I CAME HOME FROM the Breakroom and my clothes reeked so badly of cigarette smoke I decided to soak them in the bathroom sink. Eyes smarting, I slouched over the porcelain, running the water. I looked at my reflection in the mirror of the medicine chest: It's 2:00 a.m., I'm in a ratty old bra, and my eyeliner is smudged onto my cheek from rubbing at my defensively teary eyes. The smudge is shaped like... Florida, and I wonder how long it's been there. I'm slumping over my sink when I should be in bed. I'm insane. As I was walking home, someone yelled something about my ass from the open window of a vintage VW bug. Now I will have to worry about my ass all week.

I left the Breakroom about 45 minutes after the show ended, trying to delay the tipsy walk home to an empty room. All I could do was fix my attention on the glowing Olympia Beer sign above the bar. It shows two couples on the beach decorating their sandcastle with beer cans. The beer models have orange bottle-tans and garish bikinis. It depressed me.

The Breakroom was populated with really attractive people, but there was a coldness about them. Artfully disheveled, willowy men and women covered in expensive polyester under a thin membrane of sweat and self-promotion. I feel sure I am indistinct from them. Music? There was definitely music. But the walls of the Breakroom were vibrating with the frisson of hormones from a crowd on the scam. Women with cigarettes gesticulating a little too widely, men walking past them several times, trying to catch their eyes. Above it all, 764-HERO were performing their hearts out in vain. They didn't get much help from the scene. The worst thing there is to say about 764-HERO is that they clearly capitalize on the local zeitgeist, but it's not for lack of talent. The songs are honest, and if I wasn't riveted, I also wasn't bored.

I heard the last song of Love as Laughter's set just as I arrived, and it sounded great. I drank a cheap beer and scanned the room, despite the fact that I will not recognize anyone. Although I don't smoke, I thought about trying to bum a cigarette.

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