The party begins on the 72. We are barreling down Lake City Way and somehow resisting the urge to swing by Rick's. A few minstrels from the local music scene are dangling from the ceiling of our bus, and I nervously crack my knuckles as we fly past 125th Street, the farthest north I've been in a decade.

It is Valentine's Day, and the party has tons of booze, music, hot dogs, art, and fire. A huge mural looms over a controlled blaze in the backyard. More than a few rusting children's playthings are scattered around the grass offering themselves as ironic sitting devices until the joke is over and your ass hurts. I succumb to my hunger and cook two hot dogs over the flames. I follow up by roasting a few marshmallows, which aren't so much a food as they are the glue that holds our cells together. A heated debate erupts over the acceptable method of marshmallow cookery: burned or toasted. It is not much of a fight (burned is better) because I am the only one currently holding a roasting prong that could clearly put out somebody's eye if somebody was being too belligerent about how daintily toasting a marshmallow is better than burning the fuck out of it.

Victory achieved, I do that weird and always-awkward half walk, half run down the street so that I don't miss the last bus out of Lake City. Unfortunately, my friend fed me bad information (see: weekend schedules) about tonight's Metro timetable, and I begin the long trip home. recommended

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