Last night, I found myself watching "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for the first time ever. The film definitely made me want to read the book. I mean, it was basically a writing trip to Vegas, where the author was high as giraffe pu**y the entire time. Although the film was very interesting and creatively done, that last sentence pretty much sums up the entire movie for you.

I brought up the topic of writers on mind-altering substances for a reason. Awhile back, I was hanging out with some friends of mine, drinking in their living room. One of the folks decided to break out a bag of salvia, which is a Mexican plant used by shamans as a meditation aid. The plant is something that you smoke, like weed or tobacco, only it has strong hallucinogen qualities. The crazy thing is, it's totally legal, so, you know...it has to be good for you! It'll make you see God!

Ok...in my case, I did not see God. I saw Ronald McDonald. Still, it's no joke.

The people in the room who tried it before started describing their experiences, which kind of raised a few red flags with me. I'm the type of guy whom, if you tell me "that stove is hot", you usually don't have to worry about me putting my hand on it to see if you were telling the truth or not. I just prefer not to learn things the hard way. I sort of let my guard down with this one, mainly because I saw someone use it once before, and she was alright after the effects wore off.

In actuality, the real reason that I gave it a try is because I was one of the three people in the room who hadn't tried it. Besides, it's legal, and girls did it and survived, so there was no reason for me to be a punk. The three of us whom hadn't tried it before all agreed to do it that night. I decided to go second.

I lit it up, took a pull, and held it in for te required 30 seconds. I then took another light drag of the foul-smelling salvia...and blacked out with my eyes open.

I don't remember fading away from reality, but once things got less hazy for me, that's when it got really wierd. I was looking down at myself, in my friend's house, and everything became really colorful. I looked like a strange mix of Ronald McDonald, and one of the Jackson 5 cartoons from the 70's.

 

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As I sat there, I tried to move my body, but it felt as if my limbs were segmented into slices, kind of like a loaf of bread. Each time I moved, only one slice seemed to go anywhere, and the rest of me stayed put. I felt like a human slinky, sitting next to a couch, looking at a cushion with a plaid pattern that seemed to be moving. Folks in the room said that while I was the calmest person in the house while high, I had this perplexed look on my face, as if I were trying to figure out where I was. All the while, I kept hearing this metallic, accordian-like sound the entire time, which freaked me out even more. It sounded as if I were at a carnival, but the music was screwed and chopped(I later found out that someone was playing T-Pain in the background while I was high).

When I finally started to comprehend what was going on around me, I heard some of the people in the room say "Leon's the only one who did not drool!" Apparently, this stuff makes most people drool when they are under the influence, thanks in part to the laughing and temporary state of confusion that the plant brings on when it's smoked. Well, as soon as I heard someone say that, I tried to bring my arm up to my lips to wipe it, and I started drooling since it took me a good 5 seconds to move my arm high enough to touch my face.

Of course, these are my friends, so they messed with me while I was coming down from my high. The guy who brought the salvia over asked me some kind of silly question, and since I knew he was making fun of me, the only thing I could bring myself to say was "I hate you! Burn in Hell!" Then I started laughing hysterically, since what I said made everybody else laugh, too.

See, even when rendered temporarily helpless, I'm still a smartass!

That high was by far the longest five minutes of my life. I felt helpless, and I also felt like I'd been set up, since I was totally unprepared for the actual experience of being high from that stuff, even after seeing other people do it. The only good thing about it is the fact that I slept like a baby when I finally did go to bed. That next morning, I woke up amazingly clear and refreshed. I'm assuming that's why shamans use it for meditation.

The craziest thing is, the memories of those five minutes got more and more clear as the next day went on. I didn't really feel like I truly remembered every detail of the experience until about 12 hours later. It was some weird stuff. Very weird stuff. If any of you decide to try it, I beg you, please do it around friends whom you trust to look out for your well being. If you think the person you're hanging around with has the potential to steal your wallet, or deliver an uncontested d*ck slap to you while you're stuck sitting there like Terri Schivo, you might not want to try salvia with these individuals. Be safe, and do your research first!