When Drugs Disappoint: A Personal Story of a Night Out That Fell Flat

It was a friend’s birthday, and a group of us were going out to a dubstep night in King’s Cross that finished at 6am. We were all Londoners in our second or third years of uni, back for Easter and anxious for a break from studying. This was going to be the only big night out while everyone was back at home, which meant that there was a lot of pressure to have a good time.

On these types of nights, we always do MDMA or pills. This time, a friend had sorted something out through an acquaintance of his from uni. We’d normally pick up from a local dealer, so this was a bit of a break from the norm. I didn’t think about it too much at the time though because I had some weed that I was going to try and sneak into the club, so I spent the hours before we left preoccupied with how best to do this. I settled on hiding it under the tobacco inside a bag of cutters choice.

The queue for entry took about as long as normal, and despite everyone being made to empty their pockets, I’d got the weed in fine, no sniffer dogs. The dance floor seemed a little empty, so I spent the first couple of hours having a few beers and spliffs with one of my mates in the smoking area. Back in the main room, most people dropped their first bomb. Two pill heads turned up on the outskirts of the group and took their tops off and put them in drawstring bags, which they kept on their backs. “Where are those guys from, the land of stereotype?” I thought. It turned out they knew my friend whose birthday it was. “Oh well, the drugs’ll kick in soon.”

The drugs hadn’t kicked in though, and not only that but the whole night just felt a bit flat. The club was still slightly empty but the air con was on full blast as if the place was packed. As a result of this, everyone was freezing cold. I wasn’t having a great time, despite the DJ who was on being someone I’d come to see.

The MDMA started kind of having an effect on me, but it was really only a slight burning at the back of my brain. No desire to dance and no euphoria. It was keeping me awake and on my feet, but I was really just a bit stoned from the weed. I became really self-conscious and aware of everything that was happening around me. I was at a massive night, right in front of the DJ booth, but I didn’t feel like dancing at all. Moving to the beat felt forced and awkward. In the smoking area earlier I’d tried to put on my friend’s hat and it hadn’t fitted. I’d become really paranoid about my head being too big. Now, paranoia was setting in on the dance floor, I thought everyone in the club was looking at me and thinking “look at how bad he is at dancing!” I looked around and tried to copy the movements that everyone else was making. Fortunately, everyone was just in their own world, and constantly swivelling around to check if I was being watched hadn’t brought me any attention.

The time ticked by, but finally the night finished and we left the club. I was bitter, not so much about wasting money on what in hindsight was clearly not MDMA, but more about what a missed opportunity the night had been. My instincts about those two guys with drawstring bags had been right too. On the journey back to someone’s flat they just talked relentlessly about the tolerance they’d built up to pills and how they hadn’t taken enough at the club that night. One of them bought The News of the World, and back at the flat sat down reading it saying stuff like, “oh, so Fabregas is off to Barcelona then,” and “That Amy Winehouse is a bit of a mess, isn’t she?” “You’re worse than her,” I remember thinking.

A few days later most of us met back up again at the pub. We were all talking about the night. Someone mentioned how weird they’d found those two guys to be, and everyone agreed. Someone else talked about how freezing they’d been all evening, and there was further agreement. I mentioned how I’d found myself standing in the middle of the dancefloor, certain everyone was staring at me and judging my dance moves. There was a long pause, before everyone burst into laughter. Oh well, just me then.