At 20, I attended my first music festival with two friends. Before the sun set on our first night I was a drunken, slurring, glittered mess. As we stumbled to the festival from the campsite, a young guy jumped at us.
‘Can I borrow your phone torch, man?’
‘For what?’ I slurred, still maintaining standards.
‘To find my stash.’
‘Of course,’ I said, handing my phone to the stranger.
He ducked into the tent, rummaging around his underwear.
A young woman emerged from the darkness, wearing very little besides face jewels. In a matter of seconds I had her face in my arms.
‘So my uncle died last week. Then my granddad. Then my dad,’ she sobbed.
‘Oh, honey,’ I said, pulling the stranger into a warm hug, my friends standing to the side watching with confusion and impatience.
Before long a head popped out of the tent.
‘Mike!’ The girl screamed.
‘Hey,’ he said, bug-eyed.
‘Mike, you have to give my friend some,’ Amanda said, wrapped in my arms.
In a matter of seconds, a key was dipped into a pouch then presented to my nostril. I inhaled the scarily large amount of powder before thinking.
‘Oh, thanks,’ I said. ‘I’ve never done coke before.’
‘It’s not coke, have fun,’ Mike said, leaving me at the entryway of a door I didn’t want to open. My head began to thump to the beat of the distant festival.
‘What did you do?’ my two friends asked.
‘Just snorted something. Let’s go.’
As my friends danced to music, I swayed and sweated. Suddenly, I felt a need to find three specific people I knew at the festival because the grass told me they were in danger.
“Ok, bye,” I said to my two friends, sprinting off into the festival.
I headed straight to the mosh pit, elbowing my way through the jumping crowd. I stopped, turned, and sprinted into the other direction, crashing into a woman. She was startled, then looked at me.
“Oh my god!” three voices screamed.
I found them in the middle of the giant crowd. It was this point that I realised I was psychic and the gods had me sent on a path. I hyena-screamed in their arms, thankful I found them.
I danced with them, until the swaying trees told me I had to find the two friends I’d left. “Okay, bye,” I said, sprinting towards the campsite and directly into a security guard. He asked me what I was running for. “Schnitzel,” I told him.
He lead me to a nearby food truck and sat with me while I ate. I hugged him goodbye and ran into the dark.
By the time I found our tents I knew (because a cloud told me) my friends were in danger. I lay, staring at the stars cursing past me. I later learned that as I lay between our tents, my two friends were following strangers to a van. Turns out the cloud was correct.