This was a big day. I had been at a birthday
the night before, but wisely did not drink very much and left before midnight.
I woke up on Saturday morning before 8am, feeling fine. This was un unexpected bonus, and meant that I was able to get the bank as it opened at 8:30, and avoid the crowds. I was out of the bank before 9:00 am, so had time for another errand.
I had been looking for a way to smoke DMT, which is not smoked like marijuana or tobacco, but vaporised like crack cocaine. A wise noder in the catbox had suggested that I find a vase – the kind that is just a long thin glass tube with a curl at the bottom.
Digression: I obtained a dose of this substance a few months ago by bartering rare nexus. NOw I was finally going to try it. Now or never, I was running out of time.
I looked in a couple of shops (florists, gift shops) for a suitable vase. At about 9:10 I gave up on this, as I hadn’t found what I was looking for. I headed home, which is not far away.
At 9:30 the people came around to look at my house. This was their second visit, and they still seemed enthusiastic which is good. They’re cool, and I’d be glad to have them as tenants. It will be a weight off my mind when I get tenants. They’ll let the agent (and thereby me) know on Monday, so I’m holding thumbs.
After that, the obligatory visit to the supermarket.
I resorted to plan B for the DMT. A friend had heard of a method of smoking crack out of a lightbulb, and this seemed doable. It took me a few minutes, delicately wielding pliers and hammer to prise the metal cap off a lightbulb, and thus turn it into a glass bowl. A piece of PVC tubing served as the mouthpiece. Fortunately the tube was only marginally smaller than the neck of the bulb.
After 11am I had gathered CDs, swimming trunks and towel and other goodies. This was the afternoon party, and last time that I’d be seeing some of these people for quite a while. A farewell if you will.
It was at G—‘s pad overlooking the city. February is usually the hottest month and this one was no exception. In one of the gift shops I saw a fancy thermometer registering 26C at 9am.
I had been asked to play some music, on a general theme of absurdity. So I had riffled through my CDs and come up with some generally odd music in a set that crossed genre and decade boundaries regularly. I’m not a DJ by any means, but I had fun playing this stuff. And G--s equipment, 2 CDJS and a mixer, did help.
Here’s the set as it actually happened:
Fields of the Nephilim: Harmonica man - An atmospheric and dramatic start
This Mortal Coil: Acid, Bitter and Sad
Dead Can Dance: Summoning of the muse
Laurie Anderson: O Superman
Dead Can Dance: Frontier
Dead Can Dance: Echolalia
Pink Floyd: The Gnome
Coil: Boy in a Suitcase (a short piece, (boy in a suitcase, follows you from place to place) that seems to be a solution to the gay traveller’s needs in Coil’s characteristically twisted way)
Aphex Twin: Milkman
Pink Floyd: Bike
Tom Waits: Singapore
Aphex Twin: Little funny man
Pink Floyd: Interstellar Overdrive
Tom Waits: Goin’ out west
New Model Army: Vagabonds(just the intro. It has been sampled recently in a trance track from Deedra and I thought I’d tweak people’s minds, and bang on into…)
Jesus and Mary Chain: Surfing USA
Tom Waits: 16 Shells from a 10-0-6 (In retrospect I would have replaced this with Chocolate Jesus)
Fields of the Nephilim: Elizium(just the intro first track)
FSOL: We have explosive
Aphex Twin: Start as you mean to go on
Prodigy: No good
Coil: Teenage Lightning 1
Squarepusher: Trip to Reedham
Mahlathini & the Mahotella queens: Rastaman
After that I tried out the pool and Jacuzzi. And then the DMT.
My first experience was quite disappointing. I had help from C--, a friend who had tried this before. He played a lighter on the underside of the light bulb, while I sat ready to suck on the tube. Soon wisps of white smoke (actually just vapour, not burned smoke) came off. It tasted much as if a piece of plastic had been thrown onto a stovetop hotplate. Not gag-worthy, but not at all pleasant. I got down a lungful. Nothing.
We persisted, and I got an even stronger lungful. The table in front of me began to warp and stretch before I had even finished inhaling. I looked outside, and saw the trees outlined in stark contrast, greatly edged detail against the sky.
I began to feel very afraid, a feeling of vertigo. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be here, I didn’t know if I could take 20 minutes of this. Everything was moving away from me, receding.
I put down the bulb. The feeling subsided, leaving me feeling light-headed. It felt a bit like inhaling a stiff dose of Nitrous Oxide. And that was that. Nothing more.
We were sitting there holding a blackened light bulb, which had obviously just been used as a pipe, as in walked someone I had never seen, another one of G—‘s guests. The room must have smelled of burnt plastic.
There was still a substantial amount of orange-brown resin adhering to the inside of the bulb. After we had wiped it with a cloth, we had found that all the black stuff was soot on the outside, from the lighter.
I joined others on the lawn, and stared at the blades of grass, talked. I felt goofed, but it was nothing shattering, something to be mildly amused at, not MR McKenna’s “death by astonishment”.
After a while the idea began to grow that I might want to try again, but C—informed me that it was pointless to try again within an hour.
I took 15mg of nexus, as it was there, and couldn’t hurt the experience. I waited for that to take effect, which meant that I actually waited about 2 hours. The Nexus wasn’t causing hallucinations, but was making people and things look a bit odd.
C—was DJing now, so I did the pipe myself, as W-- watched. It was quite straightforward – hold the bulb in my left hand, a finger curled around the tube. With my right hand I played the lighter on the underside. The white smoke suddenly coiled up, and I got down two or three lungfuls before I had to stop. In retrospect that is what the helper is for, to make you take a last toke whilst you are being rather distracted by the comeup. It’s rather disconcerting to start hallucinating before you even finish inhaling.
I described it later as a spot on the table becoming larger and larger until it filled my field of vision, but that’s not entirely right.I noticed a small spot on the table, a part of the cork surface’s texture, that became intricately interesting, that grew in importance, replicated itself over my field of vision, pulsating and crawling with patterns, coming towards me and vibrating. This took over my visual field. Quite good. I'd recommend DMT on top of Nexus.
There was a ringing in my ears, like I have had with Nitrous, but lower in pitch, a richer sound. I wondered if anyone else could hear it, but was not able to ask. I became aware that I still had the bulb and lighter in my hands. I put them on the table. W— was still looking at me.
The body, bulb and table seemed to be a second layer of reality, behind the patterns. This is a disassociative effect. There were starbursts of beads. I lay down and closed my eyes. It seemed like people were waving flashlights around, looking for something.
Slowly the normal reality comes back into primary focus and the other layers recede. It was an intensely visual and interesting experience, but again not shattering.
About then is when two people I had never seen before walked in, more of G—‘s guests. The room must have smelled of burnt plastic.
Hallucinogens have characteristic colours. LSD has bright, saturated primary colours. Nexus has a whole palette of delicate vivid pastels, and DOB has different set of them, more like neon LEDs. It’s hard to put a colour to DMT – it’s like the ripples in the air, or reflective metal surfaces, detail rather than colour. Maybe you need more experience to discern the character.
Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll make sure that I’m using a glass pipe designed for the task, and able to suck all of the smoke rapidly into my lungs. It’s a learned technique that’s needed to really get off on the stuff. My throat is still a bit raw, and my voice was off yesterday, but honestly I find dope harder oon the lungs, which is one of the reasons whey I don't smoke it.
It’s not a 20 minute trip, it’s more like a short spike of 1 minute, followed by 20 minutes tail-off, where you feel more stoned than tripped.
The rest of the party was OK.
I felt like people were ignoring me at times, but I wasn’t up for much conversation, neither were they, we’ve said it all before and I am leaving soon.
For a while I sat on the rooftop balcony, watching the city lights, thinking about how one constellation of orange lights looks much like another, but not really believing it.
Ever notice how you can do something, and then a decade later realise that it’s no longer something that you do but something that you are? I feel like that sometimes.
I left around 10pm, tired, and having picked up a bit of sunburn somehow in the afternoon.