People Like Us


The smoking session on the patio was interrupted by the birthday girl’s need for everyone to take shots in the kitchen. The smokers entered the kitchen and the calm mood that existed outside died. Someone shoved a clear bottle into my hand and poured me a shot. And another. And another. Lime floated around, lemon juice covered the floor, and saltshaker circles around the room.

The floors were seeped with Silver and Gold Tequila. The counter tops turned to a dirt brown glaze from a mixture of: Heineken, Budweiser, and Corona. Arctic blue Bombay sapphire collided with Mike’s hard lemonade and Smirnoff vodka. The skinny bitches from the West Side drank expensive Pinot and Cab from their parents’ wine cellars.

Thoughts of alcohol poisoning and drunken bleach blonde blowjobs invaded the floor of the main living room. One, two, three, four, five push-ups! Now take five shots! Two boys picked up a girl that looked like she weighed less than 100 lbs.

“Man, she is fucked up. Carry her out of here.”
“Dude, should we just leave her here? I mean I don’t even know where she lives man.”

I caught a glimpse of her lunging over and heard her hurl. I knew she had been left to fend for herself, but the party still went on.

And then I felt it. Fuck you Mom. I attempted a cold sober text to her and don’t bother to tell her if I plan on coming home. I was in that transcendent galaxy where everyone sounded Dutch, where I only felt safe with people like us. The sweet, sweaty summer air surrounded me, grabbed me tight, molded an arctic ice shield around my marijuana mused mind. Reality seemed like a video game and I had become a philosophical traveler who was racing through her own stream of consciousness.

I just wanted to crawl out of the living room, which reeked of: sex, vomit, and sweat. I put my right hand to my forehead to ease the pounding. I managed to make it from the living room to the back of the house before passing out.

A wall- my hand had met a wall. And finally, I found the light. When I stood up I could see that the lights in the front of the house were still on. People I did not recognize were still drinking and stuffing their faces with half eaten jars of Nutella and pre-made Waffles. It was 3 am, and the party still continued on.

But I walked outside to just be alone. Fffff…inhale…wooo…exhale. I took refuge in the simple American comfort of a camel blue cigarette. Inside the party still went on, as it always does, with people like us.