In my cousin S’s Brezhnev-era dorm room this summer, we found ourselves underwhelmed by Porter, his esoteric cat who enjoys ambient drone music much more than I do, and set out craving adventure or attention or what have you. Walking among decaying “blok” apartment buildings, we reached a gas station and went inside to buy some beer. As I was paying, I saw several bags of what looked like pot behind the counter, beside the cigarettes. I asked my cousin about it and he explained that they were “dopalacze,” the manifold forms and flavors of synthetic marijuana and spice which are now pretty much illegal stateside because everyone’s such a hardass about kids smoking drugs. (In Poland, where politicians and LEOs are more clueless, the industry has blossomed and you can get shit that looks and smells relatively real, although with recent decriminalization actual nugs are becoming easier to find, rendering the dopalacze obsolete.)
“They fuck you up, it’s good to smoke it out of a grav bong. Don’t get any though, K is coming over later and he’ll bring some better shit.”
We drank our room temperature beer in silence as Porter walked around and displayed his disproportionately large testicles to anyone who would watch. He’s a small cat but very quick witted, kind of like Bulgakov’s Behemoth. K came over and S took him into the kitchen to talk for a bit. When they entered the livingroom/ bedroom, K shook my hand and apologized, tossing a small sandwich bag of rough white powder onto the chessboard.
S explained: “This is mephedrone mixed with some other shit, it’s really a breakthrough in chemistry, it’s not even an organic compound, it’s just tiny crystals, it’s really not bad, I like to do it sometimes, it’s pretty cool.” I did a quick erowid search and found that mephedrone is the main ingredient in bath salts. Visions of cannibalistic fury spun in my mind.
K sold him 8 grams, eyeballed, and then offered to do it with us, matching us line for line. I was pretty apprehensive because I don’t really do stims much anymore, so I watched them cut up two lines about the size of pinky fingers. It looked like more powder than could possibly fit into a human nose and when they snorted it their reaction looked more like the cinnamon-spoon challenge than like the smooth cocaine coolness we’re all familiar with. S started yelling a little, asked me for a cigarette, and told me to stop being such a bitch, “but you really don’t have to if you really don’t want to man, really.”
I asked K to cut me a line, sniffed it, and saw why S was yelling. This shit burns. It’s not the pill burn or even the molly burn; it’s like a corrosive, septum-deviating seventh-level inferno in your sinuses. I started to come up immediately and looked at S, who was smacking his lips like some sort of pervert for anything at all. He would continue smacking his lips until morning, after about an hour no one really noticed because we became too involved in our own tics.
The high is fucking good: it’s like speedy, dancy molly mixed with cocaine. It doesn’t last long, but there’s really no comedown, just cracked-out stimulation akin to late in an adderall binge. You need to redoes every half hour or else it dawns on you how ephemeral your current vice really is.
S: “*smack* hey, man *smack* wanna play chess? Me and K always *smack* do it when we’re on this *smack* shit”
K: “Do you *eyes roll* have a cigarette *eyes roll* dude? *eyes roll* nevermind, I have one *eyes roll* do you want one? *eyes roll* here’s two, keep the lighter *eye roll*.”
The nervous ticks are wild, not necessarily annoying, just very prevalent. It’s really not possible to be in public on this shit, if you look in the mirror you see a crazy look in your eyes, kind of like that robotripping thousand-yard junkyard stare. We each finished our pack of cigarettes and K, who is the most experienced and composed, went out to buy two more communal packs of 30 cigs ea, which we also finished. The 8 grams were gone soon and our ever-beloved K continued to give us mCat until about ten am the next day. No one slept and the apartment began to smell like cat urine. I didn’t sleep for the next night as well; the afterglow stimulation lasts about 14 hours after your last line, even though the high doesn’t.
The effects, summed up, are like this. Some people shouldn’t do molly because they get really weird on it. Bath salts make everyone like that weird kid who shouldn’t do molly: it’s neurotic and attention seeking, it’s emphatic in an artificial, guilty way fraught with junkie camaraderie, it’s not a party drug like molly nor is it really even a personal drug like opiates. It can only be binged with, and you can’t control yourself on it. But it’s really fucking euphoric, it’s a grimy pleasure that you don’t get anymore once you’ve done your fair share of amphetamines and coke and shit.
I didn’t talk to anyone the next day and just lay on the rug, and I didn’t crave S’s lungs when I was on it, but I can perhaps see why this would lead someone to cannibalism. The apologetic social paranoia, in a public square or on the side of a highway, could drive even the most firm-footed psychonaut to the edge of oblivion.
“How often do you do this?” I asked S, who is finishing his thesis in biomedical engineering.
“Once every couple months, a binge every couple months” he replied.
“Ha! Sure, only the last time it lasted almost a week and you broke your chess board” added K as he tied his hair up and went to meet the skinheads he picks up from.
“At least I didn’t eat anyone though, did see that article my cousin showed me? Wild.”