Meet Lucy, where chaos becomes clarity


Illustration by Brittany England/The Pioneer

Wendy Medina,
Copy Editor

It begins in a dorm at University Village; walls covered with posters and artwork, string lights hanging above us like stars and a tiny acid tab slowly dissolving under our tongues, leaving a metallic taste. Thirty to 90 minutes is usually how long it takes for LSD to kick in. My friend and I find ourselves asking each other the perpetual stoner question, “Do you feel it yet?” every 15 minutes.

I anticipated the typical eight hour-long trip. This was my third time and my friend’s first; I tried to set the mood as best I could with some Van Morrison, after all, LSD is very much environment-based.

Slowly, patterns of the kaleidoscope effect begin to ebb and flow in our vision, colors explode with vibrancy and rainbow waves seem to radiate off of everything. It didn’t seem real enough just yet, but something began to fester.

One thing I didn’t exactly know until I almost puked my guts out the first time was that it is not advised to eat before tripping because like other psychedelics, it causes nausea; thankfully, this time, we only started sweating it out.

Suddenly, our eyes were stuck on a vinyl cover that had an image of the Milky Way and it literally projected itself to us. Right then we knew, it was as if our minds were connected and we both felt the wonderful tingling sensation of waves washing through our bodies; the trip had announced its arrival.

CSUEB psychology professor, Dr. Judith Chapman explained to me, “What most influences the experience is the environment. If you’re in an environment where you feel safe and secure then it could be a more benign experience. On the other hand, if you were in a place where you don’t have the support, or feeling a bit paranoid or angry, then you create a risk for bad things happening.”

If a bad trip starts to occur, the answer simply lies within moving locations or clearing one’s mind from negative thoughts, which is easier said than done. Unfortunately for me, that Milky Way turned into a black hole that distorted everything on the wall with demon-esque darkness and began to suck up the world around me, so I knew I had to get the hell out of University Village.

Really, with any drug, it’s always up to the person to use one’s best judgement, or have a friend facilitate. In my case, I somehow managed to call up another friend, who besides becoming our facilitator, became our DJ for the night. This was a major bonus because it is impossible to even unlock your phone, much less get far enough to decide what song to play.

In seemingly flashes of transporting from one spot to the other, we reached our peak in 2-3 hours, as is standard, and we made our way to the stadium on campus.

The view of the Bay was spectacular. It was an oil painting of the East Bay’s lights that morphed into something of an acid-fueled starry night. The night sky was set ablaze by an ever-changing spectrum of colors and time elapsing. The trees on the opposite side of the stadium glowed and danced so gracefully with each note of Moonlight Sonata that had become part of the playlist. The city breathed alongside us.

Anywhere with that view — the roofs of the science buildings, the stadium, the hills behind the Dining Commons, the trail that leads to the creek behind the dorms, the roof of the library — are optimal spots when tripping at night on campus.

“Bright neon tinted and multi-layered geometric patterns and trails blew my mind, along with the feeling of pure bliss, contentment and happiness,” said junior Marissa Mendoza, fellow acid-tripper. “Knowing life would be okay. I watched mother nature breathe and my friends laugh and cry and smile with the biggest smiles to warm my soul.”

Because all the buildings on campus are left open at all hours, the trail of us headed into the Music Building where we began to draw what we were seeing on the blackboards. Time became something intangible, so we were unaware how long we admired our artwork before we started to come down. To put it simply, it was intense, orgasmic, exceedingly personal, therapeutic — one is left with a feeling of tranquility and universal truth.

The “acid culture” within our school is a quiet, but strong one. I’m always surprised by the amount of people I’ve met who have dropped while becoming submersed into this community. Whispers of finding the next strongest connect can be heard throughout the halls of the Music and Science Buildings and I’m sure everywhere else.

Experienced tripper senior Aaron Roiz couldn’t have put it better: “On LSD, chaos becomes clarity; the thin dreamy veil allows us an unclouded revelatory look at our very being.”