A Chinese woman of about sixty years old entered the shop, approached the counter fast without hesitating to check out the trippy posters that decorated the walls nor the far-out substances on display behind glass next to the register, and launched right into it.
“I don’t know anything about mushrooms. My friend gave me a mushroom pill and said that it would make me happy again, and it worked,” she said. Now her posture shrank a little and her voice became quiet. “I just want to be happy again.”
“Of course you do!” The woman seated behind the counter smiled and then delivered a cursory explanation of how research showed that psilocybin—the psychotropic compound in so-called magic mushrooms—could be a highly effective treatment for depression and other mood disorders. Then she launched into an overview of the different mushrooms they had for sale, ultimately recommending that the woman start out by trying microdosing. She set a little box on the counter, and the customer (or patient, perhaps) eyed it warily.
“This isn’t going to turn me into a crying mess, will it?”
“Not these.” The cashier shook her head, then gestured to a different product. “These will.”