By contributing writer Michael Sarko
Let me preface this by saying that all human beings, from your two-year-old neighbor to the Dalai-fucking-Lama, are irreconcilable liars. I say this because I intend to pit two perspectives against one another that will invariably contradict, thus exposing a lie: My beliefs before and after a massive party.
The spread is as follows: A barely off-campus house maintained by your run-of-the-mill “we’ve got stolen street signs and one of many beer posters” group of guys that, honestly, I barely even know. They’re freshman-year dormmates of a real friend, so I’m on the list…not to imply there actually happens to be a physical list, or for that matter any intention to keep a loose mental roster. It’s a theme party (meaning I’m currently fighting off the urge to bump my level of sarcasm up just over the edge), the theme being the entire decade of the 1990's. People are supposed to come in costume. I, however, will not be arriving in costume.
The reason I’m not dressing like porn-theater Pee Wee or possibly Bjork a-la 1992 knobby hair-do is because I’m one of those “friend of a friend” types at the party. The little secret no one ever bothers to leak out is that participating in any of these extravagant things means precisely dick if you didn’t form some sort of bond with these people over, I dunno, Jager bombs or whatever the fuck you kids do these days. I could walk around in a multimedia representation of President Clinton’s DNA stain and hardly get a sideways glance, but the prick who shows up incorrectly in a damn Member’s Only jacket would get an instant blowjob if he can claim allegiance to a dormitory floor number. There are supposed to be somewhere in the ballpark of three kegs with one “good” keg, whatever the fuck that means (likely Harp). Just like with the costume thing, I’m abstaining from the house beer and bringing a bottle of wine instead. Why? Because if you haven’t noticed, I’m a pretentious fuck. How’s that for honesty?
Now, the real reason I’m going to this party is because my friend has made it his mission to get me laid. Do I think he’ll be successful? Honestly, no, I don’t, I’m a stand-offish prick, but I’m gonna try my damnedest. All the same, I may be able to show up to this party in a suit made of hundred-dollar bills simultaneously walking six puppies with John Mayer’s entire canon of work piping directly out of my dick and still be deprived of an opportunity to sew my debt-ridden oats. There was more pussy on any given episode of “Kids in the Hall” than you’ll find at a typical college party. So, pending the supreme leap of logic required to get my gracious hosts to invite some minge to the party, all I have to worry about now is the nonsensical script and dance that is the mating process of students at college.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about college students, it’s that nobody binge drinks and screws inebriated harlots on reflex because they have self-assurance and are confident about the future. I suppose this realization hit me at about the same time one of the house’s residents hit his head on the arm of a chair when he collapsed after his third consecutive beer bong.
“My God,” I said to the pair of girls I was talking to, “it’s not even midnight.”
The real existential dilemma here is that I wouldn’t have even been talking to them had there not been another, slightly less inebriated gentleman in my place a few moments earlier. He was talking to them in that loud-and-spitting way that ROTC boys do when they get paralectic some three hours before they have to rise and shine for routine cleanup detail. They looked uncomfortable, so I eased my way in and told him that someone was looking for him. He would likely forget this by the time he was a safe distance away. Still, had it not been for unpleasant drunkenness, I would not have been in a position to look like a respectable gent in public.
Was there any love-making for me in the dormitories that night? Of course not. I didn’t fuck either one of them, either.
Good. Now that the obvious detail is out of the way: the real point.
Ten minutes prior to the keg-stand King Kong impression gone south, I found myself in an attic clutching a wine bottle, looking out a window at a cross section of college house parties. It was like someone took an actual suburban neighborhood where families live and injected it with heroin. I put the bottle down and never looked at it again. For all I know the damn thing is still up there. I suppose this means I had that moment. You know the one—almost everybody reaches it. Those who don’t usually find themselves sporting the title of “Tenth Year Senior” and are typically too wrought with the oxygen-deprived corpses of their former brain cells to realize said title doesn’t make them the official campus Captain Planet of Sex. It’s the moment you straighten your pants, wipe off your mouth, button your shirt and say the first and last collegiate blaspheme:
“Wow. I really don’t wanna be drunk right now.”
That’s it. Game over. Hang up the beer hat and turn your bong into a flower vase, ‘cause you’re done. The party has conclusively stopped being fun. And it really is just one, big party. This party at this house on this night has been going on, practically uninterrupted, for a hundred years or more, and all the location or the people happen to be is a focal point for the same hopsey piss we and our ilk have been guzzling since some ugly shmuck with a five o’clock shadow and too much time on his hands invented the micro-brewery.
And ya know what? About three people showed up in costume. This means that practically nobody even wanted to pretend this was going to be even a little bit special. Granted, there’s always the hot chick who shows up dressed as Lara Croft, but that girl usually brings her boyfriend, too. Just like Barbie, she can wear any clothes she wants, but her crotch is still sealed shut by some idiot you’ll never even know. But if all the same rules apply, I still don’t think you’d ever catch the damn Tomb Raider tossing ping pong balls into shallow pools of warm beer.
In the end, it’s all compulsory. We need to stop calling these things “parties.” The word “party” implies that fun is going to be had. People go to these things, sometimes several times a week, and they never change. That’s not a celebration, that’s a habit. It’s like going to class, only at night and on the weekends. Even for the less frequent party-goers it’s akin to military service in the reserves. One weekend a month, four weeks a year can describe target practice and a war game, or Jell-O shots and a winter break. It’s not worth it, kids. All the hilarious drunkisms and four-pump orgasms throughout history aren’t worth the crayons it takes to color them.