Every weekend there is a party somewhere. Whether it is out at the “Momma,” the lake, or even at someone’s house, it is the “cool place” to be. Last year, I arrived at the Halloween dance not wearing a costume but expecting to have a great time with all of my friends dancing and listening to music. I overheard someone talking about a party that was going to start at Mary’s house. Being invited to go with all of my friends, I didn’t want to be the wimp of the group, so I decided to go along. I drove away from the dance thinking that I would only stay for a little while at the party.
Pulling into the driveway, I instantly knew that this wasn’t a good idea. My hands were shaking, and I had goose bumps all over my arms and legs. “What if my parents find out?” I thought. How would I be able to explain being at a party to them? I was supposed to be at the dance. I looked at the trailer and saw people going in and out. Can I still leave? I was going to leave. However, I stepped out of my car and could hear the music playing from someone’s system. It was the song “Joker” by the Steve Miller Band.
The aroma of the trailer could be smelt outside, and the Jack Daniels was being circulated like popcorn at a baseball game. I looked inside and saw people sitting on a dark pumpkin-colored couch playing cards. They were hanging out in the kitchen. People were going to and from the small 70’s size refrigerator popping the tops off of their beers and letting them fall on the floor which was covered in dirt, pieces of broken dry wall, and glass from a broken window. The looks on people’s faces were that of sheer fun, they were making fools out of themselves, and, even if they hated it, they weren’t going to stop.
I found Mary, who was gloating with the thoughts of her fantastic party, and behind her rose a voice that I recognized very well. I looked and saw Tonya staggering down the concrete steps of the trailer. She was laughing hysterically and talking in a loud, uncontrollable voice. Supporting herself on the car next to us, she looked at me through her almost psychotic eyes and started to rummage through her pockets and babble.
“Oh my God, oh my God, I look so bad. I can’t believe that you have to see me like this,” she said as she frantically searched for a stick of gum.
It was just like she had read my mind. I knew that she partied, but I had never seen her in action. “What drove her to do to this? Is her life so bad that she has to drink to drown her problems?” I wondered. I felt panicked as though I shouldn’t see her like this and started to step backwards. I felt the cold metal of my car and looked up at her, my eyes swelling with tears.
“I smell so bad,” she blurted covering her mouth and shoving stick after stick of gum into it. “Please promise me that you won’t hold this against me.”
I just watched as she went floating back into her world of drunken oblivion. After that, I told Mary that I was going home and that I would see her on Monday. She asked me if something was wrong, but I told her that there wasn’t and that I was just tired.
I drove home recalling the entire night in my head. It was like a bad dream that you dread having all through your high school career; you can’t wake up and make it go away. I “saw” that no matter where I go in the world, even in a small town like Hotchkiss, the parties will always continue.