The Fear™ has a different face for everyone, but it is unmistakeable when it hits you. Something starts to creep in around the edges of your Trip, then takes it over, hits you like a steamroller, and leaves you in a place where everything is decaying, and the air has a different, greasy feel to it.
There is a lingering, all pervading smell, a little like an electrical fire, but as familiar as your own sweat. It instills a nagging feeling of extremely close danger, but never quite close enough to give you anything to work with. The quality of the light is all fucked up, the colours seem to be very flat, and thin, except for the blues, which seem to be alive and somehow have a livid violet blue/black harmonic that makes you think of the edges of a deep, badly infected wound.
You can't tell if the air is full of invisible, choking, smoke, and you feel the beginnings of a panic fluttering in your chest. You are suddenly struck by the idea that there is something very, very wrong. You stop what you are doing, and start a mental check to see if you are functioning properly. You are aware of every autonomous function, breathing, heartbeat, bloodflow, etc, and you feel as if you must somehow transfer the control to your foremind, because if you let them go back to automatic, you are likely to forget to keep them going, and die from a lazy heart, or forgetting you need to breath, and asphyxiating.
You take three or four really deep breathes in quick succesion anyway, just in case you had to, but this makes the blood rush in your ears, and your heart beat faster. Everything suddenly ramps up a notch or two. You feel, rather than hear a thundering noise in the distance, it beats like a huge, slow, deep drum, driving everything with a vast timeless beat.
The Panic in your chest gets bigger, and you feel it's fluttery fingers moving up to your throat now, the rushing in your ears is almost deafening and all your perception seems to be building, and building, trapped and looking for a way out, it feels like a tidal wave about to crash over through, and out of your head, all at the same time, (which, you notice as an afterthought, is no longer a constant, but rather ambiguous) Then the panic moves up, and across your face like a blush, and spreads around your head, you are aware of a tiny tiny little white spot, at the centre of everything.
Your bursting, panic stricken mind focuses on this aperture that suddenly unifies all creation, and the light gets bigger, and impossibly bright, just as the wave crashes over you, and it's suddenly like a thousand silent trumpets are blowing all at once, right next to your head, and the pain, and pressure is unbearable, and something has got to give in a moment, and you know that something's going to be you!
But you suddenly find some reserve of will, and start to fight it, with every drop of essence that is you. You seem to be getting away, for a second or two as well, and then whatever it was that you were, snaps away like an elastic band snaps, and you are aware of nothing but the light, no sound, or colour, or texture, just this Holocaust of light, so bright it shines right through you like a breeze cuts through the mist. Matter is suddenly gone. Does not matter, need not be.
You are a point of stillness, the fulcrum at which everything balances, and you feel an instant of relief, before The Fear™ Finally hits you. Rolls over you like a wave of foul, gloopy caramel coloured fnord and you start to be afraid.
You thought you knew what Fear was, knew how to ride it until it dropped away to nothing much at all.
You realise that you were very wrong indeed. This thing, The Fear™ is going to ride you, consume you, digest you, and shit you out, like you were nothing! It will go on forever, and you have no hope at all of escaping it's icy clutch. You also know that deep down, you have always known this. And so it takes you. scared
That's just the build up, but you start to get the idea. I wont elaborate any further, because of the spoilers,
but once it gets you, you will never ever be the same. Your life is bisected into two parts. Before, and After.
So now, just because you know The Fear™ is there, don't let it put you off what can be a delightfully fun time. It doesn't get you every time, and it probably won't the first time. Some people never seem to get it at all.
But it doesn't pay to get complacent. It's there, it's real, and it will eventually make itself known to you. To all of us. Eventually. So good luck, and be sure to enjoy your Trip. Everything will be fine. wink Probably.