Friday, February 6, 2009

The East Heights Blackout of 1999: Susan

I had originally intended on spending the night alone since Ramona had ditched me for Peter and Lee, and it was too cold to go to see Lee fight Chase or really anywhere for that matter. Although, I was used to it, I still didn't really feel like walking home, especially since I wasn't sure who my friends were. I was just kind of somewhere in-between with everybody, and I was pretty sure that that in-between was close to turning into nothing at all. So I just rode the bus home and listened to pop radio in my bedroom for awhile.
Then it wasn't until dinner (re-heated pizza from the night before) that Joan Foster called me out of the complete blue. I didn't even know she had my number let alone any reason to call me considering that the two of us still barely knew each other, even though we ate lunch at the same table and sometimes would talk about other people in science. Her parents were out at a friend's house or something that night, and she needed somebody to sleep over so she wouldn't freak out by herself. I was a bit reluctant at first, considering that the two of us were only really cool with each other because of Amber Jenson. I guess both of us were fighting to be her acceptable best friend; me especially since Ramona had started changing into a loser with Lee and Peter.
I would later win in such a race and Joan would eventually start latching onto Paige Hughes, but that night, I guess we were both neutrally numb to the idea of hanging out with each other, especially since there wasn't anything else going on and we hadn't heard about anything else from anybody else. I packed a bag with clothes, my toothbrush and some of mom's cigarettes, before getting dad to drive me the mile and a half to Joan's house; his groans sounding about standard as I impatiently sat in the passenger's seat and watched him annoyingly chip ice off of the windshield.
It was then a bit awkward when I first arrived. Joan was dressed in a long and wavy green evening gown that looked right out of the 1940's. I didn't ask her about such a get-up, feeling like I had to respect her and the house that I had never been in before. It was no castle or even much more than a respectable suburban hole that had been worn down to size by Joan's mother and her live-in boyfriend Kenny Dunlap. They both knew my parents through some jagged semesters spent at State, but no one really talked about the other ones anymore.
Nevertheless, despite the scattered newspapers and dirty dishes in the sink, I kept my mouth shut and followed Joan around the various high points of her humble abode. Her bedroom was cluttered with failed attempts of fashion and popularity; my head instantly starting to pick away at the discarded little pieces so I could make fun of her with Amber later when the opportunity presented itself.
We watched TV for awhile and stole lite beers from the basement fridge. It lasted like runny vomit, but I drank three or so before peeing for what felt like an hour in the tacky meringue bathroom. I think it was around ten or so, when we decided to go outside and smoke the stolen cigarettes from my bag. Roughly a minute after our first puff, the wind really picked up and soon all the lights on the block fluttered before going out.
The two of us stood petrified in the snow for longer than necessary; Joan and I coolly continuing to exhale. We eventually went back inside, lit some candles and decided to prank call Mr. Fleegle, our science teacher before downshifting to Charlie Nolan, one of our less popular classmates. The first few to our perv of a teacher were hilarious, and I couldn't remember a time when I had laughed so hard. I didn't feel too great about Charlie, though. He just sounded disappointed with every childish giggle that resonated over the receiver.
I fell asleep on Joan's bedroom floor around one A.M. and then woke up to the sounds of her mom and Kenny drunkenly having sex at 3:00. It would be the first and only time we were sleepover friends or any brand of friend for that matter. I would be relieved to return to the boring darkness of my own side of town the next morning and start over again from scratch in school on Monday.

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