We Be Trippin’!

I think the photo speaks for itself (most of the time!)

I’m not sure all of you will approve of these stories, but I am grateful that I took some risks in life and had some amazing experiences as a result.  Liberating the mind and opening the famous “doors of perception” made for some very interesting experiences!  And with death staring me in the face right now, it’s particularly interesting to contemplate exactly what reality is in terms of life and death.  My friend Tim has been talking lately about the entire universe simply being a high-tech simulation of sorts, and I find that rather intriguing as well…

My First Trip (1978)

It was the summer of 1978 and I was 15 years old at the time.  My friend Shelly and I had smoked weed a few times, and she thought it might be fun to turn the “newby” on to LSD one Saturday afternoon.   Shelly’s mom worked in the office at the local bank, and she and her boss normally spent Saturday afternoons somewhere his wife wouldn’t look, so we had her house to ourselves for a while at least.  I rode my bike over to Shelly’s around 11am and took the psychedelic plunge.  To Shelly’s credit, she was a great acid coach in terms of telling me what to expect, and she explained that we were just going to chill in her peaceful yard and let our minds explore the universe.  The trip was textbook in every way, from the initial giddy laughter to the visual trails and philosophizing about life as much as you can as a teenager.  Around 5pm Shelly’s mom arrived home, and I started getting a little nervous.  The way my mind felt, I was sure everyone else would know I was hallucinating, etc. and we would be busted for sure.  Shelly was very reassuring, and sure enough, we sat down and talked to her mom for almost an hour and she didn’t suspect a thing!   

Of course I told all my friends about my experience, and a few of them were dying to try it.  At that point, I started becoming the “acid king” and the rest is history.  Here are just a few of over 100 psychedelic experiences I’ve had between ages 15 and 28.

Dosing the HS Football Team (1979)

Before I got involved with dosing about a dozen of the local football players, I first had an experience with some close friends (K & T) who were local jocks but regularly smoked weed and drank with my best friend Kevin and I.  One night, we went over to K’s house and Kevin and I decided to drop some acid.  Our football friends were definitely opposed to the idea and gave us “freaks” the stinkeye for doing it.  But a couple hours later when Kevin and I were laughing our asses off and seeing trails, these two decided that they wanted to try it now.  The only caveat was that we had to keep it a secret from their football buddies so they wouldn’t be ostracized or thrown off the team for hanging out with “the freaks”—Hahahaha!!  The only problem was that I had only brought the two hits for Kevin and I, and the rest was stashed in the kitchen freezer at my parents’ house!  After a little convincing, K’s sister drove me back across town where I surprised my parents (while tripping my ass off—Thanks for the lesson in “maintaining” Shelly!) and made up some lame excuse about forgetting a record album or something and snuck into the freezer for a couple more hits when they weren’t looking.

I dosed K & T when we got back and within a couple of hours all four of us were pretty much on the same mental page.  Listening to music, hallucinating a bit, laughing a lot and the “jocks” were really having a great time on their first trip.  Shelly had trained me well to be an “acid coach” and everything was working out fine.  Just then the doorbell rang (surprise, surprise!) and it was my ex-GF Kim and her friend Terri who was visiting from Florida.  Now my Kim was certainly attractive, but her friend Terri looked like some femme fatale version of a voluptuous cartoon that had come to life!  Our tripping football friends weren’t quite sure if this was reality or some alternate universe and frankly I wasn’t so sure myself! 

Terri was from somewhere in Florida and spoke with this surreal sexy  southern accent that drove the boys crazy.  And of course it was the summer of 1979, and Miss Voluptuous was literally wearing nothing more than tiny shorts, a cropped T-shirt and tennis shoes.  (And I mean nothing else!!!)  Nothing happened (except in our minds of course—Hahaha!), but that was that was K & T’s first foray into the land of psychedelia.  I think they enjoyed it on several levels!

Of course, Kevin and I kept our promise to keep our friends’ trip a secret, but within a week I was getting phone calls from other members of the local football team wanting to know if I could “turn them on” too.  Apparently, the experience was so intense that the boys just couldn’t keep their own secret!  We lived in a small town, so my Mom knew that I didn’t hang out with the jock crowd and was wondering why they were calling me all of a sudden.  I think my Dad figured it out, and he made some cryptic comment to me that he knew “something was going on.”  But I don’t think he ever found out the truth!  The truth was that I ended up dosing about a dozen members of the local football team a few weeks later, and what a “trip” that was for me to be “coaching” a bunch of high school jocks on the joys of psychedelia—Hahahaha!

Larry’ Bad Trip (1981)

My best friend Kevin’s friend Larry (MUHS Class of ’81 boys) had a trip so bad he completely lost touch with reality.  I was a class ahead of Kevin (Class of 1980), so he and his Class of 1981 friends came out to visit me while I was a freshman in college at the U of Wisconsin—Madison.  It’s important to know that UW Madison (and Wisconsin in general!) was a “party hearty” place like no other I’ve seen since, especially where alcohol was concerned.  In this case, Larry brought some LSD with him so we could have a dose and enjoy the music festival going on that weekend.

Larry & I dropped some acid (and many beers of course), but Kevin and Zach stuck to only weed and beer.  When the acid started kicking in for Larry and I, we all went cruising around the backyard parties on Mifflin St. during the “Mifflin St. Days” festival, ending up in the backyard of a house watching a pretty good Doors cover band.  During the show, Larry grabbed my arm and said something like: “Damn—Jim Morrison is really awesome!”  I thought he meant that the singer was doing a pretty good job and I agreed that yes he was doing a very good Jim Morrison impression.  Larry looked at me in a strange and anxious way as though I were nuts for not understanding that the guy was REALLY JIM MORRISON.  The weird part was that the singer was kind of a shorter half-Hispanic guy and didn’t actually LOOK like Morrison at all!  Kevin and I noticed Larry’s increasing disorientation and anxiety and kept a very close eye on him.  We stayed for a bit longer and I thought Larry would eventually figure it out, but he kept making comments about how awesome “The Doors” were!  At one point I actually stated flat out that Jim Morrison had died 10 years earlier, and this was strictly a tribute band.  Larry sort of looked at me in disbelief, and my concern definitely increased at that point!

Kevin and I decided it might be best if we head back to my dorm room and get Larry out of his delusion, so we trekked out of there and stopped at the local liquor store (where I was quite well known by the owner for buying at least a case of Point beer every week!) on the way back.  I grabbed the case of Point, threw it on the counter and then realized I had forgotten my wallet.  I asked Larry if he would loan my $5 (yes, a case of swill beer was actually $5 in 1981!), so he pulled out his wallet, started looking at me and the liquor store owner quite strangely, and dashed out of the store without paying!   The liquor store owner knew something was up, told me I could bring him the $5 tomorrow (imagine that!), and suggested I better keep a close eye on my friend.  I told him I hoped the beer would help…  

We went back to my dorm room to chill to some music (and not The Doors!!!), and see if Larry would come back to reality at some point.  He eventually did, but things definitely got much worse before they got better.  During the next hour or two (my sense of time was bit distorted), Larry lost further touch with reality and started saying that we (his HS friends) were cops, totally freaked out, and tried to eat all of the drugs in his pocket!!!!  He had quite a bit of speed and acid in that baggie and could have died!  Thankfully, we were able to stop him in time and wrestle the drugs out of his hands and pockets.  He still didn’t know who we were.  We kept talking to him and trying to get him to recognize us and come back to reality, but he just sat there breathing hard and looking paranoid as hell.  

About an hour later, there was this loud crackling sound in my Witte Hall Madison dorm room, and we all looked around at each other as the universe completely changed.  At first I thought it was an illusion in my tripping mind but we all audibly heard it.  Even Kevin and Zach, who had ingested no psychedelics whatsoever, confirmed that they heard it too, and we all looked at Larry and knew he was 100% back to reality in that instant.  He knew who we were and didn’t remember much of his bad trip at all.  When we told him about it he reacted in total disbelief.  We had to show him the bag of drugs we wrestled from him, and we definitely didn’t return it to him until the next day! 

I’m still not sure what all that means, but perhaps it is something about “The Doors of Perception” which speaks to my friend Tim’s theory about changing the simulation.  One door closed and another one opened in an instant.  Very strange…

My Last Trip (1990)

I had at least 100 good trips before I had a bad trip and then I was done.  My good friend Brian was there—We saw the Doors movie (what is it about The Doors?  Hmmmmm…) that had just come out in the theaters and it depressed me and messed with my head a bit.  Nothing too serious—I knew who and where I was, but it was a total downer nonetheless.  Brian took the exact same stuff and dose and felt fine as far as I remember.  I can understand why psychedelics can be scary to many people, and I certainly saw a few others have bad trips much worse than mine.  I remember our mutual friend Jeff being afraid to try acid, so we had mercy on him and didn’t dose him without his consent anyway.  We did contemplate it briefly, but my libertarian side would never go for that!

Crickey the “Acid King” (one of my many nicknames—I owe that one to Kevin!)

2 thoughts on “We Be Trippin’!”

    1. I think I would like to try microdosing sometime soon. As far as I know, psychedelics primarily affect the sensory neurons in the brain, but I’d be really curious to see if the motor neurons would be affected at all. Hell, I’ve got nothing to lose and it’s not like I was afraid of experimenting in my younger years!

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