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The Day I Died

This trip happened about two years ago and it still frightens me to recall.



This trip happened about two years ago and it still frightens me to recall. Even as I write this my heart is beating fast, and I can feel a wave of anxiety spread through my being.
First things first, I am not one of those people who over-exaggerate their high, nor do I often believe to "see" things. What I am trying to say is that I am usually very level headed and not some stupid little kid who sees squirrels turn into fire breathing dragons and shit. This trip happened when I was about 18, and I had already been doing various drugs (real drugs, not just pot) for about 3 years.
It was a sunday night and I had school the next moring. Me and my buddy Chris had recently seen the Blair Witch Project in the theatres and I came up with a seriously fucked up idea. I live in Niagara Falls, Ontario and anyone who is familiar with the area should know of the Niagara Glenn. For those who don't, basically it is a trail that stretches along one of the faces of the canyon surrounding the Niagara River. It's very wooded, and is pretty dangerous, even during the day. It takes about an hour and a half to walk, and there is only one entrance and one exit, so once you're on the trail, there's really no easy way off of it. My idea was that we should grab some flashlights, drop some shrooms(I had an ounce on me) and walk the trail in the middle of the night. I can't explain why I wanted to do this, I just did. I could tell that Chris didn't want to go(for obvious reasons), but I wanted to so he gave in.
So off we went.
I drove to the trail and as we descended down into the canyon(there are steep stairs built into the side) we started to drop. I can honestly say that I am unsure how much I ate(the whole ounce was in one bag), but I believe it to be somewhere near or slightly under a half O. Chris had about half that. This was by far the most shrooms I have ever taken in one trip. As we went down the stairs, the sun was just starting to set(It was about 7:30).
We got to the bottom and walked along the shore of the river. It really is quite beautiful even when you aren't fucked up, but in the failing orange light, shimmering off the huge rapids, this view was absolutely heavenly. The shrooms were just starting to take hold, and it was proving to be a little much for me. As we entered the dark wooded trail I had my first bout of paranoia. A local tourist company runs helicopter rides over that area and the constant passing of the low flying helicopters was starting to make me nervous. On top of that, the sound of the strong river flowing beside us sounded somewhat like the helicopter blades(to me at least) and that sure as fuck wasn't helping. We got about half way through the trail, before the breakdown started.
It was totally dark now and the flashlights were seriously fucking up my vision. There are also large red spotlights that shine into the canyon(don't ask me why) and seeing these lights through the tree tops enhanced my by now already hysterical paranoia. I told Chris we had to head back.
Now this is the part where the story gets fucked up.
Before I write anymore, I must stress once again that I do not easily "hallucinate" or "imagine" things. What I am about to write describes the most horrible experience I have ever had in my entire life. No matter how I express it to you, you will never truly understand how i felt that night.
The paranoia turned into absolute claustrophobia and I HAD to get off that trail as soon as possible. So I started to run back through the woods. I don't know about the rest of you, but my body does not take easily to physical excertion while I am out of my skull on drugs. In retrospect, I believe what must have happened was that I started to hyperventalate. My vision grew sparadic, It seemed as though I was only seeing one image every few seconds instead of the normal stream of them constantly flowing to your brain. I lost all sense of time. Everything went black and I was unable to speak. I felt as though I was looking through a dark tunnel at the world. More scared than ever, I kept running. I no longer had any idea where I was or what was happening, I just knew that I had to keep running. I felt as though I had suddenly found myself at the bottom of the ocean, swimming desperately for the surface. I ran for what I believe to be about twenty minutes straight. Chris was having a hard time keeping up.
Finally, we reached the clearing right before the stairway up out of the canyon. By this time, I was on the brink of passing out, and Chris had to support me on one side. I was stumbling and I fell several times. There were some fishermen near the river(keep in mind it was probably only about 10pm). I called out to them. I yelled that I was dying, and I begged them to take me to a hospital. In my mind, I was dying. I truly believed that I was going to die. Chris tried to shut me up, and told the fishermen not to worry. They probably thought I had fallen on the rocks or something, but Chris talked them out of helping me. The stairway out was the hardest part. About halfway up, we passed some guy coming down, and again I begged him for help, that I was sorry and that I wanted to go home. By the top of the stairs, Chris was practically dragging me up stair by stair. Finally we reached the top and got into my car. It took about twenty minutes for all of the horrible sensations to pass, and in that time I had gone into fits where I would kick out with my legs, trying to shatter the windshield, and I even smashed my car's CD player. Chris, realizing that there was no way in hell either of us could drive out of there, went to find a phone and call his mom for a ride(Chris has a really cool mom, she burns with us, and isn't that strict about drug use). Keep in mind though, we are in the middle of nowhere. He happens to run into a parked cop car first(complete with two officers). Chris, realizing that the cops would probably ask what he's doing way out there at that time of night, actually walks directly to the cop car and knocks on it's window. The cop rolls it down and Chris asks him where he can find a phone. Absolutely amazing. The cop points out a golf clubhouse down the road and Chris goes and calls his mom.
Chris and his mom arrive back at my car around the same time. I hop out of my car and into his mom's, leaving my car stranded there(miles from my house).
I realize this is starting to get long, but the story keeps on getting better.
An amazing thing happened to me in the back seat of Chris' mom's car. I felt great. All the fear and paranoia washed away and I felt incredibly happy to be alive. It's funny, that I was obviously still incredibly high, but I somehow didn't realize it. I felt so relieved to be "out of the woods"(so to speak) that it literally didn't occur to me that I was still tripping extremely hard. I felt great. But there was still the matter of explaining the horrible occurence in the Glenn. It gradually occured to me that I must have died down there. I know that this must sound entirely too stupid, but keep in mind what I had just gone through. I truly believed that I had died in that canyon, and that I had entered some sort of afterlife state. I realize that this is ridiculous, but I was also still really high, so at the time it all made perfect sense. Imagine how I felt. I felt as though the world made complete sense. I felt no fear or anxiety. I felt nothing. It was immaculate. It was true bliss. I felt what every religion in the world advertises. The afterlife truly existed, and I was there. I spent most of the night sitting in Chris's room that night, and over the course of that time I more and more came to believe that I was dead. That after tonight I would cease to exist and eventually someone would find my corpse in that God forsaken canyon.
Even as my high was wearing off, I still believed. At about 4AM Chris drove me home. I did some strange things at home. I wrote myself a note on the fridge saying that I had died but it was okay because I would feel better tommorow. I believed that since I was already dead, the note would be gone the next day. Lucky thing my mom didn't find it. I also called my girlfriend and left a message on her machine saying that life was beautiful and that everything made sense and that I was dead, but for her not to be sad because life was so extremely beautiful and perfectly simple. Remember, by this time I wasn't even high anymore!
Anyways I fell asleep, awoke the next day to be entirely dissapointed that the whole afterlife thing was just a delusion. Got the note before anybody else saw it though. Also managed to hop a bus to get my car before anybody noticed it was missing.
That was simultaneously the most beautiful and horrible night of my entire life.

Mike.

High Mountain Compost
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