The most popular drugs all have girls’ names. There’s Mary Jane, of course. Lucy. Tina, or Crystal. Sally. Snow White, aka Hannah Montana. Addie. And last, but certainly not least: Molly. If music culture is to be trusted, Molly’s the life of the party these days. She’s on everyone’s tongue and in everyone’s head.
I first heard about Molly earlier this year when Tyga released his single “Molly” in the spring. The hook repeats the name over and over again and ends with Tyga saying he “fucked around and fell in love with her.” I asked my friends what Molly was and they told me it was the drug ecstasy in a purer form.
Then I started hearing Molly’s name everywhere.
Yeezy talked about her in his “Mercy” verse (“Something ’bout Mary, she gone off that Molly/ Now the whole party is melting like Dalí”). In “We Can’t Stop” Miley Cyrus admits her and her crew “like to party dancing with molly” — she told Rolling Stone that she was saying “Miley,” but that wouldn’t make sense to anyone, unless they were on Molly. Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” became a summer hit almost single-handedly with the line “Popped a Molly, I’m sweatin’!” And Kanye talked about the drug again on his new album Yeezus (“Let’s take it back to the first party/ When you tried your first molly/ And came out of your body”).
I never thought I’d try Molly. I’ve smoked weed before, like most normal American twenty-somethings. But weed and liquor were as far as I was willing to go. It’s because my dad was an addict. I guess I should say my dad is an addict, because once you’re an addict, it’s a lifelong struggle. Anyway, I saw what his addiction did to my family, how it tore us apart, robbed me of a better childhood, better opportunities — but most importantly, how it robbed me of a father. So from a very early age I was determined to steer clear of anything that would possess me like drugs possessed my father. You could say I’m afraid of drugs, of what they can do.
Now, there’s no way to tell the story of my first time on Molly without exposing people close to me, so forgive me for skimping on the details. I was at a place in River North where they play good music, and a close friend offered me a small clear capsule filled with white powder: Molly. Normally I would’ve laughed awkwardly and politely refused. But this time I thought, what the hell, you only live once. So I took it, and I waited. I waited for 15 minutes. Nothing. I waited for 30 minutes. Nothing. I waited for 45 minutes. Still nothing. My friend asked me if I was feeling it, and I told him I wasn’t. All I felt was disappointment. All this talk about Molly, and here I didn’t feel shit.
My friend offered me another one and I took it, determined to find the rabbit hole. After 15 minutes the only thing affecting me were the mojitos I’d been downing. I decided to head to the dance floor and at least pretend like I was on Molly, to make the most of the night.
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but all of a sudden I felt this incredible feeling, the greatest feeling of my life. I began sweating and it felt good to sweat. I became completely uninhibited, dancing as though it were the only true purpose of life. Dancing became my at rest state, more natural to me than sitting or walking. And I was smiling and laughing and putting my arm around people’s shoulders, not in the frat-boy kind of way, but in an “I appreciate you” way.
My mouth was dry so I drank a lot of water. After an hour of dancing I asked for a third Molly. With no capsules left and just a bit of powder, my friend asked me if I wanted to “parachute it.” I said, “Totally,” having no clue what he was asking me to do. But whatever gave me more Molly, I was up for it. My friend wrapped some of the powder in a piece of napkin and told me to swallow it, which I did with a bit of water. More dancing. More water. The lights became liquid. The dance floor was packed and everyone was dancing their asses off. The DJ never skipped a beat. The music blended from salsa to bachata to duranguese to hip hop, and I never stopped dancing. Not once. I felt amazing. I felt unstoppable.
Then the lights came on an hour or so later. They announced that the place was closing and I let out a loud groan. I embraced my friend and thanked him sincerely. “I’m glad you liked it,” he said. “I knew you would.” I told him I loved him, and he told me he loved me back.
Outside it was November and 60 degrees. My friends and I started walking nowhere in particular. It just felt good to be cooled by the night. My legs were warm and begged to keep moving. No matter how good the air felt on my sweat-soaked face, I still needed to go somewhere with lights and bass. So we headed to Division Street.
It was quieter, more chill there, and I found it so easy to talk to strangers. Unlike alcohol, which slows your thinking and makes you slur like a toothless old bum, you’re at your most expressive on Molly. You may not be able to see straight on account of the dilated pupils and all, but you’re still crazy articulate and social. I’m usually a friendly and talkative guy without the help, but Molly had me actively friendly. I had a very nice chat with an upstanding white guy in the pee line, and later I got to know one of the bouncers. I kept tipping the bartender for my water until she said, “Dude, it’s just water.” I told her I used to be in the service industry and that I didn’t take people for granted. She thanked me.
I groaned again when the bar closed at five, and we headed back to my place. As soon as we got inside, I put on some music and danced till about 7:30 in the morning right there in my living room. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t hungry. I just wanted — needed — to dance.
If being on Molly is one of the best feelings, coming down from it is one of the worst. You don’t crash or anything. It’s worse than that. You gradually become less affected by the music, by the dancing, by the lights. You begin smiling less and start getting bored. Your legs slow down and you decide to sit down. Then you sit there with your head and leg bouncing to the music, stupidly grinning at the people around you. But eventually your head stops too. Then your leg stops. You’re still not sleepy, but you go to bed anyway because you figure there’s nothing left to do.
I woke up four hours later, feeling lazy and my legs sore, but otherwise I felt fine. From what I’ve read, Molly affects people differently. Some people feel depressed and unmotivated for a couple days afterward. Lucky for me I got what’s called “afterglow.” I felt relaxed and something like optimistic. The way I describe the afterglow is that, while I know I took Molly, a part of my brain has no clue. All it knows is that I had an incredible time out. So in that sense, it’s similar to the afterglow of going to the party of your life and waking up without a hangover. You’re bound to feel like a rockstar.
Like I said in the beginning, I’ve been on Molly again since that first night out, and the effects were the same. Most people who take Molly describe this feeling of being on a rollercoaster — there’s a gradual incline until you crest and a wave of euphoria washes over you. I haven’t felt that yet. Molly also makes some people paranoid, but I haven’t experienced that either.
Still, no matter how much of a wonder drug Molly may be (some psychiatrists say it could help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder) it’s still a drug like any other. The feeling you get when you’re rolling is so ecstatic that you’ll naturally want to be on Molly all the time, or at least whenever you go out. But it’s unhealthy and potentially dangerous for an otherwise regular person to start manipulating their state of mind with a controlled substance, whether it’s booze or pills. I may feel extremely happy on Molly, but I remind myself that it’s a manufactured happiness, not like the happiness I feel when I’m on a date with my partner or accomplishing something in my writing career.
Molly’s the fountain of youth, if there ever was one. But it doesn’t last long. The spell wears off and your ass turns back into a pumpkin or whatever you were before you took Molly. And you gotta be okay with that. You have to willing to come back to reality. I am. I’m a writer, so I’m all about reality.
This isn’t a blanket endorsement of Molly. It isn’t a blanket endorsement of anything. I’m only telling you how Molly works, how she moves. She comes in, shows you the time of your life, and she’s gone by morning. She’s a good time, but don’t “fuck around and fall in love with her.” She won’t love you back.
[Photo: Neil Rickards via Flickr]