Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I remember the first time I tried acid...

I worked with a skinny little fellow, lets call him Simon. He managed a little downtown bar off of Denman Street in Vancouver, and I was bartending there part-time. Picture a shorter, skinnier version of Tiny Tim, and you are picturing Simon.

One day at work, he asked me if I'd ever done LSD. I hadn't. He asked me if I wanted to. I thought about it, and I did want to try it. He said we'd need a whole day and a safe place where we wouldn't be disturbed. I had no roommates, so my apartment was to be the place. It seemed to take a lot of planning; marijuana took no forethought at all, other than the need for a match. I wondered how hippies had managed to take LSD so successfully if it took so much organization.

Simon buzzed my apartment on the decided morning. I was quite excited. I had read about hallucinations, and I was hoping I wouldn't be disappointed. I wanted to see things that weren't there! Simon entered the apartment and handed me a little square of paper. "What's this?"

"That's the acid. You put it on your tongue."

"I'm supposed to eat paper?"

He popped his little square onto his tongue, showboating his experience compared to my naivete. "Just let it get soggy, then swallow it. Then we wait."

"We have to wait?" Again with the planning. With weed, you smoked it, you got high, just about that quickly. I was going to have to wait? "How long do we have to wait?"

"It takes awhile. Just relax. Remember, if you start freaking out, I'm here to guide you through your trip." Simon was being very superior, I thought, but I was glad there was someone there with experience.

We sat in my apartment talking for awhile. I looked at my hand and noticed that it seemed to be breathing on its own, which I thought was really cool. I asked Simon if perhaps the acid was starting to kick in. He said that it was, and not to be scared. I wasn't scared at all! I looked around the apartment, and I could see the walls breathing, too! It made me laugh out loud. I knew it was just induced by the drug, so I didn't see what there was to be afraid of. I began exploring my apartment, enjoying all the silly and bizarre things it seemed to be doing.

I have no idea how long I was distracted by the walls and the carpet fiber, but when I looked back at Simon, he was laying flat on the floor with his eyes closed and his body rigid. "Simon?" He didn't respond to me at all. He just kept moaning about horrible things, calling out to Satan to leave his mother alone, that sort of thing. Yecch. I didn't know what to do for him. If his eyes did open, he'd look at me and start talking to me as if I was his mommy. Blech!!! He didn't appear to be in any physical danger, so I decided the best thing to do would be to leave him to his private nightmares and go sit on the deck.

The sky was beautiful. The light rays bouncing from high-rise to high-rise were electric. If Simon the Experienced was having a bad trip, I was having a good one. I just sat on the deck for hours, watching the sun move across the sky, watching a spider build a web, watching feathers form on the back of my hand...that sort of thing.

When Simon finally regained lucidity, he joined me on the deck. I tried to tell him how he was all freaked out, but he seemed to think nothing had happened, no time had passed. I let it go. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. We went for a walk when we started to come down. That was about it.

I wish my first trip had been a bad one, actually. The experience had been so magical for me, I made LSD my drug of choice for almost a year after that, dropping acid on average twice a week. I didn't have any bad trips until the last two. The second last one was scary, and I decided that if that ever happened again, I'd quit. The next time I took acid, the last time, I was so nearly permanently disturbed that I knew the ride was over. I wonder how many memories I traded for those little pieces of paper? The whole reason I started this blog are because of the giant holes in my mental history, and I am convinced that the huge amount of LSD I took are what put them there.

Break on through, indeed...


Spoke said...

When I hear of acid, join in on conversations about acid or think of the times when I took it (about a dozen times...ALL bad trips...) I get a real anxious, angry feeling in me. Its overwhelming! The only way to describe what I sense is "rage". I don't know why I feel like I do about it. Its as if I'm frightened that my "soul was open season" when I was on it. I used to sell the stuff too ?!
I think for me, acid is a deal breaker, all bets are off.

annacond said...

What's scary to me nowdays is the number of kids trying meth, and sometimes just once will kill them.

I guess every generation has its drug / addiction / whatever problems. I pray for my kids every single day, PCA is not immune, neither is Three Hills. Not by a long shot.

RC said...

i'm glad you don't do acid anymore and i'm glad you have this blog to share your stories and your life.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

Kim said...

Did a report on LSD when I was in Jr High. Didn't sound like a pleasant drug. Your story doesn't make it sounds any more fun, breathing walls? Creepy! I have a friend, he's an artist he told me he had no use for any drugs until he found out about hallucinigans. I guess he figures those ones go along with his creativity 'shiver'.

Wasp Jerky said...

On a totally unrelated note, thanks for stopping by my blog. I visited your MySpace page and really like your songs.

Spoke said...

Hey PJ, Carmen asked..."hey is that (picture) Paula". I think the chick needs glasses.

Paula said...

Yikes!!! I don't look like Tiny Tim, do I? LOL!!!

Leonard Sadorf said...

My experience was much like Paula's, though not as many times I think. I got started early, it was about '72, I was 16 and the guy I got it from insisted it was Owsley's orange batch. Right. He stopped brewing the stuff in '67.

It was OK though I vividly rememeber 2 days that seemed like lifetimes upon lifetimes. I lived and died like 3 times and every time was more exciting than the last.

A lot of guys I knew took acid and tried to play music figuring that the acid would miraculously give them talent. That was probably the worst part of those days. You gotta have talent before you can expand it.

In the end it became weird. That was when people would sell stuff that was really strychninne and your whole body would get spastic and ears would ring. No, certainly not worth the pain at that point.

Most people try to expand their consciousness figuring they'll see God or something.

I remember a story about Richard Alpert (Now Ram Das), Leary cohort who taught at Stanford and later at Harvard, that took some acid to a Bhodisattva in India and the old guy tried it and told the kid he could do better without it.