Beatles Album, Special K ,Existential Cubes, Oh My

In my past I have experimented with drugs. I was never the one who did it with any frequency but I sought a point of reference. I wanted to know first hand what people were talking about. Of course with some drugs like the pipe, heroin and meth, I was smart enough to know that even one time was playing with fire.

Some of my experiences were amazing, some arresting, some were awful but one stands out as being particularly sensational. This wonderful experience was with a very legal but powerful drug, Ketamine. Now, I'm not a proponent of drugs but this was good, so good, it was almost religious.

Perhaps it was the context, the preceding events that got me to the place where I was begging for all manner of needles, injections, any injections. I was at the beginning of a c-section with an ineffective epidural block. As they began the cutting, I told my husband,

"I'm starting to feel this."

Moments later I looked pleadingly at the anesthesiologist, "I can feel this, I am feeling pain."

"No pain, just pressure," he said tersely , a small Asian man who had given me three different epidurals the previous 16 hours of labour, none of them mitigating the pain.

No surprise to me the epidural was again proving ineffective.

"No, this is not pressure."(I tried hard not to say fucker or asshole) given that I wanted this man to make me numb to the knife that was slicing through skin, flesh, sinew, muscle, and finally my womb. I felt it was auspicious to refrain from specific name calling.

"No pain, just pressure," he said again, like if he just repeated it then it would become true. I started to cry and hyperventilate. Finally the surgeon stepped in,

"Is she feeling this? She cannot be feeling this. She better not be feeling this."

Everybody started scurrying around, the little angry anesthesiologist harriedly approached me with a fistful of syringes. Plunge. Plunge. Plunge. I was no longer in the room.

This is where it gets interesting. First, everything was musical, beautiful, philosophical. Did you know that there was a previously unreleased Beatles album nestled in my consciousness just waiting to be liberated with the benefit of major mind altering chemicals? I don't remember the specifics of the songs but I can tell you it was the Beatles and it was all new material, from several different periods.

There were the fresh, suited idols singing stylistic bubblegum pop. There were Beatles in Nehru jackets opining some vaguely transcendental Krishna psychedelia. There were straggly hippie Beatles shaking their heads at the war. There were also sweaty, raving glitter-speckled Beatles hopping around with glow sticks and pacifiers.

It was the best fucking concert of my life and I had not only a front row seat, I had a 360 degree view, I had close ups. The best part? It was so unbelievably real. It was noisy, full of beat and melody.

When I came out later I said to my husband,

"Man I know that doctors sometimes like to listen to music during surgery but it was really, really loud."

I had figured that maybe some background Beatles had gotten this particular stream of consciousness started.

"Uh, honey, there was no music."

It got even better. The music faded to the background and what appeared behind my eyes was a gigantic cube, like a Rubik's cube but every cube was metallic silvery white and there seemed to be infinite facets covering each side. Now you know how people who have near death experiences later relate how their whole life played before their eyes? Well the cube was like this except I saw everybody's lives.

Each facet on the cube seemed to represent another person's life. Though the images seemed to pass quickly like a movie or series of pictures, they started birth to death and all of the moments in between. That shit was heavy. I was out for about a half an hour but it felt like hours, lifetimes. I literally woke to a baby in my arms feeling as if I had been told a secret by the universe.

Perhaps the momentousness of the occasion lent itself to the existential. Maybe knowing I was about to bring forth a new life set my mind up for something magnanimous. The unreal part is I still remember it vividly. It's hard to put the details and specifics into words because it was so heavily auditory and visual.

Again, I am not a proponent of drug use, in part because it too frequently leads to abuse and other ills that effect the larger world. However, I will tell you that if you are ever about to go under or your anesthesiologist is taking special requests, I know what I'd be asking for.

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derfina said... December 9, 2008 at 8:42 AM  

ROFL. I had a similar experience during surgery with intravenous valium or somesuch many years ago-I still remember vividly the book I read whilst I was out-the pages were a beautiful shade of blue and the text was brilliant white...hmmm. Don't I have a cyst or something that needs removing?

Bluestreak said... December 9, 2008 at 1:27 PM  

great post. I don't think I would ever be able to describe a trip. Although yours sounds much better than any of mine ever were.

Spatula said... December 9, 2008 at 3:33 PM  

To quote the entire hippie generation... Wow. I love your Rubic's cube description. The few stoner philosopher moments I have had on pot were nowhere near this wowserific, and I still can't put them into words. :-D

Note to self: if you ever have a kid, ask for a C and some horse tranquilizer.

Rassles said... December 9, 2008 at 6:49 PM  

Existential cubes. Nice.

Although I rarely partake the gateway drug, the only actual trip I ever had was after eating a shit ton of mushrooms in Amsterdam and wandering around the Van Gogh museum, asking strangers, "How do you paint the sadness in your own eyes?" The sadness was there. Hovering.

Anonymous said... December 10, 2008 at 12:46 AM  

I think special K here is illegal. And I think all drugs, legal or not, affect everyone in different ways. You had a trip, someone else mighta gone to sleep. Sometimes I have dreams so vivid i think the happenings actually happened. YThe mind is a funny and delicate thing. I know some people who also had a great time on the horse tranquiliser, but someone else in the same group went clinically insane. So it's all a bit strange really.

A Free Man said... December 10, 2008 at 1:24 AM  

Love the images you chose - particularly the Alice one. Your baby trip turned out a hell of a lot better than any of mine ever did!

formerly fun said... December 10, 2008 at 7:48 AM  

the wonderful world of medicine huh?

most of what i've read about psychadelics says they are not addicting, i know lsd was used therapeutically for a time before it was villified.

thanks, it was really vivid. For me the experience was so cool that I don't care to try to repeat it and risk sullying the good experience.

Spatula-The cube part was awesome, I wish I was better at Photoshop so I could ahve made the actual image. It was exactly like the rubik's cube shape except each side had hundreds? thousands? of segments.

I could see that. I did mushrooms one time and while everyone else had fun, I was a paranoid wreck.

Yeah Special k(street name) is illegal here too. I definately don't advocate street drugs especially since you have no idea what you're actually getting. I think the experience was benign owing to the fact that it was medically administered. It probably helped that the amount actually produced sleep because if I had been having hallucinations while lucid I think I would have been geeked out.

Again, I think I owe it to the fact that it was medically administered and carefully controlled. Due to the fact that it was such an odd, cool experience, I don't think will ever try to duplicate it.

Gypsy said... December 10, 2008 at 9:41 AM  

Oh man. Trippy.

It reminds me of this one time on acid when an entire Japanimation movie happened in my head. It was awesome.

Shelley Jaffe said... December 10, 2008 at 10:30 AM  

Whoa. Trippy.

I think it's time for you to go to film school.

lisa said... December 10, 2008 at 1:27 PM  

I felt like that too when I had some nitrous oxide during a root canal.

It was strange but exhilarating at the same time.

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