My friend Graham shows up around 3 in the afternoon. We are going to see Robert Plant play that night, obviously both totally psyched!
Sitting around, having a couple beers, smoking a couple joints, and he pulls out a bag of mushrooms. I had not eaten mushrooms since highschool, that being roughly 5 years ago. Graham ate whatever it was he ate, and I eat one gram. We smoke some more weed and he makes us some tea.
I think it was the tea that hit me first, but whose to say. It was about 45 minutes later and I am starting to feel anxious and my hands are getting clammy. Instantly I remember the feeling I hadn't felt in five or so years. I am excited, and starting to get tingly. I eat another two gram's on our walk to the concert.
The concert takes place at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. This is an outdoor event, the venue is along the lakeshore. We are walking towards the stadium and there are people everywhere. I start to panic a little and am getting shaky and disorientated. I ask Graham if we can sit down in the grass for a while so I can calm down. People are everywhere and EVERYONE is staring at ME. My stomach begins to hurt and I am starting to regret eating them. I lay down and try to slow down my breathing but the harder I try the faster it gets. I look at Graham and he is cool as a cucumber slowly running his hands through the grass. I watch him for a while but everything is starting to get confusing. Loads of people continue to walk past us towards the stadium and Graham begins to get anxious.
He insists we have to go or we will be late. I am sweating and cold and regretting the pants I chose to wear. We join the crowds of people walking and I am suddenly very conscious of how I am walking. The harder I tried to move my legs like the rest of the crowd the more awkward walking became. The entire concept of moving your legs to get to another location became complex and mind blowing.
Inside the venue, HOLY SHIT... WHAT HAVE I DONE. Up until this point I failed to think about the fact that once we got to the concert, Graham would leave me. We had bought tickets separtely and we were not sitting in the same section. When I had bought my ticket months ago, NOT ON MUSHROOMS, the idea of sitting alone seemed fine. I was going to see Robert Plant... what the fuck did I care who I would sit beside. But now, oh no! With a head full of shrooms, feeling like I may vomit at any moment, feeling vulnerable and confused, and now Graham was leaving me. I was alone.
I have a lit cigarette in my mouth and two loose ones in my hand. My ticket is in my other hand. I look down at it to see where my seat is and I have forgotten how to read. There are numbers all over it and nothing is making sense. Everyone knows I am fucked up. Where is Graham. What does this ticket say. What am I doing here. Why did I eat those. Fuck. Then there is a man standing in front of me now. He looks really mean. I hold the ticket up to his face and stare at him. I am trying to talk to him but I am just so confused. I dont know how. I think I was mumbling, but I can't be certain. My head was spinning. I was spinning. His lips are moving but all I can hear is a wave of mumbels from the hundreds of people all around me. He is trying to say something to me and I dont understand. He knows I am fucked up. My eyes focus on him and I realize he works at the venue. I continue to hold the ticket up to his face and then I get my hearing back. He is screaming at me to put out my cigarette. Oh shit. You cant smoke in here? How long have I been smoking? Where is my seat man, just tell me where to sit and I will get out of everyones way. HELP ME. He grabs me by the arm and brings me where I need to go. I sit down. Instantly I feel relieved. I am in my seat. The concert is about to start. Ok, now I can relax. Oh no, wait.... No this is not good here either. I am going to throw up. I am all sweaty and gross. Why is it so fucking hot out here.
I stand up and make my way to the washroom which feels very far away. Where is Graham. Wait a minute, everyone kind of looks like Graham. All these people, they all look like someone I know, or used to know. But then again, they dont look like anyone I know at all. I dont know any of these people, I am alone. Where am I supposed to meet Graham after the concert???? Did we make plans? We had separated so quickly I dont remember. Shit how am I going to get home. Do I have money. I need to find the bathroom. As I am walking quickly to the bathroom I start to think everyone knows what I am about to do. They all know I am going to puke. There is a group of people walking behind me chanting PUKE PUKE PUKE. I start to run and as I run into the bathroom they all cheer.
I lock myself in the stall and take what feels like the first breath in hours. I am dripping sweat and I sit on the floor and light a cigarette. I close my eyes and lean against the wall. The cold tiles on my back make me feel instantly better.
The sick feeling passes, the heat wave passes, the panic passes, I feel so unbelieveably good I dont desearve to feel this good. The ugly scary feeling is over. Now I remember. I wanted to feel like this. I intentionally ate something to feel like this. What am I freaking out for? Everything is fine. I just got carried away there for a bit. Ahhh.... Then it hits me, I AM GOING TO SEE ROBERT PLANT. SHIT! WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING SITTING IN THIS BATHROOM STALL on the floor. I should probably get out to my seat!
I run out of the bathroom and see Graham across the patio. I have never been so happy to see that hairy little man! We hug and he gives me a look of relief that tells me his experience alone was as scary as mine.
The venue is in a U shape. The stage is under a canopy, with seats, then behind it going up a hill is the grass area. It is all an open concept so from the grass area you can see the stage and the city line of Toronto. Very beautiful.
Graham and I decide not to go back to our separte seats and to stay together and sit in the grass section. We find two people in the grass and offer them our seat tickets.
I am feeling very high, and the sun is setting behind the stage. The sky is beautiful splashes of orange, yellow, pink and red. Robert Plant is singing and the grass is so soft. Everyone around me has their shoes off and everyone is smoking weed. We eat some more mushrooms. The grass area is wicked! It was like everyone was feeling the same as me and I didn't need to worry anymore. I felt happy and comfortable and tingly and good, really really good.
The sun has set and all the city lights are on. I lay down in the grass and close my eyes. They are playing "Whole lotta Love" and I have never heard it sound so good before. I get so into the sounds that I am the sounds. This old man sitting beside me lays down too and passes me a joint. I go to pass it back to him and he tells me to pass it along the line. I turn to look at Graham and he is laying down too. He smokes it and passes it to the woman beside him. I watch the joint and see how many people it goes too. Watching them receive it, breathe it in, exhale, and pass it along. Down the line it goes. Some take it, most pass it, but it just keeps going.
The concert is over. My shoes are wet, my socks are wet, my bum is wet from the grass, I feel really used up and gross and want to go home.
We are walking along the lakeshore back to the car when I hear a loud crashing noise. I look up and over the lake fireworks are going off. The big bright colours exploding the sky. The ripple effect of the colours against the remains of the ones before. I stop dead in my tracks and we sit and watch them. They are beautiful. The perfect ending.