The Big Day

Original Story Lived By Me, Confessed to an Angel
Written Down By the Hands of an Angel that has Fallen From My Heart
God be with us all for Love will leave us cold and alone.    

Up until May of 2006, I had an idea of who I was. I loved drugs. I lived for drugs. Any opportunity that I had to get high I would. All of my money went towards the drugs that I felt a need for because they made me feel temporarily happy. The temporary happiness that I experienced on drugs was better than the lack of happiness that I felt when I was sober. Because it was only temporary though, there was a need for me to continue to do drugs. At this point in my life, I did not live for myself but instead I lived for and through others. I took life for granted and did not cherish a moment of it unless I was high. Although I could tell that I was an addict, I did not have neither the willpower nor the drive to admit it and try to change my life for the better. Acid transformed my life completely.

It really began as an idea, after I had returned from Europe and been home for a while. Things had gone back to the relative normality from before I left. I was back with my friends drinking and smoking often. We eventually started seeding into the lower drugs one by one. We started with Mushrooms then Ecstacy and then finally the drug to end all drugs Acid. That is a day that will live in infamy in our minds for as long as any of us shall live. It started as a plan to have a great time and hang out while tripping the whole time. This did not turn out at all like we expected. The first thing that went wrong was the simplest part of the whole equation. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. My friends had all done a small dose beforehand and therefore they were more used to the things they were about to encounter than I was. For me, all I had to go on was stories and inference. This is the one thing that should have, but didn't stop me.

The deal was made a few days beforehand; we traded 130 dollars for 13 hits of Acid. They were already accounted for by each of us; I was going to be taking three, Tim three, Jeff two, and Jack five.

Once we were all together and had the ride figured out for the day, we started. Each man held his sugar cubes and we toasted a great day, not knowing that it would change my life forever.

After we had all taken our initial hits, a voice from the back seat piped up, "Anyone wanna lick the bag?"

I looked at this as just another challenge. The more drugs I could do, the more I could handle and the more I could stand up to the world so immediately I accepted the offer. It was not long before the taste of Acid started to affect me. When I announced this, there was a symphony of voices telling me that I am not supposed to be able to taste it. The bag had been in a pocket for two days. The way I figure it, the bag must have become saturated. This was the beginning.

Our driver Kevin, Tim's older brother, brought us to our first destination, UCSC Merrill Dorms. Tim's dorm room became our chill haven for the first 15 minutes. That was the amount of time it took for the carpet to start looking exceptionally bizarre and for me to be officially bored of being inside.

Tim's room was crushing our perception of the outside world. Because it was a small enclosed space that we all sat in, it allowed us to realize what was happening to our reality and insight. The space reacted to the people and the people reacted to the space. This caused the entire room to move in a bothersome fashion. I had to get out of this room and a smoke sesh was the only thing that came to mind. Moments after suggesting this, we exited the dorm room in a gaggle. A gaggle is all that I can think of for what we were. We were four guys on acid. We were a gaggle.

We exited and headed for a familiar smoke spot on that side of campus. It was aptly named "The Bench" for obvious reasons. We sat and began to smoke. The more we smoked the greener the forest began to get and once it was to optimum green, it got greener.

This was where the fun really began. Tim and I had brought along headphones in order to listen to music. As I sat listening to Tool's Lost Keys and Roseta Stoned, I realized something. Although I didn't know at the time what it was, now it is apparent that as the song progressed, I knew or at least had a feeling that it not only applied to my life but to the day that I was about to have; being on acid as I was. Tool is the music of the generation. It describes the reality of life. Lost Keys is an intro for Roseta Stoned and consists of no lyrics. Through this intro, I feel it tells a story. A story that also resembles how I pictured me ending up after this day; a man that has lost everything and ended up in the hospital drained of life.

Soon after putting on my headphones, I turned away from my friends and started a trudge down a vine covered hill to a little clearing that could have been a river bed. I left my friends because I felt as though I was supported by them for so long. In order to see what I had potential to do, I needed to venture off on my own and experience life for myself without support to fall back on. I believe the most personal development comes from when you're alone. My friends sat and smoked at the same bench as all the other times that we had come up to UCSC in the past. I walked away from the familiar into the forest, waiting and anticipating for something unfamiliar to pop out or happen. So there I sat in the clearing. I sat and I looked. And I looked and I looked. No matter how much I looked or how much I saw I always saw more. I would look to the sky notice a cloud. Then I would notice myself noticing the cloud and I would subconsciously alter its shape. This is when I knew that I might be in trouble because a half hour into my 12 hour trip I was already altering my reality. The horses galloped across the sky using the thunderous song for their mantra. The song did have its end though and it was noticed.

Once the change happened I turned it off. I looked back to see my friends still where I had left them. Sitting on the bench where they looked down at me from. When you are separated from your friends, you no longer have any connections. These connections are a key factor to succeeding in life. Disbelief was drawn on my friends' faces as I scaled the bushy hill side to regroup with them again. I came back to them so that they wouldn't worry about me any longer. Smiling a big dopey grin, we went back to the dorm. That the beginning of a day of days.

Upon returning to the room, I immediately felt oppressed again. We played some video games and then decided on a path to the beach. The beach was the only place that I could think of that was open. There was no more than one side to a beach. It allowed you to look out into the ocean and turn your back on land. It enabled you to forget about everything. Kevin, being sober and the driver, lead the way. Things went terribly wrong at this point. I could feel my trip starting to go downhill. I was overreacting to everything. At the same time, everything seemed as though it was fine at the time but I could sense that it was going to be bad in the near future.

Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, we encountered a sacred female. Sacred is the only word that describes what it felt like on acid. I felt the need to have connections to the opposite sex. I was surrounded by all of my guy friends and I thrived for the company of a female. I felt like God had placed her there. Having no inhibitions at all at this point I walked directly up to her without thinking twice and introduced myself. "Hey what's up? My name is Nick."


From over my shoulder I heard, "Hi my name is Jack, hi my name is Jeff".

The poor girl must have been so uncomfortable. The first thing I inquired her about after introducing myself was where she was from and why she was here. The next thing that came out of my mouth was informing her how we were all on Acid. My friends after a short period of time tore me away from my queen. Upon leaving this first female, we immediately encountered a girl from Tim's floor that I knew from before the trip. At this point the beach had flown thoroughly from my mind. As my friends waited in the middle of the path, I excitedly attempted to talk each girl in turn, obviously making the lot of them uncomfortable.

Finally I was physically pulled away and led to the car. Once there I turned to everyone and said "I'm sorry". There was no reason for it at the time but there would be. Instead of sitting down I began to walk back towards the dorms. I left my friends again to find the girls that I didn't know. I saw the girls as "the beach". They represented freedom. They were everything I wasn't. They were the freedom that I was thriving for. New people that I could get to know. Two of my friends followed after me calling my name. I was almost half way back to the dorms when I turned around and saw them. Their faces were struck with disbelief that I would leave them, my lifelong friends, for strangers.

"Nick, come with us" they both said.

Standing between the two places, looking toward the dorms and then toward the beach, I stood square with my friends, well in a triangle to be exact. In my mind it was a "holy" moment. They were the two bottom corners and I was the point. They were supporting me. They were my foundation. They held me up when I did not have the strength to hold myself up. There was an indescribable feeling that we all felt at once. It seemed as though we were all one incredibly powerful person instead of three individual people. Realizing this sensation, we all looked at each other and shook hands as a mutual sense of respect for one another. Then we walked towards the car. I was of course placed in the middle seat for my safety but this ended up being another downfall. In the middle I felt oppressed again. I was trapped. I had no freedom. I couldn't feel the wind on my face.

From the top of UCSC campus we rode the ridge down to Santa Cruz. Looking out to the side I remember seeing what looked to me like a world on fire, the entire city was sifting off into the sky. The people flowed into the buildings which flowed into the clouds which flowed into the sky which flowed into the ground and back into the people. It was a continuous cycle that could not be understood. Because it was such an abnormal sight there was nothing left to do but laugh. So we all turned to each other and there began a bout of illogical laughter. We laughed at the day that we had already experienced and the rest of the day that was yet to come. We laughed until it hurt. Then we rolled down the window, turned up the music and tripped. We were in a moving ship flying through this reality. Hundreds of faces we passed, never to see or meet them again. Hundreds of places we passed, few of which I have set foot in. These were people and places that I may never come to know in my lifetime.

We were on the way down Water Street when someone came up with the brilliant idea to hand out cigarettes. For me it became a test. Tim did not allow smoking in his car and yet I was just handed a cigarette. I was addicted to tobacco. Why would someone hand me a cigarette but not allow me to smoke it? I was confused. So I began to spin it between my fingers and around them. As I spun it I imagined myself as a long time smoker and I saw in my mind the things that my grandfather and other elders of our culture have lived through. I could see their need for smoking. I could imagine them standing in their backyard everyday and smoking their cigs for their comrades lost, for every day they wished they could take back, for everything. By thinking this, I was adding meaning to my cig so that when I got to the beach it was there and ready and meaningful. A cigarette without meaning seemed petty. I would be smoking it just to kill myself if there was no meaning in it for me. But then it struck me. What am I doing? I know what is in this thing. There is ******* rat poison in this thing! And I haven't lived through a war. I've seen one death, one. There are hundreds of men and women dying everyday. Why was I mourning myself? I had self-pity for who I was at the time. Even though I knew I was an addict I couldn't come to terms with myself and admit it in order to change. Self-pity was all it was. I still hadn't lived through a war.

Then the answer came. I wondered what it tasted like. Not just the smoke but the whole thing. I was wondering why I would allow this to be smoked if I wouldn't eat it. I would eat weed so why not tobacco? Immediately I satisfied my curiosity, and I shoved the whole thing in my mouth. I bit it off right above the filter and started chewing. Then I started gagging. I spat it all over the ground and then threw up a little. I then exited the car on the side of Soquel and threw up more.

Once I returned to the car, I realized what I had done and began to wonder how bad it was for me. That tripped me out even more. I started losing control over the situation. I lost control of myself. Again I felt oppressed by the car. By eating the cigarette, I had a horrible taste in my mouth and the texture of it in my teeth felt like fiberglass. Because of this texture, I wondered if it could cut my mouth and if the ingredients of the cigarette would then seep into my open wound and poison me. On top of all this anxiety, I was also embarrassed for having eaten a cigarette. We went to Seabright Beach and parked the car.

Once I was outside the car I could identify what was happening to me. I was slipping in and out of control. Sometimes I would be completely aware of what I was doing and other times I would be off in my own little world. I was dressed heavily. I had a sweatshirt and black pants on. Once we walked onto the beach, my friends told me to pick a spot for us to sit. Without thinking, I plopped myself down where I already was and laid face down in the sand. I felt someone roll me over and then I lost control again. The beach is serine and beautiful. It is a paradise that many people wait a lifetime to experience. Because it was 1pm on a Saturday afternoon though, the beach was packed with way too many people who ruined the paradise. I expected the beach to be calming but instead it was overwhelming. The beach was a wasteland. This was paradise lost. I looked in both directions down the beach. I saw on one side the boardwalk; the place that kills our town with tourism every summer and the wharf that stretches out away from shore. The other side was a cliff and the light house. Between these two landmarks on either side, we were the sacred; something that we had been searching for all day. There on the beach everyone and everything was welcome. My mind had already lost its sense of reality so I allowed myself to lose control. I didn't care anymore. I figured that the sooner that I lost complete control, the sooner id wake up out of my trip. People were no longer people but distorted images. They had bulbous heads and abnormally long arms. They had unusual deformities and hair in unnatural colors and shapes. The beach seemed to stretch onward into oblivion on both sides, clear yet filled to the brim with people. Once again I saw this as hundreds of people that I would never know or interact with.

As I laid there lost in the recesses of my mind, a couple hours passed. At one point I was handed a water and went bottoms up lying on my back, nearly drowning myself. At another I took a neat bite out of the sand next to me and quickly spit it out. The whole time the sand was influencing my trip. The sand was a hundred billion thousand small individual pieces that connected to make one thing. In my minds eye I could see the web and network of all the people that I knew in this life. I could see the attachments between us all and it was the sand that made me realize it. We all may be individual pieces but together we can make something huge and unimaginable like a beach; where we are all one. I explored this net thoroughly and I realized that the expanse of it was very slim. I really knew very few people in the scope of things. The thought of this depressed me. I thrived to be connected with new and interesting people and to think that I only knew a small portion of even the people in Santa Cruz belittled me.

Then I started taking off my clothes to capture the feeling of freedom. I didn't get far before my friends took control again and led me back to the car and then on to a safe house where I immediately started screaming obscenities. This is where the whole thing gets a little patchy. I was nearly at the peak of my trip and I was totally gone. I saw myself in the mirror only once and knew that I looked like a madman. From the expression on my face, it seemed as though I didn't have one nice bone in my body. That I had given up on life. I was playing the role of a madman quite well too. During my time in reality I was quiet and calmer. I could see my friends looking at me worried. I was sweating. I was flexing most of the muscles in my body. When I wasn't with them in reality, I was screaming. I blacked out often. In this state, my mind was still semiconscious. I was creating a secondary world in my own head. I was making it perfect. I saw a recurring set of symbols; a three pronged eye and an infinity symbol. These two symbols were the only thing that held me. I created ultimate images of myself. I watched in reality as my friends tried to find some way to help me. To shut me up. To calm me. They tried a bong rip but it never got down. Cigs were smoked but they did not affect me. Water was offered but I lacked the control to drink. An ice pack was laid across my shoulders. I calmed slightly and held onto reality for a full 15 minutes before lapsing again. This is where drastic measures were taken.

During one of my spouts of non-control, they led me upstairs to a bathroom. I was put in a bathtub with cold water running over me in attempt to drop my body temperature. Because my temperature was so high, there was a risk that I could literally fry myself. I was given gallons of water placed to my mouth. People were going in and out worried, maybe not about me but in general. I believe in my heart that they could see the shadow of death surrounding me, closing in. They were watching me fight it. I fought the darkness with my entire being. That was my trip in the bathtub. I saw that drain as the end of something potentially beautiful and I did my best to hold back. When the darkness closed around me I imagined my loved ones, my friends standing around me. My huddled mass, in the fetal position, groaning and flexing. I was fighting a demon within myself and they gave me strength.

Between entering the bathtub and leaving I remember nothing, only that time passed and I was not a part of reality.

When I was finally led down the stairs and sat down in front of the fan, faces stared at me; familiar faces.

Then Tim spoke up. "You back with us man?"

"Yeah I think so..."

Before I did Acid, I could tell that I was about to hit bottom. I had been on a downward slope for awhile. I figured that once I had hit bottom that either things would get better or my life would stay revolved around drugs. Through this experience I have learned a lot about the value of life. I live for myself now instead of living for the people that surround me. I realize that I am fortunate for the things that I have and I do not take anything for granted. If I take what I have for granted, sooner or later it will be taken away and I will have nothing left to depend on. "I take everyday and make it my platter." I work hard for what I think I deserve and need. These include happiness, success and love. I have morals that I have created for myself that I strictly abide by with no exceptions. My Acid trip has changed my relationships with my friends and family for the better. Although they are not the best they could possibly be, they have been strengthened and improved from how they were May 2006. My goals used to be based around getting high but now I have more future based goals. I am more focused on living "life" to the fullest. Although I did make some bad decisions in my past I do not regret them. By regretting things in our past it means that we are unsatisfied with who we are.

This is my most valuable life lesson.

TheEcho TheEcho
18-21, M
3 Responses Mar 1, 2007

I go to UCSC, and I live in a dorm in Merrill. Are you still a student there?<br />
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This was an excellent story. It was written very well I really enjoyed it.

It's good to see a strong substance like acid doing some good for somebody. While your experience might have been unpleasant during some points, the retrospect it grants you is astonishing. I think you've really discovered the true potential of psychoactive drugs ;)

wow, man, that was deep. it's insane how you remember all those details so vividly. i don't think i could ever do drugs. i'm crazy enough without them. but this story definitely convinced me, a little high is not worth all the big trouble there seems to be surrounding drugs.