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"I digress" A Tale of Terror
Its October 18, 2008: Widespread is on the verge of wrapping up their two night stint in Atlanta, GA. The lot is full of hope and happiness. I did not realize at the time though that this particular night would be host to a mixture of terror and joy that I still to this day can't understand. It would be better if I start the story from the beginning. (Getting ready to eat mushrooms and take the journey I both asked and did not ask for.) (In a sense). When we arrived in the lot everyone had been drinking for several hours. Suddenly I was approached by one of my best friends who had just obtained a fresh bag of mushrooms from a lot hippy. Widespread Panic music lots are home to the widest variety of moral degenerating substances known to man. I assure you, if you are trying to get high then this is the place to be. (I digress) Taking the mushrooms into my hand I placed them gently in my mouth and chewed them for several minutes. The taste of shit and soot flowed through my mouth. (One of the most unpleasant things I have ever eaten) (I digress) The night drew on and I started to feel changes. It was close to time to walk in the concert. As we finished our beverages our group began to make its way toward the gates. (Our hearts were pounding as we could almost smell the impending music in the air) The girls that we were with managed to track down nitrous balloons on the way into the concert. Sounds of laughter and giggling began to trigger my trip. We finally arrived at the gate and the security guard took our tickets and turned us loose inside. Feeling awesome throughout the first set I realized that I had to use to restroom. So when the first set ended I moved toward the restroom hell where I would have one of the strangest experiences of my life. Unbeknownst to be me, I had no clue that mushrooms can in fact intensify one's fears. Ever since I was a little boy I have been deathly afraid of tight closed quarters. Claustrophobia doesn't even describe what I had felt in the WSP restroom. Strange noises echoed through the room and into my brain. I was being pushed back and forth like a passenger on the sinking Titanic. Finding my way in front of a stall door I kept my head down toward the ground to protect my mind. I was sweating profusely from being so scared. Suddenly, a nice gentleman in front of me told me I could cut in front of him and use the restroom so I could get out of there as quickly as possible. As I regrouped with my friends outside, we reemerged on the field of music to prepare for the second set. What I didn't know at the time was that I was about to experience one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. (The infamous bad trip) When the music started, I felt amazing once again. My body was flowing to tantalizing tones. It was about the time when the song Chilly Water came on when it hit me. People were pouring on me like liquid all around me. I was being bumped left and right. My fear of tight spaces was being tested. My heart began racing and a thick sweat rushed my body. I began to feel dizzy and the stage began fading out. My friend JT who took the shrooms with me looked at me for a second and asked, "Are you ok bro?" My other friend Arlin knew that the mushrooms had released its demons upon me and told me to "dance it off". It was too late. My body buckled and I collapsed to the ground. I took off the beanie and hoodie I was wearing and wiped the sweat from my face. My heart was pounding violently. A nice guy behind me saw what had happened and offered me his water. Drinking the water I began to feel well enough to stand back up but I wasn't out of the woods yet. JT knew the next few moments were crucial. He had to get me out of the crowd as quickly as possible before I had a complete melt down. I followed JT while being watched closely by my other friend Randy as we exited the crowd. My eyes rolled in and out of the back of my head. If you have ever seen the movie Pink Floyd the Wall then you might remember the part where Pink is walking down that long corridor during the song "Comfortably Numb". Everything around me felt like it was rocking back and forth as I was walking. I did not think I was going to be able to keep my feet. By chance we managed to emerge at the roomy rear of the crowd. To my surprise I began to feel much better. My chills faded quickly and order was restored. The three of us sat down and discussed what had happened. They asked me if I was alright and to my utter amazement I was perfectly fine. I felt like a recently released prisoner breathing his first breath of fresh air. The three of us sat down on the lawn and enjoyed the remaining songs of the show in harmony. Toward the end of the show my two friends who had helped me were curious to find out what went wrong with me at the show. They looked at me and said, "Jeff, what happened man?" My only reply was "I mean, I got really hot and all of a sudden I was like fuck!" (I digress) 3 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 9/20/2009 7:15 PM