Monday, August 28, 2006

To Be Fucking Young

Tonight – Sunday night – kids are up on the roof again. We hear them tromp up there, quickly breaching the invisible border of the motion sensor alarm. EEP EEP EEP.

A minute later there's a ghastly shriek. A sound someone makes when they are sure they are about to die. We pause the TV in order to give each other portentous looks.

Because now it's serious.

Steve rises and gives a cursory glance out the window, as though he'd see something. As though he'd see some lithe, young white chick floating through the air, on her way to meet her sudden, unexpected end amidst the plywood, trash and pissed-on weeds of our back alley. Some pretty, precious thing ripe for the tabloids' first screaming headlines of the working week.

But there's nothing.

In fact the next sounds we hear are mirthful cries, the universal sounds of inebriated jubilation. Great convulsions of titters and exclamations.

More tromping.

And each time, the alarm: EEP EEP EEP.

Here we are making glum little jokes about how old we are, how young are they. But still. It's goddamned midnight.

Finally PC takes the initiative. With a few grim words like, "OK. Well." Resolutely he puts on his shoes and heads out the door.

I feel like he shouldn't have to shoulder this alone. Or also I want to take some kind of stand. Make some petty old man's gesture of my own.

So I follow him out the door. Up the stairs all slick and soiled by many muddy footsteps. Up on the roof under the hazy, rainy sky. There are at least 50 people up there. All having a good time and shit. Standing around in little groups. And PC spreads his arms and says, "Listen up!" And he says saying something about, I don't want to be a drag, but it's late, it's Sunday night, this has to stop.

It's unclear to what degree this is sinking in.

"Is there anyone who didn't get any of that?" he asks. Emphatically. But I find it an intriguing question nonetheless. And then I say, "Party's over." Because I feel like saying something. And immediately I regret it. The gulf between me and them is now articulated. I'm the old crank with the faintly tyrannical, empty taunt. Some chick says warily, "Yeah, yeah." Dismissively. Insolently. Like, The party may be over, but the war has just begun.

Maybe she's the chick we didn't see fall and die.

Ah, to be fucking young.

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