"Beer before liquor, never sicker."
Hunting boots, yellowed jeans, Patagonia, ironic facial hair. Cigarette in hand. I look up; he's standing over me, as some combination of frat star and Klan member. It's difficult to believe the boy is enrolled in a school, but not really---the Patagonia is certainly validating. Thanks, idiot.
I'm sure if I tell him I'm seventeen, that grimy hand would stay off of my lower back. But I'd rather not be ostracized. Shot glass in hand, this problem child (literal child) will live in lie for a night, making like a tree and staying the fuck in here. Veritas Aequitas.
It's because I'm a sensitive artist who likes to people watch. Andmy existence is only authenticated by action and reaction in a world of interesting and complex human beings. And someday, the art history degree I'llbegin here next year will do wonders behind the Starbucks counter.
Or not. I see idiots, and I wish I were more cynical.
Why am I here?
Celeste sits in the corner, shitting all over this party with her veganorexic mood swings. Today, I took her shopping. We ate lettuce and hummus. Now, we sitin an apartment full of people she only calls when she needs something, drinking and watching WWE and Family Fued.
Why am I here?
"We asked one hundred people what they thought was the number one place children get nervous to visit...what do you think, Loretta?"
The elderly black woman on thetelevision answers, "swimming."
Cheap laugh, gulp. Throat burns, room spins. My glass clangs when I set it on the coffee table.