I walk by the house on my way to the beach every day. It's a massive, faceless house but it overlooks the ocean. And here, that means everything.
Last week, I noticed several cars parked in the driveway. Very nice cars. Black, sleek, tinted windows. For diplomats and rock stars. During the middle of winter? Strange. It's usually empty on this island at the Jersey shore. Perhaps its just a realtor or a home owner checking in on things.
But as the days passed, the cars remained. Something was going on in there. My curiosity was piqued and my imagination roamed too far.
I run on the beach every day; a grueling daily chore that I do for my "wellness." But one fateful afternoon, only half of me went running. The other half split off and walked up to that faceless house on the beach and knocked on the door and experienced an adventure that she won't soon forget.
She knocked hard.
A tall man opened the door, dressed in a shimmering blue tux. A servant of some sort? Very young and handsome. Tousled blonde hair and plate-sized blue eyes. Or green. Or purple. They seemed to change a little every second. His voice, deep and resonant spoke:
"Can I help you?"
"Is the party here?"
"What's the password?"
"Mellita, domi adsum?" I said, unsure of the words falling from my mouth. (Later, I'd find out it's Latin for "Honey, I'm home.")
He gestured grandly, "Miss Beth, enter. We've been waiting for you."
Who has been waiting for me, I wondered? No one waits for me, just as a rule.
Bion lead me upstairs. (He whispered his name into my ear when he closed the door. I shuddered with pleasure; whispering is such a lost art.) I wondered why I didn't hear any party sounds. It was dead quiet, just the thud of our footsteps, in sync with one another. The stairway never seemed to end. We just kept climbing and climbing, Bion in the lead.
Finally, at the top of the stairs, he stopped and turned around.
"Are you ready, Miss Beth?"
"Yes, very much so. I've been curious. What goes on here?"
He opened a white door and boom! The music began. Glasses clinking, corks popping, flirtatious laughter ringing, voices, voices, voices...so many of them, like a sweet, bizarre choir.
Suddenly I was in the middle of a grand room, made up entirely of glass, overlooking the ocean. And though it was sunny when I arrived, the sky had turned threatening. Everyone stood at the massive window, oohing and ahhing as the storm rolled toward us. Some were clothed, some naked. No one really seemed to care.
A tall, striking man walked up to me. I knew him from...somewhere, I don't know where. He had long dark hair and the same piercing, ever-changing eyes as the servant. He had a look of madness to him, but not overcome by it. As if he quietly embraced it.
"Beth, my love. You are here, you are here! Finally!"
He kissed me on the lips and I pulled back, unaccustomed to such behavior from someone I hardly knew. This did not deter him.
He touched my neck and I did as he commanded, opening my mouth slightly. He kissed me again, for what seemed like forever, our tongues desperately entwined. I remember dreaming at one point during the kiss; that's how long it was. When we stopped, he was gone. I was kissing the air. Embarrassingly, I pulled myself together and took a better look around.
Drugs were everywhere. White powder, blue powder, red pills, green pills. Bion appeared next to me, with a drink "especially made for you." He handed me an overflowing glass - almost the size of a small fish tank - full of bubbling blue liquid. I took a sip without question. (It was made especially for me, afterall.)
"Bion, who is the host? What is his name?"
"I call him Sir. But you can call him whatever you please."
Dazed, I wandered over to the window and looked out. There I was, running on the beach! I knocked on the glass, hoping I could hear me. But she just kept running, so determined. I felt badly for her. She works so hard to be good. Stays at home, cooks her little dinners, watches her shows, talks to girlfriends about boyfriends that will never really matter. She takes baths, makes teas, cleans dust off of things.
I, on the other hand, was living. I took a drag from the long cigarette that suddenly appeared between my fingers. The smoke came out a crimson red. I felt very content.
Sir was suddenly standing behind me, watching me run on the beach.
"All that good intention. And what does it get her?" he laughed. He pulled my hair back and gently kissed my neck.
"Are you enjoying your drink, my dear woman? Are you enjoying your time? Shall I get you another?"
I looked down and my drink was almost gone. How is that possible?
"Yes, please. I want to drink as much as I possibly can."
"That's the spirit!" said Sir. And off he went, the new drink already in my hands.
I proceeded to mingle with the beautiful people. They all looked so crisp and perfect, as if they walked out of a magazine. But I looked amazing too. Bion had dressed me on the steps - I remember now. He zipped up my new red dress, put on fine black shoes, applied gloss to my lips and oh so lovingly, powdered my nose.
Ah, I was alight.
And these people couldn't keep their hands off of me! My dress was made of a fabric that felt like kittens and smelled liked fresh raspberries. My skin glowed, my eyes dazzled. Women, men, (and some, in-between) were attracted to me like bees to honey and I to them. We kissed, we hugged, we danced, we dipped, we molded lovingly into one another. We were one, this group and I. I couldn't imagine better friends. They knew all of my darkest thoughts and liked me, in spite of them.
Things got blurry after the second fishbowl. But I didn't mind. The powders and the pills cleared my head. I'd sink, I'd fall, I'd come back to life, over and over again. We all danced this dance for days, it seemed. Our thorny, perverted sickness was so beautiful, I couldn't dislodge myself. The highness was staggering.
Sir and I would occasionally run off to his blood red bedroom and do unspeakable things to one another. It was so splendid and dark that I now can't remember it; my mind won't let me. At one point, the energy we created raised us off of his bed - that I recall. This was beyond fucking; it was pure transcendence.
Afterward, we whispered warm and wicked things to one another, cleansed from the shamelessness of our wanton acts. These words I can no longer speak; it was an eternal language created from the most profane place in our souls. Even after we fell asleep, we continued to speak in our dreams. We were dying, over and over again, and it was absolutely perfect.
Then Bion knocked on the door and ruined everything. Everything.
"Miss Beth, she is here to pick you up."
"The one who runs on the beach."
Sir began crying. So sad, so beautiful he looked. I've rarely seen him cry.
"I can't live without you. You must stay."
"You'll be fine, Sir. There are so many pretty women who love you. They are waiting."
And truly, they were. I looked around the bed and we were surrounded by the most stunning women I'd ever seen, naked and in wait. They already began petting and pawing Sir, knowing my departure was near. Damn beautiful vultures. Was I that replaceable?
As I climbed out of the eternal bed, Sir grabbed me, his hand squeezing mine so tight, I began to bleed.
"Come back. Please. You know she'll just ruin you. She'll bore you to death!"
"I know, but she's all I have." And I began crying too.
Sir and I kissed once more, then the vultures attacked him. He screamed in pleasure at first, then in agony. Looking back, I could no longer see him, just bodies writhing, biting, eating, melting.
Bion showed me to the door, where she stood, drenched in sweat and rain. She had that dumb look of pleading in her eyes. I hated her. For just one moment, I hated her.
"Why can't you let me have fun? I've been waiting for this."
She just held out her hand knowingly, like a mother.
I slowly, begrudingly reached for it.
"I liked him. I really did."
"I know," she said. "Don't worry. He's not going anywhere."
She lead me home in silence. I looked down and my dress was gone. I was ugly again, old, worn clothes, drenched. The party was indeed over. I had books to read, clothes to clean, gardens to tend, vitamins to swallow, checks to write, problems to solve, help to offer, blood to bleed.