Our hostess—The Stranger's former proofreader—is throwing her own goodbye party. She's going to grad school in Oakland for creative writing, but, as if packing and getting her affairs in order wasn't stressful enough, she's spent the last few weeks putting together an anthology zine of creation stories. Rather than hosting a mopefest, her party is doubling as a zine-release party.
The zine, titled This is the beginning., is a gorgeous block-printed, hand-stitched affair, featuring contributions from, among others, Stranger writers like Brendan Kiley, Cienna Madrid, and, um, me. One contributor reads his piece—about the first man in the world, the first woman in the world, and the submarine captain who loves them both—and then performs several concertinas for the audience. Thunder Grey Pilgrim performs a musical piece called "The End of the World Is No More Beautiful or Ugly Than Today," an epic played on one guitar accompanied by weird electronic manipulations.
Someone's in the kitchen making a drink composed of tequila and orange-mango juice. I ask what it's called and he draws a blank, but we quickly decide that the drink is named "foreign policy." Several foreign policies later, wrestling matches break out. Our hostess performs a full nelson on her boyfriend, which leaves him screaming and injured, but heartily impressed at her wrestling prowess. Everyone tries to do half nelsons on everyone else, but we learn that half nelsons aren't really functional wrestling moves; anyone can break free. As going-away parties go, a literary reading that ends with drunken half nelsons on the floor is an optimal one.
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