So what would you do? If you had only one second, one sixtieth of one minute to decide, what would you do? You have three pills in your hand and a security guard less than three feet away. C'mon, think fast, there is no time to waste, what would you do? The security guard is all over you, he wants to know what's up, why are you in the corner, why is your friend looking out for you? He walks you to the entrance, what were you doing in the corner? Your friend wasn't talking to you, he told you something, what was it? "Don't lie to me, what were you doing in the corner? Why did you put your hands in your pocket? What's in your pockets?" So the security guard proceeds to search you, thoroughly. He checks every pocket; he pats you down carefully, so where are the pills? Did you try to hide them? If you did he would have found them, this guy wasn't messing around. On the other hand, you could have popped all three in your mouth at once and hoped for the best. That's what I did. Yup, even though I don't do drugs at parties (most of the time!) tonight I had decided that I was going to have little chemical fun, except that it turned out to be more than just a little, it was a bunch. All I could now was hope that I wasn't going to roll too hard.

But let's go back to the very beginning before we go any further…

One of my good raver friends greeted me at the front door as I arrived at the venue. It was Jeff K.! As we got to talking he mentioned that I haven't been my usually self lately, that I've seemed overly stressed out, that I've had a bit more of an edge lately. Well Jeff, I said, "I'm a stressed out guy, I have a lot going on in my life. I work 50-60 hours a week, and at any given moment I am thinking about at least two different businesses that I responsible for. Even when I go to parties I have to think about doing my part for the magazine. I never get a break; all I do is think and work."
"I'm just saying that you used to seem happier, you're different now."
Jeff said.
He was right. I am different. I have been working my self to death, and I never get any down time. All that was about to change however…

Three pills later I felt like a different person. I thought about everyone in my life and gave them the benefit of the doubt. Okay, fine, so maybe they weren't quite like me, maybe they had different priorities or even no priorities. That's their life and they can live it the way they want. So what if their way creates more operational overhead, or takes longer, or isn't the way I would do it. I do whatever I want, why shouldn't they? Why should I be so demanding of everyone, why should I always play the part of the enforcer? What the hell happen to me anyway? Have I become so obsessed with achieving what I want that I will sacrifice anything to get it? Maybe it's time to ease up a little. Maybe it's time to ease up a lot. Everything is clicking, so why not take a break? Why not go back to being the carefree, easy-going person that could relax? Since when did I start waking up at 7 a.m. for no reason and go to breakfast before work, only to write an extended operations manual? What happened to the fun loving crazy part of myself that was cool with anything? On what day exactly did I turn into a monster? Do I need to cut back on the D n' B? Maybe I need to start smoking weed again. I need a cigarette.

I met up with Jeff and we went to get smokes. On the way back we noticed Jungle bumping out of someone's car. The tunes were dropping just right and I was already warmed up from dancing inside so it was only natural that I get my Jungle steps in. Since I looked like a Cande Raver in my orange Kikwear T-shirt (Circa 1999) and Cande bracelets on both wrists I created the impression that I was new to the rave scene. I said that I had only been to a few parties, and was still trying to learn to dance to Jungle. This set them up for the crazy (crazier than usual) shit I was about to bust out on the sidewalk. "I wish I could do that," said one girl. Ah yes, that's what every dancer wants to hear isn't it? On the empty sidewalk in an empty inland town everything was beat-matched, and I could do no wrong. It was perfect.

Everything was perfect.

On the way back to the venue I looked into the aquarium full of ravers through the glass wall that doubled as the front of the building. Hundreds of ravers were swimming and intermingling in each other's company, hundreds of people who share the same passion for life and the same taste for freedom. I didn't know everyone's story, but I knew we were all in the same place and none had to deal with the regular world tonight.

In essence that is the most important part of raving, a different point of view on the world, a chance to live without rules and regulations and norms and standards and judgment. At least once a month we should have a chance to escape into a world where we don't have to meet expectations or deadlines, where we can completely escape the pressures of everyday life. I'm not complaining, I know there are people in the world that have it a hundred times worse, I know that people live in fear of being blown apart everyday of their lives, but even within my simpler easier commercialized life I still need to escape. And that's what I'm doing tonight, and I know part of the reason I feel so light and so optimistic about everything is because I ate (had to eat!) three pills, but so what? For the first time this year I let my guard down. I let people into my life and I didn't try to fix everything, and because of that I solved the one problem that I couldn't solve by thinking about it. I became the person I forgot how to be. I opened myself to talking to new people without reservation; for once I had a positive attitude and I wasn't in a hurry to accomplish anything.

The next day Jeff K. and I went to get lunch in the Redlands and noticed that all the stress and all the edginess were gone. He said that I was emanating PLUR. Had it been too long? Was I afraid to admit to myself that I need a break once in a while? If the security guard hadn't surprised us in the corner, none of this would have happened. According to Jeff it worked out well.