Once, I walked to a hill miles from anywhere at 3am with two strangers.
In the beginning there was a whole crowd of us. Vodka drunk girls in skinny jeans and tank tops shivering against the night. Jaded goths stomping in heavy boots, fidgeting with their colored contact lenses and chain necklaces.
Someone’s twelve-year-old brother who was there for an unfathomable reason. A few sweet couples in crochet ponchos and silk patchwork trousers, all smiles and exchanged flowers. Older guys with spiked hair and penknives stuck in their belts.
For a bit, there’d been the Wasters: slow moving stoners who rarely spoke and seemed to communicate with little more than red eyed looks. We all gave them that name for their single minded determination to waste their lives.
Gradually, we shed people along the way. Predictably, the Wasters slumped down within minutes, mumbling that they were having their own party.
The spiky haired men broke off to cut lines of speed on the backs of their iPhones, their shirts half unbuttoned and skin shiny with sweat. The kid and the couples turned back. The others took different paths or sat down on fallen trees.
It was a strange group to say the least, connected by nothing other than a single mutual friend we all shared, the most gregarious person I’ve ever encountered who seemed to know everyone and anyone.
What was I doing there? Damned if I knew. It wasn’t my scene.
I- barely scraping 15- wasn’t the kind of person to end up in a place like that at a time like that with people like that. Or so I told myself.
Somewhere after the people I knew had left and the sky had gotten dark and the air smokier, it had stopped being my scene. Yet I stayed out of curiosity. Not enjoyment: curiosity.