It was a Sunday night about a month ago. I was at a friend’s house.
Her friend was there too, and she brought some weed-infused gummies with her.
My friend’s friend was being a bit obnoxious—didn’t want to ruin her sleep cycle or some BS and decided we needed to take the edibles like ASAP. (It was like 8 p.m. and my friend’s entire family was at her house).
Obviously, we didn’t want to stay there, so we drove to a spot outside. I knew it was a bad idea; we had no way to get home. But I didn’t want to look like a worried asshole, so I went along with it, figuring it wasn’t really my responsibility to get us home anyway.
We each had a nibble in the car as we drove to our destination.
It started out great. We were playing our favorite albums of the summer, talking nonsense and people-watching.
Then, it turned very very bad.
We started to get paranoid and figured it would be best to just go back to the car. The friend passed out as soon as we climbed in.
We sat for a while, drinking water and trying to calm down.
I soon ceased being able to think using words; everything in my head was an emotion or an image. I started seeing shit. It was similar to static on a TV, but with moving horizontal lines. I couldn’t talk. I didn’t know how to communicate what I was seeing or feeling.
“It’s so dark,” I managed to get out.
My friend became convinced that there was a cop in the car next to us, because it looked like they had a flashlight. She started freaking out because there was no way in hell we could act like nothing was going on.
She said the phrase: “Either that’s a cop or something very bad is happening right now.”
The sentence echoed around in my head. I could still understand her, but I couldn’t respond. My heart started pounding. I knew something bad was happening to me, and I knew it was because I’d eaten an edible. I felt like I was shutting down and couldn’t do anything but watch as my body stopped functioning.
“Either that’s a cop or something very bad is happening right now.”
Someone was getting robbed? Someone was buying drugs? I didn’t know what the bad thing was.
Then, all of a sudden, I felt like everything bad that could happen to me was happening to me in that very moment, all at once. Everything around me was evil—everything wanted to do me harm. I was in so much pain.
I saw a light inside of my body that started to dim.
My friend was awake, trying to talk to me. She willed the light to get brighter, and it did. I thought we were having some sort of nonverbal communication: The light cannot go out.
Nevertheless, we couldn’t stop it; the light wanted to go out.
“Either that’s a cop or something very bad is happening right now.”
Every time I heard that phrase, the light got dimmer. It was like turning off lights in a gymnasium, one by one going out with a loud and final thunk.
I knew that the light I was seeing was my life. I thought that this is what it must feel like to die, and I figured that I was probably dying. There was nothing I could do to stop it.
I saw the cops come for us–for our bodies. I see my parents and my friend’s parents run to the doors of the car. I was dead, and I was seeing the aftermath of how my death impacted the people around me.
“…..something very bad is happening right now.”
The “bad thing” was that one of us must have died. I didn’t know who it was. Maybe it was all of us. I was seeing into the past, the present and the future.
I remember thinking to myself: you dumbass. Of all the ways to go, this is it? Taking an edible that was laced with god only knows what. I was sad and in pain. I just wanted it to end. I’m not dying like this. I’m not dying like this, I thought. I pulled my strength together and got a sudden burst of energy.
“…..bad is happening right now.”
The light got brighter. The fuck was going on? I saw the cops pull up again, and heard my friend saying:
“Either the cops are here or something very bad is happening right now.”
Each beginning of the loop was a new round of a dangerous game. I willed the light to get brighter, and it did.
Brighter and brighter. It was like I was being recharged. My friend looked at me confused. What was happening? Why were we not dying?
“I don’t know,” I remember telling her. “It’s getting brighter.”
I realized that as I was feeling better, she was getting worse.
She texted and called everyone that she knew to come and get us.
“….something very bad is happening right now.” One of us must have died.
It must have been her.
Her dad came to pick us up and I knew we were saved.
I climbed in the car, sure that this part, at least, was real.
The loop had stopped, but I somehow got the notion that we all had died.
Her dad was carrying us on to the next life, driving us to the underworld like we were on the River Styx.
We were being reborn, travelling through the universe at hyperspeed, the stars just a blur of light next the windows. I wasn’t scared anymore, in fact, I was kind of reassured. I felt like I had discovered what happens after we die.
I was aware that we would get in a car crash in our next life. That’s how we’d go, all three of us. It was like a game of chance and everyone in the universe would see how they’d die in their next life during their rebirth. Life is just a series of chances, I realized.
We got to my friend’s house and I passed out on the couch. The next morning, I slowly regained consciousness. I felt better, but I didn’t know if I was alive or dead. I opened my eyes and looked around.
I didn’t know what had happened the night before. I was scared to move.
I slept some more. I didn’t want to deal with reality; I didn’t want to know what had happened.
When I woke up, I thought I must be alive. I was shocked that I’d made it out. I didn’t know what had happened, but I was alive.
My friend came downstairs and explained that her dad had, indeed, come to pick us up last night. I didn’t care. I was alive.
It took a few days to get back to normal. I was shook. I didn’t know what I had eaten, although the friend told us later that she got the edibles from someone who was terminally ill with cancer. I was mad that she had given that to us, and even madder that I took it.
My friend and I checked up on each other periodically during the next few days. We both felt pretty shitty for a while afterward. She had also thought she was dying but had seen her entire life flash before her eyes.
I’ve eaten my fair share of edibles and smoked my fair share of weed, but watching my loved ones running to pick up my dead body, banging their hands desperately against the car window in an attempt to reach and to revive me, is not something I would chance seeing again.
It was a harrowing, horrible experience, but I felt like my friend and I had gone through something together. It might’ve been in our heads, but it felt real to us.
Every so often, I’ll stop and think about how lucky I am to be here, to feel anything at all. And I’ll whisper quietly to myself: You’re alive…