93. Define “Party”

It was late at night, and I was walking home from my weekly jam session. A kid from across the street called out to me, and beckoned me to come over and talk to him. Seems like a great idea, right? I couldn’t think of any reason not to.

I crossed the street, and he said, “Hey. Do you party?”

Now “party” is one of those words with multiple meanings. Is he wondering if I’m interested in drugs, booze, sex, or balloon animals? It really is hard to know. And really, I’m not interested in getting any of those things from a guy on a street corner in the middle of the night. So the proper answer should be “No.”

But of course, i was curious, so I said, “I don’t know.”

He said in a lower voice, “Do you PARTY?”

In what world does it make the question more specific if he repeats it in a quieter voice? “I don’t know what you mean.”

He seemed frustrated. “Do you smoke weed?”

At last! Details! “Oh! No, dude. Haven’t done that for years.”

He sighed and gave me a look of chagrin. “Well … hey, if I give you some money, can you buy me some smokes.”

And now we’re to the heart of the matter. Gotta admit, it’s been YEARS since someone underage asked me to buy them smokes. I was oddly flattered. Does this mean I look cool again? Younger? Or maybe irresponsible? “No, man, I can’t do that.”

“Oh, come on! I’m 23, but I forgot my wallet, and the asshole at the Quickie keeps asking for ID.”

I decided to play this to the hilt. “Sorry, dude. I just got out of Millhaven. If I get caught doing ANYTHING they’ll send me back.”

He smiled and fist-bumped me. “Have a good night.”