Citation: Light Fantastic. "Turning the Trip On and Off at Will: An Experience with 2C-I (exp50819)". Erowid.org. Jun 28, 2006. erowid.org/exp/50819
My friend Kerry, an experienced tripper, treated me to 2C-I. I am pretty inexperienced and basically a teetotaler when it comes to drugs – I’ve done LSD a few times, mushrooms once, a few times on Ecstasy. This was my first hallucinogenic experience in more than 20 years and I really didn’t know what to expect, but I trusted K to make sure my first trip was safe and happy.
We prepared for the evening by eating lightly (he had only an organic milkshake for dinner; I ate some vegan spring rolls and a smoothie.) K explained that I wanted my stomach and intestines to be empty but I also wanted to have energy since we wouldn't be eating again for a day.
We made plans to go to an electronic/trance music concert in costume. The event was a perfect setting for this experience – everyone was dressed in metallic fairy costumes, there were fabulous laser-like intelligent lights that pulsed with the music, and the decorations included hundreds of helium balloons adorned with glowing light sticks and lots of twinkly, shiny, shimmery things. As I walked into the room, I remarked that it was like an indoor Burning Man camp filled with faeries and wood creatures and twinkling Christmas trees in fake snow.
We each swallowed 20 mg. of powder in a vegetarian gelcap – washed down with water. The trip started to come on faster than we expected, very Ecstasy like at first, but with a loss of coordination -- within 30 minutes I was struggling to put my costume on. I felt a little silly and giddy and clumsy. It was getting difficult to do simple things like tie a knot, (or for that matter, go to the bathroom without drowning my costume in the toilet!) and I started to realize that my towering platform shoes might be a little dangerous on this! By the time we walked into the show, I was getting a little nauseous and queasy. (K said this was from looking at all the lights and moving objects – I found it overwhelming, all the motion was making me seasick. I could control the nausea by focusing on something that was still or by not dancing.)
The band was starting to play and trip was in full force. Wow! It came on a little speedy, but there was no sense of warmth, and in fact, whatever temperature in the room was amplified and exaggerated – cold or hot.
“Hey, who turned the lights up?” I asked K. He said it was just my eyes dilating and taking in more light. Wow, it seemed like the room was suddenly lit with bright sunlight or TV camera lights.
The music was intensified both melodically and in bass, and visuals were amazing – better I’d say than what I’ve experienced on LSD because they were realistic and completely controllable. Definitely much more controllable than a mushroom trip and nothing was melting or scary – most of the visuals were amusing, light and cartoon like.
Every sense was exaggerated – but only one sense at a time. For example, if I focused on the music, it was amplified and distorted in a very delightful way. If I focused on lights or the little dots on the floor cast by the mirror ball, they were luminous and shimmering. If I touched someone every bump was amplified (I didn’t find touch nearly as appealing on 2C-I as it is on Ecstasy, and didn’t find it at all erotic either.) If something started to get distorted or scary all I had to do was stop focusing on it and look at something else and the hallucination would end. It was like I had an on off switch to control the experience.
We went to another room and got a drink of water from the fountain. It tasted fine. But when I poured it into a plastic cup, I could taste a horrible plastic taste. Later, someone burst a balloon and we could smell the helium and sulfur for what seemed like several minutes. When we tasted some fruit we could taste all the pesticides and chemicals. We remarked that the strawberries were pumped up with steroids and they seemed laughably and grotesquely oversized. Corn chips were perceived more as texture than taste (cardboardy) and the only food that seemed appealing at all was pineapple, which was intensely sweet and cool. Food wasn’t appealing at all on 2 C I, but amazingly we had an appetite, which is rare on a psychedelic. And boy, if someone had bad body odor or was drinking – I could smell it from several feet away.
I always felt in touch with my mind and never completely lost touch with reality. K and I carried on an animated conversation with surprising depth and clarity. If I started to trip on, say, watching the light show or staring at an amazing crystal necklace, I could just say: ”Ok, I’m going to talk now” and the hallucination would stop. Whatever was in the center of my vision would be transformed – but everything else in the room remained normal. It was like a trippy lens I could focus on things – I compared it to a Photoshop filter. Lights were intensified in a magical way and sound was rich and enveloping.
After a few hours, the visuals changed and got a little scary. I saw my friend K’s face morphing into an old man, and any imperfection in someone’s face was amplified and distorted – red splotches were really red, lines deeply etched, pimples were huge, bags under the eyes were swollen and black. I noticed that objects were starting to “breathe” and pulse. But strangely, only the object I focused on in the center of my vision would breathe – everything else stayed normal.
I started to get tired and wanted to sit down. At this point, closed eye visuals were very entertaining – and I found that I could “see” the music. The visuals were very much like Huichol Indian patterns, fractals or Alex Gray paintings – ranging from black and white to what I’d describe as Mc Escher images in full color (bright fluorescent rainbow colors in a limited palette with few gradations.) The images were moving in sync with the music – but I couldn’t tell if they were following the beat or the melody.
As soon as I opened my eyes, the visuals would disappear. It's very interesting how the '2 C I' brought up intense visuals and superficial visuals and deep thoughts as well as critical/cynical/hilarious/giddy thoughts. I said to K that I would remember it as Too See Eye – the most visual of the 2Cs.
Sometimes I had a sense of connectedness and euphoria similar to Ecstasy, but sometimes biting cynicism and a bit of paranoia crept in. I found myself frequently annoyed by people in my space -- especially the drunks and the people spilling beer on me and stepping on my toes. I tried not to be critical, but I was feeling a little snotty – not all lovey dovey the way I would be on Ecstasy. K and I remarked how obvious the drunken people were – we could immediately sense who was on alcohol as if 2 C I was a drunk filter. It also had a “truth serum” effect, making conversations very honest and usually charming, but not necessarily accepting or tactful, I’d say rather blunt.
I found K’s sense of humor absurd and hilarious on 2 C I and was having fun just watching him prance around the room and dance. We were very social on this hallucinogen and able to hold superficial, chatty conversations with strangers without any difficulty, though I didn’t find it all that great for dancing and it made me feel a little goofy and uncoordinated.
My jaw started to hurt - Kerry said that was because I was smiling too much! We were both definitely very childlike and giddy.
I didn't feel like hugging the world or get that sense of everything is beautiful--a little reclusive. Maybe it was the set/setting and not the substance? Perhaps I would have felt very differently at a different event where alcohol wasn’t being served – or maybe I needed to be outside in nature and not confined in a room.
T +5:00 …
As soon as the music ended, the I wore off too. It was like “wham!” Comedown! It wasn’t a gradual descent at all but more of a feeling of Cinderella waking up at midnight and discovering the coach was really a pumpkin and the coachmen were rats. K came down at exactly the same time and told me that everyone comes down at the same time on this drug and that I have to re-dose immediately if I want to prolong it.
Suddenly the light show was banal and ordinary, and it seemed like someone turned down the volume on the music. The room was abruptly much darker as if someone turned down the lights. I started noticing all the trash on the floor and the spilled beer. The magic was over.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
We drove home (K to my amazement was able to drive and “track” lanes perfectly, and he was in control, though I felt too tired to drive at this point myself). We noticed that a driver in the next lane was probably intoxicated with alcohol and she was weaving to the right of the lane, practically off the road. It’s weird to me how this drug seems to make it so easy to spot the alcoholics and how I could turn the trip off completely when I needed to function.
The house was extremely cold and it seemed claustrophobic when we arrived. I still saw things “breathing” and moving – and it was strange to see familiar paintings in my house starting to move as if they were animated cartoons.
K and I slept surprisingly well, but I had to get up and pee several times and was really thirsty. When we woke up, we both felt a little foggy – nowhere near as rotten as I’d feel after say, drinking three drinks of alcohol (which would usually give me a raging hangover/headache) but a little burnt. My eyes were crispy and sore and my joints were a little stiff and achy. No jaw tension, and no breakouts or pimples, but my face, to me, looked a little haggard and tired.
We spent the day lingering in bed and were incredibly talkative and giddy. Rather than being deep and introspective and emotional (as we would be on Ecstasy) K was more intellectual in a light and funny way, with absurd Robin Williams-like, manic humor. I wasn’t feeling especially sexual, but we made love and it was also giddy and fun. K had no problem at all getting or maintaining an erection though I wasn't as aroused as I would usually be.
We showered and went to dinner and wow, as soon as we had some miso soup and a bottle of mineral water we were back to normal. I guess it was just low blood sugar and dehydration. K drank an entire liter and a half of water. We ate some wonderful sushi and remarked at how clear and bright our vision was, though I was still feeling some “dancing” or weaving of objects if I really focused on them.
I had a little trouble driving (still a bit disoriented 24 hours later) and couldn’t get to sleep. My eyes feel 'fried'. Wondering if this is from staring so intensely at bright lights for 6 hours last night? Or maybe just from wearing my contact lenses so long.
I don't have that spiritual afterglow/Euphoria that I felt after Ecstasy and I feel at a loss for hiding the euphoria I would have felt with this other feeling, which is more withdrawn and critical and less optimistic/empathic/emotional.
Late that night, my vision is very bright but things are still waving sometimes when I try to focus. Sometimes I am seeing sort of a vertical notched pattern that is overlaid on flat surfaces and 'floaters' in my eyes. It's a little difficult to stay focused on the computer screen even though it is very clear and crisp. Hoping this feeling and a sort of mental fog will pass when I wake up tomorrow and eat a ton of vitamins. Music still sounds unusually great now.
K didn't have any problems getting to sleep and slept really soundly. K said he felt really rested and in a great mood when he woke up.
I slept like a rock too--very dreamy. Woke up incredibly sexually charged and wishing I had someone to share this feeling with. Very energetic the next day and getting a lot of practical work done, but a little melancholy and negative – not the optimistic euphoria I would feel for the next three days after doing ecstasy.
K remarked that this experience made him reconsider 2 C I’s potential to be deeper than he previously thought. K described it first as a “trivial” hallucinogen and I’d have to agree, it’s not going to make me examine my life in depth and it won’t change me the way LSD might – but it’s not a superficial party drug either.
This drug seems to be simultaneously intense and light, introspective and giddy. I think of it as a selective hallucinogen – it can be whatever I want it to be. If I want to see visuals, I can see visuals. If I want to focus on aural hallucinations, it’s aural. If I want to be deep, I can be profound. Whatever I choose to focus on becomes amplified or even distorted, but as soon as I decide to go back to “normal” I’m there. I am always in control of the experience – which is very different, I’d say, than trips I had on LSD or psilocybin.
Would I do it again? Probably not (I like Esctasy and low doses of LSD much better).
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