And someone’s saying happy birthday, Mama snatch. Happy snatchy birthday. Avery, of course, and I’m leaning against the wall so I can get a closer look at all the lights in the sky and the snow in my face tasting it and look, look at the colors: yellow and blue and brown and red and white blue and green, even green, the streetlight, look at the streetlight, and the way the lights in Andrea’s windows shake and move around and shimmer and this must’ve been planned, right, it must have been planned.
And when I turned back around there’s some woman wearing fur, is that really fur, and she’s saying: whose birthday? And Avery says hers, and the woman looks at me and says it's my birthday too: how old are you? And Sean says: do you need anything?
But it's getting cold out here, so I head back downstairs and into the heat, now it feels good, pushing through the crowd that spills off the dance floor, almost blocking the pathway to the bathroom, where there’s a line and some guy with even more cologne than Avery looking at me with big eyes to ask if I know where he can get some coke. On the roof, I say – head up to the roof, and if you don't see her, come back and I'll show you the way. Thank you, he says, and kisses me on the lips like we’ve been friends forever, and we have.
Eventually I’m at the urinal but oh this always happens, right, I can’t piss and everyone’s waiting and I can’t even tell how long I’ve been here, just that first there’s one guy and then another, and then another, and then another so I zip back up and fix my hair in the mirror, pat the sweat off my face with a paper towel. In the other room it's “gonna drop a house, drop a house, drop by house — gonna drop a house on that bitch,” so I rush onto the dance floor, right into a laser light stream, are those lights new? I think it was only red before, right? Now it's red, blue, green, purple, yellow even, oh, I love the yellow and some queen is yelling work mama and Sage and Juniper are on the sides in their platforms with silver fans and every other clubkid mess oh I love these messes we are all one big twirling runway combustion suction cufflink tiara but then Sean's waving to me from the side so I go over and she says they're about to close, should we go before the rush?
What do you mean they're about to close?
I mean they're about to close — Mattilda, it's 5:45.
But it can’t be 5:45 already, can it? Wait — listen. Yes, yes fucking yes it's “10,000 Screaming Faggots.”
And we’re all screaming, screaming as the horns go into air raid sirens go into nothing but a clack clack runway beat and “10,000 screaming, 10,000 screaming, 10,000 screaming” and I don't know what Michael is mixing this with but it’s the best it’s ever been. And then the music stops. And Sean already has my coat, how did she get my coat? And Avery, when did they sneak off? We wave goodbye to Michael and then down the stairs — oh, we forgot to say hi to Richie, who’s already packing up and she says: Are you girls? Leaving? So early?
Outside — oh, right, the snow the snow the snow and the snow! Give it, take it, make it break it and work, walk, glide, ride the shimmery sidewalk breathtaking ice crunchy winter runway. Sean's already walking fast up ahead and we have to run to catch up but oh no, Avery, oh no, Avery, are you okay?
Oh, okay, she’s laughing. And when we catch up to Sean, she says sorry, I needed to get away, there was someone, there was someone. There was someone.
But are you having a good birthday?
Oh, it's fabulous, Mattilda, it's fabulous — I can't wait. For the fabulous hot tub.
Oh, right — the hot tub.
The hot tub, Avery says. The hot tub.
Somehow it helps us stay warm just to think about it, although then I love the feeling of the snow in my eyes with my eyes closed or not closed but almost closed the wind and the streetlamps everything blinking and I’m cold yes cold licking my lips and my teeth oh I’m doing that thing, we’re walking hand-in-hand down the street and there must be a foot of snow already, no don’t fall, don’t fall. Okay. Walk for me. And walk.
And walk. We finally get to the house and yes, that chandelier, did you see that? Did you see that? Did you see that chandelier? I turn the lights all the way up — so much white — oh, I love it here, I don’t ever want to leave. Except maybe to go to The Loft. Oh, wait — let me take your coats, let me take your coats. Do you need anything?
Sean says do you have any porn?
Do I have any porn? I don’t know. What about Cats?