Suggested Audio Jukebox ♫
 Paul Rutherford “Get Real”
 Stakker Humanoid “Humanoid”
 The Hypnotist “Rainbows In The Sky (Natural High Mix)”
Acid is the ultimate in unknown quantities. LSD, or Lysergic acid diethylamide to use its full scientific title, is unlike any other narcotic in existence as it has the ability of distorting your reality like no other. I once heard it suggested that just a single trip can alter your perception with permanent effect and wouldn’t argue against this claim as, having first dropped at the tender age of sixteen, I’ve never been quite the same since. Back then, this recreational drug was commonplace and available on pretty much every street corner. I remember being fascinated with the concept of expanding my mind and entered into my first trip with great expectations.
That said, no amount of research could prepare me for the experience as it is impossible to visualize the kind of effects it will have. In a sense, it is akin to discovering that you have been implementing 75% of your brain’s capacity your whole life then revealing the previously unexplored matter in one vivid flash. When the opportunity presented itself, it didn’t take much coercing to slide that blotter paper under my tongue and, around thirty minutes later, I received my enlightenment in no uncertain terms.
Before we proceed any further, let’s get the formalities out-of-the-way and get a handle on what acid actually is and how it manifests through trip. It is a psychedelic drug known to work on a deeply psychological level, drastically altering the user’s thought process and cognizance. Hallucination is not uncommon although distortion of reality is more of an accurate description as everything around us intensifies.
Colors suddenly become eye-bleedingly lurid, both range and depth perception is revised, synaesthesia causes our senses to intermingle (smelling colors and tasting shapes for example), time moves at its own illogical pace, emotions are enhanced and the ability to analyze vastly accelerated. Should we close our eyes then intricate kaleidoscopic designs await and audio accompaniment is known to yield euphoric results. Thought becomes conceptual, and often spiritual, resulting in an elevated state of consciousness and novelty is heightened also. Best to empty those bladders before engaging in any channel surfing then.
Of course, there is always the danger of the notorious “bad trip” and adverse reactions range from anxiety and nausea to intense paranoia and delusion. State of mind is critical here as is choice of both environment and company. Should you be surrounded by like-minded individuals and feel at ease, then it is likely you will feel interconnected and unified. However, being the only person present to trip bollocks is ill-advised as it can lead to feeling singled out and any benefits then become drawbacks.
It is critical to remain mindful that, once you have dropped, the next 8-10 hours will be spent under the drug’s jurisdiction and logic is no longer at your disposal. Thus planning and preparation is everything here. The human mind has a tendency to play tricks on us and LSD has the ability to ramp this up to thirteen, with decidedly unwelcome results. Recognize these potential pitfalls and any negative episodes can be easily avoided.
So about the process then. Well, the first feeling probable after consumption is that of the blotter paper becoming lodged in your throat and this is par for the course with acid. So are perspiration, increased saliva and mucus production, faint tremors, and an accelerated heartbeat. Should you experience any or all of the above then there is no reason to fret as the drug is evidently beginning to take effect and it will soon level out once you reach the next phase.
Once you approach what I like to refer to as the The CinemaScope Cathedral, it’s time to fasten those seatbelts as acid has a knack of catching you completely off-guard. My case in point is this: thirty minutes into my primary drop, I suspected it to be a failed exercise. I was in close-quarters and my co-pilot was also starting to question whether or not we had been dealt a bum hand as precious little appeared to be happening. Thus, we decided to vacate the building and grab some fresh air outside.
No sooner had we opened the door, than we were promptly transported to phase two. Given that we had been so immersed in our immediate surroundings, we hadn’t discerned our gradual progression and there was nothing moderate about the way it introduced itself once we switched environments. It took a fair few minutes to acclimatize but we were far too predisposed drinking in our fresh vista to notice this transition. Green happens to be my favorite color and I felt fully justified in my preference for rural habitation as the surrounding woodland had never before looked so acute in coloration.
Moreover, the contrast between fantastical foliage and skyline was reminiscent of a pop-up children’s book and I was utterly mesmerized by what I being made privy to. Both I and my associate were similarly dumbfounded and that was only about to intensify as we ventured out into this brave new world and embraced its singularity further.
Manoeuvre was next on our agenda as, once again, changes were afoot and the old one foot in front of the other routine was no longer quite as assured as previously. That is not to say that mobility was compromised, more that our joints appeared to have been injected with marshmallow fluff and it felt as though we had assumed reclined posturing. Moreover, each subsequent motion now came with its own accompanying trail. A simple hand gesture was no longer an A-B affair as the visual was replicated numerous times and blurred into one continuous tracer.
This extended to passing vehicles and any airborne wildlife in the vicinity. Anything mobile imparted its own pattern and it became hard to know precisely where to focus next as our new optical configuration was all-encompassing. This, in turn, led to various instances of amusement and, while guttural laughter is something I was already familiar with, never had I ached so much as a direct result of such a transaction. Had anybody else been present, then they would have failed to share in our merriment but, at this point, it only would have made us laugh all the heartier.
Of course, being on such a different plane of existence to absolutely everyone else in the universe, we had no great desire to socialize outside of our circle anyhoots. A simple visit to the local confectionist became an excruciating test of endurance, although that didn’t stop us trying it on for size. I recall the words “try and act normal” being uttered and we were both aware that was an utterly fruitless proposition.
What was likely a two-minute excursion felt like an hour and our cover was blown way before we completed any transactions. They say laughter is infectious and I make them right but the store owner didn’t take kindly to not being in on the joke and his look of disdain ony served to heighten our gaiety as his animated eyebrows appeared to be departing their rightful positions and going freestyle. All of this for a Snickers bar and a bag of Skittles. That said, they tasted downright heavenly.
However, all of this was little more than foreplay as things hadn’t even begun to kick into hyperdrive yet and wouldn’t do truly until I parted ways with my co-pilot and headed home for some “quiet reflection”. With music as my guide, I attached my rocket pack and set off beyond the realms of my senses. Now, contorted reality is one thing but a complete deconstruction of reality quite another.
Once I reached the pinnacle of the high, the entire universe opened up before me and revealed something my wildest dreams couldn’t so much as dare to envisage. What began as a meticulously woven geometric network of optical candies then followed an even more inexplicable pathway into what can only be explained as touching the void of all creation.
It was as though I had managed to burrow deep inside my own head space and located my very core. Moreover, it was all under my direct control. Each mesmerizing creature danced to my exclusive rhythm, every last one of its pores then opened wide and invited me deeper inside, by which point reality was just a past acquaintance.
How do you even begin to process such data? This is when I realized that I had reached the apex and was as close as I was ever likely to get to understanding the entire infrastructure of the human mind. The word intoxication just doesn’t come close, each next rush was so potent that I became entirely overwhelmed and was now merely a passenger on a flight whose coordinates were completely unknown. I think this is the moment when my entire perception of reality irreversibly altered, nothing was ever to be quite the same after what we had witnessed together…my mind and I. But do you know what the crazy thing is? I’m not even sure how I feel about that. You see, when everything strips away it can feel real intimate, but how much intimacy is too much?
This is where good trips can turn bad in a heartbeat as, regardless of its Technicolor seduction, you are buckled in for the duration, wherever that might lead. I rode it out as best as I could, held on for dear life as it threatened to career out of control at every turn, and begged that reality would be waiting for me at the other side.
The trip was an experience I will never forget and wouldn’t be so quick to endorse to another either. Much depends on your state of mind at the offset and how much you are willing to have divulged to you. There is a certain bliss in ignorance and a reliability to sober existence that should never be belittled as the most beautiful sights I have ever witnessed have nothing whatsoever to do with hallucinogens. I’m kind of committed now, having taken the trip myself on numerous occasions and seen where it can lead, and flat refuse to waste my life with regrets. However, had I known then what I do now, then I my have just remained grounded. Like I said, no regrets. Just acceptance of acid’s truths and reason to revisit The CinemaScope Cathedral only through those rose-tinted 3D glasses.