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Tripping at Concert

It all started when my friend and I decided to buy tickets for the Eric Clapton concert (I hope Mr.

It all started when my friend and I decided to buy tickets for the Eric Clapton concert (I hope Mr. Clapton doesn't mind his name being used in this context :-)). We drove down to the arena where the concert was about 90 minutes before the show actually started. I brought along about 12 grams of dried mushrooms, 5 of which were really old specimens which I seriously doubted had much, if any, potency remaining in them. The other 7 or so grams consisted of three very large fruits, one with a 3.5" cap, and another with a 6" stem. The masses were only approximate, as I measured them with a $3.95 plastic scale.

So here we were, nearly an hour's car ride from home, sitting in the parking lot near the arena, ready to partake of mind-expanding substances. My friend pledged that he would not try any mushrooms, only smoke the little bit of weed that he had brough along. He proceeded to role a joint, while I thought about how I was going to eat these disgustingly tasting mushrooms. I decided to walk to a convenience store to buy some orange juice, so I asked the parking lot guard where the nearest store was. It seemed like it wasn't too far, only a few blocks, so I walked off, leaving my friend by himself in the car in the parking lot near the arena.

On my way to the convenience store I began to realize what part of town I was in. There were homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk as I walked past, and I noticed that it was quickly getting dark. I also realized that my attire was not in keeping with my environment (I was wearing tie-dye bellbottom jeans). Somewhat frightened, I continued in the direction which the parking lot guard had directed me. As I turned a corner, a man stepped out in front of me; I almost screamed. He muttered something incoherent to me, and when I said "What?" he started a conversation with me. I realized he was asking me if I smoked weed, and when I said sometimes, he replied that I should come and smoke up with him, something I really didn't care to do. I walked on quickly, nearly running, until I finally got to the convenience store. I got my orange juice and hurried back to the parking lot to rendezvous with my friend. Thankfully I didn't see that same man again, but now it was dusk and I was scared of being molested. Then I realized I wasn't going the right way. It's hard to imagine how I felt, not knowing exactly where I was, only that I was in the bad part of town at nightfall. I saw a cop, but didn't want to ask him to take me back to my friend's car on account of the quantity of controlled substances contained within. Trying to keep my wits about me, I found my way back to the arena, on the other side from where the parking lot was. I was about one wrong turn from being abducted. I felt such relief on getting back to the car finally, but I didn't want to worry my friend about how I almost got lost.

We sat in the car, cranked the stereo up, and I began to chow down on my mushrooms while my friend lit up a joint. The shrooms tasted horrible, no amount of OJ could cover the taste completely. I didn't even chew them up before swallowing, for fear of vomiting. I didn't eat all the fruits, but most of them, what I estimate as 7-8 dried grams. Finally we were ready to go into the arena and see the show. It was a sit-down show, and being Eric Clapton, probably wasn't going to be too intense in and of itself, just lots of baby-boomer types drinking beer and eating hot dogs. As we walked to our seats and sat down, my friend told me he didn't feel so well. "How can you not feel well, all you did was smoke a joint." He just sat there and continued to not feel well. Finally he said he had to go to the bathroom, and when he came back he was feeling better. Now the opening act started to play, I can't remember the bands name, they weren't anything special, I can't believe E.C. couldn't get a better act on his tour. Towards the end of the opening set, I started to see the signs of the trip exposition, bright lights being accented, a bit of tracers, etc. I felt euphoria at the knowledge that a great trip was oncoming.

Eric Clapton finally came out, and started playing "My Father's Eyes" which I'm sure you're all familiar with as his song from his new album (I don't particularly care for his new stuff). By the time he got into his second or third song I was definitely into my trip. The lights above the stage seemed to be melting, and I looked up at the ceiling of the arena to see that shadows were swirling about in circles, like in the diagrams of hurricanes you see on the weather channel. It was really something. As the trip intensified, I felt like the lights were all shining right at me. I was hypnotised, not even paying attention to Eric Clapton or the music. I could hardly hear it. After considerable effort, I managed to turn to my friend and say, "I'm tripping now, and it's great!" It wasn't long after that before I realized that this was the most intense and greatest trip I had yet had. I was able to take my eyes off the lights, and focused all my attention on my hands. I wasn't even moving them, and they were pulsing and moving themselves. My fingers seemed to cross each other while they were stationary. Extraordinary. I looked down at my tie-dye jeans, and the dyed parts seemed to me melting down to the floor, yet seemed to move in circles. I rubbed my hands up and down my legs, and it produced an amazing sensation, and looked as if I was painting my jeans with the tie-dye. I then resumed staring at my hands, and thought if they looked so cool whil stationary, how cool would they look if I waved them back and forth in front of my face? I did this several times, and I thought I heard the person sitting next to me (opposite of my friend) tell his friend "Hey look at this kid." I couldn't look over at him, I just kept staring at my hands. I thought about what he had said (or what I thought he had said), and suddenly found it to be extremely funny. I fought hard to stifle the laughter, but I don't know if I was really laughing on the outside or just in my mind. By that time my body and mind had completely separated. I resumed staring at the lights above the stage, oblivious to everything else.

I was disturbed by a woman who walked by me in the aisle, and I was able to coordinated myself to move my legs to let her by. Yet that wasn't the end of it. I began an introspective examination as to why I moved my legs and she responded with the obligatory "Sorry," as people commonly do when they disturb others in such situations. Now everything I saw had extreme gravity and significance as to what it was and why it existed. I took in so much in this way that I began to formulate and agenda, things I was going to analyze as soon as I finished analyzing another. But I never finished with one thing, I just kept examining it over and over again, intermittently staring at the lights. I came what I thought was close to going insane, I thought what would happen if I just stood up and yelled right now (probably nothing, since it was a concert). I had no concept of time, I didn't know whether Clapton was still in the first part of his set or if he was playing his encore, and I didn't care.

Somehow, in the midst of all of this, I felt a pang of nausea in my stomach. I ignored it for a long time, until I realized that I was going to vomit. I got up and hurried out of the aisle towards the concourse and the bathroom, but it was too late. I fell onto my knees and vomited at the opening to the concourse, right next the the attendant for my seating section. I pulled my hair out of the way and stared at my vomit, and there in the middle of it were the dried shrooms, which I had eaten, not even partially digested, some completely intact. Quite alarmed, I immediately returned to my seat. I told my friend that I had just vomited, and he kind of laughed, which was reassuring, so I just sat down again. Then I explained further that I had thrown up right on the floor, and pointed to the spot; as I looked, an attendant was cleaning up the mess while another talked to him and pointed at me. This was not good. My trip had suddenly disappated with the vomit, but I was still tripping pretty hard, and I still didn't feel well. I felt I was going to vomit again. I put my head down between my knees, but was able to control myself. The attendant came over and turned on a flashlight in my face, then pointed it on the ground. I tried to explain to him that I didn't throw up, but I must have been rather incoherent. I probably also didn't look to well, had vomit in my hair, etc. Now I suddenly recollected that very ealry in the show the attendant had shined the flashlight on somebody who had apparently been smoking, and right after that person got up and left. Now I was scared, I knew the attendant knew I had taken shrooms. My friend told me that he was asking if I needed medical attention, and I replied no, I'm alright, thinking that medical attention could mean a trip to the hospital or perhaps into the back of a patrol car; I would rather be sick. The attendant left, walked into the concourse; my friend thought he was going to get the cops, and he told me that we had to leave right away. I felt normal again, and foolishly thought that if I stayed put I wouldn't vomit again. But my friend was insistent. We got up and he escorted me to the bathroom, I could hardly walk, and I felt faint. When we got to the bathroom, I mumbled I was ok, and then collapsed. My friend pulled me up, and helped me to a stall, where I again vomited. Now again I felt ok, but had the sense to realize that going back to our seats was asking for trouble which we were fortunated to have escaped so far. What a shame, as we walked passed the entrance to our section I could discern "Cocaine" being played by Clapton. He was getting into the songs I liked to hear, and I was leaving.

We walked for what seemed like an eternity, but finally exited the arena. There was of course nobody outside, the show was just reaching its climax. I sat down on the stairs leading up to the arena with my friend beside me. I vomited again. We moved diagonally on the stairs until we were a good distance away from the mess. I vomited again. We moved again. After sitting for a while, I told me friend I was extremely thirsty and needed water. He said, hold tight, I'll get some water for you. It should be known that neither of us had any money, quite a stupid thing at a concert so far from home, but there we were, if my friend was going to get any water he was going to have to beg somebody for a cup and find the nearest water fountain, which would take much longer than if he could have bought it. It was this time he spent finding the water that I was most scared. I sat there on the front stairs, hunched over, fighting the urge to vomit, while my friend spent an eternity getting me water. It would have been worse if I had not had complete trust in him, if the thought that he could have deserted me had entered my mind, I would have gone crazy. The concert ended, and people were now walked all around me, many staring at me. I must have been a mess, I suppose my face was total white and my hair and jeans had vomit on them. My friend finally came back with the water, and told me to act normal, there was a cop staring at me. The next task was to find where we had parked, I of course didn't have a clue and my friend wasn't exactly sure either. After some time, we were able to find the car, and we drove home. On the highway, I felt sick again, and felt compelled to roll down the window and vomit out of the car, I hope there wasn't anybody directly behing us....

We finally arrived in familiar territory, yet we couldn't go home because of my condition (living with parents sucks). We stood around in an empty parking lot for a while. I expressed my heartfelt and sincer gratitude towards my friend for what he did for me, and apologized for my behavior. He laughed, and said that he had been stoned the entire time. We finally drove out of the parking lot, and he took me home.

In later reflection......I look back on the trip I had that night as a learning experience on many levels. Don't take high doses in the form of dried mushrooms, or in the surrounding of a sit-down rock concert. Don't place yourself in a situation where your entheogenic exploration places anybody else in danger. Still, when I look back on the trip, I consider it the best I ever experienced. It was far more intense than any other, and what I have said about the actual experience here only begins to illuminate what I actually saw and felt. It was also never really a "bad" trip as far as I am concerned, I didn't experience anything evil or demonic, even when I was in danger of being "caught" so to speak I didn't see anybody's face turn into a monster or anything of that sort. My only regret is that I didn't have that experience in solitude at home, then vomiting wouldn't have been a big deal at all, as long as I got to the toilet...
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