An unremarkable white powder, in an even more unremarkable plastic sachet. Used for illicit substance containment everywhere in the world. Could have been anything from coke to crystallized LSD.
Just another day, just another high.
Or so I thought.
I emptied the contents of the packet on the table, and with motions that are purely muscle memory by now, divide the white heap into three neat lines.
"Three lines man. Is all you'll need. You'll be high forever."
I sniffed, readying myself for the warm embrace of dissociation. I lowered my nose to the table and insufflated a line, heart racing. The only time I ever truly feel alive now. I feel the drugs making their way through my membranes. That agonizing yet soothing burn. I sit back and wait.
Only to feel nothing.
Tilting my head at the offending substance, I frown. Not even a buzz?
I think back to my encounter with the dealer.
A slight, unremarkable man. Another nameless, faceless entity in the human morass. Nothing to distinguish him from anyone else. He seemed harmless, if weasely. All in all, your typical dealer.
And then I met his eyes. Black as night, filled with the promise of malice and cunning. This man was dangerous. Extremely so. He just didn't let people know. I shivered, and in that moment, the perception I'd had of him faded away, to be replaced by the carefully constructed persona.
"Whatchoo looking to buy?"
"The usual man."
"Naw man, I'm all out of bump. I've got this other stuff though. It's freaking killer. Three lines man. Is all you'll need. You'll be high forever."
"What? Stop fucking around man. I need some bump."
"Nigga, are you listening to me? I GOT NO COKE. What I do have, is this stuff, called Eternal. It's new. You don't want any, keep moving."
"Jesus Christ man. Okay, sure. Whatever. It'll get me high right?"
"Oh yeah. High as a freaking kite." he said, as he began rummaging in his various pockets for the product.
He fishes out a baggie, half filled with white powder, presents it to me for inspection.
"First line, you won't feel much."
"Second line, you'll start feeling things. Wonderful things." He pauses, as if doubtful about continuing.
"And? The third line?"
He shrugs then, and moves to collect the cash I give him.
"If you make it past the second, you'll find out."
The memory recedes, and suddenly I'm back in the present again.
I shrug, and move to snort the second line.
I lower my nose to the table, more intent on the experience this time, intent on squeezing every drop of high I can. I snort a line, and as suddenly as that, I am no longer tethered to my earthly cage.
"Jeeeeeeeesuuuuuuussssssss Chriiiiiiiiiissssssttttttttttt" I manage to moan around the pleasure that threatens to suffocate me. How do I describe it?
Pulsating waves of ecstasy that emanate from the core of my being. Colors, lights, sounds and senses. Nothing makes sense but all is revealed. I am floating, I am nothing, I am everything.
For an eternity, painfully reduced to quantifiable moments, I trip.
When I trip, I am God. There is nothing that constrains me, nothing that is beyond my ability. Creation and destruction are but meaningless archetypes in the realm of the mind. Existence is the only thing that matters. Persistence. Consciousness. These are the things that....
And just as suddenly as it had come, the warm blanket of the high is ripped away from my fragile form.
I am brought back to this cruel and cold plane of existence. Shivering from the intensity of an experience that could have begun an eon ago.
I feel no crash, no down, just a mindless urge to continue that wonderful trip. I lower my nose to the table, and right before I snort the final line my mind wanders to his parting words.
"If you make it past the second, you'll find out."
Down the rabbit hole I go then.
I barely feel the drug, the Eternal, this time, as it makes its way through me. All I can feel is the mind-numbing bliss of it in me. My body lies limp in the chair, and I feel the chains on me melting away. I am free once again.
And so I wander the ethereal plains, the starlit fields of madness and wonder. Man is a creature terrifyingly confined to his earthly shell. He fears and refuses the aspect of himself that threatens to shatter all the bonds of civilization, not understanding that it is only his implicit acceptance of his chains that keeps him bound.
All truths are known to me, all lies exposed, all flaws perfected. There is nothing but the serene and the tranquil within the maelstrom of chaos. Entropy is what shall free us all in the end.
And so my trip continued, reaching forward into things not yet occurred, and harking back to the shadows of things already past. I floated for an eternity, free of all the filth of existence.
Until a single disquieting thought came to me.
"Who am I?"
The cold silence that met the question, was the most terrifying thing I had ever experienced. I could no longer recall who I was.
Even the questions seemed to make less sense with every passing moment, in that timeless void. Conscious thought seemed futile here, unnecessary. A part of me, whatever that was, longed to just give up and lose myself in the unending ecstasy.
I felt someone else scream, felt the struggles of someone else entirely. I was so close now, almost to the end. The warm glow had faded away to be replaced by an infinitely deep darkness. And as my identity receded, the single point of light that I called myself dimmed, almost going out.
The last thing I saw, as my consciousness dwindled away, was an infinite sea of lights in that terrible darkness, revealed for what it was. The last emotion I felt was horror, as I understood what I and so many others had given ourselves over to.
The Eternal Darkness took me, and I was no more.