Bombay Beach. Desert. Sand. Junk in every back and front garden. Mad Max wouldn't feel out of place here. But also community spirit. Sharing. Helping out. Free spirits. Tao's plot is the most colourful of all the places here, his yard filled with art, sculptures, plants, fresh grass mats. A few trailers filled with photographs. At night it is beautifully lit and turns into a tranquil haven of peace.
This desert oasis is also home to 6 chickens and a bunch of rabbits. It's a bit surreal to see bunnies hopping around, chasing each other, this really is the last place you would expect to find them. Unfortunately they are quite shy and every attempt at picking one up has been fruitless. The chickens just do what chickens do all day, and seem to look at me as their main feeder, which is quite funny. They will make it very clear when they are hungry and all 6 of them will follow me round the garden, to the bag of chicken feed.
If rabbits and chickens are out of place, then drugs are definitely more prevalent here. And so it was that a few nights ago I had my first experience with magic mushrooms. I have only smoked weed in my life, and have kept away from the 'harder' stuff. But this environment and the impact it is having on my life seemed the perfect place to try something a bit more psychedelic. I was with people I trusted, in a place I knew, ready to explore something completely new. And I wasn't disappointed. Whereas cannabis and alcohol would make me feel disoriented, confused and make my head feel cloudy, this was such a pure experience. I retreated to my own space a while after it kicked in. I remember sitting on my toilet for 20 minutes, the bath tub was breathing and the floor was alive. Geometrical patterns were forming on the wooden walls. I got into bed, fetal position, pulled the covers over my head and I was in a beautiful technicolour world. I wasn't confused. Just happy with an enormous sense of wellbeing. In the morning I felt fresh, the feeling of pure happiness still lingering.
I have read up on magic mushrooms, and would advise those worried or ready to condemn to do the same. They are not addictive, you can't really overdose and they don't make you more prone to depression or psychotic behaviour.
To be continued.