Citation: BustedBanana. "Vaporwave, the Multiverse, at War With Myself: An Experience with LSD, Ketamine & Cannabis (exp116880)". Erowid.org. Jan 14, 2023. erowid.org/exp/116880
Prior to this experience, I've had LSD only twice before. It has been both a wonderful experience, as well as a catalyst for surfacing some of my past traumas - which until that moment I had done my best to bury deep down so much so that I had completely forgotten why I am the person that I am today. I was introduced to this drug by my now ex-girlfriend.
The first time it was with a group of friends that I had known and was close to, to some extents. At some point during the trip, I realised that some of my issues would resurface which is why I had to separate myself from the group and listen to the sort of music that would calm me down and keep me in my "happy space". My heart beats Heavy Metal.
The second time was done only with the ex-girlfriend. It started off great, with a lot of laughs, jokes, and a bit of crazy-talk. Several hours into the trip, sitting in front of the fireplace together, she asks something that completely shattered me to the core.
Why am I asking for permission to live?
As a child, I've had a very tough time growing up. I've been "fortunate" enough to live in fear for the first years of my life due to the ongoing violence happening in our house. Between shouts, screams, tears, and punches, I had seen it all. The only reasonable way I could conceive to cope with this was by shutting myself down out of fear of being hurt, or of potentially hurting someone. The only times when I could ever so slightly feel like myself was when I had gained approval from my peers to exhibit and express myself. Just for a bit.
Sharing this was a gargantuan task, and it took a lot of effort. Come next day, I felt very vulnerable. Upon speaking about it, we both came to uncover that we share similar burdens, and that they need to be addressed. The first rational step at that point in time was for us to break up.
Fast-forward a month, and I am excited to go out with a couple of friends to a Dubstep rave. This would be the fourth party I'd go to since the break-up and, although the heartbreak is still lingering a little bit, I was confident that all will be well. Concerts and raves are my coping mechanism. To add to that, in spite of all the partying, I had made incredible progress in finding where my issues lie, how they tie-in with my childhood traumas, and slowly but surely start loving myself. I decided it's time to take LSD again.
Some trippers might think that the setting is completely wrong (heck, even the mindset). Dubstep is a very aggressive style of music, which in combination with LSD could only lead to a very, very, very bad trip. Right? Not in the slightest. I did mention that my heart beats Heavy Metal however, that is wrong. Metal was there first, but in general I love aggressive music. It's what makes me feel comfortable, relaxed, and at peace. After my previous experiences with LSD (as hard as they were), I knew that this would be a night where I can have an intimate connection with music.
And I did. The heavy bass thumping in my chest, the syncopated cacophony of synthesized growls and aggressive leads fighting with one another, and the bone-crushing drums in combination with LSD made me feel alive. I could appreciate every artist, every drop, every unnatural sound, the crowd, and my friends. At some point, I was so elated, that I hugged and thanked profusely my friends for coming and being there with me. Both are not well versed into this style of music, so the fact that I could be there to share and introduce something I like made me incredibly happy.
It's worthwhile mentioning that neither of my friends were on LSD. Both were smoking weed, with one also having a light dose of MDMA. It's worthwhile mentioning that I didn't take a lot of LSD either; 150ug to be precise. I didn't want to go too hard since this would have been my first time dropping acid in the wild.
I didn't want to go too hard since this would have been my first time dropping acid in the wild.
As the ever so "cautious" person that I am, the dosage seemed right. However, being the ever so "contingent" person, I decided to bring a bit of Ketamine. Just in case.
It's 3AM, one of my friends left home, the venue closes in two hours, and it's been about three hours since I have peaked. As good as it was, I felt confident that I could have done more acid (note to self for the next time), but since I had none with me, I decided to go for a bit of Ketamine. I am well aware of its effects, as well as the downsides that come with it. As a result, I took only a light dose: 20mg, insufflated.
The party goes on. I feel a bit more euphoric as well as a bit of disassociation. The music is getting slimier, harder to digest, downright revolting, offensive, repulsive, and most likely breaking the Geneva Convention. Just the way I like it.
It's about 4AM and my friend wants to go out for a smoke. I go outside to keep him company, and notice he doesn't have a cigarette, but rather a joint. I am obviously not in my rightful mind, and that joint seems kind of enticing, even though having consumed two substances is already enough. Moreover, somewhere in the back of my head I knew that LSD does not gel with Cannabis, which could turn the blissful night into a downright mess. I ask anyways. I have one puff.
It is at this point that you, my dear reader, should know that I am extremely lightweight when it comes to Cannabis or Hashish. So lightweight in fact, that when I saw Deep Purple live, one puff from another friend's joint was enough to get me really stoned for an hour an a half. So much so, that I could barely finish my drink, move, or keep my mouth closed (thankfully I did not salivate). But, I thoroughly enjoyed the magic carpet ride that was Purple's show.
It must have been 5 minutes or so since that puff, and its effects started taking over. For the first few minutes, it felt like my entire body was high. Then, I started disassociating even more. The insides of my mouth became drier than the desert sand. My friends is talking about... something. I can't remember what, but that should not be of any surprise. I wasn't even paying attention, just nodding and making sounds. I tell him that this concoction is doing its job, and it's hitting me. Hard. I go inside and order two glasses of water. I chug both down for what started to feel like an eternity. I'm in the middle of a room, holding two empty cups of water, surrounded by people minding their business, and wondering how many minutes have passed since I went inside. Was it 5? 10? Everything around me seemed like it was moving at a regular pace, but I felt slow. I try to not panic.
Are there any trains that I can take home? No. That means I have to walk 45 minutes.
My friend was just about finishing his smoke when I rejoined him outside. Upon inquiry, it turns out that it took me only two minutes to drink my water and make a plan of escape. Since the only way home was the hard way, I decided to stick around and keep raving. Surely, dancing will help me blow off some steam and keep my wits about.
It must have been 10 or 15 minutes when I realised that something was very very off. I had a hard time being in the present and concentrating on the music. My body was dancing, but my mind was in the ether. Every moment I had tried to focus on was ephemeral. My consciousness was at war with my subconsciousness, and the latter was winning. I was still dancing, but could barely register what was happening in front of me, let alone have any spatial awareness.
Was I too close to a person? Was I against the wall? Where is my friend? What the hell is happening?
My consciousness was barred from receiving any answers. The subconscious transported me on a plane where I could clearly communicate with it, but in order to do so it had to take over the system.
I cannot say what we talked about as the war between my conscious and subconscious self was too distracting. I was reminded of my meditation exercises, and tried to force myself in the here and now. I tried. The sweet embrace of the subconsciousness and the promise of uncovering all the mysteries of my inner self was too appealing. It felt comfortable, and so very wrong. I realised that I had done too much, and was at risk. Not sure what risk, but I knew I lost control over myself. This struggle kept on for several more minutes.
It's about 4:35AM and I tell my friend that I need to get home. The concoction has gone awry and is taking over. I find myself in a queue waiting to pick-up our jackets. I find myself handing over the token to get my stuff. I find myself dressing up, and then out in the street.
As we're walking together, I entertain a conversation which I cannot follow. The duel between my two selves has taken a different form and the effects of the drugs are different. I subtly try to signal my friend that it's gotten messy. He gets the hint, and asks about what I feel.
Imagine a brief moment of consciousness. That snapshot into the real world becomes a "What if?" scenario. What if I had said something different? What if I had done something different? What if I went a different way? It becomes a glimpse into an alternate timeline where my actions are different to the now. I can (mentally) see it play out in front of me, although my body feels and hears something completely different. I found this duality between our universe and the parallel ones enticing. I really wish I could have explored what the other worlds had to offer. However, I knew that I could not let myself go on an adventure. Not yet. Not while I was in the cold, in an unsafe space. I was afraid that the visions would take over, and I would find myself standing (unknowingly) in front of a car. My friend decides to walk me all the way home.
We've left the venue just 10 minutes ago. It felt like an eternity.
The walk home was a constant struggle between me keeping up with reality (so I can see what is going on in front of me), and being carried away by the hundreds of other visions fighting for a prime spot. I was still talking and somewhat (sometimes) listening to what my friend had to say. I found that I could try and focus on his stories, but those would immediately take a life of their own and play out in front of my eyes. Trying to stay in the present is what worked best, although for a brief moment. But then, like a muscle that you exercise, I could hold consciousness for longer: two moments. And then more. And then I could focus for a few seconds. Is this the effect of the drugs coming off? Wishful thinking. A slight moment of weakness is enough to make me zone out for several minutes. However, the closer I got to my apartment, the more hopeful I was that they would still be there. I had hoped that once in a safe environment I could explore those visions and my parallel selves.
We arrive at around 5:15AM and I invite my friend over if not to crash on my couch until the morning, at least to have a bathroom break. He leaves, and I eagerly play some music. Something is off. The calmness of being in a safe space has put an end to the war. My consciousness won. I am still me. I accept that the drugs might be wearing off, and think that this might be for the better. Who knows what I could have seen.
I stick around for a little longer, and keep listening to music. A bit of Dubstep to ceremoniously end the night, followed by some Psydub to royally greet the sunrise.
Wait. What's that? When I close my eyes on psychedelics I usually see shapes moving in tandem with the music, not people. And these weren't regular people, either. For starters, they were all ravers. And they had holes, especially where the eyes sit. Those holes were grey. I let the film play out.
It was as if somebody made a music video out of GIFs where people are crudely cropped out with the magic wand in Photoshop, and placed on top of a colourful background that could have only been drawn in Microsoft Paint. The colours start to shift and the people are now grey and green. On occasion I would see some intricate shapes with the ever-present grey holes eating them bit by bit. And why does Windows XP have a cameo in my trip? Hmm... This aesthetic is eerily familiar.
Oh God, I'm tripping in Vaporwave!?
Slowly but surely, the effects start to die down, I am enveloped by the music, and fall asleep on the couch.
As interesting as this was, it was also a harrowing experience. The fear of losing control or getting hit by a vehicle was real. (I hope) I did my best to not showcase that, even though I was scared.
I will keep this experience for future reference. If I am to combine substances ever again, then I need to double down and understand the interaction effects. And to stay as far away from weed. At this moment, I am not sure if I ever want to chase this dragon. Maybe I will, but most likely I won't. It was too much of a close call for my own liking, but interesting nonetheless.
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