Posted by
• 08.31.11 11:00 am

Mark barged out of the bathroom a few moments later and asked if I was okay. My only response was, “I’m fucking dying.”

(All images by Ignacio Torres)

My friend Mark called me at work, telling me that his parents were gone for the weekend and he was having a little get-together at his house. The only intoxicants in our possession were a $15 bottle of the cheapest whiskey I could buy on the way from work, a large amount of marijuana and an array of research chemicals.

A month prior to this, Mark had ordered a pharmacopoeia of research chemicals online, which included 2C-I, 2C-D, DIPT and DPT, all non-traditional psychedelics that were being tested for possible medical purposes at the time. The 2C-I was very popular, sort of like a light mix between ecstasy and LSD, and the stock was quickly gobbled up by brave, hungry psychonauts at our high school. I had one unpleasant experience with DIPT — suffering extreme nausea in exchange for hearing the world two octaves lower — and decided not to give it another chance. DPT was also off the list because another friend of mine had taken it intramuscularly and watching him writhe around the floor screaming about flying pigs turned me off the substance permanently. I drink too often and stopped smoking weed because I began to find it boring. Thus, I pretty much had to do 2C-D.

Mark asked how much I wanted, and I asked him for 300 mg because my one prior experience had been so mild. That time Mark and I had done only about 80 mg each and found ourselves nearly incapacitated, with Mark at one point laying out on a pool table screaming, “I AM JESUS!”

Luckily, this time Mark only pilled up around 180 mg in a gel cap. It’s hard to be sure about the measurement since we didn’t actually have a scale. Instead, we stuck to the following process: We estimated how much of X was remaining from our initial order, then divided that in halves using graph paper and Metrocards until we reached the desired dosage. Simple.

“Have you ever thought about skydiving?” Mark asked me before handing over the pill. I shook my head, and he continued:

“There was a parachutist a few decades ago whose parachute didn’t deploy when he jumped from his plane. He thought, ‘That’s not good.’ He was relieved to remember that he had a back-up. He smiled and pulled the cord,” Mark paused for dramatic effect. “Nothing happened. Now he thought, ‘Wow, I’m fucked.”

I laughed.

“So he’s falling towards the ground. You fall very fast, remember, 9.81 meters per second. But when you know you’re about to die, when you reach terminal velocity, it doesn’t go so fast. Time almost crawls, and you’re thinking, ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck. Did I leave the iron on? I guess it doesn’t matter now. Is there an afterlife? Does God really have a beard?’ And you pass through clouds. You see continents and oceans, mountains and plains, rivers and fields, but you know it really should be going a hell of a lot faster than this. And you think, ‘Will my parents be mad about not having grand kids? Who is going to replace me at work? Where are they going to bury me?’ And you see farmers tilling soil like sloths, cars crawling down roads like snails, as if they had all the time in the world.”

I was obviously confused, but I let him go on.

”So now you think, ‘This is getting a bit ridiculous. I wonder when I’ll die?’ So you check your watch. It’s exactly 2:14 and 27 seconds P.M.

”So when this guy hit the ground he was in a position that somehow distributed the force of the impact throughout his body. His nose was broken, so was his finger. His watch had stopped. There was a dull thud, and everything was black. But he got up and walked away.”

“What the fuck?” I started.

”That’s what the farmer was thinking,” Mark said with the laugh. “The moral of the story is there have been occasions when people, by some freak chance, survived all kinds of crazy, fucked up shit. But just as many, if not more, have died from trivial choices or even completely by mistake.”

”Where’s this going?” I asked him. I wanted the pill — not his ramblings.

”All I’m saying is be careful and know what you’re doing.”

I swallowed it.

The party, comprised of only myself, Mark and four other close friends, moved into the bathroom to smoke pot. Like I said, I had stopped smoking, but I sat with them to be social.

The first effects of 2C-D came on soon, and I couldn’t bear sitting there any longer. One night after swallowing a wide range of pharmaceuticals and copious amounts of alcohol, Mark decided to paint his bathroom walls. The result was schizophrenic pattern of orange and black, a pattern which began moving as the 2C-D started to hit me.

I returned to Mark’s room and collapsed on his couch. I wasn’t expecting the 2C-D to come on so strong. I tried to control my breathing and relax, but it didn’t ease the feeling that my mind was speeding towards somewhere I wasn’t prepared to go. I had taken massive amounts of 2C-I many times prior to this and LSD twice and had never experienced a bad trip. But this had the makings of a bad trip.

The doors in Mark’s room were warping in shape, growing and shrinking like they were made of silly putty and a child-like God was playing with them. The furniture was sliding around, and the dimensions of the entire room were constantly changing. The mental effects were even more unsettling than the hallucinations. I felt disoriented to the point of retardation, unable to string together a logical sequence of thoughts. It was so bad that I remember swearing off of all drugs. (To be honest, in my mind at the time that thought probably formed as, Drugs bad, drugs baaad.)

When I closed my eyes I expected to find the usual darkness, which would allow me to calm down and recompose myself. Instead, I found fractals — complex geometric designs of red, green and purple were spiraling around behind my eyelids. It was beautiful, but definitely not what I needed at the moment. Suddenly, a grotesque face emerged from the center of the designs, mouth wide open and screaming as it shot towards me. The sheer terror forced my eyes open.

Eventually Mark rushed out of the bathroom and said something to me, which I couldn’t understand. He then shut off all the lights in the room and put a movie on his computer. He watched the movie for a moment before returning to the bathroom, saying something about how I would enjoy this.

The movie opened up with a display of colors that were strikingly similar to the fractals. The entire room changed colors with the screen, and I sincerely felt I was on the border of permanent psychosis.

Mark later told me the title of the film, which was something like Felix the Cat. Imagine one of those old, but color, Looney Tunes cartoons. Now imagine that instead of being your typical rascally rabbit, Bugs Bunny had a fondness for hookers and crack and traveled back to World War II, enlisted as a Nazi and held a psychoanalytic session with Hitler. That feeling you’re getting right now is one-millionth of the catastrophic weirdness I was going through.

Mark barged out of the bathroom a few moments later and asked if I was okay. My only response was, “I’m fucking dying.”

Eventually everyone finished smoking pot and found me lying on the couch, unable to move with my eyes fixed on the computer screen. They decided to go out for cigarettes. I overcame the feeling of being paralyzed and got to my feet with a shooting pain passing through my legs. I made it to Mark’s balcony only after an encounter with a sliding glass door that easily corroborates all sorts of stereotypes about druggies.

We stood on Mark’s balcony and smoked cigarettes. I felt like my legs were going to give way at any second. I thought I was going to collapse on the balcony, which in turn would also collapse, sending us careening a story down. Mark and another friend, Akira, tried to talk to me, but I couldn’t respond. I understood what they were saying — mostly questioning my wellbeing — but I couldn’t gather my thoughts and express them. If anything, I might have babbled in baby talk.

The hallucinations began to grip me once more. The sky was a very deep blue, near black, and there was a strip of orange clouds hanging in the horizon. It looked like the sun was setting — but it was at least 9 P.M. I stared at the stars as they spun over my head, flying back and forth before encircling the orange clouds. A hurricane of orange clouds and light blue stars was forming. It was a spectacular sight. Akira tried to speak to me again. I looked over at him and noticed that the hurricane of stars and clouds were spinning around his head, extending a tail to him like a tornado touching down. I tried to tell Mark and Akira what I was seeing, that we should run, that a cosmic tornado of apocalyptic proportions was touching down atop Akira’s head. But it was useless. I stared at Akira and his head began changing shape, his eyes and nose didn’t seem to be attached, but floated on his face. Watching my friend mutate before my eyes was waaaaay too much for me, so I ran back inside.

We returned to Mark’s room and watched Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force on his computer. The pictures were constantly morphing, and I felt like the dialog was just strings of words that failed to create coherent sentiments. I tried my best to grasp any part of show, but it wasn’t working. I was amazed to see my friends sitting and laughing along with the show because I honestly felt like it made no sense. I mean, those shows usually don’t make much sense, but this was beyond that.

We decided to leave Mark’s house and go to the beach. At this point, my trip finally came under control. I was amazed to find out that everything that had happened took place in less than two hours. It seemed like an entire day had passed.

The end of the trip was mild, probably the only pleasant part of the entire experience. I had slight hallucinations, which were more entertaining than horrifying, and the confusion finally subsided. In its place I was an emptiness. Not an extra thought entered my head except for what I was currently doing or saying. Eventually even the minor hallucinations receded into the folds of reality, and I was left sober, if a little brain-dead.


Originally posted on

  1. Amelie says:

    This is bogged down with waaaaaay too much pointless detail: “…watched Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force on his computer.” How bout just “watched cartoons”?

  2. baby nuts says:

    Your friend Mark needs to stop researching non-traditional psychedelics and start researching a way to get out of his parent’s house. I really hope that this story took place when you were in high school.

  3. Amelie says:

    PS Glad you provided links to Erowid instead of trying to explain what the drugs are yourself- some of the first-person accounts over there are pretty good.

  4. Wiley says:

    “Fritz the Cat”.

  5. ONLYMERK! says:

    good drug story. esp. the parachute build up. those gifs are fantastic.

    good day.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This got boring way too fast. Sorry, but most people’s super long “I was tripping so hard I _____!” stories usually are.

  7. nacirema says:

    I dunno. Seems pretty cliche…”writhe around the floor screaming about flying pigs”…”aying out on a pool table screaming, “I AM JESUS!””. Not very imaginative. I’m guessing didn’t happen.

  8. iwontslowdown says:

    everyone young took drugs [end of story and interest level]

  9. Carl says:

    Good for you guy.

  10. Cheese says:

    Arvind’s stuff is a little too strained. Just let it flow, bro. Let it flow.

  11. dryrub says:

    those gifs are great but this story reads like little timmy’s first drug trip. so amateur hour

  12. Lunchin' says:

    Story reminded me of some bad trips tasting floor in fetal position muttering mantra “it’s just the drug, it’s just the drug,” to no avail.

  13. social register nigga says:

    You don’t fall at 9.8 m/s dummy. You accelerate at 9.8 meters per second squared. Velocity =/= acceleration.

  14. mehmohmeh says:

    Drug stories = slideshow of your family vacation. I like Arv so I’m along for the ride…

    I was surprised by the over the counter research meds as hallucinogens (but I’m old). Give up a shopping list of everything that’s unregulated that can get you high. That seems useful and fun.

    Keep it up.

  15. hmmm says:

    how does one make those gifs?

  16. @hmm says:

    1. Enjoy getting fucked in the butt.
    2. Take pictures, add ponies, stars and rainbows to them.
    3. Turn photos into .gif file.
    4. Upload to tumblr account.

  17. ChimChim says:

    GREAT Piece. I almost lost my mind in strong-as-fuck acid. Went to the hospital and everything. The feeling of living in a loveless universe and seeing the face hugger from the first Alien movie attacking me from the ceiling was a bit much. Also, the portaloo turned into a giant, red mouth that was swallowing my piss. That was pretty neat.

  18. BabyMistakes says:

    Goddamn. Everyone’s so critical. I thought it was a fascinating story. The parachute part seemed particularly enlightened.

  19. duh says:

    cut the parachute part. otherwise, liked it.

  20. Chunk says:

    Drug stories should usually have something actually funny happen in them or interesting, that would be interesting even when you’re sober. Taking the drugs and relaying the experience isn’t all that mindblowing. I kept skimming hoping to find something in this that caught my attention, but it seemed par-for-the-course. It’s like those “man, I was so drunk, I puked everywhere, then I passed out” stories. Who cares?

  21. Damian says:

    I liked this. It reminds me of why I stopped taking hallucinogens. When the years go by, it’s easy to think about giving it another go, because I had mostly good times. But when you are older, and life has kicked your ass a few times, it could really dredge up some bad shit.

  22. Pharmaceutical Adventurer says:

    If you can recall any of what happened, you weren’t close to losing your mind.

  23. (not published or required) says:

    renegade aka blueberry

  24. bolo says:

    why did you go to the bathroom to smoke weed?

  25. mr.meat says:

    some sort of anal sex story thats recalled from the memory reservoir slosh bucket inside the skull. perhaps stuck on internal cilia fungi growth or desk job file archival dated and sealed forms. all just animal babies stuck in primordial thick ooze. fear of strings cut. separation myth dna. pigmi dwarves dancing flames on mini kazoo skateboards.

  26. grumpy old man says:

    middle class lightweight

  27. yikes says:

    Didn’t read.
    Images are GREAT, though.

  28. Rob says:

    I dig it, and I hope i never have to experience anything like this. Thanks for the story and the awesome gifs.

  29. raymeh says:

    why i’ve never and will never bother with acid.

  30. Jesus Christ says:

    I was that kid on the pool table. I always creep up on ppl during bad trips and let them be me for at least 45 seconds.

    I like to think of it as a truly altruistic gesture, though I guess in the long run their torture is my satisfaction and it’s not altruistic whatsoever.

  31. Katrick Pay says:

    I really laughed at “I made it to Mark’s balcony only after an encounter with a sliding glass door that easily corroborates all sorts of stereotypes about druggies”.

  32. dryrub says:

    raymi needs to expand her drug horizons. pot is such a snorefest

  33. sloptop says:

    thanks, this was really boring

  34. damn says:

    oh man this was all too familiar.

  35. wilhelm meister says:

    great images – good story but needs editing – very rambling – the observation that drug stories are like vacation slides is true – they’re also like telling someone the dream you had last night – so they need to be concise and organized

  36. T & A says:

    You deserve to really lose your mind.

  37. Blah says:

    You are making your suicide far more painful than it has to be.

  38. man says:

    is it all just an attempt at providing a back story for the photos? Like J peterman?

  39. wanker says:

    No really, how do they make those images? I’m thinking two lenses on a special camera? Or just photoshop? Telllllll mmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeee

  40. Ash says:

    Man just made my day with the Peterman reference.

  41. @wanker says:

    chill out fag, they’re just animated gifs. you could always try google.

  42. daedalus says:

    come on, no one knows Fritz the Cat anymore?

  43. dolphin sex says:

    I’d rather not be negative, but this was very disappointing.

  44. flapjack says:

    Wiggle stereoscopy:
    (not endorsing this particular lens BTW)

  45. Dougin says:

    Can’t wait for life to kick your ass.

  46. yard says:

    180mg! that’s your problem. are you crazy? you were asking for a bad experience. do some research next time. these drugs should be respected.

Leave A Reply