Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Altered States

Vince, the Discreet Manila blogger, posted an interesting entry in his blog yesterday asking if recreational drug use is truly a hallmark of the PLU community.

Since I haven't been a scenester for a good while, it just made me think about drugs in general.

I eschew drugs, not because I'm a goody two-shoes, but because I already have an addictive personality and getting into substances would almost certainly lead to abuse.

That said, I agree with what Knox wrote in the Comments Section about trying most things once, especially while one is young and can afford to be stupid.

Someone made me sniff poppers once and my heart palpitated so wildly I actually thought I was going to die. Hence, that was my first and last time to use it, and every time I get a whiff of that distinctive metallic smell I retch.

While E remains the parteeeeee pill du jour , I am no fan of it, either. But I won't begrudge anyone else using it to heighten their clubbing experience. After all, isn't alcohol a form of narcotic itself? But since alcohol is a no-no while you're on E, I've always chosen the booze. That won't change even though I'm presently an unwilling teetotaler.

My most memorable encounter with drugs happened at work, of all places. It was the last day of an out-of-town agency planning session and we were getting ready for the big lunch with the big bosses. Bernard, one of the CDs, casually asked me if I'd like a brownie. Not thinking, I took half and went on my merry way. Lunch passed uneventfully until I reached for a glass of water and, very Matrix-like, saw my hand do a ramped double-exposure. "Strange," I thought, and reached for the glass again. When I put it down on the table, the glass made a reverberating *BOOM*, and then the table started to levitate.

That's when the realization hit me. Oh, Jeebuz, the brownie!!! To make matters worse, I remembered I had taken it on an empty stomach. It felt like I was trying to jump out of my own skin at that point but I managed to pull myself together and look around for Bernard. I saw him two tables away, sunglasses on, leaning back casually in his chair.

I galumphed over to where he was, each of my footfalls thundering in my ears like an elephant stomping on steel drums. Leaning over his prostate form, I whispered:

"Has it kicked in for you?"

Oh, God.

He must've seen the stricken look on my face because he mumbled "Don't fight it. Just go with the flow." Easy for him to say. He was a CD; I was just some Copy Group Head.

Fighting back panic, I gingerly made my way back to my own table hoping to sit down quietly and wait the trip out. As I watched my steps, I could literally see the ground falling away from beneath my feet, as I felt myself floating higher and higher into the air. I looked up and saw the mountains vividly detaching themselves from the skies, in razor-sharp clarity not even HD could match. I looked around and it seemed that someone had pushed the Saturation and Contrast levels of the world to maximum. It was...surreal.

Finally seated, I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths to calm down. And that's when the Chairman sat down next to me.

If you've never started tripping on hash while the Chairman of your company is engaging you in conversation about corporate matters, I suggest you skip the experience. It was a tribute to my presentation skills that I was able to feign lucidity and formulate halfway-coherent responses to the Big Boss' many questions, all the while fighting the biggest mind-altering trip of my life.

Thankfully he eventually got up to circulate, none the wiser that he had just been conversing with a badly spaced-out employee in the middle of an important corporate event at high noon. I stumbled to the washroom, trying to splash the trip away, but to no avail. I was stoned all the way back to the office, where I slumped on my desk enduring the biggest thumping headache of my life as the trip finally wound down to its crashing end.

Across the room, my boss stood frowning at me. But he never said a word. Well, what could he say? After all, he was always the one who passed the joint around whenever we'd go out. He knew what went down, but let it slide. He knew me well enough to know it would never happen again.

And it never did.

With all mind-altering substances, I think "caution" is the key word, with "moderation" being the next. That should go for booze as well.  I don't condone their use, but recreational drugs obviously serve some purpose.  Like love, that biggest of all mind-altering substances, rec drugs are meant to artificially enhance your existence for a short while. To take you out of yourself and experience a different state of being. A higher state of consciousness, even. A temporary escape from reality.

It's when you make it your permanent reality that you're screwed.

At any rate, I don't need my reality altered.

It's already surreal as it is.


  1. Ei, stoned pala ang tawag dun. Now I want to try doobies again. LOL.

  2. In one of our out-of-the-country trips, a good friend of mine started to gently shake the clothes and stuff in his maleta the moment we got into the hotel room.

    Curious, I looked at his maleta.

    In it were scattered bits of chongki.

    After I initially freaked out on him, he lovingly gathered every scrap of it in his now-empty luggage and rolled it into a joint.

    Then we smoked it together.

    Now that's what I call friendship!


  3. I found myself laughing while reading this post - there's just something about the way you write to amuses me. Or maybe it's the tummy. Ha ha. Anyway, I'm a drug virgin so I don't really know what to say.

  4. I've tried juts twice. Didn't feel anything. Made me think that my colleagues who did try it were just overacting.

  5. @ Knox : Somehow, I knew you'd be the first to comment on drugs hahaha. You must have a very good nose for it heheh.

    @ Eternal Wanderer: Boy, your friend's either got big brass balls, or he was already buzzed when you guys boarded the plane. I would never carry stuff in any amount on an out-of-town trip, no way, Jose. Still, that was very clever of him, eh. And waste not, want not.

    @ Tristan: I find it hard to believe you're a virgin. At anything. Hahahahah!

    @ engel : The interesting thing about joots is that the trips are as varied as the people smoking them. The first time I tried it, I got nothing. Nada. The second time, I got a laughing trip so hard you'd think someone let the hyenas out of the zoo. Third time's the charm: I got a sleeping trip. Way to enjoy a party.

    Now don't bogart the joint, you junkies.

  6. sabi nga ni melanie marquez, been there, been that. i'm just happy, it's over! =)