It seemed as though the cops busted up the party only because this was a natural defining element of The Quintessential Party, and thus it was our destiny, their destiny, two destinies colliding. Up until the cops arrived, the stage had been set perfectly for their arrival, resembling every party you see in leading young-people movies and which you’ve joked does not actually exist anywhere in reality. There were dozens of sexy twentysomethings in each room, pouring into the hallways like spilled slushees, donning feathered fake eyelashes and anonymous plastic cups, their shoulder blades and butt cheeks leaning up against walls and backing into fireplace mantles. The main question you have in such a house at such a party is but where did they put all their furniture?
We’d had a horrible time at this party because this is exactly the kind of partying we’re bad at, and decided to leave an hour after we’d arrived.
“God freaking dammit,” I said as we faced a veritable mountain of piled coats, purses and scarves. “Well. I guess it’s time to start digging.”
It was dark in the hallway, with no visible light switch. Jurvis stuck his hand into the tower and began rummaging for our belongings by feel.
“Helllooooo . . .” a navy-suited woman poked her head into the house from the front door. “Just what are you doing?”
“We’re leaving,” I sighed. “Or, trying to, anyway. Why?”
“Ah, you’re leaving. Very good. Do you know who owns this house?”
She looked over my shoulder. “Do you need some help over there?” she called to my hunched-over boyfriend, shining her flashlight onto the coat pile. She held the beam steady until Jurvis cried victoriously, extracting a familiar camel-colored coat.
“No problem. You sure you don’t know who lives here?”
“Look, honestly, I would tell you if I knew. But I have no idea whose house this is.”
She then shone her flashlight up the winding staircase. Three floors above us the fifteen-or-so hosts were actually in a conga line, dancing their way through the room to many cheers, high fives and assorted accolades. She grumbled something to herself and began climbing.
“I’m going to tell you how to dance when no one else has started dancing yet,” I told Jurvis. “It’s very easy. All you need to do is move your head around a lot. It makes other people look like they’re moving with you.”
“Hah,” Jurvis said, with his sideways look that said sometimes the girl I’m dating is kind of nuts. “Seriously?”
“I like to alternate between moving my head around, and just closing my eyes.”
We walked the rest of the way home quietly. In front of us, the sidewalk stretched luxurious and soft, like a cat in deep sleep.