Citation: Tim K. "Sipping on the World Syrup: An Experience with LSD (exp83544)". Erowid.org. Mar 23, 2010. erowid.org/exp/83544
I had tripped twice before, taking 2 hits both times, and had experienced an overall pleasant and beautiful trip both times. They were only very mildly hallucinogenic (wavy walls etc). Because of this I was very enthusiastic about acid and felt cavalier about its use, thinking to myself that I wanted to try four or five hits the next time, and explore what I considered the peaceful world of LSD further. My third trip was the most insane, arduous experience of my life up to this point. I tripped for a total of seventeen hours.
A close high school friend and I decided we should trip together during Christmas break in my hometown of 3 years, a Chicago suburb. I had brought five hits with me, and was eager to take them all, but my friend was having trouble procuring any for himself. Then I heard from a friend I had bought my acid with. He had split his five hits with a friend, and he described his experience as ‘not in reality.’ He also advised me: ‘Don’t do five hits, you will die.’ This was enough to convince me to split my LSD with my friend T, and so around 8 at night we took the hits, put on a massive amount of clothes and began walking to Thatcher Woods, our designated tripping spot.
It was a cold night and there were 3-4 inches of snow on the ground, but it wasn’t an issue. As we were walking I began feeling the warmth of energy rising up and through me, causing me to laugh and feel intensely content, as had happened in my previous trips, and we were both very excited. Eventually we reached a suitable clearing in the woods, and sat down. The woods were beautiful and completely secluded. The energy flowing through my body felt more rapid, and then it was building and building and began whirling through my senses, which I perceived as a sort of bizarre dizziness. Then T pointed at the treetops above us, and I looked up.
The trees were swaying animatedly, and the longer I looked the stranger they became. They began transforming into billions of detailed rainbow fragments put together masterfully, but then would revert back to some sense of normalcy in color again. The sky turned purple and began coming down towards me, overwhelming me. It melded with the trees in a glowing display, shrouding the trees which began resembling massive beautiful peacock feathers protruding from the ground.
This already was more than I had imagined was possible to perceive, and definitely more than I was prepared to handle. I could feel shifting and a sickening peeling in my brain and I began panicking, muttering frantically and told T that I was very, very scared, and was having a panic attack. I suggested that he call for help, either parents or 911, but fortunately he had tripped harder than I ever had and told me to just sit and breathe for a second, which I did reluctantly (he added later that me telling him I was having a panic attack almost caused him to have one as well). I calmed down slightly, and the horrible sensation in my brain that had caused me to panic had ceased. Sitting there I could feel my mind blasting and firing away at a pace it had never even approached before.
We began striking up an animated and basically nonsensical conversation about anything and everything. The entire world began existing in a rhythm which I could sense internally. I began speaking constantly and only in rhymes and rhythms, certain lines appealing to me in particular (e.g., majestic just got hit by the magic stick, moving through the groovy gravy, sipping on the world syrup). We began riffing off each other completely naturally, finishing each other’s sentences and thoughts, and (at least I) felt unified with him and the surroundings through this rhythm, this groovy gravy that the world was now immersed in. While in the forest certain things, sounds or movements, at times caused my entire body to spasm uncontrollably, as if my brain had been zapped. Though I felt liberated and overjoyed at the rhythm I could sense, incredibly unpleasant sensations such as the spasms and indescribable feelings in my head would come and go and it became very important to stave off these horrible feelings.
For some reason I pulled out my phone from my pocket. Forgetting why I’d taken it out, I was suddenly overcome by euphoria and threw my phone as far as possible. I saw its light illuminate as it landed. As I walked over to get it I could hear ice groaning and cracking beneath me (we had been debating for some time whether we were in fact sitting on top of a frozen river or not, although it had been much funnier before.) Frightened, I asked T to retrieve it for me. He did so, and gave it to me. I saw that it was completely mangled. When I tried to open it (it was a flip phone), it came apart. I’d had that phone for three years. It had three years’ worth of friends, acquaintances, loves, ideas I had written down with text, even some rough recordings of musical ideas. Losing all this hit me extremely hard, and I was stunned. I felt intense despair and self-disgust at my recklessness, my pointless gesture of throwing the phone, pointlessly breaking what I’d had for years. In my mind it was synonymous with the very basic action of disregarding and hurting people that you loved just to test them. I realized that my phone was named Oliver and told this all to T. While consoling me, he advised that I just let go.
At that moment the concept of letting go took on not just letting go of my phone, but of anything transient. I suddenly knew that my entire life was just like my phone and that I was a speck, a zero dimensional point floating in an abyss. I began letting go. Bizarre alterations in my mind continued rapidly. When I voiced certain thoughts to myself, I found I could trace them back to some subconscious memory or lesson that I had, and I was able to analyze the cause of that thought, that fear, whatever it was, and if I chose let it drift away. For example, I was cynical about many things at heart and was able to trace that cynicism to an event that occurred when I was 15. I innately knew the reasons for aspects of my character and could trace them back to concrete memories, but was scared to let them float away and forever alter my psychic makeup. For what seemed like a small eternity I went off alone and sorted through fragments of my subconscious, which seemed to be floating through my conscious mind like flotsams in an ocean.
Afterwards I reconvened with T and attempted to explain what had been going on in my head, but soon realized it was pointless to try. T understood the incomprehensibility of the situation perfectly however, using a John Lennon quote: ‘A profound whatever.’ At that moment I felt a spasm in my head which seemed to be describable only as a profound whatever. Suddenly I knew that my life, all existence, was just a profound whatever, although over the course of the night more and more ways to describe that feeling popped into my head. I felt like all of literature and music and dance, etc was seeking to capture that profound whatever. I suddenly had this bizarre cognitive breakthrough that ‘everything is everything else.’ Although it sounds ridiculous, I just knew it to be true during my state. All of existence was not just unified, it was all just one very detailed particle.
We stayed in the forest for what seemed like forever, basically shooting the shit and engaging in hilarious yet rhythmically primal banter. I found that this banter was the best part of the trip, feeling intensely adept with language and amusing ideas which T was able to reciprocate and be a part of. This gave my swirling mind an outlet and comforted me that I was with another human being who I trusted. Eventually we left the forest with the vague plan of heading back to my house.
During this walk we continued our cosmic banter the entire way. While walking there was a strange sensation that it wasn’t T and I who were moving, but rather the entire universe was sliding by while we watched. Still, it was very important to keep our legs moving, as if on a treadmill, or the universe would just stop. It was euphoric and during the walk at certain intervals we would suddenly ‘know’ that we had lost that round, but win bang go, we would win the next. Our conversation and actions would reach intense inspiring climaxes but could be lost in a second, and when it was lost I knew that I was starting existence over again, that little unique fireball of neurons was lost forever. It was like lighting fireworks and watching them flare, some of them beautiful and overwhelming.
We finally got to my house, but I wasn’t ready to go in. Instead we stood at my street corner (although I literally was incapable of standing still), where we continued rhyming and grooving. I began crafting characters and bizarre storylines which me and T became, such as Cheesy Steve, Friar Bobkins, Fruity Susan. I felt euphorically free to be and say anything at all. My hat became the symbol of all things good and pure in the world, and I would throw it on the ground, mock it, then be almost brought to tears and beg T to pick it up, that the world depended on it. I could detect language nebulas revolving around certain groups of words, knowing which words were in the same nebula by letting my brain feel them out. Italy and Sicily were the center of one nebula. Quiche and teeth were at the center of a particularly nasty nebula.
I began flitting from different moments in my life and reliving the emotions and sensations of the times, going back years and years and even feeling a strong emotional connection to a period of my life in Hong Kong from 1st-2nd grade, when every Saturday morning my dad would drive me and my brother along the underwater highway connecting Hong Kong to Kowloon to play ice hockey, and I would sleep with a stuffed dragon in the backseat. Somehow I remembered vividly riding on the back of my magical dragon as it raced through the ocean, guiding me safely through the waters while I slept, and it was the most beautiful feeling to relive, regardless of whether it had happened or not.
Eventually T grew tired of the cold and decided to go home. He had been hinting at it continually but I had just kept firing rhythm at him, and eventually he left. I was still boiling with thoughts and little segments of rhythm, but I forced myself not to talk to myself – I feared it would caused me to go spiraling into the madness at full speed. So I somehow managed to find my house key beneath all my layers of clothes, and went inside. It was 2 o'clock at night, which was incomprehensible to me –it felt like eons had passed since I first began tripping.
By myself in my dark house the trip became much more dark and frightening. I flitted about for a little, marveling at the purity of water among other things. Finally the craziness in my head became too much. I needed a human outlet, but I couldn’t wake any of my family. I decided to use my laptop to find someone to talk to. I went into my room and booted up my computer – the screen made my eyes recoil at first, it was a writhing mass of colors and 3 dimensional activity, but I was slowly able to focus and use it despite the intense visuals. I went on Facebook and began talking to anyone who would respond. The typical pattern would be that I would spout complete randomness, they would have some confused response and then I would get bored and move on. In one online conversation a friend asked me how I was and I instantly without any premeditation replied that ‘I feel like I’m dying a million times while I laugh about how much I hate jews.’ I was scared to be alone and was trying to stave off that truth at all costs.
I sent a few garbled emails* and then put on Bjork – it was amazing. The music was so pure, and especially the song Frosti, which hearing caused me to visualize a delicate, beautiful ice contraption. Songs were like human lives, they were so detailed and wide ranging, they were a journey, sometimes heartfelt, sometimes beautiful and serene, sometimes very clichéd and unimaginative. Everything was everything else, and songs were a lifetime in 3 minutes. The song Hidden Place (also by Bjork) made me love my room as I looked around and I began dancing but eventually settled into just watching my hands swirl through the air. I also scrutinized things I had hanging on the wall and was disgusted by certain things which I could so clearly see were just extensions of my ego, and tore them off.
My room was where I settled down for the long haul, and tripped for another 9 tormented eternal hours. There was absolutely no possibility of sleep. I began going through the same wheel of emotions and feelings over and over and over again, until it was all like clockwork. Love, carelessness, anger, awe, euphoria, intense psychotic pain, it all came and went in a pattern that I knew was always there but hadn’t been aware of. By the end I had experienced every emotion so fully that I was just weary from them and worn out by endlessly going through their wheel. I laid in bed clutching my stuffed dragon and listened to Bjork, and John Lennon (who’s music I found was all completely in understanding of life on acid). I was still hallucinating. In particular my ceiling fan in the dark was constantly morphing, at one point becoming a powerful rainbow pharaoh glaring down at me. Closing my eyes was even worse though, as I could feel all my senses exploding and saw red fireballs and felt as if I was staring into my own mind.
I spent a long time in the bathroom, just looking at myself. My ego was so destroyed at this time that I didn’t even know who I was looking at. I tried to detect myself in my eyes but it was all futile and hopeless. I felt like a cog in a machine who had suddenly sprouted a consciousness and was now staring at itself, helpless to be anything but that cog. I tried to think about love and all of the good things but there were painful moments in the trip where it was simply impossible. Several times during the night I cried as the psychotic turmoil became too much and I pleaded to regain my sanity.
There was still beauty, though. As the first rays of sunlight were coming in through my window they illuminated all the countless dust particles in the air, fluttering about, moved by unseen forces. These small particles also were lives, propelled every which way and completely without control. Nevertheless I was struck by their beauty as they whirled to and fro, in wonderful patterns. By this time there had been brief moments when the trip had lapsed slightly, and given me hope. But at 11:00 AM my brain was still blazing and there were still some visuals, and I knew that I needed to tell my mom. By this time I was genuinely worried that I would never in my life be able to sleep again, that I would have to be taken away, that I would never be normal again. I had seen too much and couldn’t function any more. However, I somehow grasped that a mother’s love was a saving grace of the world, an astoundingly beautiful thing that could help me calm down my mind. I hadn’t told her I loved her in years and tripping rhythm had made me realize that I had to tell her, or I would never be at peace.
I went downstairs, where my mom was reading. At first I acted normally and tried to eat some cereal, but could only manage a few bites. Eventually I made clear that something was wrong, that I was on acid and that I needed help. She sat with me and I poured out all my fears, that I had no reason to live, I had just lived longer than I ever wanted to in one night, that there was no point to anything. That we were all basically automatons griping about nothing and placing meaning into completely meaningless lives. She just talked with me and shared the same sentiments and told me not to think like that, and gave me a huge hug, and it felt so comforting and lovely to be back in her embrace after years of nothing more than basically formal contact.
My younger brother came downstairs and the three of us began what I perceived as an immensely rhythmic conversation, much like the one during the height of my trip, and it filled me with a good feeling and a sense of being home in life. Finally my mom got some Nyquil for me as I had told her about my fear of not sleeping (although was a bit freaked out at the prospect of taking more drugs). For some reason it was very difficult to tell her I loved her. But once I managed it I felt a huge wave of relief wash over my mind and a new sense of wellbeing. My brain was still flying but it was winding down. I then lay in bed while my mom read to me, and finally at some point around 2 oclock, listening to Ben Harper’s Welcome to the Cruel World, I managed to drift into a few hours of sleep.
The trip was everything that exists in its extreme. It helped me recover my relationship with my mother, gave me a unique, enigmatic bond with my friend T and gave me a glimpse of the internal mechanics of the universe (at least, it felt that way). The cost though was the most alien, surreal and heart-wrenching night of my life. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
*sent to a friend while tripping, to give a sense of where my mind was at:
well let me tell you bout the fabric of life it ain't nice sugar and spice no none of that, everythings just going fucking fucked up, like eight things just happened in my mind that i don't have a word for so i just used 'fucked' to describe them all and i don't know anything any more its where i am my fingers so elusive spidery on the keyboard splitty splat ratat hammersplat gotcha, sorry. everything's fucked. i'm currently in the midst of it, sugar and spice, it ain't nice, suzy cream chese, i've got rhymes eight or nine see them see how many rhymes i keep them in a massive planet here in the back i put it behind that loud bitch everything is just all over go catch it its gone already its just gone and so im just typing to u after it all leaves not really sure whats being hit my minds just gotten fucking good at this it just sees what it wants to see on the screen. holy shit im really fucking good at this. my thoughts are appearing before me. this is new. sugar and spice. NEW NEW NEW its new wave. everglade ocean spray ella did i tell you about ella she was a lot of everything and she had sequins, well i don't know whatever the fuck those things are, just something that was good ok, she was good. she was the best. so now i write about it while the crest of everything climaxes up and out into the sea of me spreading out my fingers spout the words flaxen relaxin i think i should seen this soon running out of room. um i guess i should call this something. what is this? well just 'random ranting and shit'. well that doesnt capture it. hmm ' everything'. dont like the zing. 'sugar and spice'? well thats nice, but what about acid? oh well dont go for asking because you'll get fucked in an elephants ass kid, jesus sucked Michael Moore's dick just since he asked, that motherfucker i spread overhead, oh right sugar and spice. i found everything. well but you know. but here i am. but you know. go we win victory bring out the band theyll play something nice. alright ill call it 'go'
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