How to Major In LSD: A Trip Back In Time

January 27, 2014 — 86 Comments

*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”

We accept Wampum

Bonnaroo craft tent – accepts Wampum





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.

It was the late 80's, so shut UP.

It was the late 80’s, so shut UP.

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.

Merry Pranksters

We were DRIVING the damn 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.

2. Food/Supplements

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.

trip balls

Try staring at THIS for an hour or three


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?).



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…





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.

Don’t laugh.

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?

Don’t do drugs.Enhanced by Zemanta

86 responses to How to Major In LSD: A Trip Back In Time


    “Be yourself.

    be Patti Smith.

    be Lou Reed.”

    Fuck yeah. And thank you for taking me on this trip this morning.


      Are you having a flashback?

      Cause I am. Whewwww. Niiiiice.

      Patti, Lou and my brother destroyed, or created, my life. Depending on how you look at it!!



        Create, destroy,create again. I am on a phoenix imagery kick now.



        Well, that was the subtitle for “How WordPress tried to Kill me”
        (A Phoenix From the Ashes Kinda Joint)-

        So, how about we rise together, sister?


        Oh, I missed that part of it.

        Definitely we should rise together, hopefully a little higher and better this time.

        (ha! “higher” in this post is funny)


    I had a brief but passionate relationship with mescaline way back when.
    Having Abraham Lincoln recite the Gettysburg Address to you with Vivaldi in the background was one of the highlights of my life.

    Sadly, as a result of that same particular trip, I will not ever eat a klondike bar again.

    But I did come away with a much better appreciation of sunrises, so…


    I think I woke up next to that women in college one morning. It was the only morning I ever made my 8am class on time.


      Did she bite your neck?


        Ugh, she may have. I had way too much free time to drink when soccer season was not in full force taking up most of my waking hours.


        Marriages dissolve over travel sports.

        Three kids in travel sports = parents who hate each other. Methinks.


        I played soccer in college on a scholarship. It was probably what saved me from drinking myself out the door my first semester like most of the baseball players did.

        My kids don’t share my passion or skill for the game so far. It’s still early with the boys, but girl child is pretty indifferent to the whole thing. She gets good grades though, so that’s the main thing.


        Yes. Good grades really ARE the main thing. I’m a big pro-education gal.

        I wrote one post about it, and have a whole series coming. Hang on to your hat. I’m in the education field, and I’m damn serious about it.


    I just watched Hansel and Gretel last night! It was hilariously awful. I’ve never done more intense drugs, because I’m scared of getting stuck in a bad place. I went to Bonnaroo one year (I heart Tom Petty) and met some guys who had a bad trip on mushrooms. They woke up covered in mayonnaise, having shredded their tent with pocketknives trying to defend it against attacking monsters. Best we could figure in the next morning’s light, the monsters were actually shadows caused by random people walking by.


    Holy Wavy Gravy, I tripped just reading that (literally – I was reading it on my phone and didn’t see the Power Rangers dude on the floor) You’re the kind of girl that I avoided in high school (which is strange to say considering I went to an all-boys Catholic uniformed high school – think that had anything to do with my phobia of priests with rulers up their sleeves? Cunning clergy).

    That sounds like a lot of work there. I thought drugs were to make you take things easy. I was definitely the kegger guy. No biceps to compare, but I had hoisting elbows that were the envy of Oktoberfest Fraus.

    I was ALL of those bad trippers you listed. I took acid once. Yeah, that’s how much fun I had. I ended up taking 2-3 because being the impatient booze pig I was, I wasn’t get that FIX soon enough. Popped them like Tic Tacs. Then decided to have 8 or 9 coffees with a friend. Great idea. My heat beat gave any techo jam a run for it’s money. My arteries felt like they were pumping maple syrup dissolved in motor oil. With sand for good measure.

    Bathroom walls were breathing. Thought I heard Don Knotts landing a hovercraft on the roof. In drag. My mind was like a beaded curtain in a hurricane. Blotto. Walked all night. Took taxis back home, then walked another two hours. then taxi back. Bloody hell. No one told me to drink 47 beers to tame that beast. Would have gladly done that deal too.

    The 80’s weren’t all that bad. They gave us semi-ironic nostalgia for us to mine for posts. At least that is my view.

    Speaking of posts, enjoyed this. Had some grit and some drums and enough tie dye to last me for the week. If by a week we mean a year.

    Keep trippin’…now take a bath, hippies.



      Paul, your comments are posts.

      If the walls are breathing, you’ve done something right. Not if Don Knotts is around, though. That’s just wrong.

      Wavy Gravy? Really? You know your 60’s


        I was born in ’70, so I must have had come into contact with some tie dyed amniotic fluid perhaps. Who knows.

        Yeah, I am a chatterbox. My posts are posts too…lol.


    Music clutched me mystically even before any mind expansion, Samara. In high school, rare hurricane bearing down on Long Island. Me, in control of the radio, spinning for progressive rock stations. Me, watching the trees bending horizontally out the back window. Me, landing on WPLR, from across the Long Island Sound, in New Haven, Ct. The DJ was into it. Dylan’s “Hurricane” followed by Morrison singing “The End.” Me, mind blown good.


      That was a freaking POEM to incredible music.
      Please post it.

      Once a DJ, always a DJ. You were born with music pulsing through your blood, and it always will.

      And SHAME on me for leaving out Dylan. The voice of a generation. He was always part of the Trip.


        Thank you for your faith and support of my words, Samara. Yeah, Mr. Dylan got it pretty early, speaking of poetry. And, if I would have been around at that upstate party in which you were lost in your own space for all those hours, I know I would have been as frantic as your BFF. These years later, I still breathed a sigh of relief as you crawled out of the woods. You brought me there with so much realism, Samara. Yikes.


    I grew up near Berkeley in the Bay Area during the 60’s and 70’s… you are preaching to the choir… I could tell you stories that would blow your freekin’ mind.


    Whoa trippy, Samara. Fourteen hours is a long time! Wouldn’t you like to know what happened? Maybe some aliens picked you up and rolled through some healing mud. It could happen. I’ve had lost time, blackouts and I’ll never know. Was I up wandering around, talking to people, did I crash somewhere and how did I make it home. Oh, the memories or lack thereof…


    Thanks for the vicarious trip.


    Now I know: I didn’t even do drugs the right way.

    14 hours. Nicely done.

    If only they had smartphones back then.


    Do you ever wonder why the more interesting drugs just sort of slowly vanish from your life as you get older?


    Quite the mystery tour posting. I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I too had my share of acid. Crazy trips, crazy shit happening and riding on the D Train from Brooklyn to Manhattan when the acid hit me the very first time. I didn’t have anyone with me that was straight because we both took it at the same time, that was in the 70’s and we were going to Madison Square Garden to buy tickets to see Johnny Winters. I was in high school and we cut out to make sure we got good seats. It was strange being on the train and tripping. I liked acid but when I found microdot mesc I knew I was home. After the first time I tried it I bought 500 hits from my friends sister that thought she was still at Woodstock in 1973/74. Thanks for the trip. I did try looking at that picture you posted for 5 minutes and I got mentally exhausted.


      Sweet white baby Jesus, how did you find me?

      Can I simultaneously envy and hate you that you saw Johnny Winters at MSG in the 70’s?

      We are connected – I took acid to see Pink Floyd at the Garden for the 1987 Momentary Lapse of Reason tour – holy crap –

      the subway is indeed a bizarre place to be on psychedelic drugs. But what a venue! What a show!

      Shrewd investment, those 500 hits. And I didn’t look at the picture; I got a migraine just posting it.

      Many thanks for finding me, and commenting!


        I got high enough to wander out of the Madison Square Garden at a Pink Floyd show (either Delicate Sound of Thunder or Momentary Lapse of Reason). And then years later when I saw Roger Waters do Dark Side of the Moon, I was merely very very drunk.

        This post is going to hit critical mass soon, and give anyone who passes by a contact high.


        I wonder how many people stumbled in, around, or out of Madison Square Garden during a Pink Floyd show?

        Even if you went in straight, you HAD to leave with a contact high.


        I was speaking with an old friend the last few days, he is 2 years older than me so he knew all the good recreational meds needed for a 16 year old. He began asking me last week if I remember doing hits of mesc with him. How in the world could I forget that part of my life. It kind of prompted me to go on WP and search for LSD and your incredible blog came up. Thanks for posting. I must tell you I have since read all of your blogs. I think your are and incredibly gifted writer. And the topics that you write about are so from the heart and so heartfelt that I wish I had 10% of your ability to write. Please keep writing… Your new fan James.


        That was an incredibly generous compliment.

        I am so grateful that you took the time to read my posts. ALL of them? Wow. That’s so sweet.

        Again, thank you for your support, and the kind words.


    so hard to find around here…



      Blogs about tripping?

      Weird bloggers? THAT you found. They’re all here.

      I’m so glad we met. What a long, strange trip it’s been.


        acid ..haha! i enjoyed the blog! funny yet true, i’ve tried to explain a trip to people who never have and its almost impossible…. well for them to grasp it.


        Yes, it’s very hard to explain,

        I’m so glad it helped you find your way here, and I hope you visit again.


    Great blog Samara, I needed something to get me out of the Polar Vortex today and you delivered. I am working on a blog now and I’m going to publish it in another day or 2.
    This blog made me have flashbacks from my teenage years (and my 20’s)


    Jesus Christ (all apologies to the Hebrews – sorry, am I getting this right?), that entire post sent me into a spiral of trippiness and raw desire to run naked down my snowbound road so that I too could commune with nature and express my adoration for the neartest sapling. Truth be told, I already felt this way from ENDLESSLY commenting on PMAO’s blog, but somehow this post brought it all together, showing me where I’ve been, where I’m going, and how filthy and ruddy I’m going to be by the time I get there. I feel alternately enlightened and totally fucked, and I’m completely okay with that. And more than that, Samara, one thing’s for sure: I would have loved to hang out with you back in the day, but if I can’t have that, I’ll just snuggle with this post until the cold fucking Canadian winter gets off my hairy back.




      The winter is just as cold and horrible here –

      But let’s all plan a WordPress pretend LSD Trip Meet Up!

      Perhaps back in time? Can some of you chemical engineers arrange that?


        Does it have to be pretend?

        Chemical engineers are the solid smelly backbone of the engineering fraternity. They can do anything. Except get laid.


        It can be real.

        Can you imagine?

        An inter-continental Intergalactic Cyber Voyage? Conducted simultaneously in multiple time zones?

        It’s been years. I don’t know if my heart could take it.
        Would twitter be involved? If so, count me out.
        Fucking twitter.


      Wasn’t Jesus Christ a Hebrew person? I don’t think you have to appologize to him. He’s very understanding and loving.


        You’re asking the wrong person.

        If you’ll remember, I go to services for the cake.

        I’ll check with my son. He’s the “big Jew” in residence (no offense, anyone, he’s currently in Hebrew school and knows a hundred times more than I do.)


        I don’t know, there’s some lightning in the sky hereabouts, and it’s the middle of winter…


    Try staring at THIS for an hour or three

    It started moving for me after about three seconds.

    I have NO knowledge of psychedelic drugs. None. Not even Mary Jane, and I’m in enough damned pain I’m seriously thinking of finding some special brownies once the state of Washington figures out how they want to do the shops, and if it’s not taxed up the yin-yang.

    All I know is the sheer horror of 100% legal psych meds. That’s it. I said that before, right? No fun there. None at all. My first trip to the psych ward was OD’ing on that shit. Second trip was threatening to OD again because I was fucked up on other shit.


      Is it legal in Washington? My BFF gets these brownies for her cancer that she tells me are heavenly. Not at all expensive, either.

      I’m sorry about your bad experiences. Kind of takes all the fun out of the good ones


        Washington and Colorado are the only states in the Union that have legalized recreational use.

        Many kinks need to be worked out, however; some cities have declared a moratorium on any businesses selling cannabis, and that includes Seattle, Wenatchee, and a few other places but not where I live. Still, no idea when the businesses WILL actually open. Many have applied, but no approvals have happened yet.

        C’mon, samara, didn’t you know? There’s a reason why this year’s Super Bowl has been jokingly referred to as the “Bud Bowl”, “Doobie Bowl”, etc., because of the teams facing off… Seahawks (WA) and Broncos (CO).


        Sweetheart, don’t forget to mention that time you got high on dental gas. It wasn’t a long high, but it was still a high.


        Oh, you mean the nitrous oxide (laughing gas)?

        I’m pretty sure it’s an example of why it was at the last few Dead concerts… who knows, maybe it’s at the Phish ones, too.


    I know the message is “Don’t do drugs,” but it sure sounds tempting when you write it so well. I want to talk to trees and see wood nymphs. I want to go on a voyage like that!
    Of course, I have. This raver turned dj had his fair share of brain cell killing jaunts in college. Because college. Because freedom. Because beauty. Again, don’t do drugs. I agree.
    As the years have passed I must second guess the litle quircks I’ve picked up. Do I no longer remember things like I used to because my brain was damaged on those journies? Is that twitch in my right hand just a twitch, or it is nerve damage? Will I forever be attracted to bright lights like a moth to flame? Will I one day drive myself off a cliff because my head swiveled to follow the tracers of the headlights going the other direction?
    Will I ever stop second guessing myself?

    I love your words, Samara. Have I said that before?


    More power to them but the Bonnaroo Festival always looked like something to avoid to me. I’m too square for that scene, man.

    I think Metal Machine Music was a joke, even though Lou said it wasn’t. I think he’s still laughing.

    I took LSD on a whitewater rafting trip in Pennsylvania. Not while rafting, of course. We were in the middle of a forest. You’re right. It’s really beautiful. The trees, leaves flashing silver in the sun. Etc. On a subsequent trip while visiting Kent State University, I forgot where I was and start to panic. That was my last time. It’s powerful stuff. Not to be trifled with.


      You are NOT to square for anything. Bonnaroo would be a blast!

      Metal Machine Music was a contractual obligation. Lou Reed owed RCA an album; he was pissed, and this was what they got. Gotta love that.

      I guess you don’t want to be part of the WordPress LSD InterContinental Meetup that Trent is trying to arrange.


        Yeah, I knew about the whole contractual obligation thing, but I think I recall reading interviews with Lou where he insisted it was a purposeful album and not a joke.

        Can the meet-up take place in the rotunda of the Guggenheim? If so, I’m in. Can you imagine taking LSD in that place? And if they’re having a Kandinsky retrospective? That’s as good as it’ll ever get. And I don’t mean LSD. I mean life.


        You’re so artsy, it’s unbelievable.

        Who else dreams of the rotunda of the Guggenheim during a Kandinsky retrospective?

        My meetup daydreams are so far off from that, it’s ridiculous.

        By the way, did you see how I corrected that sweet old lady on You Monsters are People’s post about Anal Bleaching? I included a Wikipedia link, which I didn’t realize was like clicking on full blown porn.

        And I’m totally trying to clean up my online rep. True story.


        But just imagine it! That beautiful, giant, smooth, white, Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda spiraling endlessly around and around. What a fantastic show that would be.

        I have moved past that anal bleaching thing, thank you very much. Good lord. And I thought some mild rope play was kinky. Jeeze.



        Not even tempted to click on the link, are you?

        He was FP’d for that post, did you know? Well deserved, I feel.


        Oh, I will. But not at work.


        Actually, it looks like You Monsters Are People is partially down at the moment.

        As in the blog is still there, but appears to be mostly empty. Or did I get the wrong link?


    Loved this. Been there, done that. Many times over. I think I am missing half the late 80’s early 90’s because of the beautiful drug that was LSD back then. 22 was my top hit count. At. One. Time. Over a period of 4 hours. I think I am considered legally insane……….


      I lost half my brain cells and a lot of that decade for the exact same reason!

      Welcome to my kooky blog! My latest post is kinda dark, but I love to write about all sorts of crazy shiz! So glad you visited – and that you made it out of those decades alive…

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