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2003-08-12 - 8:48 p.m.

After I made the decision I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The nerves went away for a while. I made the exchange with Shortie, and I decided I would do it after Magic Dirt and Veruca Salt, because I didn’t want to take away from two of the bands Jane was really hanging out for- it wouldn’t matter if anything bad happened or not, she would still be worried about me. She looked at me and said “what’s more important?”- that she would be there to support me regardless if her favourite band was playing, and that was good to know but it wasn’t necessary because my way meant we could do both.

I really enjoyed Magic Dirt. Comparing how I felt during Magic Dirt to how I felt during the Casanovas was like comparing something ridiculously cliché like chalk and cheese. Oh, and I forgot to mention I saw Jet before Magic Dirt, and was impressed by them as well- very Vines, very Oasis, but not as much wankery.

Veruca Salt didn’t do much for me. Jane loved it even after seeing their sideshow in Sydney two nights earlier, in which they would have played all the Splendour set and more.

I don’t know if nerves had anything to do with it but I was fucking freezing as we left the Big Top and headed for an open area where I felt a bit more comfortable about what I was about to do. I was worried I might freak myself into passing out after taking it- I’ve passed out quite a few times in my life and I think sometimes it cascades from feeling a little weird and that feeling magnifying. It happened when I had a blood test the day after I took speed- nothing to do with paranoia that it was going to show up because it was a work thing where they were only allowed to test for a particular thing (because I work around chemicals they occasionally test people for exposure. Also nothing to do with a fear of needles or blood because I’m fine with both of them, but probably more to do with a subconscious link to the two times I passed out after giving blood in high school- that was actually due to the fact that they’d just taken a bag of blood out of me- that I can explain, but after a couple of mLs for a blood test? Maybe it was because the first time they got my vein they fucked it up and while they prepared my other arm I had time to feel less than confident in them. Or maybe it did have something to do with doing drugs that weekend and not having much sleep and my body still trying to get back to normal while some incompetent person is sticking a needle in me.

Anyway, I didn’t pass out, so that’s a bit of an aside, but a background which may be more relevant later. I was also worried I might throw up, not the least because that’s not uncommon if it’s a dodgy pill- add the nerves on top of that and the fact that I was really full after a big lunch. That didn’t happen either, but I didn’t feel great at first because I was so nervous, so I sat freezing with Jane’s pink puffy jacket on over my own, while she had some dinner dressed in a t-shirt.

I took a half- Jane advised that you always do that first because you never know what’s in it, but also because it might turn out to be enough. If not much was happening after an hour, then I should take the second half. But I was told to expect to feel *something* after half an hour. The first time Jane did it she ended up having 2- half then one then another half, and even that didn’t do much- but when she was doing it every weekend she was only doing a half each time, because it was all she needed. She put that down to it working better the more comfortable you are with it- but the other side of it is that when you do it that often you’re not giving yourself enough time for your Serotonin supply to replenish anyway so any more than that would probably be useless as there’d be no more to release- that’s the nerdy Science explanation for it.

I felt a bit more comfortable after a little while, and possibly a little warmer as it started to take effect- you know that feeling when you’ve just had a shot (not of Tequila though Cindy- that’s just like a slap in the face, as opposed to a warmth spreading through your chest)? So as I started to feel more comfortable we wandered over to the mixup tent as Gerling were playing “Enter Spacecapsule”- it turned out to be their last song so we went back to where we said we’d meet Mark, who’d also taken one.

We went back to the DJs in the mixup tent, who were playing pretty decent music, and I started to feel something like that warm fuzzy feeling I described after the Crystal Meth experience. The difference with e’s is that the feelings come in waves- so I was told and so I discovered. So before long I was feeling almost totally straight again, and an hour after I took the first half (well it was more like one third) I took the rest of the pill. The Alpine Stars came on and I didn’t feel particularly affected, but the band was amazing. Definitely on my “CDs to buy” list.

Next on our list was Goldfrapp, but in between the two bands we went to get coffee, and listened to a few Powderfinger songs from a distance (away from the rabid fans). By then I was once again feeling a bit affected, as we had a look at this area called the “Circle of Consciousness” which was lots of lights and smoke and a big lit hand, and people swaying and dancing. Then we went back to see Goldfrapp, and at some point in the tent it kicked in *big* time. None of this going nuts, or my perception of light and sound changing, but I just felt amazing. All warm and fuzzy, like I had this glow around me, and most of the time I had my eyes closed and was grinning inanely and hugging Jane the entire set. And talking a lot. Except when I promised I would stop talking until the end of the next song and stuck to it, like I was in Primary School again when I used to get challenged not to talk the entire lesson and it was always bloody difficult because I never shut up.

Goldfrapp were brilliant, though it’s hard to separate them from what I was experiencing at the time. Jane agrees they were brilliant though so it wasn’t the drugs :) They had a violin, which always gets me sold, and, well it’s hard to describe but they were really really good. The combination of the Alpine Stars and Goldfrapp, and just spending most of my time in the mixup tent which is unlike me, was the musical highlight of the weekend.

Walking back from the Fields to Byron I just wouldn’t shut up. It was almost like the reverse of the Crystal Meth experience, in that I had that warm, fuzzy, glowy feel first (only a hundred times more) and then I was speeding off my head. Well, that last description is not how I’d best describe it because at no time did I really feel “off my head”- in that I felt completely in control the whole time, and completely rational (I’ve seen and heard of people on e’s either dribbling bullshit or trying to take on cars, and I never felt even remotely like that).

Shortie was supposed to be finding a party in Byron but she ended up throwing up all the way back to town and crashing early, while Jane was really tired (understandably given how hectic her week had been and her lack of amphetamines)- I knew there was no way I was going to sleep, so I decided to walk Jane back to the beach house and then go wandering. Naturally Jane was worried about me, and made me promise not to go up to the lighthouse or down to the beach (I agreed to the first bit and said I couldn’t promise I wouldn’t go to the beach but don’t worry about me), but she knew that leaving her there and going off by myself was the best thing to do because otherwise I just would have driven her nuts while she was trying to sleep.

I found myself thinking out loud a lot. I think it was like I was keeping myself company- I just wanted to be around people and babble- so when I was on my own I found myself thinking out loud. But once again I had complete control over it, I was hardly going to be seen chatting away to myself when somebody was approaching.

When I got back down to the main street of Byron I found that it was right on 3am and all the pubs (yeah, all three of them) were closing, which was a bummer because I was hoping to just go in and start making friends with strangers- plus I was hoping to buy some important supplies to further enhance my experience when I got back to the house (was that too abstract? Think vending machines or late night convenience stores).

Plan B was to just talk to people in the street. I saw a group of four people sitting near a hot dog stand, and quite fortunately (not that I would have cared) I did not come across as a weird trippy guy jumping into a conversation- there were these two girls who hadn’t been to the festival but whose car had broken down in Byron hours earlier and so they decided to just get drunk and hang out, while the two guys didn’t know each other or the two girls (and weren’t even trying to pick them up). It was just one of those nights where it was completely normal to find yourself in the depths of conversation with a bunch of people you’d never met. The strangest thing was that I must have been talking to the only person in Byron who would have raised their eyebrows when I said I had taken something and asked me why I did it, and if I thought I would do it again (and advised against it). I thought I was supposed to be the naïve and sheltered one.

I felt really good about being able to just strike up conversations with strangers, it’s a far cry from the not-so-self-assured person I was 5 years ago. But then I saw a familiar face and thought maybe I could find some people I know. Unfortunately this familiar face (who I only knew of by association) happened to be walking with the last person I wanted to see. No matter, I ended up striking up a conversation with the one person out of the three I ended up following that I didn’t know, and he proved fairly amiable. I ended up at the beach, but not by myself so Jane need not worry.

After I got sick of the sight of a certain wannabe groupie I headed back to the main street where I found myself talking to a couple of Irish girls who had senses of humour perfectly suited to mine- completely dry and sarcastic. I tried to find out why they were in Byron if not for Splendour and was told that one of them was manic depressive and it was the other’s job to take her places. I also found out that they were at the same music festival in Ireland that Jane was at 3 years ago.

After about 2 hours wandering I was back at the beach house, and while Jane had said it was okay to wake her up it was obvious that she was still very tired and would be better off sleeping for a bit longer. Having nothing else to do I talked to her for 45 minutes while she was asleep- intentionally not loud enough to wake her, yet hoping that it was registering subconsciously or something.

Yeah it was a weird night.

By about 5.30am or so Jane must have woken up momentarily and she was okay with not going back to sleep- at least not straight away. I told her how I’d been talking to her in her sleep and she thought it was very cute. Then after getting a bit frisky I walked back into town for about the fourth time (by now it was about 8am) to buy the supplies I mentioned earlier. And put them to good use.

I don’t think I actually did officially get any sleep but nonetheless by about 1pm we were back at the Fields ready for more.


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