"I don't puke in your car," I mumbled.
"Or what happens?"
I looked up at him from my position in the back-seat of his immaculate, Titanic-sized burgundy Cadillac.
"You punch me in the face."
"Gender is not a factor."
So began my New Year's. Luckily, I never got the chance to throw up in his car. He was the friend of a friend whom I'd agreed to let escort me to a party some 20 miles away on the other side of town.
I don't know why.* I can never seem to imprint the party experience deep enough onto my conscious mind to remember to steer clear of them in the future. The party experience consists of me having 1 or 2 close friends who speak to me for a grand total of 30 seconds before descending into the mayhem of heavy drinking and constant fraternizing that is a party. I stand in a corner, terrified, clutching my red plastic cup of God knows what, searching my brain for the reason I've subjected myself to this. I've put myself back in grades K-12, and I didn't have to.
*It must have been to see the man I slept with, I decided. So I wait for him. I'll kiss him at midnight, and he will realize he wants me.
Midnight comes. He does not.
The night wears on. I find myself on the couch, holding the same red cup. I've not drinken from it but once.
All the girls look at me with alternate expressions of contempt and confusion. They've seen me before. We've never spoken. Sensing a nervous breakdown, I swallow what's left in the cup and rise to find my friend. He's in the next room, among a circle, merrily leaning against another and passing a pipe around.
"Are you sober?" I whisper to him, knowing the answer. "Is anyone sober? When do you think we'll be leaving?"
"We're staying the night, sweetheart!" he shouts, shaking my shoulders violently, "Drink! Drink!" They cheer and I feel my eyes well up with tears.
I leave the apartment before my face becomes a sea of makeup. There's people outside. There's people everywhere. I wind down the stairs until I'm alone. The stone stairs I'm sitting on are cold, and so is the slanted rain soaking my clothing. Wiping my face with my sleeves, I wonder why being one of those people myself, I feel so much more like an interplanetary being.
I took a silent, 60 dollar cab ride home. Perhaps this will be experience enough to remember.