Halloween and highness go together like cannabinoids and human brains, which occasionally interact in ways that add up to TERROR!!!, or at least light paranoia and fear. This is due to THC’s interaction with the amygdala, AKA the part of the brain that oversees emotional processing, which cannabinoids can effectively trick into sending out errant warnings of danger, leaving the brain’s owner to invent reasons to be afraid. It’s a kooky loop, and thankfully, it can be avoided—or at least lessened—in a variety of ways. (Play offense by choosing a strain noted for anti-anxiety properties, and if you need to play defense, help yourself out of a fear spiral with carefully deployed black pepper or CBD.) But enough about brains. In honor of Halloween and cannabis and the pleasures of watching other people live through nightmares, here is the fourth and final installment of Tales of Terrifying Highness: Morgan Rowe’s…
The Alien Invasion of Me
A goody two shoes in my younger days, I made it to 43 without ever getting high. But when recreational marijuana became legal in Seattle I realized how deeply I yearned to experience the euphoric laughter and Dorito binge-fests I’d seen so many people enjoy at parties and in sitcoms over the years.
My boyfriend, a regular user, took it upon himself to whip up a batch of hash brownies.
My boyfriend, a regular user, took it upon himself to whip up a batch of hash brownies, both of us secretly hoping that, if I enjoyed the ride, we might find a new way to connect, thus correcting the course of our relationship, which was swiftly headed for disaster.
Soon I was deliriously intoxicated. Everything, absolutely everything was wonderfully, gut-wrenchingly funny. All the stress and worries I’d EVER had slipped off of me like a silk shawl. The world, my boyfriend, our relationship were all joyfully brighter and I was having a blast, sure that life was going to be a-ok and wishing I hadn’t wasted so many years being good.
Remember that episode from the original Battlestar Galactica where the crew goes to the pleasure planet and everyone’s having a great time but then Starbuck gets on an elevator that refuses to take him where he wants to go?
Well, Starbuck aims to go up a floor to frolic amongst the ladies. Instead, the elevator takes him DOWNDOWNDOWN and forces him out in the basement, where the native ruling class is kidnapping humans, wrapping them, spider-like, in webs, and eating them alive.
Why do I bring this up? Because in a matter of seconds, I went from frolicking like Starbuck on the pleasure planet to realizing that I was at the mercy of a tiny but powerful alien in the process of devouring me.
In a matter of seconds, I went from frolicking on the pleasure planet to realizing I was at the mercy of a tiny but powerful alien in the process of devouring me.
The creature first appeared in my right arm, burrowing its way through my veins like a tiny square-shaped Pac-Man. Each centimeter that it traveled was transformed from a boring, thankless arterial roadway into a blisteringly vibrant space-age super highway of searing pain as if I was being set aflame by the propulsion thrusters of a small but powerful rocket ship.
I tried opening my eyes, but the kitchen lamp was now a solar death star. I reached out, then, with my voice, “I think we need to call somebody for help.”
My boyfriend, clearly still several floors above on the pleasure planet, only laughed.
I was yanked back into the fray by the alien who was now blasting its way through the walls of my heart. My consciousness was gagged and bound. Not since I’d had my wisdom teeth out 25 years earlier, had I felt so trapped and helpless. Having been physically sedated with laughing gas, I was still lucid when the dentist started that procedure and I was horror struck to discover, as a masked man declared his intention to cut my head open and remove my teeth, that I couldn’t even wiggle a finger, much less raise an arm and defend myself.
Now I was being attacked from the inside out, paralyzed as the alien probed and electrified each nerve ending, sinew, and drop of blood pulsing from one chamber of my heart to another. I was in agony. Pain and pressure intensified; it was only a matter of time before my heart would explode.
Just as I was on the brink of annihilation, the napoleonic alien left my heart and began to march upward, giving me just enough wherewithal to squeak, “help must be called…”.
By the time the paramedics arrived, my captor had stormed the castle of my consciousness and was lighting fuses on each synapse of my brain.
By the time the paramedics arrived, my captor had stormed the castle of my consciousness and was lighting fuses on each synapse of my brain. Detonation was imminent.
I was surprised to discover that I was not Starbuck, who triumphed in the end, but rather the poor nameless sucker at the top of the episode lured to her death by the promise of unbridled pleasure, giddiness, and guilt-free Doritos.
The first responders were not impressed. The nonchalance of their actions belied any understanding that they were about to witness the first instance of spontaneous human combustion, though they were willing to take me to the emergency room “if you really want to go”.
Perhaps these paramedics were really cylons?
“If you can guarantee me that my head isn’t going to explode and my heart isn’t going to explode, I guess I’ll stay where I am.”
I could feel the roll of one guy’s eyes through the darkness of my still too bright house when he assured me “that nothing. is going. to explode.”
I took a chance, decided to stay put, and consigned myself into the web of my lilliputian lord and master who soon exited my brain and began retracing his steps, a journey he repeated several times before the night was out. With each transit through my head the intensity of his presence faded just a bit, until I was once again alone, myself.
When the paramedics disbanded, one older gent, who’d kneeled quietly by my side for the duration of their aborted rescue mission, leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Enjoy yourself, you’re going to have a great time!” And he was right. The walls came down between my boyfriend and myself, and for one glorious night we completely got each other.
Turns out I was Starbuck after all and rather than being harvested by aliens and disappearing for good, my alien captor gave me a new understanding of being alive. He literally set every nerve in my being aflame and when the pain and fear faded, I realized that my body was my very own pleasure planet. In the end, I kept the brownies and ditched the boyfriend. A very happy ending, in my book.