Citation: Logan O.. "Ride The Lightning: An Experience with LSD (exp112070)". Erowid.org. Jul 4, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112070
This is a report of my most profound psychedelic experience. I recorded as much of it as I could in my journal the day after it happened so that I wouldn’t forget any of the finer details.
As most people reading this already know, words don’t really capture the real significance of a powerful psychedelic trip, but writing it out really helped me process what I saw and felt and the post-trip confusion that’s made it so hard for me to leave this experience in the past.
After an exhausting first year at college, I was more than ready to unwind for the summer. It had been a great year, but towards the end of it I felt like I desperately needed to escape the chaos of campus life. Unfortunately, things were just as chaotic back home. My friends were getting into legal trouble and my folks were going through some kind of mid-life crisis, so I bought a train ticket with what little money I had and went to live with one of my closest friends.
About a month before school, I moved back to campus to live in my fraternity house with a couple of brothers that had stayed for the summer. It was a very empowering place; seven of us had the whole two-building compound to ourselves until fall. I was having a great time when I first arrived, but in the back of my mind I knew that the fun wouldn’t last forever. I was spending way too much money on weed, my relationship with my family was terrible, and the shitty campus job I had was barely supporting me. All of that on top of the fact that I wasn’t at all prepared for the school year? I was digging my own grave. But things just didn’t seem... serious. That was definitely about to change.
July 5th: Night of the Trip (Setting)
Independence Day was brutally fun. When the next day rolled around only a few guests, some beer cans, and a beautifully pungent American pride remained in our courtyard. I woke up just before sunset to the sound of fireworks launching into the sky like the bombs that inspired the Star Spangled Banner. While I smoked away my hangover on the roof and thought about what to do with the long night that lay ahead, a strange and yet all too familiar feeling took hold of me, and maybe instinctively, I knew it was time to trip again.
This is where shit gets weird. One of my more interesting frat brothers (I’ll call him Carter) approached me not an hour later with an offer to trip if I could pay for three tabs of acid. This was really strange given that we weren’t very close and I hadn’t hit anybody up yet. Meant to be, or mere coincidence? I’m not so sure, but needless to say I accepted his offer. By now the stars were coming out and the frat was mostly empty. It was a clear, calm night.
We’d be giving the third tab to a brother I’ll call Mikey. It would be his first time tripping. Together, Carter and Mikey formed a duo that was both feared and loved throughout our small Greek community for the crazy shit they would pull at parties. They were filth at its finest; it would undoubtedly be a trip to remember.
We dropped the tabs in Carter’s apartment directly across the street from the frat around 9:30 PM. I was somewhat skeptical of the whole situation. I actually snuck my tab off my tongue after about ten seconds, hid it in my sock, and eventually ended up committing and swallowing the whole thing. Small white blotter. No taste. We did not test it, so I can only assume that it was LSD. There were no other drugs in my system other than THC and alcohol.
At 10:30, I could literally feel the come up in my bones. Colors were a little more saturated, my perception was remarkably clear, and I had a gut feeling similar to the one I get when I’m locked in and slowly ascending the first hill of a roller coaster. Things were moving smooth and predictably except for a slightly delayed onset, so the three of us giggled our way back over to the frat in a quest for some joint cones.
By the time we arrived at the back door, my depth perception was all kinds of fucked up. We tried to play some basketball but the hoops were suddenly twenty feet tall and swaying like palm trees in the wind. My peripherals were very wide; I could extend both arms all the way out on either side, look forward, and still see my hands. There was also some faint color pulsating.
Out of nowhere, a powerful rush started to wash over my body and the stereotypical “I took too much” moment was suddenly upon me. Without saying a word to my tripmates, I decided to go inside and lie down. In hindsight, I should have just said something and stayed with my dudes, because this is where things took a sharp turn for the worse.
I entered the nearest room to find my fraternal big brother (mentor) and his friend smoking and drinking beers on the couch. The room is dark except for a few candles and the harsh light of the TV. The various bongs, bottles, and fast food on the coffee table had multiplied into a sprawling city (not a metaphor, literally a city) of glass and paper that seemed to emphasize how much I smoke weed and eat junk food. I laid on the bed in the corner of the room and stared at the television in horror as Joe Dirt’s mullet became a cascading waterfall of smaller and smaller Joe Dirt faces. It was my first time watching the movie, and needless to say, it made absolutely no fucking sense. At this point I had become an alien in a human’s body, so I tried to fit in with the other people in the room by laughing when they laughed too, but it only made them more suspicious of my true identity.
As my body began to tense up and sweat, a few dudes from down the block came in and bought some weed. I hallucinated a caravan of maybe twenty strangers that had come with them to make fun of me for being so fucked up; they all stood around my bed and laughed at my discomfort.
My mind started to spiral into psychedelic insanity as I realized too late that the fraternity might not have been the most stable place to do this shit. It’s typically a comfortable environment for me but the lack of privacy and slightly occult atmosphere were quickly becoming overbearing. I closed my eyes in an attempt to calm down and was greeted by swirling geometrics and pulsing white lights so bright they should have blinded me.
I opened my eyes to find that the walls of the room had completely disappeared into an inky black, endless darkness. The ceiling, now freed of the constraints of walls, stretched high above my head at odd angles where it typically lay flat. It looked and felt like I was in a completely new place. “Left” and “right” nauseatingly merged into a single, impossible direction, but I could still somewhat distinguish between up and down.
I eventually forced myself out of bed and went to my own room. After changing out of my sweat soaked clothes, I checked my phone. It was only 11:45. My body was doing okay but my mind wanted this chemical gone. I went outside and projectile vomited what appeared to be toxic green slime. With my tripmates nowhere in sight, I was forced to surrender to the house once more and decided to lay down in an empty room. I must have been delusional at this point, because my goal was to just... go to sleep. I turned off the lights and laid flat on my back, alone.
I don’t really know what happened next. I think I passed out and had a kind of fever dream of a tall red figure asking me if I was ready to die. Some of my friends think this was Satan, but I don’t think so; the figure didn’t come across as menacing. When I chose to return to Earth, I almost immediately woke up. I checked the time again. 12:00 AM.
The trip definitely switched gears after that. I knew there were a few bad vibes to overcome, but I was suddenly much more comfortable in my intoxication given that I’d literally just defeated death. How much worse could it get?
I crept back to my big’s room and found him alone and passed out drunk. Rick and Morty provided the only light in the room. I sat on the couch and became transfixed by the implications of modern entertainment, the show’s trippy themes and tense dialogue quickly plunging me back into madness. At this point I figured the bad trip would never end and that I’d been banished to some form of chemical Hell. Just as I accepted my fate, around 12:15 or so, Carter and Mikey burst into the room.
Carter saw what was happening and pulled me off the couch, the two of them surprisingly calm and collected. I didn’t get the impression that they were tripping as hard as me, but they also hadn’t thrown themselves head first into introspective darkness. Instead, they had gone to a nearby river to shoot firework mortars into the sky and had even managed to smoke a few more joints. When I initially chose to go inside and abandon my fellow trippers in favor of solitude, I destined myself for that dark journey. Once we reunited and their playful, energetic presences put me back at ease, I was finally able to succumb to the more positive power of the drug as we wandered the streets like the sweaty, tweaked out acid heads we were.
By 1:30 or so, the three of us had walked a mile or two around town and ended up on top of a parking garage. It was a god damn miracle that I was keeping up with them while we walked, let alone that I was able to navigate and hold a conversation amidst constant warps in what seemed like space and time itself, but my motor skills were totally intact. It was a warm summer night, and I found great solace in the breeze as we looked down on the streets below us.
Mikey was taking it like a champ. He was showing the signs of a typical first timer, occasionally laughing about how crazy we probably seemed to the rest of the world. When I looked in Carter’s eyes, I saw something else entirely. Whatever visited me that night seems to have visited him as well, but it was apparently not his first encounter. This made me wonder; how much control over the trip do we really have? All I was looking for was a light show, yet there I was, unbelievably more fucked up than I had ever been in my entire life. Mikey provided some sobering insight as we hiked back to safety:
“Dude. I get it. I never understood how you could just end up homeless as fuck, wandering around all the time like a lunatic. It makes perfect sense now. Fuck weed, fuck crack… fuck all that shit bro. This is insane. If you got a hold of this stuff and you weren’t ready, what the fuck would it do to you?”
What would it do to you? I have always had good plugs, good friends, and a stable environment to trip in, but all of my experiences with psychedelics paled in comparison to this and it was one of my less risky endeavors.
I have always had good plugs, good friends, and a stable environment to trip in, but all of my experiences with psychedelics paled in comparison to this and it was one of my less risky endeavors.
You could secretly slip someone a pot brownie for the first time and scare the hell out of them, but what happens when you give someone drugs like this when they’re not ready? Most of the people I know going around looking for “acid” are average partiers just looking for some cool colors, euphoria, and whatever else might be bundled in a lower intensity trip. These people (myself included) are usually looking for more of an MDMA / Molly high, but they don’t know how to describe it effectively, especially if they’ve never taken any kind of psych. It got me thinking about how my brothers and I typically make fun of the old homeless men that wander aimlessly around the city covered in dark and mysterious tattoos, but now the three of us had joined them on their endless march. The only difference was that when we finally couldn’t drag our bodies any further, we had a place to rest until normal life resumed.
We got back to Carter’s apartment just before 2:00 AM. We took refuge in the same room we had started the trip in, but things were much different than when we’d first popped our tabs. Though it was unbelievably dirty and unkempt, Carter’s room provided the three of us the protection we now desperately needed in order to stop thinking about the outside world. Here we had air conditioning, tons of trippy posters to look at, and bean bags on which we could finally let our brutalized bodies rest. At this point I assumed that we’d passed the peak, but it certainly didn’t look like that was the case.
As we all finally relaxed and let the acid do its work, something began to change. Instead of geometric chaos or the usual “breathing,” I saw objects for what they were, yet they were imbued with some indescribable psychedelic power. The room we sat in could have been no bigger than 10x10 feet, but it felt as spacious as an empty ballroom, like I was looking up at a ceiling hundreds of feet above me. The disco lights that spun around us seemed to really be enjoying themselves, and occasionally, they would emit a playful laughter similar to the sound of wind chimes. The posters on the walls did not morph or spasm. Instead, they were buzzing with electric color and pure, radiant beauty, but it was a calm and controlled beauty, almost as if the acid had applied a trippy filter to my everyday vision. When I looked out of the windows, all I saw was an infinite field of stars in every direction. It seemed that the three of us had literally lifted off into space.
The ornamental hookah that towered in the middle of the room shimmered with what I can only refer to as electric rainbows. It was blowing a ridiculous amount of smoke. The clouds we puffed would cascade between our bean bags and pool up on the floor like fog rolling through mountainous valleys thousands of feet below us. My pupils were so wide that it almost hurt, but apparently we had ascended past pain into a place where only orgasmic pleasure existed; it literally felt like I was having a full body orgasm.
The whole thing was very Promethean, like I was experiencing something that humans are usually not allowed to be a part of. It was also very ritualistic. It was as if the Universe had selected me for some kind of honorable cosmic initiation, but this may just be my ego’s way of viewing it. It definitely made me feel like a badass when it struck me that I was probably the first in my family’s bloodline to ever experience this kind of ecstasy, but the term “badass” falls short of what I felt to be the absolute epitome of cool. I had tapped into the galactic heart of eternal youth and it filled me with a power that I still have absolutely no words for. Lightning literally shot forth from the heavens and struck me with envy, for I had somehow stumbled upon God’s power without believing in God or even knowing that such a thing was possible. (I’m trembling as I wright this.) The energy around us was so palpable that I honestly thought a sober person might walk in and scream in horror at the crazy shit that was going down, when in reality they would have seen no more than three stoners on some bean bags. Crazy shit, man.
At one point I felt like our brains were merging into a single unit through some kind of sexual mind-mechanism. A beam of pure energy shot through my skull like a beacon in the night that I could have sworn was visible for miles! Had we left the house to find crowds of cheering people congratulating us on winning life, I would not have been surprised.
I did my best to just let it all happen. The three of us didn’t say much for an hour or so but the emotion in the room was palpable and plain in our bewildered facial expressions. Carter handed me a Mountain Dew, and as my hand touched the can and connected the two of us for but a brief moment, the entire room became submerged in a bubbly green liquid. Other than some accents of pink here and there, literally everything in the room turned a brilliant green. Carter’s long, wavy hair began to float as if we were really underwater. This was by far one of the most incredible things I’ve ever witnessed. It was more than just a lucid hallucination... His hair was really floating, his tattoos impossibly meaningful hieroglyphics. He radiated cosmic power.
I was fucking awestruck. Behind Carter, through a veil of soda bubbles, I could see that we were still in space. I wanted to get up and stick my head out of the window to see how far we’d gone, but I was far too overwhelmed to move. Lightning struck again, this time bringing with it a shower of candy, the kind you’d see in a children’s cartoon. The little candies danced around me, twirling the fog of the hookah in their wake, each cloud now glowing neon blue. Youth seemed to be an important motif behind this part of the trip, and in an ironic way, it felt like what was left of my innocence was being utterly obliterated by witnessing such fantastic magic.
Ever since the moment we’d returned from our excursion to the parking garage, two gigantic speakers had been pumping out an intense mix of hyper-charged EDM that seemed to propel us higher and higher with every beat. It was an impossibly energetic music that seemed to pair perfectly with the carnival of colors that swirled around me, hypnotizing me. I thought about how electronic music might be the perfect psychedelic soundtrack for the modern tripper with its never-ending, constantly evolving sound. At least, it was perfect for the three of us.
Time melted away and for what seemed to be an eternity, we sat in that room, the rest of the city fast asleep as we soared to unimaginable heights. By the time the sun was rising, around probably 6:00 AM, Mikey had gone home. With one of our sacred acid bonds severed for good, me and Carter fell awkwardly back to Earth as we smoked one last joint and talked about the trip. At the time, I was so blown away that I didn’t really say much. I sort of expected the credits for my life to roll and someone to shout, “That’s a wrap!” Instead, Carter left me with this: “Now you know what it’s like to be as high as humanly possible.” He said it so causally that it gave me the chills.
By 8:00 AM, only an afterglow remained aside from the generally weird feeling I had after seeing such crazy shit. I bid Carter farewell and went back across the street to my room in the frat. After taking an hour long, steaming hot shower, I laid down for a while in shock. My phone fell behind the bed that I’d watched Joe Dirt on, and it would take me a week to find it, but that’s probably a good thing. The enormity of what I’d witnessed made me want to call my mom, call my dad, call 911, fucking ANYBODY. Did no one see my skull beacon?!
The next few days were unreal. Smoking weed made me pretty uncomfortable and I was even more reserved than usual. After deciding to go back home and work on myself before tackling school, I did a fair amount of research on psychedelics. Without the internet and its treasure trove of resources, I would have gone insane.
This trip changed my life. I gambled and won big time, but I also got a preview of how bad it hurts to lose, and even though I say I “won,” there’s still a price to pay. I cannot share the true nature of what I saw; there are literally no words for it. I’ve never seen it captured in paintings or photos. I’ve heard it in some songs, but still... It’s not the same. Don’t underestimate these drugs.
So, there yah go. I’m counting the days till I can blast off again, but I figure it’s best to save such bold adventures for a future me, so I’ve decided to wait until I’m at least 25. Thanks for reading, and peace!!!
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