“No man. I’m not your mule.”
“What? Cmon.” I spent a long time working up the gumption to ask a friend of mine to get me some LSD. I was pushy. And my vibe was more than a bit desperate.
He knew something was off. He could tell I was clawing at something that wasn’t going to be good for me. I know he was watching out for me when he denied my request. But at the time, I didn’t see it that way.
I wasn’t much of a partier, and fun wasn’t my goal. I wanted it because I was in pain.
I spent a lot of time reading about the “therapeutic potential” of psychedelic experiences. I wasn’t having a good experience in therapy, and I started believing the only way of getting to the root of my problems was to smash my mind open like a piggy bank. I figured psychedelics were the way to do that. Maybe the only way.
I didn’t tell my friend that was the reason. Maybe he would have understood if I did, but I doubt it. Either way, he wasn’t going to budge. Then I made the decision. I don’t need him to help me.
At the end of the movie The Grey, Liam Neeson begs God for help when he’s lost out in the wilderness. When God doesn’t answer back, he looks straight ahead and says, “Fuck it. I’ll do it myself.” I felt like that.
The difference was Liam Neeson was trying to survive. I was just losing my mind.
Into the Pits
“You could easily find that stuff at your job,” another friend of mine suggested.
He was right.
I worked in a warehouse during the day. Things started getting shady when the night shift rolled in, and if I put in a little effort, I could probably find what I was looking for.
But here’s the problem. I rarely spoke to anyone at my job. So you could say I wasn’t exactly “connected.” I had never been part of a drug deal before, let alone initiated one. How do people even find drug dealers? I guess you just…inquire within? I was going to have to be direct.
Getting My Hands Dirty
Just after the night shift came in, I walked up to this kid I had spoken to in passing a few times before. He was about 6'5, but otherwise, he seemed harmless. I figured I’d start with him.
I leaned in for a whisper, “Hey…um…d-do you know anyone who sells LSD here?”
His response was: “Wow. Uhh…um…yeah. But, just ask for a friend next time. Damn.”
Whoa. Seek and you shall find. There was my source.
He led me to a fenced-off area at the back end of the warehouse. “Domino!” he called out. He introduced me to this kid named Dom. Apparently, he was the guy to talk to for this kind of thing.
His eyes were always at half-mast. He was wearing a snapback hat with “Fresh” written on it at a weird angle. The kid looked weary. But he was probably just high.
The big guy explained to Dom that I was looking for LSD, and Dom was glad to hook me up. He gave me his phone number and said he can get some for me within a few days. It was all coming together.
Dom went on to tell me about the time he took ten tabs of acid in one sitting, and written in the sky, he saw math equations revealing the truth of all things. Maybe he did, but he didn’t seem to remember what the truth was, so that’s a shame.
A few days pass, and I get nothing from Dom. I text the number he gave me and I get no response. He isn’t even at work for the next few days. What do you know? Stoners are unreliable.
But I remember he mentioned someone else. He said there was another guy in the warehouse who had access to psychedelics. I vaguely remembered his name. So, once again, if you want something done right…
I managed to track down the Dom mentioned. Let’s call him Carl.
Nervous, I introduced myself to Carl and told him I heard he was the guy to talk to for a hookup. I told him what I was looking for, but not why. He said, “Sure. I know what it’s like to want to party but not be able to.” My skin’s crawling recollecting this.
The dude looked like a sex offender all day long. He was probably mid-40s. Gangly, with stubble. He had a Chinese dragon swirling up the side of his neck. His socks were oversized and white, and they consumed his skinny ankles.
I think somewhere in my subconscious my better judgment was saying to me, “What are you doing with these people?” But that voice was being drowned out by the pain I didn’t know how to deal with. In my mind, this was the only solution left, and I was gunning for it at all costs.
He took me outside. It seemed like he was really trying to fit the stereotype of a drug dealer. He said, “Walk with me. Talk with me.” He asked how much I was looking for. I told him enough for a strong trip. I also told him it would be my first time doing acid. He liked that.
We made a deal. And within a few days, he shot me a text saying he found what I was looking for.
The last time I voluntarily spoke to Carl was when he gave me what I asked for. He led me to his car, which was obviously a ratty piece of shit. Classic.
Not that I was on any kind of high horse in this situation. I was a willing participant. So I paid him, and he handed me a tin foil gum wrapper. I peeked inside and saw six square tabs laying together in a line. I thanked him more than what was warranted and tucked the wrapper away in my glove box.
After all that degenerate self-reliance, I finally found what I was looking for.
The Magic Hour
My roommate wasn’t happy about my decisions. He thought I’d gotten ahold of some kind of PCP, and once I took it, I would be trying to tear his arms off and jump out windows. For those reasons, he didn’t want to be around when I finally used it. Whatever. I knew what I had. And I knew my reasons for doing it.
I had the presence of mind to take a single precaution. I ordered a chemical testing kit online. Color-coded, it tells you whether you have LSD-25 or some other substance. The only colors on the substance palette were shades of red and green.
To be safe, I dabbed the testing agent on one of the tabs from the gum wrapper. It came out bright yellow.
Sink or Swim
Now I’m conflicted.
I scoured the internet looking for an answer to what “yellow” indicated on the test. The jury was out. Few options came up. Most people hadn’t even considered you could get a yellow result on a test like this. But there was one possible answer. A user on an obscure forum said yellow probably meant bath salts.
Bath salts. I might be in the possession of bath salts. My roommate may have been right.
You know, I wasn’t trying to numb my pain. I wasn’t looking for drugs to make me stop thinking about my problems. I wanted to understand my problems. I wanted to get to the bottom of my problems. I wanted clarity more than anything.
I was weirdly proud of all the work I put into making this happen. Looking for drugs is a hell of a way to combat social anxiety, and I achieved my goal. But at the end of the day, is this what I've come to?
I could take this substance and hope for a spiritual experience. I was clinging hard to the possibility that the testing kit was wrong and this was the thing I’d been looking for. And that I didn’t get ripped off by a drug dealer.
I was alone, on my bed, hurting. Knowing that if I didn’t do this, I’d have to carry on without answers, and without a way to help. Who knows how long it would be before I could find a way past what I was feeling? What if I never could?
This isn’t it. This isn’t the way.
I flushed the gum wrapper down the toilet. Behind the pain, embarrassment, and disappointment over the whole affair, I felt relief. I’m glad I didn’t subject myself to whatever nightmare that would have brought me.
If I could go back a few years before this all started, I would tell myself several things. But the main thing is, there are better ways to heal. You can’t avoid the necessary work.
Don’t think you’re out of options, especially when the only option you’re entertaining is something like this.