Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Image from Free Digital Photos
by Melissa Rhea           

If the roads were even paved, they were full of pot holes. The place should have been condemned. The walls seemed to breathe from the number of cockroaches that lived beneath the peeling paper. Parts of the floor were sinking in, and some places were missing, like my memory. The air was laced with the smells of sweat and stale cigarettes. 

I remember swallowing that little piece of metal ecstacy and waiting patiently to be transformed into another world. The drainage started shortly afterwards, putrid, dripping down the back of my throat. My fun had begun.
When the ecstasy finally kicked in, it started in the center of my chest and radiated outward along every nerve ending in my body. Then, I started to feel an incredible feeling of love for everyone -- and not caring about it.  Or anything.
There were very few furnishings except an eclectic mix of dirty, used items that were likely to have been picked up off of someone’s trash pile or salvaged out of the city dump. Some rooms didn’t have anything at all. I kicked off my shoes and danced there. With the warm, smooth glow sticks laced in between my fingers, I allowed the bass from the Baby Anne CD to flow through my body and guide me.

I stopped only when I was out of breath and feeling drier than the Sahara. I kept my own personal bottle of water in the fridge. And if memory serves me, it was the only thing kept in the fridge.   I took a cold, refreshing sip of water, and that was all I felt, all I knew at that moment.  

Changing rooms during the party was like switching altitudes at great heights. Walking back to my designated dance floor, I could barely recognize the faces of the people piled up in clusters in the living room. “How ya doin?” and “I love you” floated carelessly in the air.  Two thin bodies discussed their differences-something along the lines of “I don’t know why we don’t like each other. You’re really awesome." Another voice asked for a massage of some sort while holding out a bottle of cucumber melon body lotion. Their voices blended together and faded into the background of drum and bass. I’m sure that if any sane, sober person walked into this place, they would have taken one look into the living room full of barely clothed people and considered it a massive orgy.

I liked it best when I danced.  When I was on my aged slab of matted, dirty carpet, I felt the faint buzz of the black light and the rhythmic clicking of the strobe’s flashing light, even over the thumping of the sound system. Every sense was heightened. I’d dance and dance and dance some more. And when I stopped, someone would mutter through a half closed mouth, “Dance for me,” and I’d start again.

Normally, I could be found in a corner by now -- inhaling the stuff that propels whip cream from its can. Sometimes, I could be found laid across my boyfriend’s lap-- so far gone from the Ketamine I snorted that I couldn’t control my body. Tonight was different. Tonight seemed off.

As I danced the night away, I caught little glimpses of myself in the mirror hanging on the wall. This reflection was of a teenage girl barely pushing ninety pounds, dancing and spinning glow sticks in a bright strobe of light. I watched the tracers following every flick of my wrists, every twist of my hand, every lift of my arm. And as I watched, I felt myself start to peak. A second wave of radiation flowed from my chest feeling much stronger than the first. I needed air. I needed to cool down. I was going to pass out.

I stopped dancing and balanced myself the best I could. Stumbling back through the living room, my vision was blurred but clear enough to make out a few things: multiple people sucking and chewing on baby pacifiers, a teenage boy sitting in the corner carrying on a conversation with a strobe light through clinched teeth, and (most disturbing) was a neighbor who just walked through the door. She had her two young children with her. How could she bring them here? She sat her children on the couch and took her place next to them. A boney hand reached out, handing her a mirror with the magic powder, ketamine, piled on top. She took a cut off straw and began her trip down the hole. Who will take care of these children?  My eyes scanned the room. I recognized her husband, the children’s father, snuggled up on his mistress in the kitchen. I was disgusted. Is this what we’ve come to be?

A wave of nausea hit me as I stepped out into the night air. I shivered down to my bones, though I do not recall it being neither hot nor cold out. My vision  went completely black as I bent over the wooden railing of the porch. That evening’s dinner of pork fried rice filled my throat as my best friend snatched up my hair. I forced myself to pick my head up, and I met his green eyes. For the first time, I noticed his sunken features. And as he asked me “You good?” I thought to myself --

This is not me.


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