Scene 4: Hell yeah, a party!
When: The weekend after school starts
Where: In Tim's apartment, downstairs and across the hall from my place. It's tiny.
Who: Tim, our mutual friend Gloria, my friend Nancy, people from the nearby apartment houses, people Tim has gathered because he's such a madman and people like him, and a foreign guy I haven't met yet, surrounded by more people.
Conflict: I want to socialize but I feel shy, especially because I just got cut down at school and because everybody is crazy.
Back Story: I'm a little Mormon girl from small town Utah and I've come to the big city. Mormons are different from most people, and rebels from Mormonism are also different from normal rebels.
Tim's apartment is done up Victorian style, with red flocked wallpaper and the whole wall, when it's not lined with bookshelves, completely covered with frame-to-frame paintings and prints. He's got a fancy velvet sofa, much the worse for wear, and a gold armchair, a glass vase in which he's growing papyrus, a goldfish, and the smell of pipe smoke, and a huge rug on the wooden floor, plus gold drapes. Not that it's particularly clean.
His kitchen is like mine, with that 1940's thick white enamel and a marble-looking formica countertop. There's a ton of food, like a bowl of ravioli pasta salad, some bread, cheese and crackers, salad, massive quantities of beer and wine. Rumor has it that you shouldn't eat the brownies unless you want to get high.
There's concert and jazz music playing in the background, but you can't hear it over the people all talking.
There's a guy in the front room, sitting in the middle of Tim's sofa with a whole serving bowl of jello in his lap, and a big metal spoon, and he's eating it. Everybody around him is attracted like magnet shavings, and he talks with this us-trange aksnt. He's saying "I love American jello. It's the greatest thing." I think he's Swedish. He's got brown hair, blue eyes that turn up at the corners, an aquiline nose, and small teeth. His name is Stefan and he's famous around here.
I shut my apartment door and carry my jello downstairs, then look around for a spoon. I then talk to Tim and a few people I know. Tim is very slurry and drunk, but he gestures for me to make myself at home. I walk around the kissing couples and the people talking in little clusters. I grab Nancy and tell her about the pot brownies and we both eat one. We party some more and then Nancy starts to feel bad. I ask Gloria where Tim is, and she says he went to lay down and he fell asleep. Stefan is still there when Nancy says she needs help, she's having a bad reaction. She and I walk up the street to a hospital where they tell her she's just going to have to walk it off, so we do that. When I get back to the party, Gloria is cleaning up the kitchen and everybody else is gone. I help her clean up the kitchen.
A sense of relief when something comes up to distract me from wondering why I wasn't good enough to get the teaching assistant job and how difficult linguistics was for me, and whether or not I should even stay there, and what else I could do with my life. I feel very attracted to that guy Stefan but I don't think he'd notice me with my crooked teeth and my low attitude.
Outcome: I will check on Tim later, and ask him what he knows about Stefan, and try hard to get researching that first paper that's coming up.