I helped Andrea make a livejournal, gave her mom the card, and then went on my merry way. I talked to Lindsay on the phone and she was upset because she didn't have anything to do that evening, but honestly, there was nothing I could do.
Stefan had called and informed me that his friends were having a hotel party in Tracy, and that this time he'd probably actually make the drive all the way out there to see them. It kind of got under my skin that he wanted to go to some party in Tracy when I had previously invited him to come to Karen's house to have fun with Jessica and myself. So I just told him to go and have fun. But then he said he wanted me to come because he had told Matt all kinds of stuff about me and now Matt wanted to meet me. I hate it when people say they've told people about you, because then you wonder exactly what they've said... and you can never find out.
Anyway, then I told him that I promised Jessica I would stay and do this party at Karen's with her, and so it would be totally fine if he just went to Tracy and told everyone that I just couldn't make it. Then he said, "Well, there's really no point in driving all the way out there if you're not going."
Do I win? Yes, I think I do.
So I go to pick him up, and he's totally not ready, but I give him the blue Blow Pops I bought for him and he kisses me on the cheek and pulls me into the house by the handcuffs on my belt-loop. I call Jessica, no answer. He says he has to shower... so then I drive over to Jessica's and tell her sorry I'm late, but it doesn't matter because no one had shown up anyway. Then, as we decide to drive back over and pick up Stefan, she gets a call on her cell phone saying that the boys are lost and they need a ride to Karen's. The idiots were at the firestation right down the street.
So we pull up, and five boys emerge from the bush, and there are only two available seats in my car. Three of them pile in, and this is a big no-no anyways, because I'm not supposed to have anyone under twenty in my car, let alone have them all in the backseat with no seat-belts. But I am a rebel. Whatevah.
So we leave the two other boys in the bushes, and tell them we'll be right back, and then we go to pick up Stefan. Just as I'm pulling up, it occurs to me that we already don't have enough seats, so this time there is definitely a problem. It is decided that Jessica will sit on Stefan's lap.
[I asked Stefan if this was ok, and he replied, "Sure, as long as she doesn't touch me."]
So, as positively illegal as this is, and disregarding the fact that there are cops EVERYWHERE on a Saturday night in Benicia looking for troublesome kids, I started up my poor, weighed-down Accent and lurched back to Karen's. We dropped everyone off, and then went down to the firestation to pick up the remaining two boys. They get in, there is a little bit of chit-chat, and then we are all back up at Karen's, where the drinking is going into full swing. (Not for me, however. I am the designated driver.)
So we stay until around ten, and then Stefan and I take off for Tracy, telling Jessica that we will be back around three. (Which kind of makes me nervous, because it's the second night in a row I will be driving at illegal hours, and I am running on about three hours of sleep.) But I am a rebel. Whatevah.
So the journey to Tracy is smooth, and we get to the hotel. A shady-looking place called the Phoenix Lodge.
Nobody there had ever heard of Rasputina. Can you believe it??
So I ran down to my car and got together some Portishead, Curve, and Rasputina for everyone's listening pleasure, but they were all a lot more interested in the Velvet Underground and the Gorillaz.
I met a bunch of people and did psychic readings for them. They found this wildly entertaining, and by the end of the night, I was signing everybody's address books as "Your Psychic Friend".
I picked up a couple of nicknames as well. Craig found it appropriate that my name should be Stardust, and everyone else who was having trouble with names was told to call me Red because it was easy. Red hair, red pants, red nails, red lips. I'm RED.
So everyone there proceeded to get drunk and fill a non-smoking room with smoke. I met a girl named Janette who I found to be really cool.. except I didn't see eye to eye with her on her taste in music, but... such is life.
Janette and I wandered around at two looking for a gas station that sold playing cards and Red Bulls. Everybody had Red Bulls, but the only gas station that sold playing cards was all out of them. We wandered all the way over to a Texaco where a sprinkler was broken, and Janette stuck her head underneath it.
At around four, I gave this guy named Will a ride home. This was shortly after the party had found out I was seventeen. I was the youngest one there, everyone else was upwards of nineteen. They all found this to be a shock. Which was good I suppose. It meant that I am rather good at playing myself off as a mature drunk.
Anyway, this guy Will. He had to get up the next morning to play soccer, so he needed a ride home. I said fo sho, I was sober, it would be all wood. So after almost hitting a truck backing out of the parking lot, he asks, "Does your boyfriend know you're leaving?"
I brake, cough, blink a few times and say, "My boyfriend?"
"Yeah," he says, "The guy that you were just telling Craig about. The one who was 20." [He was referring to Stefan]
I laugh. "That's NOT my boyfriend." I laugh some more. But my heart breaks inside because I wish he was.
He says, "Oh. Yeah. You know that girl Candyce I was here with earlier? Everyone thinks we're together. But we're not. We just hang out all the time."
I say, "Yeah, I totally know how that is." So we drive to his house and somehow get onto the subject of raving. He says he loves them but can't find anyone to go with around there. [Which is crap because everyone in that damn hotel room was a raver.] So I say, yeah, now that I have wheels we should go sometime. So he gets my number, gives me his, and goes on his merry way.
Then I drive back to the hotel, hoping and praying the whole way that I won't get lost. And I don't. Much.
So I get back to the hotel, chit-chat, sign books, call Jessica, and decide the perfect time to leave is five am. And I'm right. I told Jessica we'd be home at three.
Janette begs me not to go, and I tell her I have to. I sign her book, leaving my contact info, and she still wants me to stay.
Then I find out the real reason she doesn't want me to go. She takes me aside and says, "Do you know if Stefan's seeing anyone? I really like him but I don't think he noticed me. Will you talk me up?"
My stomach lurches, and I try to keep my voice from shaking. "No," I say. "He's not seeing anyone. I'll put in a good word for you." I smile. It hurts.
She walks us down to the car. She hugs him. [He only hugs ME.] She simply waves at me. I open his door for him and say, "Here you go, princess." He says thankyou.
I watch Janette walk back up the stairs into the room. I pull out of the parking lot. As I'm pulling out, I say to Stefan, "I have a surprise for you."
He says, "You do?"
I say, "Yeah. You know that Janette girl?" (I told her I would talk her up. I'm not that bitchy)
He says, "Yeah."
I say, "She digs you. She wanted to know if you were seeing anybody. I told her you weren't. You're not are you?" [A little bit of hope rises in my chest as I think that maybe for a split second he'll say, 'I'm seeing you'] My hair, my nails, my clothes all smell like cigarettes. I notice this as I turn my head to look for oncoming traffic.
He says, without even a flash of doubt, "No, who would I be seeing?"
My heart sinks. We discuss his previous relationships and how they were all kind of twisted.
We drive, and after a while the conversation flickers out and I start to cry. The music is up, so he doesn't notice at first. I wipe my nose on my sleeve and am consumed by the clinging smell of cigarette smoke from the hazy room. My eyes are already burning.
After about ten minutes, he notices.
"Katie, why are you crying?"
I wave my hand, in dismissal of the question.
"What did I do?" he asks.
"You didn't do anything." I snap at him. I'm lucky the edge in my voice didn't break, otherwise I would have yelled at him.
"What's wrong?" he asks.
"You wouldn't understand." I say.
He tries changing the subject, asking me about the music that's playing. He sees that I am just slowly getting worse. He gets quiet. After about five minutes, he says, "Do you need a hug?"
"No." I say. I never do.
He gives me one anyway. His head is on my shoulder and his arms around my arm for about half of the drive home. This makes it difficult to steer, but at this point, I don't care.
The rest of the ride home I babble to him about how I feel like I suck and that I will never ever be good enough.
He says, "That's bullshit, Katie. You make my day all the time."
We get back to Karen's at six am. Toni is in the bathroom throwing up. Everyone else is ghosting around, feet heavy with drunkenness and sleep. I tell Jessica I am sorry. She doesn't seem to care. They had consumed half of the Vodka. All she wants to do is sleep. We go out on the porch and discuss the events of the evening. I tell her I can take Stefan home and that I will sleep downstairs.
Then I realise the dogs are downstairs.
I do the unspeakable and ask Stefan if I can crash at his house. He says it's fine. We get to his house around seven am and fall asleep, his head on my shoulder. I get paranoid that the cigarette smell in my hair will rub off on his bed. After a little bit I am too tired to care. The sun is up. He puts Rasputina on the stereo and we fall asleep.
We wake up at ten am to the sound of the alarm, and I am sick, as I always am in the mornings. He lays with me, holds my hand and kisses it, and gets me water. He's patient and stays awake until it is time for me to go. I had to go back to Karen's and help Jessica clean up.
I get to Karen's at ten-thirty and everything is done, Toni is on the couch moaning with a rag over her eyes, and the boys are gone.
Jessica and I spend the rest of the day milling around and watching television, and finally leave at three.
I stop by Stefan's and drop off his tapes, and then I go to Lindsay's to return her handcuffs, which I had some interesting experiences with. I relay the whole Saturday night experience to her. She asks if I need a hug. I say no. I never do.
I drive home, and decide I am too tired to get gas. The tank is almost empty. But I am a rebel. Whatevah.
I get home, I still reek of cigarettes, and I go to bed, too tired to post.
I still haven't gotten enough sleep.