It's not everyday you get to trip with one of the most influential political philosophers of all time. On the hottest day in London since last summer I weighed out three 2g doses of Mexican Psilocybin Cubensis and joined a bunch of friends in the huge sprawling Highgagte Cemetery of London. The place holds literally thousands of crumbling graves, all slowly being consumed by the dense forest that surrounds the grounds. The sun glared down as we lumbered towards Karl Marx's grave on the far side of the cemetery. Only three of us were dosing in the group, the other two guys were smoking pot. As we all tumbled into a dark tunnel among the trees i began feeling very ill at ease.
Dread seems to come in waves, thankfully. I stole a cigarette from my packet and shakily lit it up, trying to gather myself. I looked at my feet for a second, and then gazed *Through* them. Bugs, lice and woodworm pulsed around my boots, which i decided to find interesting rather than alarming. The idea that we were above layers of corpses, decomposing into the earth filled me with a positive energy rather than a worrying one. Perhaps the dread was subsiding after all.
The two other trippers were also ex-lovers who hadn't seen each other in a year. I own that I'm one for intensity but for some reason choosing an ex as a trip buddy seems wrongheaded. Sure enough the two of them entered the paranoia game head first.
"Why are you looking at me?..."
"What? Sorry, what, i ...what did i just say? Are you angry? Oh my god you hate me don't you?"
"I think that man *knows*"
"Are you sure these aren't poisoned?"
I've done the trip guide thing so many times and realised that if someone is intent on bad tripping it there's not much you can do bar keeping the knives hidden and being cool yourself. I just kept feeling the beauty of the psilocybin vision as my mind slipped behind my senses, deepening wormholes into my psyche, reflecting deeper truths about my self that i had always known but never fully acknowledged. They should call these things teachers. The other two were coming along fine when, rather suddenly, a sun fried mentalist decided to join the party.
'Fred' as he introduced himself wasn't too happy with my (bad) tripping buddy staring at his wife. My poor friend hadn't been doing anything of the sort, he had been trying to grip onto reality with all his might, fat ugly women really weren't on his agenda. Fred left with a trail of expletives and a sense of relief that the son of satan, as he appeared to us then, had exited stage right.
We smoked a joint. It was all we could do. The tail ends of a rough psilocybin trip can be readily smoothed with some herb and some beer. But the prospect of a pub full of lager-swilling orcs gave us the horror. We remained put as the clouds burst into clouds of fractal tone, into the vast depths of a velvet blue summer sky. The magic had returned. We embraced the moment and the love suddenly burst its banks; we laughed at the hilarity of it all as the past and future dissolved around us.
As the sun hung low in the sky and the scorch of the city cooled we headed across town to Camden, one of the last truly bohemian places in England. The pain and the misery of the people heaving around us as we entered civilisation once again was all to apparent. They actually appeared to be taking life seriously. We arrived at a beautiful little bar, pumping stereo of bliss and endless cocktails. We ate, drank and shared experiences. Psilocybin, the teacher, had played its part once more, as elegantly and as powerfully as ever.