Everything Is Awesome (When You Do MDMA the Right Way)

Getting high on M at a Safety Meeting is all warm buttery insides, constructive self-reflection, and surprisingly enjoyable acoustic Lana Del Rey covers.

|
May 13 2015, 7:10pm

Are there more more drugs out yonder? Photo courtesy the author

When I clambered down the airplane steps onto the tarmac of Victoria, BC's tiny airport several weeks ago, average human thoughts were swimming around in my brain, mainly: We made it out alive. The air is clean as hell. Who has weed? The West Coast is, in fact, the best coast. And so on.

Here's something I was not thinking: I have arrived, folks; I am ready for my spiritual awakening that will occur when I ingest two doses of MDMA with a gaggle of strangers.

But alas, there I was on vacation in Victoria, thoroughly unprepared for my aforementioned enlightenment.

It was on the last day of the eight-day trip spent with an old friend, Rosebud*, and a new friend, Tiger Blossom*, that we were invited to a gathering of sorts. It was called, Tiger Blossom told us, a Safety Meeting—a ritual wherein she and her friends do drugs in a comfortable environment. Rosebud and I said "YEAH!" and we all jumped in the air for a freeze frame.

When we entered the designated Safety Meeting Apartment that evening, there were people sitting around in a circle drinking hemp beer and pulling tarot cards and listening to ambient music.

We all introduced ourselves summer camp-style with an adjective that starts with our first initial, passed around burning sage and chilled out.

On the menu that night was MDMA. Pure. Local. Organic (nah). Cups of water and evenly portioned TP M-bombs were distributed. I gulped mine down.

A singalong ensued and things started to feel real cool. It was an acoustic rendition of a bad Lana Del Rey song that we all somehow knew the words to and it felt like soft butter melting all over my insides. I couldn't stop smiling.

Bodies soon migrated to the bed in the corner of the living space and formed a gigantic soft pretzel of intertwined limbs, everyone touching each other absentmindedly. I felt a tinge of overwhelming discomfort for a moment and realized I wasn't in immediate contact with anyone. I grabbed Rosebud's shoulder and squeezed it. Relief. I received a killer hand massage from a stranger who wasn't strange anymore. I hugged her afterwards. So many feels.

It became apparent that this trip was at the opposite end of the spectrum from "Getting Fucked Up and Vomiting Your Midnight Munchies and then Slipping into Unconsciousness." (Sorry, VICE) It lacked sloppiness—we were calm and articulate and genuinely cared about each other's well-being. Someone lent me two sweaters and a coat so I wouldn't feel M-shivers when we took a walk to a different apartment. We lay in grass looking up at the stars, we said Oms together in an edible fruit garden and sang songs, we stayed hydrated and looked out for each other. Everyone was respectful and reflective. There's no better title for the experience than Safety Meeting.

Stuff happened in my brain that night, deeper than the chemical fuckery of the drugs. My attempts to put them into words may lack absolute clarity due to the limits of the English language, but here it goes.

This is not what connecting with humans looks like. Photo courtesy the author

Safety Meeting Revelation 1: Connecting with other humans is fucking important.

Throughout the handholding, the massages, the hugs, and the look of wonder on my new friends' faces when I spoke, I was in awe. I've never experienced anything like it. Boundaries broke down that night—people weren't uncomfortable about touching or being touched. It was essentially a platonic orgy. We were intently focused on helping each other relax through massages and therapeutic scents and healing crystals and talking honestly about life. Everyone interacted excitedly with (very) wide eyes, hanging on tight to the words spilling out of mouths. I told Rosebud, whom I travelled to BC with, that I love her and I'm so happy we did this trip, and it was one of the most genuine things I've ever felt. She reciprocated as we walked through a darkened daisy field holding hands. (What?! This shit only happens in movies.) My new friend Tiger Blossom started calling me Daisy when she saw me picking a few. "You're a daisy." I beamed.

I realized this is what had been missing in my life. I had been gliding through my days with blinders affixed to my skull, only really connecting with a handful of people. And here I am, on earth, surrounded by these fleshy opportunities to feel human presence, to deeply give a fuck about what a stranger wants to do with their life. That night I connected more deeply with people I just met than I ever have with some of my actual friends. And that woke me the fuck up. I need to start doing things differently.

If you're driving and doing drugs, you're still doing drugs wrong. Photo courtesy the author.

Safety Meeting Revelation 2: People are doing drugs wrong.

I can't think of any other environment or method of tripping that makes more sense. I recall walking through the quietly progressive Victoria neighbourhood of Fernwood mid-trip, lifting my fists like antennas to heaven and shouting, "Why isn't everyone doing drugs like this?" Echo, echo, echo.

To be clear, I don't want to police anyone; people have the right to do whatever the hell they want with drugs and I respect that. But a small part of me thinks that the folks who take shots till they pass out every Saturday night or bump coke off a grimy PortaPotty toilet at Coachella have not tried anything remotely close to a Safety Meeting.

When people do drugs, especially uppers or hallucinogens, they're obsessed with what they're doing—the activity. They need to be at a bar or a show or a club or a festival. They need to be preoccupied or they get bored. These people forget about who they're doing it with. There are entire universes inside each of the people you trip with and exploring those universes is the most valuable use of "time."

The West Coast is the best coast. Photo courtesy the author.

Safety Meeting Revelation 3: I am an individual.

Because of the aforementioned revelations—that human connection is possible and that I finally did drugs in a way that benefits me—I felt an enormous sense of contentment inside myself.

The entire night I didn't look at my phone once and for 10 hours I had absolutely no concept of time. It was probably the longest I've gone without checking social media while awake. I felt in control of myself and unfazed by the iron grip of technology. It wasn't until someone announced sleepily that it was 4 AM, informed by the glowing rectangle of alien light in their hand, that I remembered time was a thing.

I was comfortable being with myself, not tied to things or ideas such as time, existing as a solitary entity with personal free will. Things made sense; they aligned in my head. I came to terms with my location in the enormous jumbled spider web of space and people that exists on this planet.

I texted my significant other in the early morning as I was coming down off the high to tell him what happened to me. I had been thinking about him repeatedly throughout the night, but with intense happiness that he exists rather than glumly wishing he was with me.

That was the big bang of the night—I didn't want anything at all because I am everything, I am comfortable inside myself. Things happened, they lined up, and I just fucking went with it. If I can exist in a bizarre situation (doing drugs spiritually in BC with mostly strangers) as a single entity without any worries or desires, I am legitimately content with myself.

***

The feeling didn't drain from me when I came down. Yeah, at a certain point in the night it got weird to touch each other so much and the next morning we all urgently needed coffee-infused blood transfusions, but my perspective was new.

I didn't feel emotionally devoid like the high school drug abuse pamphlets said I would. I wasn't depressed or anxious. I was the opposite. I figured out so many things during that trip that the next day the sky was a shade of blue I had never seen before and the grass felt softer under my legs and I looked at my friends differently.

Never in my two decades of life did I expect that popping a goddamn molly would lead to a spiritual awakening, but here I am. Wide awake.

(*Nicknames of individuals established in lieu of trip)

Follow Emma Cosgrove on Twitter.

More VICE
Vice Channels