We arrived at something like 10pm but luckily we found the spot where our friends were waiting. As we unloaded the essentials and started to set up our part of the camp, E offered us some delicious and only slightly petrified 'special' brownies. I had one thing on my mind - getting the tent up and ourselves settled, but afterward I figured a little brownie would be a nice way to unwind and get to sleep so I would be well rested for my first day of drug camp.
I ate something like a brownie and a half, which wasn't much by my standards, and then I retired to the tent along with L, J, and M. I was trying to braid the last unbraided section of my hair to protect it somewhat from the harsh environment of the Playa, and as I braided I gazed out at the desert landscape, marvelling at the flatness and its silvery color in the faint moonlight of a waning moon. The majestic saguaro cactus...
"Wait a minute!" I thought. "There aren't any saguaro in this desert! Come to think of it... I'm looking at the wall of the tent, which is not transparent. How odd." I do have what teachers used to call an "overactive imagination" though, so I didn't think much of it.
Then L started talking. She was saying something about thinking too hard to sleep, which happens to me a lot, and feeling a little claustrophobic, so I asked if she wanted to go outside, but she declined. She seemed to be freaking out a little bit, so I wanted to help her and console her, but damn if I wasn't completely losing my train of thought every time she stopped talking. After a lapsing into silence a few times she started talking about thinking too fast, then moving too fast and then she, or my brain, went off into a tangent about running through a forest and trying not to hit a tree and it was clear something weird was going on but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Finally,
"What the hell are you on about?" M asked.
"She's frying balls!" said J. "I know because I am too!"
And suddenly it all made sense. I grabbed L's hand, made an executive decision, and steered the both of us out of the tent and into the real desert night. As soon as we stepped outside, it was like everything opened up inside us and we were able to relax and enjoy the trip. Since we were now in the mood for an adventure, L decided to take me for my first look at The Man.
When we stepped onto the Esplanade for the first time and I looked around at what could've been the Vegas strip in the middle of the desert, my eyes felt like they were open wider than I previously thought possible. As we walked around, dazed and giggling, I said, "Wow I didn't expect this, but it's like 'Welcome to Drug Camp, here are your hallucinations!'"