So, there was this one night in college.
I never dropped acid back then, even though it was intriguing. I never dropped acid because first, I used to get overwhelming sensory experiences from just really good pot. And second, most of my friends who knew me well used to say to me, specifically, "YOU should never drop acid."
I guess I've always been naturally psychadelic.
Anyway, this one night - I don't know if it was the combination of pot & alcohol, or if the pot was laced with something - but I had a very real sense that I was spinning off into the void. In my head, there was nothing but me, and stars, and the ether of outer space, and infinity.
And the only thing that kept me grounded was my friend Joe, who happened to be holding my hand at the time.
I didn't really know Joe that well; in fact, we probably talk more on Facebook now in our mid-40's than we ever did back then. But he was the friend of a very good friend - Jeremy, who was the first friend I'd made at Rutgers, during Freshman orientation - and I trusted Jeremy. So I trusted Joe.
Joe held my hand that night, and he stayed with me until the earth's gravity had me again. I don't know what happens to a person when there's no one there - not even a kind acquaintance - to ground them when they're floating skyward towards suffocating infinity.
Because through the years, I've had a few times where it seemed like the void was going to take me. And always there was one person, holding my hand and making sure I didn't spin off into the unknown dark.
I hope I never find out what it's like to not have that person. And at the same time, I hope I don't need them again.