By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
So we rocked out to this party expecting wastage and nookie. Noelle, a pretty girl, was there with the female qualities Dirk looked for: slender form, perky breasts, and skinny legs. Not much on the butt but still worth a grab. We walked around the house looking at wall decorations and rugs, which were tasteful in arrangement but still displayed a heavy-handed "we bought it 'cause we could" attitude. All the kids were drinking foamy pilsners in party cups and having a good time. Dirk and I wondered if a horde of indocumentados would swarm over the place the next day, trimming the St. Augustine and palm fronds, handpicking pine needles off the decorated driveways. With the folks hitting a European getaway, the kids romped and stomped, scuffing the tile with Italian leather and leaving Fendi imprints on marble countertops. Spilling import foam and ashing cigarettes and joints into any pricey antique they could find. Yeah, indocumentados would clean it up.
I went around peddling the nosebleed. Noelle was hanging out with some large-breasted broad I fancied and some twistoid who turned out to be the guy-pal of the hostess. He bought into the "strong-grade." There were some heebie-jeebies to the transaction, 'cause Noelle had an air of protection over her; I kept thinking some slick-haired G-man would jump out of an Utrillo painting and fuck me up. But nothing materialized. Within minutes we were inside the biggest damn bathroom I'd ever seen. Bright, comfortable, a couch in front of the sink, steps leading to a huge, oval Jacuzzi. On a table was a tray mirror where Guy-Pal got to chopping with algebraic precision, using his Visa Platinum.
Noelle drained her cup and fidgeted around for a cigarette in her purse, produced one, and turned to me, asking for a drink. All I had were the remains of my beer and a sixth of Old Smuggler I'd brought in a flask. I offered that and she slugged down a pro swig; handed it back, eyes watering from the rotgut; thanked me. Dirk was rolling a joint and she got interested in that, to the point of making suggestions on technique. She was the double-end tight type 'cause she liked the initial flare of the fire taking hold. Dirk was a lucky bastard. At that point I was getting nervous 'cause Guy-Pal was hacking away at the dope and I feared he'd realized he'd been taken for a $30 ride. But that didn't happen. He turned and gave me a thumbs-up, proving that poseurs would agree on anything as long as their cool-guy covers remained intact. Well, maybe a $30 sack was nothing for the guy; he thumbed his bills like a stud dealing chump change.
I went to refill the cups and take in some bay breeze while Dirk smoked Noelle out. They'd disappeared into the hanging drapes. Maybe he'd get some, you could never tell with these high-end bitches. So I walked around looking at broads, sweaty-skinned, bumming smokes, and scoring free booze. My stomach knotted from mixing and reggie haze, my throbbing temples filtering the chatter to kitten pitter-patter. Everything slow, tonsils burning and aching from little pus balls. Foul taste, eyes narrow-slit to tsetse fly response. Giggles.
Dirk said later he'd had an okay time. Made out a bit and felt her tits. "After the smoke we kinda locked lips, but to make it real fucking clear to me, she did not give me her number when I asked." Said she stumbled -- slut heels and joints don't mix. He too felt the throb, said he'd tried poking with his chubby while they jostled, but she wasn't a taker. Shared some giggles, watched her walk away.
The summer rolled right by us and senior year was another slow starter. The mornings were the same in the Gables: lush landscapes, neighbors complaining, sneaking smokes under the Ludlam bridge, etc. I always looked at Noelle with a certain laconic guilt. Dirk had tasted her and even then she'd probably remember him as some dude with dynamite pot who'd smoked her out for free. She wore shades through third period. It's true about shades and bloodshot eyes and how the light explodes like a Mandelbrot set in the pupils. Many kids got sucked into the vacuum of random testing and locker searches, but never Noelle.
Her blueblood stigma covered her better than any cowboy government employee ever did. One could argue about the pressures of the name on the child. Her brothers did the straight route of the Young Republican like little swimming ducks while she ambled along the shore in designer combat boots. Good students and award-winning athletes. Not us sipping spiked slushies during trig.
There were teachers who turned their heads away from the obvious, and others eternally perched to pounce and catch Noelle red-handed, but nothing ever stuck. Dirk and I, though, got slapped with plenty of detentions. I got a good one for acting like a monkey. But this was, of course, years before Noelle's papi got the nod for Florida, and she deteriorated from high-class drug use to common street abuse -- before the bouffant hairdos and dark-eyed mug shots. This was back when criminals were criminals and were treated as such, without the added slap in the face of "name" people with bigger charges getting less cell time. The girl has had her advantages: She's faked prescriptions, relapsed on numerous occasions, been busted during rehab twice for possession (one for prescription drugs and the other for allegedly having crack cocaine in her shoe); and she hasn't served more than a few days in the Orange County jail system.