||cannabis, unknown dosage
I was a good kid growing up. I didn't steal, didn't get in fights, and waited until it was no longer considered "cool" or "rebellious" before doing drugs--and even then, I preferred pills to pot. As such, I had almost no experience smoking weed. I'm not sure what possessed me, then, to start with such a large dose; to dive into the Mariana Trench without first dipping my toes in the water. But that's what I did.
I walked into my brother's room and sat on the floor, forming a "pot circle" between him, my friend Sojoe, and the neighborhood stoner, Dico. I waited as, one at a time, each person before me loaded up a glass pipe and took their hit. When it was my turn, Dico handed me the pipe--one painted with red, green, and yellow swirls--and showed me how to light it. I was pseudo-tripping at the time, and the various colors appeared even more magnificent.
But I didn't care about the weed. I didn't care about getting a buzz. I wanted to be shot out of a cannon into outer space, into the middle of the fucking universe. I wanted to tumble back down the rabbit hole, to that wonderful world of colors, and fractals, and magical things that the acid I ingested roughly eight hours before had revealed to me.
It's only fair to mention, that it's at this pivotal moment that my trip splits into two parts--good and bad, heaven and hell. In fact, the whole thing feels like two separate trips, and whenever I tell this story, it's not uncommon for me to leave out one half or the other. But not this time. What started out as the best day of my life quickly devolved into a hellish nightmare--and it's important to understand how I fucked everything up so bad. So, lets go back to the beginning...
I'd always been interested in LSD, in the psychedelic experience. So, after weeks of research, and scouring the Deep Web, I eventually found a reliable vendor based in Amsterdam. He agreed to sell me a few blotters, each containing 150 micrograms, wrapped in foil, and refrigerated--perfect. I mentioned the plan to Sojoe, and he was on board. We would rendezvous weeks later.
Sojoe wanted to trip indoors, which I was cool with. We each took our blotter, but it was't until well over a hour later that I noticed the initial effects--first, the red plastic cup I was holding started to feel like putty. Colors appeared super-saturated. Textures flowed. I was able to "zoom in" to small object as if peeping through a telescope. An infinite grid of fractals form on the walls. The ceiling danced. Time was meaningless. Volume was meaningless. I couldn't read words in a book. I had trouble forming coherent sentences.
I walked outside, noticing the clouds were dancing and full of life. I plucked a dandelion from the Earth, blew the seeds, and watch as tiny little bubbles of color popped from where the seeds came from. The grass was a textured grid. Upwards, the sky appeared similar to the wall indoors: blue-green fractals aligned in a grid, each a tunnel as infinite as the ones on either side. A mountain in the distance had been replaced with a Pablo Picasso painting. I was laughing so hard at all of this.
This was it, I thought. A lifetime of searching had lead me to this place. I wasn't sure what it was--love or heaven or something else--but I knew that this realm of complete happiness and wonder was where I wanted to live forever.
Well, I suppose nothing lasts forever. Eight hours later, the effects started wearing off--the brilliant colors faded, and the paradise started slipping through my fingers. In the words of poet H.E. Lecky, "all the schedules, the brochures, the bright-colored posters promise rides to a distant country that no longer exists."
But I wanted it back.
I should have left it alone.
However, I knew from previous research that smoking cannabis could, for some people, extend an LSD trip--or at least the visuals. So, there I was, someone who had only smoked pot a handful of times, in a room full of stoners, desperate to get a little more of that wonderland. It was the worst decision I've ever made.
I exhaled all the air from my lungs, held the flame to the glass, and took in as much as possible--breathing in thick smoke and flame. I started to choke. Bad. Now desperate for air, I shoved my way through Sojoe--who was blocking the door--and stumbled into the bathroom. I felt sick, like I was going to puke. Instead, I began coughing up mucus and plumes of smoke.
Fuck, I knew I was going in "all or nothing"--but I didn't know it would be this bad. I'll be alright, I thought. I regained composure, and went back in to join the group--laughing off the incident, but still feeling nauseous. I said I was cool, but an unusual feeling of dread starting manifesting.
I look down at the carpet--an old, blue piece of material dotted with "x's" and "o's", that was once part of the Carolina Panther's locker room--and watched as patterns begin to emerge. Except, these weren't "natural" patterns like before. A series of right-angles formed in front of me. Hold on, that wasn't there a minute ago. Things were popping into existence.
I soon realized I was unable to think actual, meaningful thoughts.
I was terrified.
I ran into my room, sat at my desk, and opened up Wordpad. I reasoned that only way to make sense of what was going on in my head what to write it down--but the only thing I wrote over and over again was "head herts"... "head herts"...
I felt like my forehead was on fire, but I couldn't seem to put it into words. While I knew, somehow, that I wasn't spelling "hurts" correctly--well, I couldn't remember how to spell. Each time I wrote it down, I laughed out loud. I was giggling like a madman.
It's getting harder to write this--for one reason, it's a difficult experience to relive, and for another, some of my memories of the following events are hazy. So, consider me an unreliable narrator from this point forward... though, I suppose the same could be said of all good trip reports. This was it, I thought. I had gone mad. I was no longer part of this world--our shared consciousness.
Fuck it, I needed my mom.
I ran into my parents' bedroom, where my mother was half-asleep, half-reading a book, and explained everything--the LSD, the weed, the bad trip. At first, she didn't seem phased, In her mind, a "bad trip" is par for the course... but this was something different. I wasn't getting through to her. So, I started screaming. I had no pride, no fear of embarrassment. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I was screaming so loud I woke the neighbors.
We both went into the kitchen where she tried to calm me down. In the meantime, our thin layer of reality started peeling back. I could see fractals, but they were further away than before--sinister, and untouchable. I asked my mom how long we'd been in the kitchen, and she said about an hour.
I drank a glass of water, held over the sink, and repeated over and over again, "this is real... this is real...", but it didn't feel real. It felt like some outside "force" was convincing me it was real, but I knew it was artificial.
After some time, I asked my mom again how long we'd been in the kitchen.
She looked at me, straightforward, and said, "we've been in the kitchen for 15 minutes".
That's when the illusion started to crack. I knew our conversations couldn't be trusted--time itself couldn't be trusted. I started freaking out, telling her she said we'd been here an hour. At the time, she was cutting up vegetables, and had a knife in her hand, but I lunged at her and tried to throw her to the ground. We argued, which lead to me siting in a chair facing a clock so I could know for sure what time it was.
No one believes me, I thought.
Minutes felt like hours. Seconds felt like minutes. I would get trapped in a headspace that I still can't explain, but I could tell when people were being dishonest, I could "feel" a person's emotions. Mom was scared. Sojoe thought I was being dramatic and felt aggravated.
I was convinced that I was trapped in a "fake" reality, and that the real reality was somewhere out there. I needed to get back to it. But every time I would find a "crack" in the fake reality--something that didn't make logical sense, like the kitchen time--it seemed that I was "destined" to figure it out, and that it was all part of another, "more perfect" artificial reality with less "cracks" than the one before. It was like being stuck inside a movie, inside another movie, inside another movie--ad infinitum.
I didn't sleep that night.
Sojoe went home. I continued to look for "cracks", looked up at the web of sinister fractals spread across the darkness of my bedroom. At first, it took mere seconds, in trip-time, to loop from one reality into the next, but after a while, things started to slow down. That was a relief.
I also had to relearn basic concepts--the first of which, I discovered, was that whatever action I took in one reality affected all other realities. So, for example, if I broke a vase, it wouldn't unbreak itself ever again. I also had to relearn time: seconds, minutes, hours. I might feel as if a "second" lasted as long as a "minute", but in all other realities, it was still a second.
At the end of it all, I was exhausted. Like, more exhausted than I've ever been.
Of course, it was difficult for me to reintegrate back into society after that trip. It's certainly not something I ever want to relive. And if there was a lesson learned, it was this: when taking mind-altering substances, don't be stupid. You can take more, but not less. I also sometimes fear that, during those sleepless nights, I will once again fall through a "crack" in this reality--and loop back into another, even more real reality... and back into madness.