Saturday was a warm and sunny day at Vegoose, the music festival where we spent the weekend. Although everyone around me was standing and dancing, I laid in the grassy field outside of Las Vegas with my eyes closed, soaking up vitamin D.
I’d been a good patient and remembered to take my Chinese herbs with me to take throughout the day. I needed two doses of four of each of two kinds of herbs. Space in the backpack was at a premium so I crammed all 16 gel caps into an Advil bottle.
I realized my fatal mistake when I remembered to take my first dose — the two different pills are almost identical. To sort them into the two required doses, I had to sniff them all, looking for the ones with the stronger scent.
After a few minutes of this, a friend leaned down to tell me that everyone one around us was staring, trying to figure out what kind of cool new drug I was taking. My hands shaking, as they always do, signaled to onlookers that I was desperate for my fix.
I threw back all eight pills at once and a man said, “You’re gonna be so high.” Little did he know that less headache pain was the only high the herbs could offer.
Lying back on the grass, I couldn’t stop smiling. Everyone around us thought that I was on a massive dose of some mind-altering drug. And there was no way I could convince them otherwise. (“No, really, it’s medicinal Chinese herbs.” Who’d believe that?)
I laugh now imagining the stories told to friends about the drugged-out woman at the Raconteurs show.