I had done magic mushrooms before, capped my own chocolate mescaline and dropped acid a few times, so when my friend offered me some peyote buttons, I said, “Hell yes”. I didn’t know all that much about peyote and I had heard that it grew out of cow shit and that it came from Mexico. I was aware that the Aztecs dried the buttons and gave them to their warriors so they could become better fighters. I wasn’t all that wild about eating something that grew out of cow dung and I also heard that most people get sick and end up puking after eating them. My friend told me that the buttons grow on top of the peyote cactus, so I would not be eating something that sprung up from cow dung and this was more like eating the fruit of a plant.
Ed was sort of an expert on drugs and he said that it was more likely that these cactus plants sprung up after a heard of buffalo was grazing in the area. Indian tribes followed the buffalo and they started using these plants in their spiritual ceremonies to obtain pleasant feelings. They would eat the buttons inside of a tipi during a sweating ceremony where they would commune with the creator and try to live in harmony with the earth. Different tribes developed their own music using gourd rattles, drums and chanting and all of this purified their bodies. Peyote was also used to treat snakebites, burns, wounds, toothaches, fever, scorpion stings, and arrow wounds. Ed told me that if we each ate a little bit at a time, that would reduce the chance of either of us getting sick.
Ed said that the chocolate mescaline that he sold me was actually dried and ground up peyote buttons that were covered with chocolate powder to make them taste better by covering the bitter flavor, which I did not know. I always liked mescaline better than dropping acid, because I was never was able to talk when I was tripping on that stuff. We ate some buttons in Ed’s car as we drove up to the Poconos to go camping and after we consumed them Ed said that this was going to be fun and he popped the Doors album L.A. Woman into his cassette player. Ed repeated a famous line from Aldous Huxley where he once said, “The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never quite be the same as the man who went out.” I responded with, “Nothing is certain in life except man’s ability to fail” and I knew that we were well on our way to a deep philosophical discussion.
Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt of button.