Listen Here:

The first time my friends and I ate psychotropic mushrooms was terrible, as were the second and fifth time. Three was good and four was fine. The sixth was years later and I was very drunk, so I’m not sure they had any noticeable effect.

But the first was truly terrible.

It was New Years Eve, the final day of the year 2000. I had just turned 17. Drugs were not new. My friends and I had been smoking weed multiple times a day for a year and some change by that time and I think we’d smoked opium, but that could have been in the months after the mushrooms, I can’t recall.

Once, in the absence of the stem and beaner riddled, Autumn ruffage swag we usually had access to at the time, Marshall and I had each drank a full bottle of children’s allergy medicine before a showing of Yellow Submarine at the Fargo Theater. We both slept through the whole thing.

I don’t recall how we obtained the mushrooms, but I assume it was like how we obtained any such thing. Some semi-local old degenerate obtained a massive amount of a particular drug and sold it to the younger guys he always sold it to, word began to spread, and they sold it to every other aspiring drug dealer who sold it to his friends and eventually it trickled down to us. You’d hear a rumor of mushrooms or good weed or whatever and then hope you got there before it was all bought up, there generally being some little used parking lot, maybe behind the Mini Mart or Videoland or the bowling alley. You’d have gotten a number, and then you and your friends, packed into a 1987 Buick Celebrity Station Wagon with a v dent in the front from where it had hit a tree, pulled up to a lonely, street lit payphone in some other parking lot and called that number and maybe, if you were lucky, the guy would answer and, luckier still, he’d show up – the guy was always the third or fourth guy to have handled the drugs since the old degenerate – and who knows how many before that – and he always had on a baseball cap with a flat brim at some preposterous angle and a Doors or Sublime t-shirt or maybe just an implied Doors or Sublime t-shirt and drive a s****y car with a massive sub in the back absolutely mangling an already pretty s****y Eminem song almost beyond recognition and have prematurely too tightly drawn, dry skin – and you’d pool your fives and tens to buy whatever it was he was selling, and he’d look at the sad wad of too many bills you were handing him with disgust and maybe tell you to drive to yet another parking lot to make the handoff.

So we had the mushrooms and we set a date to ingest them. New Year’s Eve was a week away. Perfect. Momentous.

Early evening New Years Eve, we gathered at Ben’s house. His parents house, really. They were away, which was fairly rare. We gathered in the basement and ate some of the ultra-dry dregs of the batch, stems and a few caps and a lot of powder in each of our eight of a gram baggies. Then we waited.

Here are the two most important things to know about mushrooms: First, their effects last far longer than you think they will. Like, eight hours, but time is weird on hallucinogens – it skips and drags and disappears – so those eight hours, if things are not going well, will feel like days. If you don’t have a completely open schedule for the entire day and/or night, today is not a good day to eat a handful of mushrooms. You’re not going to want to, say, go to work at a grocery store. You will not be an effective worker and everyone will notice and, even if they somehow don’t, you will be positive that they do.

Second, they take some time to kick in. At least an hour. Be patient. Don’t, as I did, assume that you got a bad batch and just eat the rest of it after like 20 minutes.