A little more than a week ago, on March 31st, I took two hits of acid (turtles, for those who know), intending to trip. It was 4:40 in the afternoon, on a gloomy gray day in Green Bay. I had the house to myself all day, until about midnight, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. Wasn't really worried going into the trip.
I should have thought more about what I did. I'd only taken acid once before, and a single hit at that, so I wasn't really prepared for it. I also took it alone, which was very very very stupid of myself. I can't really believe, in retrospect, that I did that. I'm usually very strict about having a trip sitter along with psychedelics.
Anyway, at about 4:55 I swallowed the blotter and began to come up pretty quickly. Those turtles had hit me fast the first time too. I was talking and joking with a friend, who is also a goon here, on AIM when I started to see light fractals play over my monitor screen. It was about 5:15 by this time, I think, and I decided "Ok, it's time to take a walk."
Now, I live in a very suburban area, so there isn't really much to see. I threw on a hoodie and some shoes and went out to walk around the block a few times, then back to my house. It was spring, there were birds everywhere, and they seemed like black shadows against the gray sky to me. I swear I've once seen a picture representing a LSD trip; it showed a warped, leafless tree with two birds, blacked out, flying away from it. I saw this exact image quite a few times throughout the trip.
I was walking down the street when I realized that everything was warping, growing, and shrinking before my eyes. The water tower off in the distance looked like it was my exact height and its normally light blue color was flashing between a pale blue and a strong navy blue. There weren't many mental effects yet. I felt exactly like , with the sunglasses and the smirking, and all. The asphalt on the roads began to form themselves into fractals. About halfway through the walk, three quarters of a mile into the one-mile circuit, I started feeling pretty afraid.
I realized that the trees all seemed like they were miles and miles away, even though I knew that they were more like ten or so yards between me and the trees. I hadn't seen any people or (moving) cars at all so far. I began running, to try to get home as quickly as possible. I started to suspect that I was alone, all alone, and that everyone had left to go out and do stuff and forgotten about me.
After some running, I got to my driveway, panting and sweating. I was getting freaked out, it was about 5:45, and I still felt sane. Looking around, nothing seemed to hold their shapes for long. No protean warping or spiking, just a general instability of form and line. The birds were seriously creeping me out now, whenever I'd look up, I'd see a ton of spring birds fluttering around or some hawks swooping through the currents, hunting. They were all blacked out, though, and I couldn't make any details of them out against the gray sky.
I tried to lay down on the grass to regain my composure. That wasn't really a great idea. I felt like I was falling into the earth, and my brain went into overdrive, screaming stuff at me like "You've lost your grip" "You're freaking out" "Look at those trees, they're reaching towards you" so I didn't stay there very long. I got up and went inside, which made me feel better for a bit. I went back downstairs to talk to my friend again. The computer felt alien and unwelcoming to me, so I just typed out "I'm having a bad trip, man, I gotta go." and ran upstairs to my room. Hid under the covers, but my brain was still churning out crazy sentences and being generally incoherent.
I threw off the covers, stumbled downstairs to grab my stash of the rest of the acid, and crushed it and went upstairs to the garage to throw it into the trashbin. I didn't want anything to do with it ever again. I went back into the kitchen to grab my cell phone, then got back outside again. Texted my best friend, pleading with him to come over because I was feeling very freaked out. I didn't mention that I was on acid, he wasn't too approving of my psychedelic use. He replied, no, he couldn't come over, he was at a girl's house. I asked again, begging, but he said no. I somehow found myself sitting against a tree digging my hands into the grass and weeping a bit.
Looking back, I'm not really sure why I got so freaked out. I was continually telling myself "You're on acid, you're on acid" so it's not like I lost perspective.
I texted my mother (which she never received) telling her that I had taken some acid and to please come home and not be angry with me. No reply. I was becoming very upset. I threw my cell phone against the wall and smashed it into three pieces. I sat against my car wheels, trying to breath deeply and think calmly about this.
It was at this point that I really lost control. I started thinking... thought that I was the only person in the world. There was nobody else, just me and my perception of the world, and I had been living in a dream of my own making for the last eighteen and a half years of my life. I've came up with this before, on a mushrooms trip, so it really hit me hard. I'm aware that it's a very childish and self-centered view of the world, though.
There was only me. If I died, there would be nothing. I was like a god. But I also knew that there was no god, so I became very conflicted. I was looking around frantically, going from the empty maw of the garage to the bending and wavering trees to the black flying birds to the streets that looked like rivers of gray back to the garge. The world seemed like it had lost all color.
Suddenly I saw that my life was like a cycle. It was cyclical, of course, how obvious! I was born, lived, until I discovered Drugs, then took them, then I would explore the "Edge of Consciousness" and realize that there was nothing there, then I would become depressed and kill myself because I couldn't deal with that realization, then I would be born again and recreate the world again. And so it would continue.
Well, fuck. What am I going to do now? Garage, trees, birds, river-street, garage... Garage, garage, house, house, kitchen, kitchen, knife... I had to kill myself. I saw the cycle, and I had no choice but to continue it. I got up, feeling like a zombie. My memories of the next few minutes are almost like a slideshow. I went into the kitchen, to the knife rack, pulled out a silvery stainless-steel knife, put it to my throat... and cut. Then I cut again, to make a complete line across my neck from left to right.
I found myself on my back on the kitchen tile floor. I was bleeding. It didn't hurt. I lay there for a while, bleeding, thinking "Now I die." But... I didn't die. Oh fuck, fuck, FUCK. I got to my feet, leaving the blood pool and the knife there, and started freaking out. I'm not dead yet! I'm not dead, I'm not dead, I'm not dead. If I'm not dead, it has to be a dream. I don't die in dreams. I passed out after taking the acid and I'm dreaming all of this!
I ran out into the street, looking around me. It was a dream, it was all a dream. I felt the blood running down my chest, soaking my white shirt with red. I remembered another thing... in my dreams the windows are never real. The glass is always gone. I ran to the house across the street and jumped at the window.
I was on my ass, staring at a huge blood splotch on the glass. It wasn't a dream... Oh shit, I cut my throat, I was going to die. I ripped up some grass, tears running down my face. Wait, no, I intended to die. I'll just die, and I'll move on to the next cycle of my life. I got up and ran down the street. I was dying too slow! My shirt was sticking to me, soaked in blood. I ripped it into half and left it on the street.
"This is like a nightmare. This is like a horror film. What have you done?"
I stopped at another house, blood all down my front. I saw someone inside. I was going to get help! I pounded on the door. Blood spattered all over. A thought popped into my head, I should be naked, why shouldn't you be naked? You're dying. You should be naked. I took off my pants and my underwear.
"This is like a horror film," my thoughts said again.
An old lady opened the door, saw me, covered in blood, and screamed. SLAM! I was locked out. I wasn't alone, but I wasn't wanted. I had no idea what to do next. My instincts, reflexes took over. The blood was clotting, clumping, falling off me. I ran through some yards, jumped two fences, and ran out in the main street near my neighborhood, University Avenue.
"What are you doing? You've finally gone crazy."
I saw a minivan coming. About 35 miles per hours. It swerved. I was too fast. I jumped in front of it. I remember myself in the air, looking up at the gray sky. I was on the street, looking up at the sky.
There was a mustachioed man, screaming at me. I couldn't hear him, I'm deaf. I could just lipread what he was saying. It was something like... "Calm down! Calm down! Don't move!" I don't really remember this part very well.
He grabbed my throat. I saw people all around me, standing, some of them on cell phones. I reached out my arms, I think I croaked out "Help," once again my memories are hazy. They avoided my arms. More people came to hold me down. I felt more hands on my throat, then everything was black.
I woke up at 9:40 AM, Sunday, April 1st. Right when I woke up, I couldn't open my eyes. I thought, "Am I dead?" No, I could feel other people in the room, if I was in a room. I decided "I'm done, you're done, done, done. Never again." I eventually managed to open my eyes, and I was in the hospital, the ICU, with my family around me and two nurses looking at me.
I spent the next three days in the ICU. I had missed my jugular, missed my trachea, by a single centimeter. If I had cut any deeper, I would be dead right now. I broke my right big toe, still limping around on it. Lots of road rash, two major impact cuts on my left arm that will leave scars. My neck is healing up, but the scar will be there for the rest of my life. That, and the memories.
I've given up all drugs, except marijuana and alcohol, and even those I'll probably only ever use in small or moderate doses. I've satisfied my curiosity, and learned quite enough from the psychedelics. I just knew that I was done. I have a complete lack of desire to ever take another trip.
My reaction to the whole thing? I feel normal. I don't feel depressed or happy or anything. I think about it every now and then, especially when I handle knives, but it doesn't dominate my thinking. I sleep about the same as I did before. Actually, even better - I've been waking up at 7:45 sharp for the last week, 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. I've never been able to do that.
I still hold the same opinions regarding drugs - they should be legal, bla bla bla, etc. My family has come over to my side, seeing how I still defend them even after nearly killing myself and even after swearing off them for life. "All that and he's still like this? Maybe he's right."
I can't believe how badly I fucked up, though. Impulsive dosing of acid? Taking it alone? Taking it in a shitty setting? A little bit of forethought would have prevented all of this. I'm more upset with myself for breaking so many personal responsibility rules (and right after I explained to my best friend, the night before, how safe and responsible I always was and always would be) than I am for trying to kill myself twice.
I've lost all fear. Deep ocean? Vast space? Women? Driving? Nothing fazes me anymore. I almost died - twice - and I guess that had some effect on me.
But, holy fuck, how did I survive? My mom claims it was a divine being watching over me. I scoffed at that, but sometimes I wonder. A single centimeter away from the jugular? Only a single broken bone from getting hit by a 35 MPH minivan?
I guess I only have seven lives left.
If there are any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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