The 5 Phases Of A Pillhead




This is a special guest post from Sam Briggs at Wrong Channel.
Read more or subscribe for new posts weekly: HERE


Phase I: The First Pill

When it comes to disco biscuits, that first dunking is the deepest. The brain is taken for a ride and duped into spunking through all its happy tokens in one swell swoop.

Lo and behold, a molten euphoria starts to swell in the tummy. A gooey tide of thick, warm joy that diffuses through the belly lining, then gushes the lovely news tingling up the spine and out to overwhelm every cell. It’s a good few thousand grins happier than anything available in Mother Nature’s holistic range. Well, I don’t know how having a baby compares and, with the amount I’ve infantilised my scrotum, I probably never will.

Melting under the assumption that they look as good as they feel, our budding gurner gets to securing all these potential friendships. Not chatting to everyone seems suddenly as ridiculous as it is. So they ooze out earnest greetings right, centre and left. The 1st time pill-head is a precious being, not for this world – a creature too good and pure and innocently handsy for a life so cruel.

It’s as if the big man upstairs took some time to explain music to you himself. The body conducts an electronic musical current through the core of your being. In two flicks of a DJ’s wrist, a lifelong appreciation for dance music is uploaded via the spinal cord.

These fresh-faced mandible-gymnasts wake up with a drab hangover, tops. Blissfully unaware of how lucky they are to be aware of bliss.

Phase II: The Learner Gurner

Why good morning Learner Gurner, your jaw truly precedes you. Even through a testing glaze of sketchiness, it’s easy to clock those ravers taking their pinging proficiency. Faces that stand out in a crowd, but not in a haunted house. To be approached with zero caution, these goblins have the temperament of pixies.

The unlicensed Gurner clenches their 4-quid bottle of water like their life depends on it, which, to an extent, it does. Their eyes are either all over the shop or closed for business, completely submerged under the tune’s surface. ** All Learner Gurnees must visibly display their ‘L’s in a conspicuous position on the front of their face. **

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙁 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙁 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 🙂 🙂 🙂 :):) 🙂 :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 ) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :L:L:L:L

In the mushy, honeymoon phase it’s the norm to sincerely splurge out some <3 to a temp bestie. A short-term friendship based on agreeing through noises like “Fwooof” and “Corrrr” is rounded off with “I love you,” because, in that moment, you do.

An amateur’s sensory info is overloaded on wonder. All the joyful endorphins of finishing an ultra-marathon, none of the bothersome effort. A spoogly newbie could catch a vibe from the orchestral beeps of a road crossing B2B with The Green Man. They will testify their damp T is cut from the finest silk the royal tailor had to offer.

Night thwumps into day in a few strobe flashes and dry piss runs. Stratospheric come-ups that maintain an evening head and shoulders above the clouds. Even the re-entry to reality is smooth. The pantomime emotion of comedowns is almost fun.

That kind of ingestible glory is tough to resist. Cue: gurning the candle at both ends.

Phase III: The Consummate Professional

The consummate pro can keep their features pretty close to the classic layout of a human face. They can put the kibosh on their jaw’s wanderlust. Maybe, even interlock their molars for a mum-friendly photo. Never truly away with the fairies, just nipping off with them for the odd jolly.

Even if the brain is outputting boundless love, better to establish some sensible parameters. Restrict those 3 little words to those you should let know sober. Or cooler still, totally ironically tell a stranger you * air quotes * “love” them, as more of, you know, a wry post-modern homage to rave culture more than anything, really.

The Pro grits out a knowing smile to the clammy Trainee Gurnee. Ha! The naivety! There are always second, third and fourth winds in the sails. Although, comedowns start to nibble away at your soul, and before long they’re tearing lumps out.

Phase IV: The Wounded Vet Phase

The wounded vet has really, really persevered with excessive sessioning. Gaming the brain into releasing all of its happiness has downsides? Who knew?

Each weekend’s squib is damper than the last. The merry gradually slips away with each poppin’, the ‘supercali’ gradually falls right out the arse of your BIG nights out, exposing the ‘fragilisticexplialidocious’. What’s coming, but never comes? A vet’s come up. The trumpets start to play, but they drown in and out. The effects tease, then fade, like a beat that never drops.

Resist, resist, resist the clock. Jesus – ’01:16’ – only twelve trudging minutes since the last check. The idea of limping through ‘til close feels like all the effort of an ultra marathon, with none of the joyful endorphins. Uttering that word for the secondary party that follows the initial party, sends the shitty kind of shivers down the spine. Eurrhwaheurh.

A weathered vet catches a glance of themselves in a urinal mirror, the pasty ghost of good times past. Bags tatted under the eyes, looking a bit too close to a scare campaign. While young and radiant gurners glide by laughing. Where once there was irrepressible chattiness, now there’s more unhelpful internal chatter. The untouchable confidence isn’t there, and they can’t quite pull the trigger on the intros that once fired off without a thought.

Our weary trooper might chance it on an iffy pill that guarantees to be jam-packed with unspecified evils – perking them up to a lively-enough twitch til taxi time. Oooh the relief of that taxi door clicking shut, after two feeble attempts. Rejoice, you’re warm, it’s really over.

At this stage of a career, gambling a Bill Cinton-toot on a joint seems risky. “I’m never doing drugs again,” becomes the colourless Monday catchphrase, actually meaning it a little more each time. The grimness of comedowns might bleed into your general outlook. Post-party anxiety can become the resting setting. Doing drugs, because drugs are what you do, apparently.

All troughs, no peaks. Time to bury your novelty snorting accessory, and pack it in.

Phase V: The Last Hooorar

Yeah, trust me, mate – this weekend’s gonna be massive, like daunting-massive. God, that’s a big, weighty night out they semi-dread is here – a stag-do or a round number birthday or 1 out of 3 night’s at a festival. Is the psychological cost worth it?

Already thinking about the time, long before the crime. Preparation is everything. Better get on top of those invoices, so you can coast through the murky lowlands of next week. Or book some of those precious, few days off so you can hate yourself in peace. The evening is tackled with misused mum advice – “make sure you get a proper night’s sleep in and a hearty meal down.”

With enough hard-earned serotonin to squander, this hoorah might recapture a sniff of former glory. Although it seems that Achilles is playing up after the last attempt at catching a second wind. Or maybe, the comedown will rear its mopey head in the middle of a life-changing set (for everyone, but them). The Last Hoorah-er makes their apologies and creaks back to the cushy plumbing of their glamping area alone, tail between their legs.

Given all the legitimate life stresses to dwell on, it’s a bit more difficult to distinguish comedown from week-in, week-out apathy. The estimated length of the ‘never’ in ‘never again’, is about 7 or 8 months.

For more writing from Sam – or to subscribe to his blog – click HERE.



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