I walk in the door, economically beleaguered and financially distraught from my journey, to find myself in the Great Depression. Homemade cider mixed with rum is offered as a defense against the chilly night. One partygoer, somehow able to find a bit of merriment in the midst of the current credit crisis, laughs and bandies about observations on fascism.
I am standing against the oven, still fighting off cold and despair, when I notice the most well-ordered magnets I have ever seen on a fridge. Each is perfectly and geometrically arranged so that, even during a month of calamitous upheaval and change, I have some semblance of order in my life. It is at this point that I notice a bathtub full of beer. Unfortunately, the bathroom's double-duty leads to a group of people with conflicting motives waiting outside its door. In the background, a small record player struggles to pipe out some cheery jazz, but the party's chatter drowns it out.
Flappers and fallen stockbrokers mingle easily in the brightly lit living room. A blogger from a large local paper sits quietly near a window, staring into space. It also appears that the entire 826 Seattle group is in attendance. My fear of their fiction-peddling ways is affirmed as they playfully toss a red Martian invader around the coffee table.
Someone arrives brandishing a key lime pie, and the party collectively sighs a hungry "whoa." Food and drinks are passed around freely, as is the good cheer, and everyone joins in the Sisyphean task of consoling each other in these times of uncertainty.
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