Monday, December 3, 2012
The Mexican holy man affixed a ceremonial Indian hat atop tripping man’s head, which was already beading with sweat. Only an hour ago, a hot sun receded under the far horizon, and stars were now beginning to fire up like stationary lightening bugs.
The holy man then placed a quid of specially prepared, enhanced salvia leaves inside tripping man’s mouth. After speaking a few soft words in Spanish, the holy man pointed tripping man towards a field of scraggly grass sprinkled with flowering agave plants.
Holding his hands up in prayerful obeisance, tripping man ventured to the center of the welcoming field. As he chewed the leaves, an aura of salvinorin molecules breathed outwardly from his body. The air was soon painted with a green and purplish haze.
Tripping man now began to focus on his heart. It felt like a rhythmic drum beat rising in intensity from deep inside his chest. Louder and louder it pounded. Louder and Louder and suddenly a Giant RIPPPING sound: the ground in front of tripping man RIPPED open like an earthen Zipper made of Shrieking gravel.
Rising out of the opened earth in front of tripping man’s astonished eyes was a trail of seven curanderos, each waving a reddish-black transformation mask in his hand. The seven men were identical replicas of each other. They erupted from the ground like an undulating serpent -- like a snake of clones -- like a roller coasting dragon. Scanning past tripping man’s eyes, the trail of curanderos all flashed mischievous grins before disappearing back into the grassy knoll from which they, only seconds before, originally sprang.
Tripping man’s legs quickly buckled, and he sank down to a kneeling position. Two dragonflies, one winged with gold and one winged with rubies, darted in front of tripping man’s face. They froze in mid air, then danced together in flight before darting off again. All this while a rustling wind sang in whispered tones a hauntingly salvia-esque corrido across the Oaxacan nightscape.
A crescent moon gently orbited the outstretched tip of a palmetto branch as tripping man mashed out with his teeth the last of the quid juice. No longer sure if his eyes were wide open or tightly shut, he soon lost the ability to focus on anything in front of his rubbery body.
Now, with a fresh upsurge of salvinorin molecules traversing his veins, tripping man emptied his awareness of all extraneous baggage. His consciousness began to drift away: to recede like an ocean tide. Filling in the void were approaching visuals only his fellow travelers of salvia space could have imagined.
What appeared as a darkened wheel as wide as the night sky began to roll against the ground towards tripping man. Not to be outdone, the ground pushed back like retinal lava directly against the motion of the sky. The ground and sky became like two giant organic gears working in unison; the mechanics of which eluded tripping man‘s conceptual understanding.
Although tripping man’s brain was barely functioning, he pivoted to the left and recognized his horse that had previously been tied to an exposed agave root. The horse was now being dragged across the night of consciousness itself, along with an accompanying system of ever miniaturizing horses: all fractaling away from tripping man’s point of view. The horses slid off into the distance like an MC Escher painting; a spiraling staircase of wooden horses: hundreds of them, all purple and green, all rocking together in synchronized unison.
After a while, tripping man slowly stood up and surveyed the situation around him. What looked like rodents or hairy elves were scurrying around in the dark, apparently trying to put everything back together again, back to where everything was before the salvia journey began.
Scanning the terrain in sweeping motions, tripping man’s eyes searched for his friend the holy man. Suddenly, the cry of a coyote cut a jagged note across the valley. In the distance was the frozen silhouette of something silvery brown. Its eyes, one ringed with gold and one ringed with rubies, stared back at tripping man’s face. And then it was gone.
Tripping man stood there and smiled; and he continued to smile while fireflies arched like stars toward the morning dawn.