I did too much Datura

When you get high on Datura, there's no real period of coming up.

When you get high on Datura, there's no real period of coming up. Everything seems normal, and then you look over at the table and there's fuzz on it, and you know things are different. Datura is to mushrooms what cholera is to diarrhea. These are a couple of drawings of the monsters I tried to do after my trip.

I tripped on this shit almost four years ago. A bunch of us had been at an after hours and we all went back to a friend’s place. Eventually everybody left except me and my friend Stewie. It was Sunday afternoon by then and we were trying to figure out what to do. He asked me if I wanted to do some psychedelic tea, and my first thought was, "Yeah, whatever, psychedelic tea, like Sleepytime? Suuuuurrre." I didn't think it would be anything intense. I was totally fucking wrong.

We each drank a mug and waited half an hour, but nothing happened. I drank a bit more, but still nothing happened, so I drank even more. I ended up taking way more than Stewie.

The fuzz on the table turned into a kind of aura and then into more of a slimy, amoeba-like gel. I went into the bathroom and it was all over the toilet seat. I remember thinking, “Ummmm...this is weird,” and then I started doing strange, repetitious things. I kept walking around the apartment and banging into Stewie's weight set with my leg, over and over again, and each time I apologized and then did it again — my perception of where things were was completely off. Suddenly I had a great idea, “Let’s go outside!” It was not a great idea. It was winter, and cold, and I was running around outside without my parka. I think I was hiding behind a tree at one point. When Stewie went back upstairs, I took off.

That concludes what I remember actually happening. The rest is a blur of carnival weirdness. I was walking around Old Montreal and there were all these three-dimensional creatures everywhere. It was theatrical and distorted and perverse in a cartoon-ish way. The creatures were like humans, with limbs, a torso, and a face, but also demonic and malicious with sardonic smiles and soulless eyes. They were always staring at me, laughing and jumping out of the way — playing with me. Sometimes I’d look at a garbage bag and it would be a person. The creatures would occasionally hide behind a lamppost or even behind me. I’d turn around as fast as I could and I wouldn’t see them, but they’d always be there. I also kept encountering these prostitute creatures, super thin and really tall, like obscene drag-queens. They were lining up down the street, like lampposts.

At no point during the trip did I think, "Oh, that’s kind of cool.” It was always terrifying. I knew somewhere in my mind that they couldn’t really hurt me but it didn’t matter, the fear was real.

I ended up at a gas station where two of my friends just happened to be getting gas. They watched me freak out. I was off to the side, and there was this one creature that was looking at me with a huge smile and too many teeth. He had shining, beady eyes and brownish, mottled skin. He was naked from the torso up. When I leaned back he became 12 or 15 feet long. I looked back at my friends, muttered some gibberish, and ran away.

At that point I was being chased by a pack of creatures who were taunting me, disappearing behind my back and actually stabbing me, disrupting my nervous system. It was like having an electric shock every time. It was really fucked up. I was running down the street and trying to grab them except they had this ash-like quality, and I could never actually get hold of them. I must have looked like a madman: running around, talking to nothing, grabbing at nothing, screaming.

After that there's a gap. I have this deep fear of that I was near death at that point. Maybe it was just a feeling, or maybe I actually fell down and almost died. I can’t be sure.

After what felt like hours, I finally got into a cab. On the way home I was talking to a creature beside me while at the same time trying to get off of a creature I was sitting on. My body seemed to be covered in that amoeba-type weirdness from earlier and it was slowly crawling up into my ears. I could feel it. I kept saying, “I have to get this off me”. We got to my apartment and I pulled out a 20-dollar bill but it turned to ash in my hand. I tried to explain to the cabbie what had just happened and that I had to go to the bank, but he said, “Get out. Just get out of my cab.” I ran inside, and showered for 45 minutes, trying to get all the amoeba stuff off.

I went into my room and sat there for the rest of Sunday night and all of Monday. Different piles of things in my room, clothes or a stack of books, became people I knew. In the closet, there was a creature watching me, making sure I didn’t leave. My friends started asking me questions about where I’d been and what I’d done. When I asked them what was going on, they told me I'd killed somebody. Bam! I started freaking out. At one point all I could say was, “Oh my God it’s all over, oh good Lord, oh God!” I thought I was going to jail because I was so convinced that I had killed someone. I remember seeing a woman with a dog in the Old Port and concluded I must have killed her. I checked the paper for a week after my trip to make sure no one was murdered in the Old Port.

While I was being held prisoner in my room, this man appeared. He was an older gentleman, wearing a suit, and he was wise with what seemed like a soft demeanor. I thought, “Ah, I have to talk to this guy, this is the key to everything." But I couldn’t talk to him, there was something blocking our communication. Seeing him was the only one point where I felt hope. Apparently this gray-haired dude is called The Teacher and a lot of people see him during their trip. That, and the fuzz are both pretty common.

By Monday I started coming out of it a little bit. At one point I woke up my roommate and tried to describe everything. “Dude, there are these hairy insects that are floating around stinging me in the neck!” He was all, “Uh-huh” and I was like, “No, no look I’ll show you!” I picked something up off the floor, gave it to him and said, “Feel it.” He was sort of like, “Ummm…”  and then all of a sudden I realized what I was doing. I had just given him a pubic hair.

I kept seeing the creatures for weeks afterwards. For a year after that I would feel them hiding behind every turn, and every now and again I have dreams about them. These terrible eyes-open dreams where my body is paralysed. Just recalling it, the fear is still palpable. But at the same time it was an important experience. Afterward, we found out that the Datura was 5 times the normal dosage but that it was old. If it had been fresh I would have died for sure.