Citation: Mythago. "And So I Swallowed the Fire: An Experience with MDE & Absinthe (exp36096)". Erowid.org. Aug 21, 2004. erowid.org/exp/36096
||(powder / crystals)
| T+ 2:00
The blonde in sleek leather, thin black bra, mischievous eyes, pure skin, lush mouth. I watched her, in another life maybe wanting to know her, or to know how to fit with her world. She laughed beneath the tent canopy and silver tinsel, her forearms resting on the curvy red top of the bar, which was constructed from wooden pallets. Beneath the bar's laminated surface were singed and blackened quotes about fire. I was at a regional Burning Man festival, a crazy-beautiful event of true joy and cosmic outrageousness. And let's not forget fire. I stepped to the bar and leaned against it. She was on my left but I was intent on rest, a place of calm, wanting to quiet the energy from the night. I had no want to feel the sensual pulse. The man next to her was extolling the virtues of absinthe, as he melted a sugar cube in a spoon above a cup. The sugar was burning. 'I want another,' she smiled, 'drop it in, my friend.'
Once the sugar became fully liquid, he tipped the spoon and let the fiery sauce pour into the cup and the waiting green. He dropped the spoon and stirred, fast whirls, the absinthe turning white, the stone and metal sound of collision, ting ting ting tinging. He handed her the cup and she surrounded it with her hands and tipped it to her lips. A quick up thrust of throat and cup and she swallowed, the fiery liquor searing down her throat. She grinned and set the cup down on the bar, wiping lips with the back of her had, her eyes flinging silver, flinging gold, aflame.
don’t stop moving, you’re making me hot--
She moved off. I looked at the glass bottle of absinthe; it was European bottled, maybe Czech.
My friends and some others had been talking about absinthe all-night.
'Hey, could I have some?' I asked.
The man nodded, his cowboyish straw hat half-absurd and half-perfect with his daring, his bravado. His fingers performed a quick unscrewing of the cap, a pour-splash of absinthe into the cup, swirl, set the bottle down, pick up the spoon, place a sugar cube, flick of lighter and then flame to the cube until it lit. Green fire, sizzling, melting.
We watched the sugar burn. When the spoon was full with liquid, he glanced at me, smiling, and dropped the spoon into the cup. I swallowed, tried to be ready. Ting ting of spoon. He pulled the spoon and handed me the cup. I raised the gift and drank. Half the milky-white mixture, then more, then a last gulp.
I couldn't swallow. The sensation of licorice, infinitely heightened, something minty, other unidentifiable herbs, the wormwood, my mouth exploding, almost overloading with sensation. I gulped and felt the fire burn down my throat, too hot, I thought, too much, I'm not sure I'll survive this. The heat of the drink wound down my esophagus, spreading into my stomach—I even felt it seek deeper, this fire, this green succubi. I didn't want to stagger. I did not. I looked up, my face flushing. The cowboy guy nodded. I smiled, eyes lit. Fuck. 'Thank you,' I said, and stepped on heels away from the bar.
I had to move. I had been seeking peace coming up to the bar and now my insides and sanity were disintegrating. I was anxious I would fall to the ground. I didn't want to do that. Not only so I wouldn’t fall into embarrassment, but also so I just wouldn't. I strode down the path. I felt nauseous. I walked until I was away from the lights, and went off the path, climbed up on a tree stump. I knelt, holding one leg. Okay. Breathe. Breathe more.
I quieted. After a few minutes my clarity was stronger than ever before during the night. The stomach distress passed. I was astonished, the absinthe had somehow made me whole. Or at least made to feel that way. I walked sheepishly back toward the main camp lights and the bar. The blonde was still at the bar, laughing. I stood beneath the tinsel, understanding her now, her sleek smile, those dangerous eyes, her dares.
I leaned against the bar, and didn't drink a thing besides water the rest of the night.
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