Photo by Daniel Siebert
Every Friday Andrew WK calls up the morning show on Chicago's Mancow 101.FM and tells them what he did last week. This week's call was different: "I did this weird drug called salvia divinorum," he said enthusiastically. After recognizing the awkward silence that followed, Andrew quickly changed the subject and everyone pretended nothing had happened.
Andrew was talking about one of the most intense trips available to man. It lasts about 15 minutes, it's impossible to explain, it costs about $40 and it's totally legal. The drug is derived from sage but neither the FDA nor the hippies that use it have any idea how to classify it. The only thing people can agree on is how incredibly fucked up it makes you.
"You see the world as a solid," says Will Oldham, who's been doing it off and on for the past two years. "The same way a solid object would see the world, like how a statue sees the world. It's totally disassociating, like what teleporting would feel like." Will then went on to add that he recommends trying the drug but would never refer to it as recreational. "I don't think you could get addicted to it," he says, "I mean, you'd have to really hate the world."
"It's kind of like DMT," adds Matt Sweeney, who is currently recording an album with Will called Cockfighter or Cockfight or something like that. "What happens is the world as you see it gets ripped away like paper," he says. "In a split-second you're in a place that has a completey different set of rules and dimensions. Everything is different. It's not particularly nice. You could even describe it as a bad trip. You just sit there in blackness, feeling the air as a solid, like you're in a completely different universe. You could easily forget who you are. I'd still recommend it, though. It's life changing. Plus, it only lasts for a few minutes, so why not?"
Andrew, who is working on a new show for MTV, describes his high very similarly. "It's not as simple as saying ‘you leave your body.' You don't even have a concept of what a body is. It's like coming out of a coma with full amnesia," he said. "I'll never be the same again." Like DMT, everyone we know goes through the exact same experience. We asked Andrew if the people he did it with went through the same thing. "I don't know," he said. "Some do. Some don't. It's exciting when you can relate to someone's trip but ultimately it's none of your business. It's way too personal for that. It changes you."
For more info go to sagewisdom.org.