all the had to do is find out that this is the truth. Nevertheless, the knowledge left him very happy indeed.

Realisation of one's own mental state
      The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.
      “Who are
you?” said the Caterpillar.
      This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I—I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I
was this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.
      “What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar sternly. “Explain yourself!”
      “I can’t explain
myself, I am afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I’m not myself, you see.”
And still userinfoturkeyphant's mind kept on rolling. At this point he began to get scared. He no longer had much control and wasn't sure how much longer it would all last. His watch told him it was about ninety minutes since he ingested the 'shrooms but time meant nothing to him and he had no recollection of it passing. He began to wonder whether things would ever stop feeling like this. Would it ever end so that he could return to a world where he was capable of human contact? Would he ever be able to communicate his discovery to everyone? He just wanted to be normal again, but could feel his former self slipping away. What would happen if he could never go back? What if it turned out that this would never end? His brain was highlighting the way everyone you pass gives you a cursory glance and he was turning toward irrational paranoia. He wondered how many more hours of experiencing life like this it would take before he gave up and did whatever came to mind first. Could he reject society's grooming and return to pure animal humanity? Was it really possible for him to rid himself of seventeen years of mental corruption by civilization? By Western civilization?

There was no chance of a coherent exchange with other human beings and, after being limited by his brain in such a way, he would inevitably appear to the other no different from all the other crazy people who were mocked by the normals. Within a couple of days, there would be no escape from those determined to "help" him by converting him back to normality, back to a world where his most pressing worry was picking a university course and whether he wanted to take a gap year. He was really freaking out, not being sure himself whether life would ever be the same again.

For those moments he thought hew knew what it was like to be a so-called mentally ill person. To be trapped in your mind or even trapped in your body. For those moments he too was trapped. He too was crazy. "Certainly," he thought, "I would appear to be a lot more crazy that the laughing man if I saw thing like this all the time." If anything, he thought himself far crazier than him, Robert or anyone else. He saw how it works, how it really isn't his fault or choice or anything. He just wanted to be normal again but could never know whether that was possible. And then he looked up and carried on walking.

Scary and skewed walking and visions
      “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw around, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”
      “But I don’t like to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
      “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
At one moment, he found himself in a close-cum-estate kind of thing. About ten yards too late, he realised he'd begun to walk down a dead end. Immediately he started in the middle of the road and stopped to look around and decide what course of action to follow next. As he turned to take the branching road to his left, a concerned looking woman walked up to him as though she was about to ask if he needed any help. Obviously he looked confused and shouldn't have been there. He was certain he appeared ostensibly as though he were tripping and she wanted to help him away, lest anything unbecoming occur on the road on which she lived. She approached and he prayed that she wouldn't get him busted by policemen or school teachers. He found that she came right up to him, appeared to look him in the eyes and then, just as he was about to mouth some excuse to her, she walked off completely naturally to the left as though she'd never had any intention of approaching him at all. And he could no longer remember whether it was that clear at all that he was acting strangely and that she was likely to approach him or, whether she always turned corners like that and he'd imagined it all.

But anyway, he walked some more and thought some more and then walked some more again. He can't recall where he went, but does remember that he repeatedly planned to and then forgot to return to his room for some gel so he'd look passably respectable whilst out in town. As he walked the streets, he looked into cars and the reflections on the windscreens played with the driver's faces and passengers so they seemed to have dogs' faces or were otherwise grossly contorted. His only reaction was to absurdly find it all somehow slightly humorous.

Some time later Hannah had called him and he found himself back in the secret place with Val and Hannah. He tried to explain what had happened but Val still seemed reluctant to share his experiences with userinfoturkeyphant and so he was unable to tell whether his feelings were remotely normal or not. Val decided he wanted to go wander off alone for a while and, meanwhile, Hannah remained with userinfoturkeyphant laughing at everything he said and every announcement he felt the need to make. She also seemed to be horribly flirty now her boyfriend was absent and this worried userinfoturkeyphant somewhat and continued to cause him some slight discomfort. Still, his mind was soon lost in the trees and grass and sky and he noticed that his vision had become particularly screwy. Everything seemed to be squashed up in the z-direction so that the trees were all swollen and as fat as Namibian baobab trunks despite only being about nine feet tall. To userinfoturkeyphant, the high street was twice as long as usual, Hannah's face had become comically plump and chubby, while his own body had become short and obese too. It was all rather eerie. He also saw some delicate spider webs on a tree that he'd never noticed previously. The silk was just so perfectly woven that he became engrossed in just observing its beauty and, if it weren't for Hannah calling him, would probably have fallen into a trance just watching the webs in the sun.

A detour to a trip: the Korova Milkbar
      “Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
He decided to head back to school and to go back to his room for gel and money. And so userinfoturkeyphant walked calmly back to his room and narrowly avoided the evil Mr. Parker on the way back. He went in his room and slumped at his desk in front of the computer and put on a nice WinAMP playlist. The songs began to gently fade in very slowly but then, brothers, it came. Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven. He lay all nagoy to the ceiling, his gulliver on his rookers, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds. He remained absolutely still and oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold and the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and the timps rolled through his guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. A bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came a violin solo above all other strings and those strings were like a cage of silk around his bed. Flute and oboe bored, like worms of platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold and silver. For a few minutes he revelled in the minute strange scratches and ticks he heard in the extremities of the frequency range of his songs. Sounds he'd never experienced before popped out at once from the highest treble and he felt very pleased with himself.

userinfoturkeyphant then contemplated updating his journal with nonsensical garbage for future nostalgic value. He changed his mind several times before realising there'd never be enough time, he could never convey the feelings without risking corruption and various other things including the fact he felt like watching a DVD. He was rather content with the trip's progression, but impatient. Although his brain was still running at a hundred miles an hour, he wanted more visual stimuli. Rooting through his films, he noticed that the bass from McD's subwoofer actually seemed to cause the walls to pound and reverberate several inches: they were beating in time. Still, he was thrilled when he found his A Clockwork Orange disc. A perfect film for watching during a trip, he thought. He'd always wanted to say he'd done this. And so he settled down to watch, marvelling at a new level of genius he found in the work.

All the while he made notes in biro on a sheet of A4, trying to recorded every thought that came to him. The film panned out in a completely different way than ever before and he began to be able see through the protagonist's eyes. Alex had it all right; Alex was perhaps the only man in the world to understand in the same way userinfoturkeyphant did. They both saw through to Old Bog Himself And All His Angels And Saints. And, in doing so, they saw each other. He recalled Burgess's written introduction to the book and thought how wrong the author had been. He, however, felt that he could understand one's ideas being so. "Or, anyhow, when unenlightened, one may easily feel inclined that way," userinfoturkeyphant quietly thought to himself. Still, he realised with certainty that Alex is the only one who even remotely understands the world. He suddenly felt a complete affinity for him and began to feel himself seeing everything.

This omniscience was briefly interrupted when Sam Nussey burst into the room. By then, userinfoturkeyphant had given up writing notes in tetra-coloured ink and, instead, was lying on his bed trying to soak all all all of it in. Sam proclaimed his love for the film but userinfoturkeyphant awkwardly realised that this child had no idea how to even go about appreciating such a marvellous work. He couldn't bear to struggle to absorb Alex's divinity with an ignorant impostor in the room pretending to like something for all the wrong reasons. That, and he didn't want to give himself away for fear of severe punishments relating to his drug ingestion. Thus, he had to somehow explain that he'd prefer to watch the film alone without offending his concomitant nor arousing suspicion due to unnatural behaviour. Happily, Sam left the room with little questioning and userinfoturkeyphant could resume his previous functions. He wondered to himself whether he could find someone he could persuade to give him some weed, for he was curious about what would happen. He felt that maybe something it was something to consider for next time.

Meanwhile Eric was sitting alone, also thinking of weed. This was his second time taking 'shrooms – the first had been a fun filled afternoon giggling on a sunny Californian beach with his chums in America. This trip was rapidly turning out very different though. He didn't have to suffer through any of the first-timers' worries about whether normality would ever resume, yet he had much more pressing worries. The drug brutally highlighted the mild depression that had dogged him for the last few weeks. He fucking hated the King's School for its claustrophobic and draconian restrictiveness (fuck it, he felt, he's almost nineteen years old and he's banned from enjoying a cigarette or evening in the pub). He fucking hated it for the wankers who inhabited it and the way the pupils couldn't even see how wrong it all was. Eric is an intelligent man and was doing well in his schoolwork, but he was frequently in trouble and he blamed this on his weed habit. He'd tried giving up a couple of times before, but it was just all too easy to relapse. Today, he was sitting there presented with his mind at large and thinking back to yesterday's joint. He just had to stop wasting his life away through that drug; he was almost addicted. And the 'shrooms in his brain took control and made him get carried away as he was overwhelmed with depression. He couldn't see a way out from rotting away smoking so much shit. When he bumped into Val, he was shaking and having a really bad time. As he collapsed onto a bed, all he said was, "Fuck dude, just now I actually had to stop myself committing suicide." It was fucking bad, man.



    mood: overwhelmed