I’m sitting with my friend Jonas in a bar in Kreuzberg when he opens up his Instagram to show me the 40-tabs of acid he just bought. He’s showing me a picture of a rectangular sheet of paper with neon colored happy faces on it and I just want to lick them all. “Omg, those little dudes are so freaking cute. They look like so much fun!” I’ve never taken any drugs before but told him I was curious about trying acid because it seemed interesting and then he tried to explain what the high was like.
“You’ll be really self-reflective,” he told me. “It opens up your mind. You’ll seem far away.” Oh, cool. I’m in. Later on I met up with Jonas in Friedrichshain and he slipped me the two tabs, one for me and one for my boyfriend Alex. They were wrapped in a tiny green piece of paper with the acid folded inside. “Enjoy your trip,” he smirked.
Alex and I went back to our place and “got ready” to do the acid. Initially I thought I’d want to be in a club when the acid kicked in, but Jonas told me that was definitely not a good idea, it would be “too intense” for my first time anyway, and now I know he was right. Would have been scary.
We dropped the acid at 10pm and started playing a game of Uno. I read somewhere that it takes 30 minutes or so for the acid to get into your blood stream, so I kept checking my phone to see how many minutes have passed/if I should be high yet.
“Do you feel anything?” I asked Alex.
50 minutes later we thought maybe the acid went bad or something because we didn’t feel shit. It was really hot in Berlin that day so maybe the acid, like, melted off the tab? We did accidentally drop the tabs on the floor trying to take it out of the green paper, so we thought we weren’t high yet because maybe the acid got onto the floor. Should we, like, lick the spot where we dropped the tabs?
“I’m so hot right now. Are you hot? I’m sweating over here.” I got up to the kitchen to eat ice cubes right out of the freezer.
2. The Peak
For some reason I thought the high would be sudden, like fuckin’ WOOSH, that there would be a sudden difference in my experience of the world. I thought I would see colors and rainbows. But it was much more subtle than that. There we were, sitting in our room playing Uno and Alex was trying to explain something to me about the game. It felt like he was talking at me for 20 minutes. But I just stared at him, hearing the words but not focusing on what he was saying. Wait, what are you talking about? Why are we talking about Uno? I just started laughing. He kept saying stuff and asking me questions but I just wasn’t there. I was mesmerised by the floor and how cool the patterns were. I liked the way the cards felt in my hands. They were like wow.
My consciousness had totally slipped. I was in my body but I wasn’t actually there.
But I still didn’t know I was high.
I got up and walked over to the window to look outside and was fascinated by the blinking, red lights of all the cars driving up Warschauer Strasse. I just stared at them, in a trance. Alex came over to the window and pulled me away. He’d read some articles online about people falling out of windows on an acid trip because your sense of perception is distorted, so we made a pact not to fall out of any windows tonight. We crawled around on the floor all night instead of walking because we thought it would definitely be safer. There’s a video of me crawling around on the floor saying I was too scared walk because I didn’t want to fall out of the window.
Still, high as a kite, I didn’t get that I was high as fuck. I looked at an art book on the bookshelf that had ants all over on the cover and as soon as I saw it I screamed “OH FUCK!” and ran away. Those ants were really scary. That’s when I realized I was high.
Everything was interesting. I walked over to a toy monkey Alex bought for his new baby nephew. I picked it up, looked at it and started laughing so hard I was actually crying. Alex asked me what was so funny. When I could find the air space to breathe, from all the laughing and crying I was doing, I told him the monkey just looked fucking hilarious. He started laughing, too.
3. The Comedown
Over the next several hours we laughed at everything, played more Uno, drew, talked about what we were experiencing and listened to music. Alex told me to stare at my reflection in the bathroom mirror because your face gets distorted. I told him the blue bed sheet on top of the dryer in the bathroom was really scary, like it was going to open up and eat me. I also told him that when we were on the bed it felt like we were sliding, like we could fall out of the windows at the edge of the room. When “Stranger In A Room” by Jamie xx came on, one of my favorite songs, I felt so happy. “OMG I love this song!” I said with a huge grin on my face. While it played I actually saw colors and imagined Jamie xx was definitely on acid when he wrote the album.
Acid changes your sense perception. That’s what it does. Things feel different, look different, your senses are peaked. You notice everything. I felt like I could smell everything and hear all of the conversations everyone was having outside. You’re still in your body it’s just that things are a little bit off. Stare at something and it’ll start doing weird-ass things, and that’s part of the fun because you might see something nobody else can see. When we crawled over to the window I told Alex that the top of the Frankfurter Tor was spinning like a carousel. “OMG the building is fucking spinning! Look at it!!!” He didn’t see it, but I swear it was spinning. I was looking right at it.
Over 8 hours we must have sounded psychotic to our housemates in the other room.
An acid high can last from 6 to 12 hours, and that can be nerve wrecking when you’re “over” the high and want to come down but you can’t.
That said, comedown is nice — clean — because you’ve peaked you’ve done your laughing, and now you’re exhausted but you can’t actually sleep. So you think. And you think more. You think about things in your life, relationships you have, things that are bothering you, problems you have. Anything you’re anxious about will come out then, and you’ll have the clarity of mind to resolve your own issues.
Probably the best part, though, was the after glow. The next day you have barely any thoughts in your mind. You feel happy. Everything is great. At least that’s what it was like for me. I had zero thoughts, almost like a clean slate.
I knew I’d just come back from a magical experience. Sober now, I took pictures of the teddy bear that made me laugh so hard and the Uno cards and the green paper the acid came in. It was an incredible experience I’ll never forget.