*Author’s note: DON’T DO DRUGS. They are illegal, unhealthy, and carry enormous consequences.
I attended college in upstate NY, in the “Land That Time Forgot”. It was still the 60’s in the 80’s. Hippies and the Hippie Ethos dominated.
If you were born after 1990, and are not sure what a “Hippie” is, picture “Bonnaroo Music Festival”
College was not only a place I fit in – I reigned supreme as Queen of the Island Of Misfit Toys.
I possessed a wildly erratic fashion sense, a superior “I’m from New York so fuck YOU” attitude, and was immensely comfortable in a 5:2 boy to girl ratio.
My group of friends were a unique amalgam of artsy hippie punk rockers, instantly recognizable even on our vast campus. We strode across campus dressed like Janis Joplin fucked Lou Reed and had Freak Babies.
I had the hook up.
My eldest brother lived in San Francisco. and was business partners with the finest Chemical Engineering minds at UC Berkeley.
They manufactured batches of pure Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. He shipped it to me in tiny amber bottles. My Chem Eng friends stamped hits onto paper, which we sold as blotter.
I had half the students and a good portion of the faculty tripping their Ivy League brains out.
We were Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, and hell yes! We were On The Bus.
We thought it was our job; nigh, our destiny, to not only distribute but to provide all and sundry with the Shangri-la of trips.
And so they were hatched:
The Intergalactic Voyages. I, II, III, IV, and V.
Not just numbered – Roman Numeraled, because we were highbrow and cerebral.
The goal of the aforementioned Voyages was not only to get each participant to take as many hits of acid as their body weight could handle without spontaneously combusting, but to intensity said trip with light, visuals and music.
We thought that LSD was the path to Spiritual Enlightenment. and the Salvation of Mankind.
We were college kids OUT OF OUR WANKING MINDS, and really just responsible for the most drugs ever taken simultaneously outside of a weekend at Charlie Sheen’s Malibu beach house.
Who the HELL hangs up signs advertising “INTERGALACTIC VOYAGES?”
The Preparations were Elaborate:
1. Clean Up the House. Cluttered house = cluttered mind.
It was the ONLY time our house was clean. Our parents would’ve been proud.
Water. LOTS of hydration.
Vitamin C to enhance visuals. It’s a redox agent. It alters they way the active chemicals are metabolized.
Translate: you TRIP BALLS.
3. Trip Enhancements
Dim lights. Paper and spray paints should any creative urges arise.
Mind-altering movies screened in one room. Mind-bending psychedelic light shows in another.
Trippy objects, such as glow sticks and swirling kaleidoscopes, hung from ceiling fans.
4. Weather permitting, we always planned an Outdoor Voyage.
Nature is intrinsic to the cosmic experience.
5. The Right People.
One “Sober Sitter,” for those inevitably on bad trips. It happens. *Sigh*.
NO annoying Trip Mates, like the “Get Me Out of This” tripper, or “The “Messiah.” She will run into the street and try to call the President.
5. The Right Music.
I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, but I had older brothers who schooled me in 60’s rock. So you best believe I knew my psychedelic rock.
Music was CRUCIAL (isn’t it always?).
LIFT OFF TO INTERGALACTIC VOYAGE:
Participants would arrive. We’d sell acid by the hit and offer gallon jugs of free spiked punch.
We’d start the music, the lights, set all the psychotropic objects in motion, get the projectors going, hand out day glo spray paints,
Dose everyone a second time…
THE FINAL INTERGALACTIC VOYAGE: VOYAGE V
CAPTAINS STARDATE: MAY 1990.
I was at the helm of the largest Intergalactic Voyage ever. 300 passengers.
I spotted my Statistics Professor.
I’d lost count of how many hits I’d taken. My boyfriend, who was pinwheel-eyed blasted, kept urging me to take another hit. I ended up taking 5.
Our backyard was strung with colored lights which sparkled and dashed. The music- “L.A. Woman,” The Doors. Greatest tripping dance song. EVER.
It was full-scale, sweaty, untamed, Dionysian mayhem.
Partygoers were stretching out beyond the backyard into the woods, which now beckoned.
In the background, Jim Morrison growled, “Are you a lucky little lady in the city of lights, or just another lost AN – GEL”
I fell in love with a tree. HARD love. I couldn’t take my hands, my eyes off of it. It spoke to me.
This is not funny. This is fucking mystical shit here.
I became one with nature. I danced with tiny wood nymphs. I discoursed with flowers, who reassured me that the world would be just fine. I laid on the ground.
God spoke to me. He said,
“Samara. whatever you do, don’t live on Staten Island. That place is a WHORE. Be yourself. Be Patti Smith. Be Lou Reed. You will never be normal, my child, and that’s OKAY.”
After my little convo with God, I felt ready to go back and hang with my revelers.
The ground felt so good, I decided to crawl back.
I have NO explanation for that one.
As I stepped out of the woods, I heard the end of the end of the song,
“L A, L A,
L A Woman, Come ONNNN!”
I crawled out of the woods and it was
Bright! Like, morning bright.
What? How did that happen? Where WAS everybody???
My BFF came running out of the back door of our house.
“Where the FUCK have you been?”
She was hysterical.
“We were going to call the POLICE, the fucking police, Samara!”
“The fucking POLICE? (I started hyperventilating; please note: nothing gets a tripping person more paranoid than the po po).
“You’ve been gone 14 hours. FOURTEEN HOURS. LOOK AT YOU!!! Look what you look like!!”
She dragged me into the house and showed me a feral, wild haired creature, covered in dirt. Face streaked madly with mud war paint. Twigs and leaves stuck in her hair. It didn’t register, for a full minute, that I was looking at MYSELF.
She kept ranting.
“What were you doing? We were looking everywhere! Why were you CRAWLING? WHERE WERE YOU?”
I didn’t know.
I still don’t know.
To this day, none of us know what the hell happened to me those 14 hours. I crossed over into another dimension. I walked into the woods a person, and crawled out.
The moral of this story?