I was almost completely out of money on the Saturday before Halloween. Getting my car back had cost me just under $200 and I couldn’t exactly ask my parents for help seeing as how I was at a party they would not have approved, so I spent a big chunk of what was left in my bank account.
It was a bummer that I pushed out of my mind until later. Good things were happening and I didn’t want to let being broke rain on my parade. I had a second party to go to! Two parties in one weekend for the lonely guy who could rarely find anything worthwhile to do with his days off of class.
This party was provided by the brother of an acquaintance of my friends from Pensacola. Malcolm went to high school with a lot of my old teammates from swimming. He was in town from Gainesville to go to his adopted brother’s Halloween party and he made sure to invite people who made sure to invite me. It wasn’t the same as being friends with extremely socially active people, but I would take it!
Optimistic that this party would be a more socially gratifying than the one before it, I suited up in my priest outfit, grabbed everyone that I wanted to take to this party with me and carpooled to the apartment, which was just around the corner from UCF.
The apartment was crowded, but not packed. The music was loud but not too loud. The girls were hot, but not unattainable. The keg was accessible, but still crowded enough to provide watering hole social potential. It was as if Goldilocks herself was hosting.
We arrived early enough to get a head start on the drinking. Music was pouring into the apartment from behind the tiki bar in the corner. It was densely populated with a smorgasbord of liquor.
I started off drinking with the people I came with. We drank beer, did shots, played beer pong and flip cup. As I started buzzing, the party grew steadily until I was surrounded by more people that I didn’t know than people I did know. At this point, I was buzzed enough that I wasn’t nervous. I interacted with strangers and though none of them became my next best friend, it was a big step for me to put myself out there that much.
Two girls dressed in lingerie fell on top of each other and started making out. I don’t know what their costumes were supposed to be, but they definitely didn’t cover much! They drew quite a crowd, which I assume was their aim. According to the movies, this type of thing happened all the time everywhere in college, so I felt like I was finally living the real college experience.
As I stood next to several other dudes who were observing these girls’ affection for each other, I felt something begin to rise against the front of my priest’s robes. I figured it would be pretty awkward to get a hard on in this social setting, but that awkwardness couldn’t compare to the uncomfortable realization that followed. This was a pretty sexy sight and I was sharing this moment with a bunch of other sweaty dudes who no doubt were feeling their own pants become tighter.
I began to realize that the girls’ control of their bodies began vacating their nervous systems several shots ago. Their kissing was sloppy and I wondered how thoroughly they were covering each others‘ faces with slobber. It was time for me to move on and go back to drinking.
From somewhere, a mini version of Das Boot from BeerFest appeared. For some reason, I had nursed a strange obsession with the movie, which follows five friends as they compete in an international drinking competition. The climax of the film is a showdown between our American protagonists and their goofy German rivals as they compete in a relay challenge where each team member must chug a beer from a boot-shaped glass without spilling a drop of brew. The boots at the party were more like shot glasses than draft glasses, but it was another experience remotely similar to a movie so it brought me pure joy.
As the party grew, the music got louder. This escalated the volume of conversations and soon, the cops knocked on the door. I was terrified and furious with the universe. How could my first real college party end in handcuffs? Surely these cops would lock us all away for underage drinking, I thought. But they didn’t. They told the host of the party to keep people in the apartment (the patio was becoming too noisy) and to turn the music down. Then, they left and just like that, the party resumed. I couldn’t believe that nothing bad happened! It sounded just like the stories of harm free run ins with the cops that my friends told.
Eventually, I met a girl with pink hair. I think her name was Angela and I don’t remember what she was supposed to be, but it wasn’t slutty enough to attract a dozen competitors. She was pretty and easy to talk to and she stayed by my side most of the night. I didn’t have the guts to make a move, though. Something about her was too nice to be some meaningless hook up, and at the time I thought that was my only option in college. I couldn’t see myself discarding this girl after just one night. The shame of not making a move prevented me from ever calling her after the party that night.
After a second harmless visit from the cops took some life out of the party, my designated driver decided it was time to leave before a third visit carried repercussions. It was easily one of the best nights of my first year of college, and it cemented my love of Halloween. The holiday would go on to become a major benchmark of each of my years in college, almost a snapshot of my growth over the past year. Unfortunately, even in years when I grew up substantially, I still spent October 31st acting like an idiot or making poor decisions.