Gone Trippin’: How Acid Creates a Pure State of Being

Peace! And welcome back to round 4 of ‘Gone Trippin’. I hope you had a relaxing “holiday” weekend and my sincerest apologies for missing my scheduled drop last week. I will do my best to avoid it again, but I cannot make any promises. Life got away from me, but I’m glad I’m still here to bring you more of these very cool conversations with my very cool cast of acquaintances. 

This edition’s guest is just that, a long time acquaintance and new found friend that I have been spending time getting to know in 2020, particularly in the time of COVID. I had known this person for a long time and genuinely find them to be quite fascinating. I couldn’t really explain it then and I sure as shit can’t explain it now. I’m just glad we find the time to even make a friendship work. As buddies we genuinely discuss art and music mostly and share cool nature pics or pics of animals, but this person exudes a trippy vibe I knew would be perfect for the column. 

We met up for an in-person masked up Saturday morning park interview. Below you will find a transcription of our conversation as well as photographs taken by Anon on a recent trip.

J. bb: Who are you and how do you identify?

Anon: The who are you thing is weird if you want to keep the anonymous thing.

J.bb: I was considering that this morning when thinking about why I ask the ‘who are you’ part.

Anon: How did that work for the other ones.

J. bb: They usually just jump straight to identity.

Anon: Just like skip that? The identity thing is interesting. I’ve never really thought a lot about that. It’s not like important to me, but I guess queer woman is the go to as identifiers. 

J. bb: What psychedelics have you done?

Anon: Just acid.

J. bb: Never done mushrooms? Are you interested in mushrooms?

Anon: Yeah, we talked about this right?

J. bb: Yes, but this is for the readers now.

Anon: Oh, right. The readers! I am definitely interested in them. They just haven’t come my way. 

J. bb: When did you start taking acid?

Anon: 2015 or 2016, I think. 

J. bb: What was that experience like?

Anon: It was wonderful. I was in Central Park with some friends. They were like close friends, but not like best friends. We kinda all had this interest in doing this together. We just kinda chilled and wandered around, watched people.

J. bb: Do you think doing acid changed you?

Anon: It definitely has changed the way that I think about things. Me as a core person? Probably not too much. I feel like I’m still on the same core level, like the same person, but definitely changes how I think about stuff.

J. bb: How often do you trip?

Anon: Not very often. Mostly just for accessibility reasons, but I guess since 2015 or 2016 it’s been, see this is where I always forget parts but then other times they come up, but I feel like it’s been maybe 5 or 6.

J. bb: 5 or 6 times?

Anon: Roughly.

J. bb: So about once a year or so. 

Anon: Yeah.

J. bb: Are your trips usually alone or are you with some people?

Anon: More so with at least one other person. The first time was with a group. That was the only time with a group and then other than that it had been alone or with one other person. 

J. bb: Do you think having a trip buddy is essential?

Anon: No, I don’t think so. I think it depends on yourself and how you can handle stuff I suppose. Since the first time also I think there has been many one time or so where I did a full tab of acid. Other than that it’s been like bits or more mild stuff.

J. bb: So you’re taking small doses?

Anon: Just like a half [tab] I guess. It’s not like a full thing that’s just going to occupy your day. 

J.bb: Myself, I don’t think I’ve ever done more than a tab in one day. Maybe two tabs at once, but lately, and when I say lately I mean the last 2-3 years, I’ve been cutting it into a half tab kinda thing. My brain just goes nuts on acid compared to shrooms. Shrooms are so much more chill for me.

Anon: What do you mean?

J. bb: When I do shrooms I just feel happy and everything looks brighter, but still very much the same versus when I do acid it’s like the world is vibrating really fast and my brain is on fire and it lasts for so long. Acid makes me feel like my physical essence is so intense versus shrooms I’m very calm, smiley. Acid I’m like on one. 

Anon: That’s interesting. I don’t feel that way haha

J.bb: Have you ever done acid at a concert?

Anon: Yeah, it was wonderful. Another time I didn’t do a full tab or anything. Wait-I don’t know. It was either a half or a full once and the other time it was just the little bits. One of those ‘take a little bit, I’m not feeling anything, take some more’ and it ends up being more than you wanted, but it was still chill. It was wonderful. It was weird when there wasn’t music, being in a space like that. It was a festival and you’re like thinking about the structure of the festival and the people there and the logistics of everything. I feel like I was thinking about that a lot so that was weird, but when there was music it was great. 

J. bb: Who did you see?

Anon: It was at Afropunk. Both concert times, but I forget what years honestly. Not this last year. RIP to this year. Not the past year, but I think the year 2018 sounds right and I think the year before also. I remember SZA specifically was doing her thing and I think 2018 Daniel Caesar. I don’t know. 

SZA’s 2017 Afropunk Brooklyn set

J. bb: Why do you think the government does not want to legalize psychedelics?

Anon: I mean there’s a lot of things they don’t want to legalize, right? So it’s not really surprisingly they don’t want psychedelics to be legal. I feel like it’s similarish to weed. Maybe taxing reasons. It’s obviously more of an intense drug than weed. I don’t know a whole lot about the historical or history behind it, but I am not well versed. It’s not a shocking thing though.

J. bb: Do you foresee a world where it will be?

Anon: A world like our world?

J. bb: Yeah, like Denver you can go get mushrooms at a dispensary.

Anon: Really?

J. bb: Yeah! [writer’s note: No you can’t but you can grow your own and get them from a therapist or another person very easily.]

Anon: I did not know that! So maybe. If that’s the case maybe one day! I don’t know. 

J. bb: It’s kinda cool, but I’m kinda worried about the market. Like even legal weed sucks. Like I got a quarter yesterday of pretty good weed for $60 but at a dispensary it would be like $100-120 for it. 

Anon: That’s crazy.

J. bb: Yeah, I guess it’s for local taxes or something.

Anon: Yeah, I don’t know. I haven’t put a whole lotta thought into that. 

J. bb: When you do a trip once a year what inspires it? Is it a feeling like I wanna trip now or you’re going through some shit emotionally and you feel like you gotta trip to settle yourself and find a new perspective? 

Anon: It’s been both. The concert times were like ‘this will be nice’ haha so that was a little different. I think one time it was with a friend, a distant friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time who I was visiting. We were like let’s do this cause it’ll be fun and eat up the day. The other times I’ve done it alone it wasn’t necessarily that I was going through anything. It wasn’t for the purpose of working out any issue that was bothering me, but it was with the intention of relaxing and being with myself. Maybe that feeling would have been linked to other stuff going on, but it hasn’t been like a strong purpose like that where I’m working through something or having trouble on my own working through it so let me try this.

J. bb: I know you have memory issues in general. Do you remember your trips vividly?

Anon: Vividly? Like apparently not haha I mean I feel like with any sort of memory stuff you’re more likely to remember significant things that happen to you or significant events. I feel like when you’re tripping you’re thinking more about stuff that’s significant. Even like the years, I can actually think back and pinpoint the year each thing was in which is crazy for me cause usually it’s always a large range. I don’t think that necessarily has to do with how that affected my brain, but more of an event that you can pinpoint. 

J. bb: I don’t have the best memory, but I feel like I always remember my trips. It’s pretty nice.

Anon: It is nice haha

J. bb: I think you’re right. They’re a bigger thing, a bigger memory, so it’s more memorable like a good show.

Anon: I wonder if there…you might know since you read more about it, do you know if there’s anything linked to that and memory.

J. bb: Not specifically memory loss, but there’s the flashback aspect, but I haven’t’ really experienced that much, but the last person I did this with is prone to have flashbacks I guess and they sounded real interesting. You feel displaced for a second and feel like you’re in a different place reliving something for a quick couple of seconds, but I’ve never experienced that myself. Sounds really intense. My shit will be like I’m just chilling somewhere, like it could happen right now, I’ll feel like I’m tripping or the trees will be weird or some shit. I don’t know if that’s a flashback.

Anon: I feel that. I feel like that’s happened to me. More like a visual thing. If I stare at this tree I can probably see it moving a little haha

J. bb: I was just reading an article yesterday about what happens to your brain while you’re tripping by doing very intentional breathing. It reminds me of Buddhist shit. Trying to reach Nirvana. It’s very weird.

Anon: What? 

J. bb: Really intense breathing cycles over a prolonged time which is akin to meditation. The same way your brain lights up to LSD, if you’re able to do this thing the neurons that fire in your brain when you’re on LSD will fire naturally. Definitely something I need to read up on more to try it out. I would love to trip without tripping. That’s kinda the goal to transcend in a way and not need drugs I guess. 

Anon: I feel like that kinda makes sense in a way cause I feel like when you’re tripping or think back to it it feels like a more pure state. It doesn’t feel, for me anyways, like I’m fucked up. It’s not like other drugs or alcohol or anything where I feel…it feels more true than something that is clouding my brain or affecting me in a way that isn’t me. You know?

J.bb: Yeah, I definitely feel you especially when it’s like fucking booze. I definitely feel like I’m fucked up or that’s not me when I’m drunk versus I don’t think I’ve ever done shrooms or acid and the next day had been like, “why did I do that?” 

Anon: That kinda makes sense if you’re doing a breathing exercise or whatever. That you’d be able to reach some sort of similarity mentally there. 

J. bb: Have most of your trips been in a city? 

Anon: Yeah, all but one. All but one I’m pretty sure.

J.bb: Where was the one at?

Anon: South Carolina.

J.bb: Did you like that one? No?

Anon: No, that’s the only one I look back on negatively. 

J. bb: Would you call it a bad trip or a negative time?

Anon: I don’t think I’ve had a bad trip as people would describe it where they see bad shit or anything like that. It was just the…you know when you decide to do something like this and you’re doing it with a person I feel like it’s pretty important to do it with someone who is going to make it a good environment for you. There’s a type of person where the energy and attitude–

J. bb: You wanna be synced up.

Anon: Something like that. My company was shifty. It was fine, but it was bad vibes. Some negativity. 

J. bb: Did you stay with them the whole duration of the trip? 

Anon: Yeah, so that’s when I was visiting my friend. It was one of those friends where you were like tight in early high school when I went to high school in South Carolina and we were really tight so we stayed in touch, but now we text each other once every 6 months type of thing. It was like visiting that person. You know I love her, my heart is really close to her, but we maybe at that point didn’t know each other so well. It was just kinda weird.

J.bb: Was it a plan to trip while you were there or was it spontaneous?

Anon: I don’t remember actually. I don’t remember it was beforehand. I was going to visit her anyways. I don’t think we were planning around that. I’m not sure.

J.bb: Do you think tripping has improved your life at all?

Anon: Yeah, I think so. The way I think. My outlook on stuff. I’m almost positive I don’t have sleep paralysis anymore since I started tripping. 

J. bb: Now that I think about it I haven’t had a sleep paralysis episode in a long time. I’ve definitely tripped before I had them, but I’ve tripped way more since they stopped. Maybe there is something there. 

Anon: I just think back to like that, the sleep paralysis issues and then some other, I don’t know how else you’d categorize it. I don’t know if it was an anxiety thing or some other shit I was doing at 20 whatever up until 2015 or 2016. That went bye bye as well. 

J. bb: I wonder if people have been tripping a lot in quarantine. Lot of time for solitude.

Anon: I wonder. Remember I was like not sure about it for a long time when it was quarantine quarantine. I was like now would technically be a good time. I have like hours to kill. Got nothing going on, but I feel like my outlook on the world was such in a total pit I didn’t want to facilitate those mild thoughts or I don’t know, feel shitty or anything.

J.bb: I’m glad you did that cause I know people who feel shitty and think taking a tab of acid will make them feel better.

Anon: It just amplifies it. That’s what I was worried about. 

J.bb: I don’t know where the weird propaganda that you’re in a bad mood or feel shitty take acid.

Anon: I know where it is, it’s in like every movie.

J.bb: But why? Just to dissuade people? These are people that go to like elite prep schools that think this way. You should know better or take the second to think further or research further. Google something. “I don’t feel well so I’ll take acid” is not going to do anything for you.

Anon: Would you say it’s different for shrooms?

J.bb: Definitely. Shrooms just like based on the research into it now that small doses kill anxiety and battle depression. Acid is totally different. Even like DMT. My trip partner wants to do DMT later today and I’m in a really good place and I can do it, but I don’t know if I want to do it. I feel like having that doubt alone is enough to not do it. 

Anon: A little doubt like that means you can wait. 

J. bb: I know some people who do acid casual. People don’t respect the molecule. That’s the problem. You gotta respect the molecule entirely. It’s like a respect for yourself kinda thing.

Anon: Yeah, definitely. You gotta. It’s a thing. If you’re taking it just to get fucked up rethink. 

J. bb: Some of my closest friends who happen to be drug dealers, I’d never buy acid off of them cause they talk about it like, “it’ll get you fucked up” and that’s never what I want to hear from an acid dealer. I want someone to be like “powerful stuff” or talk through what feelings came up when they took it, how they felt or what they were doing. I don’t want to get acid from people who think I’m looking to get fucked up. It’s a hard line on knowing whether I’ll buy psychedelics off of you. 

Despite my misgivings in the interview, I did smoke DMT with my trip partner later that day. It was a small dose and relaxed trip that was grounding and beautiful. I did not see my usual machine Elvish guides but the feelings I felt in the moment were affirmed and offered closure in many ways regarding long bubbling feelings throughout quarantine. 

In our run down of psychedelic news I’m really bad at reading science jargon which is why I am an internet writer and not a researcher (yet), but I found this article on sleep paralysis and psychedelics that is pretty cool. Also, it turns out a bunch of rich people are trying to make mushrooms a thing now so it probably won’t be long before they become more “mainstream”. Elsewhere Mike Tyson credits psychedelics for helping him get back in shape and army vets are looking to the drugs as a form of therapy. A reminder to thank the molecule, drink more water, and catch a sunset or sunrise whenever you can. 

Anon asked that I include this picture she thought looked like a clitoris .

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