France exports cheese. Bolivia exports tin. Mysterious’ ex-girlfriend told me that he was reckless. All of these items were old news at best to me, and therefore, non-essential filler statements. The issue was that I didn’t want to deal with his shenanigans and harebrained schemes that night. That night was my union-mandated time off, a perfect time for me to work on my killer impression of a sloth. Unfortunately, as Mysterious knew me, he played me like a violin, stirring me from my torpor. After I picked him up, we drove to the street that the party was on and passed a long line of parked cars.
Inwardly, I cursed. This was not the small, intimate soiree that would merely annoy the neighbors. It was sure to be the “Absent parent block/neighborhood wild debauched drunk fest” type of party. As we swung by the house; or should I say; mansion, complete with manicured lawns, open gate, and pillars, I noticed a small mob of people strewn over the grounds. Immediately, I cursed again. This was the exact type of party that the police wanted an invitation to, and were sure to crash without one. It was loud, obnoxious, full of under-age drinking, drug use, and much more.
I then suggested that we head back home. Mysterious then chose to play his second card in his deck of tricks. The first had been the friendship card. He might need someone to drive him home because he wanted to drink. The implication was that a true friend wouldn’t let him drive drunk. It was a devilish card to play. Like a sap, I had fallen for it. The second card was the quickness card. He assured me that we’d only stay a few minutes, because it really did look too big, and we really would leave before the police arrived. Since my brain had taken leave of my corporeal body, it was once again easy to agree with this assessment as well.
We found parking easily, since we were about two miles from the party. There was no danger of us not finding the party again, because all we had to do was follow the line of cars like bread crumbs. Once we passed the gate, and had a good view of the proceedings, I think Mysterious himself even had a moment of misgiving. Empty beer kegs lay upended with circles of prone people around them like gorged hogs by a feeding tray. The din of music emanating from the mansion threatened to split ear-drums by us taking but one step forward, and assorted planters and the driveway were strewn with enough trash to make a new landfill. It was obvious that because of the walk, the commute, and the phone call, we were very fashionably late, or the revelers had started the party very early.
Mysterious was one to never admit a mistake, so he plunged forward into the odd crowd of revelers, up the steps, and into the foyer. The foyer was grand, with a double staircase behind the open expanse of marble, above which a large monstrous crystal chandelier hung. The foyer was awesome, however, not for its intended effect, but for the surreal scene that was moving in and out of it.
The marble was coated in places with odd liquids – most likely liquor, but in some cases with what I was sure was vomit. The neat order of the stairs was disturbed by people strewn crumpled on the sides, in various stages of repose, mingled with assorted debris. On top of the stairwell, couples loitered foolishly close to the railing, co-mingling, with heads lolling easily in all directions. The lights were low and flickering, obscured by a slight haze, and the walls were streaked in places, while vibrating to the thrum of the base from the massive stereo that seemed to be the heart of the building.