Calum McSwiggan

The Ex & The Ecstasy

In Eat on March 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Ibiza Rave

‘A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a licence to behave like an asshole.’

– Frank Zappa 

I popped the pill onto my tongue, threw back my head and enveloped myself into the surging crowd of ravers.  The flashing lights consumed me and the thumping electro sound absorbed my entire being. It took a long time for anything to happen, but when it did, everything happened all at once.

I reached my hands up to the sky and tried to catch the lasers that danced between my fingers, and as I span on the spot, wrapping myself tightly amongst the music and the crowd, I smiled at the pair of DJs who’d shared with me their supply.

We’re not here for the girls, they told me, as I watched the girls brazenly tearing off their tops and gyrating tastelessly beneath the neon lights. We’re here for the music. The three of us danced until our legs couldn’t bear it another moment and then we collapsed on the beach to welcome the glowing Ibiza sunrise. Dazzled by the pleasure coursing through my veins, I slipped in and out of a lucid dream, remembering my last run in with the drug.

 I stared at the ceiling unable to fall asleep, my eyes tracing the marbled patterns and then darting back towards the door every couple of seconds, willing him to come home. I had just started University and the boy I was dating had abandoned me in the pursuit of ecstasy. The moment I saw him slip that pill between his lips, I was gone, I didn’t want to be a part of it.

I looked at my phone, fighting the temptation to call him, but eventually gave in and hit dial.  Nervously listening as the phone rang off, I tried over and over until he finally answered. I could hear a ruffling sound and far away voices. What’s a boy like you doing here kissing a boy like me? Let’s go somewhere private. I can’t wait to take off that belt and…

I woke my flat mate by banging on his door, and without saying a word I handed him the phone. He put it to his ear as I stared solemnly at the floor and he instantly realised what was happening. He put his arm around me as I sat down on his bed, and together we listened to the phone call.  Hang up, he told me, you don’t need to hear this. A faint moan and a gasp escaped from the receiver, and I hurled it across the room.

My flat mate confronted my ex when he eventually slinked through the front door. He screamed abuse, called him a miserable excuse for a human being, and insisted that he leave. He didn’t leave, though, he pushed his way into my bedroom and curled himself into a ball on the floor. I turned him over, stared into his milky vacant eyes, and I didn’t know who he was anymore. The slurred smile on his lips was everything but his own, and as he laid eyes on me, he screamed in terror, and begged me not to hurt him.

Take everything, take my money, take the T.V, take the fridge, just don’t hurt me. 

I’m fully aware of the mind altering capacities of drugs but that person who lay on my floor that night wasn’t anybody I knew. So when one of those DJ’s unfolded their palm and offered me this tiny pill, I withdrew for a second, recalling these memories before popping it onto my tongue. I couldn’t visit the Mecca of the rave scene without taking ecstasy, that would be like going to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids or going to Hanoi and not drinking snake’s blood. It was a decision I’d made from the moment that monster lay on my bedroom floor, and many years later, I was going to learn what it was like.

My heart beat in time with the music, and I felt like if I stopped dancing that I would cease to go on living. It was the same rush I’d felt when I’d had my drink spiked in Munich, only this time it was more intense. I was overcome with a rush of happiness and I became increasingly tactile with my beautiful new friends. I caressed their arms and mussed their hair and insisted on hugging them every fifteen seconds. I was in a state of serenity that I didn’t know was possible, and as glitter and streamers rained down overhead, I didn’t know what was and wasn’t real anymore. It was electric, eclectic, eccentric.

My new friends woke me up and helped me into a taxi, and I woke up later that day tucked up safely in my hotel room. Ecstasy was responsible for one of the best experiences of my life, but it was also responsible for one of the worst. Every time you slip that pill between your lips, you’re taking a gamble with your emotions and your life. It’s a game of roulette where the only outcomes are pleasure and despair, and after only playing twice, I’m taking all my chips off of the table.

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