Brandon Scott Gorrell
From People on Psychedelics
Brandon Scott Gorrell is a poet, novelist, and blogger.
- "I first used LSD in my freshman year of high school at a homecoming football game. A friend had taken it too, knew more about it than me, and when asked, told me to just stare at certain things. The friend pointed at a rail that had some paint chipped off it and said "Just look at that... it's trippy." I looked at the rail with some paint chipped off. Nothing happened. I was in front of the school after the game was over and must have been high because two friends were in front of me crying. I asked them why they were crying and they said because I had taken acid. "Are you going to tell my parents?" I asked. "I don't know," they said. I was afraid. On the way home someone in the car started screaming. We found an albino praying mantis in the car, stopped and let it out. In a friend's room, later, I was lying on the bed and seeing in the corners nets of colors beating. A Nirvana poster was surrounded by color and moving slightly. After this incident there are no memories of taking LSD until senior year of high school. No one paid enough attention to notice I wasn't getting dressed in the morning, just taking acid and going to school in my pajamas. I would walk in the hallways staring forward with a neutral facial expression. I was terribly depressed. My mom eventually found out."
- "I first ate mushrooms sometime during freshman year of high school. There is no specific memory of the incident. I used mushrooms semi-regularly for about six years afterward and stopped abruptly as the result of one experience. I had taken a very small dose and initially played Counterstrike. My performance was incredible. I was killing everyone. I stopped and listened to Boards of Canada while watching Windows Media Player visualizations. Later I was afraid because I was hearing explosions and people screaming outside my window. I was thinking about the poverty of Africans. I vomited in the bathroom, turned on the shower, and vomited again. I couldn't stop hearing sentences repeating in my head. I tried to get in the shower and fainted. I woke up and crawled to the toilet and vomited. I was hearing demon-like noises coming from somewhere. I accepted my own death. I was having long tangential thought sequence things that would go from innocuous to terribly visceral in a number of convolutions on the original thought. I stood up and successfully got in the shower and fainted again. I woke up and got out of the shower. Later I was in my bed and sleeping. I didn't eat mushrooms for a long time, after that, until I went to Sasquatch three years ago, where we found mushrooms and ate them. I had a good time."
- "I've taken foxy [5-MeO-DiPT] twice, both experiences when I was around 18. Memories of the first experience are mostly lost, except for the recollection of lying in bed, under covers, the lights turned off, terribly uncomfortable, seeing opaque, neon-colored cylinders that stretched from the floor to ceiling, their middles swaying like underwater. It had been very quiet. The second experience occurred with a friend overnight at a five-star hotel in the Wasatch mountain range of northern Utah, at a ski resort. I was looking at the drapes. The folds of the drapes were being weird. I couldn't really concentrate them. We walked around the hotel listening to our headphones. From the atrium you could look up and see every floor of the hotel, all carpet and concrete, hanging plants and fountains. There was a giant tapestry on one wall. I was listening to Boards of Canada. In a snowstorm outside I was with my shirt off and my winter jacket open. I was walking up the bunny hill. My body felt incredible. I yelled something about beating nature. My friend was mad at me."
- "I began taking [MDMA] regularly around the age of 17, in the form of ecstasy, at raves and sometimes by myself or with friends in non-rave settings. I started to experience terribly disturbing hallucinations while high - closing my eyes I remember seeing humans decaying into skeletons in time-lapse and a nun's face, for some reason - her eyeballs rolling while her skin melted away to the muscles, the muscles rotted enough to expose the skeleton - in a loop that I could not stop consciously processing. Concurrently I was unable to ignore a line of logic regarding the nature of the drug's affect on me - how I felt positive only as a result of an object that was not myself. This all lead to the experience of being high meaning near-anxiety attacks characterized by thoughts like "Everything is not okay" and "Everything will never be okay" and tonal sensations that the nature of life was one of despair, helplessness, regret, shame, etc. I stopped taking MDMA for about three years. I resumed taking MDMA when I lived in Holland, cautiously at first, later becoming somewhat heavily involved with the drug again - my friends and I had started to get it in pure form, molly, in bags. We often used it at a squat that frequently held small, intimate parties, keeping small bags in our pockets, taking a little whenever we wanted, all night."
- "There are no specific memories of the first time I used ketamine, which was around age 17 or 18. The strongest recollection of ketamine use regarded an instance when I was concurrently smoking marijuana and inhaling nitrous oxide. I was in an easy chair and the popular high school band Sublime was playing on the CD player. I was with a friend. We were snorting lines of ketamine and then smoking marijuana from a pipe and blowing the marijuana smoke into a nitrous-filled balloon and inhaling and exhaling the nitrous-filled balloon until there was no more nitrous oxide in the balloon to achieve acute sensations of pleasure, [adjective describing state in which one is unable to comprehend anything], disorientation, etc. The first time I attempted this process my vision behaved as a compact disc sound when it skips - a single frame of vision replacing itself repeatedly for over 60 seconds, I think. Everything was vibrating. Obviously I couldn't move. My friend was later vomiting in the bathroom a lot and I remember being particularly fascinated by the sound of it; it was like he was screaming at the same time as vomiting, which I found funny, and he was making, to a certain degree, demon-like noises. My time 'with' ketamine lasted three months at the most, but despite my attempts I never achieved a 'k-hole.' At a party, once, I saw a girl sitting in bushes and asked her what she was doing and she said "I'm in a 'k-hole.'" While I have since stopped doing ketamine because of availability and lack of interest, I would do ketamine again because I would like to be in a 'k-hole.'"