My friend Ryan took acid once. Thats not to say hed
never taken acid previously. Nor was he my friend, actually. But if
you knew Ryan well, which I didnt, youd be aware of his penchant
for all things hallucinogenic. The kids call it tripping.
On this particular occasion, Ryan was tripping in a
small town in Northern California. Sandwiched between giant redwood
forests and a bitterly cold Pacific Ocean, Arcata attracts
university students, hippies, marijuana farmers and a large
I sat on a porch in the middle of town drinking
weak American beer. It could have been a Friday, it could have been
a Tuesday, but it was a sunny afternoon. A few people I knew had
decided to skip class for the day and, like any good exchange
student worth their accent, I agreed to join. It may have been my
Theres Ryan, said one of the boys, pointing down
The rest of us turned to look. Ryan was darting
between colourful, weatherboard houses at high speed. He was too
far away to be audible, but he appeared to be having a great time.
Id met him a few weeks back at a party.
As Ryan made his way up the street it became
apparent he had either mistaken himself for Jack Sparrow or was
having a stroke.
Arrrrr! he screamed, rolling past a letterbox and
crouching behind a set of stairs.
Cannons at the ready! he cried, taking cover between a pastel
yellow split-level and a manicured hedge.
What the fuck? we asked each other in unison as he ran past our
Ryan likes acid, my mate explained. We took a sip of beer.
California knows how to party.
Never tried acid myself. It seems a little removed
from reality and, contrary to popular opinion, I quite like
reality. On a global scale its completely fucked, I grant you that,
but if you keep an eye out youll witness little moments every day
that remind you just how great it can be. Like dropping an egg,
only to realise you had actually boiled it that morning, or
watching a commuter sprint for a train and jump through the doors
at the last second.
Then again, I suppose thats the whole point of
drugs. They can be used to either escape or enhance reality and the
same goes for travelling. Maybe thats why its called tripping, and
why every 19-year-old returning from their first summer in Europe
has to publicly confirm that travel is my drug of choice. To them,
I say try MDMA. Its chea...