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A Very Merry Unbirthday
by Brucidi
Citation:   Brucidi. "A Very Merry Unbirthday: An Experience with MDMA (exp67065)". Dec 12, 2007.

1 tablet oral MDMA (pill / tablet)


Every year I celebrate something I like to call my unbirthday. Unlike the unbirthday of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (which happens 364 days a year) this one happens only once. It real terms it is more important to me than my actual birthday or any other anniversary I have had in my life to date.

My unbirthday is the day I didn't die.

Every year I try to celebrate that date. Some years I do a better job than others in finding a good way to experience my joy at being alive. I'm here. As Granny Weatherwax would say 'I aten't dead yet'. In 2006 I somehow managed to not have anything planned except for a teammate's wedding celebration, which as recognition of other people's here-ness and affirmation of their life seemed to be good enough.

At the time I still didn't know who he was (there is no coach but coach and coach is his name). I had a vague idea that he had once been a whom and that I was incredibly lucky to be one of the few amateurs in our province who was picked for his once-a-year classes. I already knew about his first trip to the Olympics as an athlete. I didn't yet know about trips he'd made as a coach or that he wasn't actually retired just that he spent most of his time living here. I'd mention the sport but by now I'm somewhat well known in it from an organizational point of view and I prefer to remain anonymous. Going to his classes meant pain. It meant that I was doing little more than eat, sleep, train, and go for massage. I regularly skipped the graduate classes I was paying for because his classes were more important.

There I was coming home way too late at night because the massage place had gotten so accustomed to my falling asleep there that they would wait until they wanted to go to sleep to kick me out. In my almost deserted housing complex I see that one of the other foreign students is having a party. So I call his mobile. Hey, I'm wide awake and it's 2am, can I join the party. Usually I'm not quite so forward but what the hell, it was already past midnight, my unbirthday had started already, and I was going to do something.

Sure. But, we're doing drugs. You want to come drug with us?

It was already past midnight. My unbirthday had already started. Of all days in the year that are available to get such an invitation, this was the only one where I was mentally and emotionally willing to just say yes.

I quickly went home, showered, brushed my hair, changed, and went over to the party.

I honestly cannot think of any other time in my life when I have been so reckless. Every other socially unacceptable thing I have chosen to do has been the result of weeks and sometimes even months of careful planning to make sure that it really is what I want to do.

Andy welcomed me. I remember handing over some kind of food gift. I'd also brought my wireless heartrate monitor. Didn't know if it would be of any use but it's got some cool geeky number things going on and well maybe one of them would like data as much I do. As most of them were already rolling at least a little and since they already knew me for a geek and an athlete they were warm and appreciative that I had been thoughtful enough to bring it but after being passed around the room once or twice it was abandoned in favor of more interesting playthings.

On subsequent trips I have chosen to wear the monitor and record my heart rate. I find it quite interesting that although I subjectively feel like my heart is racing it isn't actually. My resting heartrate goes up from a normal 65 beats per minute to around 95 beats per minute but when dancing I only go up to about 110 bpm instead of the 120 I would usually be at and no amount of trying has ever managed to force me above 135. I've often wondered about this and if this is one of the reasons why (as someone who can be quite an active dancer when sober) I am less tired than many of my non-athlete friends are after a night of E.

He looked me right in the eyes and said 'This is Ecstasy. Do you know what it is?'
I looked back and somewhat deadpan answered 'A small orange pill.'
'Yes, but do you know what it is?'
'Not a bloody clue.'

I think I actually said 'bloody'. I'd been hanging around with some British people and their slang had been infecting my speech patterns.

He put the pill in the palm of my hand. There was a flower on the top. Again he looked me in the eyes. 'Have you ever heard of E?'
'I don't think so.'
'Do you know anything about the effects of E?'
'Are you really sure you want to take this?'

I answered by putting it in my mouth and swallowing without water. Years back when I'd first gotten out of the hospital after the accident I was taking so many pills a day from blood thinners to iron pills, to narcotics for the pain and stool softeners to deal with the combined binding effect of iron and percocet. This plus my lifelong hayfever allergy meant I could take a pill like a pro. It wasn't like it was very big and I didn't need anything to make it go down.

At the time the texture reminded me of decongestant and the flavor reminded me of tylenol. Now I just think of it as the E flavor.

Coming from the vantage point of having absolutely no idea what E was, how it worked, or what it did as well as never having actually been high on anything other than an intensive care administered morphine drip I didn't really know what to expect nor what I wasn't exactly what you would call very surprised when absolutely nothing happened.

I went into the living room and sat down on a wicker legless chair and began to talk with someone. Probably Chinese Mike but it may have been one of my classmates. One boy came in off the balcony and said to me that the topic of the night's discussion was first sexual experiences and would I share mine.

I entered into the conversation with the frank knowledge that the drug was doing absolutely nothing. I was participating in this conversation and sharing information which even as I shared it still felt private and wrong to share with these almost strangers solely because the people I was with had decided that they were talking about that subject. I am, however, the kind of person who, if someone had made such a declaration could (would and has) entered into similar discussions when fully sober. It had nothing to do with the drug. Twenty minutes of anticipation about my first truly illegal drug use wasted. Guess it was a good thing I hadn't gone in for long term planning this time.

My first sexual experience was a carefully made decision with someone whom I wasn't extremely attracted to but was with solely because he wanted me and as the underage whizz kid I had a bad record of finding someone male and interesting who would continue to talk to me after he found out how old I was. I was in the middle of describing his reaction to discovering my real age (he knew I was in college, he just didn't know how many years of school I had skipped) when the E hit.

I feel kind of funny.

Someone handed me a bottle of water. 'Drink this. It will make you feel better.'

I drank it. As water in and of itself it did not actually make me feel better. However, because the high was just coming on it served as a catalyst on which to focus the belief that drinking it made me feel better. Therefore it made me feel better. It made me feel much better. I had never felt so much better before. This better was real betterness. It was the betterness of feeling better. Real better.

Someone asked me how I felt. 'Better. Much better. Much much better.' I repeated these words many times feeling the sound and taste of them. The rhythm of them. The way in which each letter turned itself into a syllable which strung themselves together to make words and the words turned into sentences with meaning. As a language and linguistics student and hobbiest this was something that was unimaginably cool.

And then Andy suggested I get up. Walk around the room. Touch things.

Getting up was hard enough. During the Summer of the Wheelchair someone big and strong offered me a hand up from where I was sitting on the floor at a party. He hadn't apparently realized just how much of my weight I was going to put on him in getting up and getting my crutches so I could get to my 'chair and he dropped me. It hurt. A lot. And since that time I have never been especially comfortable with allowing anyone to give me a hand for steadying balance and the very idea of having someone help me up off the ground is inordinately scary. Although I clearly needed the help because my balance was not going to let me get up on my own I also wasn't quite far enough into the E to trust these people who I had only known for a year at most to give me a hand.

And then I was up off the ground. Going to walk.

That day in December when I was 19 and my mom sat in her bedroom in the same black armchair she had sat in so many years before the first time that she held her arms out and had her baby clumsily take her first steps and walk across the room with no help at all wasn't as wobbly as this walk was. The world and my spatial perceptions of it simply refused to stay put.

One of the few things I regard as unfortunate about my now taking E somewhat more regularly is that I know what to look for as symptoms of my beginning to rush and although I have since experienced some pretty amazing highs have never again gone so completely from absolute nothing to a b s o l u t e e v e r y t h i n g.

I believe I said 'wow.' Of all of the many words that language has given us and of all the words I have in all the languages I have studied (whether I am fluent or not) there was no word that could better encompass what I was feeling. It was quite simply wow. That's the great thing about those Anglo-Saxon words. They don't make up a very large part of our modern vocabulary but they are the most important part. If it has four letters or less it probably came from Anglo-Saxon.

I walked around the rooms of the apartment. I tried many things. Faces constantly swum in and out of view as people handed me bottle after bottle of water saying things like 'did you forget this,' 'are you drinking enough water,' 'here, you look like you should have some water.' I took a warm shower (which felt okay but not spectacular. later experiments tell me that cold showers feel spectacular). I stood in the kitchen eating habanero pepper paste straight out of the jar and reveling in the burn. I became entranced by the maps.

Maps are one of those things I like. I'm especially fond of accurate maps. On a later high at the same apartment I would spend nearly two hours correcting the map of the city that was taped to one wall. But nothing about the prettier than usual colors or the interesting way the first few maps now looked even more interesting than maps usually do prepared me at all for the map of China.

I fell in love with that map.

I stood inches away from where it was taped to the wall and looked at the map.

By moving closer and farther and farther and closer to the map I could make the Chinese names of the small towns and cities change perspective and go fuzzy. The lines vibrated. I found myself able to look at the map and know exactly where the borders of each province were and only that. I could identify every major city at a glance. I could ignore the roads and see only the great network of blue lines that represented bodies of water. Only I wasn't consciously switching back and forth from expressway to political boundary to river and back. The did it by themselves. The lines. One set would simply disappear to be replaced by another set. And while I knew that all of the sets were simultaneously present whichever set was currently there was the only one that was there. I was really into the map.

Someone came by and said that if I was so interested in the map, perhaps I would like to see what outside was like.

After three or four times of my wandering back to the map he finally had to physically pull me away from it to get me out the door. And I had to be gotten out the door. Two of the partygoers wanted some privacy for a while and my insistence that I wouldn't bother them because I was busy with my map was not the answer the others wanted.

So they got me outside. On a nine person expedition to go down the street and buy bubblegum.

I possess the ability to move at a normal pace when rolling. It requires complete conscious control on my part and the absolute decision that for the duration of this set of movements I will if not be 'not high' at least be 'not as high'. This is not a skill I especially like utilizing nor was it a skill I had yet learned. Even now one of the frequent complaints among my drugfriends is how godawful slow I move when I'm rolling.

They'd gotten pretty far ahead of me and Andy and he decides that the two of us are going to sit down on some steps. He starts asking me questions about my accident and totally checking out my scars. I got to admit they are pretty cool scars and being high probably makes them all that much cooler looking. I don't recall if I asked him or if he volunteered to give me a foot massage. Sitting there on the steps with a celibate friend for whom I possessed no physical attraction I orgasmed again and again.

And that was before he started gently running his fingers along the nerve damaged areas.

I tried and failed to convince him to hit me in the big scar. It's a damn inconveniently placed one which I've been known to smack into things over the years and it has all sorts of interesting badly wired pieces of nerve damage under it. Slamming it into something can make my world dissolve into colors when nothing chemical is going on. He refused. Didn't want to hurt me. Wouldn't believe that he couldn't really hurt me. So far I've yet to find a friend who is willing to give me a great big punch in the middle of the funny nerve zone when I'm high but it is still something I have this strange urge to experience.

We went and got gum.

I asked every single guy there if he would kiss me. I just wanted to know what a kiss felt like on drugs. They all refused. So I kissed Isabelle. On the lips. Very suddenly. Out of surprise she didn't pull back but I don't think she kissed back either. It was about as interesting as kissing a girl should be which is to say utterly boring. Maps are more interesting than girls. My analytical mind demands that I try again at a future time with one of my bisexual friends too make certain that kissing girls really is less fun than hugging trees but if ever I was certain that I'm straight that confirmed it.

(If you have never found yourself naked in a grove of bamboo at 3am in the morning reciting love poetry to the trees you have never really taken psychedelics.)

Andy suggested to me that I look up at the stars because stars are so beautiful when you are high. We walked out of the convenience store, pointed our heads up at the dark sky, and welcomed the sudden rain with shrieks of delight. We walked back to the apartment in the rain not caring that we got wet in the process and with everyone (who despite higher dosages had not been as high as me and came down quicker) keeping an eye on me to make sure I didn't jump in the mud puddles. No telling what kinds of broken glass or rusty metal could be lurking in mud puddles near the university.

The night went on and on and on and on with each fresh new discovery a new way of seeing just how beautiful the world was until finally it was sunrise and I went home to my own bed to go to sleep.

I've since taken E many times in a wide variety of settings. The trips have ranged from merely interesting to fantabulous. In the next few months I am preparing to take LSD for the first time and if I ever see Andy again I will be sure to let him know how glad I am that he welcomed me to the wide wild world of drugs.

Exp Year: 2006ExpID: 67065
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Dec 12, 2007Views: 6,814
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MDMA (3) : First Times (2), Large Group (10+) (19)

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