Monday, 7 February 2011

It started here...

Here, in this unassuming little end terrace.

Me and Dave dropped a tab each, and went out for a walk. Twenty minutes later, and still firmly connected to planet Earth, we arrived here,

This little pub, right down on the Dee marshes was and is stripped down to the basics. It's too small to be anything but a place to drink, so there's no jukebox. No television. No fruit machine. Just tables and benches and a bar, and in the winter, a roaring fire. But this was summer, and we bought ourselves a pint of lager each.

Now I'm not the sort of person that can let a drink go unfinished. Not unless I fall asleep, but now, I was starting to feel the first gentle inklings that the little piece of paper I'd swallowed was going to do something. We left our drinks and walked back into town.

By the time we'd reached the town centre, I was feeling very strange indeed. It wasn't a particularly nice feeling. I was a bit paranoid. A bit confused. But I couldn't stop grinning. I felt like it must be obvious to everyone around that I was as high as a kite. Like there was a big red flashing arrow in the sky above my head shouting "HE'S HERE!!! HE'S TRIPPING!!!"

But then we got back to Dave's and shut the front door, and I was able to relax.

The precise order of events is somewhat unclear. What is clear is that this was a powerful hit. I remember listening to the Psychedelic Furs, "Sister Europe" and the phase effects in the song took me with them to some place far above the earth.

My eyes were closed, yet I could see an image in my mind that was as white as snow. Then the whiteness got sucked through my eyeballs to leave blackness, which in turn sucked through to leave the white again.

There was a clock on the wall. Black hands and black roman numerals with a plain white face and a round pale wooden surround. But now the white was icing, and the hands and numerals were blurring and sinking into it. The patterns in the carpet were writhing and coiling slowly past each other, and when we moved, we left vague image trails behind us, like a Harold Egerton strobe photograph made real.

I found myself incapable of working out what to do with a guitar, and quickly gave it up as a bad job. And I laughed constantly and loudly at the whole universe for what may have been anything between 10 minutes and 10,000 years.

Somewhere in all this, I had to go to the toilet. I crawled up the stairs, and had the most amazing poo of my life. Seriously, words cannot describe the sensation of moving your bowels while you're tripping your tits off.

And somewhere in all this, the phone rang. I was in the back room, laughing my head off, and the phone rang.

Somehow I knew the call was for me, and that it was bad news. Dave answered it, and then called me to the phone.

It was my sister, Kate. My Mum and Dad had been in a car crash. Could I go down and see them and make sure they're ok?

A minute earlier, I was somewhere beyond Saturn. Now I was 100% in the here and now. I promised that I would go down and see them a bit later, but that I couldn't go right at this moment. Turns out that they got sideswiped by someone changing lanes without looking. A bit shook up but otherwise uninjured. But keeping things together while I dealt with the call was not a problem. Somehow the drug just hit the pause button until I hung up. Then I was tripping again.

We watched Copeulation, a compilation of videos by Julian Cope. In the song, "Laughing Boy", the sky was doing exactly what the sky outside our window was doing.

We watched it again a few days later, when we were straight, and the sky in the video was still doing what the real sky was doing when we were tripping. Honestly, you'd think Julian Cope had taken acid or something.

What else is there to say? At some point, things peaked. Then there was a sort of plateau phase that went on for several hours. Then gradually, things became less intense, and perhaps 8 hours after we took the tabs, I was able to go down to see my folks and make sure they were ok.

It wasn't a comfortable visit. I'd also smoked a lot of pot while I was tripping, and I couldn't find much to say. We watched a wildlife programme on the telly. (big African skies doing a little of the same weird shimmering that I'd been seeing all afternoon, and then I made my excuses and headed back to Daves.

Some time around 3pm I went to bed, and surprisingly, slept pretty much straight away.

I've never ever done it again (I tried to once, but the tab I bought from some shady shit called John turned out to be a small square piece of carboard with a picture of a strawberry on it.

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