Another day at work

My landlord is a cute little old bowlegged man who has a little old dog that is also bowlegged and follows him around wherever he goes.  Micky and Einstein side by side.  Micky’s office is across from mine, so all day long I  can hear him talk loudly into the receiver like he’s shouting over missiles or gunfire to save his life.  It’s hilarious listening to him talk.  Typical old-man speak.  “Gee golly, gosh darn willikers.”

Every now and then Einstein will get into the garbage or find something to rip apart and scatter all over the hallway outside my office.

Micky – “Einstein!  What did you do Einstein?  Bad dog.  Bad dog Einstein.  You little whipper-snapper you.  Now I have to clean it all up now don’t I?  Was it worth it to ya?”

Einstein stands there looking guilty, but couldn’t stop his tail from wagging.

Then the cute adorable receptionist who is as old as Micky comes to help out with her broom and dustpan.  She still wears secretarial outfits from the 1950’s and always keeps her hairdo perfect.  I adore her.

Linda – “Einstein must have had fun.  Didn’t you Einstein?”

His tail still wagging.  The old dog understands everything.

This happens maybe once or twice a week.

And this is where I work.  It’s an office building designed by Mr. Brady from the Brady bunch.  It’s a retro style with split levels and a confusing elevator that has 2 buttons to the same floor.  I’m on the basement level (cheap rent) where a mildew smell lingers after it rains.  A woman complained of my burning sage to rid the smell.

“It’s making me sick all her smells.”

Micky – “I’ll talk to her.”

I have to now keep my door closed when burning sage.  Who doesn’t love the smell of sage?

I’m known as the hippie girl who walks around barefoot and eats seaweed salad and sushi for lunch.  I’m here 7 days a week and I’m usually the last one to leave the building.

It’s scary here at night.  Most of the lights get turned off and no one is here but me.  I sit waiting for my next client, a complete stranger to take off their clothes in order for me to rub their naked body down.  It sounds scary, and I’m sure it’s not the smartest thing for me to do, staying here that late, but I don’t feel scared.  I’m more afraid being here alone than when a stranger is here with me.  My fear consists of demons, ghosts and monsters, not people.  Something from my childhood that I never grew out of.

No, actually I am scared of one person… the cleaning lady.  She comes twice a week at around 8pm to vacuum and take out the trash.  She’s always grumpy and not too nice to me.  I tried helping her lug the vacuum cleaner down the stairs but she grumbled and told me she got it even after telling me it was heavy and making loud distressing sounds.

When I’m cleaning up my office and packing stuff up for the night, I constantly hear her grumbling in the hallway.

Cleaning lady – “Come on come on!”  Talking to the elevator.  She hates the elevator more than anything.  The elevator and the vacuum cleaner are her two forsaken enemies.  I wish I can video tape it for you to understand.

She saw me naked once and it was very awkward.

A few months back I was putting together a shelf I bought from Target.  I had my music blaring, singing to myself.  Nobody was there.  Nobody except her, the cleaning lady.  It was summertime and I started getting hot so I took my top off.  I didn’t want to get it all sweaty and go out after smelling of sweat, so I took it off.  The cleaning lady came into my office and got an eyeful.

I had the door locked, my music on, but she still barged right in.  Our relationships been a little rocky since then.

It’s raining out.  It’s a grey day.  I love days like this.  I’m supposed to go hiking tomorrow after work.  Hopefully it will stop raining by then.  It’s not just a leisurely jaunt through the woods, no.  I’ll be backpacking it up a mountain to camp out in the wilderness and since I’m going after work at 5pm, it’s going to be pitch black by the time we get to the mountain.

Why am I doing this?   Because I never did anything like it before and I love myself a good adventure.  I don’t care if I’m cold, wet and hungry, if it’s something new and a tad scary, count me in!

My new and awesome friend, Amy, does these types of adventures all the time.  The girls got everything we can possibly need, so I’m in good hands.

What else is new with me?  Work is great, my finances are great, family in good health besides my mothers bum knee and pneumonia she’s okay.  I’m okay, I’m still friends with Dave cause I love the guy and he loves me.  I don’t care what he does in his personal affairs, it has nothing to do with me.

Really the only major concern I have at the moment has to do with my future.  7 months from now I can either take the biggest most profound journey of my life, or buy a house.  I wouldn’t actually be able to afford to live in the house, but can rent it out to people and make a small profit every month if I play my cards right.  It would be an investment property to put towards retirement.

Or go on a once in a lifetime trip of my dreams.

My friends parents are planning to go on an awesome vacation called The Magnificent Cities of Central and Eastern Europe and invited me to go along with them.  Well, it was a mass facebook invite to everyone, not to me personally.

I’ve known this family for over half my life, know they are good and fun people and so I decided to join them.  I’m bunking with their friend, Louise, who they say is a real Hoot.

I’m a traveler, or at least I want to become one.  The problem is, not everyone can afford it.  And even if they can afford it, they wouldn’t be able to get the time off from work.  So, when I know of someone traveling to an awesome destination – I have to jump on that chance.  Retirement plans can wait.  They  can always wait.

My plan is to go with them on this trip and afterwards, while I’m still in Europe, go on my pilgrimage.  It’s okay if I do that one alone.  Pilgrimages are supposed to be done alone anyway, so I’m hoping I have no tag-a-longs, but if I do, that’s okay too.  I have two friends interested in going and if they do, that would be fine and fun, but if they don’t, I’ll be okay with it.

I’m doing the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  I’m walking the width of Spain from the Southern border of France all the way to the beach on the other side of Spain.  500 miles in all.  I’ll be walking the way of St. James.

Miracles are said to happen on the journey along with spiritual growth.  The scenery is poetic, the old churches and ruins are majestic.  It sounds simply outstanding.  Most people take the pilgrimage in hopes of finding God.  I already found God in Columbia, but there’s always more of God to see.

My first trekking experience was a bust, but it was because of the people I went with.  I’m being more careful this time and making the trip about me, not anyone else.  No one will be there to yell at me or call me names – if they do, I won’t get upset.  I know me and I love me.  If anyone has a problem with that, that’s just it – It’s their problem, not mine.  Aside from Columbia, this will be the next best experience of my life.

Every client I take, every night I stay home, I think about my trip – everything I’m doing is for this trip.  I really have to start planning for it.  Finding out how to get from Warsaw to southern France will be my biggest hurdle.  Once I’m on the Camino, it’s all down hill.

I just massaged the shit out of a big tough woman with the body of Tyson and the face and hair of Whoopie Goldberg (whom I love).  She’s a tough cookie.  Plays football.  I dug my elbow into a knot in her hamstring and she did not flinch.  She’s coming back after her big game in a few weeks.  I hate sports massage, but I made a vow to myself to do my best for every client – including the ones who are difficult.

The more people I massage, the more I learn weird shit.  Like for instance, after giving a massage, I place my hands on the crown of the persons head and let my energy permeate into them.  Sometimes I feel a rumbling in their head – like an earthquake is happening inside their skull.  When I open my eyes and look down at them, they are completely still and serene and I wonder if the rumbling is happening in my hands – not the persons head.  I’m starting to feel things using all the dimensions of my given senses, to see and feel what’s really there and not assume anything.  It’s a new level of focus.  And I believe focus can take you to a higher level of ascension.  Towards the mass consciousness of energy available to us from the universe.  It inspires you and fills you with creativity.

I know people are getting sick of hearing about this, but when I was awakened, all that shit you hear about being One with the universe is not bullshit.  The universe is spirit, it’s alive and it’s you.  It’s pure conscious energy.  I asked if there were any aliens out there, but I felt that there were none.  That there’s no need for other physical worlds while all we need is this one to hold us.  But even if there were aliens, they would be us.  They would look like us, talk like us.  We would be One with them as we are One with the universe.  What the bible says about us being made from the image of God is true.

There may only be this one physical world for us, but there are infinite heaven and hell worlds in the spirit world.

Its pretty cool…

What else do I have to write about?  I dreamt about zombies again.   To dream about Zombies means that there are deceitful people in my life out to harm me.  It was a sad dream.  It started out with me in high school and everyone started walking around like they had Parkinson’s disease.  Their legs were so wobbly they could barely walk.  Everyone had it except for me.  But no one took any notice to it, they all denied that anything was wrong with them.

Then they started changing into zombies and my dream became a mix between a 1980’s spoof comedy horror flick and an old Nintendo game called Street Fighter.  Two brothers untouched by the plague, team up with me to defeat them.

A guy just came in my office to say Hi.

Guy – “Hey you know all of us mortgage guys go out to Blackbird around 4 every Thursday and Friday if you want to stop down.”

Me – “Okay, yeah I totally will if I don’t have any clients.”

Surprisingly I actually have a crush on one of the mortgage guys.  He has the sweetest face ever – not handsome, but adorable.  And I was thinking earlier today if there was a way to get to know him better.  Weird how shit like that happens to me.  I swear to God that things, EVERYTHING, works out for me.  Always.  Like going hiking tomorrow, I was planning to hike the Appalachian trail and camp before the end of summer and here I am doing it without sincerely planning to.

Not that I’ll actually date the mortgage guy.  I’m too wrapped up in my own little world of massage and mayhem to get involved with anyone.

My last client will be here any minute.  She’s here.  I can hear her in the elevator.  And great…

I just got my period.

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Filed under journal, Massage therapy

My new and improved life, well, sort of…

I had a client queef on my table today. I haven’t heard one of those in a while. They make me smile. They make me smile especially when they come out of an intimidating, sporty, type A woman who could crush me with her big toe. A dainty splutter erupted from under the sheets.

“What? Did you say something?”

Okay, so I didn’t actually say that.

You know how hard it is to relax a woman like that? Take it from me, it’s pretty damn hard.

I’ve been working a lot lately. I mean really working. This is the first time in my life where I actually have money – the kind of money that replenishes itself within hours – HOURS!

I work everyday from 11am to 8:30pm. I get home at 9pm and eat like a bulldozer whatever my mom makes, play a little Skyrim and hit the hay only to do it all over again the next day.

It’s so different from anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m working like a dog and yet feel completely full of life and energy. Like what I’m doing is actually accomplishing something, not just for the client, but for me as well. That’s what been missing this whole time working for others – the ME component.

I will never go back. Will never go back to those long unappreciated hours with little pay – no where to move up or get ahead, constant worry over hours cut and poor performance reviews, shitty co-workers….

The only regret I have is not doing it sooner. I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. The water is surely warmer on this side, grass is definitely greener. I crossed over into a new level of awakening.

Lets talk about how many massages I gave in these past 15 days. 73. I massaged 73 people in 15 days. 55 of them were groupons and the rest were repeat clients. I had one day off and that was last Sunday. Me and my friend installed curtains in my office and went out to eat thai food. Well, she installed the curtains while I stood there passing her tools like she was a surgeon.

“You want the what what?”

“The screwdriver.”

“Where is it? I just had the damn thing where’d it go? This makes no sense.”

As for picking out the curtains, I was clueless at that too.

“Lisa I’m so confused.”

She laughed at me when she spotted me holding a box of curtains in Target. I looked scared and confused.

Lisa – “That’s why I wanted to come. I’m good at this stuff.”

She looked at me and started laughing again.

Lisa – “You have to wipe your face. You have that milkshake stuff all around your mouth.”

Me – “Oh shit do I?”

I smear it in more with the palm of my hand.

Lisa – “It looked like something else ha ha.”

So all in all, I’m clueless about most everything including remnants left on my face. I can’t take care of myself, not that I don’t know how, I just don’t care to – there are more important things to do. I had to feed myself for two days in a row after coming home from 10 hour days. The first night of having to cook for myself, my parents went to the casino and I salvaged edamame and chocolate chip cookies for dinner – which were fine.

The second night however, is not so fine. My mother had to go to the hospital for pneumonia (she’s fine) so she couldn’t cook me dinner, and what I ended up feeding myself made me want to puke. I made myself Campbell’s tomato soup and then ate a huge bowl of homemade pickled beets (garden fresh!). I could not, NOT stop eating the pickled beets. They were so good and wholesome, but man oh man. A bushel of pickled beets and a bowl of canned tomato soup do not mix.

I only massaged four clients today. Now I’m sitting here on my little storage benches.

They remind me of the raft Tom Hanks built in Joe Vs the Volcano.

He tied four water-tight highly expensive leather suitcases together and had just about all he needed inside his little suitcase raft. Now here I am sitting on my little raft in my office with all I’ll ever need in life.

I love that movie, I can relate it to anything. And I like the idea of being alone in the middle of nowhere. I always liked that idea, not sure why.

A friend is swinging by a little later for some fun times. Life is good. Super good. And guess what else? I’m typing to you on my very new MacBook Air – yes you heard correct. I finally got one. It’s an 11 inch, 2.5 pound Mac. Perfect for traveling great distances on foot. I bought a handmade leather case to store it in. It looks like an old discarded book on the outside, but on the inside there’s a flourish of high tech wizardry at play.

The next day…

I’m sitting on my benches at the office again. Waiting for a client to show. Last night was weird. I hung out with Amy and it was the first night in a long time where I didn’t have Dave by my side at the bar. Amy and I were both bombarded with strangers buying us drinks and talking nonsense to us.

I’m not in the happy mood I was in yesterday. People are crazy basically and I swear I’ll never understand them.

I have a tendency to connect with everyone. I know that contradicts my last statement, but I can always find something in anyone no matter who it is, something I can appreciate and connect with. I sort of see the potential in people. I do this for survival purposes. If I don’t connect, people – everyone and anyone can frustrate and annoy the hell out of me. And I DO mean everyone. I become grouchy and make lewd inappropriate comments and poke fun at unfortunate people.

I’m a girl with two opposing sides. It’s a toss of a coin with me. I can be miserable and miserly, or I can be joyful and pleasant – I choose to be pleasant but in order for me to do that, I have to connect. It’s the only way.

Reaching for a connection is exhausting. The more I have to reach for it, the more exhausting it becomes. That’s why I treasure my alone time.

My best friend, Dave, he’s a character. I despise him as a man – a nasty, dirty despicable man. He uses women and has no conscious when doing so. His last girlfriend, Heather, gave him everything and all he did was use her for sex and a place to stay. He also taken advantage of an emotionally/physically crippled girl, and now he’s banging a married chick.

I taken him to Vermont to stay at a friends cottage (this friend doesn’t invite ANYONE to her cottage), and Dave forced her into things she didn’t want to do (not sexual stuff). He shows no respect for anyone and most people hate him.

My problem is that I can find good in everyone and overlook their faults entirely. I refrain from all judgement unless it gets personal and hits close to home. I can connect with a toothless heroin addict truck driver (like I did last night) as long as I know he won’t interfere in my personal life.

Dave made it personal this time. He tries to do things to make me jealous, which invariably never work. He wanted to get Amy in bed with him but she has absolutely no desire and not only that, respects me too much to sleep with my exboyfriend. Amy’s awesome.

Anyway, what Dave did to really piss me off was that he slept with one of my friends while I was in the house. Again I have to say, not jealous. I could’ve went into her room and seduced her myself, or could have went into Dave’s room to seduce him – but no, I’m not like that. Not with friends anyway.

He showed no respect for me. Complete annihilation of respect.

During my awakening I understood that respect is a highly valuable quality to have for emotional and spiritual development. I do my best to honor others with my best intentions. When people don’t do the same for me, it’s hurtful and disrespectful.

My morals are my most prized assets. And I see how rare they are since no one else seems to have any.

People are fucked up and gross. After Dave did that, I not only lost faith him, but in everyone. EVERYONE will hurt me. Its inevitable. People will talk shit about me and I’ll have nobody there to defend me, people will leave me stranded on a mountain in a third world country, guys fuck everything, everyone lies, everyone’s manipulative and out for themselves – EVERYONE.

This thought lingered for quite some time and made me sick to my stomach. I started having chest pains and couldn’t breathe. I’m a martyr. During my enlightenment, Aya told me that I played the part of a martyr. That I give permission to people to take out all their self inflicted torment onto me and I take it all and allow it in order for them to see, but in the process, I get destroyed. It’s part of my path, but I was also told that I still have free will and the choice to end my suffering. But in order to fully end it, I have to let go of all the bad influences in my life. All the people who hurt me, I have to let them go. But now after what Dave did, it felt like there’s no one left. It’s in everyone to do this. Everyone’s heart is cold.

I know I’m a coin. But I can choose which side to land on most of the time. I’m happy because I choose to be happy. I’m good because I choose to be good. If I let the world get to me in this bad way, it’s a fertilized ground for evil. Fear is evil. Fear is lack of understanding and void of compassion. It’s complete misery and I’m sure its the place where people learn how to do all these dastardly things to each other.

I may be jaded, but I’ll never let myself fall. So long as I have the will to write, I can never fall.

I’m not mad at my friend who slept with him, well I was, but I can’t be mad at her because I accepted a long time ago who she was and this is part of who she is. I can’t judge, and I know she didn’t do it to hurt me. But Dave on the other hand, he did it to hurt me. The fact that he used one of my friends as a slab of meat to get at me makes me so sick.

Even if he didn’t do it to hurt me, and just did it for sex, I wish he picked a different girl to do it with. My friend has shit luck with guys and gets used all the time thinking that maybe they like her, but these guys never stick around. And Dave, who openly admits he doesn’t want a chick with kids, is getting off with my friend who has one.

There’s only so much I can tolerate from a person before that connection fades and they’re left with snappy, miserable Melanie who gets easily annoyed by their stupidity. When I lose that connection, I’m a completely different person.

My client is coming in 13 minutes. Blogging is making me less attracted to my job. An entire week went by without me knowing it and here my blog sits on the shelf, whispering in my ear telling me, “hey, I’m here, I’ll always be here. Take a moment when you’re ready and we will figure this shit out. Together.” And sure enough, my week just slowed down big time and came together.

Massaging people over and over again is like saying the same word over and over. It loses all meaning and all you hear are sounds. You see the word for what it really is, just noises coming out of your mouth. Not even sounds, but noises. The smooth tongue action it takes to form the word becomes aware of itself and freezes in your mouth forgetting its job and what to do.

When I massage over and over, all I see is skin. The same color skin on the same body, different body part, same skin. My hands gliding, feeling warm and soft. Covering over more skin, more body parts. Silk everywhere I touch. My movements become a painting on the wall. Dripping paint. Moving, but still.

I was massaging someone the other day, forgot who it was, and I was contemplating this – what I think about while doing my job is some weird shit. My mind became blank and I hit zen. Zen is not enlightenment or awakening, it’s absence of thought. It’s blankness.

“What am I doing exactly? Oh yeah, right.”

Six minutes until my client. I have two more. They both booked themselves online so I’m not sure if they are Groupon people are what.

I ran into my brothers fiance today at the mall and I told her I did 75 massages in the past two weeks. She laughed and said I’m crazy.

Melissa – “Why don’t you space them out?”

Me – “I just want to get them done and over with. The faster I get them done the better.”

She laughs again.

Melissa – “You’re funny.”

Anyway, last night at the bar, I was connecting with some really messed up people. I can have fun anywhere you put me and I will find amusement and new friends. I was with Amy and I think I scared her a little with my mingling. You are who you hang with, right? If you hang around dogs, you’re bound to get flea’s.

So it’s either be in a pissy mood all the time wanting to punch people, or connect with everyone and be looked at as a ……oh I think my client is here.

This post will never be finished…..sigh.

Okay I’m back home in my jammies. So tired. It feels so good to lay here and zone.

Stare

Blink

Stare

I think my last client had an orgasm on the table. I was massaging her and she started moaning and it progressively gotten louder and faster – I shit you not she was saying stuff like “Ohh yeah, yeah.” And then her moans ended and she fell silent and peaceful. True story. I was jealous. People who can experience pure ecstasy like that without drugs, god bless them.

I massaged a young woman the other day and afterwards she asks me, “Are you trained at massaging transgender?”

I had to think about it. The way she worded it made me think I needed extra training for it. But why? I’m not massaging the sex parts.

“Um, well yeah. We all have the same bodies, don’t we?”

She smiled at me and said, “Oh good. I just thought I should ask because some people have problems with it.”

Me – “No not me. I’m open-minded and nonjudgmental. This is a safe environment.”

And then I had a guy that came in and plopped down on my Joe Vs Volcano Benches and started sobbing away.

Man – “My job is horrible, I have a lousy marriage. I’m in a bad hopeless place and need something, you know? Something that would help me. I read your website and it sounds like you can help me. I can only go to the bar so much, you know?”

He was an older fellow, early 50’s I’d say. Rather fluffy and unattractive. My heart went out to the poor guy. Starting over for him would be a great challenge – starting over for me on the other hand is cake since I never really started anything.

I told him some deep profound insights into the meaning of life (I forgot exactly what I said) and his eyes and ears perked up.

Him – “You give talking therapy too?”

Me – “Ha, no. I’m not certified for that, but talking is absolutely therapeutic.”

He loved his massage and couldn’t stop thanking me. I saw him again the following week and I’m seeing him again in a few days.

People are strangely beautiful if you get past everything else and let them into your heart.

Whatever negative vibe they give off, or if they seem rough around the edges, don’t mirror it back to them. If you treat them the same way they treat you, its just going to feed into their already deteriorating faith in humanity. It perpetuates the cycle and spreads it to others.

So I guess in my small way, I do help people. And it’s very rewarding.

I’m zonked. It’s 11 pm, my new bedtime. I need to unwind and stop writing. I really REALLY hope I can sleep after writing this post. I haven’t written anything in a while, so this has gotten my mind a little straighter and lighter but now it wants to stay up and let out more. Purge! Purging is great when it’s not the contents of my stomach.

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Filed under All about me, journal, Massage therapy, rant, Self help, Uncategorized

307 Massages

Um, yeah…..

So I really can’t blog for a while, but when I do, the floodgates will open!

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148 Massages

Groupon MyCityDeal

Groupon MyCityDeal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today was the launch of my groupon ad and all I can tell you is HOLE-LEE-SHIT.  Holy shit.  I’m selling a total of 400 and today alone, I sold 148.

I’m a late sleeper.  I play my video game late into night after coming home from closing the bar – bed time for me is 3am.  Now I have cats calling me as early as 8.  8am!  Does such an hour exist?  My  phone did not stop ringing.  I heard my phone going off, text messages, voice mails…every five minutes my phone made some kind of squeak, burp or hiccup.

I rubbed my eyes and grumbled out of bed.

“Okay I’m up I’m up, what time zone are you people living in?”

Just to get a feel for how often my phone rang, I couldn’t leave it alone to visit the bathroom for my morning rise and shine.  It literally rang every three to five minutes.

Even with all my morning angst and gripings, the beginning of my day felt like Christmas morning.  I woke up to money calling.  That’s how I pictured it – “Oh that’s more money calling me, I better answer.”

I felt the same kind of determination when I first tried Ayahuasca.  “Bring it on!  Is that all you got?!”

(Ayahuasca can be painfully illuminating and terrifying.  I had massive anxiety before diving into that other world).

I went upstairs to make myself some breakfast, and my phone rang four times.  I almost burnt my eggs.  My dad was laughing and being weirdly happy listening to me answer calls while my mom was flummoxed.

Mom – “Jeez, again?  Really?”  She said when my phone rang the fourth time within ten minutes.

I knew this was going to happen, I knew it.  I asked for it.  I can handle it no doubt.

I had six clients today and made $165 cash, not including the $17.50 Groupon gives me per hour.  I worked all day without eating, so here I am now.  Collapsed on my bed, all massaged out.  Melanie the Massaging Monkey should be the name of my business.  I’m a Monkey in the Chinese zodiac and I’m sure monkeys give awesome massages, but I hate picking bugs out of my clients hair.

Anyway, I have to sleep.  I HAVE to.  I get horrible insomnia when I stay up late to write, so it can’t happen tonight.

I hate writing blurbs.  This post is a blurb.  It doesnt’ say much.

What’s important to know here is that I survived my first day of being featured on Groupon.  I have four more days like this one and within the next few weeks, the onslaught will taper off.  That’s the best part – that this is not forever.  I don’t have to work this hard forever, it’s only temporary.  That thought keeps me going.  And as crazy as it sounds, this is actually fun.

I just miss my sleep, miss my beer, miss my video games, and my stinky rumpled Davey…

We went for all-you-can-eat sushi and I accidentally dropped a clump of rice into his Sapporo.  I felt so bad, so what does he do to ease my guilt?

He swallows it down!  He’s the best.

All these sheets are from today.  They broke my hamper 😦

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Vermont

I was at my poorest about 10 days ago.  My car broke down, bills were due, rent was due and I had zero dollars.

So what do I do?  I contacted a Groupon sales rep and together him and I decided that I should sell 400 massage coupons.  Yes, you heard correctly – 400 massage coupons!  There goes my life for the next several weeks.  My money problems will be no longer, but now I actually have to work like a human being.  I have to get up everyday and go to the office and actually work.

My brain is not functioning.  I’m freaking out a bit and feel that I have so much to do – so much!  My room is a mess, I havent showered in days, I’m still beat up from labor day weekend even though today is Wednesday.

I have clients calling me that I need to call back and Groupon hasn’t even started yet.

I have to buy more lotion, sheets, face cradle covers – get an hourly day planner instead of the monthly one I have now.  So much to do…

I have to get out of bed and shower.  Yes, that’s a good start.  I’m in trouble arent’ I?

Anyway, I went to Vermont with Amy and Dave this past weekend.  It was awesome.  Dave and I taken his motorcycle for the leisurely four-hour ride.  It was gorgeous.  Amy’s log cabin is brand spanking new.  It’s made out of pine logs and it still smells like fresh cut pine.

I can’t write, I have too much to do and I can’t focus.  I made a YouTube video of Vermont – that should sum up the trip.

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Ayahuasca in Colombia – A story about my Spiritual Retreat and Enlightenment

I’m at cheshire coffee. I got here about forty minutes ago intending to finally write about my trip to Colombia. But instead of writing, I texted people. I read emails and surfed the net. I found an article about heart attacks in women (number one killer) that I HAD to read, I had no choice really – can’t mess with heart attacks. We all must be informed.

I’m still texting. I can’t stop. I have ADHD.

I wanted to write about my trip for the longest time, but found myself in a whirlwind of activity when I landed back in the states. Not all of it fun.

A huge reason why I chose to do drugs in Colombia was to get away from my thoughts and the people who let me down. But when I returned home from Colombia, I was forced to see these people and relive my old hurt feelings all over again. The repairs I made in Colombia started to unravel. My insights and understanding slowly diminished. Poor me, right? Eh, I’ll live.

I met a lot of new travel companions while I was away, had the time of my life and experienced excellent insights. I even reached enlightenment. I’m hoping this post will bring me back to that blissful state of mind and help repair the unraveled threads. Hopefully this post will bring me back to Colombia.

Now without further ado, let’s turn to the first page of my travel journal and dig in, shall we?

Day One

August 3, 2012

The journey to Colombia was an adventure all in itself. It started at 7 pm August 2nd when I found out my ride to the shuttle bus cancelled on me last minute.

Matt – “I’m sorry but I can’t bring you. I don’t want to take part in any of this trip. It’s a stupid idea and I don’t want you going. I’m not being responsible for bringing you because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life blaming myself if something happens to you.”

Me – “Okay, that’s fine.”

I was irritated.

I booked a shuttle to take me to LaGuardia airport through CT Limo. It was scheduled to pick me up in Southington – very close to home and easy enough for anyone to drop me. It was the first irritation to a relatively long journey.

I found another ride from a good friend, but my anxiety did not cease. I had to deal with an even bigger dilemma than Matt. I had to deal with an ex-friend who was fixated on telling my parents where I was going. She went and worried my poor older brother about the dangers I’ll be facing, and now she was off to tell my parents. I felt like a little kid getting ratted on. It was a huge anxiety trigger to say the least. She was ruining my trip before it began.

I spent about three or four hours (possibly more) texting, no, begging her to “please don’t do this” but it was no use. I was sweating at that point, completely exhausted and my body was so infested with anxiety that I couldn’t stop shaking. This is partly why I’m not friends with her anymore – she has no empathy or compassion towards me, but still reads my god-damned blog goddammit.

The friend who brought me to the shuttle bus had a few beers in his car – thankfully. I chugged one and smoked a cigarette before the shuttle came striding in at 2 am. I hugged my buddy goodbye, wondering if he’d be the last friend I’ll ever see again. And if he was, I made a good choice being it was him.

The beer settled my nerves somewhat, but what really gave me hope was the girl who shared the shuttle with me. It’s pure coincidence, sheer luck that my friend Kali shared that lonesome shuttle with me at 2 am. She was hitching a ride to JFK. What are the chances? I mean, seriously?

So there I was, deathly afraid for my life, sitting in the cold air-conditioned shuttle next to Kali. I was well on my way to the Amazon jungle to experience exotic drugs all by myself. It was the first trip I ever taken alone. My fears being reinforced by Matt’s judgments, compounded with my ex-friends threats, the thought of riding the death wave of ayahuasca. And to top it off, I had a weighted feeling in my chest that my parents were going to drop dead if they found out where their sheltered, naive daughter was.

Sheer exhaustion ensued. Every cell of my being honeycombed with adrenaline. But there was Kali. Sweet, sweet Kali smiling at me and being stoked for my journey. I wondered if God planned for her to be there. The odds of her being there are practically astronomical.

It was a long, dark 2 hour ride to the airport. I was texting my ex-friend back and forth. She couldn’t allow me peace of mind. All I wanted was peace of mind – for the knot in my brain to release.

It didn’t happen until I was out of the shuttle and standing outside the airport at my gate. I was standing outside the door to Spirit airlines letting the lights of Laguardia brighten me up. With my backpack nestled on my shoulders and a newly lit cigarette in hand, I looked around at the twinkling stars and cars coming and going, dropping off and picking up travelers, my heart lifted.

I saw myself as a brave girl – brave and willing to better herself against all odds. I was doing something that I dreamed of doing since I was a kid. I used to pretend I was an adventurer like Indiana Jones. I pictured myself wearing his hat, having mad skills with a whip, but I also imagined carrying around a backpack with a collage of patches sewed into it from all around the world. I was a weird kid, but there I was, outside Laguardia. I had the backpack with one patch already sewn in place. All I needed now was the hat and whip.

I filled my lungs one last time with the fresh night air and the smoke of my American Spirit and headed inside.

The first plane taken me to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was relatively uneventful. My seatmates were Colombian and told me if I needed anything when I got there, don’t hesitate to call. They were ridiculously nice people. My second plane ride, the one to Armenia, was less enjoyable. My flight from Laguardia was delayed, so I only had 10 minutes (not even) between flights to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and call my parents to inform them I landed safely in Florida.

My parents believed that I was going to Florida to visit a friend. If I neglected to call them, they would’ve called my ex-friend, found out the truth of my destination and drop dead with the receiver still clutched in their old white hands. Well, I forgot to call them. It wasn’t so much as forgetting, but I was so tired, stressed, and rushing to my gate that it completely slipped my mind.

I finally remembered when I was seated in the plane. Everyone was seated and ready to take off – the flight attendant impatiently telling people to turn off their cells. That’s when I drenched my shirt with sweat and dialed home with shaky fingers. It was the one and only time I could call them – If I called them from Colombia, the number that would’ve shown up on the caller I.D, along with the phone charges, would’ve blown my cover.

My Dad answered and I told him I landed safely.

Dad – “Oh okay good. Thanks for calling.”

Me – “You’re welcome. I’ll probably email you the rest of the week. I want to keep my phone off.”

Dad – “Here, your mother wants to talk to you.”

I could feel the burn of eyes on me from the flight attendant – my face covered in oil and grime.

Me – “Okay quickly.”

Any minute the pilot would come on the speaker and blow my cover. Any minute the flight attendant was going to come over and confiscate my phone.

Mom – “Hi sweetie you made it there okay?”

Me – “Yes mom I’m here and I’m safe. I made it, it was fine. I really have to go cause they don’t like cell phone use at airports.”

Mom – “Okay call us later then.”

Me – “No mom I can’t. I already told Dad I want to leave my phone off. I’ll email you.”

Mom – “It’s hot there isn’t it? What are you going to do there? Where are you going? Why would you visit Florida in the summer?”

Me – “I’m in Fort Lauderdale, yes it’s hot. I really have to go I’m sorta in a rush.”

When I got off the phone with her, I was so relieved. I took in a big sigh and tried to relax.

Fatigue settled in and I couldn’t fall asleep on the plane due to anxiety and screaming children. All I could do was think. I thought for a long time about the actions, the steps that accumulated over time to get me there to that moment. I ruminated on the process that got me to go to Colombia. I was sitting on a plane taking me to only god-knows-where, how did I get here? How’d it come to this?

I started thinking about, in fine detail, the Nepal abandonment. I had five hours to kill, so why not? Deliberating about what happened in Nepal felt like gravity to my mind – it wanted to go there, it followed the current. After cogitating Nepal, I relived the events that conspired after when I returned home. I felt abandoned and shamed all over again. For the entire plane ride to Armenia, my eyes became bloodshot and filled with tears. My chin quivering, my heart physically doing weird things in my chest and breathing became difficult and felt like a chore – I had to tell myself to breathe or I’d forget.

I couldn’t move. I sat there ignoring everything around me. I sat with my head butted up against the seat in front of me and closed my eyes. I felt sorry for myself. I pitied myself. It was the lowest I felt in a long time. I literally wanted to cry, but held it in. Holding in an eyeful of tears brings with it no release. I was a mess, a complete destitute mess. And it lasted for five hours.

The plane landed, the people applauded. I got up, got my things and like a zombie, went through customs.

I slowly walked outside the airport gates and looked around at the brightness of the day and the new terrain. It was my first time in South America – the newness of the experience helped deaden my sadness and I was able to take in a deep, well-needed breath. That’s when I heard my name.

A pretty blonde girl was looking straight at me smiling.

“Yeah that’s me. Hi!” I forced a smile.

She gave me a hug and several others greeted me with hugs. And with that moment I was happy again. I was happy and relieved.

We all piled into a spacious bus and headed to Los Sauces, our new home for the next week. The self-pitying emotions I felt on the plane ride completely vanished. I stared out the window of the bus and snapped some photos. I was pleased to see very little trash on the ground and no ramshackle housing. Everything was quaint and colorful with a luminous mountain backdrop reflecting the sun in a picturesque design.

Okay so some of the houses were dilapidated wrecks…

I was finally there. And I felt safe and immediately cared for.

I met my two roommates who were also single women traveling alone. They’re seekers of change and adventure, real soul-searchers like me. I instantly loved them both.

We unloaded into our appointed bungalow and made ourselves at home.

The girls let me take the top room which was a single room with its’ very own patio. I was in heaven. I unpacked my things and let myself relax for the first time in 31 hours. I spread out my arms and legs, stretching and yawning like crazy on top of the mattress.

I opened up my journal and wrote:

I’ve been up for 31 hours. I’m finally here. I’m having trouble comprehending it, but I’m here in Colombia. I’m so tired. This feels surreal, like a dream. Like it’s not really happening. I’m in a single room upstairs in a simple bungalow. I have my own patio. I love my roommates. One of my roommates is outside my room sitting on the patio and writing in her journal. I can’t decide if I want to write or sleep – write, I must write.

Ralph, one of the trips organizers, said that; “Ayahuasca is like cave diving. With cave diving, you descend fast and swallow a lot of CO2. Some people panic because they can’t breathe. You have to surrender yourself to it. You have to trust you’ll be okay. If you surrender and trust ayahuasca, she will take care of you. The visions that come with it are a gift. It’s like the movie Avatar, being plugged into nature. There’s nothing else like it.”

A few minutes later I hear him say, “yeah, I shit my pants once. It happens.”

Nicole, my roommate, asks – “How much ayahuasca should I drink?”

Ralph – “The shaman knows how much you drink. He’s amazing when it comes to dosages. But if you have any questions or concerns, you can ask him. He’s very good at answering questions and honoring your concerns.”

They have goats here. They sound human, like zombies, or deaf people trying to get people’s attention. I hear them but can’t see them. I’ve never heard goats like these before.

The ayahuasca is the scariest thing right now. We are taking it tomorrow night at 9:30 and at 5 am, people get hungry so soup is made.

Day one was filled with introductions, a late lunch and delicious dinner. The dining area was nothing more than an outdoor kitchen with a roof overhead. It was decorated with antiques, and had a welcoming homey feel to it. I thought it was the best thing ever.

Day Two

August 4, 2012

It rained heavily the night before on my little tin roof. It rained and thundered like you couldn’t believe. The thunder cracked so loud that the trail of rumbling lasted for over a minute. I never heard a storm like that before. Constant rumblings. It felt like the rain would never end – the ground and everything (including me) will always be wet. The thunder kept waking me up intermittently throughout the night.

The first time I woke up from the thunder, I forgot where I was. When I remembered, I became scared and homesick. I fell back to sleep exhausted and dreamt about swallowing ayahuasca. In my ayahuasca dream, I felt the effects of aya. A pounding heart and ominous fear – a fear not directed at anything specific. It was more along the lines of terror – terror in its purest form. I woke up with my heart pounding, my eyes were open but couldn’t adjust to anything.

“So this is what it feels like. This is what I’m in store for. I can’t do it. I’m not going to do it.”

The fog lifted and the fear subsided. I fell back to sleep and dreamt about swallowing ayahuasca again, a second time. In that dream, the effects were subtle – slightly pleasant even. I woke up and decided to do it after all. Dreaming about ayahuasca felt like preparation. If I were to succumb to pure terror, I will laugh at it, grin in its face and call out, “Is that the best you can do!?”

I was lying in bed still exhausted from the flight, weakened from weird interrupted sleep. Outside was cold and damp, but I needed to peel the covers off and shower. I haven’t showered in two days. At 10 am, we were to meet at the Maloca (an ancestral long house used for ceremonies by natives of the Amazon) and have an introduction ceremony.

After my shower, I hung out with my roommate on the patio. We are on the same wavelength her and I. We could talk for hours and hours about the weirdest stuff that mostly anybody would not have a clue. We are both Monkeys in the Chinese zodiac and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better roommate. I garnered so much strength from her. She is no doubt a kindred spirit.

We headed down to the Maloca for our first introductory powwow. Ralph sat us all in a circle and one by one we went around and told a little bit about ourselves.

Me – “Hi I’m Melanie. This is the first time for me doing anything like this. My parents don’t know I’m here. They’re religious and kinda like rednecks. They don’t travel and would have a very hard time understanding all this. They think I’m in Florida. Originally I wanted to go to Arizona for a road trip, but somehow ended up here.”

This made everyone laugh. It was essentially the same remark I made in Nepal: “Originally I wanted to go to Thailand, but found myself here in the Himalayas instead.” It was the remark that marked me for dead. K was out to get me after I said that. But not these people. They cracked up.

I decided a while ago to surrender myself to the idea that I really don’t have a clue when it comes to others.

Me – “I typed in the google search engine “Ayahuasca retreat Arizona” and got the website for here. That same night I decided to do it. I contacted Peter and a month later, here I am. I’m very nervous about taking ayahuasca. I never did any kind of drug before besides pot, so this is new for me. Also I have a lot of weird things happen to me in my sleep like out of body experiences and my dead grandmother coming to visit me, so I’m sensitive to things like this. I’m curious to see what happens. Okay, that’s it.”

Them – “Wow, you’re really brave to be here.”

Me – “Well, we’re all here. We’re all brave.”

I started blushing and getting nervous. They kept saying how brave I was for being there, but I couldn’t understand why they were saying it. We were all there together – them being no different from me. I was the second youngest person there, maybe that’s why. A man, Simon, brought his 19-year-old daughter with him. Besides her, I was considered a youngin’.

Everyone, well, mostly everyone there were completely normal people. A few had their quirks, but they were sensitive, loving folks seeking answers and enlightenment.

This one woman in particular stood out. She lost her twin sister in a freak accident a few years ago and because of it, became extremely lonely and depressed. She sought out mediums to reconnect her with her sister – she ingested ayahuasca to connect to the spirit world so she can see her sister again. The woman is such a character. She can talk for hours at a time and none of its boring. She talked about her only friends being ducks and turtles – naming them and getting to know their personalities. Her voice changed into a little girls voice when talking about her “friends”. My heart went out to her.

She is such an interesting woman with an amazing story, that she is starring in her very own episode on the Biography channel. It’s going to air September 1st at 10 pm. A camera crew followed her around for weeks. The story she told was amazing, but I won’t get into it here, you’ll have to watch her on the Biography channel.

After the Maloca, a few of us headed outside Los Sauces to scope out the little town of Finlandia – population 7,000.

It was relatively early when we got there, but the natives were already sitting down on outside benches gossiping and drinking beer. It was my kind of place. I, however, wasn’t allowed alcohol, so I had to settle for a coffee. I was in Colombia after all, I had to take advantage of either coke or coffee – both being equally addictive.

Dave informed me that on a bad hallucinogen trip, you can counteract the effects by downing a sugar packet – I stuffed one in my bra for safe keeping.

Angela trying to get the local men to dance with her.

Gas is expensive in Colombia. Everyone drives motorcycles.

Moo.

When I pictured what Colombian men were like, I visualized a trim man with khaki pants, tasseled shoe’s, fancy silk shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. I wasn’t expecting to see them asleep on a bench during the day.

The time was nearing. It was almost ayahuasca time. My fear returned and I became a jittery nervous wreck no thanks to the coffee.

We were not given any dinner because it would come back up on us. Ayahuasca makes you puke, but they call it purging. The purge is meant to cleanse you of emotional and physical trauma. I felt that I would have much to purge.

Me and my roommates grabbed our headlamps, jackets, hats and whatever else we needed. Nicole, my roommate, gave Cheryl and I stones shaped like hearts she found in Los Sauces. I was to keep it as my totem – something to keep me grounded and feel safe. I know how silly it sounds for a rock to keep me safe, but it was my teddy bear away from home. It was all I had. I was frightened.

We tromped down to the Maloca to meet with everyone.

Mats were laid out with blankets and pillows on top of them. I situated myself next to my roommates. I didn’t want to stray away from them. They made me feel safe. I was in frightened little girl mode at that point.

It started getting dark. The ceremony was underway. After the initial introduction, the shaman started to make his blessings and do his chants. He blessed the ayahuasca – which looked to be a gross, thick brown liquid. One of the natives went around to each of us, smudging us with incense. Everyone was quiet. It started to rain and thunder. It was dark. The maloca was lit up by a few candles. I clutched my headlamp. One of my fears being the dark.

Then it was time. One by one we went up to drink. We went up and kneeled in front of the shaman. The shaman carefully measured out the amount of ayahuasca we were to drink – pouring some back in the container, pouring a tad more into the cup. We were all to drink from the same small cup.

It was then my turn. The shaman attentively measured out my dosage, blessed it one last time before handing it to me. I downed it all in one gulp. He had me drink some blessed water before I returned back to my mat.

Me – “Gracias.”

He gave me a genuine smile – the man was truly a loving individual. He radiated warmth.

I laid down and waited. I looked up to the center of the maloca and waited.

The drumming began. Drumming and more chanting. It seemed like an hour went by before I felt any different. My biggest concern was seeing visions – I didn’t want to see them. I felt I didn’t need to. I accepted the fact I was going to puke. I don’t mind puking, it doesn’t bother me, but some people shit instead. The shit can come on so strong and violently that some people go in their pants. Shitting her pants was my roommates biggest concern.

This one woman, Maggie, wore depends. It was her fourth time attending the spiritual retreat and every time she shits. She never pukes. She was hoping to puke this time around.

I became worried about purging right away – minutes after drinking. When I started to hear others running to the vomitorium or to the bathroom, I relaxed and felt better thinking that I’m a trooper and can hold my liquor (medicine). I didn’t feel sick at all actually, but my mind started going. I started thinking. During this thinking period, I was still coherent – I was myself, thinking the same thoughts as I normally do, only fragmented with very little remembrance. I was very spacey.

I went outside the maloca to sit by the fire with some others, and pulled out a cigarette. I let it dangle from my lips forgetting it was there. People ran past me to the edge of the cliff (the vomitorium) to puke, and I would get jealous of them. Purging meant the ayahuasca was working and cleansing them. After purging, they will experience a deeper level of the medicine.

Nobody was talking, it was all very quiet. Only the drums and chanting could be heard and the occasional retching or toilet escapade.

This is the vomitorium. It’s directly in back of the maloca – a few feet away from the back entrance and next to the fire pit which I gazed at for hours.

The Ayahuasca kicked in for many people. They were lying down, flapping their arms around, some sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed. People made sounds, not bad or good, just sounds. Some slowly walked around, circling inside the maloca with their blankets covering their heads. I sat outside by the fire and waited.

People started talking to each other. They were coherent, but not in the real world – I was envious. I wanted to be where they were. I stood up and walked toward the entrance of the maloca and peered inside. The shaman spotted me and whispered something into his translators’ ear. After listening to the shaman, she walked over to me.

Translator (Catalina) – “Can I get you anything?”

I was hesitant – “You mean more ayahuasca?”

Catalina – “If you’re wondering if you should have more, than you should have more.”

She’s such a warm, good spirit. I sensed a lot of love in her. She could talk me into anything,

Me – “Okay.”

And so I drank myself another cup.

I drank myself another cup and went back over to the fire to sit. I sat there for what seemed like thirty minutes. My thoughts became less scattered and more compact, less fragmented and more felt than before. It was not an unpleasant feeling, but not altogether wonderful either. I still hadn’t purged.

I was sitting by myself next to the fire. Now and then one of the natives would come over to throw another log on, and then smudge me with more incense. With each smudge of incense, I felt heat rising inside of me and felt myself going deeper – deeper into a place I never knew existed.

Once again I found myself thinking about what happened to me in Nepal – how I didn’t deserve to be treated badly – how my best friend, after returning home, told me I deserved it – that I frustrated and annoyed everyone and I needed to apologize. I needed to take responsibility for my actions and apologize. My eyes filled with tears as I stared dazed into the fire with my cigarette dangling. I didn’t deserve it. No, I didn’t deserve it.

That’s when I felt the vile contents rise in my throat – my self pity wanted out – wanted to purge and cleanse. I ran the few feet to the vomitorium and let it rip. I surrendered to it, I surrendered myself completely to ayahuasca and understood for the first time what that meant – it meant letting go. I cried and I retched violently for about 30 seconds. When I was done, I raised my head to look into the dark, foreboding jungle. My eyes saw bright flourescent green strands connecting the tree’s to each other. Like each branch had some kind of bioluminescent quality. I blinked, blinked again – mouth hanging open, chin dripping with bile.

Me – “Whoa. Is this….is this ayahuasca? Is she showing herself to me?”

I decided it was my eyes playing tricks on me and went back to sit by the fire. To this day, I still think it was my eyes playing tricks on me, but I don’t want that fact to downplay my ayahuasca experience. What happened to me next was profoundly spiritual and meaningful.

It was personal – extremely personal. And for me to write about it knowing that I’ll get ridiculed, judged and talked down to by others saying it was a crazy trip no different from acid, I can’t help but feel offended. It’s disrespectful to me, the shaman, the Lakota indian tribe and many others who benefitted from this medicine.

The people who never ingested ayahuasca, will never understand it. Its origins are unknown. It is said that nature told a shaman thousands of years ago what two plants to mix together and how to prepare it in a certain fashion. Out of the millions of plants, leaves, roots and petals to play around with infinite mixtures and possibilities, the shaman story seems more plausible compared to dumb luck. Some records talk about shamans being able to communicate with the plants. The plants tell the medicine men what cures what.

After taking ayahuasca, I’m a believer.

Granted, I never did acid so I can’t compare the two, but I truly did feel connected to the spirit world. That I had access to its infinite knowledge – that I was special and powerful. I felt in control and had complete power over everything in my life. I will try to describe what I felt as best I can.

Calmness soothed my nerves and pricked at my awareness taste buds. My mind became clear, and I was curious about everything. My thoughts slowed and became controlled. I went to sit back inside the maloca and listen to the drumming and write a little in my journal. I felt clarity – I felt light.

People under aya acquire the unusual ability to leave their bodies – to have astral travels to different worlds. I’m a natural when it comes to this. I experienced flight, wormholes and different dimensions all from the comfort of my very own bed, and please remember that I don’t do drugs – it was all natural.

People who leave their bodies often share their experiences with fellow travelers. The worlds are infinite, but people somehow end up in the same places. There’s a world with a giant pyramid, a world with eyes everywhere, a hell world which many people end up, a hall of records world…etc. Experienced travelers can meet up with one another for a shared journey.

I wondered how it’s possible to get outside my body, while at that moment, I was in my body and completely aware and coherent.

As soon as that thought flashed across my mind, I felt a pull from up above. Directly above my head were crackling sounds of electricity. It sounded like a mixture of crackling from a bug zapper mixed with the buzzing of a beehive. I felt my hair being lifted, like someone was rubbing a balloon to it. The maloca started getting hazy, dark and blurry – the drumming became farther away. I felt a string attach itself to the top of my head and started to yank.

Me – “Eh, okay, so that’s how it’s done. Okay, okay I gotcha. Think I’ll stay here for now, thanks anyway.”

The room came back into focus. I was in the maloca again, completely – I didn’t realize I was halfway out until I came all the way back in.

In that moment, I hit enlightenment. The buzzing and whirring, which I contrived as being the sound of rain hitting the roof (please remember that I was able to rationalize and think clearly about everything I was experiencing), diminished. I felt the weight of my body return. This experience alone was worth the trip to Colombia. That experience in itself, was worth double for what I paid, no, not double, priceless.

So there I was sitting cross-legged on my mat, my journal spread open resting on my lap, and I was in complete amazement of what just happened. I looked around at everybody.

“Nobody know’s. They don’t realize. There are so many possibilities….”

Then and there I understood everything. The meaning of life, what happens when we die, where we go after death – I understood evil and hell, religion, people, myself, god – EVERYTHING. I also felt that I was lucky. I was lucky to experience something that not a whole lot of people can experience. I couldn’t understand why me? Why am I so special? I said it in a humble, non-egotistical way. I really wanted to know. Why was I surrounded by holy white light when I was 18? Why did my grandmother take me out of my body on an astral visit when I was 9? Why does my soul want to leave my body most every night? And why this? Why was I brought here to Colombia? What am I supposed to do with this knowledge?

It was a lot to think about. Good thing I had 10 hours to do it in. I actually thought to myself, “No wonder why this stuff lasts all night – there’s so many questions to ask. I hope 10 hours gives me enough time.”

The second cup of ayahuasca sent me into the other world. It felt as if I walked through a doorway, and the purge was a necessary evil – a shedding of the physical and emotional attributes keeping me in the real world. Crossing over is not easy. It can be violent and scary. To purge yourself is surrendering. Purging is like death in a way. One last thing the body has to go through before crossing over into the spirit world.

I understood that not everyone understands this – even those who take ayahuasca, may not reach this understanding – they may not even reach enlightenment. Hence the question, why me?

I looked up with tearful, glassy eyes and said to myself out loud – “Because I know suffering.”

At least, that’s what Aya told me. But still, not enough to understand deeper. There are many layers.

Before drinking ayahuasca, some believe that you should have a question already formed in your mind. A question that aya can help you with. When the shaman passed the cup to me, I held it in my hands and raised it to my forehead. With my eyes closed, I asked the question “show me everything you know ayahuasca. I want to understand everything.” And then I drank. This may have contributed to my experience. Everyone’s experience is different, yet some connect – which is bizarre, and I’ll get into that later.

My eyes felt black with no pupils. The world looked and felt different – like I was in a small room with no sound, no doors or windows, but at the same time feeling the expanse of infinite universe. I knew I was standing just inside this doorway of all-knowing. I knew that I could go deeper. Walk the few yards to meet with souls unborn, worlds that aren’t materialized – I knew I could take that leap and meet my past and future selves. But I was too scared to go further. I could feel all the layers of consciousness. Each layer you walk through becomes a new wave of enlightenment – but then another layer stops you, blocking your path. Courage is the key to going deeper.

I was content with the first layer I found myself in. They call this the break-through layer – the layer of understanding. It all starts with this layer.

I had all the answers to all my questions. I saw the universe for what it really was. I reached enlightenment and couldn’t imagine what it could mean to go deeper. I never knew what it meant for someone to be enlightened. I never googled it, or read books that described what it is exactly. If I did, I either can’t remember them, or never understood them to begin with. I never knew what it meant to be enlightened until it happened to me.

To be enlightened is to have understanding of reality. Pure and simple.

Okay, so it’s a little hard to explain, but while I was experiencing it, it seemed so simple – too simple – like it was all common knowledge. My thinking brain switched off and I was getting answers from somewhere else. I was intuiting answers.

I’ve been staring at this screen for five minutes now. Sweating in my shorts while my laptop pumps out heat to scorch my thighs, and I cannot – no matter how hard I try – I cannot find the words to describe enlightenment.

It’s like understanding a place, a physical place that you can see and touch. And that place is the universe. It’s the ability to see and understand the universe completely. Enlightenment is the ability to see the facts of reality unencumbered with ego. Ego is fantasy – It’s illusion.

It’s as much a physical understanding as it is spiritual. Enlightenment is the connection between the physical and the non-physical. Enlightenment is free of all delusions. Free of physical form. As long as you’re in physical form, grounded in the world you live in, you can never be enlightened. Enlightenment is death. It’s understanding physical from spirit.

The best analogy I can come up with is with Magic Eye art.

You cross your eyes until the images on the left, match up with what’s on the right. You combine the two (spirit and physical) and what follows is a new dimension. But the dimension was there all along – you just had to combine two things to see it.

I wrote in my journal:

1 +1 = 3

It combines into another dimension. It becomes raised as in 3D.

I know it all sounds crazy, but I know no other way of putting it.

The spirit world of Ayahuasca felt more real to me than the world we all live in. I was outside looking in. I was no longer of the material world and so, was able to be a voyeur looking in at it.

I was spying the world with my black aya eyes. And what I saw was a fantasy. The world we live in, is a fantasy. It’s meant to create suffering – everyone must suffer in this world in order to evolve. We create our own problems, emotions are delusions meant to toughen us – they are not real. When stating an emotion, you start with saying “I feel.” In spirit form, there is no “I.” Where there is no “I”, there is no ego and where there is no ego, there is pure understanding of reality. And that reality is beautiful.

Losing the ego is a very hard thing to do without the help of Aya. But in order for us to evolve, the ego must exist. It’s essential for growth.

We are spirit in our natural form. Having a body is not our natural form. Outside this world, when we die, is the true reality. Having that knowledge is enlightenment.

Those living on the superficial fringe of understanding, buying name brands, watching reality tv – running from one quick fix to the next – those people are running from the suffering. They’re not strong enough for it. They want no part in anything that has meaning. Things that have meaning can bring about suffering. Work is suffering. Growth is suffering. You have to purge your old self each time you go through a new layer of awareness. Purging is suffering. Loss is suffering.

Somewhere down the line, someone figured out that one must suffer to gain awareness.

I understood buddhist meditation. Monks work towards enlightenment by suffering through self-discipline. They can spend many years in meditation, in solitude, suffering their bodies through fasting. All in the hopes of gaining one small glimpse at enlightenment. However, after listening to Aya, all that sitting around meditating is not necessary – that is also part of the ego illusion world. At its best, meditation can still the mind, but enlightenment is something totally different.

I intuited that all beliefs whether they be religious, buddhist, or scientific have nothing to do with reality. Organized religions, while I was in the enlightened state, were laughable. I don’t mean any disrespect by that, but they were laughable.

I understood why some religions practice self-flagellation or mortification of the flesh in hopes to cleanse themselves through suffering and become closer to God. Suffering does raise you closer to God as long as the ego is absent. Anything ego driven is based on illusion.

I perceived there to be no literal truth behind religious texts, but some of the symbolism is strong in the spirit world. There is light and there is darkness, there is a hell you can go to. Jesus may not have been a real man, but what he represents is real. People exist in the world today who die for others sins. They are the strong ones, the martyr’s, the teachers. People purge their hatred onto martyrs so that one day the people can see, learn and grow. The shared goal in the spirit world is to evolve. Why that is? I don’t know.

Religion was never meant to be taken so far and used inappropriately like it was. It has become an ego-based illusion.

There is a hell world you can go to – it’s a place, the easiest place to get to in the spirit realm. It has the most amount of gravitational pull than any other world. There is a hell, but there is no evil there. The evil that we learned about does not exist in the spirit world. But what does exist is fear. Fear is devoid of light. It’s a heavy darkness. It’s the opposite of understanding – opposite of enlightenment. The only evil in the universe is fear itself.

I’m very sensitive to people’s energy. When I feel a negative vibe from someone, I can feel my energy being sucked away from me. I feel miserable and don’t understand why. I get agitated and crabby.

When a strong, light spirit tries to help a dark, heavy spirit, there is a chance the dark gravitational pull will force the light spirit down with them. Especially if the dark spirit refuses help.

The way to stay strong, and keep out of the dark side, is for you to suffer. It’s a double-edged sword. Suffering is the only means to gain strength. But we have a choice. We can end our suffering as long as we let go. We have to find strength to let go. We find strength – hence gaining a deeper level of awareness from the bravery it takes to go deeper.

Here are the steps for acquiring awareness:

Suffering

Strength

Courage

And another layer of consciousness unfurls

Me – “But what’s the point? Why evolve?”

Aya – “To stay strong for others on their journeys. We can only evolve together. We can only survive by helping each other.”

Me – “But why? Why does it all exist?”

Aya – “Once you have that understanding, you’ll be seeing things through the eyes of God.”

I was still only at the first layer of understanding. I had no answer for why it all exists, because I’m not ready to understand it. I haven’t suffered enough. Therefore, not brave enough.

I looked around at the others in the room. Each person being a separate entity – each on their own personal journey. That’s when I reached another understanding about people.

Positive people, cup half full kind of people, they believe that we are all somehow connected. That there is some unforeseen force connecting us all, uniting all of us. And that we are never truly alone because we are together. Um, no. Not true. Ayahuasca tells me different. Ayahuasca tells me the complete opposite, actually.

Everyone is alone. We are all alone and separate from each other. What we do and say has very little to do with the people in our lives, but is a reflection of ourselves. We are all embarking on a singular journey through life to better our souls. We, ourselves, are not connected, but our actions and beliefs unite us. Helping each other connects us in a way, but still ultimately, we are separate entities.

However, when we die, we become one with the universe.

Never expect help from anyone – never need anyone. Try to remain self-sufficient and don’t take from others. I’ve gotten a very strong apprehension to never take from others. Never to demand too much of their time, or love. Demand nothing, want nothing. When you demand nothing, want nothing, the love has a much greater return. It has movement and flow. Ego and need are the greatest dividers.

Conceiving this notion led me to a new understanding of respect. Respect for others space, respect their choices. Honor them from a distance.

Kristie taken too much from me. She asked for too much, and in a way, showed disrespect for my time and my self. Kristie needed too much. Taken more than I could to give.

I perceived this so clearly. I also perceived that the people who don’t demand anything are the strong ones. Not only are they strong, but beautiful. Inner strength is beauty. Being able to be strong and empathetic towards others is beautiful. I also understood that these beautiful people had to suffer a great deal to become strong. They rid their ego along with all judgments upon others. They are light and clear, free from the delusions that emotions can play upon the soul. When others look at them, they feel safe.

Children can have this effect on people. When children are around, laughing and smiling, it brings strength and courage to others in the vicinity. Adults feel the need to be strong, if only for the sake of their little ones. The little ones bring their parents courage, the parents return the courage with love. Parents can learn and grow from their children.

Never offer help when it’s not wanted. Offering to help a person who doesn’t want it, is condescending and disrespectful on the part of the helper. They have no right to rule over anyone. They are no better, know no better. A true helper helps at the right moment of need. When a person is reaching out. They never give more than what is necessary – always respecting the person and honoring them – no judgment is ever made.

One who “helps” others, letting the ego drive them, is patronizing and can do more harm than good. These types of helpers are not self-aware. Doctors and other people in high positions, like police and leaders, can succumb to dictating what’s best for others. Ego is not spirit. It is an illusion of the physical world and can only exist there.

Many people offer help with the intension of receiving something back. These people want to feed their ego with love and admiration. The people who accept help from these people, feel pressured to respond back with insincere gratitude.

Matt judged me and tried to rule over my decision to go to Colombia. He felt he was the authority and tried to help when help was not warranted. He was ruling with his ego and fear, not honoring my choices.

Wow it’s really late. I’m so tired. I’m going to have to pack it up for the night and continue tomorrow. This post might be just as long, if not longer than the Nepal post.

Okay so where was I? I have no clue on how to continue. Shit….

Okay, so let’s say you’re one of the unfortunates who end up in hell. Sucks to be you, right? The trick is to get rid of your fear. You can get rid of fear with love. Love thy enemy and all that jazz. To be light, you have to rise. And to rise, you have to rid all the gravity of fear. From above you can see your enemies are fearful and weak, while you are strong. You are able to truly love them. Love hell and understand its purpose. It’s meant to give you strength and wings to fly.

I understood that Ayahuasca is illegal because it awakens people. Our journey in this world is to suffer and by being awakened, we’ll lose that. You can’t overdose on Ayahuasca. It’s not harmful to the body. In present day, shamans feed their newborn babies Ayahuasca as soon as they eject from the womb. Even before they exit the womb, the shamans rub Aya into the uterus.

Anyway, I think that’s all the information I gotten from my first ayahuasca experience. It was purely awesome.

At around 4 am, a man named Will, who is a spiritual bare-footed hippie and a regular denizen to the resort, started banging a steel drum and demanding I sing. So I sang, “Eye-A-wasca, Eye-A-wasca, aya aya aya want eye-A-wasca.” I sang that for about 10 or 15 minutes. People were zoned out on their mats, some were sleeping, others sitting up listening. A lot of people already left.

At about 7 am is when I went back to my bungalow. The aya was wearing off and I needed sleep desperately. I got back to my bed, laid down and closed my eyes. It was there when I saw my vision. It was eyes. Blinking eyes staring at me. I wasn’t frightened as I thought I would be. I told them to go away, I needed to sleep, and they vanished.

Day Three

August 5, 2012

I gotten no sleep. I only shut my eyes and rested them for a few hours before getting up again. I got up and went for breakfast and to talk with everyone about their experiences.

Nobody mentioned the word Enlightenment, which surprised me, but most of them had awesome experiences.

Laura, the woman who lost her sister, she wanted so desperately to reunite with her but Aya told her no.

Laura – “Aya told me to enjoy life now and let go. I have to enjoy the gifts of this world and be happy.”

During my enlightenment, I understood that when you want something badly enough, it will never happen. It can only happen when you let go. You have to find the strength and courage to let go. I thought about Laura when I was awakened and knew she will never find her sister so long as she’s still attached to her.

I told Laura about the answers I received, and she let out a wail saying, “But I miss my sister!”

If you know Laura, you would understand what I mean when I say wail.

Me – “Next time we do Ayahuasca, you should ask Aya how to let go. If you ask her how to let go, she’ll tell you.”

Laura – “That’s a good idea. I’m going to write that one down.”

And sure enough, Laura was able to let her go. Her seven day transformation was miraculous. By day seven she was beaming with happiness.

My roommate had an out of body experience, and this other guy, Bill, was able to create new souls. Bill was able to see cosmic geometry and patterns. Aya came to him and gave him geometric patterns for him to create new life in the spirit realm. It started with a hibiscus plant, then a dragonfly, and ended with a butterfly. Each pattern becoming more and more intricate.

The crazy part is, I totally believe him!

I was sitting there listening to everyone’s stories, being amazed all over again. I couldn’t eat breakfast because I had to do Kembo later. Kembo is another thing that makes you yack. It’s not for everyone, so it’s not required or frowned upon if you don’t do it.

But mostly everyone did it – that’s why I loved the group I was in, they’re just as crazy as I am.

At 12 o’clock we headed back down to the maloca.

We scattered around the room on our mats and waited turns to get mutilated.

Will – “Okay who’s first?”

Laura – “I’ll do it.”

Laura went up and sat on the chair next to Will. She was handed a two liter pitcher of water that she had to drink right then and there. She had to drink the entire thing while Will poked her arm with a seared wooden stick 9 times (it may have been more than 9, I forgot). The pokes hurt her because she let out a loud “Ow!”

After getting poked, Anna, a Hippie chick that also practically lives at the resort, swabbed frog slime onto a wooden stick and passed it to Will. Will filled each poke with the frog slime. Yes…..Frog slime.

Laura stood up and walked over to a row of chairs lined up specifically for this event. Each person, after being slimed, is to sit in one of these chairs with a bucket in their lap. The purpose of the bucket? You guessed it, puke.

Laura sat in her chair with her bucket and waited while the next brave soul sat next to Will drinking a large pitcher of water.

It taken about 40 second for Laura to start hurling. Laura is very loud in all that she does, so when she pukes, it’s the stereotypical loud “blah, huuwaaa, uuuuhhhh.” She was unbearably boisterous. We all let out gasps.

Then the second victim got slimed, sat next to Laura with their own bucket.

Everyone watched in anticipation. It taken about a minute for the second victim was on their hands and knee’s puking in a bucket.

Oh yeah, have I mentioned that? You don’t actually stay seated while puking in your bucket. It comes out so violently and weakens your entire body to the point where you can no longer stay seated, but hunched over a bucket on your hands and knee’s – like a dog hovering over his dish. Your face becomes puffed up like a frog.

Eventually all the chairs were filled and soon enough I witnessed a bunch of people on their hands and knee’s puking simultaneously. It was the weirdest experience of my life. Nothing can possibly get any weirder than that.

Laura was rolling around on her mat, no longer puking but wailing like a baby. She rolled up a blanket and stuffed it up her shirt – I burst out laughing. It was hysterical watching this. People going limp on the floor moaning next to their buckets and watching Laura do weird things with a blanket – I couldn’t help to laugh. I’m such a weirdo, but I wasn’t the only one who thought it was funny. The natives banged their drums and chanted. Laura during all the ruckus, taken off her pants.

I waited to do Kembo until later in the day. I knew I couldn’t drink all that water with everyone watching. And listening to people puke made me not want to touch any kind of food or beverage. So I waited for later. I was going to do it with this woman Kelly who was arriving later that day. It was just going to be me and her.

Until my mutilation ceremony, I went to the little town again, hung out with people eating lunch. I couldn’t eat lunch because I was doing Kembo, which means I didn’t eat since lunch the day before. Not only did I not eat, but I’ve puked the night before and was going to do it again for Kembo. Yes, I’m a trooper. I didn’t even complain once. I’m not the complaining type.

It came that time. I met Kelly and we walked down to the dark maloca together. It was late and no lights were on. Ralph joined us in the ceremony along with Angela and Simon – they were great helpers.

I sat next to Will with my big 2 liter jug of water and chugged. The thing with me is, I believe I can do anything that anyone else can do. I bypass my fear with humor – it’s the only way for me. When I’m scared, I laugh at myself and the situation and get everyone else to laugh as well. I love me….

Me – “I just need to pretend it’s beer.”

Getting all the water down is the hardest part of Kembo. Its mind over matter. Will pricked me, slimed me, and gave me a bucket. I had my period, so I was nervous if the onslaught would be too much for me, plus I have low blood pressure.

I got my period the day before during my enlightenment. I was prepared for it, I’m always prepared.

I sat in my chair and waited.

The purpose of Kembo is to heal the body. It rids the body of toxins and in return, you feel like a million bucks after. Anna, the hippie chick, was doing it for 40 days straight. One prick a day.

Me – “Nothings happening.”

Ralph – “It will, don’t worry.”

My face started getting hot after about 90 seconds.

Me – “Okay, now I feel it. Something is definitely happening now.”

My heart started racing. I HATE when my heart races. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it scares the shit out of me.

I started feeling sick, and just like everyone else, felt compelled to go on my hands and knee’s. I puked once for maybe five seconds.

Me – “Eh, this isn’t so bad.”

Everyone starts laughing. That’s my way of getting through things, to laugh at it.

Then I puked again and again. Onslaught.

The first splashes of water that came out of me was still cool. My stomach didn’t have time to warm it up yet.

Will – “I’m going to change your bucket.”

Buckets have to be switched before they fill up – they are huge buckets too. I think people are more worried about getting splashed in the face if the puke fills up too close to the brim. It’s projectile vomit we’re talking about.

I wondered what was going to come out of me once all the cool water eliminated. After the cool water, what then? My intestines?

And sure enough, it was hot bile – thick hot bile. Getting that stuff out of me taken one tremendous hurl. A hurl that lasted more than the rest. My body was convulsing – it was ejecting on its own without my help. I had no control.

Ralph – “Good job! That one was great! Good color in that one.”

Me – “Eh thanks. I’m not looking.”

I kept my eyes shut the entire time. Snot was dripping down everywhere, my eyes were crying, my face looked froggy.

I can’t believe I’m eating cottage cheese while typing this.

But it seemed not to have lasted as long as the others. My kembo lasted about 15 minutes, others had it worse.

I couldn’t move my body, I was so weak. Ralph helped me up and I almost passed out. Everything turned black. I was still standing just barely and knew the blackness would fade with a few breaths. My heart stopped racing as soon as I first started vomiting, so that wasn’t an issue.

I needed to be carried to the bathroom. Angela watched me with the door wide open.

After my Kembo ceremony, Simon held my hand and taken me to my bungalow. I laid down and wrote a little. My body was completely ravaged. Everyone was at dinner. I was so weak, I had no energy to walk the 100 yards to the little restaurant. But after 15 minutes of rest, I was ready to join everyone.

I wasn’t able to eat, but it was nice to be comforted by everyone who shared the same experience, and it was nice being looked at as a brave soul by the people who didn’t do it.

kembo scar

Day Four

August 6, 2012

My body felt tired and weak. I joined everyone for breakfast, but can’t remember much about it. I wanted to eat and then go back to bed and sleep all day, but it was Yopo day. The Yopo ceremony started at around noon. Nobody knew what to expect from this ceremony – we had no clue how long it lasted.

Me – “I’m going to do Yopo one time and go back to my bed. I’m not sticking around.”

Nicole – “You don’t know that yet. Don’t think that until you have some.”

The shaman told of a story about a boy wanting to dip into his fathers yopo stash. It was told in old-fashioned Indian style. If you can picture Indians sitting around in a circle with their elder telling a story, this would be it.

I sat and tried to listen to the interpreter, but it was hard. I was unbelievably exhausted.

Catalina – “You can have as much Yopo as you like. It doesn’t harm you. It’s very gentle and will give you a relaxing happy feeling.”

Finally something that doesn’t make me vomit.

Catalina – “But if you don’t spit out the mucus, you’ll get sick.”

Damn.

The ceremony was underway. The shaman started his blessings. It’s mesmerizing to listen to him chanting – he rhythmically speaks fast and then slow, all monotoned. I’m not sure if it’s a real language he’s speaking or what. He blessed potable water that we were to drink during the ceremony. We were told to only drink the blessed water, not our own. There was a pitcher of blessed water for us to drink, but only two drinking glasses – we were all to use the same glass again.

We needed to ingest three ingredients in order for the Yopo to work. First we went up one by one to drink some watered down ayahuasca juice – which tastes horrible by the way. After drinking, we are handed a couple pieces of tree bark that’s been softened in ayahuasca juice so you can easily chew and digest it. The bark is an MAO inhibitor – it stops the body from breaking down the DMT from the Yopo.

The bark tastes HORRIBLE! It was soaking in ayahuasca all day. Everyone grabbed their pieces of bark and sat back down to hear more of the Shaman’s story. It was hard for people to get it down – very hard.

I have a strong tolerance for things that taste gross. I don’t know where I got it from. But as long as I know what I’m eating won’t kill me, I can choke it down. I gobbled down my tree bark like it was nobody’s business.

We went to our mats and laid down.

Me – “I feel weird. Do you feel weird?”

Someone – “Yeah, I feel a little funky.”

A native went around and smudged us with incense, and as before, it effected me and taken me deeper into the weird feeling.

Me – “I feel like I don’t even need Yopo. Something is already happening. I feel so relaxed.”

One by one we went up for the Yopo. You ingest Yopo by snuffing it. Is that how you say it? Snuff? Sniff? Snarf? I don’t know, I never snuffed anything before. My roommate, Cheryl, also never snuffed anything. She was nervous and a little in freak-out mode.

Me – “You just have to do it. Don’t think about it. Thinking will ruin it. Just go up there and do it.”

She did it. She had a little trouble with it at first, but Catalina showed her how’s it’s done.

Then it was my turn.

I knelt in front of the shaman and taken the hollowed out monkey bone in my hand. It was two bones tied together in the shape of a V, so both nostrils got hit at the same time.

The shaman measured out the grey powdered yopo on a flat slate, and held it up to my face. I put the bones to my nose and bent down to inhale.

Just do it, don’t think. Just do.

I inhaled like a trooper. The shaman and Catalina both smiled at me.

Catalina – “Good job.”

I laid back down on my mat.

I don’t know how long it took to feel the effects, but wow. Wow wow Wow. It was kinda like ayahuasca, only without the gateway to enlightenment. It given me feelings of complete bliss. Bliss and amazement of everything. Yopo is Ayahuasca’s fun younger cousin.

I became amazed at everything and walked outside. Anna and Will were sitting down in the grass talking.

These two hippies.

Anna – “Do you want to join us?”

Me – “I would love to join you.”

And that’s where I sat for many hours. We were looking up into the clouds and being amazed by them.

Me – “Wow, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

Anna – “Oh Wow! Do you see that?! Isn’t that amazing?!”

Me – “Holy crap yes!”

Anna – “Do you see it?”

Me – “I see it. That’s amazing. They’re up so high.”

There were honest to God, hundreds of birds in the sky rotating in a circle. They were up so high you could barely see them – you had to have good eyes to see them.

Anna – “What are they doing up there?”

Me – “Having fun.”

I would have been amazed with the birds without the help of Yopo.

Ralph came over and sat by us. He had a crystal in his hand.

Me – “I like your rock.”

Anna – “Would a crystal take offense if it was called a rock?”

Will – “No it would not. We are all from the stone people. The stone people are from rocks.”

Anna – “What is it made of?”

She pointed to the crystal.

Ralph had a dazed look on his face – “It’s my Joey stone.”

Anna – “But what is it?”

Will – “Silicon.”

Anna – “What’s silicon?”

Will – “It’s the fourteenth element of Gods creation.”

Anna – “Oh is that it?”

I burst out laughing so hard. Everyone started laughing. We laughed for about 10 or 40 minutes.

Will went on and on talking about silicon for a half an hour. Nothing he said made any sense to me.

I felt like I was reliving the 70’s. Peace, love, harmony – it was awesome.

Everyone was either passed out on their mat’s, or walking around aimlessly with a blanket over their head. It was a funny site to behold. Then there was Laura who taken off her shirt and started twirling around chanting madly. I didn’t see her, but I heard her. She chanted wildly for about 15 minutes.

I found out later that she transformed into a butterfly and it felt wonderful.

I went up for more yopo. “I snort yopo 2 time” is scribbled somewhere in my journal.

I started writing weird shit like, “I am not my name. I am not Melanie. This body is Melanie. I’m in the body of Melanie and I’m lucky to be in the body of Melanie. She is strong and healthy. She is beauty.”

I separated myself from my body and realized she’s just a rental and doesn’t belong to me.

Then I wrote, “The numbers 1, 2 and 3 are the only numbers in existence that can do what they do.”

Will was telling me about the importance of 1, 2 and 3 and I thought they deserved an honorable mention in my journal. I also drew a picture of Grandma Spider. Will kept going on and on about Grandmother Spider and how she is the earth and we are her children. I was certain he was out of his mind.

I’m at Cheshire Coffee again. I see one of my old friends from high school waiting for her coffee. She looks like a grown mature woman. Shit she’s with another one of my friends from high school. I don’t feel like saying Hi, we’re not exactly friends anyway. They look and act older than me. They’re in a different world than I am. I don’t understand them, and they don’t understand me. Ha, one of them spotted me and turned her head away. People are so weird. At least I tried to wave.

Everyone here has a MacBook. I scoff at their newly minted Macbooks as I wipe the dust off of my old HP. It taken me 30 minutes to get my laptop running today. Damn kids with their MacBooks….Pffff.

Okay, so anyway, I was in Colombia snorting Yopo with hippies and soul searchers. The feeling it gave me was that of pure bliss. It’s like Ayahuasca in the way that you can have as much of it as you want and it allows you the option of going deeper. You feel in control at all times.

I was in a magical, blissful place for approximately 9 hours. The musicians sang their songs and strummed their guitar for 9 hours, if not more. It felt so safe and magical – like Neverland. Inside the Maloca was smoke, incense and magic. The energy was palpable. You literaly felt a healing energy going into the maloca – it felt thick like moving through water.

I watched Angela get healing done by the Shaman. He gently beat her back with a brush of sage of something like sage, and chanting. Angela kept burping. Burping non-stop during the healing.

It was around 8 o’clock when people started to come around and realize they haven’t eaten anything since breakfast. I missed lunch completely because I was in bliss. I didn’t want it to end. Going to lunch meant going back to reality and I wanted to hang on to the bliss for as long as possible.

I could no longer ignore my stomach at 8 o’clock. I was sitting on my mat talking to Nicole and Cheryl about none other than Grandma Spider.

Me – “I think we should eat dinner.”

Them – “Hmmm that sounds like a good idea.”

20 minutes went by.

Me – “We still haven’t left for dinner yet.”

Them – “Ha ha, no we haven’t.”

We had no concept of time.

We finally left for dinner. We sat at the little table in the outdoor restaurant and laughed our heads off. We were being so silly. We talked about the most absurd things, but it all made sense to us.

Cheryl – “Nicole, I thought I saw you today out in the field by yourself without a shirt on and it looked like you were throwing stuff.”

Me – “What were you throwing? Were you ripping up clumps of dirt and grass and violently chucking them at nothing?”

Nicole – “Nope, wasn’t me. I was too busy having cosmic orgasm and giving birth to myself.”

We laughed and laughed for hours over this.

Someone – “Can you imagine if someone walked by and heard us? They’d think we were all nuts.”

Laura received a message from Grandmother Spider to tell Nicole to go to the birthing stones and wait there for Grandma Spider to come to her.

Laura – “Lay down here on these stones like you’re giving birth.”

Nicole – “Okay.”

Laura – “Are you wearing underwear?”

Nicole – “Why?”

Laura – “You need to take your pants off.”

Nicole – “Whoa there Laura, I’m not taking my pants off.”

Laura – “You should take them off. You’re going to give birth.”

Nicole left her pants on, but laid on the stones and waited for Grandmother Spider. She waited and waited until finally, the Spider appeared.

Nicole was to give birth to herself. She said it was the most amazing experience of her life. She was reborn.

It blows my mind that three people saw Grandma Spider – Will had no idea she came to Laura and Nicole, so his experience was separate. It was from the Yopo. Yopo makes you see crazy shit.

I didn’t see any spiders. I didn’t see anything unusual. But when I looked at an insect, like an ant crawling around on my arm, I stared at it wondering what it was doing and where it was going. He went around in circles on my arm. I put my eye right up to the ant and stared at its tiny little head.

And that was my day Four experience with Yopo.

Day Five

August 7, 2012

Nicole – “What day is it? How long have we been here?”

Me – “I have no idea. My journal knows. It has infinite knowledge.”

By day five, nobody was sure how long we were at the resort. We had no clue what the date was. All we knew was that it was another Ayahuasca day. Daytime Ayahuasca starting at 2:30 in the afternoon.

It was also another Kembo day. It’s supposed to be done three times during a moon cycle. I was all set with doing it again, once was enough for me.

I was journaling outside on the patio with Nicole when Bill tromped by us heading for the Maloca.

Me – “Hey Bill, you headed down to do Kembo?”

Bill – “No, I’m going down there to talk to a tree and see what my wife is doing. I think she’s singing to some flowers and drawing a picture.”

He was completely serious.

2:30 came and we went down to the Maloca to lie on our mats and wait for the ceremony to begin. My goal this time was to see sacred geometry. When under the influence of Aya, people are able to see sacred geometric patterns in all of nature. I wanted to see them. I wanted to see them bad. I wanted to see them so badly that Aya wouldn’t let me.

I taken one cup, then two. The day went by in fast forward, like watching the day in time lapse. I saw no patterns, but waited outside next to the vomitorium just in case they showed up.

The Aya was strong that second day. I purged once and sat on a fallen log.

It was that broken log facing the vomitorium. I sat there for a long time. I was too tired to do anything. I couldn’t focus, could barely walk. People started walking around and talking near me – we were all out of it. I felt I had no energy to ask Aya questions, I was too tired to drink more and I didn’t want to puke again. The log felt safe and secure, like it cradled me. I flopped my whole body on top of it and gave it a hug.

Me – “I love this log.”

Laura – “Ha ha, yes it looks like a good log. I like your log.”

Everyone was giggling over my love for the log. Then I rolled off of it and onto the dirt, where I remained for the next hour or two. I was awake, but couldn’t move. The ground felt heavy beneath me, like it was far and near, warm and alive. I heard people stepping over me to vomit over the edge. My body felt weighted down with thoughts. It got dark out. I was still lying in the same position face down in the dirt.

There was no negativity to what I was feeling. I felt drugged up. Simply put, I was drugged up and never felt that way before (not for Yopo or the first Aya journey). It was my first time feeling that kind of trip. During the first Aya experience, most everyone was laying down with their eyes closed – I didn’t want to do that during my first trip. I wanted to stay lucid and present. Closing my eyes meant visions, and I was scared to see visions.

This time around, I wasn’t scared to close my eyes and drift. So I let it happen, but couldn’t open them back up. I tried, but they were only slits. I laid on the ground with my hair in my face, my eyes open to slits and my mind trying to comprehend what it was seeing.

I heard people sitting by the fire a mere few feet away. They were talking and seemed coherent. I wondered how it was possible for them to do that, to talk.

‘Think clear Mel. Come on, you can do it. Think light and clear. Think awareness. Think enlightenment.’

And then as quickly as I had dropped from the log, I popped up back onto it.

Brian – “She’s back.”

Me – “I’m back.”

Cheryl – “Glad to have you back.”

Me – “Thanks, it’s good to be back.”

I had once again crossed the bridge into enlightenment. My thoughts slowed and became controlled, I was again one with the universe.

Simon – “You look really good. You look clear.”

Me – “Thanks, I feel really good. I feel clear.”

People sensed my awakening just by viewing me. But I still didn’t want to ask Aya anymore questions, I felt lazy and wanted to talk to people instead. I spent most of the night chatting with others. Cheryl told me that she wasn’t allowed to go any deeper into awareness because she hasn’t suffered enough.

Cheryl – “According to Aya, I still need more suffering to do.”

Me – “Wow, she told me the same exact thing! That’s amazing. This whole thing is amazing. It’s like looking into the Matrix. It’s just like the Matrix.”

Day 6

August 8, 2012

I didn’t write anything in my journal for this day, but I remember the day very vividly. It was the day of the Inipi, sweat lodge ceremony.

I wasn’t scared about the sweat lodge. I figured after doing Kembo and Ayahuasca, the sweat lodge would be a nice treat. Holy shit I was wrong. Oh Lord how I was wrong.

The men went in first. They all piled into a little round dome hut covered over with blankets, a hole in the center for the red hot stones to be placed.

Will oversaw this ceremony as he did with the Kembo. He has expert knowledge about many things. He told the story of rebirth. When you are scared, you cling to your mother – she’ll protect you. The inipi is your mother, she carries you inside her womb – you must trust her. He told us we had no choice but to trust that the heat won’t harm us. If we were frightened, the heat would literaly burn our flesh. If we didn’t fight the heat, it would absorb into our muscles and bones.

The men went first. For a half hour they sat in there chanting and singing together. Every five minutes or so, people waiting on the outside would listen for the call to open the flaps and let in air. I think the word was “Kayetay!” That word is seared in my memory as relief.

The men came out of the hut buck naked, drenched in sweat. They warned the women of the heat.

Brian – “That’s hot. The hottest I’ve ever experienced.”

That’s when I became a bit worried.

We got down on all fours and crawled in the small opening. It was a tight squeeze. Will and Catalina sat in the center to glide the hot stones one by one from outside into the pit using deer antlers for tongs. Will started telling the same story he told the men. Then the flap closed.

I’ve never experienced claustrophobia before. I never knew what it felt like, but now I do. As soon as the flaps shut, it was complete darkness. I couldn’t see the glow from the hot stones because Catalina was blocking my view. And it was hot, REALLY hot. The steam is what killed me. Will chanted and threw water over the stones every few seconds – the steam was baking my flesh.

‘Trust it Mel, trust. Trust trust trust – AHH oh shit AHHH it burns!’

I tried. I gave it my best effort to trust the heat, but it still burnt my skin. I wanted to cry. I felt the terror welling up and my mouth holding in a scream. ANY physical contact from the people sitting next to me, will burn me. Including hair. I couldn’t breathe. It was impossible for me to breathe. I put my face to the dirt and inhaled, which helped a lot. I also rubbed dirt all over my arms and legs to stop the steam from penetrating the skin.

The woman sitting next to me, Cheryl, started freaking out before I did. She was crying hysterically and I felt so bad for her – I wanted to tell Will to let her out.

“Kayetay!”

Cheryl hopped up as fast as she could and stormed out.

Cheryl – “I have to leave.”

Will – “No you don’t!”

But she was gone.

Will – “See, people get scared. They have not conquered their fight or flight response. The brain stem tells them to flee, so they flee.”

My brain stem….

My brain stem is boiling in my brain!

The flaps shut and it started again. Searing my flesh, “Ohh hothothothothot.” I was supposed to sing. I could barely breathe, but I tried to sing. I felt moisture dripping off me – droplets dangling at the end of my nose, sweat leaching into my eyes. I had my tank top bunched up in my hand, I tried wetting my tank top with my sweat, and then holding it up to my nose to breathe through – it helped immensely.

“Kayatay!”

Another woman wanted to leave.

Will – “No, I’m sorry, you can’t.”

Will was blocking her exit. He sat naked, cross-legged in front of the door flaps. She was still seated, unable to move until he did.

Angela – “No, I HAVE to leave. NOW!”

Will – “That’s not possible. You’re staying.”

This went back and forth for a while.

She’s an Italian from Brooklyn and is able to get her way without backing down – I envied her for that. Will didn’t budge, but she found a way around him.

Then my roommate, Nicole, shot up and left. She mostly left out of spite cause Will was being a dick, but she did get burned pretty bad. She was very close to the pit and didn’t even have room to put her head close to the dirt.

Will – “That always happens, once one leaves, they all want to leave.”

The flaps closed and we continued. I got an image of hell in my head. Devil with his horns and beating a drum, flames engulfing me. The image was powerful, but I still stayed.

“Kayatay!”

I had the best seat in the inipi. I sat next to the door flaps so I could be the first person the cold air hits when they opened. I hate to admit that it was on purpose. I hung back while everyone went in front of me. The first one in the hut would have to stand the heat a few seconds longer than the last, and the last one in can easily get out. I wanted an easy exit. I didn’t care about getting air from the door flaps, I just wanted an exit.

The only reason I stayed for the whole torture was because I could easily get out.

After the inipi, the girls became jaded about Will being mean to Cheryl. Angela was fine and can take care of herself, but poor Cheryl started crying when we were all out of the inipi.

Me – “Oh Cheryl don’t cry over him, really? Come on now, it’s not worth it.”

I felt so protective of her. And she really did get burnt – on her arms, her legs…I thought I was burning while I was in there, but when I came out, I didn’t have a mark on me. I was red, but it went away after a few minutes. In all honesty, I don’t regret doing it and I’m really glad I stuck it out. And who know’s, maybe there really is something to it.

And that was our last full day there. Sometime during the week, we did a traditional Lakoda Indian tribal dance. It was pretty cool. Other than that, I listed most of what happened. If it’s not listed, it’s not worth writing about. Either that or I’m sick of writing this stinkin’ post. It’s been going on for days already and I just want it done.

It did it’s purpose of taking me back to Colombia. I got to relive my enlightenment by writing about it.

Okay, now this is crazy, but last night I had an Ayahuasca flashback. I was sleeping and woke up in my bed, turned my head toward my wall and there I saw a huge slithering snake crawling on my wall inches from my head. I jumped up and snapped on the light – gone.

I went to the bathroom and crawled back in bed and started reading the Bhagavad-gita. Dave bought it for me a few years ago for $5. Some guy was selling them at a concert and this was the first time for me reading it.

My enlightenment is very similar, if not the same, to the Bhagavad-gita. What they say in the book, about unmaterialized worlds, layers of awakening, ultimate truth, ego, illusions, giving, strength, growth, earth is fantasy – a shadow of reality. It’s all there in the book, what I experienced.

I guess I’m a Hindu now. It’s strange because I wanted so badly to believe in Catholocism, or Christianity but found it impossible to do – have faith? Faith in what exactly? The Bhagavad-gita doesn’t tell you to have faith, but to see the facts. To see what’s plainly in front of you, but you’re not awake to see. There is no faith, only Kharma.

Anyway, I want to read this dammed thing. It’s about 1000 pages, so I better get cracking.

Even if I sustain my enlightenment, what the hell am I supposed to do with it? What’s the point of it? Nobody wants to hear about it, and I don’t see the point in thinking about it.

Elightenment is not the world we see. We accept the world we are given as truth. When we sleep, we adapt to that dream world however crazy it may be and accept it as truth. Of course if you have lucid dreams, you know you’re asleep and now possess the power of manipulating what you dream.

Maybe that’s the point in learning about enlightenment – to become lucid. If we’re lucid, we can control our lives more. We can choose to end our suffering. We can find the strength it takes in letting go.

I don’t know. I need to publish this stinkin’ post already, it’s way too long.

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Slurring my Days

ayahuasca

ayahuasca (Photo credit: Christoph Zurbuchen)

This has been a long two weeks.  I was enchanted during much of it.  I don’t know what today is, don’t know how many days it’s been since I got back from Colombia.  I’ve kept my head low, working a few hours each day and then drinking for the rest of them.

Yesterday was my first ayahuasca flash back experience.  I taken a nap during the day before my new friend Amy came to pick me up for a night of wonderous binge drinking.

It was during my nap where I experienced the full-fledged Colombian flashback.  I dreamt I was still there in that drafty bungalow, my two older roommates asleep downstairs making me feel safe and loved – making me feel bonded to them for life from our shared ayahuasca dreams.

When I awoke in my bedroom, I had no idea where I was.  I couldn’t recognize my own bedroom.  I looked around completely puzzled about my whereabouts.  A video game sat paused on my tv screen accompanied by its weird psychedelic background music.  I stared at it puzzled, not understanding what it was.  It was like I was being born all over again and looking at everything for the first time.  Then Amy texted me.  I read the text and started coming down off the trip.

“This is my bedroom.  I’m back home.”

I didn’t want to be back home.

Amy came to get me and she boozed me up real nice.  I taken her to happy Tuesday and she met the old perverted men and Dave.  I was exhausted, drunk, and had no idea what was happening around me.  One minute I was singing a drunken limerick, and in the next I found myself sitting passenger in my friend Lisa’s car taking me back to Cheshire.  I was being taken to have yet another discussion with an ex-friend who disowned me and now wants to talk again.

Lisa and Steph drove all the way to Jersy Joe’s to get me and make this night happen.  I appreciate them caring and even love them for it, but I was a rag doll.  It reminded me of my first ayahuasca experience of allowing myself to relax and surrender to the spirit inside the medicine.

Ralph – “If you trust her, ayahuasca, and you surrender to her, she will take care of you.”

I surrendered myself to the moment.  I let those girls pick me up and sit me down in front of the disowning friend.  Lamb going to slaughter.

I had made up my mind to give up and stop caring about my friends ditching me.  They have huge issues with me and I don’t want to change who I am to conform to what they want me to be, which is a huge ass kissing submissive loser – um, no thanks.

It was a weird long night.

One of my arguments was about me not being invited out to see Becca, Delilah and Becky anymore – I haven’t seen them in five or so years and would like to some day be able to see them again.  My disowning friend told me no, not just no, but a huge blatant NO!, arguing to me that they’re not my friends.  They’re not my friends even though I used to see them all the time, went to Delilah’s wedding, been over to all their houses, but, no, now I’m not allowed to see them anymore.

Disowning friend – “I’m going to see them on the 18th and if none of this was going on, I would have invited you.”

She is so full of shit!  She told me I was not invited – will never be invited and to stop asking.  The only reason she brought it up that she was seeing them was to hurt me and rub it in my face.  It’s monstrous and mean.

She also lied that she never told me that I needed to apologize to K, and that she never said I did things to annoy and frustrate my travel companions in Nepal.  She was lying most of the night, trying to make me look like the bad guy – fuck it is what I say.  I honestly don’t care anymore.  Either I’m finally above it, or I lost interest.  I don’t know which.

And K, the girl who made my life miserable in Nepal, I’m not positive, but pretty damn sure she left me a comment on my Nepal post.  You can read it here.  It sounds like her words and she picked a screen name that sounds like it could be her.  It’s passive aggressive and annoying for her to write a stinkin’ anonymous comment like that.  I know I sound like a dreadful bitch right now, but I put up with way too much shit to always be the forgiving nice one – I’m sick of being nice!  K will never apologize, never say she’s sorry for putting me through hell – in her own eyes she’s perfect and did nothing wrong.  She’s a narcissist of the worst kind.  You can read my reply to her comment here.

I’m done with being everyone’s chew toy.

I’m super tired.  I just got off the phone with Matt, who is stressing me out big time.  I don’t feel like writing about it, it’s a whole separate issue.  I got lots of shit going on and I just want to sleep and run away.

Amy, this girl I just met three days ago invited me to stay with her at her cabin in the woods for four days in VT.  She’s a friend of a friend that asked our mutual for my number.  It’s moving really fast.  I hung out with her for only two days and already she’s given me total access to her secluded cabin in the woods.  Should I be worried?  Yes, maybe a little.  Why do I always end up doing scary things?

I still need to write about Colombia.  It was amazing and awesome and very few people will understand it.  You have to be really open-minded and non-judgmental when reading it.  It’s a personal journey that should be private, but my life is anything but.

Last night I was sitting at a table with Steph, Lisa and the ex-friend.

I rub my head while mumbling – “I wish everyone will stop reading my blog.”

All three of them – “Then stop writing in it!”

I’m not sure if this blog is my saviour or my sin.  People read it and rip it open seam to seam and gnaw at its’ insides, taking every word personal, cannibalizing my journal into their own little personal black box of malcontent.  It’s not meant for them, it’s meant for me.

I’m so freaking tired.  It’s been a long few weeks.  Amy’s cottage sounds very appealing.

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I made a video :)

I’m being lazy. Well no, not lazy, just busy with too much stuff to do. I want to play video games, I want to draw and paint, I want to massage the 20 clients that bought massage vouchers from me and I want to go out and drink with my friends I left behind while I went on the most amazing, insane adventure of my life.

I want to do all that, so writing about my trip at the moment is a no go. I did however make a music video while I was waiting for my plane at the airport. I don’t want to watch it. When I watch it I get unbelievably sad that it’s over and I’ll probably never see these people again. I fell in love with all of them. I fell in love with these people and fell in love with Ayahuasca.

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When life throws you lemons, wet the bed!

Rambo: First Blood Part II

Rambo: First Blood Part II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dave invited his old friend from high school to hang out with us last Tuesday.  She’s married to a man who doesn’t let her go anywhere or do anything, and it’s up to her to stay at home watching the kids.  Her life sounds exactly like the one I’m desperately avoiding.

She snuck away for a few hours and met Dave and I at Jersey Joe’s.  And in those precious hours at Jersey Joe’s, she confessed that it was the most fun she ever had in her life.

Dave said to me – “Isn’t it crazy she said that?  We do this shit everyday and she said it was the best time of her life?”

Me – “I feel like we take our lives for granted.”

I haven’t blogged in a while.  I’ve been going out and playing video games, sleeping a good solid twelve hours each night (well, almost each night).

I had insomnia a few days ago.  I kept thinking about my upcoming trip to Columbia and how real the trip is starting to feel with each passing hour.  I have only hours left!  In the beginning it was only a vision, an idea – a cool experience to have.  But now the due date is approaching and it’s starting to feel so real that it’s unworldly and unfathomable for me to go.

These past few days I would experience large gaps of time through-out the day where I would forget I was going to Columbia.  But as soon as I remembered, that’s when I felt ice-cold spear-heads splintering into my chest cavity.  I’m not sure if other people have this problem, but whenever there is something in my future approaching that makes me scared shitless, I get jabs of icy shocks in my heart.

It happens when I quit jobs or dump boys – this is the first time I’m feeling it for a trip, though.

So anyway, I lied awake in bed thinking about Columbia and feeling jets of ice pulsing in and out of my ventricles.

“I’m going to be in the Amazon jungle soon, high as a kite from shamanic medicine.  Is this dangerous?  Will I die?”

Then I’d go on YouTube to watch other people’s experiences on similar shamanic retreats and calm myself down.

How tough am I?  I mean really?  This past week I’ve been sizing myself up, assessing my physical endurance and strength.  But when I make a muscle in my bicep, it feels soft.  My wrists are thin and dainty.  My feet flat and my spine crooked.  I’m in no shape to go Rambo if need be.  Did Rambo take place in Columbia?

The only thing that put my heart at ease was my friends telling me I’m going to have the time of my life.  It’s an experience of a lifetime and if I’m brave enough to do it, I should do it and I’ll most likely love it.

I hate hearing negativity from people.  I hate hearing that I’m crazy and it’s a bad idea and that I should stay home – I don’t want all that on my mind when I’m tripping out.  Everyone has been really supportive of me going except for one of my ex-friends who is hell-bent on continuing to make my life miserable.  She went behind my back and talked to my brother about my trip telling him how dangerous it is.  She know’s nothing about Columbia, she’s never been there, and I’m guessing she doesn’t know anyone that ever been there.  She know’s nothing about this trip, but decided to take it upon herself to make my brother believe that I’m going there to die.

My poor brother who wasn’t worried before, now suddenly had the urge to call me up in a panick and try to talk me out of going.  He wanted to take the little money he had saved and give it to me to compensate for my loss.

I was a nervous wreck before he called, so this was the last thing I wanted to hear.  She’s also telling my parents that I’m going to Columbia.  They think I’m going to Florida to visit a friend.  I know the truth would literally kill them, and she know’s that too, but she doesn’t care.

Just when I think her vengeance can’t reach any further, she takes it up a notch.  She also told my brother that I’m not talking to her – ME not talking to HER!  She hasn’t bothered calling me for months and now all of a sudden it’s me – again, as always, it’s me who refuses to speak to her and I’m the one being the indignant prick.  I’m so done with this nonsense – I’m above it and don’t need it in my life.

Well, I’m not kissing anyone’s ass ever again that’s for sure.  That goes for everyone – not just bosses and intolerant bitchy clients.  I’m actually learning to stick up for myself.  Fuck the world.  I have all that I need and will ever need.  And that is belief in one’s own self.

I’m too tired and stressed to write about this anymore.

I was in such a good mood yesterday because my little massage business is rocking out and Groupon contacted me wanting to add me to their featured listings.

I went against everyone telling me not to start my own business (even my own mother), to feeling like I could never go back to what I was doing before.  Waiting tables?  Working a register?  I will never go back.  Not ever.  I will never rely on any job or any boss ever again.  I will never kiss anyone’s ass for as long as I shall live lord hear my prayer.

I’m in love with my business – absolutely in love.  Everything about it I love.  But I always get a euphoric high when starting a new job, so I hope this isn’t the case.  Something tells me it’s not.

My client gave me $100 today for a one-hour massage.  Can you believe that?  $100!  After he left, I cranked open a window in my office and listened to the rain outside and the muffled music from the nearby restaurant – smells of food wafted in drenching my mouth in drool.  I sat down on the stool in front of my makeshift desk (tv tray with a tablecloth draped over it) where I keep my business phone and I set to work on recording a voicemail greeting.

I practiced a few times and gave it a go.  Nope, no good.  I gave it another try – still no.  This went on for 20 or 30 takes.  Speak, listen, delete, speak, listen, delete, speak, delete, speak, delete.  I finally accepted a greeting, hung up the phone, and seconds later my mother calls the business phone.

“What the fuck?”

She always calls.  Its unrelenting and extraordinary frustrating.  The shit she tells me has incalculable amounts of me wanting to punch something.  Well, she called my business phone, I pick up the receiver and hear dead silence.

Me – “Hello?  Hello hello?”

I pressed a bunch of buttons.

Me – “Hello?”

“Shit no, please oh god no.”

The call was gone.

I call her back quickly on my cell.  I’m immediately bombarded with questions.

Mom – “Where are you?  Why didn’t you answer the phone?  It’s raining, do you know how to work the defrost?”

I drank so much last night that I couldn’t drive home.  My friend had to give me a lift.  It was his fault anyway.  He kept buying me whipped cream vodka shots with baileys – they’re like little mudslide shots – so delicious.

So I was stuck driving my mom’s caddy today.

Me – “Yes mom I’ve driven a car before.”

Mom – “What about the wipers?”

Me – “YES, YES!”

Mom – “And what’s this about you going to Columbia?”

Shit she heard my voicemail.  She listened to the whole thing.  Shit shit think think!

Without missing a beat I say – “It sounds more interesting than telling people I’m going to Florida.  I figure this way when people call and hear I’ll be gone for a week, normally they will hang up and I’ll never hear from them again.  At least this way it sounds like I’m doing something very important and they’ll want to meet me and book an appointment just to hear about my trip.  It’s no big deal, I seen documentaries about it and read a lot of books.  I can wing it.”

My mom starts laughing!  I couldn’t believe my ears.  She not only bought it, but thought it was hilarious.  I never could tell what that woman finds amusing.  This one is definitely a shocker.

Me – “Ha ha, I try to make myself sound cool.”

After that humdinger, I text my ex-friend begging her not to tell my parents, but she didn’t listen.  She’s out to get me and won’t stop until I’m six feet under – which according to her, will be in the next few days.  The sad and horrible thing is, if I do manage to come back home alive and well, bursting with stories and wonderful experiences, she would resent me.  She would rather have me come back hurt and broken than for her to be wrong about this trip.  That’s how prideful she is.  Pride is a scary, powerful thing.  I don’t have much of it as you can plainly see.  I respect myself, but I’m not prideful.  She wishes ill will for me and doesn’t even know it.

That’s my life.

What else happened these past few weeks?  Nothing major.  Well, I did wet the bed one night.

Yeah that’s right – I wet the bed.  ME, Melanie, a 32-year-old beer guzzling adventure freak, wet her bed.

I came home drunk, tired from insomnia, and passed out cold for 12 hours straight.  It was towards the end of those twelve hours when I had the pee dream – you know the one, the one where you’re sitting on the toilet in your bathroom and a big friendly pit bull is wagging his nubby tail at you and nudging your leg trying to coax you into peeing?  Yeah, that dream.  It felt so good, but somehow wrong.  “Uhh, yeah, oh feels so good.  It feels good little doggie….Wait, why does this feel wrong?  And what’s with the dog?” I became aware of my dream and what was happening mid-stream.  I looked down at the dog and said to him, “Oh shit…”  I opened my eyes and felt for the damage.

I never wet the bed when I was a kid.  I never had to wear daipers to bed or be scared of sleeping over people’s houses.  No, I had to wait until I’m 32 and sound asleep on a memory foam mattress – One that absorbs EVERYTHING!

Hey, you wanted to know my life, so here it is.  How the hell did I get 60 followers with this nonsense?  Anyway, I probably won’t see you again until after I get back from  my “trip.”  I’ll journal everything, take pictures and video’s and capture the experience as best I can – just like I did for the Nepal post.  I don’t care what happens to me in Columbia, it’s not going to be nearly as bad as the hellish time I had in Nepal.

It’s the people you go with.  Going to new countries, to me, is awesome.  Adventure is awesome.  It’s the people you go with that can make or break your trip.

I’m going to go to the bathroom than go to bed.

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