All the Parties

Zack tossed a beer bottle in the air spilling the frothy goodness all around. Everybody gazed up at the sky; it was full of stars.

“It don’t get like that in the city,” said Efron.

“It sure doesn’t,” I confirmed.

It might have been the stuff, but I felt like the sky was a dark room and the stars were outside the window. Except that we were in Griffith Park at the narrow end of a party gone stale. Tina was sitting beside me, her butt in a puddle, giggling like crazy at the things the old guy was saying.

“Hey,” I said, “Whatcha laughing about?”

She did not notice me, it was just the old guy who gave me a look.

“Hey,” I said again, “What’s so funny, Tina?”

“Oh, it’s just Jim. He’s got…” she trailed off into a giggle that turned into a blank stare.

“What are you trying to say, woman?” I was out of my mind from the drugs and the alcohol, but I was getting jealous. I think. “Hey, get your ass up, woman. You’re in the mud.”

I hoisted her up and she screamed like she was saying “That hurts!” The old guy protested. I looked him in the eye, then her, then him again.

“Who are you, anyway?”

“Me? I’m just a guy at a party. No harm to anyone.”

“Oh yeah?” I said, “Well you’re old and I don’t know what you’re doing here.”

We were kind of standing, he lit his cigarette and looked at me sour-face.

“I’m just a guy who never had enough parties, you know?”

I must have been getting a little intense (except I did not feel I was) because Efron got in between me and the old guy trying to calm things down, so I backed down. The old guy was maybe my father’s age, forty or something, but I could not shake the feeling he was about to die.

I looked at the horizon. The sun was beginning to rise except you could not see it yet, only the stars were fading. I hoped it was a supernova blast about to cook us all; Efron, and Zack, and Scorpion, and Molly, and Kim, and Tina, and the old guy. And all the banks, schools, hospitals, houses, parks, and people.

The bottle Zack had thrown in the air, it was beside my foot. I grabbed it to smash the old guy’s head.

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