All This Before Midnight
by AK Miller
This article shared 1624 times since Wed Jun 20, 2012
The unforgiving sun was making everything worse on what they already thought was the most terrible day of their 20-year-old lives. Scattered about the small, college village, these friends were each watching their Saturday turn to shit independently of each other. This was 1995, so they didn't have cell phones or the Internet and communicated through a network of messages left on answering machines and calls from payphones, which were everywhere. Today's message was to meet at Blue's house at 8 pm because he lived closest to the only gay bar in town.
Blue worked at the most popular cafe in the village. He had the best job of the bunch, but today was a never-ending series of fighting and panic. He woke up that morning to find out that his roommate's gross, Hessian boyfriend Yo had given the entire house crabs. They were found on the couch, in the laundry room and on everyone's body, but Blue's. That he knew of. So the whole place was bombed, all five roommates were treated and he shaved off his pubic hair, just to be safe. He felt bald and angry. He had three tables left to pay their bills before his shift was over. At one table was his friend Orange who was steaming in the back of the dining room because at another of Blue's tables was Yum, whom Orange liked. Yum was with this guy Yuck. Yum and Orange were supposed to meet, get stoned, have beer and make out later. Yum was obviously on a date with Yuck and Yuck was hideous. Orange was pissed. The thought of Yum kissing Yuck made Orange decide that Yum's lips were forever tainted and it was forever over. At the third of Blue's final tables was his friend Yellow. She had been sitting in a booth zipping in and out of alternating fits of public yelling and crying. She was breaking up with her boyfriend Yawn for the third time this month. It must've really broken her heart a bit because she was so worked up. She liked him a lot, the sex was amazing and he was hot. But he was a snooze and interfered with her last college summer, which was to be the summer of experimenting with her sexuality. She caught Blue's eye and mouthed the word, "check." Blue cashed out all three tables as fast as he could, grabbed his friends and they dashed out of the cafe, ignoring Yum as loudly as they could.
Next door to the cafe was an ice cream shop where Red and Mauve both worked. The freezer had shut down overnight and they were called in early by their boss. When they arrived he walked them out back to the delivery door to the freezer and opened it. A foot high sea of sticky, warm goo came rushing out at them, ruining their shoes and their day. Their task was to clean it up, in the 95-degree weather, using garden hoses and towels, without so much as a radio. Purple worked across the street as a busboy at a scummy pizza chain. That was enough to ruin anyone's day even before it started. To add insult to injury, he had received the worst haircut of his almost-adult life earlier that morning. He was tired and smelled like pepperoni in a way that wouldn't wash out. When they were all done and heading to Blue's house, the three of them were drawing stares, bees and flies as they walked down 3rd Street. They ran into Pink on the way. She had scabs on her head from bleaching her hair, she had just stared her period and was certain that one of her piercings was infected. Not far behind her was Green, all stressed out about her classes, her future and the 18-year-old skateboarding chick that she had recently started sleeping with. Gold arrived last, exhausted after once again piecing her family back together the best she possibly could.
All together in Blue's living room they began tearing through the first of three cases of beer and four joints. They were all extremely tired, but too scared to sit on anything besides the plastic lawn furniture in fear of post-apocalyptic critters that may have survived the bombing. They went around the room playing "Who's Life Sucks Worst." After each relived their nightmare, it was declared a mass-tie and they must go dancing. It took an hour for them all to get ready. Red put his long, freshly washed hair in a ponytail, then down, then up again. Blue spent thirty minutes fixing his dyed jet-black hair, even though there was only an inch of it, and switched outfits four times only to end up with one that he had worn three Saturdays ago. Purple tried eyeliner, only to wash it off three times. The girls just put on lip gloss and called themselves ready.
They walked four blocks to the bar, which was their playground. And they were loved there. They were the chosen toys of the drag queens, often pulled backstage to unzip and super glue as needed. They hugged and kissed each staff member and were fed pink shots and cheap beer. No one cared that none of them was actually old enough to even be in there. They toasted each other in dramatic fashion for surviving what had to be the worst day of their lives. When their song started to play, they ran to the light-up dance floor left over from the '80s, scaring most of the people on it away to make room. Except for Orange, who was making out with Yum in the corner. They danced around with their hands in the air singing, "if you wait around awhile I'll make you fall for me, I promise." And everything was all better.
This article shared 1624 times since Wed Jun 20, 2012
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