Party Battle Maiden
What happens when a party gets disrupted by violence, and the violence gets disrupted by something even weirder
This is the true story of the only time I’ve been in a fight.
The night in question also happens to have set into motion a convoluted chain of events with seismic ramifications on the trajectory of my life, culminating in an armed police raid on my house. But all that will have to wait for another day.
For now, we’ll go back to a time when I lived in a house with roommates and a yard. A house that had garnered a well-earned reputation for hosting fantastic parties. A house on the eve of New Year’s Day.
The last time we threw a New Year’s Eve party, the line of people waiting to get in thirty minutes to midnight extended into the street. The one time we counted attendance was for a fundraising event, and we clocked three hundred people over the course of the evening. Each time we hosted a party, we’d have to initiate a round of multilateral talks to dole out the limited time slots among the half-dozen or so professional DJs volunteering to play our living room.
The hype was well established. And my good friend Jacob trekked in from out of town to see this for himself.
I felt a kinship with Jacob. We trenched similar pathways. He was an unashamed computer nerd who spent his teenage years playing Counter-Strike and installing multiple Linux distros for fun, only to thereafter discover the twin ambrosias of lifting weights and having sex with women. With him, I had a friend I could talk to about the optimal strategy for both escalating touching on a first date, and the ideal mercenary roster for Jagged Alliance 2.
Jacob was bald, cleanly shaven, and muscle-bound enough to distract from his hideously patterned button-up shirts. He was just socially unaware enough that it accidentally read as confidence. He knew nobody at the party, but I promised him intelligence briefings on anyone there he fancied.
A couple hundred people filtered through our doors over the course of the night. We all congregated at midnight, shouted the countdown, then screamed in ecstasy when the klaxon synths that signified the start of M83’s Midnight City played over us. We all kissed as many people as possible, or at least tried to, fully capitalizing on the yearly window of time when such frantic behavior is deemed socially acceptable (or is at least tolerated). We fueled all this with the two brands of champagne that mattered in those days: Kirkland Signature and Miller High Life.