I Drank the Koolaid!
I Drank the Koolaid chronicles TravelCatScribe’s psychedelic experience with Ayahuasca in the first chapter of her novel “The Asylum” (a work in progress). Ayahuasca Info. Watch The Nature of Things
Curious about Cicadas?
I collapsed beneath a tree canopy masted by Maples after drinking the Koolaid. Stars beamed through the seams of a dense network overhead. Thousands of double samaras scraped from the clay floor became my bed and blanket. Exposing the mossy loam stained and chipped my manicure. Each nail and quick deeply ingrained with grit. Iridescent flakes of pink nail varnish sparkled like tiny diamonds under Shiva’s crescent moon. Each steady stream of breath I exhaled made the gems glow, blaze and, then fade like coals in a pre dawn camp fire.
I squeezed my eyes shut. A bolt of pain shot through my gut. A vision of a yellow boa wound its way around the lip of a white porcelain sink. It’s languid motion brushed each sinew and unravelled every nerve within my mortal coil. Molecules circled and charged each other like hockey players chasing a puck on a dark, cold and uneven surface. Star patterns emerged in contrasting shades of cinnabar and faded into the dark recesses of my psyche with all the magnificence of a fire works display. Every hair stood at attention. As quick as a signal run up a flag pole. The boa reappeared now coiled around the short, stubby faucet. Head bobbing over the wash basin. The end of its tail hanging down the drain. The twin tines of its fork tongue flickering from its sullen mouth gauging the atmosphere under the shining luminescence of a brushed nickel fixture.
My eyes flew open. I stared, catatonic. Waves of nausea rippled through my torso. I gagged. I retched and belched a blast of air. Flecks of nail polish exploded, tumbled and gathered into a sphere that hovered like a twinkling UFO. Particles spun madly like whirling Dervishes amidst intermittent bursts of white light. The monotonous motion stirred my bile into a sickening stew and set the serpent creeping once again through my bowels. The spectacular Alien sensing my discomfort: disintegrated. Pink dust cascaded dotting the earth with warm pink flames. Lighting up a crude air strip hastily cut from a jungle on a remote tropical island.
Fire flashed in my kidneys. I drew up my knees and cradled the dry, broken rotors in my arms like a pillow. They slid from my hold like melting ice sheets skittering off a hot tin roof. I grasped at them to stem the flow. But, my arms emptied instantly albeit for a few pods that clung stubbornly to my blouse. While, the rest lay in a mound. I picked the pair from my breast and flung them into the bush. The rotors sliced the dampness hitting something that scampered away in the darkness. I furiously tried to recoup the broken rotors to cover my shivering frame: all efforts in vain. I lay still, defeated. Tears flooded my face. I felt alone. Wracking sobs shook my ragged carcass. The earth sank; cradling me deeper in its depression.
I awoke in the fragrant bedding clasped in a fine shroud of smaze. Trade winds wafted the Spanish Moss hanging like great curtains on a stage. The gentle movement inspired the humidity trapped in its fibres to dance. Tree crickets rudely awoken from their slumber hissed their discontent and buzzed with all the heady intoxication of bees gathering pollen from orange blossoms under a scorching Florida sun. Their Tymbal ribs snapping left and right like a colossal 80’s beat box. A lone cloud moved off to harass a star leaving moonbeams to illuminate Adam’s ale gyrating to the rhyming measures of the Cicada’s rap.
The earth erupted into a concert of crunches. My ear canal itched. I shook my head to avert a foreign invasion. Something grazed on a scab at the end of my pinkie. I flinched. The nibbling ceased. Unseen hands flipped me as easily as a page turned in a book. With legs and arms outstretched, I welcomed the leaves waving into focus.
Unbeknownst to me and far, far below, Nymphs alerted by the advanced scout ceased celebrating their last cups of youth and prepared to bug out.
Drunk on tree sap, they burst through the humus as if popped from a thousand champagne bottles buried deep underground. Landing with a bump amidst puffs of dust to join scores of adolescent larvae scrambling from mud chimneys sprouting up around me. They scuttled in circles unaccustomed to the atmosphere after a long roost.
Cicadas overhead crooned a chorus of jeers watching their offspring run madly around in search of their sober selves. Birds from their camouflaged perches chirped resentment at the commotion. The Cicadas hissed. The Nymphs snapped to attention. Their yellow and brown mottled skins glistened as they fanned out in all directions like lights strung across an outdoor trattoria. My body laying at the centre of the migration like a Vitruvian woMan bound within the limits of a square. The Nymphs dogged march breached the sandy boundary. Their bioluminescence extinguished as each pricked the inky darkness and disappeared into the bush.
A great hush fell over the enclosure. Tiny threads left in the Nymph’s wake bound me to the earth. A great gust of wind blew which unsettled me. I pined for the Cicada’s riff. The tessellation of twisted filaments were too constricting without the tree cricket’s serenade. The sound of my own breathing muted. I descended into a quiet deafening within a silent world. My heart beat void of a murmur. Butterflies fluttered in my veins. I wriggled like a worm on a hook. The Nymph’s bounds held me fast. A white balloon appeared affixed in the trees wavering gently in the breeze. It sprouted two ears. Enormous gold eyes emerged. The grin of a Cheshire Cat flashed and dissolved into the fingers of the arbour.
A low and steady hum arose. My body jerked, tweaked by the sudden volume. Branches clattered together in a playful sword fight. Seedlings laden with eggs shook violently at the end of each twig. Tree crickets screeched a halt to the rollicking, mock battle. Mature Maples rocked side to side awoken from their complacency. The earth shifted and sunk. I nestled into the newly formed concave. Below the surface, roofs of burrows caved as trees shifted their feet. Subterranean passageways that had forged connections became blocked with debris. The ground shook loosening my bounds. I jittered in the quake.
A cloud blew itself into a jealous rage and coveted the moon. A dark shroud fell. The Spanish Moss ceased to be teased by my breath tugging on its beard. The dew halted its collective pirouette. The tree crickets climaxed and ejaculated their final notes. A mist fell over my visage. My hackles rose slightly. I blinked in the darkness. A fine rain began to fall.
Water beads melded. Rivulets formed. Building into raging tributaries running either side of my nose. At first, the river softly kissed my dry lips. But, its liquid tongue penetrated. I choked as the water shed drained down my gullet; hydrating every cell. The light rain ceased. My breath stirred the silence. Leaves rattled like dry peppers as water drops tapped them in descent. I closed my eyes and breathed in peace. I felt the tree elders and their generations bow. I supped their energy without trepidation. The sound of sand sifting through a sieve erupted in my ears. The Nymphs ascending each trunk grated their legs across the phytodome as if playing a massive guiro in a merengue band. Hosts of tree crickets aroused by the mounting synergy hissed for the reptile cloistered in my belly.
The tree canopy’s costal cartilage became highlighted against the star studded sky. The Nymph’s hollow legs softly tapping as they crossed each trunk and bough splitting off into their respective regiments and attaching themselves to each twig. Leaves stretching under pressure to accommodate their numbers. The moon cast off the cloud’s smothering embrace with a missile of fire. A red and gold flash darting between the boughs and ribs entwined. A terrific light blinded me. Eyes scrunched, I shielded my face preventing a scald that failed to burn or set my clothes alight. But separated into tiny fairy lights, transparent orbs blown through a bubble wand floating in the atmosphere. Their feathery lightness ascending with grace to join the band of light brushed across the black velvet night. The Sky Goddess Nut extending her body in a protective arch. Pillars of arms and legs holding up the firmament of the biosphere under the glaze of a Milky Way.
Upside down, the Nymphs swung their torsos to and fro. An innate rhythm, agitating the tree canopy. The Spanish Moss shimmied its grass skirt with all the vigour of a hula dancer at a luau. Long threads escaped fluttering like prayer flags atop a Himalayan peak. Only to be singed in mid air from the flames burning on the airstrip. Thwack! Thwack! Nymphs clumsily concussed their hard shells together. The violent shaking sent lizards scrambling in the brush. Disgruntled birds nestled deep undercover.
Boom! The earth trembled. Trees steadfastly withstood the shock. Sound waves darted around in my brain. The trajectory manipulated like a sphere paddled in a pin ball machine. Each locus a bumper deflecting the intense resonance threatening to pierce my skull with each rebound.
Its unpredictable course; a cannon loosed. Stubbornly subdued as the last buzz was plucked from my ear. Thwack! A fissure split the Nymphs from their red budded eyes down to their thorax. In the half open shell, they continued to squirm. The chasm growing wider allowing their front legs to extend and grasp the exuvum. And in one fluid motion, the Nymphs stood up shaking themselves free of their former selves. Instantly, thousands of wings burst into bloom with the precision of a synchronized swim team. Each fragile quad of wings gently waving to dry the effervescence. The air dining on its fizz. Tree crickets squealed with delight at the reunion of once, discombobulated youths turned, Cicada teneral. A warm blanket of peace settled over me. I sighed. And breathed in more peace.
Clonk! Something hit me square in the forehead. I stared wide. Crusted comets rushed my panes. Psst! Psst! Soft, wet earth extinguished their white hot fish tails. Pricks of heat slid deep into my skin like an acupuncture needle tapping into a meridian. An invisible dragon breathed fire across the forest of hair on my bare arms. The follicles rooting the burnt shafts erect like snow dusted spruce trees. I closed the windows to the outside world. My eye lids taking a periodic hit. I squeezed them tighter to avoid being blinded. Newly, molted-anthropods confidently beat the air with all the ferocity of Canada geese eluding autumn’s bite. The passionate flap dislodged exoskeletons pelting the ground like dry hail. Hurled with all the professional intensity of a pitch in a World Series. Cracking like walnut shells. The bombardment shifting the brittle, discarded suits of armour into heaps.
A chorus of Cicadas dressed in jackets of verdant green arose and circled in a chartreuse shimmer. I stared at the dazzling northern lights churning in a cloud. The powerful turbine pumping overhead gathered humidity and loam. Leaves with feathery arms like seaweed reached out to me as a last lifeline as they were inhaled into the broth stirred by the cat’s paw. I watched helpless fixed like an ancient statue awaiting repatriation. The paw plunged through the green ebb batting my leg. Attempts were futile and the paw withdrew to devise another plan of attack. Sunbeams bled through the silvery surface of the current. The seeping warmth wooed me to doze.
Dried ash pocked my arms like pasty polka dots. I awoke to an eye blinking with stars. The portal framed by the glow of tree crickets turning in a massive wheel. A dark strand of silk appeared at the end of a crooked cat’s claw. The twisted skein growing longer and longer as if spun on a loom. It’s frayed silk end playfully bounced on the top of my hand coaxing me. I raised my index finger but the skein was jerked away before I could take hold. The tree crickets increased their circulation at warp speed.
The force morphing the ethereal shaft into a wiggling wind column precariously teetering over me from side to side. I felt woozy and seasick from its immense power. A wispy toe was extended but as it took hold, the earth exploded. Lightning bolts instantly fracturing the night and ricocheting off the trees. When the atmosphere cleared, I opened my eyes to the wind column wobbling like a weevil under the weight of a scarlet beacon that smote the darkness. The wind column bent suddenly as if struck by a blacksmith’s hammer. The vermillion light searing my sight. I cringed in my confines to the impending doom of being crushed. A sneering cavern of a mouth whispered threats. I shrank, turning away from being doused by its foul breath or sucked into its centrifuge. Fingernails bit into the earth. The sinister windbag tearing at my spirit spread over a well of fear. Dust preceding me as I slipped slowly into its depths.
The wind column puckered its lips and howled a tempest from its bowels rattling my bones and sweeping away the rubble I had coveted. A piercing peal echoed in my ears until its rage was muted into a deafening peace. I bounced upon the ground in the undertow. A soft, green halo revolved slowly overhead as Cicadas traced the cloud’s last puffs of fury. The atmosphere under the tree canopy becoming less charged and slowly returned to its natural rhythm.
Shades of grey and pink coloured one corner of the emerging dawn. White flames warmed my cheeks and passionately licked an opening in the bark of a mature Maple whose trunk had been tagged with a red band advising its eventual demolition by the County. Heavy smoke plugged my nose. The bark split open and burned with a passionate impertinence. A nebula of red and orange billowed out. It ebbed and flowed like a tide testing new boundaries.
From somewhere, a bugle tooted the Reveille with gusto dispersing the tree crickets still circling overhead. Until, one by one they dissolved into the wood to dine on feasts of xylem in mess halls in the tree canopy.
Shades of grey and pink coloured a corner of the emerging dawn. I propped myself up on one elbow. I spat out brown phlegm. It’s glutinous mass hung from a dry twig. And struck with surprise, with the sudden freedom of movement. I dug my elbow into the soil and pushed myself up. My hands were clenched so tight they appeared like stumps at the end of my arms. I couldn’t move my fingers and rubbed my wrists with the knuckles. I inspected them closer. No marks or bounds. I had been free all along. Fire crackled in the tree. I massaged my stomach. The serpent had shifted forcing bile to brim at the back of my throat. It twisted around and around forcing me on all fours. Vomit spewed from my dark cavern. My body heaved. With each export, the reptile was given more room to maneuver. It flipped in my belly causing a long guttural belch to blow my mouth wide open. The convict sensed an opportunity to escape. It shot up my trachea and skidded over my tongue before scaling a toothy wall. The end of the serpent’s tail striking his exit.
The creature meandered down the landing strip tipping his head left and right acknowledging fans beyond the lights on the landing strip. Unabashed to the prickle he had left along the thin strip of skin along my cheekbone. A hare with long droopy ears appeared suspended and pinched at the scruff on the end of the cat’s crooked claw. The snake grinned and focussed his gaze upon the squirming hare backlit by the nebula. The hare panicked and kicked his large hind legs in the air like a Bronco. The snake drew menacingly near. The hare struggled and unhooked itself from the crooked claw darting hither and dither to find his warren. The serpent gave chase. The rabbit zig zagged and jumped up screaming. His thoughts volleying back and forth weighing his options of being consumed or cremated by the flames. The snake bore down preparing to strike the hare frozen and awaiting his demise. But, the nebula’s girth expanded and a fiery hand snatched the trembling hare. His shocked expression melting in the fire. The serpent turned gazing with cold and uncommunicative eyes. His smooth head gestured me to follow and then slithered off in hot pursuit.
I marvelled at the light. Reds and varying tints of pink pulsed like strobe lights at a disco tempting me to get up and dance. But I was too exhausted. My new blouse was dirty and stained. I scolded myself for not taking better care. And while fretting about this trivial issue, Jesus suddenly floated out of the tree with all the joy of a balloon loosed from a careless child’s hand. His smile fixed but genuine. His long brown hair undisturbed by fire or air stream. Arms wide as he soared with all the magnificence of a 747. Distorted faces watching me through double glass in small, oval windows lining the fuselage of his pearly white robe. Features and origins becoming clearer as they pressed their visage to the glass laughing at my bewilderment.
I opened my eyes. Sleep had conquered rest. For how long? I couldn’t be sure. The Maple remained intact and indifferent to the inferno making a concerned effort to devour its flesh. The fire crackled and popped out a man wrapped in a yellow robe. His smile serene. Blue highlights shone from his long black hair. A conch shell blew. The elephant god, Ganesha floated out of the rouge cloud reclining on a carpet of air. Between his fingers, he flipped a lotus flower tempting me to indulge in its perfume. The serpent’s spring cleaning had left me raw. I resisted any movement.
A goddess appeared. Her slender body wrapped in a red sari shot with gold thread. Its glimmer matching the Kapitta crowning her thick, black mane. Her right arm extended turning on a pedestal as if demonstrating a prize on The Price Is Right. Her right hand fashioned in a Abhaya mudra. “Fear not!”, she reminded as mild consternation pulsed across her brow. She made me feel I was late for a splendid party. ”Where have you been?”, the Goddess silently asked, “We’ve been waiting for you!” She made another revolution. Her arm sweeping the air. Snippets of cloud like mischievous children tried to breach the threshold of the tree canopy. While, ghoulish arms scooped them back into the fold. The sound of a conch shell blew again. The goddess held a mirror to my reflection. I didn’t want to look. I lowered my eyes. The goddess took another revolution. I felt the mirror upon me. She turned once more raising the mirror. I refused to look at myself. I didn’t want to move. Violently she grabbed my ankles. I watched my holy spirit being pulled from my body. My essence scratching at the loam as she dragged me backwards towards the cloud and the inferno burning in the Maple. She paused and got a better grip. Wind whistled in my ears as she whipped me around and around like a lasso at a rodeo. The trees indistinguishable and a blur at the dizzying pace. “Fear not!”, she said as she flung me headlong into the all consuming light.