on the phone


The Christmas lights, yeah, I remember, it was all about the Christmas lights. “Let’s get some booze and walk around the neighborhood and look at all the lights,” someone had said as we’d skulked around bored that afternoon. It was a fantastic idea. Nothing says Christmas like underage drinking in public. Phone tag, we spread the news, a game of telephone, the plan morphing from three or four people with a couple of beers to a rag tag bunch of what looked to be over ten, maybe fifteen, bottles clinking in purses and jacket pockets, an overall complete loss of composure.
Laughing, I caught up to Justine. Her hands were cold and I held them because she had puke in her hair. I felt sorry for her, her tears magnified by the Baby Duck Champagne that glistened on her chin and dripped from her hair. She was a mess yet she clutched at the bottle like it was her only hope, her puckered lips desperately searching for the long straw that dangled forlornly from the top of the bottle. A chick blindly searching for its mom. I felt sorry for Justine because her boyfriend was an asshole, walking behind us with the other guys, his voice more loud and obnoxious than any of the other guys who were throwing their beer cans into the trees, just because they could. I wondered why the guys all had cans, and the girls had big bulky bottles of hard liquor. And then I realized it was because we had refined tastes. We were better than the guys. We weren’t animals.

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