Dozens of kids, inflatable pool toys, light beer by the case, plastic handles of generic brand liquors, everything wet and stripped down. Sunglasses covering probably 1.7 eyes on average of every pair. Does that make sense? I’m trying to be scientific here but I don’t want to sacrifice clarity. 85% of the people in attendance are wearing sunglasses. Approximately. That’s probably more clear but less interesting I think. I don’t know. I should start over. Is this thing on?
Fuck it, I’m getting another beer.
Caroline over there by the beer cooler.
–Yo yo yo.
I grab the beer and go. Could get involved with Caroline over there and find out wha’ indeed is ‘sap but I am here to remain impartial, apart from the crowd, an independent observer, a fly on the wall. I go stand by a table where some of my fellow youths are playing flip cup. I look back and see that Keith is now talking to Caroline. Cool cool. I wonder what they’re talking about. Maybe I should’ve stayed behind and dropped some eaves. Whatever. I’m at the flip cup table now.
The Stevenson brothers are running this rap shit but then the end of their line is Luke Straub and he fucking sucks at flip cup and can’t take the pressure. I wonder why they put him at the end of the line like that. Put a Stevenson down there, I want to yell. I don’t yell though. I’m an impartial observer.
After Straub’s sixth attempt I get bored and wonder on. I hear some excitement and gather that the other team has won. Of course, as soon as I turn my back. I guess I should have been keeping an eye on them. Their first player had just flipped her cup. One of Erin’s friends from school. I didn’t know anyone on that team really so like good for them I guess but I didn’t feel it was my duty to document what was going on over there.
I wander back over to Caroline and Keith. I’ve finished my beer by this point so I grab another one, crack it open.
–You okay, Sam?
-Hell yeah. Livin’ like a chillin’ villain.
Why do I talk like that? What does that even mean?
–Ha, what does that even mean?
-You tell me, duder.
–So you’re taking mental notes and all that?
-Damn straight. Scene stenographer. Mind the gab, but let it loose, keep it easy.
-Ha, I’ve always said it’s ‘cause you can’t participate without sounding like a total weirdo.
Fucking Keith. Hate that guy. But, hey, I’m impartial. Sorry. Let my opinion stay out of this. Interpret Keith and his doucheness as you see fit.
–Well, more’s the same. More’s the same.
–See? That’s fucking nonsense.
–It’s lingo, Keith.
Caroline to my aid.
–The parlance of the streets.
-Jargon. Slang. Newspeak. Get programmed with you. Hallelujah dissonance.
-Fuck that shit. Say, Sam, what do you do if nothing happens at a party like this? Like, what if there’s nothing to “document”?
Motherfucker put document in quotes. I could hear them.
–Always something, spaceman. Find the breakers, surf the wave. Stevensons go down from a Straub bomb. Pride gained and lost. Buncha new faces imprinting on the membranes and such business. Building on that there long-term narrative. Carrying off into the future. Zing!
–I do not get you, man.
Keith had a towel wrapped around his waist. One of the unsunglassesed. No shirt. A little on the portly side. Caroline in bikini uniform, objectively sexy. I down the rest of my beer and grab another, holding it up like evidence in front of Keith. Exhibit A.
–Cheerio, shitmunch. Lots more to take in.
I crack the can. Keith shakes his head as I sip, controlling bubble overflow. Caroline salutes.
I salute back and then stroll off to find something else going on in another corner of the party.