A few months ago, my friend Rich and I went to a party that we had absolutely no business attending. We were invited by Rich’s old college roommate, since turned millionaire, Mark. This is the same guy who prompted by the film Good Will Hunting, consciously decided that he was going teach himself speed-reading and become a genius. He then went from mediocre college student to Harvard Law graduate, and eventually to lackluster film executive and hedge fund manager. When he found out that Rich was visiting LA, he reconnected after nearly a decade of silence and invited him to a party in Bel-Air under the ambitious auspices that it would be the best time of Rich’s life. Deservedly intimidated, Rich invited me along.
A few highlights from the party include seeing the lead singer of the band Crazy Town step out of the neon lit pool overlooking greater Los Angeles, a mounted Rhinoceros head directly above the fireplace, and most notably a brief and seemingly nonconsensual conversation about the process of stone washing with a women who designs pants for True Religion. After about two hours, Rich and I had no choice but to admit to ourselves that we were too unremarkable and middle-class to be within eyesight of that party, so we walked down the winding driveway away from the party.
At this point, it was probably around 15 minutes before the average high school curfew in that neighborhood. Rich and I discussed the gratuitousness of the party as we kicked stones towards my rental sedan, muttering curse words from the 1950s, like the accidental puritans we apparently are. Right as we were nearing the parking lot, a gaggle of beautiful young women in a high-end European car pulled up to our right.
“Hi boys. Where are you going?” the sultry taliswomen said.
I answered honestly, and pointed, “My car.”
“Do you want to go to an after party with us?”
I wandered whether the girls had seen Rich and I stroking the rhino head for authenticity, and if this was a proverbial hidden lasso waiting to string Rich and I upside-down for further demoralization. Or maybe I was wrong entirely, and our mid-western demeanors were a much-needed respite from the barrage of tribal embroideries and Swiss bank accounts from the party. My mind thumbed through images of the Playboy mansion, pantless mornings, and planned parenthoods. My mental fisticuff was audible.
“I guess not!”, the driver said, as she sped away towards the coolest after party I’ve never been to. Rich and I stood motionless, left only with a mid-sized sedan and our overactive imaginations, detailing all of the possible scenarios that might have resulted from a more active role in my fate as a Los Angeles socialite. As far as I’m concerned, five uniquely life-changing fantasies could have been realized had I said “yeah, sure” a moment earlier. This retelling is my best attempt at removing all regret and moving past this night.
It’s worth saying that in each of these fantasies, the adventure begins with Rich and I sitting on a stranger’s lap in the backseat. It would have taken too long for any of them to unload in the middle of the street, so this is practical more than fantastic.
I try to drive conversation by asking the girl whose lap I’m on where she’s from, but she shuts me up immediately by leaching onto my face like she’s trying to steal the oxygen right out of my lungs. I ask for her name. She tells me to take a hint. I’m silent for about 15 seconds, but then nervously begin whistling to break the soundlessness. The girl whose lap I’m sitting on asks me if it’s “Last Christmas” by Wham!, in which case I respond affirmatively. The driver pulls over and asks me to leave. Confused, I stutter excuses as I’m trying to get off of the girl’s lap. I watch the car speed up a driveway to something loud and awesome. I sleep in my rental Sedan, worried for Rich’s safety. The next morning he tells me that he had sex with a bunch of people and did a bunch of crazy drugs I’ve never heard of. He also mentions how the Crazy Town lead singer is a cooler guy than one would have thought.
The second fantasy begins the same as the first. This time however, we do eventually end up at the party. Immediately upon entry, the lead singer of Crazy Town approaches me and very gregariously introduces himself. Rich is right; he is an incredibly cool guy. We end up talking for hours about mostly politics and French literature, until the driver of the car approaches us and offers me a joint saying “do it.” Never one to turn down peer pressure, I take a long hit and watch the Crazy Town lead singer’s face warp in disbelief. He tells me that he’s never seen anyone take such a long hit of mescaline before. I ask him what mescaline is. He tells me to sit down. I wake up on the stranger’s couch 10 hours later wearing an equestrian helmet.
Rich and I quickly realize that the driver of the car should not be behind the wheel. The hero that I am, I hop in the driver’s seat and head in the direction that I would assume we’re supposed to be going. The drunk driver insists on giving me directions although they are disjointed and hardly audible, so I ask the other girls for help, but alas, they’re all doing whip-its. I nominate Rich to be my copilot instead, but during the three minutes that I’ve been driving, he’s already done a baker’s dozen whip-its himself. Eventually, I drive into a Best Western parking lot hoping to talk someone into helping me. Feeling alone, and this time indirectly peer pressured, I do a single whip-it too. I wake up in the Best Western Linen closet, mid-conversation with a Spanish-speaking woman folding sheets.
This fantasy also begins very similarly to the first. However, right when I begin whistling, the drunk driver veers off the street and into a deep ravine. It’s a fiery mess of iron and bloody carnage. Everything is a blur, when I turn to Rich in a panic. Rich, the half-God he is, is picking up the unconscious but breathing girls over his shoulder and laying them on soft grass away from the inferno. I try to emulate Rich’s strength with the driver, but immediately twist my ankle and hit my head on a rock. As I fall to the ground, she lands on her feet and is suddenly back to full health. I roll around on the ground in agony, so she gives me a pill that she claims will make me feel better. Desperate, I throw it down my throat with conviction. I ask her what it was and she tells me it’s pure Ketamine. Rich hoists the now fully capable girl onto his shoulder, which is already populated with the other three girls. He’s suddenly shirtless and his chest is covered in a thick layer of sweat, soot, and herculean pectoral muscles. The girl that I tried to save winks at me like we’re in some sort of a tragic Bod Body Spray commercial, and Rich is going to do her. I wake up in a field with a blanket over my torso. I later find out that Rich was given a key to the city of Bel-Air for his heroics, but I missed the ceremony due to my lingering K-hole.
We all arrive at the party to find Crazy Town performing their pinnacle album The Gift of Game unplugged. Everyone is calmly sitting on the floor and on a variety of beanbags wagging their heads docilely. Rich and I are handed a few pills filled with a cornucopia of chemicals from drugs that only dedicated nihilists are into. Rich says to me “We only live once.” I half-heartedly agree and empty the pills contents into my Mike’s Hard Lemonade and drink casually until empty. The Crazy Town lead singer gives a long-winded speech about how love is the most important ingredient to our race’s salvation and other things like that. Everyone begins to make out with everyone else, and I go unconscious. I wake up on the stranger’s couch the next morning in a Hello Kitty sleeping bag. Two months later, I receive calls from two different women that I’ve never met, saying that they think I might be the father to their unborn child. I spend the rest of my life in the pacific islands, hiding from child support and paternity tests. Rich visits me once with a whole bunch of kids, but he’s cool with it because he got super wealthy in the second .com boom.
So after seeing my fantasies on paper, I guess I was probably right to go home. If I wake up alone in four of my five wildest imaginings, with the one outlier ending in a Best Western linen closet, then maybe it truly wasn’t meant to be. However, if these are actually any indication, then I robbed Rich of lots of drugs, sex, and heroics. I should probably get him something nice to make up for it. Actually, apparently he would have left me stranded in a flaming field, so I don’t owe him anything.