Citation: Yoschie. "Getting To Know Me: An Experience with LSD (exp51241)". Erowid.org. Mar 6, 2006. erowid.org/exp/51241
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Location: Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, NYC... Alex Grey live painting event
Dose: 10 strip of good, clean white on white.
I had been saving some paper for the past couple of months to do a higher dose trip with when I got the chance. About a week ago, a friend of mine told me that Alex Grey would be doing a live painting at his space in Manhattan, along w/ psychadelic dub/trance, and this sounded like the perfect place to take the dose i wanted.
I have been to CoSM in the past and really enjoyed the space. It has a main area that is used for dance classes, yoga, etc w/ a big open floor and mirrored wall... this is the room that had the music and artists. There is also 'The Chapel' where the original paintings of Grey's that everyone knows are on display... unfortunately, we found out when we got there that this room wouldn't be open.
On saturday I worked until 11pm when my girlfriend and two other friends met me at my work and we jumped a cab down to CoSM. After making it up the 4 flights of steps and paying the $15 entry, we made our way into the main room. There weren't really many people there at this point.. maybe 30-40 total. I managed to find my friend that told me about the event pretty easily. I had brought a couple extra pieces of paper and gave them to him. My girlfriend took 1.5 hits and I placed the ten strip on my tongue...
This took place at about 11:30pm
When i take 'cid, no matter what the dose, I know it right away... I feel this feeling start at the base of my neck and carry down to right below my sternum, not quite in my stomach. It's a strange electric feeling... like 'the tripping' is just waiting in there to come out.
We took a few minutes to check out the area we were in... it was one big room that had been partially partitioned into three areas using hanging tapestries/curtains. In the corner when you first came in was the first painter... he was doing a sort of cathedral on dark canvas.. it was in the very beginning stages so it was hard to tell exactly where it was going. To the right of him was where the musicians and visuals people were set up... they had two live drummers, trumpet player, dj, vj, and a lot of equipment. When we first got there the music was very organic and chill... nice psychadelic electronic dub, for lack of a better description. The visuals screens were playing cool shots of plants opening that had been computer altered to have eyes on flower petals and the stems of the plants... and some cool cgi of robotic plants. Across from the musicians was were Alex Grey was set up... He had laid out a sacred geometric pattern on a black canvas prior to coming and was painting a skull over that, using an actual skull in his hand as a model. To his left, in the back corner of the room was the third artist... she was the only one that wasn't painting on dark canvas and was using a much more airy, light style than Grey or the other artist.
Now, i had come to this party w/ work on me... hopefully you all know what that means. So, for the first 30-45min i was doing a lot of favors... and the place was gaining people pretty steadily. I don't generally talk to people i don't know.. so, i just floated the word with my friends that if people talked to them, they could come find me. It's a pretty safe method, and i know a couple people that work at CoSM which helps reduce the risk, too.
After this, I took a minute to sit with my friends and smoke a bowl of some 'mist' and eat some fruit snacks... I could feel the tripping feeling coming on pretty steady and was starting to notice the wobbly vision in the corners of my eyes that lets me know the fun has started. I watched the visual screens for a while and talked to my girlfriend and friends.
It was now approx 12:15am
I got into a pretty lengthy discussion about high dose tripping with my friend that invited me.. (I guess we'll call him matt). Matt had taken 20mg 2C-I, 1.5g mushrooms, and some sort of tea that i can't remember, that night... but has had some higher dose mushroom trips and L trips. At first I listened to him talk about his theories about different psychedelics and their different 'resonances'... this is was basically an idea that on some super molecular level all psychedelics resonate at a different pace... this causes subsonic vibrations that alter your visual perception, aural perception and mood... all in all a pretty interesting theory, but he can dive really, reallly deep into that stuff.. and while i'm interested in the science of psychedelics, i don't necessarily like getting to deep into it while actually tripping.
We started talking about my half oz experience and what it was like in comparison to an 11g experience he had. This in turn led to a conversation on death. We talked about our different theories on what the actual 'dying process' is going to be like... all in all it was a pretty interesting conversation.
As I was talking to Matt, I started noticing pretty strong visuals coming on. There was a pattern over my entire field of vision that pulsated and pixellated along w/ the music and dancing... waves of color would start on one side of my vision and sweep to the other, constantly fluctuating in brightness and color tone. At some points I would notice a bright spot in the center of my vision that would sort of 'explode' outwards in all directions. Within this patterning would also be spots that would appear closer to me than others, and spots that made things seem farther away... it gave a really strange, carnival-mirror distortion to everything around me. Once i started to notice these things, it took me a minute to be able to focus correctly and navigate the room.. it was getting more and more crowded very quickly.
It was getting close to 1am by now...
I broke off my conversation on death with matt to join my girlfriend for a bit. We decided to check up on the paintings that were being done and to watch Grey paint for a little bit. It was really cool because he was on the same floor level as the crowd and totally amongst the crowd... you could talk to him while he was painting, and while i didn't personally do this he seemed very accomodating of the people that chose to speak to him.
My girlfriend wanted to try and get to see the chapel even though it was closed.. so we headed off to find my friend that works at CoSM to see if we may be able to get a peek inside. We were told that this wasn't possible, as it would risk him getting into trouble, which i didn't want to do. So, we settled for the next best thing.. the prints that are in display in the hallways and sitting room outside the chapel.
We looked at a few prints and sat down to talk. At this point i was tripping very hard visually. There was no unaltered point in my vision.. the world had become a very, very interesting place. I would have stalls in my vision where everything would go 'stop'.. then motion a few seconds later.. a strobe-light like effect, i guess. I really don't remember what exactly we were talking about.. I think I was just recounting my conversation with matt and some of the scientific aspects of psychadelics that she really doesn't think or know about.
In the middle of the conversation this guy comes out of nowhere... and i mean this almost literally, considering the amount of distortion in my peripheral vision he basically appeared our of a colorful box. He appeared waving a $20 bill in my face and saying something about $10. I was completely thrown off and really didn't know what this guy was asking me... I didn't recognize him and definately had not talked to him that night. At first i thought he wanted two tens for a twenty and told him i didn't have change.. then he said something about wanting something blue, and i told him i didn't have anything blue... and then he said he wanted '$10 and $10'. I'm getting really frustrated with this guy at this point.. i'm like, '$10 of what? i don't have anything for $10'... and he took off. This was in front of about 15-20 people and was a pretty uncomfortable situation. I didn't really handle it the best, but all things considered I did my best.
I decided I wanted to go find my friend to see if he knew this guy. I found matt pretty easily and he told me that a guy he knew had just come and talk to him and was looking for something for $10, but that he had told him not to talk to me. After a few minutes, the guy came back around... it was the same person, and somebody I had met once before but didn't recognize at all. I politely explained to him never to run up to me waving money and to try and be a little more discreet in his personal business... he appologized and everything was kosher.
It was getting close to 2am at this point...
My girlfriend and I went to find our other friends.. they were all near Grey watching him paint and dancing. By this point in the night the dynamic of the event had completely changed. The organic, chill music and evolved into psy-trance... the crowd had changed... there were a lot, a lot of people and the place was really hot. We came to find out that a psy-trance party that was being thrown elsewhere had been shut down so all the people there had headed to CoSM. Amongst the new immigrants to the party was a large segment of eastern european men that are at a lot of psy-trance events in the area... they are generally thuggish and show up to push a lot of substances really fast. They add an uncomfortable edge to things, I think, and I wasn't happy to see them there.
After talking to our friends for a bit, I got too hot and headed back into the sitting room to cool off. I took off my hoodie and sat down. I just kicked back and did some thinking. I thought about my job, i thought about my side work, i thought about my girlfriend and our relationship... and the whole time i was just blown away by how hard i was tripping. It was completely manageable for me at this point.. it took focus and some mental power to be able to navigate the crowd, do favors, hold conversation, etc.. but it was w/in my grasp. I have taken many, many 10strips in the past.. but that was during a time when i took acid about 2x a week... so the tolerance factor was obviously there. This was about as hard as I can ever remember tripping on acid.
I started thinking about where I was right then.. I was in an environment I love.. in a scene I love.. with people I really enjoy. And I thought about how much risk it took to live a life that I really enjoy.
This is time for yoschie's personal history 101.. or this trip report won't make sense.
In the beginning of 2000 I started working for a sound company that did sound/light production for clubs and raves throughout new england. We did events every weekend in NY, CT, MA, NH, ME... all over... and on the rare night we didn't do an event, I would use my status w/ a production companies to go to events for free. I met some really good people during this time... and also made some really nice connections for obtaining quantity of L and other substances. It wasn't long before I started investing in sheets of paper and getting rid of it at parties and concerts.
I was in school full time and hustling in all my other available time. I had VIP access to so many events and was granted free roam at a lot of places. This led to a pretty big business for a college student. I started out making about $500 extra on the weekends.. but by the beginning of september when i hit my biggest night, i pulled in $11,500 in one night.
I have always hustled, since highschool.. usually just buy enough of something so that once everyone else pays for what they want, mine is free... but, this was actual business.. and lots of money. I loved it.. I loved the lifestyle.. I loved the fact that i could hold a lot of shit together at one time.. I loved the risk, even.
By september of 2000, i had graduated from school.. and jumped on the fall phish tour. I only made it about half way across, to Chicago, when I was arrested. Basically, I ended up charged with 9 state felonies and 4 federal charges relating to the possession and distribution of controlled substances.
I was released and had to return home to my parents for the duration of the trial period. In the beginning of 2001, I took a plea for 1 felony and walked with 2.5yrs probation and fines... not really a bad outcome.
Over the next 4 years i tried all the time to start really working and stop hustling.. but, at the same time i didn't try and quit doing drugs at all.. I didn't want that. and as long as I am around these things, I hate paying retail for any of them.. so it leads to a pattern. Especially since with my new felony to put on my record, it was really hard to find a job at all, let alone one that actually payed well.
I worked off and on in PA and CO.. and got arrested again in CO in 2003... I wound up doing almost 5 months in jail at the beginning of 2004 and then was put on probation upon my release. I totally fucked up my probation.. I had 7 hot UAs in like 3 months and went through a few jobs... the entire time i was working, i wasn't really working. Finally i was sent back in front of a judge, but my probation officer didn't show up to court and the vioations were all dismissed. I was refiled into the system... and apparently my file was lost... I waited 8 months and was never contacted by anyone. That's when I moved out here to NYC, with the intentions of changing.
so, the point of all that back story..
back to the trip..
I was thinking about all this past history of mine.. and how I had really tried to stop my repetitive actions, but that I really don't want to. For some reason, I really enjoy it. Maybe I have some fatal character flaw that when I think about the consequences of my actions.. and the effect that my going to jail would have on my family, my girlfriend, and my friend... that it hurts me to think that they would hurt, but that i don't get the thought that I should stop. I just think, 'that's reason to be more careful.'
I recognize this thought pattern, and constantly do battle with myself about how to change it.. or if I really even want to. So, that's what I was doing now... looking at the night and just how risky it had gotten.. with the random man waving money and the unsavory crowd element.. and the fact that I was tripping really hard. I also started thinking about the fact that i had to work in approx. 12hrs.. and while I knew that I wouldn't be tripping then, I knew that I was going to be tripping for a while and would enjoy it more at home now.
I decided that it was time to go... it was not a major decision.. I wasn't having a bad time.. I would have been able to stay and have fun, but I had to work and wanted to be rested. I debated it in my head for a few minutes.. but decided that leaving had definately become a process at this point in the evening.. I had to get my jacket and girlfriend.. find and say goodbye to about 5 people.. and take care of some the last minute business that people always want when you're leaving. It was now that my hoodie decided to get the best of me and proved that it was really time to go.
It was roughly 2:20am.
When I took my hoodie off, somehow i pulled the one arm w/in the other arm. When i went to put my hoodie back on, I was met with a formidable opponent. Basically the arms had become like one of those liquid filled tubes that slides back and forth. I was sure that my hoodie had two arms.. i had just taken it off.. but i couldn't for the life of me find the one arm due to the fact that they had been connected. The dark room and visual distortion made this task very difficult. Thankfully, after a few failed attempts and getting into my hoodie, Matt came by and after humorously explaining my situation to him, he found the culprit arm and helped me into my hoodie. I'm sure this whole sequence was extremely enjoyable for all the people around me to watch.
After defeating my hoodie, I went to locate my girlfriend and tell her that I had decided that I was leaving. I wanted her to come with me, too. I located her, and told her, 'it's time for me to go.'... apparently she thought this meant I was not ok.. and after a few questions on why I wanted her to come with me, she came. I left looking like i was having a bad time, apparently.. but it wasn't really that... and I just didn't feel like sitting there and explaining that I wanted my girlfriend to come w/ me so that i had someone to tell all this shit to... so, when she asked me, 'do you want me to come with you because you can't go by yourself?' I said, 'yeah.' It just made the leaving process easier.
It was about 2:45 by the time we finally headed to the exit..
On the way out, I was really excited to see Alex Grey standing with a bunch of prints near the entrance, so I took the chance to go say hello.. shake his hand... and to tell him 'thank you for the artwork and opening your space to us all like this... it's really been an honor.'.. he replied with, 'thank you for coming and sharing this with me.' It was really pretty cool.
So, we headed back into the world... down the 4 flights of steps and onto the street. It was chaos out there. CoSM is on the same street as like 4-5 other large clubs, so there were tons of people on the street, people shouting, cabs honking... and the wind was howling... it was crazy out there.
We managed to flag a cab, and after a brief altercation with a couple girls that tried to steal our cab when it moved to a safer loading location, we headed to my girlfriend's apartment in Brooklyn.
The ride to her apartment was spent by me trying to explain to her my real intentions behind having her leave with me.. about how we were a 'unit' and I just though that it was the best idea for the both of us to leave then so that we could spend some of the trip alone. I also explained to her the dilemma I felt that I was in regarding my current and ongoing relationships with drugs... and how I thought that for me to really quit doing more than just doing drugs, that I would have to quit doing drugs.
It was a little after 3am by the time we got back to Brooklyn...
After getting back to her apartment, we spent a few hours looking at some photo books and talking about a lot of things regarding our relationship, our relationships with our friends and where we see our lives going in general.. individually and as a couple. I talked myself out of hustling and back into it about 5 times during the conversation.. and really reached no real conclusion. As bad as I can make myself feel for living the way I do, I see the side of it that is ok just as easy.
I also tried to explain to her the visuals I was seeing.. and in the process had one of the strangest acid visuals ever. We had been talking about me getting a ktten at my new apartment earlier, and as i'm standing talking to my girlfriend I see one of those explosions of color.. but coming from the left side of it is a black silhouette of a cat.. like a halloween cut-out, sort of.. and it comes with the wave of color, but then it's like it entered my head at the left corner of my eye and i saw the image of a cat in my head. Totally bizarre, but pretty cool. It led to me kind of flinching and saying, 'a cat just jumped into my head.' hehe.. it obviously made no sense to my girlfriend.
The visuals were still really strong at this point.. about 4.5 hours after dosing... but much more enjoyable in a home setting.. much more controllable for the most part and more able to be focused on. I when i looked straight ahead, i described my visuals to my girlfriend like this,
'About one foot in front of my face there is a plane.. it's sort of like there is a really fine screen right in front of my face. I know that's what past this is real, and what i see on this screen is altered. Now, it looks like behind this screen there are orbs.. or something round making alternating areas of spherical vision.. rounded edges, etc. And, the whole thing is pulsating lightly.. it's like if you were to lay on level with a speaker.. and watch it play really low frequency sound over a long period.. that slight vibration that the speaker cone has is what this screen looks like. But, that will change with the pace of music or sound in general. And, on this screen there is a basic pattern.. sort of like an escher drawing... but, this morphs at times, too. sometimes the pixellation will drop out at one point and just be very clear on one side of my vision and then wave from side to side. Sometimes I have like rainbows of color that just appear from nowhere and completely change the tint of the room. Sometimes there are explosions of color and patterning that make it really difficult to see what is real at all. That's why sometimes you'll see me stop and either close one eye, or close both eyes and shake my head.. it's like a kaleidoscope, it changes my focus.'
6:00am - We put on some music and went to bed for a bit... considering my girlfriend had taken a substantially lesser dose, she was done tripping before me and went to sleep. I spent the remainder of my trip snacking and relaxing.. and took a shower.
I layed down for a little bit, and then headed to work at 3pm.. still with a little visual distortion from dosing at ~11:30pm.
So, all in all a very nice trip.. taught me that for similar situations a 10strip is not really kosher anymore if I plan on doing people favors, too.. that I have to just be tripping to do that much in a social setting.. 10strips+ are no longer party dosages for me... but, are still well within my enjoyable trip range.. it leaves me anxious for the next step up.
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