The night started out like any 18th birthday party should-girls in black lacey underthings, thigh-highs, high heels and the birthday girl in a crown. We were on our way to mingle with some man friends and sip (sip being a relative term) champagne.
We quickly polished off our champagne and half a pack of cigarettes then we started in on the vodka. Surprisingly, vodka and ginger ale is delicious. During the time that I was nursing my second cup of gingery goodness and smooching with the Minimalist, most of the men and a few of the women decided to get a little herbal. By herbal, I obviously mean they flirted with Mary Jane; smoked some grass; toked. Whatever you want to call it, they did it. Inside their dorm, thus making the whole building pregnant with the pungent, yet delightful, smell.
Smoking inside is not an unusual occurrence for them. They’ve got systems and sprays to lessen the glaring obviousness of it. They open windows, utilize towels and have plastic bags permanently duct taped over smoke detectors. Moral of the story-they’re old pros. Having grown up around these particular men (by grown up I mean adjusted to college life) I wasn’t surprised when people started filing into Cesar’s room. Even though the little bit of green in my eyes was enough green for me that night, I still followed. Marijuana is a social drug, afterall.
After some time, when all the bowls and jars were empty, we filed back into the living room, where I proceeded to freshen up my drink. No sooner had I taken that first experimental sip than there was a knock on the door. Cesar was dispatched to look through the peephole and the moment he did a visible change occurred in his face. Always calm, always shirtless Cesar was worried. From my vantage point, when he stepped outside, I could clearly see the khaki pants and maroon shirt that brought fear into the hearts of many a students-P Safe.
Upon returning Cesar was waxing triumphant. He assured everybody that because of his smooth talking ways and thicket of chest hair he was able to avoid any trouble. Sure they would be back, he said, but just to make sure Mary Jane was gone.
Feeling reassured I continued sipping my concoction, but this time from the safety of Cesar’s room where Roomie-Dearest, two friends and I were instructed to wait until after P Safe had come and gone again.
Have no fear, I assured myself. They’ll enter the apartment, sniff for weed, smell none and leave. No harm, no foul. And I wouldn’t even have to put my clothes back on. I maintained that mentality until the Minimalist opened the door and told us to come into the kitchen because P Safe needed our information. At the time I was amazed at how calmly he delivered that statement. In hindsight, though, I could see the defeat on his face.
The four of us walked out of Cesar’s room and into four P Safe officers, all wearing khaki pants and maroon shirts, and all hurried taking information from everyone-student I.D. number, full name, dorm number, age. When they took everything they wanted from us, they dismissed those of us who didn’t live there, but not before asking me if I had any clothes I could put on. All I had was a yellow trench coat.
Later, Roomie-Dearest and I returned to the scene of the crime. What we found scared me. Their apartment was quiet, an occurrence saved for anytime between the hours of 7am and noon. Their collection of fallen soldiers was sitting unprotected on the stove. All the trashcans were emptied, their contents taken for evidence.
We found our men stooped outside throwing around words like “expulsion” and “parents.” I asked my particular man the one question that says it all-“Are you okay?”
When he said no my heart broke and it continued to break the more he talked about that night. The only thing that keeps me from becoming humpty dumpty is knowing that Saturday is a rugby day and there’s no way those guys, especially my guy, would ever be sober on a rugby day.