The Giant's Tongue

“what are you doing after this?”

“taking acid and heading to Merge”

“That synthetic stuff? Why not mushrooms?”

“Mushrooms make me feel like I’m seeing the evil hand of God, acid makes me feel like I’m God’s throbbing clit”


We get to Merge by 1, the line is a little less than half a block. The air is just right, crisp, cooling, but not freezing. Acid under my tongue, and the pre-drug jitters are ramping up as we approach the entrance. The line is cute as hell, friends catching up, it feels like everyone’s anticipating a sexy night. I hear bits and pieces about the final UNTER, how tickets sold out in three hours, details about what one might wear. Parallel to the line is about 4 or 5 porta-potties, they look teal under the streetlight, kinda cute, and I will come to learn they need to be out here, cause inside…

“We’re hanging in like the chill area” 

I reread the texts as we walk into this huge room with four couches facing each other, lined up in the middle where they end, the ramps start to curve up. Like giant wood hands. My eyes start to adjust to the baby blue lights, I’m scoping out tonight’s playground, friends perched at the top of the ramp, people lounging on low couches. To the left of the ramp wall is a small hallway, leading into an even bigger room with the DJ booth. Already deeply surrounded by eager bodies, thickening, it’s beginning to steam, but there is still air to breathe.

This dance floor too is cradled by a ramp, all I can think is “this place is sick!” It’s the perfect playground. We sit on a ledge in the chill room while my friend L talks to us about their crush and trying to find some coke. Here is where the acid starts roaring.  

Acid is my go-to party drug. Coke wreaks havoc on my nose, K makes me too dreamy, molly dries me out. Acid keeps me awake and everything is glittering. Recently though, this recent stuff rips through me, but me, I need to be ripped through. I need it to turn me inside out ASAP. Flesh made anew between churning bodies, sweet techno falling over us. And I mean like candy, the music is so good. 

I’m on my way outside to vomit, thank god there are no bathrooms inside this place, the smell…. Outside I run into the other half of our party crew, E, Ad, S, and Ms. C, and more are waiting by the door! I’m all giddy, I forget the vomit!

I guess here is where I mention that half our party crew comes up from Baltimore for Merge! That’s a four-hour drive at least, and on Friday, right after an 8-hour workday…. I just think that’s really saying something, maybe about my friend’s dedication to a good party, maybe to the consistency in which Merge throws a good-ass time.

Pre-pandemic I lived in Baltimore and would religiously make the trek via bus to attend the infamous UNTER. It was the type of night I had been waiting for my whole life. It filled me. When I would run into NYC friends in the fog of Sugar Hill DiscoSuper Club, they would look shocked, “You’re up from Baltimore?”

“Yeah, I came just for this!”

I would candy flip through the night and when the sun started to rise, I would make my way back to a bus and crash on the ride back down.

Outside Merge, it feels good to vomit in the cold porta-potties. That’s also what I’m trying to say. The dichotomy between inside and outside at this party is important! It’s refreshing! I’m cooled down, smoking a J, letting the acid grow vines around my legs. I look up and try to find the moon in the sky and wonder if I’ll make it to sunrise.  

D has my phone in his backpack, and I’ve lost A. This is good. I’m fucking free and my nerves are buzzing baby. I find E by a huge speaker, sunglasses on, and we dance in the sea of shirtless twink bodies. All I can see is sweating backs, the curvature of spines and hips, and that space where the ass starts to spill over the waistline of denim jeans. I think about sucking sweat out of the crotch of the cloth.

The sound. Perfectly loud enough to drown out my little acid thoughts. I shift my weight from hip to hip. The beat moves me to close my eyes, turn my chin up as I breathe in this warm thick air. Like syrup, I need it right now. The beat fucking goes. E and I are moving in tandem with a nice baseline beat. It’s solid, we’re there. Emerging from that comes a whistle, on off on off. E and I start bopping to the change, left right left right. The sound reminds me of Baltimore parties, where rave elders bring their own whistles to add to the sound. We’re being silly in this whistle beat when suddenly some smoother sound comes in, all sleek and trap-beat like. Fuck! We grin to each other; the room’s energy is beaming through us. The space feels endless and trippy. Constantly like we are being surrounded, the sloping wooden walls, the seamless mixing of sound that rises around us. We’re all in God’s sweaty palm being played with, giggling, enjoying it.

Alright picture this: you're covered in sweat, breathing hot air, you’re reaching your limit, almost suffocating, you walk outside, boom the freshest air in the world! This is also what is super cute about this night…. The block! The sidewalk is doused with all these groups of hotties! Everyone is chatting, taking a reprieve, cooling down. I look up and the moon is finally there, kinda hidden, like a sleepy eye looking down. The party is the whole block, S and some others are smoking a blunt by his car. We hear the bumping from inside, still jerking our bodies to it. We don’t want to stop feeling connected to everything around us. Maybe ten minutes later Ms. C comes out, hyping the music so hard.

“God it’s amazing in there! I just came outside to catch my breath but wow.”

Without a second thought I beeline back up the block, into the sweat lodge. Cause she’s right. The music is so delicious I almost get FOMO if I’m away too long. The music continued to be top tier. Like a good meal you just keep needing “One more bite” from, cause the taste, cause you’re so full from eating but the taste, the taste has you.

Every time I re-entered, the room became more wet, with sound, with sweat. The floor looked soaked. If this were a sci-fi, we would have been partying in the mouth of a giant, dancing on a wet tongue.

The DJs knew it was infectious, holding our heads like that. Idk maybe it was the acid, but I could not stop moving!

When my feet couldn’t take it anymore, I laid back on one the ramps and looked around in my acid daze at the faces and bodies coming in and out of the light.