Everyday Magic

by Willow L (United States of America)

Making a local connection USA


Breath held, he paused, lowering his voice to a whisper. "Do you mean ... magic chocolate?" I smiled. Across the granite checkout counter where I waited to purchase a silicone confectionary tray, I nodded in affirmation. Minutes ago, the gentleman in the apron offered polite conversation while scanning the barcode between us; "what are you putting in those chocolates?" I took a breath, pondering how much I was willing to divulge, in public, to this passing, temporary conversation. Did I have enough social eptitude to navigate an unpredictable conversation today? I exhaled. I return his smile. "I am putting psilocybin in these chocolates," I say simply. Yes. Over his thick spectacles, his eyes widened, newly formed wrinkles joining the many earned across his face, his white hair a tribute to his age. He elbowed the only other clerk beside him, quietly sharing the news with a cheeky grin--"she makes magic chocolates." She pauses her counter-wiping. They take a clear look at me. Enough to discern me in a line-up, I muse to myself. I take another breath. Still, and smiling, I gaze back. Our new friend gingerly accepts the invitation. "What's that like?" I smile, appreciating the innocent interest in the subject. "What would you like to know?" I offer. The next few moments float by, our curiosity and adrenaline charged by serendipity laced with discernment. Enraptured, the questions continue: how does this compare to LSD? What else have you tried? Have you heard about Ayahuasca? Have you ever had bad trips? I offer as much as I can by personal anecdote, noting additional resources on the web. I explain how I choose complementary ingredients, the process of grinding and weighing dried mushrooms, and why I’m involved. "I go through depression and I’m scared anti-depressants will leave me worse off, so I’m experimenting with plants. Mushrooms help me feel empathy and compassion. Interacting with people becomes easier when my anxieties and insecurities are suspended for a moment.” There is a pause as everything sinks in--including the reality of chatting about the big, bad world of drugs in a shopping square. I ask what their experiences and opinions are. Her eyes dart around the store, assessing the degree of privacy offered at her workplace. With a pause, she tepidly meets my openness with the same. "I've tried coke, and weed, but I didn't feel much. I'm .. interested; I know a friend who says he's gotten really good experiences from mushrooms, but I'm never the one to buy this stuff. I only do them when certain friends have them, friends I trust, in a place that feels safe. I've never tried mushrooms." He giggles at the news of this colleague, "you've tried coke?" She sighs, embarrassed. “It was one time.” I grin at the new conversations that might happen between them during quiet, vacant shifts in the store. A gentle chime sounds, cueing us to the opening of the front door, a new visitor to the space. Acutely aware of the shift, she inches away from our impromptu council, placing her hand near mine. "I'll give you my number. If you have enough for a full experience for me and some friends, I'll buy some," she says confidently. I'm flattered. I’m touched. "I was gifted a small amount to work with,” I explain, “so I don’t have extra right now." I appreciated her sincerity, her trust. I admired her curiosity. I added, "I’m looking forward to seeing this on ballots and in public discussions. People can safely experiment with things they want to experiment with without resorting to untested and potentially hazardous avenues.” I pause for a lighter note. “I really enjoyed talking with you today! I think this should happen more often." I bow my head in gratitude, and turn to drift towards the door. The old gentleman calls, "come visit us again, I'd like to hear how your experiments go!" I wink, floating off, Sur-La-Table bag in tow.