I had never tried these things before, so I had no idea what it would be like. Sure, I had heard about it before - just talk from friends and acquaintances. Growing up in a poor part of Brooklyn, you hear all about this sort of thing. But I had never tried it.

I guess in the past, I never really felt like drugs could have any effect on my life. I mean, I was happy, I was successful, my brother and I even had a successful business back in the day. Before the accident, that is. I've spent years trying to get my life back on track, to try to find a way back home, but you know what they say - you can't go back.

So I decided to try the mushroom. I'm not sure what inspired me to do it. My brother wasn't there at the time; he never seems to be there for any of the really significant experiences of my life. I'd told him about my plans before and he'd just pooh-poohed them. He was always the more buttoned-down sort. People have always described him as being a bit more of a straight-edge. He's taller, thinner, in better shape than I am. That's always been the way with us. I'm the fat one, the go-getter, the guy who will try anything. Luigi will go for something if he sees me do it and he's confident that he could do it too. But a lot of the time, he's more subdued and laid-back than I am.

He tried to convince me that it was a bad idea. He said to me, "You shouldn't try it. You don't know where they come from. Magic mushrooms, huh? You know where they grow? Do you?"

I said, "I can see where they come from! Listen, I have a friend who was telling me all about it. It's easy enough. They come in these little boxes, you eat them, and things start to change. He said that it'll be interesting, something I've never really tried before."

"They grow in cow shit! Is that something that you want to put in your mouth? I don't care what it does! I don't care if you feel great and wonderful and that everything is going to be amazing from now on! You'll get sick!"

I said something at that point about how I had a good immune system, and he snapped back with, "You know what? This is what we call a gateway drug. You go for this, and before you know it, you'll be smoking God-knows-what. Think about it, man. A flaming plant in your mouth? Doesn't that strike you as stupid? You always used to hate smokers, and now you're going to be one of them!"

I assured him that I wouldn't start smoking because of this, but now that I look back, I see that he wasn't so wrong after all. Yeah, so I've gotten into smoking one now and then. But only when I'm feeling really down. But anyway.

When I first tried it, it seemed easy enough. There it was, in the little box, just like I'd been told. I popped it in my mouth, climbed up onto the platform there, and waited a bit.

The weirdest things started happening to me and my perceptions. It felt like I was growing and shrinking, growing and shrinking. After a few seconds, I felt like I was about twice my normal size. Everything looked so small in conparison to me. So I tried moving around. I felt like I was stronger, faster, better than I'd ever felt before. I tried jumping up and down, and it seemed like I could leap eight feet into the air. Unfortunately, I landed on a Goombah (that's what they call some of the locals around here - being of Italian heritage, I've always found it a little bit offensive, but I guess that I'm a bit stereotypical myself), and he shrieked - it was like I'd flattened him out, and then he melted into the pavement and disappeared.

Everything was looking all strange, like it had turned into little blocks and squares. The sky was a weird purplish-blue color, and I really wanted to feel the red brick of the town beneath my feet. I leapt up and punched the wall, and watched as it exploded in a shower of smaller bricks. I knew that if I got hurt by something, I wouldn't really feel it. I felt ten feet tall, and tried to see if I could make it off of a building and catch a flagpole. I just made it, sliding down to the ground. I'm lucky I wasn't hurt, although I've had worse experiences since. One time recently I was smoking some strange leaves that I'd been sold, and I was convinced I was turning into a raccoon and could make myself fly off into the sky just by running as fast as the wind would take me.

I felt great! I was running and jumping all over the place, and before you knew it, I'd accidentally fallen off of a wall. I wasn't hurt, exactly, but I could feel the high wearing off. I felt like I needed another shroom - I'd not had that much fun in a good long time, but I decided to wait. I'm kind of glad I did, because after the next time that I tried mushrooms, I found that I just didn't feel safe anymore without them. They felt like a second skin, like I was being protected from harm. My body also felt weird when I was sober, like I was all squished and flattened out. It wasn't a good feeling. And you know what, my brother was right. Eventually I tried out smoking the "fire weed", as the locals called it. But that's another story entirely. Maybe if we have a first time trying flowers node someday, I'll add it.

Many apologies to Shigeru Miyamoto and his work.