When: Fri Aug 20
When we arrive at the house--a half a block from Rock of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church--the front door is hanging open and the front rooms are vacant. There's a half-finished paint-by-numbers of The Last Supper on the mantel. We're nervous because we don't know anyone--I've been assigned to this party, for this new Party Crasher column, specifically because I won't know anyone here--and we clomp through the living and dining rooms, so wide and beautiful and empty you could grand jete, with a six-pack of Rainier tall boys. Someone in the kitchen yells out at us, "Rainier?! We've already got a keg of Rainier in the back!"
Turns out there are a lot of people in the kitchen, crammed against the counters, and when a girl in candy-apple-red dyed hair swings open the fridge, everyone in the room has to adjust to the displacement. The cold shelves are packed deep with brown bottles of PBR and Fat Tire. She announces, "That's a party."
The rest of the party is out back, under a glaring porch light on a stone patio recently put in by the guy who owns the house (he's part owner of a local record store). There are mountains of gray dirt on both sides of the yard, which the host is trying to get rid of. ("Do you guys need some dirt? I'm serious.") Occasionally, someone holding a beer goes and stands on one of the dirt mountains, or slinks away under the tall trees with thick, bat-like leaves. One girl is wearing a dress that looks like it's made from cut up faux-sheepskin car seat covers. Another girl asks some guy, "Should we shotgun beers?" and the two disappear into the dark beside the house.
Most everyone here is a music fan--there's a guy in a Gosling T-shirt, a guy in a Kane Hodder T-shirt, a guy in an On the Speakers T-shirt--and the music coming out of the speakers in the "music room" is so loud the house is trembling. The music room (blue table, orange walls, green couch and matching green glass end table, orange lamp, bookshelves packed with vinyl) is a kind of anteroom between the kitchen and the patio, and, because of volume so loud it makes your ears throb, there are only two people sitting there. One of them is a woman with a surly expression, an arm tattoo, and a complicated design printed on her dress. It's a little hard to tell where the dress design ends and the tattoo begins.
Back in the kitchen, someone screeches, "Because the kitchen's where the cool kids hang!" and then when someone says something about the house, someone else replies, affectionately, "Yeah, it's kind of stuffy up in this bitch." Someone else is giving the opinion that "Death Cab's opening, too, so it's going to be crazy." A guy passing through has to squeeze by several people, and another guy says, "Are you touching my stomach?" and the guy squeezing through answers, "You have a nice fucking stomach!" A woman says, "And God fucking save me, the Lashes," and someone else complains, "Oh, that was so fucking awful." Someone is saying, ironically, "Just as long as we can disenfranchise the Negroes, we're still safe." A woman by the counter holds up a bottle of Jim Beam and says to the person across from her, "So the last tour I went on? I had this on me the whole time," and a guy is telling someone else, "That place? I mean, I already want to die. But that place makes me want to die in the next five years."
By the side of the house, a girl takes a cell phone call and says, "The drug bust? Was it coke?" and, after a pause, "Wow." A guy standing in the living room, looking at various pictures of the party's host (in a hallway, in a Mexican restaurant, next to a dog, kissing someone, and on a bench with an old woman), hears someone in another room say, "Are those the maracas? Stop bringing those to every fucking party." On the front porch, a guy is explaining, "The context of my boner is... well, it's extremely contextual," and a woman is gushing, "I mean, that's heaven to me. Two men cooking me breakfast when I come home." In the music room, the band on the stereo is screaming, "Gotta get out! Gotta get out! I gotta get out! Gotta get out! Get out! I gotta get out!" A guy is sitting there blitzed, a little stoned, and in bliss. He is staring at the speakers. The speakers are staring back.
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