Citation: Jungle Girl. "Robot Overlords and Waiting Until You're Older: An Experience with Butane (exp111617)". Erowid.org. Jun 2, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111617
Our understanding of the literature is that there is no such thing as safe recreational use of volatile solvents, aerosols and other street inhalants : their psychoactive effects are inseparable from nerve and organ damage. We have chosen to include these reports to help document the real world use of inhalants, but their inclusion is not intended to imply that they are anything but dangerous.]
As a young child, I used to suffer from excruciating ear aches which would usually be coupled with high fevers. One time, when I was 8, I began hallucinating. As I looked out of my bedroom window, there were giant robots who were moving objects. They would take something large and make it very small. I remember crying to my mother, trying to explain what I was seeing- it just came out unintelligible, as I lacked the ability to express my visions and feelings, which were overwhelmingly frightening. I just blabbered and cried. I was having a really bad trip and my mother was barely able to calm me. I cried so much that I lost my breath and began hyperventilating. My mom brought me a cool washcloth and laid me in bed, placing the cloth on my head and speaking softly in her sing-song voice which soothed me. As I closed my eyes, the thought of something so large being made so tiny was implanted in my mind. I could still hear the robots, even though I couldn't see them. They were taking metal the size of cars and making them as small as if extending one's thumb and index fingers parallel to each other to shown the minuteness of some... thing. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep, awakening as if the episode had never occurred. Though for years after, the image of robots haunted my memories.
When I was 12, my friend, known as 'Christine', and I used to, on occasion, do the, in retrospect, dumbest thing on the planet. In hindsight, we are probably fortunate to be alive, now that my brain is fully developed and can realize consequences of actions. We spent bored days stealing bottles of Ronson or Zeus butane (with colorful tips for refilling any brand of lighter) from Rite-Aid in Philadelphia. We'd hang on the edge of a hill, at the top of 'The Tracks', where a freight train exchange station was seated. We'd slip bottles under our sleeves, always making a purchase, like a small bag of chips, gum, or even cigarettes (people sold cigarettes to kids in those days), to make it look like we were legitimate customers. From there, we'd head around the back of the building and would walk to the edge of the back lot where active train tracks met a depot that backed several factories that produced paper and various textiles, off-loading and swapping old railroad cars. Many train cars were left behind that we would often explore with our other friends.
Looking out over the tracks, Christine and I would take turns inhaling butane, always careful to keep it upright so that the warm gas would enter our lungs. Somehow, we were 'smart' enough to know that our lungs could freeze, killing us, if we allowed the -4 degrees Fahrenheit liquid butane to enter our system. We would 'fish out' sometimes, losing consciousness for short periods of time, seconds that felt like minutes. Sometimes, we'd light a smoke to make sure we weren't out for long. We could judge the time by how much the cigarette burned away. Over the course of that year, because that's how long we did this for, Christine and I would begin to hallucinate scary, crazy shit. The trees transformed into giant robots that looked like At-Ats from Star Wars, except these were stationary. They were moving their top halves but their legs never moved. They were shiny metal and had faces that looked like Skeletor from He-Man, except they were massive. One was the size of a building. Both Christine and I experienced auditory hallucinations as as the machines moved, shifted, and worked. They were intimidating and it brought me right back to my childhood and the hallucinations caused by high fever.
I am lucky to be alive. As a 40-something woman who has kids now, I think about the importance of educating people about such things as 'Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome', which inhalant users can die from, resulting from cardiac arrest. I do have a heart arrhythmia now, which may or may not be caused by inhalant usage. Kids can't find safe substances to experiment with all the time, so they are left with alcohol and inhalants, two of some of the deadliest substances.
Of all the substances I've ingested in one form or other, this is right up there on that list of 'Fuck that Shit.' I am always reminded of Dale Pendell's 'Poison Path', and this stuff is definitely on a path of destruction, and not one of enlightenment. If I sound preachy, good, it's my intent. Some substances will kill you and others will not. If you're looking to enhance your consciousness, huffing butane is not the one for you.
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