The last weekend, spent drinking-starting with James providing tequila & my suggestion that we each kneel down for shots while Noor placed her hand over our eyes for protection as she squirted lime juice chaser into our mouths. There was a stale excitement, the kind that flattens after long car rides. Marshall stayed for twenty minutes after two days of driving up north, where Monique demanded that I kiss her-it was the least I could do, worrying her thin with the other fifteen people making a ton of noise in her tiny house. She said Justin had kissed her already as he raised his pointer finger & pleaded the fifth, grinning. Later, James & her had a conversation about heartbreak with their faces looking like it. Bren had been sober a couple months but it hadn't changed his sense of fun-I'd forgotten the joy of feeding off each other's weirdness until your wrestling-large children awkward with our bodies again. James & I hugged and fell into our usual conversation of complete silliness that somehow leads to intense philosophical debate, grinning with his full set of teeth & taking off his shoes-which proved to be a mistake when he stepped on a thumbtack. I traded my beer for one of his Negro Modelos, after agreeing that my Dos Equis lager tasted like pennies. & Samantha drank too much wine-telling me she'd rather be told she's beautiful than intelligent & then it was my heart that was breaking-when she tells me about some guy, as Aggie argued that I don't know what it's like-I've never had to finger anyone I wasn't attracted to. I've never felt like such a villain. Later, Sam danced topless in a ridiculously large floppy sunhat singing Led Zeppelin, while Qing had a towel wrapped in an odd knot over her chest, waving a dildo in her underwear at an impressed Justin & Jodie holding hands under a blanket. Justin said later that he thinks that he touched it. The world is filled with people who have too much heart & too much sense-Santa Cruz has taught me how to be affectionate despite myself. The next morning I woke up at six because I can never sleep well with so much alcohol in my belly. Aggie is snoring next door & the noises she's making are stressing me out too much to fall back asleep. I decided to actually get up & cram on Qing's odd mix of divaesque children's jewelery after a shower & runny eggs, to join Jayme, who is convincing us to buy stuff at the local garage sale-lent me a quarter so I could purchase a copy of Franny & Zoey, as she admired the old junk. If anyone is going to gather up old junk, make it tasteful & age gracefully it is going to be Jayme-who is a blessing. & later, alone, I fall into the two separate spheres of myself, like the pendulum swing of a tequila drunk-between my immense desire to be a sweetheart & my empty angry bitterness-I smother, trying to make up for the space lost between everything, shriveled at end of the day, with all my squandered love.