I returned from the summer in London feeling alive with a new lust for life and a craving for cocaine. I caught up with my friends from the trip often, and screened calls from Mahk even more. His voicemails switched from proclamations of love to rantings of hate and I gathered he was likely suffering from something resembling Borderline Personality Disorder, and while I could send him wishes of love, luck and good will, we would never see one another again. I was going back to school in North Carolina, he was still in London with his father, it was up to both of us to find our own way, and a relationship would be not only unhealthy but impossible and it was best to rip off the bandaid. I worked up the nerve to be direct with him that I was not interested in further contact, yet the calls continued.
Several weeks after returning to the U.S. I visited a friend who was throwing a party. I got wasted and the blow fairy was summoned, chanting GET SOME. It was a situation where drugs were readily available so my quest would not be difficult. Yet a hippie emanating great calm overheard me, approached and said, “Take this, you won’t care about coke anymore.” I stuck out my tongue as he placed a tab of acid in my mouth. LSD, why not? Other friends in the drug search agreed with the hippie bear that acid was the right choice for the night and joined in. It had been thirty minutes and I felt nothing. I thought this is bullshit, isn’t taking acid supposed to be pretty extreme? So we took more, lovingly placing the tabs on each others’ tongues. $10 a tab, I thought it was so funny to be paying money for a tiny scrap of paper. Within an hour I had ingested three and a half tabs.
The party was too loud so the cops showed up. I was sitting next to a chick visiting from Brazil with beautiful tattoos up her leg. I still felt nothing, or so I thought, until the sight of the cops produced not fear, but abundant laughter, as who cares about such silly uniformed humans when there is a beautiful tripping lady next to me and the bricks on the wall are moving around like a game of Tetris. I think the cops left and no one got in trouble, but I don’t remember, I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t care. The hippie bear was right, I also did not care about cocaine. I noticed my cell phone and tossed it to the side because I hated it, stupid plastic technology lighting up with updates about news around the world about humans being cruel to other humans, and wait, why was I still inside? There were woods and nature to explore and it was time for an adventure, but I thought I might have to pee. In the bathroom I stared at myself in the mirror.
Apparently three and half tabs of very strong acid is a lot to take on your first trip.
Looking at yourself while tripping is both scary and enlightening. I saw my bleached blonde hair and the roots poking out and hated it. Later I would end up dying my hair darker to try and match my natural color. (Okay, I also got a peace sign tattoo on my ass and am the ultimate cliche). At the time I was dealing with an eating disorder, as I looked at myself in the mirror I thought about how much I weighed, and how little and insignificant my weight was. Why did I put so much energy worrying about a ten pound weight influx when the universe was so massive and variations in my weight didn’t matter in the grand scheme at all?
My fellow acid monkeys agreed that venturing in the woods near the house was a terrific idea. When I was little some of my favorite books were the Narnia series, and I remembered reading somewhere that C.S. Lewis took psychedelics, and there magically happened to be a wardrobe right in the hallway. Even though it was August, I opened the wardrobe and adorned myself in winter furs to prepare to enter Narnia. We galloped through the woods and laughed and explored until the sun came up, everything looked like a Salvador Dali painting, my friend’s house a melting mansion. Sometime the next day when the chemicals wore off to the the point of being capable of vocal communication, my friend and I washed our hand with a mango we found sitting in the kitchen, then went back outside. I spent a long time admiring a spiderweb, and to this day get extremely upset if anyone casually knocks one aside after appreciating the work that goes into one by a nice spider.
When you’re wasted and consume three and half tabs of LSD for your first acid experience you don’t think about how it might take about three and half days to come down. I had to drive to catch a flight back to my homeland, the Virgin Islands, but I was still not entirely back on Planet Earth. I (foolishly) drove back from my friend’s make a flight to the Caribbean, stopping to pull over and purchase a tie-dye sweatshirt from a shack I noticed on the side of the highway. I figured if while during the summer in London on a flight from Amsterdam I had been fine with marijuana and shrooms in my system I could handle a flight with traces of LSD.
The summer ended, I returned to school. While abroad in London, I was browsing through a new friend in my program’s Facebook photos and noticed a guy in her albums I was very attracted to, so I creepily randomly friended him. The first weekend back in college, I went up to him at a party and said “Hi, I’m Sophie, the friend of so and so’s who friended you on Facebook. You intrigue me, I have weed at my house if you want to come back with me.” A month later he was my boyfriend and we dated for over a year and are still friends to this day, he was the guy who finally answered a call from Mahk and got those scary obsessive phone calls to stop.
Once your mind is open it is hard to close it. It is true, that my initial experience with psychedelics opened my mind to realizations about the shallowness of concerns over hair color or body weight, the beauty of nature, and opened my spiritual side. However I was very lucky to me around the right people, in the right mindset for that first experience, since then I have had bad trips, and it has been quite a while since I’ve used a psychedelic of any kind. I’m thankful for those experiences, but even more thankful that now at 26, through reading, meditation, and simply growing up, I’m capable of deep self-awareness and attracting healthy men into my life when totally sober. As I’m writing this, with my orange cat curled up purring by my side, she reminds me me a lot like the Narnia lion Aslan, and I don’t need acid to laugh at the loveliness in that.
Author’s note: If you are having trouble with an eating disorder, in total seriousness go see a doctor or therapist for help rather than eating nearly four tabs of acid, and driving under the influence is a really shitty thing to do.