‘You got the 2C-B pills mate?’
‘Yeah, bro, right here.’
‘Oh mate, it’s gonna be so sick!’
‘2C-B’s gonna be so jokes!’
It was Saturday 23rd May 2015, and Maxxy and the lads had gone to Love Saves The Day, a music festival in Eastville Park in Bristol. It was a swelteringly hot day, and the boys were working their way through their second crate of beers as the miles-long queue inched slowly closer to the entrance. Tommo had run to tescos to buy a third crate, on the assumption they’d have time to drink them all before they got in. From the other side of the enormous temporary wall enclosing the festival, the demonic sound of thumping shook the foundations of the earth.
‘Everyone’s here today, as well. Gonna be so jokes.’
‘Nick is the bird you’ve been chirpsing coming?’
‘What bird, mate?’
‘What’s she called? Kaya?’
‘Shut up, I haven’t been chirpsing Kaya!’ said Nick, stamping his feet bashfully.
‘Can you have sex on 2C-B or do you get pilly willy?’ asked Maxxy, who had never taken the hallucinogenic before.
‘Pilly willy, mate. Why, who you going to have sex with? Sapphy?’
The lads all cheered with anticipation. Maxxy smirked cockily.
‘Nah, I wish,’ he laughed.
‘You definitely could do, mate, she was practically rubbing herself on you that night we got caught with Mungo’s ring.’
‘I can’t tell you how much I wish that was true.’
‘She’s so hot, mate, if you got with her I’d be proud of you,’ said Ferg, swivelling his baseball cap around so the rim was over his neck.
‘What would you give me?’
‘She’s worth more than that, mate!’ said Swag, hand-slapping Nick.
‘I’m not paying you to get with Sapphy! Unless that means you owe me £50 if you don’t get with her?’
Ferg looked as if he’d just struck oil.
‘Alright then! You owe me £50 if you don’t get with Sapphy!’
‘Alright mate, you’re on!’
Maxxy and Ferg shook hands on this tremendous deal. The heat of the afternoon sun and the many beers the lads had worked their way through made this seem like a fantastic idea, and Maxxy felt more determined than ever to finally seal his destiny and get with the mercurial Sapphy.
The queue edged forward until finally the lads were going through the gates to get in. Maxxy, Nick, Swag, Tommo, Ferg and Plum all got their tickets checked, and then – they were in!
The festival was set all around Eastville Park. Rampaging like lemmings between the eight different stages and tents were young people dressed as if they had just stepped out of a dream. All around were strange apparitions glossed with glitter and gaudy colours, wearing flares, onesies, bizarre costumes and loud sunglasses. Stepping into Love Saves The Day was like stepping into a trip.
Maxxy turned and surveyed the crowds around him.
‘Oh my lord, the girls here are fit,’ he dribbled, his eyes trailing like slugs in the wake of every girl that crossed his path.
‘Do you think they know how fit they are?’ said Plum, joining Maxxy in his voyeuristic appreciation.
‘They can’t do. Otherwise they’d try and look ugly so they wouldn’t make boys feel as crazy.’
‘Which tent we headed to then lads?’ said Nick.
‘Nikki and the Badock girls are in the red tent,’ said Tommo, suddenly looking eager. ‘Let’s head over there.’
In their drunken and pleasant state the boys lurched towards the red tent, which was huge and playing thumping house music. They swiftly got themselves embedded in the heaving, orgiastic crowd and lost themselves in the music. Boys and girls with whom they flirted casual acquaintances came and went and were greeted joyfully but meaninglessly. Every second smile was aimed at someone they recognised and felt obliged to show friendliness to, unless they weren’t certain the other person had seen them, in which case they looked away and hoped they wouldn’t make eye contact. There was nothing worse than two people pretending they hadn’t seen each other.
‘Right, lads’, said Swag, turning around and pulling all the lads into a tight circle. ‘Who wants some 2C-B?’
‘Yes please!’ they all said, and the hipsters distributed the pills between them.
Maxxy continued to bop assuredly in the boiling hot tent. Sweat had begun to take the alcohol out of him, and he hoped that the 2C-B would hit him in good time.
The boys found the Badock girls and began dancing like the legends they were.
Two hours later.
‘I don’t get it!!’ shouted Nick. ‘What do we normally do!?’
‘I don’t know!’ wailed Swag. ‘Do we normally stand up or sit down!?’
Nick rolled like a pig onto his side.
‘That’s still not normal!’
‘Let’s try standing up.’
The two boys got back onto their feet.
‘No, that’s not it!’
‘Sit down again!’
‘That’s not it either!’
It appeared that Nick and Swag had forgotten whether they normally stood up or sat down. They continued to pursue the answer for the next fifteen minutes.
Maxxy and Plum, meanwhile, had made their way to the main stage.
‘Oh my god,’ said Maxxy. ‘Are we on a boat? The whole place is on a boat.’
‘Really?’ said Plum, looking all around him. ‘I think it’s a rainforest.’
‘Look at those people –‘ Maxxy tried to say, but he imploded into fits of laughter before he could finish his sentence.
‘How long have we been here?’
‘What is time?’
‘Like, you think everything’s back to normal, then you just go inside your head, and you have no idea how long you’ve been dreaming. What’s going on!?’
‘That tree is breathing!’
‘Where are my eyes!?’
‘Mate, that tree is breathing!’
‘Where’s the ground!?’
‘The tree’s breathing!!’
Everyone around them melted like hot paint through the air. A glitter-stricken man with a unicorn head came near Maxxy.
‘UNICORN!’ he squealed, and began to pet the unicorn. ‘Oh god! It’s eating me!’
Somewhere near the crowd of the main stage, an enormous crash occurred. The boys in the crowd were too absorbed in their trip to notice, but in fact the sound was Ferg and Tommo collapsing a food stand, because they thought it was sinking, and they had jumped on top of it.
Then, Maxxy saw Sapphy.
GOD, she was beautiful. Or was she a crocodile?
‘Maxxy!’ she exclaimed excitedly, and rushed over to hug him like a cannonball.
‘How are you?’ said Maxxy.
‘So good!’ she laughed. ‘I’m really up right now!’
‘Really? So am…’
But Maxxy couldn’t finish his sentence, because he’d just been sucked into his latest vision.
‘Oh god, Sapphy! You’re on fire!’
‘No I’m not?’
‘Oh GOD, you’re on FIRE!!’
‘Are you tripping?’
‘Someone save her!’
With no time to spare, Maxxy threw himself heroically upon the combusting Sapphy. It was the most heroic thing he had ever done in his short, sweet life.
Later that night.
Maxxy looked at his phone. It was eleven o clock. He looked around him. He was lying in the middle of Badock quad.
Nick, Tommo, Swag, Ferg and Plum were lying all around him. The great grey mass of Badock frowned down on them.
‘What… just happened?’
Swag rolled over and stared at his phone.
‘How is it eleven o clock?’
‘I lost all concept of time!’
‘I know! Like, a second literally felt like hours.’
‘It honestly felt like the day lasted years.’
Some girls walked past them and looked disparagingly and snobbishly downwards.
‘Wait a second,’ said Ferg, rolling over to face Maxxy. ‘Did you get with Sapphy?’
‘I don’t know…’
‘Yeah, did you?’ they all enquired. ‘Do you owe Ferg £50?’
‘I think I remember seeing her…’
He checked his text messages. There was a text on it that read: ‘You broke my ankle and I’m in hospital’.
‘ Yeah, lads,’ said Maxxy. ‘I don’t think I got with Sapphy.’