And then it just stopped. All was dark, calm, and silent. I floated through space, and found pure consciousness. I discovered the essence of life itself. I held the enormity of existence in a series of visions that were mosaics of what had been before, and what was yet to come. I kept reminding myself to breathe — if only to remind myself that I was still actually breathing.
My body, already numb besides my disembodied head, ceased to exist. My skull opened up, and my actual brain projected out onto a landscape. I saw mountains, gardens, forests, oceans, beaches, hills, meadows, rock formations, and deserts. And every time I refreshed, I noticed something peculiar: One area — roughly 10–15% of the total land area of my brain itself — would grey out. Leaves would wilt. Trees turned to stone. Grass turned to ash. “No, no, no,” I pleaded in my mind. “No!”
Yet even then I had a charming sense of humor, often saying, “What’s that shadowy place over there?” like young Simba in The Lion King, looking out over Hyena-Land, or whatever they call that particular city-state in the Pride Rock kingdom.
For the first time, I saw my brain for what it was and is: the creator, the container and the controller. All of the travel — through time, space, reality, dimensions — and I realized I’d never gone anywhere. It all existed in my mind. I am the Wizard, the man behind the curtain, the curtain designer, and Emerald City itself.
It was insane, and jaw-dropping in sheer volume. What I’m telling you is barely 1% of what I saw. It felt like it’d lasted forever, and then it was — mercifully, graciously — over.
“Hey John,” the nurse said, “Your blood pressure shot way up, so we had to dial it back today. You still got the full 175, but we had to throttle down and make it last an extra 20 minutes.”
I hadn’t the wherewithal to form a response.
“Just don’t drink any coffee or take any Adderall next time. You’ll be fine.”
“Okay,” I said, as my head spun and did backflips between dimensions.
I rode home in an Uber with a man who reminded me of one of the dude-bros from Party Down South — the Confederate Jersey Shore — who wouldn’t leave me the fuck alone. I damn near hopped out. I just wanted to — and, 30 minutes later, went to — sleep.
When I awoke, my mind felt like it had been doused in jet fuel and set ablaze. It danced, sparked, crackled, and roared… and when I would rub my head, my fingers would leave what felt like a vapor trail. I was perplexed: “It was so perfect before. Please, please, please don’t end like this.”
Thankfully, there was one final journey on my mission. I needed to stick the landing in the worst possible way.