The music thumps off each of them, their voices are just as loud. There’s a hundred of them in here. 80 of them I’ve never met. The 20 I know are lost in their heads, whatever elixir they’ve had enough to take them someplace else. They are friends of course, or at least what you would call friends when you’re 18. People you get into trouble with. That’s all you really want, right? But I don’t get lost with them. Their bodies prowl around me. The music beats to some rhythm I can’t define. Each shriek and cackle, each plop from a successful shot of beer pong–they are all lost in a madness I can’t join.
It’s dark and hot and sweaty inside and so I go to the back where it’s cold enough to keep most everyone away. The only light comes from the soft bulbs at the bottom of the salt water pool. There’s a topless girl in the jacuzzi sucking back smoke from a bong. The sliding door can’t keep out the sound. The music shakes the glass. A girl upstairs whales and cries and begs for someone to kill her as she retches–hopefully–into the toilet. White lights climb the black backdrop in front of me–cars traversing Kanan Dume Road on their way to the ocean. They make no sound.
I leave, slightly drunk, without saying goodbye and I take the long way home via Mulholland. KUSC plays some slightly familiar piece, “The Planets” by Holst and when the final piece begins–Neptune, the Mystic–I take a wrong turn and find myself lost on the road, stopping only when I reach a summit above the fog. The moon lights up the clouds below into an endless sky across the ocean. I’m in 13th grade, a freshman at Moorpoork Junior College. I live at home. I get good grades. I like to write, read books, watch Seinfeld, and pretend that I’m healthier than I really am. I like girls but I’ve never had sex. I have no idea what’s going to happen next but I know at this moment that this feels better than anything else I’ve done. On the road. A full tank of gas. A desire to just go. I don’t know if anyone wants to come with. I’ve always been too selfish and afraid to ask. But I do think there’s room for more.
To be continued…
© 2013 Christopher Dart