Would you like a smoke?
Random backpacker dude passed the joint to me and I looked suspiciously at it. I dunno I said warily, It smells potentially lethal. He shrugged, assuring me that it was pretty mild. Barely stronger than a cigarette, really. I sniffed it uncertainly, and was suddenly overcome with the desire to block out all the woes of Amsterdam. I realise that this was a little hypocritical, given that one of my woes was that everyone just seems to sit around getting stoned all day, but hey – if you can’t beat ’em…
It was great, initially. I suddenly thought that these guys were the wittiest, most entertaining people I’d ever met. We laughed and laughed and laughed, and everything was now great fun. Until I stood up, at which point I realised that the room had been transported in space and time, and was now hovering dangerously on a magical flying carpet over an undefinable space-agey mass of land. Interesting.
Trying to appear cool and in control, I said my goodbyes and headed upstairs to the dorm. The dorm is on the third floor, which hasn’t caused me any problems to date other than a bit of sweating when lugging my bags up the stairs, but last night the stairs multiplied most unexpectedly. Seriously – they went on, and on, and on. And with every step, my ears behaved more and more strangely. They weren’t flapping around or anything (although, who knows?), but they popped and started to buzz quite alarmingly. Sounds started to fade into the distance.
As I entered the dorm, I became horribly aware of my own breathing. It sounded so distant, and my warped reasoning caused me to fear that if I could still hear it from so far away, it must be really, really loud to everyone else. I tried to hold my breath as I walked to my bed. I failed, and suddenly worried that I might pass out.
The next issue, of course, was the fact that I was sleeping on a top bunk – and the bunk beds don’t have steps, in hostels. You just have to sort of… haul yourself up. I contemplated my bunk for quite some time, worrying about all the disastrous possibilities that hadn’t been nearly apparent enough to me the night before. Most distressing was the presence of three girls playing cards on the floor at the foot of the bed. If my attempt to ascend failed spectacularly, they would all see.
I don’t know how I eventually got into bed. All I know is that as soon as I was there, I became as thirsty as someone who’d been trekking in the desert. Getting up and going back downstairs in search of water was out of the question, so I found a TicTac in my pocket and made do with that. I closed my eyes. That’s when it started: my body was suddenly being pushed and pulled in all directions. But by magnets. For a few minutes, magnets on the walls pulled my limbs in opposite directions, before suddenly switching sides, so that my left arm was being pulled through my body to my right side, and vice versa. This can’t be normal, I thought to myself, struggling against the forces. Wham! replied the invisible magnets, changing position so that they were on my mattress, trying to suck me inside.
Ten minutes later, and I was flying. Really flying. I’d always thought it would be great to be able to fly: liberating, exciting, exhilarating. It was not. It was most disconcerting. Mainly because I couldn’t seem to open my eyes or move my limbs to check where I was flying. What if I accidentally flew out the window? I could hear the girls at the foot of the bed, talking in Spanish, and I was interested to note that I could now understand them perfectly. I suddenly had the gift of understanding foreign languages, and I knew that they were talking about me as I flew around the room. Discussing my ability to fly. Envious of my talent.
I woke up twelve hours later, with an extremely severe headache. I really don’t think you could get dope like that when I was a student in the UK, you know. I’m staying well away from it from now on…