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High Expectations: LSD, T.C. Boyle’s Women, and Me

Illustration by Homestead

Christine Ro | Longreads | May 2019 | 16 minutes (4,208 words)

I’m sweaty, exhausted, and red-faced when I finally emerge from my final acid trip. My apartment is a mess of objects my friends and I have tried feeling, smelling, or otherwise experiencing: loose dry pasta, drinks of every kind, hairbrushes, blankets. My voice is hoarse from talking or shouting all night. I’ve had more emotional cycles in the past 12 hours than in the last several months combined.

What made me want to drop acid wasn’t a friend or a festival, but a book. Specifically, T.C. Boyle’s new novel Outside Looking In. The book has its problems, but one thing it gets right is the intensely social experience of LSD. Even taken alone, even as a tool for introspective reflection, it rejigs attitudes towards other people. This can be a gift, or it can be a weapon. And as a woman, I’m especially aware of the potential for the latter. Read more…