Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Freewheelin’ in S.E.A - Day 29: The half-moon psychedelic jungle dance

I came to about thirty minutes before mid-day and staggered out of my room to be faced with a glorious view of the sea. I was still half asleep as I stepped into the blue, but soon woke fully as the cold water reached my family jewels, throwing my shoulders under to acclimatise before going for a morning swim. I arrived back after fifteen minutes, joining Sarah who was sat on the sand reading. I started getting into the ‘Steppenwolf’ book that I’d found in Pai, which is offered up as uncovered documents of a former lodger at the author’s aunt’s guesthouse, an alcoholic recluse who kept diary-like recordings of the events surrounding his lonely life and strange encounters.

After an hour or so of roasting on the beach we shared a Pad Thai for lunch, then moved a few metres over to the pool, where I spent another couple of hours doing my usual write, swim, write, swim, whenever the heat got too much to bear. Sarah slept for much of this time, joining me for my final swim of the afternoon. As we worked our way around the pool our lips met and, like dogs on heat, we were off. The throws of passion ignited and we gripped each other closely, doing terribly in our attempts to seem inconspicuous whilst in full view of builders noisily working through the window of the building beside us. It didn’t matter, we’d gone too far to stop and it felt too good to care. After increasing the fluid levels of the pool by at least a tablespoon, we returned to our room without being arrested, before taking a short ride up the road on our scooter, where we found a travel agent to book our onward journey to Khao Sok national park, and bought some yoghurt, which we’d be consuming our mushrooms with. Back in our beach hut we mixed our ingredients and scoffed the lot. I can’t believe that in all those years of munching on the nasty mush’ like a straight up sicko, always seeing it as the hell you must overcome to reach heaven, I’d never before thought to simply put them in a yoghurt. Not only was all of the nasty fungus and psilocybin taste masked completely by the strawberry flavour, I’d actually go so far as to say I enjoyed consuming them. Then the wait was on.

Hanging high
I always quite enjoy the unknowing after you’ve eaten a dose and await the effects. Mushroom trips are generally always different, as the strength and amounts vary greatly with every new batch, but I had faith that they’d be decent as I let the poison make its way around my body gladly, in my usual position sprawled out on our bed, offering myself up to the skies, ready to be taken. Just like when on the acid in Pai, I was in a vegetative state, the calm before the storm, and completely refusing to move as we listened to ‘Strange Days’, which is probably my favourite album from The Doors, before Sarah followed it with ‘P.S I Love you’ by the Beatles. By this point, she’d given up on me and went out front to hang in the hammock. After a few minutes of time with my thoughts, I had a vision. I called out to my lover “Sarah, when we get married, can we have a yellow ribbon tied around our hands?” She laughed and replied “Yes, but only if you come outside!” After another minute or two composing myself for the big move, I then took three wobbly steps out of the door, and laid straight on the hard marble deck beside Sarah’s swinging spot. The end of the Fab Four saw us joined by Patti Smith, who provided the soundtrack as Sarah and I laughed our arses off being increasingly silly with our shared thoughts and conversation topics. We concluded that if you had to pay to take a shit, there would be a hell of a lot more panicking young people on the streets of East London, running around on the rob, desperately looking for money, and also that although the general consensus of a down and out who is laying drunk in the gutter with piss running down his leg is that he’s in a bad way, he may be having the time of his life, feeling freer than ever before. I’m glad we took time to delve into these interesting theories, I mean, other than literally ‘talking shit’ what else is there to worry about? As we chatted, I saw what I first thought was a firework flash in the sky. As I followed its movement diagonally downwards, its effervescent glow illuminating the black blanket sky, I realised that it was a shooting star. Sarah had witnessed its flash too, but didn’t realise what it was until I called out in excitement before kissing her as I made a wish for us both. We made our way over to the pool as I was adamant that we have a little swim around before we reached the 9pm curfew which was stated on the rule board beside it. I dived in, feeling at one with the water as I flipped about like a dolphin, returning to collect my lover who I carried around like a baby, spinning under the stars and making us both dizzy. Then we kissed again and Sarah laughed, explaining that every time we’d kiss, she’d get the image of me as a cat in her head, one who had stolen my identity as her beau. With open eyes, however, I looked more like a seal or a fish, as my wet hair clung around my ears like a black swimming cap. I explained that I was Cat Top the Merman, half feline, half fish and half human, and splashed around like a hyperactive schoolgirl to amuse my lady, and myself.
Neon jungle
We’d been unsure as to whether or not to attend the half-moon party all day, due to the fact that neither of us were the slightest bit into psy-trance and rarely attended any sort of raves, plus we thought it might be a bit too intense whilst tripping, however after another hour or so hanging in front of our beach hut drinking my bottle Lion King Whiskey, which I’d brought in Laos for us to share, we both started considering whether or not to bite the bullet. I was being happily lazy in my own world, but after being joined by Matt and Mikaela, our neighbours who we hadn’t yet met as they’d been snoozing all evening, and making friends with them in the space of a few seconds, we decided to join them for a dance in the jungle. We caned our drinks, chucked on some threads and flagged down a truck that was on its way to the party, arriving in less than five minutes to be faced with a gaggle of goons in glowing garments, a neon army getting sloshed on cheap plonk by the bucket load. This wasn’t even the entrance, it was a makeshift bar outside for people to get their first drinks, screams and drunken fondles out of the way, setting the scene for the melee which was sure to ensue as they walked through the door. I kind of felt like an animal that’d just been shifted from the wild to a zoo, I was seeing all these strange creatures, and although I felt akin with their species, I knew I was a foreigner. Sarah re-affirmed to our new pals that “this isn’t really our thing” as we went through the entrance, noticing that we were quite possibly the only two people out of roughly a thousand that weren’t in neon t-shirts and vests. I wasn’t bothered by this, unless they had neon black ones I’d have to make do with my glowing plain white t-shirt swinging about under the ultra-violet rays. Matt and I knocked back our complimentary vodka and red-bulls and stood chatting, before I felt a tug, looking down to realise that a midget Thai woman was grabbing at my dick. I backed away bewildered and she gave me a cheeky smile, before disappearing under the legs of a passing stranger.

Wired weirdos wandering wildly in the wilderness

The girls returned carrying a bucket filled with the usual concoction of rum, coke and red bull, heavy on the rum, as always. Out of nowhere, a blonde girl came and grabbed me, and I turned to realise that it was my dear friend Ieke, who had been part of my lovely gang in Vang Vieng a few weeks prior. We had a massive hug and a good chat, catching up on each other’s movements before Sarah came over with the biggest balloon of laughing gas I had ever seen. I introduced her to Ieke, who had been hearing all about her when I was on my own, then we proceeded to start inhaling on the nitrous oxide. The first hit was big, it rippled across my eyes and into my brain, I had a quick break for a second to greet someone we’d met in Chiang Mai, Olaf, who had also spotted me in the crowd and came over to say hi. I clung onto the conversation like a cat thrown at the curtains, whilst simultaneously using the balloon as a third lung, until the switch in my mind flicked, sending me into a kaleidoscope of multiple realities before rebooting my brain, returning me to the spot where we all stood. We carried on having a laugh and a catch-up and then Matt turns up, holding yet another big bastard balloon. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially in my quest for YES! I squeezed the end to my lips, and started hitting number two, whilst still holding our bucket of booze. In this instance, like many that have come before it, I forgot my history with these balloons, how the second one is always much more of a mind mash and often twists me in uncomfortable ways. This was no different. After only a few blasts to the head something happened, I don’t quite recall the time frame, just a tornado of spinning, then a wobble, then an outer-body experience, watching as the floor moved closer towards my face. I came to, to find myself on my knees, clutching the bucket in one hand and tightly gripping the balloon in the other, with a shocked Sarah standing above me saying “What are you doing? Are you ok?” Despite my all too often dances with the Devil, I always remain in control, this was the first time she’d witnessed the big tree fall hard, but rather than panic, by the time I’d recovered she was a metre or two away, holding the bucket, hitting the balloon and bopping to the beats that blared across the jungle. That’s my girl, I thought, laughing at her priorities in the face of destruction. Usually, being wiped out so publically may be somewhat embarrassing, however, due to never having experienced being taken out so massively, I was actually pretty ecstatic it had happened to me. Perhaps I should start fighting again, except let people knock me out instead of punching back, it would definitely save me a pretty penny.

Jungle Boogie
The party was kicking, we had a good gang, and the buckets were in constant succession, even the dreaded music was a lot more up our street than we’d expected. After all, we do have a past in which clubbing featured frequently, my DJ father owning a night club in Ayia Napa and Sarah being a former electro head, we were prepared, whether we liked it or not, and we shook the ghosts out of our souls as the beats thudded against our skulls. I found it funny to see Miss “This isn’t really our thing” dancing on a podium, mesmerized by the music and cocktail of cocktails. Some dude was standing nearby with his vest rolled up, showing off his abs to whoever would look, and it rang familiar with me. I looked up to recognise the baby face that they belonged to, a guy from Hertford, near where I’d lived a few years back. I’d recognise those abs anywhere, he used to go out with a friend of mine and every picture of his on Facebook saw him exposing himself, much to the amusement of my best friend and I who would always laugh at such embarrassing behaviour from the young lad. I went over and confirmed that it was him, and he told me they’d split up and he’d gone travelling. I left him and his six best friends, alone and exposed, grabbed my trashed woman explaining that it was now 5am and I wanted to go, and ambled outside, where we managed to find a guy with a motorbike who was willing to ride us both home on the back of it for 100baht. Sarah held him, I held her and we whizzed off. This was another moment where I could have feared for my life, up and down the hills on this chicken-chaser, but I just wanted my bed and to escape my beating head. Back in our room, we both threw up a load of booze and some dignity, which was running pretty low, and then got into bed, where I span out, trying to end what had been a heavy day and night. I got what I wanted.

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