LSD Refugees

Psychedelic cathedral

I’m in the toilet, sitting on the closed lid. It’s dark, though not completely. The orange glow of the street light outside is making a bubble-effect pattern through the frosted glass, and there’s a splash of light under the door from the hall. And there’s my own internal light too, of course, those geometric flashes of colour that tend to dance before your eyes whenever external light is dimmed or diminished.

I’m in the toilet because I’ve just had an anxiety attack. There’s a knot of tension in my stomach. It’s like that feeling you have when they’ve finished cranking you up to the top of the roller coaster and you look down at the sheer drop in front. A lurching sensation, a real physical pang which, if it were to be verbalised, would come out something like: “Oh my God! Oh Jesus! Oh Lord! What the hell am I doing here?”

Except that a roller coaster ride is over in a minute or two, and the ride I’m about to embark on will last all night.

I’ve just taken LSD. For the first time in 25 years. That little brown drop of liquid, placed on the end of my finger and ingested some 30 minutes ago, is about to play havoc with my sense of self.

Suddenly there’s a kind of humming noise. This low-down, deep-bass growl sound, like the boom of an organ in an empty Cathedral, like the lowest, low-down bass note on a massive pipe-organ going in and out of phase. Reverberating. In and out. Hum. In and out. Hum. Like that. Slowly and deliberately. With a sort of rhythmic insistence.

It’s hard to say where, exactly, the sound is coming from. It’s not in the room, as such. It’s not in my head. It’s just there, at some deep level. It’s like I’m hearing the sub-atomic pulse of the Universe in the very fabric of matter, so low it’s thrumming in my guts. And then it’s as if an invisible pair of hands had taken space itself and was squeezing it like a concertina. In and out. In and out. The Universe is pulsing to a living heart beat.

Now the colours in front of my eyes are circling, shifting, swirling, weaving, shaping, changing to make an endlessly morphing, moving mandala, the colours coming in from all sides now, streaming at me, taking on dimension and form, creating a sort of tunnel down which my all too mortal eyes are staring in fear and awe and wonder.

In and out. In and out.

That’s my breathing.

Where am I?

Oh yes, I’m in the toilet.

That’s when I decide I have to leave. Not just the toilet. This house.

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