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       Chapter Three
 
     “Two Block Walk”
 
The girls easily find
the party
drive by once
to get an idea
of how happening
it really is going to be,
nothing worse than
walking through
the front door
and there are
twenty drunk guys
standing there
staring at you
and you’re the only
three girls there,
great odds if your
just trying to hook up
for a night or less
but not very conducive
to holding a conversation
or the normal party
flirtation
that these girls
so loved
to participate in,
at first glance
things are looking
pretty cool
some girls and guys
casually standing out
front
enough cars parked
out on the street
to show a decent crowd,
the girls park
two blocks down
the street
a smart parking strategy
at house parties
so you don’t
get blocked in
by someone else
and if the cops
bust up the party
they don’t see you
walking straight out
from the party
dumping your beer
from your red Solo cup
on to the front lawn
and then climbing into
your car and having to
drive down a street
full of cops,
and on a
romantic note
if some cute boy
just happens to
want to walk you
to your car
this gives him
plenty of time
to ask you
for your number
or work up his
courage
for a goodnight kiss,
when your only
fifty feet away
from the front
door
your chances for
both plummet,
the girls still have
the music going
out the windows
of the car
but at a
respectable level
not wanting to
draw attention
to themselves
as they hangout
in the car
and take some
pre-party straight
shots
from a bottle
Lace swiped
from her alcoholic dad
who always had
a revolving door
of new bottles
calling the top shelf
of the kitchen cabinet
home
for a short period
of time
before he kills
them off
one by one,
her dad may
have missed
remembering
her birthday
a couple of times
but he also missed
remembering
a lot of the
lost bottles that
disappeared
every now and then
when Lace needed one
on short notice,
Cathy pulls out
a plastic shot glass
from under the seat
then Lace takes
one shot and
then pours one
for the next girl
the girls down
three shots each
in rapid secession
except for Cathy
who only takes two
since she is driving,
all three girls
doing it more
as a chore
than as a
social activity
just getting a
jump start
on the party,
“Everybody Ready?”
asks Cathy in an overly
excited voice
Lace and Zoe
bark out that
they are ready to go
and both Cathy and Lace
open up their doors
and get out
of the car
Cathy takes the bottle
and puts it in the trunk
Lace gives Zoe her hand
helping her climb out
of the deep backseat
Cathy locks up the car,
then all three girls
check out each
other’s looks
making sure everyone’s
lines are pristine,
Cathy was tall
and wearing high heels
which really added
to her presence
jeans and a white blouse
giving off a Hot teacher vibe
and she was
very intelligent
but didn’t mind
playing dumb
if the boy was
cute enough,
while Lace was
the first of
the three girls
that the boys
always noticed
her profile
stood out in
any room
and she could
hold the attention
of any guy
as long as there
were no questions
involved
that required
anything but the
simplest of answers
because of that
she didn’t like
to be teased
stood up for herself
and her friends
over the smallest
of matters
raised with two
older brothers
so she knew
how to hold
her own,
and then there
was Zoe
the smallest and
wittiest
of the bunch
but she had this
magical aroura
about her
that made people
just want to be
around her
and by the end
of the night,
of these three
girls
she was the one
most people
remembered
she had a way
of filling in
the empty spaces
in people’s thoughts
without even trying,
all three girls
have their outfits
turned on high
getting maximum
advantage
out of everything
they had to
show off,
Zoe
not quite feeling
as old as the
other girls were looking
asks Cathy
for one of her dad’s
cigarettes
a bit of a prop
to help get her
through the door
of the party,
Cathy grabs the pack
out of the glove box
in the car
tosses it to Zoe
who pulls out
two cigarettes
and throws the
pack back to Cathy
with the Bic lighter
still tucked between
the cellophane wrapper
and the box of cigarettes
“don’t you want the lighter?”
Cathy calls out
as she puts the pack
back in the car,
“No” says Zoe “
I always carry
one at parties,
they have a lot
more uses than
you might think”
pulling one out of
her left black bootie
and lights the
cigarette
“Why don’t you
just keep it
in your front pocket”
asks Lace
“Are you kidding me,
these jeans are so
Damn tight,
 I can’t even get
my fingers
into the pockets
of my jeans”
says Zoe
as she slips
the lighter
back into her
black bootie
and puts the
other cigarette
behind her left ear
hidden beneath
her hair,
the girls make
their way down
the two blocks
to the party,
the night
rapidly pulsing
trying to
keep up
with the beat
of their hearts
but having a
hard time
keeping pace,
a brief moment
comes over
the trio
where no one
is talking
the girls
embarrassed
for some reason
that they let
silence
creep into
their circle
of space,
as if they had
all committed
a social crime
allowing that to
happen
causing all three
of them
to start talking
extra fast 
leaving that
moment
of silence
behind them
as they approached
the house with
a party lurking inside…
 
     Tom Allen…06-08-2018…