We left off at the moment where I realized that Sydney had gone missing. This was a crucial moment where everything went to shit. I was coming down from my trip, though I was still far from sober. Everything was much more real and normal than it had been before, but I was still strongly affected by it all; though my visuals were gone, my mind was still very fucked up. I still didn’t have my glasses on, and at this point didn’t even know where they were.
I honestly can’t say how much I was still hallucinating; I don’t recall seeing anymore visual hallucinations at this point, but there were auditory experiences that I don’t know if they were real or just me freaking out. Jeremy muttered an “Oh shit,” and rushed outside to look for Sydney. I remained in my corner by the door, surrounded by my backpack and laptop bag, tucking myself safely between them. Small spaces always made me feel secure. In the distance I heard a number of noises that gradually increased my anxiety. I could have sworn I heard screaming and yelling, sirens, and a lot of banging around in the stairwell that led up to my apartment. During this time I was finally able to read and use my phone, so I began messaging my friend Mark. I updated him on everything going on, and told him that I was freaking out because I didn’t know where Sydney had gone, and Jeremy seemed to be gone for an awful long time. There was no knowing what happened during this time, and the gibberish Sydney sent me made me incredibly concerned for his current mental state.
After awhile, though I have no memory of how long it was, I heard my front door close. I was convinced it was going to be the police, that my friends had been arrested and that I was next, because I know Jeremy hadn’t shut the door on the way out so surely they knew I was involved and that I was high as shit. Of course that was just paranoia and excessive anxiety, but not a surprising concern for me to end up with. The boys came rushing back into my room, stomping and talking almost angrily to each other. Jeremy walked towards my bed, taking a seat on the edge. Sydney stood halfway between the open door and the windows, defensively.
What I gathered during this conversation between the two boys freaked me out. During their time outside of my apartment, Jeremy found Sydney punching a red truck for an unspecified reason, and when he attempted to confront him, Sydney punched him in the face. Rather than getting in a fight, as he could see his friend was not in his right mind, Jeremy convinced Sydney to come with him back to my apartment.
Sydney stood, ready to dart out the door any moment or to fight anyone who might swing at him. He seemed to have no idea who any of us were. He acknowledged me, at least, pointing and stating, “I feel really bad for her**, I have no idea who that is but I can see that she’s** terrified.” He seemed like he didn’t intend to scare anyone, and indicated that he was afraid, himself. He spoke as though he believed life were a television show, that he wasn’t a real person and was simply a character. He would say things like, “I’m pretty sure someone is scripted to die this episode,” as Jeremy tried to argue that no one needed to die. Jeremy tried to remind him who he was, bringing up his love of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as well as memories they shared. There hit a point where my anxiety got so bad that I simply panicked, I shut out everything going on around me for the most part. I drowned out everything they were saying, instead focusing on texting Mark and telling him everything going on in case I would end up needing rescuing. At some point, Sydney threw his phone at my window. He allegedly thought it was open, and I, thanks to my lack of glasses and still incoherent mind, was certain he had shattered the glass. This shot my anxiety up to an all time high, and I had the worst panic attack I have ever experienced, even to this day. My skin was red, and stretched incredibly tight against my body. I couldn’t even close my hand into a fist and it hurt to move and breathe.
**I wanted to make a note here that though I identify as male, I was actually born a female. At the time this experience takes place, I was about 6 months into HRT and my voice had dropped considerably, but I still was very feminine in appearance.
It was about an hour later that the argument finally ended. I wish I could say it ended pleasantly, that Sydney simply suddenly remembered who he was and we were all perfectly fine. Instead, it ended when Sydney suddenly collapsed to the floor. Jeremy shot up from the bed to rush to him, and even I, in my anxious ball in the corner, snapped back into reality and the moment I realized there was a problem. I jumped up and stumbled over to them.
Sydney began crying, admitting that he had taken more than just the acid we bought and that he had been trying to overdose on anything he could. We asked him what else he had taken, and he told us he couldn’t remember. He began trying to list the things in his system, such as trazodone and some other sorts of pills, but he started gagging like he was going to throw up as he began to speak. I rushed to grab my trashcan and brought it to him. Thankfully I had been prepared for the trip and had an entire case of water bottles in my room, and Jeremy and I began helping Sydney chug down water bottles and scarf down crackers to help him induce vomiting. We had no idea what all was in his system and how much danger he was actually in, but that wasn’t going to stop us from taking this seriously. Eventually after throwing up a few times, Sydney was a bit more stable. He was still incredibly out of it, very unsure of who he was and a bit in and out of consciousness. We helped him stand up and led him out to the balcony for a cigarette in hopes of helping him calm himself, as he was still an emotional wreck.
I dragged a chair from the kitchen onto the balcony so that Sydney could sit while we were out there. He sat, slumped over more often than he wasn’t, as we tried to speak to him and keep him awake. He continued to cry, telling us that he didn’t want to die, not really. He and Jeremy spoke as I tried to provide the best comfort I could, having only known the two of them for a month. They spoke of finally going to rehab, getting clean so they could get out of school and finally join the USMC like they had planned for so long. He told us how he was sick of this shit already, having only tried dope two months prior to introducing me to it. He knew it was already out of control, and admitted he had a problem. I had no idea prior to this moment how much these boys were struggling. I didn’t know how much they were hurting.
Jeremy suggested we drive to our local park to try and get some fresh air and calm ourselves. I took a shower, relapsing in my self harming habits after months of progress in an attempt to calm myself from my anxiety attack; it did me no good, as my skin was still very tight and hard. I could not hold my hand steady enough to actually cut myself deep, and after a few attempts I dropped the blade, unable to clutch my hand around it. I got out, and we got Sydney a change of clothes before piling into my car. I let Jeremy drive, because if anyone can drive while fucked up, it’s him. He also appeared remarkably sober, though he certainly was not.
I remember very little of the ride, but I was still incredibly scared. I kept looking down at my hands and trying to flex my stiff fingers. Eventually we reached the park and parked at the lookout over the lake. Jeremy got out of the car and went to sit on the bench, while Sydney and I remained buckled in. Sydney leaned forward and spoke to me, unintentionally revealing that he had slipped back into his psychosis; he asked if I knew anything, if Jeremy was plotting against him. He seemed certain that someone was about to “murk” him, as he continuously worded it. I asserted that I knew nothing, and as far as I knew no one was going to die. I tried to remain calm and assure him he had nothing to worry about. He told me that if we were going to kill him, to at least warn him first. Jeremy came back to the car, later revealing to me that while he sat on those benches, his mind was very much in the same place as Sydney’s. He claims he was certain there were people with rifles in the bushes, and he sat their facing the lake and smoking a cigarette, supposedly speaking with his deceased brother while waiting for someone to shoot him in the back of the head. Meanwhile, I was sitting there aware that both of my friends had gone absolutely crazy, and was genuinely afraid I was about to get killed because they were so convinced I was going to kill them. It was shitshow.
Jeremy started the car and drove us to Walmart. I still have no idea why we went there. I dozed off during the ride, the first real sleep I was getting in 4 days save for my one tweak nap. I woke up as we parked, but could not hold my eyes open for more than a few minutes here and there. Jeremy realized I was unable to maintain consciousness, and he drove us back to my apartment. I don’t remember getting out of the car, or going inside my home. I don’t remember laying in my bed. I just remember waking up hours later, around 3pm when we had left the house around 11am, and checking my phone. After all the trouble we went through trying to hide our trip, I had ratted myself out to my roommate; he texted me, asking if I needed anything while he was out. When I opened my phone, I learned that in my sleep, I had opened this message and replied with, “Yam I’m I’m still high.” Thankfully my roommate had a sense of humor about it and replied with laughing emojis, and it was never brought up between us.
When I awoke, Sydney and Jeremy were gone, so I immediately went to work texting them and the two mutual friends I had with them, trying to find out where they had gone. Finally, I got a hold of them. Jeremy revealed that after they brought me home and I passed out, they wandered out of the house. He says he blacked out at this point, and Sydney says he was blacked out one hour after dropping acid until about 15 hours later. Jeremy says that while he may not remember much, he’s pretty sure they joined a gang and thinks they may have killed someone. I remain confident that was just a figment of their imagination, but Jeremy always swore up and down that he remembered there being a body, and a bag full of guns. I have no idea what they actually got into, but their other friend eventually found them and picked them up (because Jeremy thankfully had the rational mind to ask him to pick them up near my place), and took them each home. They were found a couple blocks away, near the high school.
By the time Sydney had lost his mind and convinced himself he was a 70 year old war vet in a television show, I had decided I wanted nothing to do with these boys. They were bad news and only going to get me into more trouble, and made me feel unsafe and at risk of being harmed. But by the end of it, I realized they really needed help, and promised myself that I would be there for them and try to help pull them out of their addictions. I never guessed it would have only led to my own.