First Segment: When a Third World Came West

First Segment

I heard the double front doors shutting against their heavy rubber catch, with my parents out the door.  I was riffling through my closet to find something to wear.  Whenever I heard the door shut and their car back out to leave, I’d run out through to the living room.  There were two steps down to the Mexican style tiled floors where the glass entertainment stand was with the radio.

With the thought of music on the way I got ahead of myself.  I opened the full length mirrored closet doors that my mother had chosen for her closet as well. I began going through clothes, pulling back the packed shirts and hangars stretched from blouses that were too heavy and searched through pants stubbornly hung to cheap metal hangars. I pulled passed more shirts and this dress and those pair of slacks until I was drawn to a brown velvet one. It was scrunched up and down the middle to look like a braid.  I took its hangar out of my closet, plopped the tank on my bed and went through my closet a few more times.  I found an Indian cotton skirt with white petals and I hung it up on the door.  I walked through the living room and down the tile to the stereo to turn the song up.  But I became aware of the two old couples who lived on either side of us, and I thought twice about it. I passed my couch and I heard my cell phone ring and I realized that I was probably late.  I still hadn’t eaten dinner but I dismissed any thoughts about it since the music was on and since it had wound me up.  I brushed off the top and had a good look at it.  I thought about Robbie and the four guys I’d met last time.  Other people were bound to show up to drink and mix on his dusty floors.  We’d danced in front of the couch to the stuff on his stereo last time while people thought up stuff to make inside the kitchen.

A half an hour later and dressed, I was in my parent’s 1989 Volvo, tilting my rear view mirror to see my makeup. My hair was still at disproportionate lengths on either sides of my face.  I’d cut it a few weeks before summer because I’d let my friend do what she’d wanted with it.  But one side was shorter than the other and I was tired of watching it in the mirror while I scrubbed my teeth.  I took matters into my own hands.  I’d snapped some here, some there and before I’d known it my hair was shorter than normal. Though now it had grown to the bony clavicle blade that stuck out of my chest.  I knew that I couldn’t keep starring at it.  I backed out of my driveway, drove passed my parent’s other car and headed towards Robbie’s.

Once there, I pulled into a driveway made up of rock, mulch, and overgrown ferns.  I pulled my gears into park, and got out.  I walked too fast in the humidity, trying to overcompensate for my bulky espadrilles. I pursed my raisin lipstick as I walked up the cement steps and onto the portico to Robbie’s door.  A woman I’d never seen before, a medium-height Columbian girl greeted me.  She looked about thirty and she was in a skirt that fell above her bulky calves.  She smiled when she asked me to come in.

I walked through the door and through the living room sitting on the white couch where I’d sat on Bobby’s lap the night before.  I remember we had fought over the remote.  I could hear his voice passing through the dining room and through the white shutter doors where his kitchen was.

Bobby came out later with his roommate and roommate’s girlfriend, who had wet long blond hair from a shower.  The roommate’s girlfriend came to sit beside me, wearing a blue jean skirt with white scrawl on it.  “We just got to wait for a few people.  It’s only nine,” She’d said. “Tracy, come sit,” Bobby said from across the room. I pressed my back hard into the back of Robbie’s couch pillows.  He was usually like this when there was more than one person, shouting out thoughts he had in front of everyone, singling out people in particular.

An hour later five or more people came up his driveway ready to get out and meet up somewhere.   The four of us got into Bobby’s two-door  mustang and pulled out for the red club which was five miles away.

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