A Journal of My Company Ayahuasca Retreat

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HR said we should keep a journal of our ayahuasca retreat experience this weekend. This is my journal.

Saturday, 3:16 pm

Super awesome that my CEO Robert decided to take our whole company, BubbleApp, on this ayahuasca retreat. Robert’s catch phrase is “personal growth for everyone!” That’s why we have free life coaching, paid time off for poetry readings, and yearly self-development retreats. So, they bussed us out to this oceanside retreat with these huts and South American shamans. This place is cool.

Saturday, 4:48 pm

Robert just gave a speech about how this retreat will bring our team together. He went on for like an hour about the importance of fusing ancient, tribal wisdom with cloud-based, responsive mobile technology. Typical Robert stuff. I caught our CTO, Dani, rolling her eyes. She’s pretty skeptical about Robert’s obsessions. I am too, I guess, but I like the free trips we get out of them. 

Saturday, 6:28 pm

Our head Shaman, Yachak, boiled vines and leaves, together with the chacruna plant, into this gross-looking brown tea. Yachak says we’re taking part in something sacred and profound. I drank the tea, and that shit was nasty!

Saturday, 7:40 pm

I’m tripping for sure right now. Everything is blurry. I feel like I have the flu and Mike Tyson punched me in the head. One of the shamans put his hand on my shoulder and chanted, then I puked. He says that’s me puking the toxins right out. Truth be told, I was putting up with this retreat because the location is great, but now, not so much. I feel horrible!

Saturday, 9:51 pm

The shamans have been leading us in a drone chant for like two hours! Everyone is puking.

Saturday, 10:58 pm

Still chanting. Still puking. Also, something has been bothering me. This hut isn’t that nice. I thought it would be like a cozy cottage, kind of like resort hotels do where they make something look rustic on the outside but then it’s really nice on the inside. But no, just a regular stick hut filled with blankets. Kind of disappointing, honestly.

Saturday 11:20 pm

Stuff is happening. Katherine, one of our coders, started performing a pantomimed jazz concert. She’s playing nice instruments at once. They are made out of an indestructible turquoise glass.

Saturday, 11:21 pm

David, our head beta tester, is angry that the others are ignoring him and refusing to acknowledge the arrival and supremacy of our new hyper-intelligent insectoid overlords. David can be really annoying. Not so surprising that he thinks we’re ruled by bugs. That’s how beta testers think. I wanted to say something, but all I could do was puke.

Saturday, 11:22 pm

Dani started acting really paranoid. Then she was screaming at everyone. She was saying, “Robert is a fraud and doesn’t have our best interests at heart!” and “Robert is a robotic replica!” and stuff like that. Then Dani puked and ran screaming from the hut. One of the shamans ran after her. Then Robert ran after the shaman, puking. Good luck catching Dani, guys—she does CrossFit!

Saturday, 11:23 pm

Flux, our User Interface specialist, leaned into my ear and whispered that he doesn’t work more than 15 minutes per day. He said, “Our user interface is a bunch of random colored bubbles, so there’s basically nothing for me to do. I mostly sit in my work pod and watch nature documentaries.” Then he broke into tears and told me that he is a bastard son of Wolfgang Puck. Then he puked. Then David puked. I puked as well.

Saturday, 11:24 pm

Ruby, our sys admin, is passed out on her stomach, making a gurgling sound. A shaman is trying to turn her over, and I heard him mumble, “If this turns into another lawsuit, Yachak will take the fall.”

Saturday 11:45 pm

Robert came back, his face as pale as a ghost. He said, “Dani has taken flight.” Whatever that means. Man, it’ll be hard to run BubbleApp without Dani. Everyone knows she’s the big brains behind this company.

Saturday 11:47 pm

People are freaking out about Dani. We don’t know where she is. Ruby is puking. Flux is puking. I am puking. People are puking.

Saturday 11:51 pm

I checked in on Flux again. His body is shaking and he’s lightly crying. It could be the drugs, but I think he’s taking this Dani thing hard. She’s one of the few people at Bubble that he respects. I asked him if I could do anything. He became very still. Then, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, he put his hand over my face and said the word “Paralyze,” like he thought it would paralyze me.

Saturday 11:54 pm

Robert and Yachak are huddled in the corner. I could overhear Robert say, “If everyone doesn’t grow personally on this ayahuasca retreat, I’ve failed.” Yachak just responded, “Don’t force it.”

Sunday 12:15 am

More chanting and crying, but things are changing for me. My pukes feel less pukey.

Sunday 12:52 am

I have voluntarily caused my coworkers to vanish. I control colors and volumes.

Sunday 1:13 am

I have mastered my emotions, as well as internal and external temperatures. My mind is a vehicle that runs on thought alone. In this sense, it is inexhaustible.

Sunday 3:32 am

I am on a beach now, but I did not travel here in the ordinary way, through Minkowski space-time. The sky has split open, like an acorn, and a glowing Pegasus has descended from above. It flies around me and I around it. The Pegasus lights the ocean on fire with a mighty stream of piss. The pegasus piss fire does not burn me, for I am invulnerable.

Sunday 5:33 am

Windsor—the Pegasus—and I flew around the Earth at 150,000 miles per hour. I barely felt us move. Windsor speaks a flying horse language called Pegasoran. I understood every word of it, without translation. We flew through the solar system and he showed me the hidden alien life-forces that are everywhere. He told me the purpose of existence, and it’s simple to state when expressed in Pegasoran. In English, however, it is ineffable. Then Windsor bit my head off, but I did not die. I merely separated.

Sunday 6:45 am

My anxiety is gone. My visions have subsided, and in their wake, clarity begins. We must start from the observation that there is something rather than nothing. Why? The question is unanswerable; it self-annihilates. The technicolor riot of consciousness is as fundamental to the universe as the quark. Subjectivity cannot be reduced to a material substrata. This does not invalidate science; it renders it all the more sublime. I am here now cannot be falsely uttered. I am the basis.

I understand that a failure to act is a choice made from fear. I have cast my prescription medications into the waters, for they are unnecessary. I realize now that spending my days coding an App that adds colored bubbles to selfies is a waste of my life. The path is clear. I will quit BubbleApp. I will win Amanda back. I will embark upon my long-neglected dream of joining the Cirque du Soleil. I will reach the top of their ranks. When the FBI finds my sister, shortly, it will be revealed that she’s been alive the whole time, and the last 4 years have been a misunderstanding. There is nothing to fear when we understand that Mother Nature and Father Time birthed us through an act of transcendent love. A new sun rises.

Monday 11:20 am

I’m back here at the BubbleApp office. That ayahuasca retreat was crazy! Robert announced that Dani has gone “on leave.” It felt kind of weird the way Robert said it. Flux and I are hitting up the Bubble taco bar for lunch later. Anyway, I guess that’s it for this journal. We’re about to do a company yoga session. It’s technically “optional,” but if you don’t participate, Robert thinks you’re a bad team member.

***

Ayahuasca Retreat shaman pic licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

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Hyoom is a site for humorous, thoughtful writing. At Hyoom, truth is respected but not dispensed freely, like so much loose change.