A stillness settled over the small, candlelit room containing me, my buddy Aarron the painter, and an ayahuasca shaman trained in the Amazon jungles of Peru.
The driving rain hit the corrugated tin roof in staccato, machine gun bursts.
I opened my eyes to see Juanma slowly gesturing for me to drink the cup of ayahuasca he had poured. In the dim light I could see that the liquid was a dark brown color. I held it to my nose and sniffed. It didn’t have a familiar smell, just vaguely plant-like. Butterflies awakened in my stomach. I drank the entire amount in one swig and as it went down my throat I felt the thickness of the liquid and it did not taste good. I wouldn’t say it was revolting, but some people would describe it that way.
I settled back into my lotus position on the thick blanket and wondered how long it would take. I turned to watch Aarron drink his. He looked nervous even though he smiled at me. The tight muscles in his face betrayed his attempt at insouciance.
How spectacular an event was this?
I had flown 5,000 miles around the planet to meet a shaman in Peru who would create a potion that bends the mirror of people’s minds, and then, he would hand deliver it to me and a person I didn’t even know existed one month ago, in a random apartment on the outskirts of a town 11,200 feet high in the Andes mountains!
How far can we push ourselves to be better in this world? The extra-dimensional doors that travel can open! Things you wouldn’t even imagine in a technicolor dream are possible with an airplane ticket. One airplane ticket.
I grinned at how far I felt from my little office in West Los Angeles, California. And it was about to be quite a bit farther.
The room remained quiet for the most part, occasionally interrupted by Juanma chanting something lovely, melodic at a low volume and shaking the maracas as if to warn bad spirits to stay away.
About forty minutes passed when I started to feel something.