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Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hallucinagens and Me-- Is My Brain As Fried As it Feels

I happened to mention back a post or two that I had imbibed a non-legal mind-warping substance called "ecstacy". A commentor pseudonamed "ariola" asked for some elaboration, so here it is.

Some historical background is helpful to this narrative. I had experimented with mind-altering drugs in San Francisco in the mid 1960s, relying on the sage advice of Timothy Leary and others who told me I would expand my mind in the process. Some grad students that I knew cooked up little pills of peyote which gave me a really strange dream experience. People at several of the parties I attended (consisting mainly of law students) passed out LSD tabs which gave me a very weird view of the world for a few hours. I took a young lady who could best be described as a lovely hip flower child to see "Fantasia" during which we "expanded" with some LSD-loaded sugar cubes, a truly remarkable experience. I also had explosive sex on qualudes, but I don't know if that counts as hallucenagenic.

I stopped this behavior when an ex girlfriend had a bad trip at a party in Sausalito. I took her to a hospital where they kept her a few days but were clueless in knowing how to treat her. Four days later she was institutionalized and sent back to St. Louis. After that, I stopped taking hallucenagens (unless you count marijuana, which I don't).

Roll the script forward nearly 40 years. My wife went on a business trip for several days to San Antonio. I mentioned my temporary bachelorhood to a young girl I knew, who suggested that I join her and her boyfriend who were going to a "rave". I had never spent an evening in that manner, and showing my usual impeccable judgment agreed that this would be a fine way to pass the time. I should point out that at the time I hadn't the slightest idea what "rave" meant.

I was told that these parties were fairly well organized, having the requisite disc jockey playing obnoxiously loud music. The location changed week-to-week to avoid official interruption. Maybe 200 people were there, all much younger than I. It cost $20 to walk in. There was no ID check. I saw people drinking beer but nothing stronger.

At that point my friend pressed two small pills in my hand and told me that they would greatly enhance my enjoyment of the evening. I hesitated very briefly, mentally repeated my life mantra "what the hell", and popped them down. Within minutes I was feeling energized, with a warm fuzzy reaction to everybody and everything in my immediate universe. I was told later that I danced all over the floor, but I don't remember that part. I felt an overwhelming feeling of friendship toward everyone around me, particularly women, but it was a sensual not a sexual attraction. I was not alone in this reaction. Lots of hugs and kisses, no sex. Strangely, though, it was a very satisfying experience. A few hours later I was driven home on cloud nine, and woke up the next morning with no hangover or even tiredness.

In retrospect, I was stupid. Would I do it again, given no negative consequences? Probably not. I gave in to an impulse and was lucky to come away unscathed. If I could feel that good without the physical and mental risk, though, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Later.

5 Comments:

Anonymous blue girl said...

I knew someone when I was much younger that had to be institutionalized because of drugs. Sad. I was very adventurous and curious many moons ago - not so much now...

So, Papa Bill -- how's the nice-guy act workin' out for ya? It's Wed -- week's half over -- got any news to tell?

4:22 PM  
Blogger Jake Silver said...

I'm not the greatest at math so I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what age you were when you experimented with Ecstasy? It seems like if you say you did LSD in the 60s and then "roll the script forward 40 years" that would put you close to 60 when this happened? I honestly don't care about the drug use itself, but it is great to have my stereotypes shattered. I dig it. But also I did not think you were close to 60. I need to see if you mention your age anywhere on your Blog... maybe I'm not paying attention...

7:38 PM  
Blogger Jake Silver said...

hmmm. No I can't find anywhere where you specifically mention your age. But I do recall you took up the Blog class... so perhaps you did this (the class) after you retired ? ... and the retirement age is 65. So the puzzle pieces do fit. For some reason, I kept thinking you were closer to 50.

7:43 PM  
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