Memo to self: Never touch “Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Seeds” again.
I was 19, in my sophomore year of college in St. Louis. One Saturday night I was planning to go see the Grateful Dead Movie with some friends from college. I ate the Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Seeds (which contain a compound called lysergic acid amide, not entirely dissimilar from lysergic acid diethylamide) before going. Actually, I had pounded them up and put them into capsules, because they taste absolutely disgusting if you just munch them. Even now, over 23 years later, I feel nauseated just to recall the name “Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Seeds.”
It was a mistake to swallow them before setting out.
The trip came on faster than expected. I became confused on the way to Katie’s house once I turned onto Hampton Avenue and couldn’t remember where I was. So I pulled into the nearest place, a McDonald’s. I called Katie on the pay phone from the parking lot and told her I couldn’t drive any more, please come & get me. She said, “We’ll be right over, hold on.”
They never showed up.
I sat in my car and ran the engine to keep warm (it was February). I smoked some Cannabis and lit an incense stick while waiting. After what seemed forever, I got tired of waiting and went into the McDonald’s. I ordered an orange juice — the only thing my stomach could handle. As I sat in a booth and drank it, I looked into the intensely glowing bright orangeness of the juice, I thought it looked just like molten lava deep within a volcano. Then I started peaking.
I realized that all my life had led up to this one perfect moment, that my entire destiny in existence was now fulfilled, and my life was over, I was now dead and liberated from samsara, and attained blissful samadhi. I went through the “ego death” taught by Timothy Leary in The Psychedelic Experience (based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead). I decided to go to the lavatory.
But on the way there, my legs suddenly turned to jelly and I wound up sitting on the floor of the corridor, momentarily blacked out. Next thing I knew, a couple 15- & 16-year old kids were shaking me, saying, “Come on, man, you gotta get out of here or you’ll get busted!” I looked at the kid’s face turning an astonishing variety of beautiful colors, blue, green, aqua, red, yellow… I calmly replied, “It doesn’t matter, anyway, I’m dead now.” The kid said, “No, man, you’re not dead, you’re just fucked up and you’ll get busted if we don’t get out of here!” So I went out with them and got in the back seat of their car and they drove off. I started expounding my metaphysics to them and passed out. When I came to, they handed me a beer and I suddenly felt normal again. They said, “That sure was some weird stuff you were talking, but we didn’t understand any of it.”
That was my flaming youth … I haven’t touched any mind-boggling substances in many years now. Don’t think they made me the way I am now, because I had already been warped from the beginning.