Almost exactly a year ago I woke up at 6:54 on a Sunday morning in my apartment in London, Ontario to a mysterious stinging sensation coming from my back.
I rolled over onto my stomach and the pain slowly subsided. I was about to fall back asleep, when I noticed the dark red stains blotted all over my blanket.
After a few moments I threw off the duvet, rolled out of bed, and stumbled over to the washroom to see if the mirror could provide some answers.
Through partially opened bloodshot eyes I peered over my right shoulder. As I looked through the mirror at my backside I couldn’t help but smile at the long stretches of deep cuts in parallel lines of three. Some were still bleeding.
My first thought was that it looked as if I was mauled by a wild animal. My second thought was that in a way, I guess I was.
I turned back around, poured myself a glass of water, delicately balanced it back onto my nightstand, and crawled back into bed.
I was woken up a few hours later by the sound of violent pounding at my door. I lay in bed groaning, hoping it would go away, but after a few minutes I heard a familiar voice yell, “Wake up, it’s me, I know you’re in there!”
I threw off the covers and sat up in my bed.
“I’m coming!” I yelled back, and suddenly the knocking stopped.
I grabbed a shirt and a pair of sweatpants from the dresser and carefully tiptoed around the bottles, cups, cans, and pizza boxes covering most of the floor towards the front of the apartment.
“What is it Rose?” I said, as I opened the door.
“Good morning to you too, Mr. Grumpy,” she replied, as she walked into the apartment and made herself at home. “You look like shit.”
“I feel like shit,” I responded.
“I’m not surprised, you were pretty hammered last night,” she said, while moving a few empty cups out of the way and taking a seat on the couch. “Did you have a good time?”
“Yea, I guess,” I said, following behind her while rubbing my eyes.
“So what happened to you last night?”
“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure.”
“Well, did anything happen with Kat?” she asked, with a playful smile.
“You really don’t know?” I responded.
She perked up on the couch and tried to keep a straight face. “No, honestly, she didn’t tell me.”
“She’s your roommate, I’m sure she told you what happened.”
“So something happened?”
“Yea,” I laughed. “Something happened.”
“You didn’t!” she screeched. “Oh my god! Tell me you did not fuck my roommate last night!”
Without saying a word I stood up, took off my t-shirt, and turned around to display the fresh wounds on my backside.
She held her hands over her mouth and let out a muffled gasp. “That’s fucking retarded!” she squeaked, with her hands still cupped over her mouth.
“Why are you so surprised?” I asked. “You know we made out at that Deadmau5 party last week.”
She didn’t answer for a few seconds; she just sat there in silence, with her hands tightly cupped around her mouth.
“I shouldn’t tell you this,” she eventually whispered into her hands, as if she hadn’t yet decided if she wanted me to hear her or not.
“Tell me what?” I said, with an awkward smile.
“You don’t want to know anyway,” she said, softly.
“Just tell me already.”
“Fine, but you can’t tell her you heard this from me,” she paused for a moment as she switched to a more serious tone. “I don’t really know how to say this, but I just left our apartment, and her boyfriend was making her breakfast.”
“Her boyfriend!?”
“Yea, I’m pretty sure he came over last night right after she got back from your place.”
I thought about it for a few minutes, vaguely remembering her receiving a text message at 3 a.m. and leaving in a hurry.
“You’re right,” I responded, “That is fucking retarded.”
_____________________________________

Before that morning I didn’t really know all that much about Kat. I knew she grew up in a small town, though I didn’t know the name. I knew she currently lived in an apartment one floor below mine along with Rose, and was doing her masters in some kind of science, maybe biology. I knew she was fairly short and that she had short hair that changed between brunette and blonde, but that there was always a tinge of strawberry red, which I assumed was her natural colour. And I knew she had these hypnotizing bright blue eyes, with an infectious smile to match.
Evidently I didn’t know that much beyond her appearance and the few details I had gathered during small talk, but that morning I learned all I really needed to know about Kat. I will always look back at that as the morning I got a first hand lesson on exactly what kind of girl she was.
I wish I could say that was the last I slept with her. I wish I could say I did the honourable thing and stopped seeing her the moment I found out she had a boyfriend. But unfortunately that just wouldn’t be the truth.
Though I never felt completely comfortable with it, we had a bad habit of finding each other at the end of a long drunken evening. It was all pretty convenient and fairly easy to hide, considering she lived in the same building as me, only one floor down. It wasn’t until about a month later, after shaking her boyfriend’s hand and looking him directly in the eye, that my moral conscience made a belated appearance.
After that Kat and I remained friends, but nothing more.
When the school year ended we both moved back home to our respective ends of the province. As you can imagine our friendship wasn’t quite the same after we no longer lived a single flight of stairs away from each other.
I never bothered asking what ever happened with that old boyfriend, but during that brief period of time while sneaking around behind his back one of the main things we’d talk about while lying in bed together was how much we enjoyed our first (and at the time, only) MDMA experience at the Deadmau5 rave. During those conversations she would always talk about how spectacular the evening was, casually mentioning that her only regret is that we never had sex under the influence of the drug.
Perhaps that is why after we moved away from London one of the few things we still felt worthy of sharing with each other was our potential plans for upcoming rave events. She had visited Toronto for a few such events in the past, but for whatever reason I was never able to attend.
That was, however, until I texted her about the 15th anniversary of Toronto’s premier rave house, The Guvernment, coming up on thanksgiving weekend. Though she lived four hours away and didn’t know anyone else in the city that weekend, she hardly needed any convincing.
_____________________________________

When I arrived at Klive’s that thanksgiving Sunday night he looked like absolute hell. He had hardly slept the night before while conducting his pre-rave drug inspection, and perhaps got a little carried away, consuming nearly all the drugs he had set aside for the Guvernment event.
When he first showed me the collection he had acquired earlier in the week he seemed quite amused by the little yellow pills of ecstasy, which were shaped like the face of a cartoon monkey. He thought they looked comically similar to the vitamins he used to take as a kid.
He wouldn’t admit exactly how much he had consumed during the test run, but from my count there were about 2 hits of MDMA and 2 hits of ecstasy missing from the collection.
Luckily he was able to acquire more on short notice, but when I arrived he seemed to be in no condition for an all-night party. Lying on the couch with his eyes barely open, he hardly noticed my presence when I let myself into his basement. But of course, it would take more than this current state of fatigue to discourage Klive from attending what promised to be an outrageous evening.
I walked over to the couch and leaned over his half-conscious body. “You want a RedBull or something, buddy?” I asked. “Looks like you could use some energy.”
“Thanks, but that’s alright,” he responded, with somewhat of a slur. “I have my own thing.”
Of course we both knew what he meant by that. A few minutes later I left to go pick up Kat from the subway station and temporarily left Klive alone in his basement, hoping that he wouldn’t be asleep when I returned.
Approaching the exit of the subway station I found Kat waiting outside. It was strange seeing her again after such a long time apart, and in such a foreign context, but we quickly picked up right where we left off.
When we returned to Klive’s shortly thereafter I was surprised to find Klive blaring house music and dancing around his basement with Tracy and Fred. It was one hell of a quick turnaround, but then again, cocaine is one hell of a drug.
We spent the next couple of hours in Klive’s basement, most of which time I spent catching up with Kat while sipping from my bottle of Jack Daniels and my can of RedBull.
When 11:30 rolled around Tracy called us a couple of cabs while I distributed the glow sticks, glow in the dark headbands, plastic sunglasses, and attachable finger lasers-pointers I had purchased from the dollar store.
_____________________________________

The fifteenth anniversary of an establishment like the Guvernment really is something to celebrate. Most clubs of that size don’t last a year in this city, and few can get away with charging over $60 admission on a regular basis to the thousands of patrons required to fill the massive space. It’s amazing to think that the club opened when I was 8 years old, yet I only recently discovered what goes on inside.
In its 15 years the Guvernment has expanded many times, and now includes a series of other large clubs, all sitting next each other on the same massive plot of land. There was the Guvernment, where I saw Benny Benassi and Avicii at Labour of Love, but then there was also The Kool Haus, The Acid Lounge, The Drink, The Orange Room, and Skybar, all of which had opened their doors for a different lineup of deejay performances for the fifteenth anniversary celebration.
When we got out of the cab we found a line of people extending around the block, but in spite of its intimidating size it looked like it was moving at a pretty decent pace. I had no problem waiting like everyone else, but Klive is decidedly not like everyone else.
“Fuck this,” he said, staring down the long row of shivering people in neon tank tops. “Follow me, I got this.”
At this point I had assumed Klive had a plan. I assumed he would bribe a bouncer or maybe had a connection to the owner or maybe he made some sort of reservation for us, all of which are among his usual tactics, but in this instance I may have given him too much credit.
As it turns out his plan was to simply cut in line ahead of a group of teenagers who seemed too intoxicated and too preoccupied by their own conversation to notice us.
“Just be cool,” he said, trying not to make eye contact with any of them.
When we got to the front door I was the first to be searched. There was a brief moment of panic when the woman patting me down reached into my shoe, but luckily her fingers were too short to reach the handful of pills rolling around near my toes.
_____________________________________

I waited on the other side of the entrance gate for the rest to join me before we made our way inside The Kool Haus, where a Dutch trance deejay Armin van Buuren would soon be taking the stage. I had never heard of the man before recently, but every house music fan I had consulted put him near the top of their list of all-time favorite performers. Though I wasn’t really into trance I was certainly anxious to hear what all the hype was about.
The scene inside of Kool Haus was one that I was becoming increasingly familiar with. Shirtless men were jumping around with their fists in the air trying to grind up against the women in neon booty shorts and bathing suit tops. Everything was glowing in the bright coloured lights. Everybody was sweaty. Everybody was wet. Everybody was packed tightly together. Nobody cared.
We each grabbed the shoulder of the person in front of us as we slithered through the crowd towards the washroom at the back of the warehouse-sized room. While in the washroom we each took turns going into the stall to retrieve the capsules we had hiding in our shoes.
When I returned I found Kat waiting for us by the men’s room, so I took her to the bar a few feet away and bought us a couple of drinks while we waited for the others. After the other boys caught up I handed Kat one of the pills, and we all took our first hit together.
Suddenly we heard the crowd roar, and we knew Armin was taking the stage, so we once again grabbed onto the person in front of us and fought our way as close to the stage as we could.
About twenty minutes later I felt a gradual feeling of drug-induced euphoria slowly building, but it soon subsided.
A short while later I looked around at the others, who were now jumping and dancing with their arms in the air, and I knew I wasn’t nearly as high as them. With Armin van Buuren manning the deejay booth in front of me, a crowd of sweaty drugged up ravers behind me, and a group of close friends at my side, I decided it was already time to take my second hit.
Still dancing in my place, without saying a word to anyone, I casually reached into my pocket, grabbed another pill, placed it in my mouth, and swallowed it.
_____________________________________

It took another twenty minutes or so, but that feeling of euphoria slowly crept back again, this time lingering for a while longer. I continued dancing, making my way closer and closer to Kat, who was jumping around with intense enthusiasm. When she noticed me standing behind her she turned around and looked me in the eye. That’s when I noticed that her bright blue eyes were now partially eclipsed by a dark hollow pupil, making it look almost like she had cat’s eyes.
I remember her leaning in to tell me something, and I remember leaning forward so I could hear what she was saying over the music, but somehow we both thought the other one was trying to make a move, and we spontaneously began making out. But what started out as awkward quickly turned blissfully intense. I had almost forgotten how enjoyable it was to kiss someone on MDMA.
After a few minutes she pulled away and said, “your lips are so soft,” and continued dancing.
The music was not the sort of deep trance I had expected, and proved much easier to dance to. As per usual it wasn’t long before Klive yelled in my ear not to go anywhere, and disappeared. I’m not really sure where he went, but when he returned an hour later he handed me a cold beer, so I couldn’t really complain. In the mean time Tracy and Fred seemed to be lost in their own minds, passionately dancing with their eyes barely open, their arms grabbing at the air like they were trying to literally touch the music. Kat, meanwhile, continued to dance within arms reach in front of me with the intensity and enthusiasm that only MDMA could produce.
But after some time that feeling of gentle euphoria I had felt in fluctuating waves earlier had faded away, and once again I began feeling painfully less intoxicated than those around me.
Shortly after 2 a.m. Klive pointed to his watch and then the front door, and we all knew what he meant. It was almost time to move on to the building next door to see Steve Angello’s headlining performance.
_____________________________________

The five of us made our way back through the front door towards the gate separating the smoking patio from the sidewalk, and lit up a few cigarettes between the two warehouse-sized buildings, each sporting their name on the front in large glowing lights. It almost felt like standing between two sets on a movie studio lot.
“Are you guys feeling it?” I asked, wondering how the rest were reacting to the drug.
“I’m totally fucked,” said Fred.
“Me too,” said Kat.
“How about you guys?” I said, turning towards Tracy and Klive.
Tracy just shrugged.
“I’m pretty high,” said Klive, “But I could be more high.”
“Well, I’m hardly feeling it,” I said. “I’m thinking about going for a third, assuming Kat doesn’t need her second.”
I looked at Kat, who was staring off into the distance.
“Kat?” I said.
She didn’t respond.
“Kat!” I yelled, and she jumped as if something had startled her.
“What?” she said.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“Totally!” she yelled back, her face glossed over in sweat. “I feel,” she paused, looked down at herself, and then back at me, “I feel like I’m dripping in music!”
We all laughed.
“I don’t think she needs her second,” I said back to the rest of the group. “I think I’m going to take another.”
“Me too,” said Tracy.
“Well I guess if you guys are,” said Klive, as if he wasn’t about to take another anyway, “I think I’ll have another monkey.”
“Jesus Christ man,” I responded, “careful with those monkeys.”
“Careful yourself,” he said, taking one of the yellow monkey faces out of his back pocket, and swallowing it.
Tracy and I took a pill out of our pockets and swallowed it as well, before finishing our cigarettes and heading toward the front entrance of The Guvernment.
_____________________________________

We made our way through the silk draped walls of the back entrance of the Guvernment in search of a private washroom Klive had somehow learned about. He led us down a long hallway toward a narrow staircase at the back of the club. Halfway up the stairs there was a room surrounded entirely by mirrors, filled only with tall wooden chairs, lit by a chandelier. There was a door on each side of the room, one marked ‘men,’ the other, ‘women.’ Kat headed to the ladies room and Fred took a seat on one of the chairs, while Klive, Tracy and I raced towards the men’s room.
While inside we all took our turn attempting to pee, some more successfully than others.
One of the unfortunate side effects of MDMA, as it turned out, is difficulty urinating. It affects different people in different ways, but generally speaking the effort it requires to take a simple piss can be a fairly accurate indication of exactly how intoxicated you are. I may have been too inebriated to really acknowledge this side effect during past experiences, but this time it was pretty hard to ignore.
Having had a few drinks in the club I was quite relieved when I finally reached the urinal. I was somewhere in the middle of a powerful stream when suddenly a warm feeling of energetic euphoria swarmed over me, and my flow died down. It was the intense come-up I had been waiting for all night, unfortunately coinciding with the piss I had also been anticipating for quite some time. I tried to force some more out, but suddenly became unavoidably aware of the bass blaring from downstairs. I started tapping my foot and bobbing my head, dancing with my pants undone in front of the urinal.
After a couple of seconds I heard Klive flush the toilet next to me and I snapped back into reality, though only momentarily. I zipped up and walked over to the sink intending to wash my hands, but when I turned on the tap and watched the cold burst of water splash down into the bowl I decided to stick my head under and take a drink instead.
A moment later I burst open the doors of the washroom to find Fred dancing alone in the small mirror-filled room. I joined him immediately. When everyone was finally out of the washroom we enthusiastically followed the sound of the music coming from up the stairs, ignoring the fact that nobody really knew where we were going.
_____________________________________

When we got to the top of the stairs we found ourselves on the balcony overlooking the dance floor, where Steve Angello was making his dramatic entrance. We looked down at the thousands of sweaty house music fans jumping and cheering, as the deejay famous for his membership in the musical trio known as The Swedish House Mafia stood on a platform in front of a series of computers, with his arms raised to the air. We watched as he reached down to the controls and pressed a series of buttons, which caused the ceiling to rain with confetti and then suddenly a blast of thick white smoke.
“Let’s get the fuck down there!” I yelled, and everyone nodded.
We made our way to a staircase at the far end of the balcony and headed downstairs, not realizing that this staircase dropped off at the foot of the stage. The crowd was dense but we again linked arms and slithered our way through until we found a spot where we could all stand together without being knocked over.
Tracy and Fred continued bobbing their heads and grabbing at the air, intensely concentrated on their own thoughts, while I wrapped my arms around Kat and danced with her for a while. Klive, meanwhile, was up to his usual shenanigans.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson once famously wrote that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro, and there was no greater example of this than Klive. On that weird evening, in that weird building, surrounded by weird people, listening to weird music, Klive seemed right at home.
At one point I looked back at Klive, who had a huge grin on his face as he examined a blonde girl in a mini-skirt dancing a few feet away. I looked back again moments later, and the girl was sitting on top of his shoulders. When he noticed me looking at him he just gave me a thumbs up, and continued bouncing her around.
A few moments later the deejay hit the crowd with a cloud of blinding white smoke. Kat turned around, grabbed my shoulders and kissed me, while Tracy and Fred yelled “Marco” and “Pollo” on either side of us. When the fog subsided and the music started to speed up Kat pulled away and continued dancing. Throughout the evening I thought that she was acting kind of strange, but I concluded that it was probably just the drugs.
A few moments later Tracy turned to me and yelled, “Where’s Klive?”
I turned back around and looked back at where he was just standing, but he was gone — the girl who was on of his shoulders now dancing alone.
“I have no idea where he went,” I shrugged.
“Shouldn’t we go look for him?” asked Kat.
“Don’t worry,” I responded. “He’s a pro.”
_____________________________________

The four of us eventually made our way to the bar at the back of the room for a round of drinks a couple of hours later. Klive was still missing somewhere amongst the crowd.
While leaning over the bar Tracy tapped me on the shoulder and just pointed towards the crowd. It didn’t take long to realize that he was trying to direct my attention to the two topless dancers elevated above the crowd. They were each perched up on one of the platforms in the middle of the dance floor, wrapped in glow sticks, painted head-to-toe in glow-in-the-dark neon paint. It was quite a spectacle, not only because they looked like some kind of creature out of Avatar, but also because their spastic flailing dance moves visually trumped the lasers, streamers, and even the white outs.
After finishing our drinks we made our way back into the crowd and continued dancing.
A short while later I was dancing with Kat when a bright light started shinning directly in my eye. I moved my head out of the way, but it followed with me. I eventually turned around and tried to pinpoint its source, and sure enough, it was Klive. He had crawled up onto one of the platforms after the dancers had left, and was shinning one of his finger lasers in my eye to try and tell me to come join him.
“What a pro,” I thought to myself, as he grabbed my arm and helped pull Kat and I up onto the platform.
_____________________________________

Shortly after 4 a.m. Kat, Klive and I got down from the platform and met up with Tracy and Fred, who told us they needed to go to the washroom. Though I still didn’t feel like I needed to urinate everyone else seemed to need the break, so I followed behind. This time we pushed our way towards the more public washrooms next to the dance floor, and told Kat to meet us when she was done.
A moment later I again found myself standing in front of the urinal with my pants undone, trying to force out whatever I could, to no avail. While trying my very best I couldn’t prevent my foot from tapping to the beat, and before long I realized that I was again doing more dancing than peeing. On my way out I caught a glimpse of my pupils in the mirror, which were still heavily dilated.
I left the washroom with Tracy following behind.
“Do you want to head home soon?” he asked, standing between the door of the washroom and the foot of the dance floor. I was rather disappointed to hear he was already wearing down.
“Hell no,” I responded. “I’m just getting started.”
A moment later Fred and Klive emerged from the washroom, and Tracy asked them the same question, only this time he got a different answer.
“I think I’m about ready to call it a night,” responded Fred.
“I’m pretty tired too,” said Klive.
I was shocked and disappointed that my most belligerent of friends had failed to live up to their reputations.
“Well, I want to stay,” I said.
A few moments later Kat found us next to the men’s room, and before we had a chance to ask her opinion she blurted out, “I just realized I’m still really high, lets go dance!”
“I’m in,” I responded, “but I think these guys want to go home.”
“Wait a minute,” said Klive, looking in my direction. “You’re staying?”
“Yea” I responded.
“Okay, I’m staying too,” he said.
“Why?” I responded. “You just said you were tired and you’ve hardly slept at all this weekend. You should probably get some rest.”
“No way man,” he said. “No way you’re outlasting me.”
_____________________________________

Kat, Klive and I said goodnight to Tracy and Fred at approximately 4:30 a.m., and headed back toward the dance floor. Still feeling heavily inebriated Kat and I continued our drunken grinding and groping, while Klive continued his aimless wandering.
Just after 5:30 I was making out with Kat when someone grabbed my shoulder and pulled me away. It was Klive.
“Are you going home with her?” he asked.
“Probably,” I responded.
“Nice,” he said. “I’m going to head home. Have a good time.”
He said goodnight and walked away, leaving Kat and I alone with a crowd of strangers. Realizing we were finally alone together all I could think about was the prospect of reaching my goal of having sex on MDMA.
At 6 a.m. Steve Angelo finally left the stage, and we decided to leave as well.
Walking through the back door of the club we tried to talk, but could hardly hear each other over the loud ringing in our ears.
After leaving the property we hopped into one of the cabs waiting outside.
“Where to?” asked the driver.
“Want to come with me to walk my dog?” asked Kat.
“Sure,” I responded, thinking it was among the worst innuendos I had ever heard.
“I really mean it,” she said. “My dog is alone in my friends apartment and hasn’t been walked in hours. We really need to take her for a walk.”
“Okay, no problem,” I said, trying to look innocent. “Let’s go walk your dog.”
“Okay,” she said, and gave the driver her friend’s address.
“Where are we going exactly?” I asked.
“I’m staying at a friend’s place who’s away for thanksgiving weekend,” she said, and quickly changed the subject.
_____________________________________

We got out of the cab at approximately 6:30, and made our way between the marble security desk and the decorative waterfall in the lobby towards the elevators. On our way to the 18th floor the mirrors in the elevator showed me just how wide my pupils still were.
When she opened the door of the apartment I was rather surprised to be greeted by a life-sized poster of basketball legend Allen Iverson.
“Whose place is this?” I asked.
“My friend’s,” she said. “But he won’t be back until tomorrow —or tonight I guess, technically.”
At this point I was somewhat suspicious, wondering what kind of guy lets a friend and their dog occupy their apartment for the weekend, but at 6:30 in the morning, with no sleep and a variety of substances impairing my judgment, I didn’t ask any further questions.
We took her dog for a walk around the building in Toronto’s financial district as the sun began to rise. I doubt the dog has ever felt more affection, as we soon realized how soft the lingering effects of the drug made her fur feel. We hardly stopped petting her long enough to let her pee.
When we got back to the apartment I asked Kat for a glass of water, so she opened the cupboard, grabbed a mug, filled it with tap water, and handed it to me. I don’t think she noticed the name “Mike” engraved on the side.
As I took a sip she received a message on her phone, which she promptly responded to. At this point I had to ask who she was texting at this hour.
“My friend Mike,” she responded.
“This Mike?” I asked, pointing to the mug.
“Yea,” she said, with a guilty look on her face. “This is his place.” She paused and took a deep breath. “I’m sure you’ve put the dots together by now.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
I probably should have figured it out much sooner, I probably should have seen it coming, but I was either too messed up to arrive at the obvious conclusion, or some subconscious part of me just didn’t want to know.
“He’s my boyfriend,” she said.
In my long history of heavy intoxication, never have I experienced a more rapid and definitive death of a buzz. My mind suddenly cleared and I began feeling things I hadn’t felt in hours. I suddenly felt the warmth of the sun through the floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking downtown Toronto. I suddenly felt an uncomfortable feeling in my bladder, and a distinctive dryness in my mouth. I suddenly felt the dampness of my t-shirt and pants rubbing up against my cold skin. And for the first time that entire evening, I even felt a little tired.
“Oh,” is all I managed to say.
“Yea.” She paused again, and then blurted our, “we’re not having sex in my boyfriend’s apartment. I don’t know why I invited you here. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. But we really can’t.”
I was somewhat amused to hear that she at least maintained some minor standard of decency. Evidently she was willing to cheat on her boyfriend in London, she was willing to kiss another guy at a club in downtown Toronto, she was even willing to invite someone else to her boyfriend’s place while he was away, but she drew the line at fucking someone else in his own bed. What a lucky guy.
“Can I at least get a kiss goodnight?” I asked.
“Sure,” she said.
We kissed for a few minutes, but as soon as things started to get heated she pulled away.
“Okay, you need to go to sleep. I’m here,” she said, pointing to the bedroom, “You’re over there,” she then pointed to the couch, like she was commanding her dog. “Goodnight.”
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She closed the door behind her at 7:15 a.m., leaving me alone in her boyfriend’s living room with my confused logic and lingering high. I was somewhat disappointed that I wouldn’t get to experience sex on MDMA as I had eagerly anticipated, but I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised by how things transpired. After all, I’ve known for a long time exactly what kind of girl Kat is.
I lay on the couch for some time, but understandably had some trouble falling asleep.
At 8:45 I rolled off the couch, put on my shoes, and made my way down the elevator and through the lobby. I stepped onto the street just before 9 and started walking just a few feet behind a group of four women in elegant attire, until they turned into a church up the street. I found a cab a few blocks away, and was finally heading home.
When I arrived at my house I was relieved to find that my parent’s weren’t awake yet. I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and crawled into bed just after 9:30 a.m. And with my ears still ringing, my body still shaking, my heart still pounding, and with not a moment’s rest in the past 24 hours, I grabbed my laptop off my desk, and began writing this story.

To read more of Jay Maxwell’s adventures please visit toymrfd.blogspot.com

Posted by Jay Maxwell - 01/12/11 - 0 comments

 

The second hit of MDMA started to kick in at about the same time Avicii took the stage. While I had technically seen Avicii only two months prior I have no recollection of that evening, making this somewhat of a new experience.
Tonight’s festivities featured the same crowd of rainbow colored tank-top wearing ravers I had seen at Avicii last time around, not to mention DeadMau5 last year, as well as MSTRKRFT at Osheaga. Still sporting thick-rimmed sunglasses and multicoloured glow sticks, they had once again come in swarms by the thousands for what they believed would be the highlight of the labour-day long weekend.
The 8,000 person capacity club was without a doubt oversold, as the sweaty bodies shoved up against one another in the dark, damp, warehouse-sized room. The lights and lasers were quite impressive, as I’ve come to expect from these sorts of events, and the sound system had that sort of shake-your-bones type of subwoofers — another catalyst of the experience — but there was a new crowd pleaser I had not yet witnessed.
At various points throughout the evening I would hear a sudden hissing coming from above and then, without further warning, a cloud of pure white smoke would descend from the ceiling onto the crowd, covering everything and everyone with such a thick fog that even if you held your hand in front of your face, you would still see nothing but white smoke, accented with the colour of the strobe lights.
If you’ve never found yourself completely engulfed in blinding white smoke while tripping on a party drug like MDMA, let me just say that I for one would highly recommend it. It gives you a moment of complete isolation along with your twisted thoughts while the music blares in the background and the lights flash all around you, not to mention the relief the cold air provides from the otherwise unbearably hot atmosphere. And then, suddenly, just as quickly as it came, the cloud disperses to reveal the thousands of others enjoying the same chemically induced sense of euphoria and comradery. In that moment, you will find yourself in love with everyone and everything around you, wholeheartedly believing that those around you are the only ones that share a common understanding of what it truly means to experience music in the mind, body and soul.
Of course, when you finally snap out of it hours later, you will come to the difficult realization that the illusion was entirely brought on by a foreign substance.
But it sure as hell won’t stop you from coming to the exact same revelation the next time you have a similar experience.
________________________________________

“It’s not too bad,” he said. “There doesn’t seem to be any sign of concussion and it doesn’t look like it needs stitches, just a few staples.”
I thought to myself what he could possibly mean by “staples,” but I would soon find out.
A moment later the doctor pulled out a large needle.
“Do you want me to leave?” I said, hoping he would insist that I didn’t have to be there to witness what came next.
“No, it’s fine, you stay and comfort your friend.”
I was quite disappointed by that answer, and even more so when he began injecting the needle directly into the cut.
“This is just for the freezing,” he said.
The doctor then pulled out what looked like a regular staple gun, and proceeded to insert staples along the wound. After the first I couldn’t stand to watch anymore, but could still hear the gun pop twice more while facing the back wall of the hospital room.
“That ought to do it,” said the doctor.
The two of us left the hospital just after 4 a.m., only two hours after we had arrived. When we finally got out into the dark empty streets I lit up a cigarette and tried to flag down a cab.
“Hey man,” he said, showing no improvement in the slur he’s kept up for nearly six consecutive hours. “Can I have a cigarette?”
I just laughed.
After we hailed a cab I told the driver to put on Q107 so I could continue listening to their weekend long countdown of the top 500 classic rock songs of all time. They were on song number 442 of the countdown, “Can’t Stand Losing You,” by The Police.
________________________________________

Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig In The Sky,” song number 363 on the countdown, had just begun playing from my car stereo as I passed the sign welcoming me to the small suburb an hour outside of Toronto. It was a long way to trek, but the deal was worth the drive. Almost too good, I thought, remembering Klive’s previous warning about counterfeit tickets.
When I finally found the truck stop the orange sedan was waiting there for me as promised. I parked next to it and turned down the radio.
“Are you Orkin?” I asked.
“Yes,” he responded, in a thick European accent, “from the ad.”
I got out of my car and walked up to his window, where I was surprised to notice a baby seat in the back. The man was much older than I had expected, much older than I would expect anyone going to this event to be. I was no longer as concerned about the authenticity of the ticket. It wasn’t hard to believe that he couldn’t attend tonight’s event because he had work the next morning.
“Show me your wrist,” he instructed. So I stuck my arm through his car window, at which point he wrapped a neon pink band of plastic around my wrist.
It looked good, but I took the piece of plastic Klive had given me earlier out of my pocket and compared it anyway, just to be sure, before handing him the $50 as promised.
“Have fun tonight,” he said with a smile, before pulling out of the parking lot and disappearing into the sparse suburban landscape.
When I got back in the car, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I yelled and banged the roof of the car, filled with surprise and amazement in my ability to pull off what seemed to be a lost cause, and with only a few hours to spare.
When I turned on the car, Q107 was playing “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones, a fantastic song, but not fitting the current mood. I turned off the radio, plugged in my iPhone, and switched to Benny Benassi’s “Cinema” in anticipation of his performance later that evening. I played it on repeat for much of the hour-long drive home, as it was the only house music song I had.
________________________________________

I lingered in the car a while longer to listen to the end of Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song,” number 492 on the countdown, before making my way into Klive’s basement.
I entered through the back door shortly after 10 p.m. to find a couple dozen familiar faces sitting around the circular glass coffee table in his basement with their poison of choice within arm’s reach. Klive had strategically arranged his long red “L” shaped couch into more of a “V” shape around the coffee table, which narrowly fit between the wall and the awkwardly positioned square, white pillar in the middle of the room.
Before I had a chance to finish saying hello to everyone, Klive got up from his seat and pulled me through the door leading to his bedroom, locking the door behind him.
“Did you bring it?” he asked.
“Yea, right here,” I responded, as I pulled the small black device out of my back pocket. “What do you need it for exactly?”
“I bought some stuff today. I got it really cheap but I’m not sure if it’s any good.” He pulled out a one square inch sized plastic bag filled with clumps of yellowy-gold powder.
“Is that Molly?” I asked.
“Yea, but it looks weird.” He opened the bag and poured its contents onto the scale.
“Is that all for Labour of Love?” I asked.
“Maybe,” he said, “If it passes the inspection.” He continued to play around with the scale, before realizing that there weren’t enough decimal places to properly divide the .1-gram hits.
After realizing his efforts were futile, he eventually just said, “Fuck it,” and then proceeded into the washroom, where the flat porcelain lid of the toilet awaited with a rolled up dollar bill.
He came back a few seconds later sniffing profusely, and wiped some of the powder off his nose while I scratched leftover traces of MDMA off the scale with my fingers.
“Taste’s like shit,” he said. “Why is it all over your fingers?”
“I was trying to wipe it off the scale. I gotta go wash my hands.”
“Don’t do that,” he said. “That’s such a waste. Might as well lick your fingers.”
I thought about it for a second, but after realizing that such a small quantity of weak powder would likely cause little effect I decided to go for it.
“You’re right,” I said. “Does taste like shit.”
I proceeded out of Klive’s bedroom to join the party, as he continued to fuss around with the scale.
After finding a space on the couch between Maggie and Sheri, I pulled out my signature 26oz bottle of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and it’s slender partner in crime: a can of Red Bull.
Between shots, Maggie and Sheri talked endlessly about how excited they were for Labour of Love.
“Are you coming?” asked Sheri.
“I don’t think so,” I said, unenthusiastically.
“Why not?” asked Maggie. “It’s going to be so much fun!”
“It’s pretty expensive, plus I’ve never done Molly in Toronto before,” I said, ignoring the traces I had licked off my fingers earlier. “I wouldn’t want to go to a house music festival without doing it, and something about coming home at 7 a.m. and spending the next day in bed just doesn’t feel right now that I live with my parents.”
“You can probably find cheaper tickets online,” said Sheri, “And who cares that your parents are home? You’re not in high school.”
“Last time I was home on labour day I was in high school,” I said.
“Well, you’re not in high school any more, so man up and get yourself a ticket.”
After realizing that they wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, I signaled to Myke from across the room to join me for a cigarette outside.
After giving me a confirmation nod, I told the girls to excuse me, and headed towards the sliding screen door at the back of room, which led to the backyard.
“Do you know which bar we’re going to tonight?” asked Myke, as he walked through the screen door and shut it behind him.
“I doubt we’re going anywhere to be honest,” I said. “It’s already getting late and it looks like everyone’s having too much fun to leave.”
I took two cigarettes out of my pack, and tried handing one to Myke, but he wouldn’t take it.
“I quit,” he said.
As a smoker, you tend to get used to hearing those words from fellow smokers, but no matter how many times you hear it, it never fails to provoke a critical review of your own life decisions.
“Good for you, bro,” I said. “How long have you been going?”
“Three weeks cold turkey,” he said with a smile. “No matter how drunk I get, don’t let me smoke.”
“No problem man. What are you drinking tonight?”
“My goal is to finish this mickey,” he said, holding up the 13-once bottle of Crown Royal.
At first, I was mildly concerned, knowing how poorly Myke has handled his alcohol in the past, but I was a little relieved to know that he wouldn’t be smoking tonight. I still believe that cigarettes were one of main reasons why I had to take him to the hospital almost exactly three years ago.
________________________________________

I turned up the radio to help numb the boredom. In the five hours I had worked so far, I had heard nearly 30 songs in the countdown, from song number 411, “War Pigs,” by Black Sabbath to song number 381, “Day Tripper” by The Beatles.
My father’s financial success is largely due to his strong work ethic. It is the very same work ethic that’s brought me to his office on the Sunday afternoon of a long weekend to do manual labour. While the rest of his employees are enjoying their long weekend, he continues to fill out paper work in his office and I pack boxes and sort inventory in an otherwise empty building.
Two days in it felt like the long-weekend was somewhat of a failure. I had spent much of Friday night in the hospital and did very little Saturday except listen to the radio and read Klive’s incoherent text messages from the first night of Labour of Love. It was such a failure that I figured I might as well earn a few bucks while I’m not having fun, and spend the day working for my dad. But as I sorted inventory and stacked boxes, I quickly changed my mind, though it was obviously too late.
I turned down the radio at about three in the afternoon and called Klive from the storage closet at the back of the warehouse. He couldn’t stop telling me how amazing his evening was, from what he could remember.
“And the best part is that it’s only the beginning,” he said. “It’s going to be way sicker tonight for Benny Benassi and Avicii. Dude, you gotta get a ticket. It’s going to be awesome.”
“To be honest, I’m kind of considering it, but it’s probably too late now,” I responded.
“Tickets are still available on the website.”
“Yea, how much?”
“130, plus a 15 dollar service fee.”
“Fuck that.”
“Look for an ad online, I’m sure you could find somebody selling it cheaper,” he said.
“I don’t have a computer here, can you look for me?”
“Aw man. My computer’s upstairs and I’m still in bed. Call me in an hour.”
“Are you serious?”
“Sorry bro, I went to bed at 8 a.m., I’m going back to sleep,” he said, and then hung up the phone.
I remembered that my father had asked me to make a delivery in Klive’s neighbourhood at some point in the day, so I told him I was leaving to drop it off and made my way over to Klive’s.
When I approached the screen door at the back of his basement I could see him laying motionlessly on the couch with his eyes barely open.
I banged on the door until he answered.
“What’s up bro?” he said, as he slid the screen door open.
“Sorry to bother you, but I’m borrowing your computer.”
“No problem man.”
I took a seat on the couch, grabbed Klive’s laptop, and started searching for tickets.
“I think I found something,” I said, after a few minutes. “It’s some dude up in the suburbs named Orkin selling it for $50.”
“That’s not bad, but it’s probably fake,” he responded.
“What do you mean fake?” I said.
“The club’s website has a warning about counterfeit tickets, so watch out.”
“He says he’s got work Monday morning and can’t go both nights, so he’s selling his bracelet.”
“Could be a lie, and if you drive an hour up north and an hour back to find out it’s a lie, you probably won’t be able to find a ticket after that.”
“I don’t really have a choice, I’ve got to make this delivery and get back to work.”
He then reached over the coffee table, took out a pair of scissors, and cut off a small piece of the pink plastic bracelet around his wrist.
“Here,” he said, handing it to me. “Take this to compare.”
“Thanks man,” I responded.
“No problem. Let me know how it goes.”
________________________________________

As I held the blood stained piece of white cloth against his head I could actually feel the rhythmic beat of his pulse underneath my fingers. I battled valiantly to keep and blood from reaching the seat of the cab. Luckily the driver failed to notice my hand awkwardly pressed against his head. Instead he was singing along to Rod Stewarts “Every Picture Tells a Story,” song number 453 on the countdown.
While examining the cloth to see how much blood he was losing I thought about my disappointment in their decision to place the song so far ahead of “The Lemon Song,” a musical masterpiece by a far more talented group of musicians.
“We really don’t need to go to the hospital,” said Myke, in a barely audible slur.
“It’s too late now,” I responded.
________________________________________

“Have you seen Klive?” I yelled to Sheri, who was dancing with impressive energy considering she hadn’t stopped in nearly four consecutive hours.
“I think he’s over there,” she yelled back, pointing over my right shoulder.
I turned back just in time to see Klive for the last time that evening, before everything was suddenly covered in a thick cloud of white smoke. By the time it subsided, he was gone.
I signaled to Maggie and Sheri to come with me outside for a cigarette, and they reluctantly accepted, disappointed to take a break from Benny Benassi.
When we finally shoved our way out of the crowd and made it outside, we were relieved from the unbearable heat of the club by a gust of cold autumn air.
“I’m going to grab a beer,” said Maggie. “You guys want anything?”
“No thanks,” Sheri and I responded.
I still can’t figure out how Maggie manages to keep up with our energy without chemical assistance.
After Maggie left, Sheri asked me how I was enjoying the experience.
“I’m fucking loving it!”
“You ready for a second hit?” she asked.
“I don’t know, I’ve never done two, and I’m still feeling the first one.”
“Me too, but I’m taking it now. I want to time it right for the start of Avicii.”
“Yeah, good point,” I said, and reached into the little plastic bag hiding in my sock.
“By the way, do you know where Klive went?” She said. “He totally just disappeared.”
“No idea, I’ll try texting him.”
According to my phone records, I sent Klive seven messages between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. asking him where he was. I finally received a response at 6:14 that read, “wekfnitnjnjenrrrrrrnhinhhrj.” After sending him a simple “?” at 6:18 he again responded with “in jair for fe the dssgrnmms.”
Basically the text messages only told me what I already knew: that Klive was alone somewhere, too fucked up to operate a phone.
________________________________________

As the evening progressed, I realized our plans to leave the basement and move the party downtown were likely not going to come to fruition, but nobody seemed to mind. By midnight, there were close to 40 people dispersed throughout Klive’s basement, many of whom were dancing in their spot to the house music blaring from the subwoofers.
Since our plans to leave the basement had been discarded, people had more time to spend with their alcohol, no longer having to abandon the bottle at an early stage in the evening to go downtown. I personally took down three quarters of a 26 oz bottle of Jack Daniels, an improvement from my usual half.
By 1 a.m. two people had thrown up, but everyone else seemed too drunk to notice.
While making my way over to the washroom to check on one of the gentlemen who was still recovering, I passed by Myke, who was showing off to Fred the fact that he had finished the entire Micky in an incoherent slur.
When I got to the washroom, I found Harold, who was lying by the toilet, with an empty bottle of whiskey beside him. I asked him if he was awake. When he responded, I handed him a glass of water to sip on and returned to the party.
As I left the washroom, I was nearly knocked over by Fred who was play-wrestling with Myke. Myke was putting up a pretty good fight, considering how intoxicated he was, until Fred decided to shove Myke backwards onto the couch, which narrowly fit next to the awkwardly positioned square white pillar. As Myke’s limp body crashed down on the couch his head flung backward, sounding like a rock getting thrown against a brick wall as it smacked the corner of the pillar behind him.
I ran over to Myke, who was smiling and laughing as if nothing had happened, and pulled him up off the couch.
“Are you alright man?” I asked.
“Yeah, totally,” he said.
“Are you sure? It looks like you hit your head pretty hard.”
“No man, I’m fine.” As the words came out of his mouth I noticed a thick gush of blood pouring down the side of his cheek, breaking off into two streams; one flowing down his neck, the other continuing towards his chin.
I started to hyperventilate. I had never seen that much blood before, certainly not stemming from someone’s head.
“Fuck dude!” is all I managed to say, before grabbing Myke and dragging him through Klive’s bedroom into the washroom.
I grabbed a handful of toilet paper and pressed it up against his head, before realizing that I was stepping on Harold.
“What the fuck is going on?” he moaned.
“Sorry man, we’ve got bigger problems right now,” I said, and dragged him out of the washroom, dropping Myke in his place.
“How bad is it,” Myke asked.
“Pretty bad,” I said.
At first he tried to look at it in the mirror, failing to realize that the gash was too far toward the back of his head. Eventually, I just said, “Let me show you,” and took out my iPhone. I pressed the capture button and passed the phone to Myke.
He looked at the picture for a moment then said, “Badass,” before handing me back my phone.
“I think we should go to the hospital,” I said.
“No man, I’m fine. Just give me a few minutes,” he responded.
It wasn’t long before people started to follow the trail of blood leading to the washroom. Soon enough about a half dozen people were crowding the doorway, each kindly offering their advice and assistance. But in their drunk state, all they could manage to contribute was their opinion over whether or not Myke should be taken to the hospital. Within minutes, a shouting match had erupted in the doorway of the washroom, while I continued to dab at the back of Myke’s head.
As a result of the combination of witnessing the blood pouring out of Myke’s head, the crowded washroom full of loud drunk people, Myke’s refusal to seek help for himself, and the substances mingling inside my head, I suddenly felt very faint. I had to grab onto the towel rack as I pulled myself off the floor of the washroom.
I instructed someone to grab a paper towel for Myke’s head, and another person to call us a cab to take us to the hospital, and then proceeded out of the washroom, out of Klive’s room, and took a seat on the couch next to the white pillar, now sporting a fresh red stain.
I took deep breaths as the dizziness slowly subsided. Trying to think of how I dealt with Myke last time he injured himself, I realized that it was time to once again call his older brother Jeremy, whom I had first been introduced to at the hospital the night Myke got so drunk he peed in a stranger’s room.
I proceeded back into the washroom where I found someone else now dabbing Myke’s head with paper towel.
“Pass me your phone,” I said to Myke.
“Why?” he asked.
“It’s time to call your bro.”
He took his BlackBerry out of his pocket and handed it to me, which I then carried through the crowded basement and into the relatively quiet backyard, where I called his brother, who picked up after the first ring.
“Hey, Myke,” he said.
“It’s not Myke,” I responded.
“Fuck, not again.” He let out a deep exhale. “Last time you called me from my brother’s phone, I didn’t like it.”
“You’re not going to like it this time either.”
“God damn it. What happened?”
“He was really drunk and wrestling with a friend, he got thrown onto the couch and hit his head pretty hard on the corner of a pillar in the middle of the room. He’s got a pretty serious cut on the back of his head, and it’s bleeding quite a lot. I’m ready to take him to the hospital, but he’s saying it’s not necessary. I just wanted to know what you think.”
“How big is the cut?”
“I’d say about an inch long. Looks pretty nasty and it’s been bleeding quite a lot. Here, let me show you.” I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and sent Jeremy the same picture I had shown his brother moments earlier. “I’m sending you a picture of it right now, call me back after you see it.”
“Fine, bye.”
It was only about 5 seconds after hanging up that Jeremy called me back.
“Take him to a hospital immediately!” he said, in a panic. “Give him lots of water, don’t let him fall asleep, and for the love of god don’t let him pee on anybody this time.”
“Got it. Are you going to come down and meet us?”
“Keep me posted on your progress. If you need me, I’ll head down.”
“Will do.”
I wanted to say something comforting to calm him down, but he hung up before I had the chance, so I proceeded back into the washroom and gave Myke back his phone.
“What’d he say?” asked Myke.
“He says it’s time for us to head downtown after all. Come on up, I got you,” I grabbed Myke’s arm, dragged him to his feet and escorted him out of the basement.
________________________________________

By the time we finally found Klive, it was nearly 7 a.m., but the club showed no signs of slowing down. People were still piling on top of each other with their arms raised to the air, as they had been when we arrived seven hours prior.
We had lost Kive shortly before 3 a.m., but decided not to follow after him, naively believing that he couldn’t do much damage within the confines of the club. We have since learned the flaws of that logic.
Sheri first spotted him standing at the back of the room near one of the coat check counters. He looked a little out of place, the only white guy standing around a circle of eight or so Asian guys, and one Asian girl.
When I approached him one of the guys stopped me and said, “Do you know this guy?”
“Yeah man, I know him,” I responded.
“You better get him the fuck away from me!” he yelled.
As the guy was threatening me I failed to notice Klive slowly drifting over towards where the girl was seated on the ledge of the coat check, but before he could say anything to her, a handful of the guys stood up and formed a barrier around her, shoving Klive out of the way.
“Don’t worry boys, I got him,” I said, as I grabbed him by the shoulders and dragged him backwards towards the exit.
We had almost made it out of the building when Klive suddenly stopped and said something in pure gibberish, before turning around and heading in the opposite direction.
“Where is he going?” asked Sheri.
“I don’t know,” I responded, “but he’s too fucked up to be unsupervised right now.”
The three of us followed him back into the club towards a different coat check desk around the corner which he likely mistook for the one he was just at, where he started talking to the Asian woman behind the counter, whom he likely mistook for the Asian woman he was trying to talk to at the other coat check.
When we caught up to him he was leaning over the counter whispering something into her ear, but the woman just had a puzzled look on her face. When I walked up to him she asked me what he was saying, so I leaned in and tried to listen. I’m usually quite good at translating Klive’s incoherent gibberish into English, having had several years of experience, however tonight was one of those rare occasions where my services were completely useless. I heard the word “whiskey,” and “button,” and possibly, “hot dog,” but even if I could decipher what he was saying I doubt it would have been worth the effort.
“Lets go, man,” I said, as I once again grabbed him by the shoulders and headed towards the back exit.
I had to shield my eyes as I opened the back door of the club; I wasn’t expecting it to be so sunny already.
We hopped into a cab and told the driver where to take us. I was in somewhat of a hurry, knowing that my father would be heading to work in approximately half an hour, and with my shirt dripping of sweat and my mind warped from the lack of sleep, not to mention the drugs, it would make for somewhat of an awkward conversation.
“Next up we’ve got The Who with ‘Behind Blue Eyes,’ for your morning commute, song number 98 on our weekend long countdown of the top 500 classic rock songs of all time, on Toronto’s classic rock station, Q107.”
I asked the cab driver to turn it up. It was one of my favorites.
In plain honesty I don’t really care much for house music. I’m certainly fascinated by the culture, but I’m not a true fan. I’m merely a fan of drugs; it’s just a coincidence that my drugs are a fan of house music.
But the more I explore this movement, the more I realize the power of its appeal to its growing number of passionate fans. Like it or not, there is no doubt that this brand of electric house beats will be remembered as one of the quintessential musical genres of my generation.

Posted by Jay Maxwell - 26/10/11 - 0 comments

 

As we drove to Niagara Falls to celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence, we carried with us a combined 26 hits of MDMA, 8 grams of cocaine, 2 ounces of marijuana, 10 lt. of hard alcohol, 20 assorted energy drinks, plus the bottle of champagne I had purchased for the occasion. There were 14 of us in all: four cars, four hotel rooms.
As I made my way down the highway, cigarette hanging out of my mouth, screaming and swearing at the long-weekend traffic, there was a brief moment where I felt like Dr. Hunter S. Thompson himself. I know we pale in comparison to the galaxy of uppers downers screamers and laughers afforded by Dr. Thompson on his infamous trip down to Las Vegas, but for a group of overworked, underpaid, and unsatisfied 23 year olds, I was quite pleased by what I considered a comparable collection, knowing the spirit of his generation is still alive in today’s youth.
It was the last day of June, and by this point each of us had been exposed to the depressing reality that is the post-university world for a couple of months. You could feel the tension as we made our way down the highway; friends were bickering with friends, girlfriends were having unnecessary arguments with their boyfriends, and everyone was constantly complaining about the slow pace of traffic.
We were the last car to leave from Toronto, the ‘working shift’ as they called it, because each of us had a 9-5 job that we couldn’t miss. As I sat there and listened to each person, one after the next, complain about their jobs, I concluded that those in my car were likely the ones that needed this evening away the most.
The one and a half hour drive during long-weekend rush hour traffic took nearly three, most of which time was spent arguing with the rest of the group who wanted to go for dinner without us. By the time we arrived it was already 7:30, and though they decided to wait for us everyone was quite vocal about his or her disappointment in our timing, as if we had any control over the situation. The fact that dinner took an hour and a half didn’t put anyone in a positive mood either, nor did the overpriced menu and tasteless food. Needless to say the dinner conversation was equally as bland.
After dinner we checked into our hotel rooms. While majority of us decided to save some money and stay at the Best Western, only Klive, in his infinite wisdom and unlimited resources, decided to stay at the Hilton instead. I later realized he was likely trying to impress the one unknown girl in the group, the blonde haired tag-along friend of a friend who happened to be staying in his room for convenient logistical reasons.
I, on the other hand, was rooming with Tracy, the man plagued with a woman’s name. He and I shared a house together at university, and in many ways he was a quieter, shyer, less obnoxious version of myself. He and I shared a love for marijuana, heavy drinking, and video games. We even had a similar tendency to occasionally submit to Klive’s peer pressure. Though neither of us has yet to say yes to Klive when he hands us a rolled up dollar bill and points to the coffee table, I was the only one of us to have tried Molly. The 8 grams of coke was mostly for Klive and his 3 roommates, but only two members of the 14-person group declined the pills he had arranged for us.
It had been almost nine months since my last dance with the crazy bitch known as Molly, more commonly referred to as MDMA. In the words of Klive, I was ‘revirginized’ to the drug. While my hesitation towards deejays hadn’t changed in that time, the fact that the ticket and hotel room together were cheaper than seeing Deadmau5, combined with the fact that Tracy was willing to try it as well as 8 other first-timers, made it an opportunity not worth passing up.
This time it was only $30 to see some techno deejay named ‘Avicii.’ It was cheap considering how expensive Deadmau5 tickets were, but I still thought I was over-paying to hear some Swedish dude press play on his greatest hits collection and make a public appearance.
The only question that remained for a few others and myself was how much Molly we could handle. We had enough for everyone to take two pills, though Klive and an equally ridiculous human being named Harold had previously announced they had each reserved three. I still hadn’t decided. I really couldn’t tell how much would be appropriate.
__________________________

The mood started to lighten up a bit as the six men began to drink while the girls were getting ready. We were halfway through our second bottle of whiskey when the girls told us to meet them at the front door. When we got there they weren’t waiting for us as they had promised, so I went to buy a pack of cigarettes. I wasn’t surprised when I returned to find the men still standing there waiting.
We arrived at Klive’s suite at the Hilton at approximately 10:15 to find Klive and a few others in the living room bent over a coffee table filled with white lines and rolled up dollar bills. After I said my hellos I asked where I could find the Molly, he informed me it was in a drawer in the bedroom.
The bedroom, which was located at the back of the hotel room on the 29th floor, had a spectacular floor-to-ceiling view overlooking the falls. When I finally opened the drawer he was referring to I found two little green dime bags filled to the brim with clear capsules, stuffed with a familiar looking powder. I took one out and was about to swallow it before Klive stopped me.
“Not a good idea bro,” he said, standing at the doorway.
“Why not?” I asked.
“You don’t wanna take that now, trust me.”
“Really? Why not?” I asked.
“Trust me, if you take it now you’re going to be peaking in line, you don’t want to peak in line.”
“But I was gonna take one now and see how I feel in an hour before we leave, and decide if I should take another.”
“Trust me bro,” he said once again, this time looking me directly in the eyes, “you don’t want to take it now.”
I looked back at his coked out expression and considered if it was even possible for him to give me sound advice at the moment. On the other hand, he is the veteran of the group when it comes to this stuff.
“Fine,” I finally said,” I’ll take it later.”
Still aggravated from the long drive and longer workday I was looking to get as intoxicated as possible as quickly as possible. I nearly finished the remaining half of the Jack Daniels bottle, which I had started with the boys earlier, while chasing it with my usual can of Red Bull.
Before long the predrink had turned into a rave in and of itself. Klive blared Avicii from his Ipad that was connected to a powerful set of portable speakers, and eventually surprised us all by breaking out a strobe light he had purchased for the occasion. One of the girls brought hundreds of glow sticks, another brought lasers that attach to your fingers, and a third brought rub on Canada flag tattoos, complete with sparkles. We all crowded in the living room, drinking, smoking cigarettes, passing around my bottle of champagne, and exchanging cheap colourful accessories, all while dancing atop the furniture. That was before the drugs.
I decided to wait for everyone else before taking the pill. They had agreed on leaving to the bar just after 11 as to avoid a line, and before long the hour was upon us. The experienced ravers casually opened up the green bag and gulped down one of the capsules. Klive placed one gently on the blonde’s tongue.
The less experienced among us, however, took our time. Most were too nervous at first, while the rest of us just waited for the others to wrap their head around the situation. After much hesitation we all tried and failed to toast the tiny pill, and threw it down the hatch.
Waiting in line I began to realize exactly how drunk I was, as I nervously anticipated what would happen once the Molly kicked in.
__________________________

We reached the front of the line around 11:30, approximately 25 minutes after I had consumed the drug, and I was yet to feel the effects. I noticed there was heightened security once again. Accompanying the three bouncers at the door were two uniformed police officers.
As the bouncer took my ID he looked me in they eyes and asked me quite directly, “have you taken anything tonight?” I was quite thrown off by the question, which I guess was fair not only considering the type of event it was, but also the fact that I had a glittery tattoo on my bicep, a glow stick hanging from my necklace, and finger lasers on both index fingers. It’s just not something I had ever been asked before, especially not by security personnel.
First I chuckled, completely shocked by the very question, and then said “no.” He gave me back my ID and informed us that we would have to wait another few minutes, as there was a backup of people getting searched at the door.
At this point my heart began to race and I began to get a little nervous. “If the drug kicks in in the next few minutes,” I thought to myself, “I’m totally fucked.” It was at that point that I became grateful for Klive’s earlier advice.
By the time security had finished checking all of my pockets, which were filled with a wide variety of bright coloured objects, something dark and strange had slowly begun brewing in the back of my head.
Club Dragon Fly in Niagara Falls is only unique in that it is the only venue in the area that resembles a typical club in Toronto. The only things that differentiated it from my usual nights out with the same group of friends, besides the drugs of course, were the overwhelming amount of lasers and the ceiling above the dance floor, which was covered in dim coloured light bulbs.
When we had all finally made it through security we grabbed a beer and joined the crowd slowly building on the dance floor. All 14 of us were in a circle doing our own variations on the same dance — with our right fist pumping in the middle of the circle — when suddenly the drugs hit me at full force.
Unlike my previous experience it completely overwhelmed me. A wave of intoxication swarmed over me like a tsunami, lifting me off my feet and taking me to another place. My heart began to race as I started to perspire. I grabbed Tracy and told him we needed to break off from the group and head into the middle of the crowd where we could do more dancing. The ever passive Tracy shrugged and followed me, with a handful others following behind.
When we made it close enough to the stage I started dancing with the passionate unapologetic grace of an insane asylum inmate. I knew I felt strange, I knew I was loosing control, but above all, I knew that all I wanted to do was dance.
After a few moments one of my closest friends, Sheri, approached me and asked me how I was felling.
“I feel great!” I responded.
“Are you sure?” she yelled back in a squeaky voice, which sounded like it was in fast-forward.
“Don’t worry about me, I’m golden,” I yelled back.
But I wasn’t. A few moments later I lost my footing, crisscrossed my legs and took two sharp steps to the side, nearly tripping on a stranger’s shoe. I managed to catch myself before I hit the ground, finally realizing the extent of the damage in which I had inflicted on myself.
I apologized to the stranger, afraid he might get confrontational, but he just looked back at me and smiled, as if he knew that his foot wasn’t the only thing I was tripping on in that moment.
Suddenly the room got claustrophobic. The walls were getting closer and the temperature was rising, and I knew I had to get out of there. “But what about the security at the front door?” said a voice in my head, “surely if that stranger knew I was high, the police outside will too.”
“I’m going to have to take that risk,” said another. “The people in this tightening room are doomed, yet they’re dancing anyway. It’s like some kind of twisted suicide cult.”
“Fuck that, I’m out of here,” I said out loud.
I once again found Tracy and asked him to join me for a cigarette outside. As we walked away I heard a high-pitched squeaky voice yell in fast-forward, “someone needs to babysit that guy.”
As I walked through the crowd towards the front door I had an out of body experience, as if I was controlling a man who looked exactly like myself. I followed behind as he pushed his way through the crowd. He bumped someone’s shoulder and nearly spilled their drink, so I apologized for him, and told him to get his shit together before we reach the row of bouncers and cops at the front door.
When we got outside I had a rare moment of clarity, as if all of those voices in my head had finally united. The warm July air was refreshing by comparison to the sweat stenched vapor of the club. Tracy asked me how I was feeling, and from what I recall I used the words “blissful,” “euphoric,” and “phenomenal” between a variety of profanities. He seemed a little jealous, having not yet drowned in a sea of extreme intoxication himself.
It was about midnight when we put out our cigarettes. Tracy went back to Klive’s hotel room to get another pill, while I headed back into the club.
__________________________

I remember walking into the club, nervously making my way past security, feeling relieved when I finally made it through. But from that point onward, my memory goes blank for what felt like half an hour, until I finally started to come down from the high. I had no idea what happened in that time, however pictures that I would discover later depict what look like a mentally unstable maniac; dark hollow black eyes, jaw tightly clenched, fists tightly clenched, arm extended in the air, with a depraved, aggressive expression across his face.
My memory picks back up again during a sudden moment of clarity. My teeth vibrated with a painful crack as I unclenched my jaw and wiped the sweat off my face. I needed some air again so I headed for the front door, where I was surprised to once again find Tracy. He informed me that he had already been to Klive’s room and back, hours ago.
“What do you mean?” I said. “It’s been twenty minutes since you went.”
He stared at me for a moment as if I was insane.
“Are you alright bud?” he asked.
“Yea man, I feel awesome, why?”
He just continued to stare at me, with the same concerned expression, before I finally asked him what time it was.
“It’s 3:30 a.m.” he responded.
My jaw clicked loudly as it dropped. No wonder it hurt so much, I had been grinding my teeth for over three hours. To this day I have no idea what took place on the eve of Canada day between the hours of midnight and 3:30 a.m. The even stranger thing is that none of the other 14 who were in the small club with me that night could provide an explanation either. Apparently everyone except Klive and the Blonde had all been together most of the night, and I was nowhere to be found.
When I got back into the club I found the group, who seemed relieved to find that I was all right. I noticed that many of them were drinking bottled water, which I quite rudely insisted on sharing. With my impaired judgment I somehow concluded that they had all found someone handing out free water, and I had missed out on the opportunity. But looking at those around me sipping from the cold clear bottles, I realized how extremely thirsty I was. I asked four or five friends for a sip, which ended up costing them half of their bottle.
As it turned out they were being sold at the bar, which legally can’t sell any alcohol after 2 a.m., for four dollars a bottle. I had no idea at the time, but I had drunk about $20 of other people’s water.
By the time I was finally coming down Tracy was reaching his peak, so once again we decided to head to the centre of the dance floor and let loose. He put on a pair of plastic sunglasses he found on the ground, which didn’t look half bad and conveniently hid his massive pupils. He had an unflinching grin plastered across his face as he waved his fingers in front of his eyes and bobbed his head with extreme enthusiasm. At one point a laser from the ceiling was shining directly above his head, so he started waving his hands through the coloured lights. When the rotating light began to move away from him he chased after it, back and forth across the bar, following a beam of light like a dog and a laser pointer.
__________________________

The lights finally flickered on at around 4:30 a.m., after the crowd’s chanting of “one more song” had failed on the third attempt. The group once again reassembled and headed to Klive’s, who was just returning from the Casino. Why he went to the Casino in the middle of a rave, while trying to get with the blonde, and under the influence of MDMA, cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol, is a complete mystery to me. As is the explanation of how he won $300.
We once again crowded the suite on the 29th floor of the Hilton, blaring music and consuming whatever drugs were available. I smoked a little bit of weed and cracked open a beer, when Harold started trying to convince me to try coke.
“Have you ever dove into a coffee table nose first?” he asked. It had almost become tradition for him to offer and for me to reject. He knows that drunk enough I will say yes to just about anything, anything except a swim around the coffee table.
Klive snorted the last of his coke and began looking for the remaining Molly. Having not realized that Tracy and a few others had taken a second pill, he was infuriated when he discovered the two empty green dime bags in the bedroom dresser. He immediately blamed Harold, which was only reasonable considering everyone else’s clean reputation by comparison to his.
Harold was always up to no good, but he reached new levels of insanity around the time that Charlie Sheen entered the public spotlight as a result of his questionable lifestyle. The man quickly became Harold’s hero, who started using his catch phrases in daily conversation. He would show off the fact that he was always “winning,” his euphemism for snorting coke, claiming he had tiger blood and that society was just a bunch of lame losers who couldn’t handle it.
This was one of the few times that Harold was actually innocent, but Klive freaked out at him anyway. Whether it was because he was determined to fuck the blonde under the influence of MDMA, or the fact that he ran out of coke and was determined to find another substance, we could hear Klive in the bedroom yelling at Harold all the way from the living room.
When he exited the room the ever so tough and constantly ‘winning’ Harold was, for the first time I had ever seen, in tears. In his defense, he had run out of drugs too, and was likely dealing with some unquenchable cravings in that moment.
Klive, on the other hand, just kept on smiling and continued on with his night. He took notice of Tracy’s sunglasses and was extremely jealous of the fact that he had just picked them up off the ground. He kept talking about how cool they looked, until he finally said, “I’ll give you 100 bucks for them.”
“Are you serious?” responded Tracy.
Klive then pulled out a black $100 poker chip from his back pocket, put it in Tracy’s hand, and took the sunglasses off his face.
“I guess he was serious,” I said.
__________________________

I was in the bed room smoking weed with Shari and Tracy, when suddenly a flash of light broke out over the horizon. It was 5:30 a.m., and the sun had just begun rising. That’s when Shari came up with the perfect way to cap off the extraordinary evening.
“Who wants to watch the sunrise over Niagara Falls?” she said, and suddenly a series of heads perked up, revealing a room full of droopy bloodshot eyes surrounding pupils as wide as pennies.
The nine of us who had made it this far in the evening made our way downstairs, leaving Klive and the Blonde together in the suite. We made our way across the street and through the Fallsview Hotel and Casino, to the back patio which overlooked the falls. There was a gap in the hedge which lay about 10 feet from the barrier of the patio, separated by a patch of grass, which revealed a spectacular view of the world’s largest waterfall.
At first we stood on the ledge of the barrier, peaking our heads around the trees to get the best view possible. It was only a few moments before I jumped over the barrier and made my way across the patch of grass, where I could stand at the edge of the steep hill, with the violent rapids splashing hundreds of feet below.
At first a few people expressed some concern, but when I told them how much better the view was they eventually came and joined me. Only Harold came close to falling over the ledge, but somehow Shari managed to grab him before he could start sliding down the dirt hill separating us from the violent waters below. Once I knew he was alright I couldn’t help but laugh, thinking that the night wouldn’t be complete without Harold having a near-death experience. After that he asked me if I wanted to have a cigarette with him, so I pulled the last one out of the box which I had purchased only hours earlier.
After we knew he was all right the nine of us stood there, arm in arm, as we watched the most spectacular sunrise I have ever seen.
In the east a bright orange glow illuminated the handful of small fluffy clouds dispersed in the majestic blue sky. To the west we watched as the first of the suns rays flashed over the gigantic cloud of mist rising from the waters. The waterfall was rapid and violent, yet somehow in that moment it felt calm and peaceful: ever moving, yet somehow still.

Niagara Falls at Sunrise


When I woke up that morning the world seemed like a scary place. But as I stood on that ledge, arms around some of my favorite people, listening to the birds chirping at the early morning sun, I couldn’t help but feel glad to be alive.
We lingered a while longer, took some pictures, and just talked. We concluded just after 6 a.m. by exchanging hugs and telling each other how much we loved one another.
This was not the group of bickering unsatisfied misfits that arrived earlier. This was a tight group of close friends who had shared a spectacular journey together, forging an ever-lasting bond over an experience they struggle to fully remember, yet will never forget.

Posted by Jay Maxwell - 24/10/11 - 0 comments

 

My eyes shot open and I began coughing violently. Each heave felt like it was coming from deeper and deeper inside my chest, until a final gag that sounded more like a cat coughing up a fur ball. I rolled to the edge of the bed, leaned over the garbage can, and spat out what felt like a golf ball worth of phlegm. Why do I always get sick right before homecoming?
As I raised my head out of the garbage I caught a glimpse of the clock. 8:30.
At first a feeling of shear disappointment swarmed over me. The five hours of sleep I had acquired would not be sufficient, and with my chest throbbing in pain I was unlikely to fall back asleep.
I spent the morning in nervous anticipation. Homecoming was a very unpredictable time, and the friends whom I had invited for the weekend were very unpredictable people.
Riz and I were dorm roommates a few years back. Since I was drunk when he called to see if he could stay with me over the weekend, he was quite confused when I invited him again a few days later. I was, however, a little disappointed to learn that he would only be in town from Friday night until Saturday morning.
Klive, on the other hand, is more of a wild card. He told me he would be in town by 3 pm on Friday, but having known Klive for almost a decade I wasn’t surprised when he arrived at 7. I didn’t even bother asking how long he would be staying, knowing that he would simply disappear whenever he felt like doing so. Klive always does whatever he wants, which you have to respect, in spite of how annoying it can be.
After getting Klive and Riz settled we pulled out a few drinks and began discussing our plans for the evening.
Klive wanted to go to one pre-drink and Riz and I another, but we all agreed that before we went anywhere we would all drop by my friend Rose’s. Rose was an attractive classmate of mine who lived in an apartment only a floor below mine. When I mentioned that she and her roommate were hosting a few of their cute friends this weekend Klive and Riz insisted on making an appearance.
____________________________

When I opened the door to Rose’s apartment it seemed like nobody was home, even though their music could be heard from down the hall. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a girl I didn’t recognize holding a hair iron scamper into the bedroom like a cockroach when the lights flick on. Apparently the girls weren’t ready yet.
Riz and Klive followed me around the apartment until we found Rose sitting cross-legged on the floor. She was in front of a mirror with various cosmetic products surrounding her. Noticing me standing in her doorway she jumped to her feet and made her away over to us, carefully tiptoeing around her makeup. After I introduced Klive and Riz she took me by the hand and walked us around the apartment.
There was something about the way in which she introduced us to her friends that made her seem like the madam of a brothel. One by one she commanded each to put down their makeup and walk over. Before they had a chance to introduce themselves she would say “this is so-and-so,” stick out her arms and present them like Vanna White, and quickly shoo them away. After we met all 7 she retreated back to her room, and told us to wait for her in the living room.
As we waited the girls finished getting ready and came to join us, one by one. The first one out was Kat, Rose’s roommate, and her blonde friend, whose name is currently slipping my mind. We had a few drinks and made small talk as we waited for the rest to join us. After a while Kat asked us if we were going to be participating in the premiere event of homecoming weekend. On Saturday evening there was a massive party taking place inside a giant tent headlined by Deadmau5.
“What’s dead mouse?” asked Riz.
“Only the sickest DJ ever!” responded Klive.
I never understood Klive’s fascination with DJs, or anyone’s for that matter. I still don’t understand how spinning records can be considered a performance. Somehow this computer nerd from Niagara Falls named Joel Zimmerman was world famous at manning the DJ booth dressed in a mouse costume. To me a concert needs to at least include a guitar, so naturally I was against spending $80 on a ticket. At least that was the price before tickets sold out. Any tickets that became available at that point were going for as much as $200. I told Klive there was no way I was spending that kind of money. Unfortunately for me, Klive is deaf to the word “no.”
“Me and the girls are going,” said Kat. “We’re so excited.”
“Really?” said Klive, raising his eyebrows a little. “I really wanted to go but I only found out about it a few days ago. I’m still looking for tickets.”
“That sucks,” said Kat.
After a few seconds of silence she turned to me and said, “I hear you have some connections in this town. Do you know where we can get Molly for the show?”
“What’s Molly?” asked Riz.
“MDMA,” said Klive. “You for sure have to do it if you’re going to see Deadmau5.”
“Sorry Kat,” I said. “In ten minutes I could get you enough weed to make Willie Nelson jealous, but I usually stay away from hard drugs.”
“That’s too bad,” she replied.
“I know where you can find,” said Klive.
Riz shot him a surprised look, but Klive never surprises me anymore. I knew he was no stranger to such substances, and even in a town far from home, I knew he was always well connected. He assured Kat he would be able to find some, as she took down his number.
“We have to go see deadmau5,” said Klive a little while later as we shared a cigarette on Rose’s patio.
“I’m not spending $200 on those tickets,” I said.
“What if I can find us tickets for under a hundred?”
I paused for a moment, took a long drag of my cigarette, and said, “I’m not paying more than $80.”
“Deal! But if you go with me, you have to do Molly.”
I took another drag of my cigarette, which launched me into another coughing fit. Once I had finally stopped coughing a paused to consider his proposition.
Knowing that he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer I decided to humor him.
“Sure Klive,” I said, half sarcastically. “If you can find me a ticket for eighty and some Molly, I’m in.”
Klive was completely shocked, though I suspect he didn’t believe that I would actually do it.
My whole life I’ve never touched hard drugs, nor had I ever intended to, at least up until that moment. I was at first very confused what was happening to me. As soon as I made that sarcastic remark to Klive a strange feeling of anxiety came over me. My heart raced and I started to sweat, seemingly out of nowhere. At first I had no idea what was happening to me, but at that very moment somewhere deep down I realized that this was the first time Klive had offered when I had very little reason to say no.
This weekend was an exception to the regular rules and regulations that dictate how I live my life, or at least that’s what I told myself. This weekend was going to be my last ever homecoming as a student. It was a weekend I had eagerly anticipated for a long time, and a weekend that I wanted to be as memorable as possible.
I didn’t think about it the rest of the evening, knowing that there was still a chance Klive would fail to even acquire the tickets or the drugs.
After Kat and Rose’s Riz and I left to meet up with a few of our old friends while Klive went his own way, as he often does. We would spot him a few hours later stumbling out of a bar, but only briefly. Drunk out of his wits he walked with us a few blocks towards my apartment before mysteriously disappearing into the darkness once again. I really do mean that quite literally. One moment the three of us are walking down the street, the next I realize that we are suddenly down to two. We wouldn’t see him again until the next morning, but I wasn’t worried. With most people I would be concerned, but as mentioned earlier I know Klive fairly well. If I called the cops every time he disappeared for a few hours, they would eventually stop taking my calls.
____________________________

I woke up the next morning to the sound of a marching band outside my window. It was 9 a.m. and I had gotten less than five hours of sleep.
A few coughs and a golf ball worth of phlegm later I was finally able to roll out of bed.
I had completely forgotten about the homecoming parade, which was currently making its way past my bedroom window, eliminating any possibility of falling back asleep.
On my way to the kitchen I passed by the living room where I found Riz passed out on the couch. I made myself a cup of coffee and watched the parade as I waited for him to wake up. He was amazingly able to sleep through the marching band, but was woken an hour later when Klive started banging on the door.
Still wearing the same clothes and baring the same drunk grin as last night, Klive walked through my door without saying a word, smelling like dog shit. He offered no explanation for where he disappeared to, and I didn’t bother asking. After going to the washroom he went into the kitchen and poured himself a glass of wine.
At first I just gave him a look, but after he ignored it I had to say something.
“You do realize that it’s 10:30 in the fucking morning, right?”
“It’s homecoming bro,” he calmly explained, still baring last night’s slur.
“Fair enough,” I said, and poured myself a glass.
He spent much of the next few hours on his phone, presumably touching base with various connections. Riz eventually packed up and headed back home, and Klive eventually disappeared to attend to his own matters, as he often does. Sick and tired I decided to take advantage of the Saturday afternoon calm before the storm. I was about to fall asleep when I was disturbed by a phone call from Klive.
“I got them.”
“What?” I asked, as my heart began beating faster and faster. “The tickets?”
“Two tickets to Deadmau5 for $80, and enough Molly to send a freshman to the morgue.”
“FUUUUUUCK!” I thought, as I told him how happy I was.
“Looks like we’re in for one hell of a night!” he shouted into the phone, obviously excited and likely intoxicated. “See you later motherfucker!”
Needless to say I wasn’t able to nap after that phone call. I tossed and turned for a while, but couldn’t stop debating in my head if I should actually go through with it or not. I would spend the day consulting with various friends, asking them for their opinion on the matter. At the end of each conversation, however, they all told me the same thing. It wasn’t their decision, it was mine, and they couldn’t tell me what to do.
With only a few hours until the show I still had no idea if I was going to try it, so I took out a pen and paper and made myself a list of pros and cons.
Pros:
-Could be fun
-This was the last year I was living away at school
-Klive would be thrilled
-It’s my last homecoming
-I had tickets to a rave, and not doing it would be like going to a soccer game without beer
-I’m not sure that it’s all that bad for you
Cons:
-It’s probably really bad for you
-It’s not my scene
-I will no longer be living proof that weed isn’t a gateway drug
-Fear of losing control
-Mau5 fans are sketchy
Though there were more items in the pros column the cons make compelling arguments. Either way the list had failed me, and at that moment, 6 hours before Deadmau5 was hitting the stage, I still hadn’t decided.
____________________________

That evening Klive and I went out for dinner with our friends Madeline and Lisa to a well-known sushi restaurant nearby.
The four of us were sitting around the table sipping our Green Tea, when I noticed a woman that looked a little out of place walk in and sit down at the table in front of us. She was wearing a big fur coat in the middle of September, which she took off when she got to the table, revealing a dress that was a little much for your local sushi bistro.
Though it wasn’t a very high-class restaurant, she was certainly the only patron showing half a boob worth of cleavage. She also had a few tattoos popping out of her dress as well, which covered much of her neck and upper arms.
I was quite distracted by the woman, which is why I hardly noticed who she was sitting with.
About twenty minutes later Lisa started jumping in her seat flailing her arms.
“Ohmygod-ohmygod-ohmygod!”
At first I thought she must have accidentally had a mouthful of wasabi.
“What is it?” asked Madeline.
“That’s deadmau5!” she said, in a strange combination of yell and whisper.
“What!?” said Madeline. “Are you sure?”
“How do you guys even know what he looks like?” I asked. “Doesn’t he usually perform with a mouse helmet over his head?”
“He takes it off,” said Klive. “But I’m not sure its him.”
I started looking for an image of an unmasked Mau5 on my iphone to compare to the skinny pale 30-something year old sitting a table over, but as it turns Lisa had her own way of verifying her suspicion.
“Joel Zimmerman?” she said, as loud as she could without drawing attention to herself. Apparently the man looked up as she said the name, but looked away quickly thereafter.
“That’s him!” she said. “I know for sure.”
“That’s not him,” said Klive. “The real Deadmau5 has a tattoo along his neck.”
“Well what the hell do you call that?”
At the same time we all turned to look at the table next to us, where we saw his well-known neck tattoo peaking out of his collar.
The girls started freaking out as Klive tried to keep his cool. For me, however, the Mau5 spotting had a different significance.
“That’s it?” I thought to myself, after a long day of being so intimidated by the Deadmau5 scene. “That’s what this is all about? That skinny bastard over there eating a California roll?” The whole rave scene, which had intimidated me for so long, suddenly felt less threatening. I know I was only observing him eat sushi, but the Mau5 seemed harmless enough.
The girls and Klive were too afraid to say anything to him on our way out. They each walked passed him without saying a word, but when I got next to him a slowed down and simply said, “stoked for the show.” With a mouth full of rice he leaned his head forwards in acknowledgment, and I continued on my way. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but all of a sudden, in that very moment, I decided I was going to do MDMA.
____________________________

After dinner Klive disappeared again. When he finally returned a couple of hours later he was holding two tickets, and several scrunched up pieces of tin foil.
“What’s that about?” I asked.
“Molly, of course.”
“Looks like tin foil.”
“Good observation! That’s because it is tinfoil. The Molly’s inside.”
At that point I was a bit confused. Having never seen the drug I had always assumed it came in pill form. That would be the first of many misconceptions about MDMA. In each flattened piece of tinfoil was .1 grams of what looked like sand.
“How do you take that?” I asked.
“Well sir, there are a few options,” said Klive, feeling like an expert. “You can pour it into a drink, you can snort it, you can lick it, or, my personal favorite, you can gum it.”
Before I had a chance to ask if he was being serious he dipped his finger into the mysterious powder, stuck it in his mouth, and rubbed it along his gums.
“C’mon man, give it a shot,” he said.
I paused for a moment, giving myself one last chance to back out, before opening a piece of tinfoil.
“Fuck it,” I said, and licked a little off my finger.
It tasted awful. I imagine it tasted like licking a beaker in a meth lab. I put the rest in my pocket for later, and instead concentrated on my Jack Daniels.
As promised Klive and I went down to deliver some Molly to Kat and her friends. At first I hadn’t intended on staying very long, seeing as Rose wasn’t even coming with us, but we eventually got lost in substance abuse and ended up staying a while. When we were at Kat’s I continued to drink as Klive continued to distribute the powder along his gums.
A few hours later we were again on Kat’s patio, only this time we were smoking hash. After a long toke Klive started getting noticeably intoxicated, and explained that he just needed to lie down. He had seemed sober enough up until this point, but the strange combination of intoxicants must have finally gotten the best of him.
With his head down and pupils widening he quickly walked toward the screen door. In his intoxicated state, however, he failed to notice that the door was shut, and walked directly into it. This caused the sliding screen door to fall off its track and break, but not before flinging Klive backwards several feet, like the ropes of a wrestling ring.
I picked him up and dragged him inside, where he slowly faded to sleep. I was a little disappointed at this point, seeing as it was not even 10 pm and Klive had already gone overboard.
While Klive was passed out Kat and I stated talking about doing Molly. As it turned out this was her first time as well, and she was also a little apprehensive. Her and I discussed it for a while before agreeing to ingest a bit together by dumping it into some water. She poured us both a glass of water and mixed in her scrap of tinfoil, as I did the same with what remained in mine. After sweating and shaking for a few seconds we said cheers and chugged it back.
About 45 minutes later Kat and I were sitting on the couch next to the one in which Klive had passed out on. We kept asking each other how the other felt, but at this point we were not yet feeling the effects of the drug. All of a sudden Klive violently shot up from the couch like a Mummy in a cheesy horror movie. I had never seen someone wake up with so much energy before. Within seconds he went from unconscious and silent to jumping up and down and yelling things like, “Lets get this fucking party started!” It was perfect timing too, because Deadmau5 was only an hour away from hitting the stage.
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When we approached the gates outside the giant tent I couldn’t help but notice the significant police presence. I felt like I looked suspicious, mainly because Klive had talked me out of bringing a jacket, in spite of it being near freezing.
“Trust me bro, you’re not going to need it, and you’re not going to want to deal with it,” he told me earlier. At that moment I wished I hadn’t listened to him, but in hindsight I think he was right.
The line to get in was long but moved quickly. At that point I felt a little drunk and a little hyper from the red bull I had consumer earlier, but overall felt the same as I did most Saturday nights by that time.
As I walked under the flap of the tent I was immediately immersed into a world I had only heard of. For the first few seconds I was frozen in a complete state of culture shock.
The gigantic tent, which covered the parking lot of a local nightclub, was filled with 4,000 people packed shoulder-to-shoulder, jumping and sweating in whatever limited personal space was available. The white tarp walls of the tent were illuminated with projectors and lasers. There was a bar at one far end of the tent, and a stage with DJ equipment at the far other, with giant projection screens behind each.
Klive, Kat, her friends and I began pushing and squeezing our way through the sea of bodies. We were about twenty feet in when the crowd suddenly started to roar and cheer, forcing us in our place. The Mau5 had taken the stage.
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As suspected I didn’t recognize the first song he put on, but I started dancing anyways. It felt really good to move around, even though I was at the mercy of the crowd, which was shoving me in all directions.
It was hard to tell exactly when the transition occurred, but at one point early in the show I had trouble distinguishing which substances I was being influenced by. I was hyper from the energy drink and a little drunk from the Jack Daniels, but otherwise my mind was clear and focused. It was mostly difficult to distinguish intoxicants because I had no idea that the early effects of MDMA were so similar to those of Jack and Red Bull. I had expected to suddenly become overwhelmed by the drug. I had assumed that it would completely take over everything I saw, touched, and heard. This was only another of my misconceptions.
The experience of being on the drug was completely unlike what I had expected. Perhaps I hadn’t consumed enough, but I felt that I was in complete control of my body. Like the feeling I get from my usual combination of Jack and Redbull I was a little hyper and a little intoxicated but overall extremely happy.
I noticed the effects of the drug more clearly as the night progressed, however. As it strengthened I began to fall in love with everything I saw. By this I mean that everything I looked at, felt, or heard, every stranger’s face, every cloth and material, every beat that came out of the speakers, I passionately and honestly loved it all. The more I saw, the more I heard, the more I felt, the more this feeling of universal love grew. Throughout the course of the evening I would tell Klive that I loved him approximately 30 times, not to mention a series of strangers. Each time I said it though I truly meant it from the bottom of my heart. The feeling was sublime.
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As the evening progressed I only fell deeper in love with the people around me as well as the music. Never a fan of house music in the past, I spent the next several hours dancing as passionately and energetically as ever. Every time I jumped in the air I felt, for the brief second before I came down, that I would just take off and fly right through the roof of the tent.
At one point while dancing my heart out in this tightly packed crowd I suddenly felt some water dripping onto my arms. At first I looked up to see if there was a leak in the tent, then across the tent to see if someone was spraying water into the crowd. After being unable to pinpoint the source of the mysterious liquid a put my hands on my face, which I only learned at that point was completely glossed over in sweat. I hadn’t felt warm, and it hadn’t occurred to me in the several hours that I was dancing that I might have been sweating. Little did I know that my clothes were drenched and that my face was dripping profusely. I guess Klive was right about the jackets.
After losing him in the crowd I texted Klive and told him to meet me at the bar. I felt much better after shuffling my way out of the dense mosh of people, and cooling down with a cold beer.
“How are you feeling?” he asked, with an unflinching grin smeared across his face.
“I feel fucking incredible!” I shouted. “Why didn’t you make me do this shit earlier!?”
He laughed for a minute before I told him a loved him once again, and chugged some more of my beer.
After we finished our drinks we decided to meet up with Kat and her friends to see how they were doing. Much like myself they were extremely enthusiastic, hyper, sweaty, and fascinated by everything around them. For example, after discovering how soft one of Kat’s friend’s shirts was, the group of us crowded around her and spent several minutes just rubbing it. She didn’t seem to mind.
At one point while dancing like true ravers Kat suddenly stopped and turned to me, rubbing her fingers along her lips.
“My lips feel incredible right now!” she said. “Feel!”
I touched her lips with my fingers.
“Now touch them with your lips.”
Without hesitation I grabbed her by the waist and pulled her towards me. It was like no other make out I had experienced in my entire life. Everything about it was so alive, so passionate, and felt so good.
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We continued to make out for a while until the music suddenly stopped, and the lights inside the tent flickered on. I was so absorbed by my immediate surroundings that I hadn’t even noticed when Deadmau5 left the stage.
“C’mon man, lets get going,” said Klive.
As we made our way out of the tent we ran into various friends and acquaintances now exposed in the light. At one point a good friend of ours, who was also experimenting with the drug, ran over and gave me a big hug. It was well intentioned of course, but as he put his arm around my neck the bastard had knocked the glasses right off my face. I threw him away from me, got on all fours, and started crawling around on the pavement in a desperate search.
“What are you looking for?” asked Klive and various other bystanders.
“My glasses, I can’t find them, everyone watch your feet.”
In an instant at least ten people dropped to the floor and started feeling around with their hands. All the while people were passing us by in the thousands on their way out of the tent.
After a few moments I was almost positive that someone had stepped on them by now, when suddenly an Asian girl I didn’t recognize shot up from the ground with my glasses in her hand.
I got so excited that I ran over to the stranger, wrapped my arms around her, picked her up off the ground, and kissed her on the cheek.
“I love you!” I exclaimed, as I put her down and put the glasses back on my face. I really did mean it.
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Klive, Kat, her friends and I made our way from the tent downtown back to our apartment, singing, dancing, and fist pumping along the way. Still overwhelmed with energy and an urge to dance we all decided to head back to my apartment and have a bit of an after party.
When we arrived Klive started breaking up weed, until he was looking at a good size anthill’s worth in a neat pile on the table. It would take several hours, but slowly the mound began to disintegrate.
At first the music of choice was obviously Deadmau5, but as the night progressed and as the effects of the drug wore down we moved on to more mellow tunes. In a few short hours most of my guests went from dancing to fist pumping on top of the furniture to lying on the couch listening to Pink Floyd.
As each of my guests came down from their high they would move from dancing, to sitting, to lying down, to eventually retreating for the evening. By 5 a.m. only Klive and I remained. While Klive was entering the final stage I was still in a mellow-but-still-high phase. I couldn’t believe how energetic I was considering I had been partying for eleven straight hours.
Klive was kind enough to fight his urge to sleep for a while, telling me he would stay up with me as late as he could. By 5:30 I was in the middle of telling him a story when I noticed I had lost him. Without saying a word I retreated into my bedroom, and attempted to fall asleep.
I would lay in bed for another two hours or so, with the sound of Deadmau5 reverberating in my head. I knew I was only a few hours away from another ball of phlegm and a terrible hangover, but at that moment I was perfectly content with everything in my life. With that feeling of universal love still lingering in my soul I just lay there, reflecting on my newfound love for Molly, and the Mau5.

Posted by Jay Maxwell - 24/10/11 - 0 comments