cherries

by chee rabbits

British Summer Time

Week 24; 2023

I'm the rabbit.

Long week. Where do I start?

On Tuesday I went to buy a picnic basket at Selfridge's. I took some wrong turns but ended up in the right place eventually via a few pubs and strange conversations. A text message arrived from the Russian. There were chains involved. And ketamine. A second message came through, Rx inviting me to attend a psytrance festival in Oxford. I bought a ticket immediately without thinking about it at all. I'm glad that I did.

On Wednesday I had a very good picnic in Hampstead Heath with the dear and sweet Dani. They made an incredible dip. And sangria. They brought their sweet, sweet gatito Jupiter who we love very much and are very impressed by. Dani was 4 hours late to the picnic. I was 2 hours late to the picnic. It was very much a wonderful picnic.

Thursday I worked and packed for the festival. I will follow up this post with a listicle of the 45 things every girl must bring to a festival. I headed down to Regent's Park to say hello to some work people and then headed off to Paddington for the 723 to Oxford.

So, yes. 4 days of psytrance. I've probably mentioned this before, but i do not like psytrance. I've learned to appreciate it like one learns to appreciate and enjoy the taste of coffee. Much like coffee, psytrance is objectively disgusting. But I have learned now that when i can hear and feel that 1 kickdrum rhythm that serves as the backbone of every single track, it means that i am near people who love me. I am comforted by it, and it feels like home. Though, if i'm going to listen to a single obnoxious beat for 100 uninterrupted hours I would much rather it be reggaetón. Rómpelo, rómpelo. But the people, the people. The best people in the world.

What can I say about the festival? First of all, the people I went with (Rx, Dm, Dl, B, E, Ch, Ci, V) are truly very lovely and gorgeous people and I am proud and excited to call them my friends. The new people I met there are very lovely and wonderful people too and I hope to call them friends soon enough.

The first night was quiet. I'd expected a 1-person tent to meet me at the train station, but it didn't make it. The larger tent I'd been offered a space in came without poles so was only a square on the ground. I slept in the open air wrapped in my sarape blanket. The days were very warm and the nights so cold. Me and E and Dm sat in a 3-point circle taking ketamine and occasionally trying to approach a distant fire. We never made it more than 30 feet from the tent before retreat.

The next morning we tried approach again but were stopped each time by Simone with the cat ears 30 feet from our tent every time because the event was not ready for us. I started to believe I would never see any of the festival other than the 60ft diameter around our 2 dimensional tent due to some unseen tether or forcefield holding us. Eventually, the curse was lifted as the music started 4 hours late around 1pm. The toilets seemed always to be clean. Clean seats and hand sanitizer and even toilet paper. I very rarely entered a bathroom that was missing any one of these.

The opening set was by Dl, whose inevitable transformation into the Pablo Escobar of psytrance is coming along at a respectable pace. It was a very good set that served as the cure for the hundreds of tiny spoons of ketamine that had made my body heavy and slow, the set was a journey from bouncy psy-adjacent electronic music to darkpsy and back to plain old thumping psytrance. The bar opened up around this time and we got a few beers. I bought some mushrooms and valium and ketamine.

There were three stages. The main psy stage, the "chill out" stage and the third stage. The third stage was kind of like a rave that broke out next to the festival, all the squat party people were there dancing in the dark to hi-tech. "chill out" has a very specific meaning in the psytrance scene that differs from any definition of "chill out" used in any other scenario. In short, "chill out stage" means "my friends want to play some music". It's always my favourite place at any event. Varied music, vibes and people.

The second night I slept in a much larger PsyCare tent that's meant for critical cases. There were no critical cases that night, so I was allowed. I was having a little tent-related gender panic. It was a very kind and welcome generosity. PsyCare is a charity that provides harm reduction and care at festivals, particularly for people undergoing difficult psychological psychedelic experiences, but they also are just exceedingly lovely people who care about everyone and provide welfare to anyone who needs it or even simply gets close enough. You should give them your money. I cried in the tent. It was a happy cry but in retrospect it was a sad reason to be crying happily. Crying because somebody was nice to me, and that I was able to accept it.

Saturday's energy was very up-up, I ate some LSD and fell asleep under a tree and then entered into a very long and silent congress with a bush with white flowers where there were some important questions to answer. Acid, ketamine, a microdose of mushrooms, one and a half valium, plenty of tequila and corona. I ate over 20 tacos at the festival and quite a lot of chicharrón. The taco truck honestly might have been the highlight of the whole weekend, two very sweet people who i spent a lot of time with and have a lot more time for. I will genuinely miss seeing their little faces every morning now that it is over. Their tajín delivery didn't didn't come through, but luckily I was carrying a few tajínitos so i gave them 2 little bottles to save their margaritas. Px was wearing the prettiest dress, she made it herself. I met a couple who invited to me to their house to have a shower, i did not partake.

Saturday night was very full though I couldn't shake the feeling that i hadn't seen Ci in a long time so I went back to the tents where i found her considering going to bed due to not having a jumper. I loaned her my heart jumper and she danced off into the night. Once that was dealt with I felt quite satisfied that my contribution to the evening was complete and I wrapped myself up in sarape and went to sleep out in the open next to the now 3 dimensional tent (the tent poles had come with a later guest). Dan from PsyCare found me and laid an extra blanket on me, which was kind.

I awoke on Sunday to a thick white line on a dead telephone being slid under my nose by Dm announcing "breakfast". It turned out to be speed. I jumped up revitalized and we wandered over to the main stage and bar. My throat and nostrils were a little sore, from hayfever. At the bar I asked for a double shot of tequila, the man behind the bar thought starting the day with tequila was a very good idea and joined me. I was not in the mood to dance very much this weekend so I spent most of the time wandering around, here and there, hither and tither and to and fro, from the enchanted forest to the tents and from stage to stage to stage. I ate some MDMA while sitting in a circle with Ci, Rx, Ch and E. It was warm and nice and went on a long time. I drank a lot of water. It started to rain, I danced in the rain, I went and got some people some jumpers. When the festival ended, Ci wanted 2cb so we went hunting. I asked the guy behind the bar if he knew where to get some, and he gave me one. He wouldn't take any money. Ci and I stopped and asked another man, and he sold us one. We ate them, and I started walking back to my tent to get some materials i'd need for the afterparty. My name was being shouted from the taco truck. I went to the window and they poured me so much tequila, and we chatted there for 2 hours smoking and drinking tequila, and the taco lady added me on instagram. I might go to a summer solstice party in Barnet just to see them again because they are very lovely and they have the colombian-style chicharrón pork belly with an incredible guacamole and they have the slow cooked cochinita pibil. After they closed up their window all my friends had gone to bed, and i went to investigate the afterparty. A friendly twink gave me a crunchy piece of MDMA, and then the guy from the bar shouted "TEQUILA" at me and we went to the now-closed bar and drank blanco after blanco, had a few lines, got a pill from an older lady. While the sun was coming up I spotted Dl completely frozen still and comatose wrapped in blankets on a camping chair, I asked him if he was okay. He opened his eyes 1mm wide, and moving nothing else but his lips he said "thinking of getting on the decks." I laughed, wrapped him in the sarape and went to the bathroom where i started shivering-chattering, lay down on my back and couldn't move for thirty minutes. When I returned it was daylight and I returned to the fire at psycare for a goodbye chat, i fell asleep on the seat and slowly slipped onto the floor for an hour or two. I hope that I was not too loud when I was sleeping.

Leaving on Monday we were all so tired. We ate some pineapple con tajín. We took a bus, we stopped at Wetherspoon's, we had some food. I drank some draft corona, some tequila. On the train from Oxford back to London we drank deeply of corona and tajín and had some ketamine on the floor in the end of the cabin. At Paddington we said goodbye, had a little more ketamine on the floor beside the entrance to the elizabeth line. A businessman asked us if we were homeless because he is about to be homeless and scoping out places to sleep. It was hard to say goodbye to Rx and Ch, i don't know when I'll see them again. I ate a microdose of mushrooms and a valium and had a colourful nap until i was home.

I feel so lucky.

Soy la conejita y estoy tan quemado por el sol.