Citation: John. "The Stevie Wonder Incident and Impressionism: An Experience with LSD & MDMA (exp110444)". Erowid.org. Jun 6, 2017. erowid.org/exp/110444
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It was early May during a visit to New Orleans for a close friendís bachelor party that coincided with JazzFest. I had previous experience with MDMA, shrooms, and hippyflipping, but had never met up with Lucy beforehand. My close friends were a mix of experienced LSD users and debutants like myself, so the groom and I coordinated with a college friend of mine that could acquire a fair amount. Iím generally an optimistic person with an openminded worldview that rides the line between extrovert/introvert, and I can often be a little too rational/logic focused in how I see the world (dorky engineer).
I flew in the day prior to the bachelor party guys and in the safety and comfort of my friendís house, who provided everything, had my first LSD experience. Through uncertainty about the early onset effects, we re-dosed twice throughout the night (+1.5h and +4h) and I ended up having the most abstract philosophical conversations with her about life and self. Ultimately I lost complete touch with where, why, how, and caught myself in magical loops of fragmented sensations of time and space. It was the most intense experience Iíve ever had, in an interestingly beautiful way. Fast forward 15 hours and the effects had finally waned down.
The Main Show:
The real intriguing experience came the second day of the weekend with the bachelor party guys. After describing my experiences to them I felt confident that if I could handle a pretty moderate dose for a novice in a private setting that a low dose in public would be more than manageable, and the thought of candy flipping entered my mindósince we managed to obtain a couple grams of really nice crystalline MDMA along with a 10 strip for the weekend. The blotter strip was not perforated, so each of us tore a roughly square-ish size strip to have on hand to go to Jazzfest. I first dosed mineóactual dose is unknown (but the experienced guys later say it was really strong stuff)óat 245pm during a beautiful sunny afternoon and some funky brass band lighting up the crowd.
As a dorky engineer, Iíve developed a habit of using my phoneís stopwatch to keep track of my drug experiences after consuming anything. I easily get lost in the moment and with MDMA, shrooms, or even a lot of pot, will experience various amounts of time dilation. My stopwatch is the foundation to keep me grounded to the reality of the experience if need be; a reminder that it is in fact a temporal experience if it becomes uncomfortable.
At +45min I started to feel a slight body high coming on. It began to feel like I was floating within my body. Shortly after the first band stops playing and we walked to another tent to see some blues. I dosed about a half hour after everybody else, so the group was coming up together in staggered stages. We sat down in rows of seats in the blues tent and quickly my buddy and I decided that weíre already too high and loving the music to be stagnant and sitting down. At +1h15min (ish?) three of us split from the group and head to another stage to see some bluegrass. I began to feel a little anxious about how floaty I was feeling. My body was functioning fine, I could walk just fine, but I had minimal grasp upon what my body was in terms of space anymore and it felt somewhat numb. I could see my extremities and had heightened tactile sensation but I was only really aware of that touch when I was focused on touching something.
When 430pm rolled around we decided that we should get a spot at at the main stage to see Stevie Wonder. I bought a drink on the way and spent several minutes trying to focus on counting my money before walking up to the counter. The entire world had the same idea, and the three of us mistakenly believed that we could see holes in the crowd that would allow us to move to the opposite side of the stage. I have no idea how long it took us to move to where we did, but we were immediately engulfed in a sea of strangers and energy that became entirely intolerable. I was floating through the world and felt immense anxiety and claustrophobia. Voices from people around me no longer were comprehensible and I had to focus immensely upon the stage to prevent a panic attack from building up.
We finally all looked at each other with a common understanding of the situation and decided to escape. I donít think I would have been able to connect my feelings with the physical process of crying from how anxious I was, but it was one of the strongest desires to withdraw that Iíve ever had. My mind felt connected to the present moment in fragments and abstraction
My mind felt connected to the present moment in fragments and abstraction
but was lost from perceptions of past and future. In hindsight I know it became a loop of feeling frightened from the tight crowds (literally we were squished against people on all sides), reminding myself that I was on drugs and it wasnít forever, deciding that I was okay and would be out of there soon, completely forgetting my previous thoughts, and repeating the process. The fucking Stevie Wonder Incident nearly led to a complete breakdown around thousands of people.
After an eternity (530pm, +3h) we managed our way out and I felt an immediate sigh of relief. The visuals had been going strong for a while but were limited to heightened colors, pattern shifting, and some shapes breathing. Somehow the rest of our group ran into us in an effort to get into the crowd just as we escaped. We walked to the next stage to see Snoop Dogg, which was much less crowded and a lot more relaxed. Everything was improving but it took me a while to recover from the anxiety beforehand and move onward with the trip. My hearing was distorted and the voices of strangers were difficult to really comprehend. It was like my energy was in tune with our group, the music, and natural world sounds, but was filtering out others. Quickly we determined that the sound quality was poor at this stage and we ventured onward to see Meghan Trainor, which despite being all about that bass, ended up being the most beautiful part of the day. The crowd had amazing energy that we all tuned into really quickly and we began to dance through the late afternoon sunshine.
When my stopwatch read +4h I took 200mg MDMA. After 30min the festival was over and we decided to walk from the fairgrounds to the French Quarter to see our next show (Greensky Bluegrass) at the House of Blues. I feel kind of aloof to the world walking through the streets. There are immense colors on all of the houses and vast disparities between dilapidated shacks and stately mansions along the way. Someone suggests food, which sounded completely repulsive, despite only eating breakfast so far. All of a sudden (+4h45min?) the pulsating world around me became a vibration of color and light as the MDMA began to take effect. I am not only looking at brilliant murals with street music all around me, but the world is an impressionist painting. All around me I see vibrant pastel colors that flow with dancing lines, blurred transitions, and breathe in the vibrations of the world.
I, am, impressionism.
Life is fully saturated. How can this be? My mind becomes clear as the MDMA overrides the fog of confusion from the acid and coincides with complete euphoric levitation. I transcend. My abstract oneness with the world undergoes a metamorphosis. To what Iím not sure. Still my awareness of self and space is warped and abstract, but instead of slight anxiety toward losing my body I feel like I fly through space and adapt my body to the energy and feelings of objects and colors around me. Our walk must have been several miles as it became dark. Street lights highlight the beauty and surreal nature of the world around me. I am still entrenched in the fleeting focus and abstract experience of Lucy but with a filter of clarity and outward confidence that jettisons me into conversation with everybody whose energy I am drawn toward. Our adventures end up in small alleyways with brilliantly lit art stalls that are overflowing with life, beauty, and textures that speak to me.
When we reach the House of Blues we have a couple drinks and I fumble my way through the entrance in slight confusion about how I get in. I am overconfident in my logical abilities. The opening act, a solo guitar player, moves my ears through the universe as the world reverberates in pulsations. I donít know if it was synesthesia per se, but the sound manifested itself in visual vibrations from the building and people. At +8h I decide to re-up the MDMA and have another 200mg. I donít feel any transition between the molly doses and the next several hours are spent dancing in tune with the world around me. This is easily the most MDMA I have ever had in one day, but it never feels like Iím rolling too hard and out of it like one might see at a lot of festivals. Itís a gentle crescendo of blissful existence that at +10h begins to come down from the psychedelic visuals gradually. My spatial awareness became more focused but remained slightly fragmented, in a strange sense that left me feeling exposed to the world but not vulnerable. At +12h the acid trip has waned and left me at the same time that the show ends.
We wandered out into the streets of New Orleans and with a subtle roll from the MDMA feel like the day's experiences and journey was a complete catharsis. From the anxiety and introspective abstraction of Stevie Wonder to living in the world of Renoir I am left with a profound sense of beauty and bliss for the world and mankind.
I feel comfortable navigating my way through my initial LSD experiences and know that in the future I can consciously navigate my way through the world to prevent/turn around a bad trip segment. My first candy flipping experience had no big come down (aside from sleep deprivation over the whole weekend, and I generally donít have bad come downs from MDMA either). The solo heavy LSD night, a night of MDMA, and a day/night of LSD/Molly from the bachelor party have left me with a heightened sense of empathy and compassion toward others several days out. Overall it was a beautiful experience that I am curious to explore in a coordinated situation again in the future.
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