The Dosed Cookie
By R. A. Fadley (JamBandPurist)
“Dude you didn’t eat that cookie did you?” my friend Kirby laughed maniacally as he asked me.
“Yea, the one wrapped in foil, I was hungry.” I said, confused at why he was still laughing.
“You just got dosed bro!” He laughed and shook his head at me as he walked towards the rest of my friends. Realizing what had just happened, I stood up from the grass where my friends and I had made base camp inside the venue area at the inaugural Lockn’ music festival. I had to eat something and get some water before the LSD in the cookie started to hit me. I had anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour before things would become extremely different.
When I was younger, sixteen or seventeen, my friends and I would delight ourselves in the creative ways in which we could dose each other, waiting for just the right time to drop acid into their drinks before that big family dinner or offering them a special cupcake before the big game, neglecting to tell them it had been dosed with enough LSD to put down a donkey.
My old roommate, a mad hatter of sorts, a prankster, got so spun out, he dosed the entire contents of the refrigerator with an assortment of mind altering substances. Molly sprinkled go-girt tubes, acid drenched grapes, and the dreaded mushroom lasagna. This game of psychedelic Russian roulette wasn’t played for long but long enough for me to be fairly comfortable with the process of tripping on the fly.
First night of Lockn’ and The String Cheese Incident played late night. I had wanted to see them for several years but hadn’t had the chance until then. All of my friends decided to partake in whatever psychedelic drug suited them. I had opted out of this adventure in lieu of a full school schedule and deciding to keep whatever brain cells I had left. This idea was derailed immediately when I munched down on the stale, heavily dosed cookie.
Preparing for the oncoming trip I grabbed the closest food vendor I could find, Spicy Pie. I ordered two slices and then realized my friend Sully was buying another piece of pizza. Sully, a skinny guy with a blond ponytail and a Cheshire smile, had spent 120$ on pizza from this vendor throughout the weekend. The pizza was not very good: a rubbery mix of cheese and burnt dough. I scarfed it down anyway, without hesitation, uncaring of the indigestion I was sure to have later that night. I returned with a heavy stomach as my friends pointed and laughed at me, all in on the joke now, aware of my accidental dosing incident.
I didn’t feel anything at that point but my cheeks began to flush and my palms became increasingly sweaty. I was nervous; it had been over two years since I had done any psychedelic substances: Widespread Panic New Year’s Eve, where I had felt a frenzied confusion. There had been an accident: A heavy set man had been carried out of the amphitheater in Charlotte NC. He was carried out on a large yellow gurney. Blood oozed out of a gaping wound that split open his head. He screamed in pain and seemed to faint as he passed me in the hallways of the stadium, carried by four male staff members. They were followed by another staff member who moped up the blood that cascaded onto the floor behind the bleeding man.
Some strange hippie woman asked me to tell her something nice after seeing such a terrible scene. I told her “it’s Widespread Mother Fucking Panic, expect just that widespread panic.” That had been two years ago and whether I was ready for another panicked experience or not it was going to happen.
String Cheese came on while my friends and I passed bowls and joints around filled with various strains of marijuana and I even topped the bowl of with some hash oil for an extra punch. The String Cheese Incident blew me away with the first few songs; so much that I forgot all about the dosed cookie and the heavy trip that was scheduled to come at any time. The SCI song “Colliding,” one of my favorites was playing when I really began to sense a difference in reality and my perception. With my pre-trip ears, I could finally make out the words mumbled together in the middle of the song “Super Sonics all about colliding people come together to vibe with somebody.”
By the End of their first set I was feeling a little weird but nothing serious. I thought that maybe I had just eaten a regular cookie or maybe a cookie with just a little LSD on it. At that very moment the haze of the Acid took hold and I had no idea what I was in for. Being experienced with this before, I knew that these were the onsets of an intense acid trip.
Govt Mule came on stage as I was coming up hard. I had seen them at least a dozen times previously and really loved them but was worried that their heavier sound would not be conducive to what I needed while I was tripping. It started out pretty well with me having no issues with their classic hits like “Bad Little Doggie” and “Effigy” but when special guest and leggy singer Grace Potter came on stage her wicked spell was cast upon me. I had to sit down.
Looking over at one of my friends Brian who looked like a sun burnt lobster with inflated cheeks and a huge grin. I was sure he was feeling like I was. Wishing there was some way to end this nervous feeling that sat deep in our stomachs. The music that was playing didn’t help, it was slow and depressing, it seemed foggy down here. The lights danced atop the people around me. When I looked forward and all around, all I could see was knees. The acid was coursing through my blood now, having finally reached its full potential. Suddenly all the voices and sounds were muffled, as if they were spinning in circles. These collective noises became one baffling voice that was incomprehensible and mind boggling.
I stood up to an explosion of new sounds. The lights shone down on my face as if it was a spot light that had just found its escaped inmate. I was blinded for a moment. The new waves of music that was muffled on the ground now expanded as it finally reached my brain after what felt like minutes of standing there. I stumbled and shook my head blinking my eyes rapidly trying to shake the burst of light in my dilated pupils.
Warren Haynes, the lead singer and guitarist for Govt Mule was plastered on a big screen beside the stage. He looked old and road weary. His sweat seemed to melt his skin from his face and the light took on a deep red as the band went into the profound and retrospective “Thorazine Shuffle”. I wished I had, had some thorazine to calm my nerves and the anxiety that was caused by the dosed cookie. I didn’t feel good or feel like having fun at all. I only felt like crawling into a dark damp cave and never coming out until I had transformed into some sort of earthworm like creature.
Govt Mule ended in a hazy memory of sweat and confusion. I sighed in relief that it was finally over. I felt conflicted because I truly enjoyed Govt Mule and their songs but I guess some bands you just shouldn’t see tripping on a head full of dosed cookie.
String Cheese came back on immediately, starting with an incredible “Rosie” that got me back into boogie mode and I started to feel better moving and giving my anxiousness something to do. My friends and I danced twirling and spinning forgetting that terrible feeling in my stomach and the crazy thoughts clouding my head. “Rosie” turned into another song and then another as I danced, feeling the vibrations of the music changing my cell structure, changing me. Transforming my blood into waves of energy; I loved this part of the trip, where you can forget everything become nothing and actually hear the music. Not the music being played on the stage but the music playing through you, through your soul. I felt as though I was a giant receiver transmitting the universe. The crowd of people around me moved like a slow motion coral reef, like jelly fish and octopi tentacles waving, never flowing in the same direction. This was beauty, not perfection, not geometric, not mathematical. This was the universe, utter chaos.
The heavy violin notes of “BollyMunster” sung out in the breeze of the September night’s air. I had told my friends that if they played this song I would lose my mind. I began to think about all the cliché things you are never supposed to think about. I thought about my life and death and everything in between. I rushed away from the stage out of pure animal instinct. I didn’t know what else to do, I had to get out and get away. Instead of facing up to my problems, I ran away.
“Bollymunster” was still playing as I rambled through the thousands of people at the main stage. The people seemed like bushes in a hedge maze and when I couldn’t find a way out I was forced to go back the way I came. It was a gauntlet of unknown faces and eyes. I couldn’t find my way out. Finally seeing an opening I darted past a group of hula-hoopers. I made my way back to the campsite, finally figuring out how to make it out of the main concert venue. It was about a two mile walk to my campsite and I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going. I only knew that there was a giant oak tree right in front of me and if I followed the path to the tree, I would figure out how to make it back to base camp. I was lost in a field of RVs, stuck between a fence and pasture, and the oak tree was about five hundred feet in front of me. I hoped the fence and kept on going towards the oak tree. The acid was still hitting me extremely hard and I had to sit down at several points to catch my breath, losing myself in the spotlights that shone down on the festival ground. It was so quiet in the middle of this field, I was utterly alone.
I finally reached the oak tree, its giant branches extending out fifty feet and it stretched up into the sky seeming to never end. There were a few people laying around the tree or talking in groups around it. I made my way to the base of the giant oak tree and put my hand on its trunk. I felt it breathing, heard its whispers in the breeze. I closed my eyes and was transported to the beginning of this tree, when it was just a sapling. How it yearned to grow like the other trees around it. The oak tree, just a twig would grow into the biggest tree on the property, surpassing all the trees around. It stood now at least two-hundred years old, as strong and powerful as it ever was. The bark from the tree felt alive in my hands and I pictured all the history that this tree had seen. This tree had likely been around before the United States was formed it had seen the revolutionary war, the civil war, WWII and everything in between. This tree had no choice but to face its problems it could not run away.
That festival weekend marked a turning point in my life, a change from within myself. The oak tree had changed my outlook; I realized now more than ever, that facing your problems head on is the only way to live life. There is no point in running away from the things you can’t change, your past. Sometimes you got to keep going and never look back, no matter which cookie you eat, the heavily dosed one or just the plain one.
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.