Friday, November 7, 2008


I was so excited for Blanche to get there and see my outfit. I was trying something new, something cooler, and I wanted her approval. I heard a loud knock on the door, and I threw it open to find Blanche. She burst into the room in her usual whirlwind fashion, air kissing and saying hello to everyone. She was wearing a tiny leather miniskirt topped with an oversize shirt and tons of scarves and bangles. I tugged at my short dress awkwardly, wishing she was dressed retro. It was probably over as a style now, she seemed like she would know the next thing before I would anyways. She turned to me and grabbed my hands.
“You look ravishing, dear.” I blushed and stammered a thank you. I was glad she noticed I had tried something new, but I saw Kate roll her eyes. I figured she was just jealous I was getting attention.
“Come to the bathroom with me.” Blanche winked.
We excused ourselves, and I followed her as she hurried down the hall. She pulled out a baggy in the empty bathroom, and shook it back and forth like I was a dog and it was a bone. She backed into a stall, and I followed, taking the bait. I sniffed up two lines, and pinched my nose like I had seen Blanche do. She tossed her head back like a horse, inhaling dramatically. We were laughing when we went back into the room, giggling over my retelling of last nights events. I felt invincible, so I sat close to Marcus on the bed.
“I like your tights.” he said, eyeing my legs. I stretched them out to their full length and looked down.
“I like them too.” I remarked, turning them one way, then the other. I noticed he was looking too, out of the corner of my eye.
“Okay, let’s go to this party already.” I announced to the group. I felt like I was the leader of the night’s festivities, playing hostess. I looked around to the group, and everyone stopped their conversations and started to get up. The sense of power must have been radiating from me, I thought. I slipped into some heels my mom had bought me, which I had sworn never to wear. But tonight I didn’t care if they pushed me over six feet, I wanted to be noticed. I didn’t even feel awkward in them tonight, I felt like I was ten miles high off the ground. We all trooped out of the room, in a raggedy line, and started out across the grass. The walk seemed longer than I remember, and I realized that was because I was wobbling on heels instead of on a skateboard. Blanche caught up to me, linking our arms together. I felt so girlie, and it was something I wasn’t used to.
“So I got you a present.”
“More?” I assume she was talking about drugs.
“Nope, here you go.” she handed me a card, some girl’s ID. Her name was Hannah O’leary. She was 5’11 and looked about two hundred pounds. She had long brown hair and freckles.
“You’re welcome.” Blanche sang out.
“What is this?”
“Your fake, duh. She’s fat so you say you lost weight and dyed your hair. I pad some girl twenty bucks for it in my dorm.”
“She looks nothing like me!” I protested.
“But she’s tall, and has freckles. She looks enough like you I promise.” She seemed sure of herself. “I also got Kate one, Kate, where are you?”
Kate jogged up to us from a little behind, and fake panted.
“What?” she looked at me, eyebrows raised.
“Present for my new frosh buddy.” Blanche held out an ID for her too, some tan girl with dreadlocks.
“Who is this?” she asked.
“It’s you, now, Theresa Connely.”
“Does she look like me?” and she did, actually. Tan, with bright blue eyes, just like Kate’s. Her’s was a better match then mine, but I figured it was hard to get Ids for giraffe girls like me. Plus, they’d look at the shit locks once over and think it was the same girl.
“Oh my god, thank you!” Kate pulled Blanche into an awkward hug, since they were still walking.
“So we’re twenty one tonight?” I asked.
“Memorize those birthdates, ladies.” Blanche advised.
I looked down at the card in my hand, trying to make out the numbers under the lights framing the path.
“Let me see yours.” Kate demanded. I passed it over and she burst out laughing. “She could eat you, Al!”
“I lost weight.” I giggled.
We walked up to the student center, and I got a nervous, paranoid feeling in my stomach. I knew I could get arrested for this, possibly. Or at least written up.
We formed a line, Kate and I at the back, trying to act casual. By the time we got up there, the doorman was so used to checking twenty one IDs that he barely looked at ours. I was elated. Look at us now, West Harlow. Look at us now.
Later that day, I was clicking through the UMass website, looking at my course descriptions. I was technically undeclared, which I wish I could major in. Undeclared, the study of what the fuck was I doing at college. Oh well, I thought, at least my class requirements tell me where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing. Classes started tomorrow, a fact which caused me almost as much dread as going to the GSA party tonight. What if it was just a major make-out fest and I was left alone, the sad girl by the spiked punch with no one to dance with? God, that’d be pathetic. I swiveled around my chair, and faced Alice, godfather style with my hands on the armrests.
“So what class do you have first tomorrow?”
“Art history, god that sounds miserable.” she flopped back into her pillows.
“I have Spanish 102, because I am smart.”
“No you just memorize 20 words and only use those to answer your questions, hombre.”
“La bibliotheca esta a la derecha.”
“The fajitas got me in the mood. I should get extra credit already.” I swiveled back around, and checked my university email. There was a message from the GSA reminding me about the mixer tonight. As if I could forget. All this hype was making me feel like throwing up those delicious fajitas. I checked the clock, for the thirtieth time or so that hour. It was seven forty five, and I figured it was early enough to start drinking. I heaved myself out of my arm chair and went over to the closet where we hid our booze. I also checked m caller id, and saw no one had called. I thought it was weird Marcus hadn’t checked in about tonight, but I’d call him in a little. I slugged straight from the bottle, a mouthful of harsh tasting vodka. I flipped open my phone and pressed recent calls. As the phone dialed and rang, I took another pull.
“Yo dog.”
“Hello, Kate.”
“Sup buddy? Ready to come over and get buck for this party?”
“Let me check…I’m wearing pants, so yeah I’m ready.” I laughed.
“Alice is coming, are the other girls?”
“Uhm, Jess and Ellen are here now let me see if they’re down.” He paused, muffling the phone and yelling something over at them. “Yes. Jess is always down for a party, she says.” I felt a thrill knowing Ellen would be there. Alice took the bottle from me, and calculated a mixed drink with some plastic cups, pouring back and forth to mix the combination perfectly.
“Ok, everyone come over and drink already!” Alice yelled into the phone.
“Okay, okay, Jesus you two are wild.”
“We know.” Alice yelled again, brutalizing my eardrums.
“Ouch.” I complained, snapping the phone shut. I sipped some of Alice’s drink, admiring her handiwork.
“Mm, vodka orange juice, delicious.” I nodded with approval.
“Just don’t drink too much. First, you don’t want to be the sloppy lesbo, and second you don’t want to vomit all the fajitas because I am not about to clean that shit up.”
“I won’t, I won’t.” I hadn’t drank to excess yet at school, a feat which I was extremely proud of. Occasionally in high school, I got booze sick, puking in cars or bushes inappropriately.
“I can’t wait to start tonight!” Alice exclaimed, shaking me by the shoulders. I shimmied along with her shake, exaggerating like I was being electrocuted or something. I began to get ready, trying to look cute for all the potential first lesbian experiences that awaited me. I borrowed one of Alice’s tank tops, topped with one of my dad’s old vests from the seventies. I pulled on my baggy Dickies, and looked in the mirror. I looked like Charlie Chaplin with cleavage.
“How’s this Al?” I turned around on the spot, rotating for her approval.
“Nice.” she was struggling into a fresh pair of tights, neon blue ones with runs riddling them. Over this she put a tight black mod dress, and I could tell she was emulating Blanche. She pulled her hair back into a pony tail, arranging her bangs straight across her forehead. She painstakingly applied makeup with an unsure hand. She never really wore it and I laughed, watching her poke herself in the eye with mascara.
“Nice, Alice. Who you trying to be anyways?”
“You gave me the idea when you called me Twiggy.” she rolled her eyes.
“You look like a tall Blanche.”
“Shut up, I do not.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Do not.”
“Fuck you.”
She threw the mascara at me, and I ducked. When I raised back up she threw a compact at me, hitting me square in the chest.
“Bitch!” I aimed with the mascara, but a knock at the door stopped me. I opened it a crack seeing if it was an RA or our friends. Since it was the latter, I flung the door open and gave Marcus a big hug.
“I think you’ve been drinking.” he raised his eyebrows at me.
“How do you know?”
“Because you have a wild look in your eyes, and you almost crushed my ribs. You’re like the hulk when drunk, you don’t know your own strength.”
“Oh, you think you know me now, homie?”
“You also get kind of gangsta when drunk.” Alice and Jess laughed, and I knew it was true.
“Don’t hate the player…” I trailed off.
“Hate ridiculous drunken comments.” Alice finished.
“Not what I had in mind, Alice.”
“Let’s, as they say, get crunk.” Marcus suggested.
“I am so down it’s insane.” Jess exclaimed.
“Hey, Kate. How’s it going?” Ellen had sidled up beside me. She was dressed in a short black skirt and small black top, with red lipstick and black rimmed eyes. She looked smoldering, and I got suddenly nervous. I felt like my stomach would reject my vodka all over her so I just shook my head slightly.
“Nothing.” I managed to get out.
“Oh, word?” she smiled, looking all come hither.
“Want a drink?” I imagined her red lipstick smeared all over my mouth and shook my head again. Now was not the time for inappropriately sexual thoughts about anyone, I scolded myself.
“Yeah, duh.” she said coyly. I mixed her one, mimicking Alice’s procedure, making Ellen’s a two to one ratio. I figured getting her drunk wouldn’t hurt.
“Jesus.” she said after one sip.
“I like them strong.” I winked and mentally told myself to stop flirting. I just couldn’t help it with her. She was such a sexpot.
Everyone was hanging around on our beds, making the room look homier than usual. Jess was matching Marcus shot for shot, impressive for someone of her small stature. She was definitely a party animal.
“Ughhhh,” She moaned after five or six. “I quit, I quit.”
“I win!” Marcus held his hands up, Olympian style, shaking clasped hands over his head.
“Ok, beauty queen, enough self congratulation.” Jess rolled her eyes, slurring slightly.
“Oh no, she’s Jess-ted.” he remarked.
“Jess wasted. She gets ridiculous.” Ellen explained. “She gets a teensy bit belligerent.”
“Do not.” She said solidly.
“See what I mean?” Ellen giggled, and I felt a hot surge of attraction for her. Ni looked away, telling myself to keep my options open tonight. I didn’t want to fumble around with Ellen, inept and drunk. I needed a practice girl, I realized. I thought back to Aaron, who turned out to be a boyfriend, not a practice boy. I wanted a girlfriend, too, but who said I couldn’t fool around a few times first? It was possible that I could meet an amazing girl through GSA, a girl who liked me and wanted to be with me, but in case I didn’t, I might meet a right now kind of girl. Then I could move on to Ellen, and having regular hook ups. I took another drink from the bottle and Ellen whistled.
“I’m part Russian.” I explained.
“And part alcoholic.” Alice added.
“That joke is so old, Alice. You’ve been making it for two years.” I complained.
“I thought you forgot about it because you’re always so drunk.” She responded.
Everyone laughed, and I shoved Alice’s shoulder. Her phone buzzed, playing Pink Floyd loudly. I began to sing along til she answered it.
“Hey B.” she answered. B? Obviously Blanche. I felt a twinge of jealousy. I didn’t have a nickname, unless you counted asshole.
“Yeah, come over, we’re all drinking. No, No, I’ll tell you about it later.” She giggled. “Oh my god, yeah. Too funny. See you soon.”
“What was that all about?” Marcus asked quizzically.
“Nothing” she smiled mysteriously. He looked at her with questioning eyes, and I could tell he was liking the whole mystery woman routine. I had caught him checking her out too, and I felt a new hope for them as a couple. I really wanted that, to have a reason for him to be here all the time. I got along great with Aaron, and I missed having a dude friend to chill with. Unless they were getting down, it was always us three hanging out in Alice’s basement, and I missed that easy comfort. But then, if she was having these one night stands, who knew if she would hurt him. He had told me about him and Blanche, and I didn’t want him to hurt like that again.
“Blanche will be here in twenty minutes are so, then we can head over?” Alice looked around. I was surprised to see her so assertive. But again, she was New Alice, so who knew what on earth she would do next?


We cruised down on our boards over the quad towards Amherst. We passed by frat row, getting cat called by brothers drinking morning brewskis. I smiled at them and waved, and Kate catcalled back. I felt great today. Reassured that I was now officially a college girl. What did they call them? Co-eds? That reminded me of twin sets and library cards, but the idea was the same. I pushed off quicker, impatient to get to he Mexican place Marcus had told Kate about. they Didn’t card, and I really needed a mixed drink to calm my raging head. My hands felt shaky, a version of the hangover I knew was induced by the coke. I had decided not to tell Kate, just so I didn’t freak her out. Plus It Girl Alice was Blanche and my secret, my superhero alter ego who came out at night and wrecked havoc on parties. It was too exciting to share, as if talking about it aloud would trivialize the experience. We pulled up to the restaurant, a hole in the wall that smelled amazing. I leaned my deck up against the handicapped railing and Kate followed suit. It was only a little crowded in the small restaurant, and we got a table easily. We sat down, and I settled my long frame uncomfortably in the small chairs. Kate had tucked her legs under her, and was ordering fajitas for both of us from the waitress. She knew me so well, knew to ask for no green peppers and extra onions. This comforted me for some reason, I guess having a best friend in an new environment meant a lot to me, a thought that hadn’t crossed my mind since I met all these new people. I felt a surge of gratitude for Kate then, and responded to it by kicking her under the table.
“Asshole.” she laughed.
“I’m just glad you’re here with me, loser. You know what I mean?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Like we made all these new friends, but only you know my fajita order. That’s important.”
“I like all these new people too, and I’m glad we met them, but I know what you’re saying.”
“I like all our new friends too. I really like them, and I’m kind of surprised they like us.”
“I’m not, we’re rad.” she smirked. “But really, yeah, how did we luck out? What Blanche was saying, about meeting the right people, I feel like we did. Like Marcus. He’s so awesome. Have you moved on from your crush though? What with your sennnnniorrrrrr.” she drawled, making fun of me.
“I guess so, I mean, I don’t know.” I really didn’t. last night I was over him, but I thought back to his easy grin now and I wasn’t so sure. He really was nice, like Kate said, and he was pretty cute. But then, he liked girls like Blanche, so my chances with him were limited to a drunken makeout, maybe. I pushed that out of my mind and asked Kate about Ellen again.
“I mean, she’s nice and all, and so cute, but I hardly know her. I want my first lesbian experience to mean something.” She looked sheepish. “But you and Aaron, that meant something, you know? I want that. A real girl who likes me.”
“I get it. I couldn’t have just lost my v card to anyone. Remember our plan for a practice boy?” I laughed.
“We are such idiots. Who has a practice hook up?”
“We were young, and it was an okay idea at the time.”
“No it wasn’t, it was retarded.”
“Okay, okay, you’re right. We were retarded.”
“Thank you.”
The waitress brought over sizzling plates, and we ate in comfortable silence, making little fajitas full of delicious fillings. I liked the ease of our relationship, but I knew I wanted to see Blanche tonight and regain some of my party girl status. The party tonight would be low key, I figured, and I hoped she had a little more coke to liven things up for me. I realized now how people got addicted to it, how they wanted that sense of power and pure happiness at all times. I knew I had to be careful though, not to get strung out and briefly considered holding off tonight. But classes started tomorrow and I was nervous. Kate and I had tried to register for all the same ones, but we got last pick as freshman, and got stuck in really different classes. I would be alone then, to face professors and smart kids and more new people. I didn’t trust myself to be a social person without the shield of Kate. She made that easier, we could laugh off rejection. I alone would fear humiliation, fear embarrassing myself in front of a group of people I didn’t know. I chewed thoughtfully, and saw Kate was doing the same. I wondered what she was thinking about, but decided to let her be. Sometimes she was surprisingly introspective, and I left her alone with her thoughts.


I sat on my bed restlessly, waiting for Alice to come in. I figured she stayed at Blanche’s but when she didn’t answer her phone, I got worried. Had she gone home with someone? That was not like my Alice. But I guess it might be like College Alice, whoever the fuck that was. I packed a bowl absently, then let it sit on my dresser, without smoking it. Around eleven the door finally creaked open.
“Where the fuck have you been?” Alice was wearing unfamiliar clothes, boys clothes. They made her look small and vulnerable, hanging off her skinny frame.
“Out. Whatever.” she rolled her eyes. She looked like shit warmed up, all pale and sunken eyed.
“I’m sick of this whatever bullshit. Tell me what happened.”
“I went home with this senior named Steve.” she seemed to perk up a little, and sat on my bed next to me. “he was really cool and we…you know.”
“You did? Your first one night stand!” I shook her hand, congratulating. Who was I to judge? She seemed ok about it.
“Yeah, I know right?” she smiled, relaxing, our previous tensions easing a little.
“Celebratory bowl pack?” I presented the piece to her, brandishing it like a prize. She lit it up, pulling the smoke up into her mouth.
“So Ellen?” she exhaled, creating a ghost-like cloud in front of her face.
“Nothing happened, but it will I think.” I said, quietly, a smile creeping over my lips. I took my hit and passed it back.
“You think?”
“I couldn’t last night, I know it sounds stupid, but I want to get to know her. Not be rash or whatever.” she passed the piece back over to me.
“So you want her to be your girlfriend?”
“No, I just don’t want things to be awkward with everyone. What if we stop talking, then what‘ll happen to Marcus and Blanche and Jess and everyone?”
“Good call! You’re so love smart for a lesbian newbie.” she blew smoke directly into my face. I fake coughed, making a small scene. She laughed and stuck her tongue out at me.
“Speaking of gay stuff, are you cool to go to the GSA thing tonight?”
“Uhm, I will if Blanche wants to.”
“Marcus is coming with me, so you don’t need to go…” I trailed off.
“Oh, okay, great because Blanche and I were going to…” she stopped, and started again, “Come with you guys.” I could tell that wasn’t her original plan, but the disappointment must have showed on my face and changed her mind.
“Thanks. I really need you there, best friend.”
“And I will really be there, best gay friend.”
“You’re my best slut friend now, Ms. One night stand.”
“Proud of it. Sort of.”
“Was it good?”
“I honestly have no idea.” I burst out laughing, and tackled her into my pillows. She hit me on the head with one, and we continued wrestling til she was sitting on my chest, tickling me. It felt just like old times in her basement, and all my previous anger was forgotten for the moment.
“I am starving, Alice. Can we go downtown and grab lunch. I’m buying, daddy sent me a check.”
“Sounds good to me. Where are we going?”
“Ole?” she laughed at me outburst.
“We need to discuss your new sex life and my future sex life over nachos.”
“Mmm sex and nachos.”
“You’re so right.” she got up and began to change into normal clothes, shedding the shirt and pants which smelled distinctly like boy. I pulled my tangled hair into a sloppy ponytail, twisting impatiently the locks which were turning into dreads and looking in the mirror. I tried to picture what Ellen saw when she looked at me, but all I saw was my slightly hungover self with makeup smeared under my eyes. Hot, I thought to myself, I am so hot. I wiped my eyes with a tissue and turned to Alice.
“Ready to go?”
“Just a minute.” she was pulling on tights and a mini skirt, topped with one of her brother’s little tee shirts.
“Don’t get dressed up, dude, we’re just getting nachos.”
“Whatever.” There it was again. I guess college Alice cared about looking good. I felt like I had to match her, so I changed out of my flannel pj pants into some skinny jeans which made my butt look good. There was a sliver of flesh above the waistband where my small sweatshirt rode up, and I admired my nicely toned stomach a little in the mirror.
“Remind me to call Marcus later.” I said aloud.
“Yep yep.” she tugged her shirt down a bit, and checked herself out in the mirror.
“Ok, Twiggy, enough primping. Your sugar Mama is hungry.”
“Ok, fine, let’s get going.”


I was special; I knew this because Blanche told me so. I was the ‘freaking coolest freshman ever’ and I could tell it was true. The coke made me feel like I WAS infinite. I was this awesome girl, with fucking red hair and long legs. I was fucking rad.
Kate kept trying to get me to dance, but I was now tired by that. Blanche rolled her eyes at me when she saw Marcus and Kate doing some sort of psyco-synchronized dance routine. I didn’t mention I had helped plan it.
“Marcus is so juvenile, that’s why we broke up. He wanted me to be, like, his girlfriend, and I wanted to just, you know, explore my opportunities.” That was different from what he had said, but who was I to judge? As he danced there in his make-up and combat boots, he looked silly, not like the sex god I had previously thought. Did I really want a boy who seemed unaware of my prowess, my innate coolness that Blanche was preaching. I wanted a boy who fucking worshipped me, like I deserved. Let him come to me. I was sure everyone around me could sense this new glow from within.
“Let’s go talk to those seniors.” Blanche pointed to two radio station Djs she told me where the coolest guys. One of them was even taller than me, so I was down. I was so down.
“What’s up, Trevor?” she air-kissed. “Steve, this is Alice. She’s bad-ass.”
“Hey, bad-ass.” he smiled.
“Hey.” I rose to my full height, looking him in the eyes.
“Whoa, you’re pretty tall, huh?” he looked me up and down appreciatively.
“Do you say more than one word at a time?” his lop-sided grin intrigued me.
“Sometimes. Lie right now. I’m going to tell you to buy me a drink.”
“Oh, underage drinker, we got here, Trev.” He passed me a foamy cup of beer from his hand. “Drink up.”
Ten minutes later Blanche was sucking face with Trevor, and I could tell I was getting close with whats-his-name. Steve. His name was Steve, I told myself.
“So, Alice, want to come check out my records in my dorm room? I’ll play you a private set.”
“Let me tell Blanche. I think she needs air anyways.” I laughed. I really wanted another line, my buzz was wearing off, and if I was about to do what I thought I was about to do, I needed to feel that sensation again.
“Let’s go to the ladies, lady.” I pulled her off Trevor’s neck and over to the line.
“I want more!” I enthused.
“More what?” she winked.
“More everything! More you, more you know what, more Steve, more me!”
“You are nuts.” she laughed, a little too loud.
“These guys are so cute, way better than Marcus, you’re right.”
“Told you so. He’s lame.”
“He wasn;t even into me, what a queerer.” I drawled. I knew that was cruel, but it felt so good to be bonding with Blanche over something. Anything, really. For the first time in my life I felt like an It girl, the girl you wanted to be at parties. I always felt like a token player, a funny girl to make people laugh, not a real main character. Blanche was easily the coolest girl I knew, and I was her party buddy, the girl she introduced to cute guys as her cute friend. In the bathroom, we giggled our way into a stall, Blanche pulling out her stash from her purse. I watched again as she sprinkled out lines of this wonder-drug, the drug that transformed me into New Alice. Brave Alice, better Alice.
After sniffing a few lines of perfection I headed back out to find Steve. I found him lounging by the bar, looking around disinterested. He hadn’t even dressed up, he was too cool to care he looked out of place in a beanie and tight pants. I had washed off my makeup in the bathroom, and unbuttoned some more of my shirt. I wanted to look older, and hot.
“Want to get out of her?” he grinned.
“Definitely” we tripped across campus, talking shit about nothing until we could just get back to his dorm room and start making out like I knew we both wanted to.
I woke up the next morning groggy, confused. Where the fuck was I? I realized there was a hairy arm over me, and the night came rushing back. I had fucked a senior. Holy shit. It was my first real one night stand. I eased out of bed, not waking him and began to dress. All of a sudden I realized what I was wearing would be infinitely recognizable as morning after clothes. I poked Steven on the shoulder.
“Hey do you have some clothes I can wear?” I held up my shiny outfit with regret. I figured he and I would be about the same size luckily.
“Yeah sure,” He got up, naked, and I cringed. I couldn’t face this through my fog, the first unfamiliar penis in the light of day I had ever seen. I was used to Aaron, knew all of his body easily, and this foreign man was kind of intimidating. I covered myself with my New York Dolls rags. He tossed me a t-shirt and some dirty-looking pants.
“I’ll clean them and bring them back.” I said quietly. I dressed without saying anything as he watched from his bed. He seemed at ease, probably because I was so much his junior. He did this all the time, I thought to myself. I gave him my number, just in case, and walked out into the light of day.


Alice had disappeared off somewhere, leaving Marcus by himself. I saw him over Ellen’s shoulder, watching us, looking lonely. But then I looked back and Ellen was right there, right in front of me, and I panicked. Her skin smelled like sweat and a light perfume I couldn’t place. But the scent floated over the air, intoxicating, and I was freaking out. There was so much pressure, I barely knew her and I was supposed to kiss her. And Marcus, standing alone looking like a drag queen because we forced him to dress like that, it tugged my heart.
“I’m going to get a drink.” I yelled. Ellen pouted and let her hands drop from my waist.
“That was getting hot and heavy, huh Kate?” Marcus said into my ear, while passing me a covert sip of his drink.
“Jesus, yeah.”
“I know I shouldn’t say this, but you looked really sexy.” I hit him on the shoulder and took another swig. At least I was getting some support. Where on earth was Alice? I looked around and spotted her, pretty easy when you look for a nearly six foot tall girl with flaming red hair.
“So she’s into it, it looked like.” Marcus continued.
“But I hardly know her. And what if things get weird with us, it’ll ruin our friendship.”
“What does your gut say?” I thought about that and replied,
“Don’t do it yet.”
“So don’t. I was worried about those things too. Plus Ellen is kind of flighty. She might hurt you.”
“Yeah, I got that impression. She’s just so damned cute.” I handed him back his drink, after one final slurp.
“Jeez slow it down.” He raised an eyebrow, a gesture I was becoming increasingly familiar with. “How about some sweet synchronized dancing?”
“Let’s do it!” I pulled him by his hand out to the floor, and we started to do the dance routine we had made up on the walk over. It involved disco points, claps, spins and booty shaking. We drew an audience, and Ellen clapped from her station by the DJ booth. All of a sudden, I noticed Melanie drunkenly joining in, looking hilariously unkempt. I got a newfound appreciation for her then, for her enthusiasm and willingness to really get down. Ellen winked at me, and I smiled back. I looked around for Alice again, and she was by the bar with Blanche, looking smug. I wanted her here with me, dancing and going crazy like we used to. I ran over to her and grabbed her hands.
“Al, come on, come dance.” she gave Blanche a look, like ‘whatever’, and looked back at me.
“Kate, you guys look silly.”
“Well, whatever.” there it was again: indifference.
“When did you get mature, Alice?”
“Shut up, Kate. I just don’t want to dance.” Earlier she was dancing in our room, now she was acting like I was her little sister.
“Whatever, Alice.” I stormed back over to Melanie, and continued dancing, but I felt weird. Alice had never been ashamed of me before, never acted like I was some little loser she barely knew. Whatever, Alice, I thought, Whatever.
The rest of the night was a blur of passed sips from Marcus and increasingly bitter drunken thoughts about Alice. I saw Jess again, decked out for disco, and tried to have a good time. I really tried, but the exhaustion of the night before got to me somewhere after midnight.
“I’m going to go, Marcus.”
“Let me walk you back? I’m tired too.” He gave me his arm, and I giggled.
“So, you going to a GSA meeting?” he asked somewhere between the Student Center and the quad.
“Yeah. I’m going to their party too, I think. If I survive another hungover day like today.”
“Are you really that fucked up?” he questioned. I thought about it before responding.
“No, but Alice tripped me out tonight. She was acting all…I don’t know, holier than thou. Only, not holy, like more mature than thou.”
“What are you rambling about?”
“Ehh, I’ll explain tomorrow. Let’s just make it back in one piece.”
He deposited me by my door, giving me a quick peck on the cheek.
“Call me about tomorrow, I’ll go with you even if it means getting dudes numbers.”
“You ain’t that hot.”
“Trust me, I am.” He did his eyebrow thing again and I laughed. “Night, baby doll.” I stumbled up the stairs and into bed. I slept restlessly, waiting for Alice to come home. She never did. Who was this new College Alice and who the fuck did she think she was


She really did look better. Pretty, even. I wanted to start drinking then, a thirst in my stomach that begged to be quenched.
“Anyone want to drink with me?”
“Oh I will!” Melanie squealed. I was surprised, she didn’t seem like a drinker, but who could tell. I poured two shots of vodka out, from the bottle Marcus had bought us earlier. I grabbed the cranberry juice chaser with one hand and balanced the full shot in the other.
“One, two three.” I counted so Melanie and I could time the drink perfectly. I pulled back the shot, feeling the burn go down my throat easily. I passed Mel the chaser and swallowed my mouthful of juice. That was better, but I wanted more. I wanted to feel infinite, to feel like I was In College, really In IT. Marcus was mixing a drink for himself and Kate drank straight from the bottle. I wanted tonight to be one of those nights full of sloshed emotions and reckless make-outs. If I was drunk, I knew I would be more likely to talk to Marcus easily, not awkwardly. I needed another drink.
We made our way to the party a little later, with Melanie talking non-stop the whole way. I could tell she was drunk, not a practiced drunk like Kate or I, but a giddy drunk you only got when you first started drinking. She stepped wildly, making errors in footing and depth. We got our hands marked with X’s at the front door, to mean we were underage. The doorman looked at Melanie’s red face knowingly, and sighed as we passed. The party was happening, full of drunken dancing and crazy costumes. Ellen ran up to us, dressed as a Blondie type, all spike heels and sparkly sequins.
“You came! I’m dj-ing in a half hour! Watch my set!”
“Of course we came. Like our costumes?” Kate was trying to flirt, I could tell.
“Yeah I do. New York Dolls, right?”
“Yes, indeed.” I nodded emphatically.
“Want to dance?” Marcus asked Kate. I was taken aback. Why hadn’t he asked me to dance? Kate didn’t even like boys.

“Yeah, Alice, Mel, come on!” Kate twirled around, throwing her arms above her head.
We all headed to the dance floor, slipping through groups of wildly dancing girls and boys. Ellen grabbed my hands and started to get down. Kate was bopping around Marcus, and Melanie danced sort of by herself, oblivious. I kind of liked her, she was like a little puppy we could mold into a full blown freak like us.
“Hey Ellen! Guess what?” I yelled into her ear.
“Kate is interested in you.” I figured it couldn’t hurt.
“So am I!” She yelled back with a smile.
“So go get her.” I gave her a push in Kate’s direction, hoping for the best. I was also hoping Marcus would be left alone so I could dance with him. I knew I wasn’t the best dancer, but getting that close to him would give me a thrill. Kate was now dancing close with Ellen, their awkward hands on each other’s hips. I pulled Marcus over the bar to get him to get me a beer.
“So Kate and Ellen?” he raised an eyebrow.
“I think so.”
“Nice. Kate is so rad, she deserves to be liked.”
“Yeah, there’s a reason she’s my best friend, you know.”
“What’s the reason?”
“She lives close to me.” He laughed.
“I’m really glad we met you guys.” He paused, “Have you seen Blanche?”
“Hmm, she said she’d be here. She’s probably surgically attached to some guy’s mouth at this point.” He said, slightly bitter.
“She’s my ex. She cheated on me, oh, all the time.” He smiled slightly.
That was bad news. Blanche was perfect, delicate and adorable. Not a lanky freak like me. My stomach sank. Figured.
I went to go look for Blanche, leaving Marcus drinking alone. I was now miserable drunk, and I could feel the drunk tears coming. I found her waiting in line for the bathroom.
“Hey!” she kissed my cheek, on her tip toes to reach.
“What are you doing?” I asked. She leaned into me, and whispered.
“I have blow!” she looked triumphant.
“Really?” I was intrigued.
“Want some?”
I thought about it for a minute. It seemed a little extreme to start doing hard drugs so soon into school, but I figured if she did it, so could I.
We went into a stall together, and she used the shelf over the toilet paper dispenser to measure out two sparkly lines of white powder with a credit card. I was mesmerized by her exact motions, how she seemed to have a purpose.
“You go first.” I pulled my hair back and mimicked the motions I had used when doing the lines of adderal. I sniffed, and immediately was taken aback by the jolt I felt in my whole body. My limbs started tingling and I felt alive. Alive and sober and perfect.


We took the bus over the the Salvation Army to get provisions for the party. Marcus came with us, a fact Alice was extremely pleased about.
“So you’re being Bowie? That fucking rocks, Alice.”
“What are you being?”
“I don’t know, maybe Richard Hell from Television.”
“Oh, cool.” I responded. I loved Television. “But you should be some sort of bad-ass punk guy. Like early punk, brit-punk.”
“Ohhh, word. I can just wear my regular clothes.” We all looked at his patched jeans, leather jacket and combat boots.
“Hmm…That’ll cut down on costs.”
“No I got it!” Alice exclaimed as we exited the bus. “Let’s be the New York Dolls!”
“Oh my god, yes.” I agreed.
“I am so down.” Marcus added.
We all sifted through the racks of clothes, holding up anything pleather, leopard or shiny. I felt so at ease with these two. I really hoped Alice would start dating him, so I could hang out with him all the time. he pulled me aside by the platform shoes, and looked at me in the eyes.
“I picked up a flyer for you.” he pulled out the GSA flyer. “And I think the boy behind the booth flirted with me. But I’ll go with you tomorrow if you want.” I felt a surge of appreciation and gratitude for him. I pulled him into a hug, and said thanks.
“Alice is coming too. So there’s a straight girl for you.”
“I’m kind of getting a friend vibe from her, honestly.”
“Oh.” I wouldn’t tell her that. I just knew if he got to know her, he’d like her.
We left the store with myriad scarves, vests and pleather pants. I knew we would look awesome. As we arrived back at campus, Marcus turned to go to his dorm.
“Want to come over to put makeup on later, Marcus?” Alice asked. I could tell she just wanted to see him again.
“Yeah, I’ll come over in an hour or so after I get dinner.”
“Yeah, sounds good.” I hugged him good bye, again smelling the leather of his jacket and his shampoo. I had such genuine liking for him, I didn’t even mind the physical contact with a boy. He hugged Alice too, a fact she would probably gloat about over dinner. I pulled out my cell.
“Ok, I’m calling Ellen.” My hands shook slightly. I pressed the call button and breathed deep.
“Hey, Katie.” I didn’t even mind that dreaded nickname when she said it in her adorable baby voice.
“Hey, we just got our costumes, what are you up to?”
“Setting up for the party. So you guys are coming?” She sounded excited, and I was too.
“Yes, we are indeed. Wait til you see us.”
“I bet you’ll look hot.” I pulled the phone away from my ear and looked at it like it was a foreign object. Was I being flirted with?
“You’ll just have to wait and see.”
“Uhm, ok, I’m going to go, but I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye, see you soon.”
“Dude,” I turned to Alice, “I think she hit on me.”
“Yeahhhhh girl. Go on with your hot self.” Alice feigned a ghetto accent.
“Don’t do that.”
“Shut the fuck up.” She shoved my shoulder, harder than necessary. I slapped her butt in response, and we started a fake tussle. I got her in a headlock, and people near us started staring.
“Uncle, uncle!” she called out.
“I win!” I triumphantly announced to a terrified girl next to us. She scurried away and Alice and I broke into laughter.
“We are such fucking freaks to these people.” Alice was doubled over in laughter.
“Or to everyone.” I pointed out.
“Let’s go get dressed up!” I was excited about the promise of the evening.
“Oh man, we should get dressed and then go get dinner.”
“Ha, perfect.” I grabbed Alice’s hand and pulled her toward the dorms.
We spread out all our purchases on my bed, picking and choosing outfits from the tangle of clothing. I selected red leather pants, a tight shiny black best and a bunch of scares to put around my neck. Alice had tapered leopard pants and a metallic purple top. As we were dancing around, there was a knock on our door. I flung it open, mid-shimmy. A shocked Melanie faced me.
“Uhm, are you guys going to dinner?” she said slowly.
“Hell yes we are!” Alice yelled.
“Okay. Want to come with?” she looked hesitant.
I threw on my new platform boots and we headed out. She looked horrified to be sitting with us. We all chewed on some really terrible chicken dish in silence.
“Why are you, you know, dressed like that?” she looked around, noticing all the stares our way.
“Costume party.” I said with my mouth full. She stared at me blankly.
“We’re the New York Dolls.” Alice offered.
“The what?”
Inwardly, I sighed. She was so clueless. We all finished up, tossing our half-eaten food away.
“Kate!” I turned when I heard my name called out. A girl I had met last night, Jess, rushed up to us.
“Too funny! I take it you’re going to the party?” she laughed at us.
“Yes indeed.” Alice said, fake serious.
“Who’s this?” she nodded to Melanie.
“Uhm, our floor mate, Melanie.”
“What’s up?” she looked at Melanie.
“Oh, nothing. I like your tattoos.” Jess had a whole sleeve of tattoos up and down her arm.
“Thanks, they hurt like a bitch. Are you coming to the party?”
“Ummm, I don’t know. Can I come?” she looked at us with wide eyes.
“Yeah sure.” Alice answered, hesitant.
“We have extra costumes, Mel.” I added.
“Oh my gosh, thanks!” she was back to her normal self it seemed.
“Ok, let’s go get you ready.”
We met up with Marcus back at the dorm and did the obligatory Melanie introductions. I was kind of disappointed to have her trailing around behind us, but she seemed to really like us for some reason.
“You should cut you hair.” Alice was playing with it, holding parts up and pinning them in a crazy style.
“Really?” Melanie said breathlessly.
“Yeah, bangs and stuff. I could do it if you want.”
“Ok!” she was so excited about everything.
“I’m getting the scissors, you better be serious.” She warned.
“Do it!”
Alice measured carefully, and cut blunt bangs right across Melanie’s small face. the change was immediate. She looked prettier, and edgy.
“Wow.” Marcus said, looking up at her. “You look dope.”
“You really do.” I added.
“Ohmigosh, thank you Alice!”
“Any time.”


As I waited in line to get French fries, I looked at the radio station party flyer more closely. It was a theme party, and the theme was Seventies Glam. I sighed. My friends had experimented with themed events in high school, and I never particularly liked them. Superheroes, Hobos, and anything that let girls dress slutty. I knew Kate and I would need to go to a thrift store later, and I wondered if Blanche and Ellen would want to come. I really liked them, and I wanted to hang out with them as much as possible to cement our new friendship.
“Are you ready yet?” Kate was holding her tray with one hand, other hand on hip, waiting impatiently for me to come sit down. I could understand why. My head felt like there were a hundred little men with pickaxes in there. I picked up a cheeseburger to go with my fries and swiped my meal card.
“Yup, let’s find a seat.”
“Can we sit alone? I need time to just talk to you.” Kate asked me.
“About?” I pulled out a seat at an empty table.
“I don’t know, the gay thing.” she said quietly.
“I meant to tell you, I forgot last night, obviously.” I started and stopped, wondering if she’d be pissed I told. “I told the girls you were gay by accident.” before she could yell I went on, “And Ellen likes girls.” she paused, her mouth still open.
“Really? She’s gay?”
“She said heteroflexible.”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“From what I could tell it means she’s kind of gay, not totally gay.”
“Great, more label I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I’m gay gay.”
“I think you are too. You’ve never liked boys, not even movie stars.”
“This is true.” she nodded, chewing her sandwich. I thought back to her coming out letter, how it all made sense once I thought about it. She never showed interest in any of the boys who had crushes on her, but I had always thought she was just a bitch.
“So did Marcus say anything about me?” I asked, as nonchalant as I could manage.
“Yeah, kind of. He thinks you’re dope.”
“Well, I am. We are.”
“I know. I don’t see why he wouldn’t like you. You turned into a bona fide hottie over the summer.”
“Aww, Kate, thanks.”
“I mean that in a non-gay way.”
“I know. So are you gonna kiss Ellen?” I put my burger down, intent on finding out the answer.
“You so want to.”
“So for the party tonight, it’s 1970s themed, want to go to Salvation Army and get some clothes for it?”
“Oh, what are we gonna be?”
“I was thinking I’d be David Bowie. You should be….” I thought about it a minute. “I don’t know, Janis Joplin.”
“That’s sixties.” She pointed out.
“But you look like her.”
“What? Ugly and boozey?”
“Well no, just messy.” I laughed.
“Fine, I’ll be a mess for the party, that’s a good costume.”
“That’s not a costume, that’s our life.”
“Ready to go?”


Alice and I stumbled home at some ungodly hour. I crawled into bed sloppily, thinking over the nights events. Everything was pretty weird, with boys falling for me, and me falling on the ground a bit. I laid in bed with the spins while I thought over Marcus’ words about the GSA. I decided to drag Alice to the club fair the next morning.
“When did you get interested in clubs? You hate organized anything and you have authority issues.” Alice grumbled. I had woken her up earlier than she would have liked, and we both had raging hangovers.
“Just one club. The…” I stopped, “Gay Straight Alliance.”
“Really?” she turned to me and stopped walking.
“Yes, really. Marcus told me about it.”
“Hmm. Can I join?”
“I don’t think its invitation only, Alice.” I smirked at her.
“It’s too early for sarcasm.” She put on a pair of sunglasses to hide her bloodshot eyes, and gulped some Gatorade we had picked up.
“Hey! Over here! Alice and Kate!” I turned when I heard our names called, and then groaned. It was our neighbor Melanie. She charged over, clutching a handful of brightly colored flyers.
“What clubs are you joining? I’m thinking the Young Democrats and an a capella group. I love to sing!”
“Of course you do.” Alice said under her breath.
“I knocked on your door last night to see if you wanted to watch a movie with us in the common room, but you were out.” She pouted. “Where’d you go?” before I could answer a snide remark, I heard someone else call Alice’s name. We turned and Blanche was striding toward us with a roll of masking tape and some posters.
“What’s up guys?” she gave Melanie a wary look.
“Just…join’ some clubs. I’m thinking a capella.” Alice laughed.
“Oh god, nothing is more lame than a capella.” Melanie looked crestfallen. We walked away without saying good bye and I turned around to see her standing behind us, looking like a lost puppy. I felt a twinge of remorse but instead turned to Blanche.
“What’re those for?” I nodded to her posters.
“Literary Journal. I’m the poetry editor.”
“Cool. I’m…just looking.” Alice looked at me sidelong, wondering why I didn’t say my real reason. I could read her so easily.
“Yeah, we figured we’d, you know, join some stuff.” Alice filled in for me.
“Like what?”
“Shit, I don’t know. The radio station sounds cool.”
“Oh they have the best parties.” Blanche enthused. “And Ellen will put in a good word for you. They’re pretty exclusive, But you’ll get an in because you know her.”
“Uh, want to go find the booth, Kate?”
“Yeah. Blanche, we’ll see you later?”
“Oh definitely. Let’s chill tonight.” She smiled her broad grin. “Call me, girlies.”
“What was that about?” Alice turned to me, hands on her hips, after Blanche left.
“I don’t want to be the gay girl!” I explained.
“That makes sense. But you have to tell her. it’s part of you now.”
“I hate when you’re right, it gives you a big head. And with a melon already that size, bigger is not better.”
“You’re a little asshole. I really am going to go to the radio station. Want to meet back here in a few?”
“Yeah sure.” I watched her go, her long legs pale in her shorts, the same ones from last night. She was in one of her brother’s t-shirts too, and a slice of freckled stomach peeked under the hem. I saw a few boys look her way, and I smiled. This would be good for Alice, having her own thing. I was a little nervous to be by myself so soon, but I knew we both needed a little space. I wandered through the rows til I found a big rainbow flag swaying in the breeze.
“Found it.” I said to myself. I walked up to the booth, where a very styled boy and a hippie girl were sitting.
“Uh, Hi.” I stammered.
“Hi there! Want a flyer? We’re having a mixer tomorrow night at the student center.” I was taken aback by this boy’s enthusiasm. Between Alice and I, I wasn’t used to it.
“Yeah, that’d be great.” I looked at the flyer. “GSA!” it proclaimed in big letters.
“Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Transgendered, Queer ALL ARE WELCOME!”
“I had no idea there were so many labels out there.” I remarked.
“You’ll learn a lot at our meetings then!” The boy replied, still super friendly.
“We meet every Wednesday night in the Sex and Gender department, room 206.” The girl smiled at me. I wondered if she was flirting. I shook off the thought quickly. I was so girl crazy these days. I thanked them and walked back over to meet Alice, shoving my flyer in my back pocket. I thought about asking Marcus to come with me tomorrow night.
“The radio station is awesome.” Alice grinned at me. “Ellen said she’d vouch for my coolness to them. They have a party tonight, wanna go?”
“Yeah, maybe. Will you go to the GSA party tomorrow with me?”
“Man, I’ll be partied out.” Alice fake sighed.
“Yeah, we don’t; want that to happen.”
“It’s hard being so popular.”
“We never experienced this before. Having friends and plans.”
“Hey we had some friends. Remember all of Stacy Cartwright’s parties?”
“No, I don’t remember them, that’s how I know they were good.”
“Point is, we’re not total losers, and you know it.” She gestured at me with a pointed finger.
“Ha, you sound like you’re trying to convince yourself there.” I grabbed her finger and shook her hand a little.
“Let’s get lunch, I want something greasy. Freshman fifteen be damned.” Alice pinched the non-existent flab on her stomach.


After Kate and my performance, I went to go grab a beer to quench my thirst. I saw Kate and Ellen dance, and I smiled inwardly. Maybe Kate would get her wish, and get some actual lesbian experience. I would tell her about Ellen’s sexual revelation later on, and let her do what she would with that news.
“Nice dancing.” A voice said over my shoulder. I turned and saw Marcus smirking at me.
“Why thank you.” I chugged some beer.
“Whoa, slow down there.” His eyes opened in surprise at my quick drinking.
“I’m a college freshman; I’m supposed to binge, right?”
“True, I’m really just impressed.”
“Want to race a shotgun against me?”
“You two are wild; Kate already got me high, now you’re getting me drunk.”
“So that’s a no? Pussy.”
“I didn’t say that. Hand me one.”
I counted to three, then we both punctured the can with a key and I started to drink the flood of alcohol that gushed out. I opened the back of my throat, letting it flow down and when I finished, I threw the can down in triumph. Marcus was still drinking, beer spilling over his chin and dribbling it onto his shirt. He finished after a few seconds and gasped for breathe.
“Where did you learn to do that?” he looked at me, impressed.
“My basement. Kate and I race all the time.”
“Aha, you’re a cheater. I never practice.”
“You’re just bitter.” I smiled at him, feeling the drunkenness in my limbs, heavy and thick.
“Want to go have a cigarette?”
“God, yes.”
As we walked downstairs, I unbuttoned one more button on my shirt, just in case he was looking. I pulled out my pack from my back pocket, fingering the plastic casing nervously. I put a cigarette to my lips and lit it with a match. Marcus it his own with a Zippo lighter and I nearly swooned. He was like a Mohawked James Dean in a leather jacket, with brooding eyes and full lips.
“So you and Kate are like, what, best friends?”
“Ha, yeah, duh.”
“Nothing more?” He raised his eyebrows.
“Ah, she told you. She is gay, I am straight. Nothing more to say on the topic.”
“Sorry if that was out of line.”
“Nah, just kind of funny. She wouldn’t be my type anyways.” I deadpanned.
“Ohh, ouch.” He laughed softly.
“I’m kidding.” I smiled a little, as I exhaled. I felt so cool right now, talking to this sexy upperclassmen on my first night on a college campus. Who knew college would be so easy, I thought to myself. Kate and I seemed to have everything on lock already. We were golden.


I was now decently fucked up, with the addition of THC into my inebriated system. Marcus and I had gone for a walk around the quad, smoking a joint while we strolled. He ended up being a pretty cool guy. He was into photography, mostly black and white. I told him somewhere around the second loop I was gay, and all he said was, “All the good ones are.” I laughed at that, and shoved him a bit.
“Where do those good ones hide, then?” I asked him.
He told me about the Gay Straight Alliance on campus, a group of queer and queer-friendly students. I thought about it for a minute.
“Where do they meet?” I was hesitant, shy for once.
“Uhm, I don’t know, you can check them out at the club fair tomorrow. I’ll go to a meeting with you if you want. I’m queer-friendly. Everyone thinks I’m gay anyways.” He laughed as he exhaled smoke.
“Alice doesn’t, I can tell.”
“Oh really?” he raised an eyebrow.
“She’s cooler than me anyways.” I took the joint he passed.\
“No offense, but I doubt that.” He looked over at me.
“Trust me.”
“Okay…” he trailed off. “So what are your hobbies, Kate? Any secret knitting fetishes?”
“Skateboarding badly, smoking pot with Alice, and being sassy.”
“Oh God, where on earth did you come from?” He was laughing at me, but nice laughter.
“Want to head back?” I poked him in the side. I felt at ease with him even though I barely knew him. Maybe it was the pot and booze, maybe it wasn’t.
“Yeah let’s go.” We walked back through the grass, tossing out at roach.
“What do you take pictures of? Like, severed doll heads and artsy stuff like that?”
“Ha no, thank god. Mostly portraits. I’d love to do yours if you’ll let me.”
“I don’t photograph well. I like to think I’m unphotogenic, but I think I’m really just ugly and no one told me.”
“I bet you photograph great.” He did those eyes at me again, warm and gooey looking.
“Stop flattering me, straight boy.” I rolled my eyes.
“Fine, I was hoping you might just be bisexual or something.” He sighed and shrugged.
“Nope, I plan on majoring in dyke studies, sorry.”
“Can you say that?” he looked suprised
“Dyke.” He whispered it, looking around at the group we were approaching.
“I can, you can’t.”
“Gotcha.” He nodded, thinking it over.
I followed Marcus up the stairs, waiting to see if the party picked up. When I walked in I saw Alice dancing with a bunch of girls and I laughed.
“What?” Marcus turned to me.
“Alice doesn’t dance.” I was still chuckling.
“Looks like she does.” He nodded over to her.
“Not very well!” I ran over to the group and started shaking my booty around, mimicking the dances I saw on the music video channel. Blanche started laughing, covering her face as she giggled.
“Woo!” I yelled. I was starting to draw an audience. Alice was dancing with me, flailing her long arms over her head. I attempted to break-dance then, rolling around on the floor aimlessly. People were clapping and catcalling us. I stood up and grabbed Al’s hands, and started spinning her, recalling our days in ballroom dancing class, where we had to dance together because no boys asked us. I took the lead part, and we did some really horrific swingdance moves.
“Can I cut in?” Ellen yelled into my ear. My stomach thrilled at the thought of holding her hands.
“Surely, my lady.” I spun Alice away, and pulled Ellen into a dip. We tangoed around, and I crashed into a bookcase, stumbling.
“You’re fucked up!” she crowed.
“Yes, yes I am.” I got my balance, and dipped her again. People were still watching us. I was holding her close, and I wanted to kiss her so badly. I wished it was as easy to attract girls as it was to attract Marcus. I let Ellen go, and excused myself to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet, the small room spinning around me. Why did I love the straight girls? And was I ready to join a Gay Straight Alliance? Seriously, I thought to myself, who knew college would get so complicated so quickly?
Blanche and Ellen had a suite with two other girls, and Blanche had steered me into their double off the main room. Ellen put on some Electro that had bleeps and boops going crazy under some synth. We sat on their beds, me feeling awkward next to their petite frames. I tucked my legs under me nervously.
"You are so pretty Alice." Blanche remarked, "I love your hair too."
"Thanks, but like, you guys are so cool looking. I'm just…"
"Oh my god, you look like a model, are you kidding? I'd kill for those legs." Ellen punctuated her words with her fluid hand gestures.
"Yeah, no pants ever fit, it's greattttt…" I drawled.
"We're still jealous!" Blanche smiled. They were so friendly.
"You want to do some lines of adderal?" Ellen tapped her fingers, directing the comment toward Blanche.
"Yeah, definitely. Alice?"
"Uhm, sure." I had never done that, but damned if I was going to seem like a prude little frosh.
"I wish we had coke." Ellen groaned as she crushed a few pills up on a notebook.
"God, I know. Ever done blow, Al?" Blanche used my nickname and I flushed with pride.
"Nah, hard to come back in West Bumfuck, Massachusetts." I smiled.
"She is so funny." Ellen said to Blanche. Blanche was eyeing the lines, but nodded. Finished, Ellen rolled up a twenty and inhaled. I watched her motions so I could mimic them when it was my turn. After Blanche, I held my hair back and inhaled the line of crushed blue pill. It shot up my nose with a jolt, the aftertaste of the coating running down the back of my throat.
“Ah,” Ellen sighed, tilting her head back, and pinching her nose.
“So do you have, like, “Blanche sniffed delicately, “A boyfriend?”
“Nah, I did but he’s at Evergreen State in Oregon.”
“Aw. Was he hot?” Ellen giggled
“Ellen! Look at her, of course he was.” Blanche shook her head.
I sniffed, pulling pill debris up my nose and down my throat again. The taste shocked me a second time and I could feel my nerves buzzing already. I felt like I needed to run around a block a few times to get rid of the excess energy. I wasn’t sure I liked it, but at least I tried. I told myself, this is what college was, trying new things. Of course, I thought that would be learning Italian, not doing drugs, but the same principal applied, I guess.
“What about Kate?” Blanche continued.
“Uhhh…” I stalled. “Kate is… gay. She’s a lesbian.” As soon as I said it, I regretted spilling her secret.
“Oh, cool. I’m heteroflexible.” Ellen responded.
“Hetereo-what now?” I was bewildered by her term
“I’m mostly straight, but I like people, not genders. You know?”
“Oh, right. Sorry.” I felt like I was a geeky twelve year old now. I made a note to look it up online to see if it was a real word.
“Let’s go dance, Alice!” Blanche tugged on my arm.
“Oh, no I don’t dance.” My arms and legs were prone to knocking into things, and dancing seemed like it would only endanger people and objects around. “You do now!” Blanche pulled me up off the bed, shimmying toward the door