How I Smoked DMT and Met My Wife
The smoke tasted like licking the underbelly of a malevolent robot, with a slight hint of menthol.
I suppressed a cough and tried to relax.
Something gigantic reached up from inside the earth, something that had known me all of this time, and began to snake its way around my insides, coating the surface of my bones, nestling inside my marrow.
It just kicks in so fast.
Before I lost motor control, I handed the vape pen to the immensely annoying person directly to my left, and I looked up at the girl I’d met that day, Victoria, who sat just beyond, about whom I’d had a pleasant suspicion or two.
Her red dress started to slither and bubble, as if molting away from some new reality that I was just now seeing, as if my whole visual field was the inside of an eyelid that was now opening.
Even in the midst of a dawning reality, for a moment, I still managed to be irritated by the tedious hippies around me, who had previously been lecturing us about enlightenment, one of whom was now whooping and rolling around on the dew-soaked ground.
But the self that possessed such attitudes was now being swept away like bits of pollen yanked from their flimsy little chairs by a sudden wind’s strong suggestion.
I would die momentarily, and that was fine.
I would live forever, in a violent moment of expansion.
If, as hypothesized, we will all get a heavy dose of DMT right before death, when our brain floods itself with a stash we’re all carrying around in our pineal glands, I can tell you what death will feel like, if you’re interested.
It feels like you’d forgotten that you were part of an ocean, and now you remember, can now realize/recall that all of your life was the perspective of a smidgeon of saltwater cast up by a wave, and you’ve got just a moment to say goodbye before you return to the spume that spawned you.
Like an actual ocean wave, its beautiful complexity manifests as blunt power, but in the moment after it strikes you, as you are caught up, you feel the power’s complexity.
I was terrified but knew I’d be more alright than I’d ever been.
But I still possessed a drib of personal agency, and I used it to look up at Victoria, whose name I didn’t remember just then, whose face was a wreath of fractal shapes.
They were good shapes, unlike the shoddy blobs that we see on websites, unlike the contours of air fresheners or soulless skyscrapers—authentically beautiful geometry that was familiar.
But maybe it was familiar because the pattern-making engine in my head was overclocked to the point where I now understood the similarity of a hat and a helicopter and a quorum and a cockroach and a blade of grass and a box of sesquipedalophobia.
Just out of interest, how many limbs did I have, again?
I realized that I was smiling a broad, silly smile.
That I realized there was something called an “I,” and that I could feel its face, meant the peak had passed, that the ocean had withdrawn, having decided to leave me on the earth for an interval of unknown length.
I looked up at Victoria’s friend Kendra, the only person in the circle who hadn’t taken any, whose look was concerned and inquisitive, and I wanted to reassure her, but how could I attempt to explain what had just happened—how, even, should I continue in general?
Hello, Kendra—this is my attempt at an explanation of the above, which, I’m told, took about two minutes.
Victoria was gone, and I stood up and left the table, partly hoping that I’d stumble upon her, partly just wanting to walk through this strange new world I’d gone to, all the more strange because it looked almost like the previous one.
There was a glow, it was a little blurry, matter had a tenuousness about it, as if its solidity was like a held breath that might be expelled at any moment.
The return of some normalcy brought with it a renewed awareness of my surroundings—I was at a party at a castle in France, which was illuminated below me, and it front of it there was a lawn crowded with costumed revelers, presumably deciding which lips they’d kiss that evening.
But I was not yet normal, and my legs shook beneath me, and I quickly took short tentative steps, unsure whether my relationship to gravity was still amiable.
My life was coming back to me, all of my experiences and history in grand torrents, reformatted by a touch of the beyond.
Jazz blared from a sound system next to the castle, and jazz is such sinister music from far away, the reverberation of distance making a smeared mess of the squiggles of horns and the chittering of a hi-hat.
So, said the trace of DMT still in me, now what the fuck was I doing with my life?
I had let so many people go by me, had discarded so many imperfect friendships rather than resolve petty quarrels, had been too busy pursuing my plans to notice the love around me, had been wandering and dithering and convincing myself it was some kind of mission or admirable vector.
Basically I was a godless millennial in my twenties, and there were four or five other things wrong with me as well.
Now I was at a castle, I guess looking for random people to have sex with, because, I don’t know, that was some kind of a lifestyle, I suppose.
And I remembered the shape of Victoria’s head as it burst into fractals, recalled the conversations we’d had that afternoon, and realized that I’d maybe found love if I was wise enough to seize it and if she was foolish enough to accept it.
I was in the middle of the woods now, in darkness—I was, I realized, running, to a destination I hadn’t really chosen.
Kendra and Victoria’s other friend, Michael, came into view on the hillside, and we found Victoria; she was asking the man who had brought the DMT if she could give it another go, and they went off together.
He was handsome, kind, intelligent, wealthy, and had interesting shoes, and I knew he’d make a move on her, because who wouldn’t, and she might well oblige his interest, for good reason, and thus I’d miss out on my life’s perfection.
The DMT was now fully gone from me and life had become inert again, except for its final message—that existence was bigger than I’d imagined, and that I’d done my best to make my province of existence as meagre as possible.
Victoria did not hook up with the DMT man, although he tried to make it happen, and we were inseparable for the next two days.
And when he drove me to Paris a few days later, so I could catch my flight home, he told me, at a rest stop, without any malice or jealousy, that Victoria was a keeper, that I shouldn’t let her go, but at that point I didn’t need persuading.
Other than my engagement with Victoria, which began three weeks later, DMT has had no after-effects that I can perceive, no side effects whatsoever.
Okay but actually that’s a lie.
Sometimes, when we’re dancing in the living room, I can feel the ocean beyond existence lapping at my ankles, telling me to enjoy my vacation on earth, and reassuring me that it will still be there and ready to accept me, at such time as I make my departure.