It was around 9PM, specks of light twinkled in the dark sky. The moon stayed hidden behind grand clouds, floating by like heavy blimps. The crisp December air filled the night as the seven of us wandered around the house.
“The party is starting soon.” Danny told me. We were sitting on the couch drinking the last of our beer and watching everyone talk and mingle. We were all going to crowd into two cars and drive to a house-party a couple of blocks away. My hands were moist with sweat and a heavy cloud of anxiety lingered above me. The party wasn’t the cause of my nerve though, I knew that, it was something bigger—my mind went to the acid in my pocket, the acid that was soon to be traveling through my veins and deep into my sub-conscious.
I pulled out a strip of crinkled aluminum foil from my pocket and felt the texture beneath my thumb. Danny leaned closer and stared at this night’s trip. “We should take it now, huh?” He asked.
I opened the foil like you would for a stick of gum—revealing a row of four colorful tabs. I looked at the psychedelic art printed on the blotter and then, carefully, tore a single square off the strip. “Don’t eat it yet” I told Danny as I handed him the tiny stamp.
I stood and began making my rounds to the other two people I was tripping with tonight, the room fell to a murmur as I walked around—the drugs were out, curiosity has been shifted. I gave one tab to Jane—a short pale-skinned girl with colorful hair and piercing green eyes. She grinned and gently pinched the tab between her thumb and forefinger. I walked over to the sofa in the living room where Sara sat. Her hazel eyes followed me as I approached, I offered her the third tab and her eyes shifted from me to the acid. She pressed her lips together and contemplated over the tab in my outreached hand.
I don’t blame her, I thought. The psychedelic experience is always terrifying in the most beautiful of ways—no matter how many times you’ve done it.
“Cmon, it’ll be fun.” I said.
“What if I freak out Jean, or get a bad trip or something?” she asked.
“it’s all mental, you can make the trip whatever you want.” I said. I paused for a second to reassure myself of my words. “Yea, and plus you’re with us; So you’ll have fun.” At this point everyone at the house was surrounding us.
“Ok fine.” Sara said, she grabbed the tab and stood up. Danny, Jane, Sara, and I made a circle and lifted our tabs in the air.
“To one hell of a trip” I said.
We ate our acid. I placed mine under my tongue and let my saliva soak it. I shuddered with excitement and let a long, broken breath trail out of me.
“Welp, lets fucking smoke then man, I’ve been waiting to spark this blunt and the party should be starting soon.” One of our other friends spoke from afar. The seven of us shuffled outside and made our smoking circle.
The night matured as we all got progressively higher, the party didn’t start until 10 and we didn’t want to be the first ones there so we relaxed and let the cloud of THC fill our bodies and souls. I sat on my chair, staring at the smoke that crowded our surroundings. Gradually, the talking and laughter turned into far away murmurs. The grey cloud began to shift into a subtle dance, moving and swirling in ways that I knew smoke couldn’t move and swirl. A smile stretched over my face as I zoned out to this lifelike haze. My vision focused on the dark sky and my body began to feel light. The dark canvas was filled with shifting fractals, the stars and rolling clouds from before now seemed to breath with life—soft golds and gentle reds intertwined with the black and greys of the sky, forming geometric, pulsating visuals.
I was brought back from my trance by Danny nudging me on the shoulder.
“Dude, where’s Sara and Jane?” He asked. His pupils creating two large disks.
Looking into his eyes only gave strength to the acid, now I felt the come up much more vividly. “What?” I said through clenched teeth.
“yea dude, I haven’t seen them. They said they were going inside and they haven’t come back.” He said.
“They got lost inside the house dude!” One of our friends said.
“Probably just tripping out on the couch or something man.” Another added.
“Let’s check inside.” Danny said.
We all got up and filed inside where we searched all the rooms and bathrooms. We found nothing. We went to the front, hoping to catch them on the porch, and saw no sign of them.
“Fuck man.” I muttered.
“They’re walking around the neighborhood dude. They always wander off and shit.” Danny said.
“Fuck man, look you they’re probably like at the end of the street or something. You guys go find them and meet us at the party.” One of the other girls from the group said.
“Cmon Danny. Let’s get them quick, this shit is hitting me fast.” I said, putting my hand on his shoulder to keep myself steady as the world around me swayed.
The others got into one car and Danny and I got into his. We pulled out and drove down the street in a caravan, soon our car broke off down a residential road while the other carried on forward. The girls couldn’t get far I thought. I stared at the trees around us as they changed texture, the asphalt contracted and expanded like lungs. The sky seemed saturated with vibrant light and imagery. I thought of Danny, how fucking high could he be? How is he even driving? I wouldn’t bring it up, I’m sure he was too focused on finding the girls to notice the world around him melting.
“Where do you think they went?” He asked.
“Ok, where would two girls high off drugs wander too at 10:42 at night.” The car stayed silent for a moment. “Hmm… cats man, isn’t there that crazy cat ladies house nearby? I would want to check out some kitties while tripping?”
“Oh dude yes, cats are fucking crazy when your tripping, it’s like they know you’re high.” We both chuckled, feeling like detectives on the hunt.
We turned down another residential road and at the corner we saw them. They were crouched by a bush laughing and waving their hands towards it. They’ve lost it, they’re talking to a damn bush, I thought.
Danny stepped on the gas and we jolted forward, we halted by them with a screech and got out of the car. They ignored us and continued to talk to the bush.
“Oh my god Sara it’s so cute. Look at it!” Jane whispered.
“I want it I’m gonna take it home. Come here cutie” Sara said, snapping her fingers and making clicking noises.
“Why are you trying to take that bush home?” I asked, completely taken back by the scene that was unfolding infront of me. Four humans high off acid gathered around a bush in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Paranoia shook me, the cops were bound to show up at anytime. “We gotta go.” I said.
“Danny look! It’s a little kitty!” Jane said, pointing at the bush.
Danny and I stepped closer and crouched by the girls, inside the bush was a tiny, white, cloud of a kitten. It was rolled up into a little ball and it’s blue eyes sent lightning down my spine. I stayed silent, staring into these endless pools. It’s eyes slowly jumping from person to person, it’s tail flapping against the ground—it knew we were high, it had too. The kitten unraveled itself and stretched it’s body, it yawned and it’s sharp fangs shone in the light from the street lamps. It let out a tiny “mao” and waddled towards us, it’s short legs and plump body swaying with every step, its tail swinging back and forth.
“Oh my god I’m going to die, it’s so fucking cute!” Sara squealed. The kitty came to us and let out a confident meow of approval. We all took turns running our hands through it’s soft, fragile body. It felt like clouds I thought. Some time went by as we took turns petting and holding the kitty, staring into it’s eyes, trying to learn the secrets to the universe. It’s gentle purring bringing us deeper and deeper into a trance, suddenly a car sped by, yanking me from my episode—I shuddered as reality returned.
“Ok we have to go” I said.
Danny stood, “Yea, say goodbye too… what’s it’s name?” He asked.
“Fluffybottom” Jane said confidently.
“Goodbye Fluffybottom.” We all said, taking turns giving our final pats of affection.
Return to your home in the bush I thought to myself. We piled into the car, Danny and Jane in the front and Sara and I in the back. We drove off in silence, leaving the magical bush kitten behind—ready for another group of drugged up teens.
Time morphed and suddenly we were at the party. A block away we saw cars and people becoming dense, the sound of music carried from afar. We rolled through the street—groups of people walking by—until we found an empty patch of grass. We got out and looked towards the direction of the noise. The thumping waves of music reached us a couple of houses down.
“Holy shit man.” Danny said.
“This is gonna get fucking raided heh.” I said.
“Fuck it.” Jane spoke and began walking towards the orb of energy.
At this point the acid was at it’s base level, the people around me melted into the atmosphere, the intense vibrations of the music shook my surroundings, psychedelia washed over everything. We got to where we could see the house clearly now. A square, fenced off, plot of land. A flat one-story home sat in the middle underneath a large tree. A sea of people surrounded it, the thick of the action was to the right of the land by a small boat. The boat itself housed a DJ set and two large speakers where the music exploded out of. The crowd moved and swayed with the sound.
We walked through the swinging gate and began pushing and moving our way through the crowd, holding onto eachother like a linked chain. The faces around me began to break into fractals as the stimuli increased, at one point a blur stepped close to me and whispered “Ecstacy on deck.” Ecstacy I thought… I’ve never tried it. Maybe tonight, maybe. Eventually we saw our group and blended into them.
“Dude this is some wild shit huh?” One of the friends said to us. “Here, sip this.” He handed me a water bottle with an amber liquid splashing inside it. “Is the acid hitting you guys good?” he asked. I took a large gulp of the bottle and felt a warmth spread over my face. I took another sip and handed it to Danny.
“Yes dude. Hard as fuck. Man.” I said. The warmth spread throughout my body. Danny took his couple of gulps and handed the bottle back to our friend. The group talked amongst themselves as I surveyed the surroundings, the sky was clear now and the moon pulsated light, the noise and stimuli would fluctuate in intensity at any given time, the music pierced through me like lightning through a cloud. My eyes fell on a small fire in the middle of a crowd of people.
I walked close to the fire and sat in front of it, the flames dancing and moving for me, telling me the story of time itself. I looked past the fiery tentacles and saw a man dancing in place, he had a 12-pack of beer on his shoulder and long blond hair that stuck to his sweaty face. He looked over at me and we locked eyes. He raised his beer towards me and winked, he took a sip and returned to dancing. “Fucking weird, man.” I muttered to myself.
I stood and wandered some more until I made it past the crowd and to the edge of the fence. Someone grabbed my shoulder and turned me to them, A man with dark skin and a shaved head looked at me with bulging eyes and a sweaty, tensed face. “Hey man! X my man wanna get lit? Some fire fucking X my man right there!” He turned me and pointed to a man with a beanie leaning against the fence. With a little push I found myself in front of him.
“20 a pop my man.” He said casually. His eyes were low and his words slurred as he said them.
“uhm…yes.” I said, fidgeting with my wallet. My needle-like nerves stabbed at me, with my shaking hand I pulled out a bill and handed it to him. The exchange was made and I was back in the sea of faces.
My heart was struggling to keep up with my emotions: excitement, fear, paranoia—all cycling through me. Now or never I thought, I popped the pill in my mouth and forced it down my dry throat. I felt an instant rush go through me and my body tingled with excitement.
I found my way back to the group and asked my friend for another sip of his drink. I took the gulp, a fire ignited in my chest, and I went over to Danny with a you won’t believe this grin. He looked me up and down and grinned.
“Oh fuck, Jean, why are you smiling like that? What happened?” He asked.
“Oh, I just took some X dude, pretty rad.” I said.
“Dude…” His smile grew and his eyes widened. “Where? I want!” He said.
I pointed at the man and he wandered over. At this point weed started getting passed around. Jane and Sara came back from their own venture.
“Holy shit Jane I’m fucked.” I said, we now formed a circle and lit up a blunt.
“Dude I fucking feel you man, like everything is colors.” She said, having a giggle fit.
“Dude, we met this dude dancing by the fire and he gave us a beer. He was high as fuck too!” Sara said.
At this point Danny returned with the same shit eating grin as me.
The blunt went around and we continued talking the night away. My body grew higher. My very core felt like one big clusterfuck. Euphoria began to splash over me like water from a bucket. Soaking my body fully. Suddenly and violently everything shifted and became overbearing. Just the presence of foreign faces shook me to the core. I had to get out.
I turned to Danny and grabbed him. “Dude…” I said.
He stared at me, his face morphed into an alien figure, his smile stretched and became manic, this candyflip was tearing at my mind.
“Dude…your pupils are freaky man! Fucking crazy!” He said
“Your car keys man! I need them, just need to lay down, man.” I muttured through clenched teeth and a hot face.
“Yea man, here. Go chill a bit.” He said, giving me the keys.
I walked towards the exit, passing more shapeless blurs, someone muttered something and I muttered back—both indistinguishable. I tugged at the chain link fence and my core shook with anxiety, it doesn’t open Christ man I’m trapped, I thought. I felt the sweat ooze out of me, I felt my muscles stiffen, fucking trapped I thought—maybe if I jump it? I leaned my weight on the fence and felt it give, oh, I pushed it open and relief washed over me.
I made it to the car and after fumbling with the keys I was inside, away from the chaos outside. Quiet filled the car, with only the dampened sound of music and voices from afar leaking in. I laid out in the back seat and worked on my breathing; In, out, in, out I told myself—slowly, focus on your breath. What felt like waves of warm, viscous liquid, ran over me. My eyes became heavy and my body light—breath in, breath out, I thought. Darkness took over, nothing but the void took over my senses, but only for a moment.
Geometric shapes began to emerge from the shadows, crawling towards me, growing in detail and color. Fractals splashed over everything, coming and going, leaving behind traces of light. It all seemed alien to me, the sensations where overwhelming, orgasmic, stimulating.
Time went by like this, subtly—like a snail on a leaf in the forest, I thought. Suddenly the thin wisps of voices broke through my kaleidoscope world, then those voices broke through my walls of perception and I was back in the car. A group entered a car next to me and pulled out. I sat there in silence, letting reality return. I sat up and looked out the back window towards the party, it swelled in size. I looked and saw cars parked on any sort of property they could find, groups of people migrated to the mass, the house just barely showing above the flood of people. “fucking hell..” I muttered. I opened the door and stepped out, the noise and energy refreshed my senses and I was ready to return.
I went through the fence and found myself in the thick of it. Pushing past, I walked towards the fire, like a beacon. I arrived and saw the dancing man with the six pack again, this time he was sitting by the fire—drinking and talking to a girl. He’s still going at it, I thought. I looked up to the boat and stood frozen at the scene that was unfolding.
Danny, along with a dozen other strangers, were overflowing from the boat; blunts were being passed around along with joints and alcohol as music smacked into the air. I giggled at the sight of Danny chugging a beer and smoking a blunt, swinging his body and shouting into the sky. The crowd swelled into a single roar that shook the night sky.
“Holy shit, Jean!” Jane appeared next to me with Sara, both looking disheveled and absolutely plastered. “Jean this shit is fucked!” Jane shouted.
“We gotta go, the cops have got to be coming dude! This is getting way too crazy!” Sara said.
A bit of serendipity unfolded as the shrill of sirens broke through the shouts and screams of the crowd.
“Party’s over, that’s it, get fucking moving…NOW!” Spoke a man in uniform at the edge of the fence, he screamed the commands through a microphone. “Cmon everyone out now, party’s dead.”
The crowd stiffened and became dense as everyone huddled together, some scared to advance past the cops, others shouting obscenities, people shaking and panicking.
“fuck the cops” “Fuck this dude, I got work on me man.” “I can’t go dude, I can’t drive.” “Oh my god! Oh god!” “Fuck where is he? I can’t find my boyfriend!” “You can’t make us go! Fuck you pigs!”
I looked over at the boat and people were jumping off, some threw paraphernalia to the ground and ducked into the safety of the crowd. The music died and now all that was left of the night was the noise of the crowd, and the flashing red and blue light.
“Jean! Guys!” Danny pushed his way too us and grabbed Jane by the arm. “Let’s get out of here, they aren’t gonna do shit. They just want us out of here.”
“Cmon, let’s go Sara.” I grabbed Sara by her hand and the four of us squeezed through the maze of human bodies. The smell of sweat, weed, and booze assaulted me as I made my way to the front. The flashing lights became brighter as we got closer, the cop with the microphone continued to drone on. “Party’s over…get out of here…party’s dead…”
A steady stream of misfits were draining out from the ocean of people. Beams of light shone on everyone as they exited, tension filled the air as the cops gazed over the herd. Danny, Jane, Sara, and I slipped through the fence, my nerves on the brink of bursting. We walked past the uniforms—trying to hide the fact that the ground beneath me was still breathing and shifting—and made it to the car.
“Holy shit dude.” I said, letting the stress of that walk fall off me.
“Holy shit is right man, ok lets get out of here.” Danny said.
“Are you good to drive?” Sara asked.
“No” Danny said as he pulled out and drove down the street, past the cop cars.
“You just gotta get us home, that’s it.” Jane said.
I looked at the time on the dashboard, 1:15AM. Danny lowered the window and the car filled with crisp air. We drove in silence, the visuals now coming to a decline, the waves of euphoria becoming sparse, the weight and strain of a long night returning to my body. The sweat on my brow dried and I closed my eyes as I felt the sharp wind go through my face. My breathing was heavy and slow, my body became loose and weak. My thoughts grew thin and soon sleep came.
My ceiling fan was the first thing that came to me, the soothing sound as it spun. I felt the softness of a bed beneath my body next, I felt the warmth of my blanket draped over me. I opened my eyes and let my blurry vision focus on my surroundings, I was in my room, it was still dark. I Looked over at my alarm clock, 5:23AM. I made it home I thought.
“One hell of a trip” I muttered, letting sleep take me once more.