Wednesday, January 10, 2007

California State of Mindlessness

This is another Projects class gem....

My blanket had started moving again. I wasn’t touching it, it was moving of it’s own accord. I pretended not to notice. It seemed like the best thing to do.

I’m sprawled out on a couch. Who's couch? No idea. In who's apartment? Not a clue. It’s clean though, so... not mine. I have no idea how long I’ve been on the couch with the free moving blanket. I remember laying down on it when the balcony proved overwhelming.

The balcony overlooked the Pacific, massive and overwhelming enough when sober, so on four hits of Ecstasy it was more than enough to cause me to ruin for the shelter of the couch.

There’s a party going on around me. About 200 people, most of them as stoned as I am, mill about the massive, expensively decorated apartment. Some are out on the balcony, staring at the ocean and rubbing up against each other. Others are dancing/stumbling around the apartment or sprawled on furniture as I am. Some are watching the dazzling light show in the kitchen. One girl emerges from the he bathroom after at least an hour, cradling tube of Crest Whitening toothpaste in her arms like a small child. Awful techno music blares. I can’t tell if it’s skipping or not.

From the couch, I can see the door to the master bedroom upstairs, which is just now opening. Tara emerges, looking eerily ethereal as always, with Brad in tow. Following them is an extremely disheveled, disoriented looking blonde girl. She’s so shaken that Tara is assisting her down the stairs. Brad and Tara lead her back to the kitchen where her absence has not been noticed.

They survey the room. I hide under my blanket knowing that if they see me they’ll take me upstairs next and I do NOT want to go. I suddenly remember that this scene with the blonde has been repeated several times throughout the evening, each time with a different person, each leaving in the same state of traumatic shock. I keep meaning to find a better hiding place, but every time they disappear into the bedroom, I forget they exist. Fucking Ecstasy.

I peak out from under my cover to see Brad and Tara leading a young black dude up the stairs with them this time. Spared again. They close the door, and I completely forget they were ever there.

My attention is redirected to the light show in the kitchen. The light show, I should mention, consisted of one guy opening the door to the massive, stainless steel fridge and letting the white light shine on the stunned faces of the guests for several seconds before closing the door again. Each time the door is opened the guests near it are bathed in fluorescent light for several seconds. They applaud and giggle each time. This has been going on for literally hours.

My blanket is moving once again. It seems to have sensed that the danger has passed and is returning to a more relaxed position.
I rub my blanket intently. It feels sort of like a shag rug, all soft and warm. It’s the best feeling blanket on earth. It feels so good.

“That feels so good” said my blanket. I freeze. Blankets moving are one thing, but talking is a bit much, even in this state. I slowly look down. It takes a few moments for the realization to sink in, but eventually I realize my blanket is, in fact, a person. A total stranger with a nose ring and a wool sweater to be exact, draped over me exactly the way a blanket would be. This is a bit awkward.

“Lisa, why’d you stop? The deal was for me to e the blanket and for you to rub my hair.” The deal? What deal? I made a deal with this person? More importantly, I told him my name was Lisa? Blanket Guy and I continue to stare into each others massively dilated pupils in confusion. The crowd in the kitchen applauds as the fridge door opens again.

Blanket Guy and I don’t have much time to hammer out the finer points of our “deal” since the door to the master bedroom is opening again. Tara and Brad descend the stair case with the tall lack guy, now gently weeping, following behind. Just as Im about to hide, Brad spots me.

“Hey Carm” Brad says, looking directly at Blanket Guy and not at me. “Oh, hey babe.” I say as casually as a person rolling her face off and hiding beneath another human being can possibly sound. “Lisa, are you going to introduce me to your friend?” Blanket guy asks. “Oh, yeah, sorry, Brad, this is, uh...” “John” Blanket guy says. “Right. John, this is my boyfriend, Brad. Oh, and I’m Carmela. Not Lisa.”

“Nice to meet you.” Brad said. “Carm, could you come with me a minute?” He asks as he pulls me out from under John. I don’t want to go, but Brad is pulling me and Tara is following right behind me so it doesn't seem like I have much choice. Plus, the banister feels really good under my hand.

Trying not to show fear, I ask “So, what have you guys been up to all night?” No answer. “What the deal with the bedroom?” Nothing. I start to panic. We all three walk into the bedroom, and Tara closes the door behind us.

The room itself surprisingly non threatening. There are no whips or chains, the bed is made, the accessories very Pier One. I had been expecting an orgy, a dungeon, a dead body, an alien.... something to account for all the theatrics.

“Is this your room, Tara?” I ask. “Yes, but more importantly, it’s a portal into another dimension.” She explains, smiling. I nod and smile back as though she had just told me it was also decorated by Pottery Barn.

“Can you see it?” Brad asks, a massive stoned smile spreading across his face. I turn in the direction Brad and Tara are facing, and look out the window. Im scared to look; remembering how scary the landscape was even before I knew it was a portal into another dimension. I expect to see a giant black hole in the horizon, but all I see is three each, the sea, and a clam evening sky. I shrug, ut they are insistent.

“Um, I see... the ocean?” I offer. “No,” Brad says “look... deeper.” Deeper? I was hoping for something more like ‘to the right’. The Ecstasy is making everything look wavy so I try “I see waves?” “Carm, everyone else we’ve brought up here has seen it.” Brad informs me. For some reason this makes me feel insanely competitive, and I really focus.

Suddenly, I see a bright waterfall. “I see a waterfall!” “Yes!” Brad and Tara exclaim in unison. “That’s what everyone notices first.” Tara tells me. “What else?” “I see... a beautiful white horse with a fiery red mane. I see a glittery stream, and beautiful nymphs frolicking in it! It’s beautiful!” “Oh Carm, I’m so glad we could share this.” Brad says, kissing my cheek. “I love you.”

Exhausted and just past peaking, I allow myself to be lead back down the stairs. Brad and Tara deposit me on the couch next to John. Once I’m seated, they take a bewildered looking John by the arm and begin to lift him off the couch. “Hey where are we going?” John asks, passively. He is met only by smiles and silence.

I lean over and quickly whisper in his ear “They’re going to tell you there’s a portal to another dimension out the window, bu they’re actually looking at some tacky Lisa Frank looking cartoon beach blanket someone left by the shore, ok?” He nods, but I can tell he isn't fully processing. Oh well, I tried.

I curl back up on the couch and can see out on the balcony the sky slowly turning pink . Without my blanket, I curl up and fall asleep as the crowd in the kitchen breaks into another peal of applause.