I remember standing outside in the cool September air. I was wearing the tiniest Tommy Hilfiger skirt (black) known to man, with a silver top that had no back at all, and my silver Candies running shoes that I miss dearly these days. It wasn't an outfit for a Canadian autumn, but this wasn't the kind of place I expected to have a coat check, so there I was. There WE were, actually, a whole group of friends, all scantily dressed, all bleary with alcohol, waiting to get patted down, waiting to get into Electropolis.
We were all set for a serious night of clubbing when Allison somehow managed to steer us all toward a rave she'd heard of. I don't know how she managed to veto the other 20 people in our group, perhaps she was just the most sober, but that's where we ended up that night. The security at this place, like all others, picked me out of the crowd to pat down. Everyone laughs because that is such a Jamie thing to happen. They always pick me. Touch, touch, touch, feel, feel, feel, turn your head and cough. No, I don't have any "blades" nor do I have a stash of illicit drugs shoved up, um, anywhere.
So in we go, my enthusiasm having been cooled somewhat by the body search, but everyone else all a-twitter. It was a huge building, 3 storeys, and the whole thing was blacked out. Each level had a different theme, and was packed with hundreds of sweaty, squirming bodies. In the dark, the group got separated, but Jason squeezed my hand hard enough not to lose me, and to make me think he'd break a finger or two of mine in the process.
The music, as you can imagine, was pounding. I think the walls actually warbled with the beat. There were mysterious objects hanging for the ceiling, beads or streamers hung at each doorway. A strobe light pulsated with the music, slightly illuminating the faces of the crowd around you for a split second, plunging us into darkness the next, and then lighting it up again, for us to realize that in less than a second everything around us had changed. No face was familiar.
At a good rave, you forget that there is an outside world. Your mind clouds over and you just get swept along. The world is reduced to your body, the music, and a bottle of $10 water. There is no concept of time. The music streams into one long song, with no beginning and no end. The air is smoky and heavy. You are pressed against the skin of strangers so much that you cease to notice it. You dance with people you will never know. No one even tries to speak.
Back on the outside, I was never so grateful for the cool September air. I gulped it down more readily than the overpriced water. It must have been very late at night, but I never thought to check a clock. We made our way home still high from the experience; brain telling feet where to go, the rest of me following quietly and somewhat astonished at this fact.
Jason was staying at his mother's for the weekend, but she was out for the night. The place was eerily quiet after the assault our ears had just taken. I was still having this amazing out-of-body experience, I was tripping pretty heavily, and we were both too tongue-tied to have attempted any conversation at all on the way home. We stood in the dark kitchen for a long time. My heartbeat was still irregular. I was sure Jason was lying when he said he couldn't hear it from where he was standing, but I let him feel for it anyway. From there, our bodies took over and did what they knew best.
I was already so tingly and aroused, the sensations that I had that night were other-worldly. My mother-in-law's kitchen table got in on the action as we were unwilling to even get to the bedroom first. I remember how hard it was underneath me, and how white my legs looked around Jason's waist in only the moonlight from the window. And then, above or beyond the noise that I was making, I heard something.
And I heard it again. It sounded like something was being crinkled. Like someone was crinkling a plastic bag. My mind raced. I knew that Jason's Mom was definitely not home. No one else lived there, no one else even had a key. And then I heard it again. Jason, of course, was oblivious, and completely wrapped up in what he was doing. I struggled to get my tongue to form a word.
"No, Jason, there's a problem."
"What? Too hard?"
"No, I heard a noise. I think there's someone in the bathroom."
Well, that put a halt to the activities. Suddenly, I realized that right then would be a good time to be scared. Someone was in the house. Jason scooped me up and ran me into the bedroom. Great hiding place, right? He told me to be brave, stay there, and he'd go investigate.
As soon as he left the room, I realized that I hated this plan. I felt stupid sitting in the dark, waiting. Seconds went by, then minutes. Probably only 5-10, but it felt like forever. 10 minutes is a long time to be thinking that your boyfriend is laying dead in the hall somewhere, while just sitting around politely, waiting to be next.
It was an old house, complete with creaky floorboards and ominous shadows. I don't know what I expected when the door opened slowly, but I held my breath and winced. It was only Jason.
"Bat", he said.
"He has a bat?" I gasped. I couldn't believe what was happening.
"You want a bat? Oh god, are you going to hit him? Is he alone?"
"No, Jay. It was a bat. The animal."
The bat had not taken kindly to Jason snapping on the bathroom light. They battled each other valiantly, but in the end, Jason won. He trapped the bat in a plastic bag, and then went outside to free him. Meanwhile, I had sat in the bedroom, fearing the worst.
It was just a bat.
What a night.