It was the Halloween party, 2010, out in Somerville, deep in the residential area, among the houses rich enough to build, but too expensive to own. It was fun; the house was a notorious four-bedroom, three-floor brownout that held parties year after year, a tribute of the press company my roommate worked for, exploding into 300+ visitors.
I was a coked-out investment banker in my blue Saks pinstripe, black portfolio pants, Aldo dress shoes and old red tie; a blotch of white face paint covered my nose, and I was considered one of the more original costume ideas of the night. Honest, except for the hot women and men who were too proud to say anything, everyone I introduced myself to was impressed. I was too, on the inside, at all the characters I half-knew amidst the beer and booze.
But I left – combination reasoning. Shit grew weird after the 6th drink, when I ran into some butchers who called themselves “ninja turtles.” It was intolerable; the three of the four I met (Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo) wore green clothing underneath white smocks with “blood” spattered across them. Different colors, yet they all looked like green Jackson Pollock’s.
Apparently I offended one of them with my costume. I told Donatello what my costume was, and he began to question my intentions. “Why would he be coked-out?” I was caught off-guard, kind of like an awkward come-back from a would-be girl you’re hitting on. I had to defend my intentions, and it gained the interest of more than just the turtles. Raphael was more offended than Donatello. His father was an investment accountant.
The beer and booze did little to solve the problem. Raphael began to ask me who I was, who I came with (to the party), and really made a scene around the ten-odd people in the foyer. I was humiliated at the hands of a bastard ninja turtle; there was no social comeback.
I decided to leave. The keg was finished and I rounded up the remaining booze in a blue solo cup. Believe me when I tell you, the party is over when the booze is all gone. Luckily for me, I spent my last minutes there drinking a combination of Yellow Tail and Jim Bean, provided by a girl dressed like a clown, but claimed she was Elton John. She looked funny, and I thanked her for the help before running into a Frenchman and his companion with a proposition.
“Hey, do you want to smoke some pot?” I was easily swayed, and I quickly forgot about the party inside. The smell of marijuana didn’t seem to bother other people, despite it countering my inebriated self the same way sugar does with coffee. I was in a good place, even after the negative episode minutes earlier, feet away.
I left when I saw the ninja turtles hovering around the front entrance. I didn’t want to cross paths with them again. My roommate would find his own way home; he’s the type to milk a moment until it’s dry, and being only 2am, I knew he would continue his escapades for a while longer. I said my goodbyes to the Frenchman and friend, Gretel and Charlie Brown, along with Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, Red Riding Hood, Dobby the House Elf, and that dancing banana from that hit “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” by the Buckwheat Boyz.
There were so many others I remember, but I knew there was no opportunity worth trying for to get past the obstinate (and obdurate) ninja turtles. Before heading down the gravel path, I saw them talk and point and stare directly at me, bringing Michelangelo into the mix, making my odds of physical conquest four-times more difficult. I cut my losses and left. It wasn’t worth it.
I had my iPod shuffle. It was somewhere in the middle of a track mix my brother gave me from New York, so I couldn’t tell you what I was listening to. I wasn’t sure where I was going, either, but I was blessed with five seconds to ask a passing cyclist where Highland was. He pointed in the right direction, the general area which led me towards another house party.
Now imagine this scene – you’re out of your mind and in a personal zone, and all of a sudden a character you know and revere is standing outside with a monk and a tennis player smoking a cigarette. Patrick Bateman, the lead character from “American Psycho,” was wearing a poncho over a business suit, just as he did before killing Paul Allen with an ax.
I play off that angle when we first met. I simply asked where Highland was from here, and then asked if I could use his bathroom. “Yeah, go for it. You seem like a nice guy,” he said, and I casually entered the scene. The place was amazing, definitely more expensive than my place on Grand View. He had a bigger foyer with dark brown tiling and windows overlooking the street, and steps leading up into the apartment rather than a hallway turn-around like mine.
The party was still in effect; club girls in skimpy outfits were talking to each other near a billiards table that nobody was using, dudes in cop outfits and spiked Jersey do’s were taking shots of Petron, and a couple or two were making out in distant corners of the lavish apartment. I wandered around, looking for the bathroom, kind of like a fool who didn’t know where he was. The bathroom was in a weird location, and there was a line, but a cop who knew I wasn’t a part of the crowd saw through me and let me jump in line. Nice guy. I enjoyed the relief and thanked him as I left.
I walked back outside just as quickly as I entered. “Thanks Bateman,” I said to the host as he talked to the monk. “No problem,” he said, as if he didn’t notice the name I called him. I told him flat out, “you know, you look just like…” and he flipped out, in a good way. “You know, you’re the first person all night to get my costume. Why don’t you come in and have a drink…”
All the random people who saw me quickly come and go were surprised to see me return with the owner’s arm around my shoulder in smiles and praise. It was a different turn, and I took it. I became one of the dudes taking shots of Petron. I opted for a round of pool with the owner. “You know, it’s been ages since I played this game.” I don’t remember if he or I said that.
I remember we shared quotes and scenes from American Psycho, and the girls with hard bodies revolved around us because we looked like we knew what we were doing. I caught the eye of some blonde who was talking to her friend; they were among the few sitting by the entrance when I first arrived. When the game ended, I shook hands with the owner and thanked him for his hospitality. “Hey man, thank you,” almost competitively gracious; explains the multi-hundred dollar getup he was rocking.
I had to excuse myself, not because it was late, but because I wanted to meet the blonde outside before I left.
“Hey,” she said, “who are you?”
“I’m Alex.” She meant what my costume was, confused by the blotch of white paint on my nose. I told her, and she said “oh, that’s funny.” She didn’t laugh, but smiled. Her teeth were whiter than my face paint. I got her number but didn’t get her name.
I stumbled home the remaining half-mile to the sound of Cate Brothers “Give It All to You.” I still got home before my roommate. 4:30am or so, and he strolls in with some girl he met at the party. She wasn’t fabulous, certainly a couple notches below the blonde I met, but still fun. He brought home a brown paper bag full of beers, and he and I drank more as the girl began to have second thoughts. Within minutes, they left again; he drove her home as I sat in my Eames chair, drafting the first part of this story. At 5:10am, he returned with a smug look on his face. “Man, I did that girl a favor.” I could care less if he got laid that night.
We talked about my shenanigans at the press party, and laughed about the chance encounter with Patrick Bateman and his lavish house apartment over stale pizza and beer. It was near 6am when I went to bed, and my dark empty sleep was interrupted a few hours later when my parents texted me to meet them in Copley for brunch.