I tripped on acid for my first time over spring break 2013. It was the last spring break I’d have as a high schooler and I wanted to make it memorable. I would have loved to smoke some weed, but I wasn’t even halfway through my year-long probation sentence and I had to keep my pee clean if I wanted to stay out of jail. I wasn’t a fan of drinking, I was never able to get high on pain-killers, and I had a sharp tolerance to amphetamines at this point, so there was no abusing my meds either. How was I going to get high and stay out of jail? I found my answer a few days before spring break; LSD. People had recently been telling me about how much fun it was and that I should try it. It seemed like the LSD craze came out of nowhere in my town. One week, I had never heard an acid story and the next week, people wouldn’t shut up about it. They were even telling me it didn’t show up on drug tests so I would be totally safe from any consequences. This sounded fantastic to me. I would get to try a hallucinogen for the first time and make my last high school spring break a great one, and it was.
I was with my buddy Dayton on the third day of break and we decided we were ready. After I made a few calls to my friends, I was given the phone number I would need to get some myself. This guy was an acquaintance of mine that I’d smoked weed with a few times and I knew he wasn’t going to bullshit us. I gave him a call and he said he had what we wanted, but he needed some cigarettes. We traded him $15 and 2 packs of cigarettes for 2 tabs plus an extra third of a hit. We dropped him off and went back to my house to have our fun. I was nervous to drop acid for the first time, but I didn’t let that get in the way of the awesome night I had planned. Dayton and I each grabbed a tab and stuck them to the bottoms of our tongues. The tab was bitter tasting and made my mouth numb. It was also hard to keep under my tongue since I couldn’t stop salivating from the annoying taste. I had to stick it back under my tongue a few different times before it started to break apart in my mouth.
Before I knew it, the entire tab was gone and my head started feeling numb like my mouth had earlier. As my head felt more numb, my perception of the world began slowly changing. I wasn’t seeing any strange patterns yet, but the world looked different…somehow. It felt like I was looking at the world through someone else’s eyes. Soon, I was beginning to feel very calm and my body began pulsating a tingling sensation down my spine to my toes. I looked over at Dayton and started laughing before he joined me. I got up and felt dizzy, yet I could keep my balance easily and I didn’t feel nauseous. I noticed my first hallucination as I looked up at the ceiling. It moved like the ocean; swaying side to side. This amazed me and I couldn’t help but stare. My body felt very warm as the tingling sensations subsided. By this time, I felt like I was a different person. My thoughts were so joyous, all I wanted to do was explore the world and enjoy it; I wanted to go on an adventure. Dayton and I dressed in heavier clothing and began walking into the trees behind my house. We were headed for the tree house I had built as a freshman a few years ago. It had been nearly 3 years since I was last there and suddenly I had the urge be there again. Dayton and I were discussing how we were feeling as we walked. I told Dayton that being sober felt like a movie and as of now, I felt like I was watching the movie alongside the director as he explained everything. This accurately described the mindset I was in at the time. As I walked further, I began questioning my sober mindset. Why was I always trying to be the best? Why was I afraid of being judged for who was? Why didn’t I speak my mind all the time? Why did I disregard the beauty of life and think of it as nothing more than work and school? I began to think that the way I saw the world now was from a neutral standpoint. I felt like everything I had experienced suddenly vanished from my subconscious. Every experience that shaped my view of the world and my attitude towards it was gone. I felt pure, like I was reborn and was exploring the world for the first time. Dayton and I were almost through the trees as we saw the clearing in front of us. Suddenly, we both heard a noise and hit the ground as a flock of mourning doves whined and flew past us. It scared the shit out of both of us as Dayton yelled loudly in astonishment. “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I whispered to Dayton as loudly as I could. There was a house about 100’ to our left outside of the trees, and we were on their property. To make matters worse, we were both wearing ski masks since it was all I could find for us to wear on our heads after leaving my house so quickly. We looked sketchy as hell and I knew the cops would be called if we were seen, especially since it was about midnight at this point too. We exited the tree line and carefully went by the house next to us. We walked down a steep hill, into a gully, before walking up the other side and crossing a road way. There were almost never cars on this road, so we decided to follow it part of the way to the tree house. We were almost halfway there when I realized something strange. It was 5 degrees below zero and I didn’t feel cold in the slightest. Not even my face felt cold after removing my ski mask. Sure, I was wearing a jacket with sweatpants too, but this was never enough to keep me completely warm like I felt now. Weird, I thought. We left the roadway and continued walking as we passed another house on our left. When I built my tree house a few years ago, none of these houses were anywhere in sight. The land we were walking on used to be a very different place. There used to be four-wheeling paths everywhere including a path that led to my tree house, but only bits and pieces remained as houses were squeezed in. We got passed the house and were almost to the tree house at this point. There was only one more forest to venture through before we were there. To be honest, I didn’t know what did or didn’t remain of my tree house. We entered the forest which was thankfully one of the areas that still looked the same. I knew exactly where we were and where the tree house was, even without the trail I used to use. I now felt even more different than I had a few minutes ago. I had more energy and the world looked more vivid than it had before; it had a peaceful vibe to it. My mind was also feeling different at this point. I felt like life was fake, that we were the victims of our minds. Reality didn’t have a definition; it was created by our brains and was nothing more than an illusion. The brain was responsible for half of a person’s reality and the other half was determined by a random mix of chemicals. Neither had control over the other and they each had a different plan for someone’s reality as they yanked in different directions. As I closed in on the last few hundred feet that led to the tree house, I felt like I was in a book and everything currently happening was following the pace of the narrator as they told the story. I felt like the main character in the book as my life was described poetically. Dayton agreed with this comparison although he said he felt it was more like a movie. We walked around a few bushes and fallen trees as we entered the clearing near my tree house. Out of excitement, I started running towards the spot in the trees that I had built it before realizing it was nowhere in sight. Stunned, I continued to walk along the line of trees that guarded it as I looked up at the tree tops trying to find it. The trees were extremely close together and made a barrier in combination with the thick brush everywhere around them. Dayton and I started walking around the tree line to approach it from the back. We made our way around before stopping at the sight of a freshly occupied house, only a hundred feet from where the tree house was. Normally, I wouldn’t have tried to get any closer at this point in order to avoid trespassing charges, but we had come too far to turn around now. We went up to the side of the house and walked alongside it, towards the tree house. Finally, I would see the tree house for the first time again after 3 years, I thought to myself. It was the first place I had smoked weed too and I couldn’t wait to be there while I was on acid for the first time. We walked up to the side of the tree line as I began looking around for the tree house. I looked up at the trees and scanned both ways before my heart sank into my chest. It was gone; nowhere to be found. I was at the exact spot it used be and all that remained were the 4 trees I had built on, each with the top cut off where the bottom of the tree house used to be. I began slowly walking away feeling defeated as Dayton followed. I was still high, still feeling good, yet I felt like shit all at the same time; the feeling was impossible to describe. I had kept my hopes high after replaying memories of being there many summers ago. I had spent a number of times smoking weed there, and even a few nights drinking and getting into other trouble. It was difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that the tree house would only exist in my memories from this point on. I tried to accept the fact it was gone as I began heading back to my house with Dayton. Dayton had plenty of memories of the tree house too, however, I spent almost every day of my freshman summer working on it. I watched it as it evolved from a simple platform in the trees to a mansion. It had two floors, a balcony, and another platform that branched off from the roof, serving as a deck. I had also risked my well-being numerous times as I took the wood to build it with from a house under construction miles away. I snuck out of my house many times late at night to drag the wood all the way to the building site. It had to be just under 3 miles and sometimes I was dragging sheets of chipboard that weighed 60lbs each, by myself. I knew no one would ever understand the importance my tree house held to me. I decided I needed to get over this and enjoy the rest of my night, so I offered Dayton a challenge; a race to my house. The unusual amounts of energy we had made this a great idea. We both started running back to my house as fast as our legs could carry us. It was about a mile and a half and we ran the entire way through knee high snow. We both arrived on my property at roughly the same time, not feeling tired in the slightest. We were breathing harder, but it felt like we had been walking the whole time. I thought this was incredible; we had just ran half of a 5k, and didn’t feel cold or tired in the slightest. I began to wonder if tiredness was fake too, a trick played on a person’s conscious mind. But why, why couldn’t we have so much energy all the time? We walked up to my house and entered the garage. We were now feeling very warm so we stripped our jackets, gloves, and ski masks off before sitting down. We relaxed for a second in my garage as my high seemed to have potentiated from the run. Let’s go driving.” I said to Dayton. He excitedly agreed to this idea as we climbed into my car. We turned on the stereo and I flipped to “Yonkers” by Tyler the creator. The whole song sounded incredible, the bass especially. Music was more enjoyable on weed, but it still sounded great as of now. Driving on acid wasn’t hard at all, but I had a relatively low dose and I’m sure if I was more fucked up it would be harder. At this point, I was really beginning to feel like a brain in a body looking out through eyes. It was like driving a car in a video game through first person perspective. The game I immediately thought of was call of duty. As I looked through the windshield, I could see my hands on the wheel out of the corner of my eye as well as my legs working the pedals. They looked like they were animated, especially when I moved them. The feeling I got while I operated a car sober was the feeling I had as I operated my body. It felt like a vehicle, like it was no longer a part of my natural being, as if I could step out of it whenever I wanted. This really fucked with my head as I continued down the road. I flipped to “Rock and roll will take you to the mountain” by Skrillex and cranked up the volume. It now sounded like it had on weed in the past; fantastic. We were a few miles from my house by now and we decided to start heading back. It was probably a bad idea to go driving right now since it was snowing fairly heavily and it was hard to see the road, even with my brights on. As we headed back to my house, the way I was feeling closely resembled how I felt on weed. The music was beginning to sound like it did while stoned, and I had first felt the “brain in a body looking out through eyes” feeling while stoned. It was strange how closely the two drugs mimicked each other in some ways. LSD could be compared to the mental effects of marijuana, and the stimulant effects of Adderall. I wasn’t hungry or tired, and I felt very social like I did on Adderall; my thoughts were wandering like they did on weed, and my perception of the world was much more positive. Everything also made sense like it did on weed as I developed theories about life and the world. On top of these effects, acid made me feel like I had been reborn, as if my experiences of the world had been reset and everything on earth was a playground like it was as a kid. We flipped to “time to pretend” and “kids”, both by MGMT, before we arrived back at my house. Both of these songs sounded great too. Not only was I hearing it, but I was feeling it at the same time, like on marijuana. It was now 1:30am as I pulled into my driveway and entered my house. I wasn’t tired in the slightest which was odd since I hadn’t taken my usual doses of medication for the day. I took Adderall, an amphetamine, which helped me with my ADHD. I had trouble concentrating on boring activities like school work, and I had trouble staying on schedule too. Adderall gave me increased focus, more energy, and also helped with regulating my mood. I was usually fighting to stay awake at night when I didn’t take my medication, so I was never up past 11 or 12 before falling asleep. Dayton and I quietly walked down to my room, careful not to wake my parents. I was certain they would wake up as we walked down my horribly creaky stairs, but they didn’t. We got to my room and Dayton went straight to my Xbox to play survival on call of duty. I sat down with my laptop and logged on to Pandora to listen to some more music. I checked Facebook before going to YouTube and Reddit. Everything was hilarious on YouTube; I watched fail compilations, equals 3, minute physics, drive thru pranks, and some drive by super soaker videos before heading to Reddit. I scrolled through 5 or 6 pages under the “funny” tab and nearly fell back in my chair laughing as I watched a skull get smashed by a hammer. The clip played back over and over, starting off showing a team of archaeologists as they gently dusted sand off of a skull they found in the ground. They had the area marked off in squares with string and looked thrilled as they uncovered this skeleton from what seemed like ancient times. Out of nowhere, an arm with a hammer swung into the frame and smashed the skull, destroying it. I couldn’t contain my laugher as I sat back in my chair roaring as the clip played over and over. Dayton didn’t hear any of this since he had the volume turned up so loudly on the gaming headset. He too was having a great time as he shot terrorists, wave after wave. After surfing the web, I decided to take advantage of this amphetamine-like high and get some homework done. I was on page 12 of my short story for English class. The minimum length requirement was 5 pages, but I loved writing, so I decided to make my story longer. I began typing as my story flowed from my mind to my keyboard so easily. Within an hour I was at 17 pages, concluding my story. It was perfect, I thought as I hit save and print. I ran upstairs to my printer and patiently waited as it slowly spit out the 17 pages. When it was done, I stapled them together and brought the story back to my room. I wanted to write more, but my story was done. I created a new document and stared at the screen of my laptop. My fingers anxiously awaited orders from my mind as they sat on the keyboard. What should I write about? I thought to myself. There’s got to be something in my head wanting to manifest itself into reality. I sat for a moment in deep thought before it hit me. I grabbed my mouse and navigated to the bar at the top of Microsoft word. I pressed “center”, teleporting my blinking cursor from the left of the page to the middle. My right hand then found its way back home; j, k, l, ;, and space. I titled my story “Acid Trip” as I began typing.