I just went to EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival). It was my first rave ever, and I chose to go to the biggest event in the world. It’s like the rookie in the movies who has never seen combat getting dropped into a warzone on his first day on the job. Also, due to the sheer volume of drugs, this was as close to a Hunter S. Thompson experience I was ever going to get.
The Bro, who goes to raves every now and then, told me to go to EDC. We’re pretty similar in a lot of ways, except he’s cooler at the expense of not having a job or steady income. He’s your typical white stoner that just graduated, I guess. We’re pledge bros. I pick him up, along with his friends from high school and NYU. It was there that I met The Noom, The Fro, and The Ginger. They stuck a crapload of alcohol into my trunk and we floored it. We were going to the biggest rave ever in the desert of Sin City. What could possibly go wrong?
We checked into the Hampton Inn around 2 and started making some Kandi. It was pretty homo, but whatevs. One guy spent a few hours rolling joints and we waited for another group of people to arrive (a group I didn’t know). When they did arrive, I noticed that one person from the group was someone I went to high school with. This was especially weird because she met my group in New York and it had nothing to do with me. She made this face of utter disbelief when she saw me. “JAMES CAI? YOU’RE AT A RAVE? AND YOU’RE GONNA ROLL? THIS IS SUCH A MINDFUCK. YOU WERE SUCH A FUCKING BOY SCOUT IN HIGH SCHOOL!” I wanted to defend myself, but I realized that she was 100% correct. God, I’ve changed.
We met up with our dealer at The Orleans to get adderall (which I had only previously used once to write a paper in college). Then we decided to get in line. The last 6 miles between our hotel and the venue took more time than the entire 260 miles to get to Vegas. The line of cars was about 3 miles long, taking us an hour and a half. All this time people were blasting trance music from their cars. The Fro spent the time telling me about which drugs did what and how to counteract the effects. The Ginger talked about how hot every girl was (he was right). The Bro yelled “EDC!” to every car we passed. The Noom made hilarious jokes for the whole time. When we parked, we saw a huge sign that read “NO DRUGS ALLOWED. NARCOTIC DOGS ON PREMISES.” Suddenly I felt really scared for hiding a joint in my wallet. What if I go to jail? Don’t they check wallets? Should I have hidden it on my ballsack like the rest of the gang?
The first thing I noticed was the beautiful people. The guys were all ripped, and the girls were all ridiculously proportioned with little to no clothes (a number of them with just pieces of tape as clothes). This made me REALLY want to go to the gym. I was determined to get in shape. It also might have been a side effect of the adderall.
Anyway, you can’t roll more than once a month (max), because ecstasy breaks the barrier that holds the serotonin, which causes the serotonin to flood through your brain. It gives you the happy feeling. The thing is, if you do it like 2 nights in a row, the serotonin wouldn’t have time to regenerate, so your ecstasy high wouldn’t be nearly as great. You need AT LEAST a month to regenerate serotonin, but preferably like 3 months. And if you do it too much, your serotonin gets fucked up and you get depressed easily. This makes you an addict.
Moral of the story: don’t do E more than once every 3 months.
I dedicated the first night to just getting a feel of things. No real drugs, just alcohol, weed, and adderall. I met a lot of people from college, and just basically danced until the sun came up. I felt kind of out of place when everyone around me was rolling except for me. It was like being the only sober person in a group of people that were really drunk. If anything it wet my appetite. Right before we left some random girl went up to The Noom, hugged him, and told him that it was the happiest day of her life. I didn’t get what the FUCK was going on.
We got back to the hotel and I couldn’t sleep (fucking adderall) so I went across the street to gamble (but I told them I was taking a walk). It was the most ridiculous odds ever for blackjack. They had 3 dollar minimum for single deck that allowed you to surrender after a double down and to double down after you’ve already hit (it wasn’t Spanish. There were tens). I only made 50 bucks due to the large number of gamblers. Basically, the more gamblers there are, the worse it is for you. They tend to steal your cards when the deck is heating up and they tend to hit too much, causing the tens to run out once it is hot. To make money counting cards in blackjack, you kinda need to be antisocial. When I got back, the first thing they said was “how much did you win?” These guys met me yesterday and they already knew me. I am not a master at subtlety.
We decided that spending 4 hours in line was pretty much the epitome of bullshit, so we left super early and got in at 9 instead of 12. We first chilled for a bit and I bought a really expensive water bottle to refill over and over. We chilled with the group as we listened to Afrojack. I even saw some of my frat brothers. One of them, who is not exactly cool, told us that he and his girlfriend were going “go crazy” because she decided to take a whole pill instead of the usual half. He then showed us his super cool 3D glasses he stole from the new Star Tours ride. It was really difficult to not roll my eyes. The Bro took me to the port-a-potties to take our E around 11:45. Before we entered our respective shitholes, he put his arm on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and said “James, by this time tomorrow, you will become a slightly different man.” I had no idea how correct he was at the time, but I agree 100% now that I’m writing this and looking back on it.
When we came out, we went to the grassy part of the stadium and went to watch Empire of the Sun. About 40 minutes later, we took our second dose. And about 10 minutes after that, it all hit me. Flood gates opened. Euphoria. Like no other. WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. I danced ten times harder than I normally would. The lights were like nourishment for my eyes. I turned to The Bro and said “I love everyone I’ve ever met in my life.”
And then I started to feel very dizzy. I ran out of the crowd and landed on the softest patch of grass ever.
A random girl came and gave me an empty cup to puke in. As the world was spinning around me, The Bro was patting my back to get me to throw up. After about 3 minutes of it, he whispered to me “Dude, man. Sorry. I wish I could take care of you, but I’m rolling too hard. Can’t stay in one place. Take care. I know you’ll be fine.” And then he left.
I then noticed how unusually soft the grass was. It was like a marshmallow. I finished throwing up and started making grass angels. Damn this was comfortable grass. Shiet. I was in love with this grass. It was the best grass in the world. I felt like I had all the love in the world in me. Like if love was a commodity, I had a monopoly on it. With all this love in me, there was only one thing I should do: share it. Everyone should have some of this love, because I would be evil not to share the wealth.
The first person I noticed was this girl with a ridiculous rack. Like, seriously. So I said hi to her and she told me her name. I think it was Liz or something. She told me she was Egyptian and from the OC and stuff, and we basically just talked while feeling over each other’s bodies. I love the feeling of touching stuff while on E. Goddamn it’s awesome. As she was laying in my arms telling me about her goal of being a helping disabled people, I escalated physically. She took off her shirt and her boobs were basically escaping from her cup. It was that glorious. I stuck my face in them. Then we talked some more and I tried going in for a kiss, but she wouldn’t let me. I found this really confusing, because I thought face in boobs came after kiss, but apparently I’m a noob. She then told me she was grabbing water and that I should stay there and wait for her for ten minutes. Unfortunately, I was still rolling hard and I tried staying still. I lasted for 3 minutes. I left my Egyptian princess. Fuck. Whatever. I had to spread my love with others, epic cleavage or not.
I then ran into a group of girls sitting under a tent. I talked to a girl with neon green hair and a nose ring. She told me that there’s no experience in life like rolling, and that I had just entered a world of beauty that I would never be able to forget. I can go back to my normal life as a real estate broker, but sooner or later the pull of living life like this would find me. Her friend, who heard that I threw up on my first trip, handed me a frozen cherry lemonade. These people truly are friendly. She gave me a full on kiss before I left.
I found a third group of people sitting on the grass and chilling. They told me that they were part of a “rave group”. They went from rave to rave just rolling and having fun. They must have as much love to share as I did! One of the girls told me she met her raver boyfriend at church, laughing as she noted the irony. I one upped her by telling her I met my fuckbuddy at church. I am truly number 1. They told me that in their world you’re given a rave name, and they introduced me to the liveliest of the group, someone named Inertia or something. Her rave mother was Phoenix. She proceeded to motion to another guy to give me a lightshow as she gave me an aggressive massage. It was a sensory overload. And it was better than sex. They told me to go to the Ferris wheel with them, but somehow I got lost again (what the FUCK?!).
I get a text from The Bro. “Dude I just found this phone on the floor”. I text back “where are you and when can we meet?” No response. I found a group of people that told me to “just feel this grass with my bare feet”. So I took off my shoes and socks and felt the grass. God. It was so amazing. It was even better than the first patch of grass. I fell in love with this grass, this inanimate object. I wanted to buy this grass off of the stadium. I just wanted to buy this 9 square feet of grass and have them fence it off for me. I would come back and water it every week so it stays fluffy. I then learned that this was not feasible.
I then met a group of people that were all aspiring writers. They told me to facebook them so I can read their notes on creative writing and give them some pointers. I still have their names saved into my phone, but I’m not sure if I want to request them. Wouldn’t it be kinda awkward?
I talk to a guy. He tells me he is an engineer and he just graduated. His plans in life are now to go to grad school to learn more engineering. Fuck this. This is why talking to guys sucks. They’re intrinsically less interesting. Once in a while you’ll get a cool guy, but most of them are boring compared to women.
As everyone is planning to go, I call The Bro.
“Hey, this is the friend. Can we get the phone?”
“Hey man, I just found it on the floor.”
“Why is that WEIRD, MAN?”
“Because it’s not something that he would do.”
“What are you SAYING, HUH?”
“Why don’t you just come out and SAY IT?”
I called back, but it went straight to voicemail. We got trolled AND ninja’ed. I walked back to the car, seeing The Bro and The Fro. The Ginger and The Noom were right behind me.
“Dude, The Bro, your phone-“
“Yeah, man. I know.”
He purses his lips in a way that showed that he was disappointed, but at the same time acknowledging that he can’t really blame anyone else.
“I’m a slightly different man that I was this time yesterday.”
He made a slow grin that spread across his entire face.
Guys: Never try acid. Period. I don’t care how cool Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Torro made it look. I don’t care if you’ve ever read Hunter S. Thompson’s work. Fuck acid. Anyway, For the last night, we decided to go on an acid trip. The thing is, Ecstasy has defined effects. You know what’s going to happen to you at what time. It’s a pretty consistent formula. Acid does not give these guarantees. It’s like reaching into the mystery box and pulling out a random item. Good fucking luck.
We take the strips around 9 and we start chilling until we feel the effects. I hung out with the Noom, while The Bro and The Ginger decided to just smoke weed and not be as adventurous as us. The Fro decided to combine his acid and start candy tripping. So I’m sitting with The Noom waiting for the music to get good when a Russian guy comes over.
“Hi I’m Stross.”
“Do you have any acid?”
“In my body right now? Yeah.”
“Do you have any outside of your body?”
“Aw man, I need some right now. Yesterday I had the best time ever. I took acid for the first time in my life. I was seeing colors and shit and it was amazing!”
“How many strips did you take?”
“1 man. 1 was fucking intense! How many do you have in you!?”
“Uh….3.” “HOLY FUCKING CHRIST! YOU’RE GONNA BE TRIPPIN BALLS, MAN! GOOD FUCKING LUCK!”
I know Russians are crazy. I know a Russian just called me crazy. Therefore, I know I’m in for a hell of a trip. I then start to feel pretty cool. The sense start blending together and I can experience sensory perception as a whole. All sounds hit me at once and the lights are accentuated.
I’m feeling pretty good at this point, so I decide to chat up another chick. This one complains to me that she just found her boyfriend of 2 years cheating on her. I told her that I just ended a 2 year relationship as well, and I can totally help her beat up her man. She looks at me and my size and tries her hardest to not laugh. She then tells me that she has been doing drugs since she was 9 and eventually wants to join the police force. I ask her if this is an issue, because, they do background checks, right? She tells me that as long as she has not been busted for possession for intent to sell, she’s fine. But here’s where it gets weird. She tells me that not only does shewant to be a cop, she wants to be an undercover cop to find people on drugs. Then she tells me she would go to raves and find people on drugs to bust them. She can’t seem to understand why I am looking so scared. “Oh, I’m sorry about that. No, I’m not a cop.” The Noom’s eyes were as open and dilated as a 12 year old boy seeing his first pair of tits. Needless to say, we boned out. Fuck cops.
I was still feeling really good at this time, and I told The Noom that drugs should not be illegal. Cops were everywhere just scouting for people to arrest for overdose. How ridiculous. The Noom concurred, but looked visibly distraught. I guess his trip didn’t start off so well. We then found ourselves in a cooling room. I looked at the floor and noticed that it was pulsating. It was breathing, up and down. And then I looked at my feet. My shoes were enveloping my legs. They were trying to eat me. And my legs were getting thinner and thinner as they were being consumed.
A girl and a guy came to borrow my phone because their reception sucked. She was rolling and he dropped like us (except he was 2 strips). She told us that she loved newbies because they were so cute when they were inexperienced. She then asked us if it was creepy for her to be 19 and dating a 24 year old. I did the magic formula in my head ( Age / 2 + 7) and decided it was alright.
I had to help The Noom up because he was still not having a good trip. He told me that the music was out of tune and this offended him. Whatever.
He told me his phone just ran out of batteries. He relied on me. And then….the situation reversed. I stopped wanting to move and he got all up into it.
“THE MUSIC! IT’S BACK IN TUNE! I LOVE LIFE!”
He runs into the crowd and I never see him again for the night.
I am on an acid trip.
This is balls.
I went back to the grass (I think I began to associate grass with safety and happiness due to last night) and started staring at a flame. For hours. The best part of the night was watching the fireworks. Acid + bright lights = cool.
Then I learned that acid isn’t as much about what it makes you see as much as what it makes you feel. I felt like I couldn’t believe that such a world existed. There were so many beautiful people all doing drugs and being complete sluts. I thought this was some image that Hollywood conjured up to get you to watch their movies (horror movies. Am I right, guys?). But for it to totally exist, was a mindfuck to me at that point.
The bass from the speakers hurt my heartThey were not friendly speakers. Evil speakers.
People are kicking dirt everywhere. They were trying to kick dirt in my eyes. They didn’t like me. The ecstasy people liked me. The acid people didn’t. They didn’t accept me.
I can’t feel my limbs.
Where is everyone?
Am I alone? Why am I alone?
This is the dark side. E was the light side. I can’t face my old friends anymore. They will think I went to the dark side. I am Anakin Skywalker. Can I at least be the cool Darth Vader?
Someone is saying hi to me.
Can I say hi back?
I can’t talk.
Why can’t I talk?
HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON!?
Cell phone. Shit. I haven’t talked in 5 hours. Jesus Christ. Chug water. It’ll help.
After what seemed like 20 years of silence, I slowly regained my ability for speech. I decided to do what I always do, talk to someone new. I found a girl sitting alone and asked her where her friends were. She told me that she got a bad pill and that her boyfriend and friends were rolling hard listening to music. So she was just sitting there on the grass on shrooms. She points to a patch of grass and asks me how beautiful the flower is. There is no flower. It’s just grass. Shiet. New drug to try for the future. She tells me that she knows Chinese and wants to go to Shanghai to teach Chinese. I inform her that it is a bad idea.
See, Shanghai is the most educated part of China, and they know it. It’s like they’re Harvard graduates and everyone else went to community college. They wouldn’t hang around you if they had a choice. There’s a saying in China: “The only people that like Shanghainese people are Shanghainese people.”
She asked me if I was single. It then occurred to me that the answer was yes. For the first time in forever. I had this sudden hatred for my ex. How dare she? I think I convinced her to change, because she is down to earth as hell.
The sun then came up and I went to the field to meet them. The Fro came and told me that it was the best time of his life. He had the perfect combination in his bloodstream. He gave 15 massages and got offered 3 pairs with hot girls. He just kept dancing and making hearts.
I was cold as fuck.
I wandered over to The Bro, who was lounging under the Pagoda in a state of semi consciousness.
“The Bro, never do acid.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
We get up and meet The Ginger outside the gate. He told us that we all look like the result of a zombie apocalypse. He was probably right. Goddamn computer people always being right. And making more money than us sales people at this point in life. I guess the part about us getting laid more than them kind of balances out though. The Fro and I are in sales and we have sales personalities. Then it occurred to us: The Noom’s phone is dead. I was his contact. What now?
We scoured the earth, and decided that if he didn’t call us in an hour from the hotel phone, he was dead. So we decided to wait at the car for the hour. He was there. I couldn’t describe the feeling of triumph seeing him there and reuniting all 5 of us. It was like finding Doug on the roof in The Hangover.
The Noom told us how his first 3 hours sucked, but then turned amazing. The opposite of me.
The Ginger told us about the third chick he “hooked up” (second base) with. One each night that wouldn’t let him “seal the deal”.
The Bro told us how many random people he outsmoked.
I then realized how sick I was from the drugs.
I passed out.
For 26 hours straight.
When I woke up I was in our hotel room. They told me that they had booked an extra day because they thought I was dying. Yet at no point did they consider taking me to the hospital. What the fuck, right?
I had a headache. And a cough. And phlegm. And diarrhea.
I check my phone and noticed 25 missed calls. My manager wanted to know why I wasn’t at work this week. It’s fucking Tuesday, man!
My business partner told me I missed an appointment for a $45,000 commission check. Wow. That was a pretty expensive acid trip.
My mom told me that she was filing a police report for a missing person. I called her back first to tell her to stop. She yelled a fuckload at me and hung up.
I needed a plan. I told her that I was in a nightclub drinking alcohol and that someone had slipped something into my drink, causing me to pass out. But my friends all took care of me and made sure I was alright. There. An explanation to why I’m sick and couldn’t pick up the phone.
She bought it and her fury turned to pure concern.
So here I am, still coughing up a storm as I’m writing this.
Moral of the story: don’t do acid. But I encourage everyone to do ecstasy.
Too weird to live, too rare to die.