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Is This One Real?
Citation:   pharmofile. "Is This One Real?: An Experience with 2C-E (exp40417)". Feb 8, 2005.

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14 mg oral 2C-E (powder / crystals)
It's two o'clock in the afternoon and I am lost in an endless, ancient forest. An hour ago I wandered around the same area, noticing the roads and bike paths cutting their way through the orderly stands of planted trees. The paths were full of people bicycling or walking their dogs. They are probably still around right now, but I don't notice them. I am watching a sea of pinecones.

Forty-five minutes ago my boyfriend and I swallowed 14mg of 2C-E dissolved in fruit juice and headed off into the woods. This weekend we are at an ambient music festival being held in a forest amphitheater. The music seems to follow us wherever we walk, and we joke about having our own movie soundtrack. This is the second time we have tried 2C-E. The previous experience was very pleasant despite persistent nausea, and we have been looking forward to this afternoon.

Ten minutes ago I was trying to read an information board along a path and noticed that I couldn't focus on the words. The harder I tried to read it, the more impossible the task became. I started to laugh, but then I noticed an older couple approaching. The nearby village is populated mainly by wealthy, conservative retirees, and I felt ashamed for acting strangely and disturbing their daily walk. We quickly moved on, deeper into the forest.

During the last few minutes the trees have grown taller and older, and I am back in the forests I knew as a child. Walking over the top of a small hill, we are suddenly surrounded by a stand of pine trees reaching improbably far into the sky. Sunlight streams through the canopies in tangible ropes of golden light. I can feel them as a weight on my shoulders. We are in a cathedral more magnificent than any in Europe, but everyone else rushes by on their walk and doesn't notice. The ground is littered with thousands of small pinecones. I am certain that I have gained the ability to focus on them all at the same time, and we sit down to look at them for several minutes.


The next path is narrow, winding its way between trees and undergrowth. The remembered sensations of childhood return, and I feel like I am once again seven years old, running through the forest behind my grandparents' house on trails known only to me. A nearby flutter catches my attention and I turn to see a robin sitting in a tree just a meter away. Although it is dark in this part of the forest, I can see the robin in crisp, colored detail. Everything around it has smeared into a featureless grey background. I watch the robin. The robin watches me. It is magnified - the structure of each feather is clear, and I can see it breathing. We watch each other until Z grabs my arm to tell me something. I startle and the robin vanishes into the forest.

The forest thins and the pine needle carpet is replaced by fine sand, shining brightly in the afternoon sunlight. I can tell that I should be feeling hot walking on the sand, but my body is not registering temperature any longer. We head back to the forest edge to sit in the shade. My eyes track every insect along the way. A large dragonfly hovers in midair in front of me, and I see in slow motion the wings tracing a figure-eight in the air around the metallic green and gold body. Smaller insects compete for my attention, scuttling through the sand all around me in eye-blinding colors. If I focus on them all, I can see the entire sandy path wriggling with life.


Four forty. Edges of objects glow and ripple. When I look at my skin, it first turns wrinkly and warty, and then transforms into tree bark. Mazes and tribal patterns spread across Z's face when I look at him. It is difficult to watch - some part of me does not like seeing this alien version of him. We have been talking all afternoon, about life, work, friends, and what we are experiencing, but now I am having a hard time putting my thoughts into words. Complex ideas are being lost halfway through their explanation, and I decide to wait until tomorrow to finish parts of the discussion. I have a small notebook with me, but I don't feel like writing down more than basic timing information. Z says that he keeps seeing things in his peripheral vision that aren't there when he turns to look at them.


It is just after six o'clock, and we are supposed to meet a friend at the parking lot on the other side of a lightly used local highway. The cars move treacherously, sometimes barely advancing, sometimes racing by. I know their speed is constant, but I can't judge it with any accuracy. We realize that we can no longer decide when to cross safely, and that the only option is to wait until there are no cars visible. Other people cross back and forth, looking puzzled at our indecision. Our friend arrives, and waves at us from the opposite side. When we refuse to walk across she hurries over. After we offer a contorted explanation she laughs bemusedly at our condition. Should I really be out in public like this?

We head for the amphitheater. I am uncomfortable near the festival, sure that everyone knows (and cares) what I have done. We pass stands selling food and drinks, but the smells make me nauseous. I sit down to listen to the music and wait for the others. Z returns with a plate of fruit slices, and we are soon surrounded by a small cloud of wasps. He waves them away, but one hovers directly in front of his face. He points at it and asks me 'Is this one real?', which elicits a giggle from the people sitting behind us.


At half past eight, the clouds are still rearranging themselves in a kaleidoscopic dance as we attempt to tell our friend about our experiences today. Speaking is not as tiring or difficult as it was several hours ago.


By ten o'clock we are back at the amphitheater. Now that it is dark, I no longer feel watched by everyone I pass. I still can't stand the smell of food, but I manage to choke down a bit of salad. Nausea is being replaced by a dull but insistent stomachache. Something is wrong with my sense of balance - I stumble around and need to occasionally grab onto handholds. The images projected onto the trees and amphitheater swirl only slightly. The visual effects are beginning to wear off. The music still sounds lovely, however, and I spend several hours listening to it and contemplating my life. Emotionally, this stuff is flat. No elation, no depression - just space to think in.


Nearly one o'clock in the morning. The visuals are gone, but some mental cloudiness is still present when I try to communicate. The stomachache has worsened, and is overshadowing any remaining positive effects. I'm ready for this to be over, and return to the campsite. Luckily, sleep comes easily, and the stomacheache is gone when I wake up.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 40417
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Feb 8, 2005Views: 32,028
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2C-E (137) : Various (28), General (1)

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