illegal substances

Today I got stoned for the first time in my life.*

Verdict: very very similar to days without sleep in regard to what it does to your senses, just without the edge of paranoia and terror that exhaustion always gives me — that came later tonight, after I had gone back to my room, but it’s hard to tell if it’s related to the drugs or not because I always feel that way when I leave the particular friend I smoked with — she is very dear to me, but any significant amount of socialization with her leaves me wrecked intellectually and emotionally, and I can’t say that tonight’s concluding anxiety fit was not just an amplified version of this usual reaction.

The colour red was very bright. All of the colours were, really; I was stunned because I hadn’t thought that the world could get any louder and sharper than it usually is for me. But red stood out everywhere I looked.

The most interesting thing about it all is how alingual it made me. Not inchoate — I didn’t feel that devastating constipation of mind that comes from having things to say and not being able to fit them into words — but simply transcendent or separate from language. For the first time in my recent memory I simply experienced without an inner running narration, took in the world without suffocating on the need to be writing everything down. Fascinating. Perhaps I saw the world in the way that I would if I were a visual artist and not a writer.

*First time I’ve smoked pot, at least. I have often used “stoned” to describe the aftereffects of several prescription drugs that I have taken — very similar, but also slightly different experiences.


I don’t know if I will do it again or often. I have recently become obsessed with divination, and the I Ching suggested quite clearly that my friend E is correct in all matters of the universe, including extreme caution with or abstinence from mind-altering substances, and said quite as clearly that T — who I smoked with — and her advocacy of debauchery and asceticism for the sake of art are not so good for my short-term survival chances. At the moment I plan to follow the wisdom of E and of the I Ching with slavish devotion. But it was very interesting.

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~ by Not Alice on March 21, 2007.

3 Responses to “illegal substances”

  1. I tried pot for the first time last year. I was 37. Disappointingly, it wasn’t really that noteworthy an experience – it didn’t have much of an effect on me at all. Sigh. Perhaps I was doing it wrong.

    I’ve been on painkillers, though, which have produced much the same kind of reaction you describe – that sort of “observing without words” experience that is so foreign to me as a writer. I think that it’s a GOOD thing to experience once in a while, though, because the lack of words is often enough to get me seeing in such a way that, when the words come back, they are better and more meaningful.

    Of course, having that experience usually means doing something horrid to my back and being in pain, so it’s an expereince that I don’t often seek out…

  2. Couldn’t speak to the rest of your experience, that’s the individual circustances part. However, the “simply experiencing part” is ‘the part.’ That’s what it is. There’s the stuff that stems from that part. But in essence ‘that’s the part’ that is what weed is. Neat.

    Makes me ponder the day man will be light years ahead of where he is now in understanding the high of weed. Neat.

  3. Mrs C — the friend who I smoked with said that people often don’t get truly stoned their first time, and I think this might have been the case for me a little bit. After our first smoke, I didn’t feel overly different, and was very much dismissive of the whole thing, but we smoked again later (hiding in the darkroom of the school’s printing press studio) and the difference was vast. Perhaps that’s why you didn’t find it to be very noteworthy.

    I’ve been on prescription drugs that have had the same word-muting effect, but the extenuating circumstances muddied the feeling. None of that with pot — I am definitely going to proceed warily with it because I sometimes very much crave, with addictive hunger, refuge from words.

    Troy — I’m really interested in reading or hearing about others’ experiences with pot. I think you’re right about “experiencing” being the experience, and you’re right, it is interesting. I hope science hurries up and figures out more about brain chemistry and foreign substances — there is so much I want to know.

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