Fever Trip

tumblr_n030hhyEYn1tprzlgo1_500I was out for a week with one of the worst bouts of the plague I’ve had in a very long time. The fevers and fever hallucinations were the most intense I have ever experienced. For several days, I could only sit up for about a half hour at a time before my body gave out from sickness and exhaustion—before I was pulled back into the wild woolies of my own mind. Strange how I’ve been reading about Huxley’s psychological experimentation with mescaline and my body finds its own way of replicating a psychedelic experience. I say that lightly, but perhaps there is more to that than I want to admit. I have always found it uncanny how happy our bodies are to oblige our wishes for them. Repeatedly refer to them as baneful and fat, and they comply to the letter. Reference your own stupidity often, and they leap to fulfill that prophecy as well. I admit, as I read Huxley, I felt a hunger for an experience similar to his. Perhaps my body is even smarter and more resourceful than I previously thought.

I will write down the “trips” I remember soon—the ones that were somewhat coherent and not just streams of flashing colors and wild thoughts. For instance, I woke up at one point convinced I was the queen of the lizards—but it passed. There was no narrative, only a concrete knowing of my own reptilian sovereignty. It slipped through my fingers as soon as I realized it. I’m glad for that.

I was surprised at the lusty horde of sex dreams attendant to the fever hallucinations. I wish I could ascribe some deep cosmic significance to that, and maybe privately I will and do, but for the purposes of this post, let’s just call it a peculiarity of the fever.

Just yesterday, I came out of it in earnest, and though I don’t miss the physical pain, I do miss the expanded consciousness. For all the wandering wilderness, there did seem to be some point—some destination to which I was making sure progress. Mundane consciousness feels something like a prison now and I lament not being able to slip at will back into that roaring place. I have experienced “travels” before. It was not the entrance into and exploration of the other worlds that was new, but the loud, rough, bright, almost blindingly broad awareness I had while doing so. Also there was easy entry into places, ideas, and physicalities that had previously been blocked to me by my own self-limitation. I can see how tripping could get addictive, even though the substances used to achieve that state are not. There is this feeling that, as much as I saw, as much as I experienced, there is so much more. I am greedy for what lay beyond.

From my days growing up Mormon, I remember something Brigham Young said. It went something like, “As soon as one becomes ready to receive the wisdom of eternity, there is an eternity of wisdom to bestow.” I’m ready, but time passes quickly and I do have to feed and bathe and exercise myself. I have to survive. I have to be a human animal who lives in this world. There are dear pleasures to be had here, such as the cold, cleansing rain that has been falling here for two days, but still a part of me itches and aches for the other.

If only I could find a way to get there that didn’t involve either illegal substances or literally cooking my brain.


About M. Ashley

Essayist and poet, my work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman among others.. In 2002, I was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University. For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once received $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors. When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: Commercial writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, telephone psychic.
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