Citation: Duke of Dank. "A Tale of Two New Year's: An Experience with Mushrooms & LSD (exp68180)". Erowid.org. Dec 31, 2015. erowid.org/exp/68180
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It was New Year's Eve. The final day of a three night concert run by the band Umphrey's McGee. The weekend had been full of emotional peaks and valleys as I had given every ounce of positive energy I could muster to make certain that everyone involved was safe and having a good time. 15 of us piled into that hotel room that weekend, I certainly couldn't turn away old high school friends spun out of their minds on god knows in the middle of downtown Chicago.
One of the wayfarers offered me a homemade mushroom chocolate as we stepped out the door of the hotel room. It was about the size of two reese's cups stacked on top of each other and I somewhat drunkenly munched down the delectable treat with a smile. We hurried to the Red Line L-train for the 30 minute coast from our hotel to the venue. As follows is the timeline for the worst New Year's Eve ever:
7:15 p.m. - Chocolate consumed in good spirits.
7:30 p.m. - Train is boarded, seat is found, things are comfortable.
7:50 p.m. - normal anxiety and stomach aches begin to kick in and I become more aware of the force of the train beneath me and the mass of people inside its corridor. I am beginning to feel a little bit uncomfortable, but talk myself into believing it will subside.
8:00 p.m. - pillars and walls begin to bend and deform as the train races past them and the anxiety and uneasiness begins to shift into confusion and fright. I am unsure which stop to exit the train and frantically hoping to reach our destination as soon as possible.
8:05 p.m. - We arrive at the Lawrence St. Stop, the Aragon Ballroom is directly across the street from the train station, but I am having a hard time functioning. We stand in line and at this point I am in the full on throes of a mushroom trip.
8:10 p.m. - Security is passed and I nervously follow my friends as they waltz carelessly through the lobby and into the theatre. Taj Mahal is playing a ripping set but the music is too loud, the floor is too crowded... I'm freaking out.
the music is too loud, the floor is too crowded... I'm freaking out.
8:20 p.m. - I sit in the lobby near the women's restroom hugging a garbage can and manage a gag but cannot expel the fungus. I'm REALLY disoriented at this point. This place is a freakshow and I'm caught in the middle!
8:40 p.m. - after another 20 minutes of sheer terror, my friend Heather arrives and in my mind none too soon. 'she's here to save me,' I think to myself. She has to use the restroom but swears she will return.
8:45 p.m. - She returns and helps me stand and I try to relate to her my dire situation and we hug and she kisses me and a couple of times and smiles and tells me everything will be fine. I'm beginning to realize that she is in fact hammered drunk and is too far gone to help me in my state of panic. I ask her to catch me a cab, she says they won't let her back in so I tell her that I'll be alright and just need to sit out a while.
9:00 p.m. - I have switched to a more central location in the lobby and in a major last resort move begin calling out to random heady looking people that 'I'm tripping too hard and need some help'. Some answer brashly with responses such as 'buy the ticket, take the ride!'
9:10 p.m. - A young guy with big dreadlocks kneels down next to me. I am completely drenched in sweat, even my hair is soaked, and by now I'm actually crying a little bit. This is a complete and total nightmare; a traumatic experience no doubt.
Dudebrah: 'Hey man, you don't look so good. Can I help you?'
Me: 'My friend gave me some mushrooms and it's just too intense. I've been freaking out for a while now and I just want a taxi back to my hotel'
Dudebrah: 'well, let me tell you from experience that a hotel room is a terrible place to come down from a mushroom debacle as you are currently experiencing. And I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't have come here to spend your New Year's Eve if this wasn't your favorite band.'
After another couple minutes he ushers me up the stairs to the handicapped section of the theatre. 'Sit here and hang out. Nobody will mess with you. Just listen to the music and get what you can out of it. You know how it works, things will be cool again real soon.'
For the first 2 of 3 sets, I sit in the handicapped section with my eyes closed. The music is somewhat soothing, but only because it is familiar.
The music is somewhat soothing, but only because it is familiar.
I make it to the floor for the midnight balloon drop but refuse to walk out into the pit.
12:30 p.m. - I decide to beat the rush and take a taxi back to the hotel and get a few minutes in of non-stimulation. Of course, within another hour the crew shows up and are ready to party.
I don't know how many times that night I told everyone to 'shut the fuck up', but I was still way out of sorts until I finally caught a little shut-eye around 4 a.m.
Fast-forward a year...
New Year's Eve again. The first few months of this year were tough. It began with a major debacle and I was thrown off kilter completely. After turning 21 and moving into my own apartment, things started to turn around and I knew I'd have to return to the same spot again on New Year's Eve with a vengeance. I had bought a good amount of acid from the kid sleeping on my neighbor's couch. The stuff was great. I'd taken it over a dozen times by this night and started my day off with another dose. The effects were equally amazing every day and not once did I feel any anything negative: this stuff was clean.
7:30 p.m. I've already been out of my face on this stuff for the last 4 days (although with plenty of sleep in between) and I'm feeling great. My room this year has 8 people including myself and we are mellow and having a great time. We go through 7 bottles of champagne and a bottle of rum and decide it's time to get going.
7:40 p.m. We arrive at the train station. I eat another half of a tab. I have decided that it is much better to increase in half tab increments because they are less drastic but give me plenty of warning as to when I've had enough. And, even if I've already had enough and still have another half tab on the tongue, everything is still groove central.
8:10 p.m. After many jokes and high spirits, we arrive quite suddenly at the Lawrence street stop. This year has already been far more organized and enjoyable then last year and the excitement level is huge. I rush to the bar across the street to close my tab from the night before and immediately back to the line.
8:20 p.m. Security has just molested me at the door searching me more thoroughly then most prisons in this country. But I'm in like sin with 5 hooters of homegrown sour bubblegum and tin foil full of half tabs.
8:25 p.m. I have lost all of my friends but feel no panic. I ascend the beer-drenched stairs to the top and enter the dance floor. After a small amount of exploring, I find my friends in our usual spot for the run. Along with them are about 20 other people from my high school. It is beautiful. We are all looking and feeling so beautiful, enjoying our youth and celebrating the coming of another marvelous year.
11:55 p.m. - I'm having a great time, and so are my friends. Every once in a while I fill as many pint-sized beer cups with water, knowing that a good majority of us are on this great acid or a tenth of really great molly that the good phreakers are trying tonight. The band starts playing their last set which will take us through the arrival of the New Year until the wee hours of this beautiful morning. At this point, I'm probably on 5 tabs for the day, but about 3 since I left the hotel.
At this point, I'm probably on 5 tabs for the day, but about 3 since I left the hotel.
11:59 p.m. - 'This is it people, the end of 2007... Make this last minute count!' yells the band's lead singer. And as we dance and spin and laugh our way closer and closer to those magic numbers, I look around at my 2 dozen friends who have shown up tonight, and the thousands of other kids that I've never met experiencing this beautiful night, the light show becomes more intense, the band rages on with fire and we count '10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
12 midnight - HAPPY NEW YEAR! Without skipping a beat, the band breaks into Auld Lang Syne. A thousand balloons of assorted colors and sizes fall from the ceiling. I'm so in love with life, and I thank my lucky stars for granting me wonderful friends and the experience of such joy, and I thank myself for allowing it to happen. I am crying profusely, but not because I am sad, but because I am just so overcome with this emotion and relief as I hug my friends, some I've known a decade, some I met only this week. I know now that everything is truly alright and that I've been ready all along to make this year one of the best of my life. It has certainly started out that way.
2 a.m. - We return to the hotel to eat, drink, smoke and enjoy each other's company. Our room has a view of Lake Michigan straight ahead of us, and the chicago skyline to our left. The lights are enchanting and psychedelic and we are all enchanted and out of our minds.
7 a.m. - Some of us have gone to sleep, but one of the girls and I hang out in the hallway stinking it up with cigarettes and super chronic herb for hours until we finally collect our spot in one of the beds and drift into carefree sleep. It is January 1st, 2008 and for the first time ever, I have rung in the New Year partying with my friends in a controlled, enjoyable manner.
for the first time ever, I have rung in the New Year partying with my friends in a controlled, enjoyable manner.
We were all safe, we all had fun and nobody got too fucked up. All in all, it was a love-fest and the best new beginning I could've ever asked for.
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