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Grateful Dead Trip

My Best Trip

This trip occurred many years ago. It was before Gerry died, and I think it was even before the Touch of Grey album came out. The Dead were in Philly and me and some friends went to see them. I think they were at the Spectrum that time, even though they usually played Veterans' Stadium. (Wherever they were, it's gone now. Philly has all new venues where the old ones used to be.)

I dropped some LSD before the show; I don't remember how much but I didn't think it was a lot at the time. But boy was I wrong!

At first, it just enhanced the show. The music, the people, all took on awesome and sometimes hilarious overtones.  Our seats were near the dance area; the dance area was set up in the arena which was separated from the seats by a low wall. It was simple enough to hop over the wall and enter the dance area, so that is what we did. After I while my friends had to go sit down because they were tripping hard, but I kept dancing. I started tripping harder and harder myself, and the harder I tripped the more the Dead started tailoring their show for me, personally.

Then, suddenly, my field of vision developed this gray border around it, sort of the color of a TV when it's tuned to a channel that isn't broadcasting. In the middle of my vision I could see, but the edges were gray. And the gray part expanded  and grew thicker, making my useful field of vision smaller and smaller, until eventually I could only see a tiny dot, and then even the dot was gone. All this happened really quickly, and soon I was dancing but blind.

I inched over to where I remembered the wall being, and when I finally bumped into it I felt a huge relief. Then I used that wall to guide myself to the floor. I remember distinctly that without the wall I didn't trust myself to find "down", and I was afraid I would sit in the wrong direction. Then I sat down on the floor with my back against the wall and was enveloped in a delicious mindfuck of a trip that lasted I don't know how long.

I remember coming out of my fog when a girl whom I didn't know placed her hand on my forehead. I opened my eyes and smiled at her; her cool hand felt pleasant. She smiled at me and said to someone behind me, on the other side of the wall, "he's fine!". I looked back and saw my buddy, Brent, and I smiled at him too. He was checking up on me, worried at first because he had lost track of me (he couldn't see me up against the wall from his seat) and then later because I was so obviously befuddled. When he had my attention, he gave me a thumbs up, and I laughed and returned it (I think), and then I went back to my new-found happy place. But I wasn't lost anymore; I was ok.

I am writing this now because in all these years I have never forgotten that girl's hand on my forehead. It helped me far more than I was able to tell her at the time (I don't think I ever said a word to her--I was too stoned to talk). But if anyone out there reading this has ever done this kind of thing for a stranger, then I would like to say thank you. And if that girl is out there anywhere (probably some teenager's mom by now), I want to especially say thank you.


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