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It's San Francisco in late summer, August, and I'm choosing which pair of Ray Ban sunglasses to wear to the party. Twilight has come and gone, the city illuminated by the crescent moon and the few stars in the sky. I put $240 in my Gucci wallet, all twenties, and decide on white sneakers to match with my faded jeans. I smell damn good.
I had reluctantly agreed to visit my relatives out West two weeks before school started, but the choice was voluntary. The truth is the trip had nothing to do with seeing my rich uncle and his new trophy wife, a wedding I had passed on with schoolwork as an excuse. I am here to see my cousin, Georgia Young, a notorious party girl who claims she knows Sofia Coppola and met David Bowie. She is a part of what is known as the "LA crowd in San Fran." I've barely gotten drunk all summer and am sick to death of my friends back in Pittsburgh. This is an out.
I remember the flight was long and uncomfortable, even in first class, and I drank four glasses of cold Perrier and kept rereading the same GQ article for lack of anything better to do. The endless view of clouds and farms as the plane flew across the country was more interesting than the Adam Sandler movie projected on the little screen.
Waiting in the airport parking lot was Georgia leaning on her lipstick red Porsche, cleaning her Cleopatra Roxy sunglasses with a pink handkerchief. She greeted me with a hug but no smile. "Welcome to San Fran," she said. Getting into her sports car, I remind myself it doesn't matter that I'm seventeen and she's nineteen and I find her attractive, only that we're cousins.
The party is only five minutes from Georgia's place, but she makes sure we're exactly two and a half hours late. She's wearing a very short cut-off purple dress with sparkles running down the sides. Her lipstick matches the dress. Before we leave, she tells me one of us has to drive home, so we can't go too crazy. I nod in agreement without really listening.
Right as I walk in the front door of the giant house some kid younger than me offers me "Coke and a toke," which I turn down with a wave of my hand. The room is dark, and my sunglasses aren't helping. Not the life of the party, but not antisocial either, I head straight for the large table of alcohol. There's a massive variety of choices of all different brands and flavors. Without much thought I settle on whiskey.
A few shots later, I'm feeling much lighter, much freer than back in Pittsburgh with those familiar faces. I'm having conversations with high school girls clinging to the arms of bulky frat boys. I'm bobbing my head to rap music and making obscene gestures across the room to my cousin, who's laughing. I'm getting the urge to get naked and do the foxtrot. I'm having a good time.
Out on the dance floor, wearing tight blue shorts and a white and yellow blouse, is a blonde with a perfect body and a perfect face. She's moving her hips in seductive circles, her chest heaving up and down as she pants. I take another shot of whiskey and cough as it goes down. Audacity is not really needed to proceed at this point of inebriation, but I have it anyway.
Making my way to the center of the room, I join in on the mix between hip hop and disco movements that the crowd is engaged in. I approach the blonde and smile my white smile.
"Hey there," I say.
"Hiya," she looks me up and down, and seems to nod in approval. "I like, haven't seen you around here before."
I do my best to keep my eyes on her face and off her breasts. "I haven't seen you either," I say, smirking and dancing. "What's your name?"
"Vanessa," she says in full flirt mode. Without asking mine, she moves closer to me, still humping the air. "Are you the guy dating that cheerleader?"
I nod and say, "I was, but she broke my heart." I've never dated a cheerleader.
"Aw, I'm sorry to hear that. When did that happen?"
"Listen," I start, "you wanna go get a drink with me?"
Giggling, "I've had like four." She moves a little closer.
I roll my eyes in an exaggerated fashion, "That's definitely not enough."
"Well," she looks around, "how about we like, dance for awhile?"
Leaning in next to her ear, her hair smelling like fresh lilies, I whisper, "It's been so long since a beautiful girl has danced with me." She doesn't blush like I had hoped, having probably already been hit on multiple times tonight.
Three minutes later we're grinding together, our bodies moving as one. Vanessa's ass is up against my groin, and she's pushing back with extreme force. Despite the friction, to my deep frustration, I can't get aroused. I close my eyes and imagine this girl naked, spread out on a bed, but to no avail. She reaches behind her and cups the soft flesh in between my legs, but nothing.
Clearly annoyed, Vanessa excuses herself to the bathroom. As she strolls through the room, she's followed by a parade of other blondes that must've been watching us the whole time.
"Hey, fucker," comes from behind me.
I turn around to see three of the frat boys, all wearing red 49ers hats on backwards, standing there with beer bottles. It's as if they're triplets… or clones.
"I've got a question for you, fucker," one of them says.
Not sure what it'll be, it's safe to say it won't be friendly. I gulp, but quietly.
"And?" I inquire.
"Dude, you gonna score with Tessa?" asks the same one.
"Vanessa?" I ask, confused.
"Yeah, Vanessa." He tries to take a sip from his bottle but realizes it's empty.
"I don't know. I mean…"
The two other frat boys jump in, "Do it!"
"Yeah, fucker," says the first, "do it! I hit that twice last year man, it's fuckin' dope." They give each other high-fives. It occurs to me I'm still dancing and quickly stop myself.
"Dude," one of them says, "If you score with Tessa, I'll pay you like twenty dollars, man."
"Make that forty!" another yells at me.
Clearing my throat I say, "Uh… okay."
"Fuck yeah!" all three of them yell in unison, and give me powerful pats on the shoulder. "Oh, shit, here she comes. Good luck, man!" They hustle away.
I turn around and see Vanessa holding a joint and smiling very seductively without showing any teeth. "You wanna go upstairs and get high? Maybe get a hand job?"
"I don't smoke," I almost say but stop myself. Instead I shrug and follow her upstairs to a random bedroom. The frat boys give me thumbs up when I walk by, and in the corner my cousin is making out with another girl. I mutter to myself, "Welcome to San Francisco."
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