Gone Trippin’: On Mindset and Scene Setting Before Dosing

Peace and welcome back to another round of ‘Gone Trippin’. The winter holidays are approaching and soon the Sun won’t be setting everyday at 4:30PM. I’d like to remind you that you don’t have to feel okay, happy, or in the holiday spirit during this time of year. In a capitalist society, we are taught that many things should bring us happiness such as buying and giving gifts. In a pandemic where millions are unemployed and on the verge of being homeless, being grateful for being alive, healthy, and housed is good enough. 

This week’s guest is someone I’ve been friends with for 17 years. He is basically a brother, with his childhood home being the place where I spent the most non-family dinners growing up. Funny enough, this week’s guest used to make fun of me when I started smoking weed in junior year of high school. By the time this guy got to freshman year of college, he would become a far bigger smoker than I am. 

I had tried acid throughout college, but it wasn’t until 12/26/2015 that we went together to see Hot Chip DJ at The Good Room in Brooklyn, NY that I got the real good stuff. I took a gel tab 7 hours before the doors opened and it opened a new world for me. About an hour after dosing Anon looked at me and said, “Are you feeling it, Mr. Krabs?” and he turned into a mix of Goofy and Kramer. It was the most pure and fulfilling acid trip I may have ever had. It was when I learned how much I actually love dancing under disco balls. It is a time and place I wish I could return to, but sadly time and circumstance would make that next to impossible. 

Since then, Anon and I have smoked DMT together, done acid, shrooms, ketamine, and a host of other non-psychedelics. We’ve seen Bon Iver on acid with tears streaming down our face. We’ve done acid on the Jersey Shore walking around like Tony Soprano lucidly on the boardwalk. We’ve left this world and come back together. A piece of me will always be with him and I’m honored he took the time to have this conversation with me. 

Tony Soprano

Check out our conversation below where we discuss his first acid trip, the importance of mindset and setting while tripping, and more. 

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

Anon: I do think my race matters in the context of tripping because I may say something and be able to get away with shit.

J. bb: What’s your race?

Anon: I guess I’m white, but I look like a Jew.  People think I’m Jewish.

J.bb: Do you identify with the Jewish experience you think?

Anon: Do I think so? I mean I’ve learned through the years that since so many people thought I was Jewish they probably discriminated against me thinking I was Jewish. I’ve recently realized that. 

J. bb: What was your first psychedelic experience?

Anon: I did shrooms for the first time and my friends told me I had to take an eighth to feel it.

J. bb: I think the same friend told me the same thing.

Anon: [Laughs] I don’t remember much of it, but by the end of the night my stomach was feeling kinda weird and people wanted to go smoke, but I just crawled up in a ball in the dark listening to The Doors. It wasn’t pleasant at the end, but it was very memorable and by the end I told the same friend, “If that’s what tripping is like I’d definitely do acid”.

J. bb: How long after that did you do acid?

Anon: I don’t remember when I took the shrooms, but when I took the acid it was 2012. I’d have to confirm with my friend. I’d say less than a year for sure. I know when I did the acid it was cold. That was in New York City and on the 23rd floor of a high rise staring into Central Park.

J. bb: Was that S.M.’s?

Anon: Yes it was and his mom was there and it was awesome. She smoked with us. She had no idea we were tripping, but maybe she did. I don’t know. I don’t think she’s gullible, but she definitely played the part. 

J. bb: She definitely played like she had no idea what was going on a lot.

Anon: But she did. She partook [by smoking weed], but she did not trip. It was like 6 dudes. That was a very cold day I remember. We started our search for the acid in St. Mark’s Place and one of us went in and asked for it and the guy said, “Woah, nah, but I got crack. You want crack?” And we were like “no” [laughs]. Somehow somebody got a number of a friend of a friend. We had to go to Brooklyn to find some. I think it was across the street from a laundromat and we got it. I remember we went to the Dunkin Donuts gas station and we went to the bathroom to take the tabs cause we thought we had to go to the bathroom to take it. And when we left, we were outside smoking a cigarette and the cops pulled up and we were like, “What the fuck,” and our [mushroom mutual] friend was there. I remember him laughing about this. The cops pulled up like, “Can you not smoke cigarettes next to a gas station?” I didn’t really go to gas stations as a kid so one of my only experiences of gas stations is watching it in Zoolander and seeing all the models dying so then it hit me like, “Oh that’s why he’s here” [laughs]. 

Anyways, we found the acid and it was great. I remember taking the subway back to the Upper East Side, walking through this ritzy area. Going inside knowing the doorman knows this kid is a fucker and doesn’t really care who he brings in. We get there and it’s a weird experience cause I’m tripping around this kid’s mom who smokes weed with us and it felt weird to be accepted by a parent. That was my first experience with it. 

J. bb: That was also my first weed experience with a parent or with an adult, for sure. It’s always a super rich kid or a super poor person that happens with. It’s never a middle class person. 

Anon: Yeah, the people I met in school or college who have had parents like that are pretty rich or the parent has a drug problem.

J. bb: For sure. Also, it’s wild you decided to do acid and did some some day travel around and look for it. That would never happen today. That’s rookie shit.

Anon: Yeah, like no concern for setting. I told my parents I was going to stay with some friends from school and sleep over. It was easy. I wasn’t lying. [laughs] It was the truth. It’s crazy because it was the perfect setting. I’ve taken acid at times I shouldn’t have. There’s a time and place for everything. Professor Oak said that in Pokemon and it stuck in my head.

J. bb: Did he say that?

Anon: If you tried to use your bike in a store he was like, “Remember there is a time and place for everything. You can’t ride the bike in the store right now,” but it was great. I feel like that was the best way to experience my first time on acid and I’ve loved it since.

J. bb: Did you prefer your first acid trip to your first shroom trip? 

Anon: Probably my first acid trip because I was having a lot of anxiety back then and I remember reading that you shouldn’t be around heights when you’re tripping and this kid lived on the 23rd floor. I had read about this thing before where you don’t like jump but you think about the possibility that it could happen. It’s very morbid. There’s a French word for it. I remember we were smoking on the terrace and it was cold. Everyone had a bunch of blankets. One kid kept calling himself the oracle. I was alone at one point and I remember looking down and thinking “Jesus”. Also, I don’t know how much acid I took. Nowadays I know how much micrograms I take, but I didn’t know how much that was. It was one tab but it could have been a lot. I remember looking down and thinking this is scary, but I don’t feel that anxiety. I’m not going to jump here right now and I don’t feel like my mind will go there while on this drug so it was a very validating experience on my first trip which was sick. Mushrooms were great though cause it was like a getaway. Weed, a plant. Mushrooms, a plant. 

J. bb: A good stepping stone.

Anon: I actually don’t do mushrooms much anymore which I want to get into and also grow some, but I feel like it’s always more of an investment. I could trip and walk around and be a human and get some food. Sit around. Do nothing. I could be in public, but shrooms things get weird. Things get earthy, viney. 

J. bb: Do you have a preferred psychedelic? 

Anon: Acid for sure. I’ve tried others. DMT was really cool. I did it a good amount when I first got it maybe once every couple months. First time I tried it maybe once every two weeks. I had a bad trip with DMT. I had just good trips, but I had a bad trip after being in my new city for a few months on Tinder. It was just a blur. Hanging out with this kid from high school who was an asshole, but I knew him in Boston and it sucked. I had a DMT trip where I was listening to “Instant Disassembly” by Parquet Courts and music influences the entire trip. The imagery is there. You’re a creative person or not even, if you just think about it you’ll see something thematic at least to the song and I saw my entire life disassembled in front of me. It was terrifying.  I saw myself waking up, taking a shower, coming back from work, smoking my bong, having sex with a random girl off Tinder. Even the girls were random. I don’t even remember, but they were so real and everyone was different. I knew they were people I knew, but they weren’t. It was just very sobering but also I didn’t want to see that or feel that. I don’t remember my mindset before but the fact that I took some DMT and I just recently started taking it, I don’t know. 

Maybe it was a bad setting, but I did it. I came out of the room and I was shell shocked. I was alone in my room and my roommate didn’t do drugs really. He smoked weed every now and then. He was playing NHL 2015 or 2016 and he was like, “yo you okay?” And I’m like, “dude, I don’t know”. A little later I took some Xanax, a tripper’s best friend. Everyone should have some. I mean there are probably better ways to fall asleep or get off a bad trip, but I haven’t really discovered those yet because of my handy dandy xanny. 

Anon’s significant other: Vitamin C is really good. I was at a festival once and I was on acid and couldn’t sleep and I was clenching my jaw and someone gave me a Vitamin C pill and it helped. I fell asleep. 

J. bb: Do you believe psychedelics have changed you?

Anon: Oh yeah, for sure. After that bad trip I took a Xanax and I had a party to go to. It was a little houseparty. Pretty tame because it was the weird kids from my Catholic school. I went there and I was more confident than usual. I asked this really attractive girl for her number and she said yes and I was like, “this is sick,” cause I’ve never really done this before. Xanax is sick. Not really [laughs]. It’s horrible, but it’s great if you actually need it. Anyway, I then was texting my friend who graduated a year before. She was around at some bar at some horrible sports bar I’d never go to anymore but I just went. I saw her and that’s when I met my girlfriend I’ve been dating for four years. So I do think it has directly influenced my life in that way but also other ways as well. Subtle ways. I feel like I’ve always had an issue with authority and taking psychedelics has only enforced that for sure, but it’s a bit more articulated now. You just understand things. The best trips I’ve had are just like straight up when I’ve stared and had profound thoughts. You remember those and they form a foundation for later when you’re thinking real shit. That’s how I see it at least. Short answer, yes. 

J. bb: What’s your favorite concert you ever tripped to?

Anon: You can see how many times I’ve done acid by me thinking this through. I was going to say Frank Ocean because he made me cry but I’ve cried at several shows on acid.

J. bb: Same.

Anon: Seeing Frank Ocean a second time was sick. I saw him with you the first time.

J. bb: And the second time.

Anon: It was great to experience with a person I’m really close with twice and my girlfriend. It’s kinda an AB test when you think about it. We saw him not on acid and then we saw him on acid. We were in the back of Terminal 5 the first time and it was rainy as shit before, but it definitely enhanced the experience. His music has only gotten deeper too. The first show was more intimate but again we were in the back. Probably that. Parquet Courts, the band I had a bad trip on, three weeks prior I saw them at a very small venue called Middle East in Boston and I was up in the front and people were moshing and I hate that shit. I saw New Found Glory with you guys at Bamboozle, RIP, in 2011. I’m pretty sure I had a rib crushed. I felt something crack in my body in my chest area. Huge dudes crushed against me. It sucked. It was horrible. I hated moshing. I was a lot skinnier back then, but I’m at the Parquet Courts show in the front and I’ve never been diagnosed but I do deal with some OCD thoughts. I always do: phone, wallet, keys. Back then I was very intense about it. I did not want to lose my shit, but then I realized I have to lose my shit. If I keep my shit together that’s just a plus. I did keep my shit together and it was a fun time. It was actually sick. I never thought I’d enjoy that. It got me out of my comfort zone and then some. I tried to take the setlist from the guy while he was playing and he got real mad at me. That was cool because I really did not like moshing at the time. It’s hard for me to try new things like that, especially in any way I can hurt myself, and I did and it was exhilarating. It was sick. 

J. bb: You’re an experienced tripper, what would you tell a first time tripper beforehand?

Anon: Unless you have calmness of mind and practice meditation, don’t trip alone. And trip with someone who’s tripped before. I know that’s a luxury for a lot of people but it does help. Plus you know it’s like setting the setting, knowing where your homebase is. There’s always the mothership, whatever you wanna call it. It’s like being at a festival, that’s why people have totems. You’re just all going to the same place and you gotta let your friends know that you’re there for them. You see some weird shit up there in the sky, like some guy holding Spongebob with a stick in his ass, like oh yeah that’s my friend, or whatever they use. I saw some guy with a unicorn at Austin City Limits, it was pretty sick. You know it’s just having friends there to keep it together because things could unravel quite quickly, especially I mean that’s another thing if you’re having a bad day, don’t trip. Try to find a good day, and if you’re having a bunch of bad days meditate on it. 

J.bb: Mindset is so key.

Anon: Yeah, quiet your mind at least a little bit if you’re not having any good days [laughs]. But again you could be having a bad day and if you have good enough friends, you’ll be fine.

J.bb: Would you ever do a ketamine or mushroom therapeutic session with a licensed professional? 

Anon: For sure. But unfortunately it’s cheaper to just do it by yourself. But yeah you know if I had disposable income, I definitely would try it. I actually talked to a coworker about it recently. She wants to do it for ketamine, and she was a pretty big ketamine user in the past. But she herself said she’d like to do it to have the moderation there but also having the therapy be part of it. I’ve only had bad experiences with ketamine when I don’t measure it, when I do key bumps. I lose track and forget how it works. I usually just fuck around with it and watch some TV or something. Especially when I first tried it I tried to reap the therapeutic benefits. I had a bad ankle back then and I knew it was an anesthetic. I didn’t realize until after I did it actually, I was like “My ankle feels better, this is weird.” That was the trippy part, I was throbbing and then I was like it feels fine. That’s another thing that people forget about, it helps with that stuff too. It’s definitely easy to get lost in the saus and do a bunch of ketamine. It’s nice to have someone there but unfortunately the cost is so prohibitive. People are paying three to four thousand dollars a month for ketamine spray and sessions are six hundred dollars for a dose which is probably 30-60 milligrams. And depending on where you’re at that is like $80-100. Do the math. Is BYOB ok? Can I bring my own ketamine? Unfortunately the recipe for ketamine is pretty much on lock down, if anyone remembers the Hamilton episode. No one really knows it, which is crazy. It’s like the fucking Crabby Patty formula, why doesn’t anyone have the ketamine formula? People have tried to, there’s like analogs, but it’s not the same. It’s crazy.

J. bb: How often are you tripping these days? 

Anon: Not as much, I just moved. I’m now on the West Coast and I’m enjoying the weather. Just moved into a new home and I’m trying to gather my bearings while working remotely for an East Coast company, so I haven’t tripped too much. The last time I did was at a friend’s wedding. Which was probably not the best time or place, but you know what it worked out. That one didn’t really feel like a trip though because the whole wedding was a trip, like your friend’s getting married. The best time to trip is when you’re doing something ordinary because there’s a baseline for it. When you’re doing it at a festival it kind of sets a crazy standard.

J. bb: The high is super high and then you crash. You’re plummeting, nothing’s the same. Do you have a favorite tripping memory with me?

Anon: I think my fondest memories are when we were tripping with our friend before the Hot Chip show

J. bb: I was gonna say that’s my favorite tripping memory with you. Either that or Bon Iver.

Anon: We were just like melting in three separate pouches.

J.bb: That was the first time the acid was really hitting. The reason I even asked how often are you tripping these days is because I remember that guy we met from wherever the fuck, Nebraska, he asked us how old we were. And we told him, we were 22 or 23, and he said “Oh that was the last time I enjoyed tripping.” But five years later I’m still having a great time.

Anon: No I definitely am. And it’s weird, I’ve moved out to the West Coast and I haven’t tripped yet. And part of me I think doesn’t want to ruin it, just do it for the heck of it. I have some friends here and I guess they trip but again I kind of want to set a baseline West Coast trip.

J. bb: Just a regular ‘ole beach day?

Anon: I could trip by myself, my girlfriend could chauffeur. She volunteers, so it’s great.

J. bb: I trip on shrooms by myself but not acid as much. I tripped on acid alone one time and that was my absurd acid trip. It was a bad trip in the moment but now I just look back at it as an absurd time. 

Anon: Yeah I was trying to think of bad trips before you called and I couldn’t because looking back it just turns into something else.

J. bb: In the moment it feels bad but looking back it was just a ridiculous time.

In other news, more rich white men are trying to invest their money into psychedelics. The future looks bright but commodified as can be expected in America. It’s more important now than ever that activists continue to push the public conversation towards the therapeutic and spiritual aspects of these powerful substances. Until next time, my friends. Stay Trippy and remember to thank the molecule. Imagine at the top of the article chosen by Anon, from Midsommar


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