They had been putting up the decorations all day. It was almost 11:00pm and they where just now setting up the giant speakers, only brought out for special events. We had been talking about this party since the last one. That’s always how it went. Three times a year we got to forget being honors students, we got to forget our finals, we got to forget our professors. These parties were beacons, markers of our progress, rewards. We have a small school of about 800 students. Normally, somewhere around 1000 people attend these parties. For the people who come as visitors and guests it can be overwhelming. We spend most of our time existing in an environment of academic rigor. We tend to party equally intensely.

My friends and I have already gotten dressed up. Costumes are half the fun of these parties, and they always have a theme you can dress up for. Carebears, Future Crunk, The Garden of Eden, Alice in Wonderland. We have been watching the decorations being put up from Anne’s balcony overlooking the court with much anticipation.

”Okay, should we take it now? Guys, guys, we’re gonna take it now, come inside.”

Pure MDMA is white. Ours has been processed with sassafras, and so the tiny crystals have taken on a yellow tint. 100mg each has been put in tiny clear capsules. MDMA is more commonly known as molly, or in its more typical pressed pill form as ecstasy. Ecstasy pills more often than not contain other drugs. Around here it is normally caffeine, but it can be a whole range of amphetamines and other significantly more dangerous or unpleasant drugs. At parties, where ecstasy is in high demand, sometimes things like sugar pills or Tylenol are sold as ecstasy. I only take molly, the pure crystal form of MDMA.

Chris and Mark have already popped theirs in their mouth and swallowed. Anne decides to snort hers. She pops the capsule open on the bathroom counter and looks around for her ID card. I open my capsule up onto the bathroom counter as well. I don’t like to snort MDMA. The crystals are too big. It is just uncomfortable. I lick my finger, and put it down on the MDMA, lifting it off the counter. I then put my finger back in my mouth, trying to avoid my taste buds. This, of course, is pointless. The MDMA dissolves and as soon as I swallow I taste the bitterness. It tastes a bit like battery acid mixed with root beer. The root beer is the sassafras talking. I quickly grab a tab of vitamin c and start chewing in an attempt to get the taste out of my mouth.

Now we wait. The music will start in about an hour. The molly should come up about then as well. This is always the longest hour. We hang out, smoke a few cigarettes, talk. Friends who are getting ready for the party as well flow in and out. We excitedly discuss the party theme, music and the substances we have each chosen to imbibe. There is all manner of drug use going on tonight. People are tripping on every drug imaginable: LSD, salvia, psilocybin, research chemicals, MDA, LSA, DMT, AMT, people are rolling, drinking, candyflipping, hippyflipping. The few who remain sober are excited, and most are willing to take care of wayward drug users over the course of the night. The chill-out room is prepared for those who need to take a break. In case of an emergency, the campus cops will also be milling about for the duration of the party. They most often turn a blind eye on our recreational drug use, interfering only when a student or guests health or saftey is in question. There is an unspoken agreement between the students and the police. The students will not flaunt their drug use in front of the cops, and the cops will only interviene in cases where there is violence or emergency medical assistance is needed. Occassionaly, drunk townies will start a fight and will get arrested, or someone will take their drug coctail to far and the ambulance will come. Overall, the police are silent, sleepy watchers glad for the overtime pay.

Anne calls to me from the bathroom, "Sway!" I know right away that she has just started rolling. She snorted hers, so it makes sense that it would hit her first. "ARE YOU THERE YET!?!?" she yells excitedly.

"Not yet, but soon!" I reply. I am sitting on the bed. I have the tight, anxious feeling in my chest that happens right before one starts rolling. It will happen soon. Chris and Mark are standing on the otherside of the room talking. Chris, who has recently finished his EMT training, is explaining to Mark how to give a tracheotomy. Mark looks faintly horrified.

Suddenly, it hits me. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the best drink in existence is called the pangalactic gargleblaster and is described as being hit in the face with a gold brick with a twist of lemon. The closest I have ever come to that feeling is when I am coming up on MDMA. It happens in a rush. One second you are feeling kind of funny, as soon as you realize what is happening you are peaking. MDMA is different from most other psycoactives in that it peaks almost immediately. Within the first five minutes of it taking effect you are at the peak. It's effects slowly wear off over the next 5 hours. For me it is always like the first drop on a roller coaster. It happens fast, my stomach is suddenly in my throat, I can't breathe for a second. It is exciting and wonderful.

I am laying back on the bed, eyes closed, taking deep breaths and smiling like the cheshire cat. Chris leans over me and asks if I am alright. I quickly open my eyes and sit up.

"I am fabulous." I tell him, and run into the bathroom shouting "Anne! Anne!"

"Sway, are you up! Lemme see your eyes! You're up!"

We spend the next five minutes squealing and bouncing up and down like little girls. Chris and Mark are not rolling yet. They swallowed their pills, so it will take a little longer for theirs to disolve fully. But the molly is compelling Anne and I to move, and we decide to go outside. The music has just started. The party has begun.

We flit and flutter between different parts of the party. Chris is drawn to the techno room, glowsticks in hand. Mark sits down in the main court and watches it fill up with people. Anne and I go and watch the fire spinners. We sit on the steps with friends who are rolling and tripping discussing orange juice and our favorite cloud shapes. We get separated at times, wandering to different parts of the party. We inevitably meet again randomly, quickly exchanging tales of our adventures since our last meeting before giving eachother hugs and kisses and parting again.

I wander into the techno room. It is hot, the combined heat of dozens of bodies pressed together, dancing like it is their last night on earth. I see Chris across the room surrounded by the neon trails left behind by his glowsticks. Right now they are tied to strings and he is whirling them around him like poi. But the space is tight and he will probaby soon put them back in his hands. I give a nod to the DJ as I place myself in front of one of the largest speakers. The ecstacy has intensified my senses, everything feels more. The bass line reverberating in my body is divine. I start to dance.

My dance most closely resembles liquid raving. Like many "ravers" I never learned how to make the motions. The music compells me, I follow along. My feet stomp out the bass line, my hands twirl and circle each other following what melody there is in a trance track. I close my eyes and time passes without me noticing.

Chris breaks my reverie by tapping me on the shoulder.

"Honey, you should take a break." he says. I look at my watch. I have been dancing for two hours. I am covered in sweat. I nod to Chris and we walk outside into the crisp night air. He hands me a bottle of water and I drink most of it. One of the dangers of MDMA is dehydration. It is easy to forget how hot you are, how long you have been dancing. The MDMA cuts your appetite, you are not hungry or thirsty, even though your body is sweating buckets and using up calories like a hummingbird. I tell Chris I need something to put in my mouth. He asks if I want gum, a lolly-pop, or a cigarette. I choose a watermelon lolly-pop. A side effect of MDMA is jaw clenching. Why did you think all those ravers carried around pacifiers?

Across the courtyard I see a tall man in a black fuzzy jacket that hangs to his knees. I walk towards him with a purpose.

"Hallo, my name is Sway. What's your name? May I pet your jacket?"

I have interrupted his conversation with a pretty girl. They both turn to look at me. Neither looks angry. In fact, they smile. At this party such interruptions are acceptable, even expected. Many of the people who are not rolling are dressed in soft, fuzzy fabrics, specifically catering to those who are rolling and have temporarily hightened tactile sense.

"Hello Sway. My name is Spyder and you may pet my jacket."

I laugh and run my hands down the arm of his jacket.

"Your name is not Spyder! What is your real name?

He smiles, we whisper to each other our given names. Since he has agreed to reveal his given name, I agree to call him by the one he has chosen. I thank Spyder, and bounce away.

The party continues like this. Sometime around 5 AM they shut off the music in the main court yard. Many people have already left. Anne and Mark went to bed about an hour ago. Chris and I stay in the techno room, where the music continues for another hour. When it finally ends, the sky is getting brighter and the hosts of the party are setting up a complimentary breakfast. Those who are left awake, those who the drugs haven't worn off yet for, are still wandering around. Some look dazed. A few are picking up stray beer bottles and cigarette butts. Some are poking at the food, unsure if it is safe to be eating yet. Chris looks tired. He stopped rolling a while ago. I can strech the feeling of rolling out to up to 8 hours. I am still wide awake. Despite this, we decide to grab some breakfast, and go home and go to bed.

The next day a groggy Anne opens the door to her dorm room.

"How did you sleep?" I ask.

"Shittily." She replies. "But that is to be expected." Chris and I walk it. The room is a mess of half consumed bottles of water and orange juice, discarded costumes, shoes and blankets. Mark is still dozing on the pullout sleeper.

"So, next time I am thinking about candy-flipping...."

Disclaimer about this Writeup: I do not encourage anyone to do anything they feel is wrong or they are uncomfortable with (either for moral or legal reasons). My drug intake is very low, no more than a few times a year (typically at the party described above). I never take drugs when it is going to interfere with my normal/scheduled activities or budget. I always take drugs in an environment I think is safe, where there are sober people who will take care of me if something should go wrong. I only buy/take drugs from people I trust very much. I never take drugs I do not feel comfortable with. This node is not ment to condone drug use, and I attempted to mention both the positive effects and the dangers of MDMA. Everyone, please be safe.

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