I Left my Pants in San Francisco

I awoke terrified to the desperate beeping of my alarm clock. In my dream, I had just been run over by a bus. The driver was an evil girl whose face, although extremely familiar, I could just simply not place. Who was it? 

 I attempted to rise. My eyes burned red and irritated. My will to live would have fit comfortably inside a mustard seed. My brain revolted against consciousness and then shut back down. Mornings and people like me do not mix- unless of course I've been up all night partying first. I hit snooze. And faded back to black.

 Five minutes later, the alarm sounded again. This time upon wakening, I instinctively reached for Amy's tits. They were not there. Oh yeah. We had broken up again. This time for good. I cringed, recalling that it had been her in the bus dream doggedly running me over. It didn't seem fair. I had moved halfway around the world to be with her. Six months of my life wasted for nothing. I will never love again, et cetera. Et cetera.
At 24, this was clearly one of those mornings when I needed a good 12 hours of rest. I thought of the drink and whatnot I had ingested the night before. I was elegantly wasted as usual. I had gone to bed at three o'clock in the morning. If sober people need eight hours of sleep every night, then people like me must need more. 

 But why was the alarm clock set so early? I never worked until noon at the earliest. In the back of my mind a bass line and a drum track started. It was indicative of a mission. Was there something I was supposed to do today? Maybe. But what could be more important than sleep? Then I remembered everything.

 Today was FRIDAY, JUNE 25th, 1994- the day I would leave Seattle and head south for a weekend of thrills and pills in San Francisco. I rose like Lazarus from his tomb, raised my arms high and stretched. My bemho bobbed up and down for attention like an unwanted stepchild. I grabbed my favorite striped pants and slid them on, tucking Mr. Rise and Shine away for now. 

 I moved quickly to the bathroom of my studio apartment and started digging through my medicine cabinet for some paracetemol. But I was all out. Then I heard a knock on the door. Demetrius was already there to pick me up. He was impatient as ever. Last night he insisted that I be ready EXACTLY at 7:00 a.m. when he came, because he was spinning at a big warehouse party that very night. I could appreciate his concern. When a deejay from Seattle gets to play in San Francisco, he doesn't ever want to be late. It might be his last chance ever.

 "Hey, Meat. Why are you always so early?" I teased.

 "Meat" is my nickname for Demetrius, which he does not seem to enjoy as much as I do. He spins under the name DJ Feta, which isn't nearly as clever.

 "I am not early, A-hole," Meat distorts my name Aaron to show his displeasure at me distorting his. "I told you I wanted to leave at 7:00 a.m., and it's already 7:15 a.m." 

 Greeks aren't supposed to be so irritable or "on-time". I winced as I snatched the latest issue of Select magazine. Kurt Cobain was on the cover. I shoved it in my backpack and got in the car. We headed towards Bellevue to pick up some girls to start our southern journey towards San Francisco. 

 "Meat, I hate to be a pain in the arse, but I need to stop for an espresso or something."

 "No time for that shit, A-hole. I gotta get to San Francisco. Maybe you can get some coffee at Cassandra's house."

 "Drip coffee?" I responded disgusted. "That stuff gives me acid stomach." 

 Without thinking, I reached in my pocket and placed an ecstasy pill in my mouth. Ecstasy is to drip coffee as a starship is to an automobile. I recently moved to Seattle from Manchester and don't know too many people in the Seattle rave scene. It's definitely not like Manchester- I had that much figured out. In Europe people take the train to other cities. Here everyone takes their cars, even when its 800 miles away. Demetrius pulls a pipe out of the glove compartment and hands it to me and says, "There's your espresso."

 I take a few hits of the pipe. Now I am high as a kite. Marijuana is not my thing lately, but I cannot resist it this morning. The Northwest reefer is quite good. Much better than anything we used to get in the UK. 

 "So Meat, what is Cassandra's friend like?"

 "Her real name is Jesse, but she likes to go by Jez, which is short for Jezebel."

 She must be a wild one, I think nearly coughing up a lung from the thick pot smoke.

"Wild?" laughs Meat. "She's the fucking whore of Babylon."

 "Yes!", I think hopefully. We pulled into Cassandra's driveway and entered the house without knocking. Cassandra was in the kitchen eating pop-tarts with a cute bleach-blond friend. I assumed correctly this was Jezebel. I really liked that name now that I saw her. It fit perfectly. 

 I was offered my ration of pop-tarts. Having just swallowed a pill, I declined, even though they were the good frosted cinnamon kind. We laughed and talked about how much fun we were all going to have in San Francisco. Reefer hits me hard in the morning and I felt really stoned. I could not feel the pill yet. 

 "We hafta make a plan to have the most fun possible in two days," strategized Cassandra.

 "Let's get started now!" I proclaimed, and jumped on her, bringing her to the floor. Her mom nearly dropped her orange juice as I dog-humped her daughter's leg on the kitchen floor. Cassandra's little brother entered the room in his pajamas, gave us a wide-eyed stare, and ran back out.

 "Stop it, Aaron!" Cassandra pleaded. "What the Hell is wrong with you?"

 "Nothing, I'm just messing around," I replied and then reached out for Jez for more of the same. She dodged me, and I fell flat on my face.

 Meat entered the kitchen and looked around. He didn't notice the tension in the room and started talking about car troubles. 

 "I never got my car checked out since I bought it. Now it's making whiny noises like a drunken turbine."

 "There's no oil in it, Meat', I confessed, pulling myself from the linoleum. "I checked it last weekend while we were driving home from that party in the Dagobah system."

 The Dagobah System is a popular outdoor party spot 40 miles East of Seattle. It's mossy and densely wooded, so some kids named it after Yoda's home planet. Everything in America revolves around Star Wars mythology. It's kind of scary. There is no character depth in this country. Everything is either totally good or totally evil. 

 "No oil?" announces Cassandra's mother. "That sounds serious."

 Meat temporarily loses his cool in front of Cassie's mother. "Jesus Christ Aaron! Why the Hell didn't you say something?"

 "Why?" I replied, "Because you were trippin' and I didn't wanna freak you out."

 Now Cassandra is doubly upset because I said "trippin" in front of her mom. Then her dad walked into the room and glared evilly at me. He must have overheard everything. He looked at me like I was caught wanking off the dog or something. Suddenly I am the bad guy.

 These people grew up in the 60's I thought. Surely they had tripped before. They were just a bunch of fucking hypocrites like the US government or the UK royal family. Realizing my faux pas, I blushed and turned a light shade of crimson before excusing myself from the group, exiting the house, and diving into the backseat of Meat's SUV. I crawled under a blanket and waited for the ecstasy to kick in. 

 It seemed like ages before I heard the garage door open and voices got nearer so I climbed out from underneath the covers, and donned my sunglasses with the rose-colored lenses. It was always cloudy or raining in Seattle and the glasses made everything appear happier than it really was. 

 Everybody threw his or her luggage into the back behind the seat where I was hiding. I didn't have much stuff with me. I brought only a change of underwear, a toothbrush, some Obsession cologne, and an extra t-shirt. I like to travel light except of course in the pills category. 

 Demetrius requested Cassandra to sit in the front seat with him. Meat is hopelessly (romantically, sexually and platonically) in love with Cassandra. Cassandra looked like she wanted to sit in the back with Jezebel and me where the fun was, but she didn' want to hurt Meat's feelings either. I flashed a grin at Jezebel and she gave me a smile back and moved a little closer.

 "Where are you from?" she asked me. 

 I replied that I didn't really know whether I was American or English growing up. I was born in Manchester, moved to New York when I was twelve, and back to Manchester when I was eighteen. 

 "Why did you move back to England after high school?" Jez inquired further.

 I explained I was hoping to get back to my roots and take life seriously after high school. I enrolled at The University of Salford in downtown Manchester in Fall of 1989. But once I tried ecstasy at the Hacienda, I dropped out of school for a couple years and mainly just enjoyed the scene. I was on a first name basis with all those Manchester bands with names like New Order, The La's, The Soup Dragons, Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, and Northside.

 I got a job at the student union pub and hung out until the scene died down a bit in 1992 and then went back to school and finished up. I studied Art and Computer Science and actually graduated in late 1993. I met Amy at a graduation party and we hit it off and moved to Seattle together. I thought it was love. But it was simply a disaster, like all my other relationships.

 At this point, my goal in life was to work for a year, get a loan, and then go to an experimental video game program at Vancouver Institute for Media Arts. I am only still in Seattle because of my ex-girlfriend Amy. She had a house in the U-District and she got me a job at a Tower Records, which I still have. I fell in love with Seattle as a place. It's nothing like the phoniness of California or the meaningless existence of the pseudo-intellectual capitalism of the East Coast. There is just something very real about it. 

 Next I explained that Amy and I were broken up now. She left me for another guy who had a boat, and that I was on the rebound if she was interested. 

 "Almost anything feels better than being left for someone else", Jezebel sympathized.

 I admitted that being rejected had instantly resuscitated all the inferiority complexes I had been working on eliminating since junior high school. 

 I feel the drugs starting to flow in my blood. "Anybody want some pills?" I suddenly offered my traveling mates. "I have about fifty with me and no money. You guys get them at cost, of course, ten bucks a piece."

 Jezebel stared at me when she saw me dangle the bag of pills. In her young eyes I was now a drug dealer. There is so much pre-programming in American schools these days. She is too young to realize that in order for there to be drugs, that there has to be drug dealers as well.

 I stare back at Jezebel. Her eyes are blue and round. In her baggy American raver clothes she looks like a child. 

 "Have you ever taken E before?"

 "What's E?" she asks.

 "That's what people in England call X," I reply.

 "Hell yeah. I took it last weekend for the first time. It was my sweet sixteen after party. I never felt so good. I am hooked for life now."

 Before she had time to speak out, I heard a deep sigh from the front seat.


 Whenever Demetrius wants to be taken seriously, which thankfully isn't very often, he grunts like that and takes on an air of austerity like his dad, who was a judge, and announces:

 "No one takes anything until we get to San Francisco. It drives me hella crazy if everyone is rolling and I gotta drive and can't join in."

 In order to upset him further, I imitated his colloquialism.

 "So hella join in, Meat", I replied, "I'll hella drive if you start wigging out too hella bad."

 The girls laughed.

 Meat waved his arms in the air. The car swerved onto the shoulder before he gently corrected it. "What? Drive on ecstasy? Are you hella crazy?" 
Now I have crossed the line and Meat went into one of his tantrums. It was not a normal tantrum but a "mad introverted deejay" tantrum. He stayed completely silent and we pulled into the first rest stop, about 30 miles south of Seattle in Silver Lake. 

 He walked about ten feet away from the car and then sat down on a curb and began to throw random things at me and scream. I of course didn't care because I was too E-ing by then. Cassandra and Jezebel went over to him and attempted to calm him down. Meat flailed his arms again like a typical southern european and attempted to communicate his feelings. I walked up and offered him an E-bomb (as they call them here on the West Coast) to melt away his worries.

 He took the pill and put it in his pocket. "This is going towards gas money," he said. Meat got back into the car and we headed South on the I-5 towards Olympia. For no reason he began to swear in Greek and we all looked at each other in confusion and Jez and I giggled in the back seat of the car. 

 "Are you going to take one?" Jezebel whispered to me.

 "I already took one," I replied.

 "What? You already took one? Well how do you feel?" she asked curiously.

 "How do I feel? I haven't eaten anything today. I am off my fucking tits, girl! That's how I feel."

 "Off your tits?" she asks me. "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" 

 "That," I replied, "depends upon the personality."

 I lit a cigarette and look at the pictures in my copy of Select magazine. 

 Jez tapped Cassandra on the shoulder. "Cassandra, are you going to take a pill?"

 "I think so," she responded

 "Way to go Cassie!" I yelled.

 Demetrius hates it when I call Cassandra "Cassie". She is his supposed girlfriend and I am more comfortable with her than he is. 

 "No!" screamed Demetrius. "I am driving and the driver said NO DRUGS until we get to San Francisco."

 Cassandra has had enough of Demetrius. "I am coming in the back seat for a while," she announced.

 "What?" Demetrius cried. "I thought I made it perfectly clear that your presence was requested in the front seat. I am not a chauffeur here. I am the driver and I demand a small amount of respect!"

 I knew what was up. Cassandra wanted a pill for sure. Thank God I was going to have a peer group. I was not too sure about Jezebel yet. 

 But first the warning. "Aaron, my family hates you now. Why did you have to hump my leg on the kitchen floor? Just for that, you're not to touch me again."

 "I'm sorry," I lie. 

 "At least not on the kitchen floor of my house," she added smiling.

 "Give me a pill," Jezebel announced out of nowhere.

 "I thought I said NO PILLS!" replied Meat.

 "Aaron already took one before we left!" said Jezebel.

 "I thought he looked trippin'," replied Cassie.

 "For the love of God, you guys," whined Meat.

 Demetrius gave me an evil glare in the rearview mirror.

 Cassie immediately climbed into the backseat. 

 "Uh-oh," Cassie says, "I am gonna come back there with you trippin' kideez. I have to save Jezebel from Aaron's lascivious boy paws."

 the next twenty minutes the three of us snuggled in silence. It felt amazing to be sandwiched between the two female bodies. Then Demetrius refused to play any music until Cassandra returned to the front seat. Eventually she returned and Meat put on some New Order at my request: 

I live my life in the valleys 
I live my life on the hills 
I live my life on alcohol 
I live my life on pills"

 It's called love love love 
And it belongs to every one of us!

 There is always a conundrum when it comes to picking the music. I prefer the indie dance music of Manchester. Cassandra prefers electro such as Kraftwerk, and Demetrius likes hip hop and jungle.

 I was now buzzing fiercely. The first pill was starting to peak in me. I reached in my pocket and placed another E on my tongue and beckoned Jezebel to swipe it from me. Cassandra stared at her. Jezebel did not go for it. Perhaps she reckoned it was only 9:00 a.m. and taking E at this time was perhaps too decadent. Perhaps she was waiting for the okay from Cassandra. I swallowed it. The girls were shocked. 

 "Ohmygod! Two E-bombs for breakfast!" squealed Cassandra. 

 "Sometimes mornings aren't so bad after all," I thought aloud.

 I noticed Cassandra was now peering at me from between the headrest. She then stuck her tongue through the opening. 

 I placed a pill on my tongue and moved closer to the headrest. Cassandra licked it off sensuously, as if she were looking forward to the contact and in no hurry to remove it. Then her tongue lingered. Like it was reluctant to return to her mouth. You could almost call it a kiss. This surprised the rest of us, especially me. Demetrius is so covetous of her I figured she must rebel in some small ways when he's not looking.

 "I saw that you tit," Demetrius stared at me in the rear-view mirror and scowled. 

 "Who, me?" I gestured.

 Jezebel suddenly realized that she was going to be more like Demetrius than she was like Cassandra and me if she didn't take a pill as well. This position bothered her ethically.

 Jezebel gave me the eye. She wanted one. I placed it on my tongue.

 "That's weird anyway you guys," Meat tried one more time to play the voice of reason. "Who ever heard of taking ecstasy in the car, anyway?"

 In a second her tongue touched mine and I felt the electric charge of sexual congregation. Jez deftly flicked it down her throat almost without touching my tongue at all. Was this teasing?

 We sat in anticipation as the trees of Washington State flew northbound by us. We passed Olympia and there was the obligatory mention of the indie bands from Evergreen as we listened to the tunes jamming on Meat's stereo. Glancing at the speedometer I notice Meat was doing almost 95 miles per hour. 
By the time we reached Vancouver, Washington, I looked out the window at Mount Saint Helens and I was peaking on the second hit. The rush of a thousand waterfalls of love-lava poured over me. 

 "Help!" I squealed and curled up in a fetal tuck on the floor. It was the ecstasy epiphany where you can't tell if you are going to vomit or die of internal pleasure. I wondered if the girls were feeling it yet.

 "Oooh!" Cassandra moaned from the front seat. "It's sooo goood!"

 Jezebels's first pill was kicking in now too and she wasted no time in making it known she wanted to make out with me. I totally forgot about Amy for the first time. My thoughts were clearly focused on this pretty young thing sitting in the back seat with me. Her pupils were so dilated I could see her soul. 

 Without warning, Jez started to kiss me slowly and then began to swirl her tongue on mine, gently sucking on my lip. My dick sprang to attention like a surprised soldier caught napping on duty. After 20 minutes time, she pulled my shirt off and started sucking on my nipples. Slowly I pulled the blanket over us, climbed on top of her, and started dry humping her. In another slice of heaven, she undoes her bra and let me lick her breasts. I mount her as best I can in the back seat. Despite the pills I manage to get a raging hardon. I pull out my cock. Jez pulls down her panties and grabs me, guiding me to her palace of pleasure. Jez is already wet with moisture. I am gonna score. It's animal imminent.

 Suddenly I feel Demetrius yanking on my belt which is around my knees and pulling me out of the car. We are stopped at a gas station. What is going on? 
Meat succeeded in dragging me out of the car, mainly because he is a maniac at heart and also bigger than me. I found myself standing in full view of everyone with a raging boner. Everyone at the gas station was staring at me. 

 "What the fuck, Meat?" I screamed, pulling up my pants and looking around for something heavy to beat him senseless with.

 "You were about to have sex with Jezebel in the back seat of my car!"

 "So?" I replied.

 "So! Man! Nobody fucks anybody in the back seat of my car. Not even me!" Meat announced before realizing the stupidity and sadness of that statement.

 Jezebel pulled up her panties and crawled out of the car. We stared at each other with lust and could not be stopped from reaching our final gooey destination. She grabbed my hand and led me to the bathroom, giving Demetrius a steely glare. 

 After we were done getting carnally acquainted, I bought us a root beer to share and a pack of cigarettes, and we returned to the car feeling even higher due to the excitement of our drugged orgasms. Jezebel was now all cool and chill, chain-smoking cigarettes with her sunglasses on. We made jokes and talked about nothing. The sex meant nothing. We were just horny animals playing. 

 Huddled together in the back seat, Jez and I shared the magazine and made up funny stories about the people in the advertisements. We were supersonic siblings, caressing each other lovingly like we had known each other all our lives.

 Suddenly from the front seat we heard a surprise sound. 

 "IM COMING!" groaned Meat. 

 Cassandra was giving Meat head, and he swerved us recklessly all over the road. Then Meat attempted to get in the slow lane for the climax, even though he was going 95 miles per hour. He nearly ran us into an 18-wheeler which was merging from an onramp.

 "Holy shit we're all gonna die!" screamed Jez, before giggling at the sound of her own voice and lighting a cigarette. 

 "Wow do I feel better now," announced Meat. "How are you little peeps doing back there? Not too hot, is it?"

 I was glad that Meat had stopped treating us mean and was starting to relax and get back to his normal plain crazy self again. It's amazing what a good blowjob will do to a guy. 
Jez and I finished the magazine and I lit up another cigarette and inhaled deeply. I felt like a seedy rave version of Jesus Christ. I closed my eyes and relaxed, enjoying a waking dream of a beautiful eternity; a dream much more pleasant than the one involving the murderous bus which had started off my day.


 We get to San Francisco. I am coming down, but the high is still inside my brain; the basic concept is still there. I pop another E. The girls look at me like I'm crazy and then they each take another one as well. I make them give me money this time. They each give me $40 each, which pays for the first two and two more for the rest of the party.

 We stop briefly at the hotel and then head out to the party. It is now 10 p.m. and Meat spins in two hours, from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. n the jungle room. Jungle music is relatively new in the USA, so it should be great exposure for him. Meat is nervous. Carl Cox is the headliner so that ensures the party will be attended by every hip kid in San Francisco. This gig could make or break him. If he performs well, it might mean anything from a record contract to a recurring weekly gig at a big club in the Mission District. If he fucks it up, he will never spin in this city again.

 The party is in an abandoned warehouse in the South end. We get there and there is already a line out the door of waiting kids. We don't get in line. Meat walks us past everyone, flashes a pass, and gets us all in for free. This saves us $25 admission each. After the long car ride, I am prepared to dance all night. We have so much to protest and rave about. The corporate machine is pushing kids toward an even more meaningless existence than our forefather's had. The standard of living is falling. Our jobs are boring. The futurist philosophy pushed at DisneyWorld is a cruel ruse to inspire trust in the government. They are making people complacent and blindly optimistic. We need to finish what people like Abbie Hoffman started in the 60's. Rave is not all just about dancing and ecstasy. Rave is first and foremost a revolutionary fever designed to kill the self-righteous religious, the tories and the republicans once and for all. It's not about glitter and pacifiers. It is a holy prayer against the conservatives. It is a technology-centric dance orgy destined to overthrow the decadent, backwards-thinking, fake-religious who rule our lands. It will bring us to a new age of exploration and peaceful coexistence.

 Did I say the religious and republicans and tories are decadent? Am I being clever? Maybe. Look at the word decadent. The root is of the word is "decay". The word changes meaning with context. People think of drugs and sex as decadent, but it is not always the case. These things can be life-affirming and positive if done correctly. Decadence to me is when people dress up in suits, deny their true feelings, and go to church to pray for salvation. That is the real "decay of the human spirit". Can I get an Amen?

 The paradoxical thing is: in order to stay sane you have to go crazy every once in a while.

 Hand in hand with these thoughts in my head, Jezebel, Cassie, Meat and I waltz through the rave party. We meet some people, dance with them, and I sell them some X pills for $20 each. I now have 30-some odd pills left and $300 in my packet. I got to the food concessions and buy a beer. My head is spinning something fierce. I meet a group of party girls from San Jose. We introduce ourselves and I feel an affection for one of them named Melody. I play nonchalant. They try to sell us some E and I tell them we are already sorted. They seem enthused that I have mitsubishis and they want to trade me two capsules for every mitsubishi pill I can give them. They have homemade capsules with MDMA crystals inside. I tell them I want to try one first.

 I open up the capsule and drop the crystals under my tongue, savoring it like a fine vintage wine. It's definitely E. It hits me pretty fucking hard considering I'm already so messed up and I agree to exchange 8 for 16. I go to buy Melody, easily the hottest one of the lot, a Coke and run into some gay boys from LA. They are up in San Francisco no doubt to party. The gay scene here is bigger than the straight scene. Raves are a place where no one cares what you are. Everyone is accepted equally- poor, rich, ugly, pretty, white, black, Asian, gay, straight- it doesn't matter again until the drugs wear off. I want to see the whole world grow to be as loving as druggy people at raves. It will happen eventually. But now humans are too ingrained with hate due to misunderstanding and lack of education, empathy, and social perspective. People say that chemical love is a fake emotion. I counter sarcastically, "How it can be any more of a fake emotion than socially institutionalized hate from the cable TV?"

 I sell the gay boys 10 of my newly acquired capsules for $160. Now I have about $400 in cash, which was almost as much money as my entire paycheck from Tower Records in the beginning, plus I still have 20 assorted pills and capsules left, which I intend to hold onto in case a party breaks out in the next few days.

 I dance my way back to the girls. The only name I can remember is Melody. They are still incredulous about the mitsubishis. They giggle like schoolgirls. I don't ask their ages but they seem at least 18. One of them mentions they are taking classes at USF next Fall. This makes me feel better. One possible statutory rape violation a day is all I can handle at this point. We dance for the next 45 minutes taking in the deejay set. I mention my friend Demetrius is spinning in the jungle room. We decide to check him out. My eyes are wiggling from the latest pill and so I put my sunglasses on.

 We get to the Jungle room and I see Cassandra and Jezebel. We hug each other and I make some casual introductions. Demetrius is just going on. The vibe is electric reggae. He is spinning the songs that make the whole world boogie. We dance and the 2 hours fly past in like 30 minutes. After his set people are screaming for more. Meat saunters over after his set. He is not the same man as before. He now has two new girls with him. He is glowing with cool-guy panache. He introduces me as his drug dealer. I sort him out with five of the mitsubishis for $50. He gives the girls one each and takes one for himself and goes to the chill out room to relax and center himself. Random kids congratulate and hug him on the way over there. It must feel good to be Meat right now. Me, I got no special talent except picking up girls who love sex and drugs as much as I do. I am high so that doesn't bother me at the moment. I am just happy to be associated with Meat and share in the love. We follow him to the chill-out room.

 I start to talk to the girls. Melody, Jill, and Angela. They are all students on summer break at USF. It reminds me of my own life choices four years previous in Manchester 

 "Can you give me a back massage?" asks Melody.

 "Come here," I reply.

 Melody breathes and moans while I work the tension out of her muscles. "I am trippin' on these pills, holy shit. Holy shit. It's so fucking good. It's so fucking good." 

 "Your turn," she decides after a few minutes.

 I sit in front of her with my back towards her. 

 "Take off your shirt," she says. "I want to feel your skin."

 Now normally I don't do that at parties. Sweaty guys who take off their shirts at parties annoy me. It's just a bit disgusting I think, dancing around with sweat flying off their bodies or even disgusting chest hairs. Me, I don't have a lot of chest hairs. Not yet anyway. To tell you the truth, I never missed them, either.

 After two or three minutes of rubbing my bare shoulders and back she pulls me back into her lap and gives me a kiss on the lips. I lay like that in a deep passionate kiss with this girl I just met three hours ago. She seems so beautiful. Blue sparkly eyes, long light brown hair, nice firm looking tits, etc. What's more, she is not too candied up like some raver girls who overdo it like they are going to a intergalactic Halloween party or something. On closer inspection she is fine. Not girlish, like Cassandra and Jezebel, but more of an almost complete woman. As we kiss I can sense despite her best efforts at playing cool that Jezebel is watching us and becoming jealous. She soon finds another boy and proceeds to make out with him within five minutes. Cassandra keeps talking to boys but Meat intercedes every ten minutes to make sure she doesn't enjoy herself too much.

Suddenly I am 100% focused on Melody again.

 "I like boys like you," she intimates between kisses. "Tell me everything about yourself."

 I go into the story. Growing up in two cultures, working at Tower Records, driving down here from Seattle, etc. She seems intrigued. She tells me she traveled through Europe last summer but it was not at all like she expected. To her it seemed like an expensive tourist trap.

 "The architecture was cool, and the food was great in France. But overall she found it to be just a lot of museums, boring discos playing Abba, and cheesy guys."

 I set her straight. "It's no better or worse than here if you meet the right people and go the right places."

 Melody smiles.

 "I would love to go touring over there with someone like you."

 "That would be fun to travel around and explore the world together," I imagine.

 "I wish I could be this high forever," she exclaims.

 "Me too. Bur you can't. I already tried that. It doesn't work. Just enjoy it while it lasts." 

 We each take another pill and go dance. Cassandra and Meat are still in the chill room talking to people. Meat knows all too well his celebrity will only last for another half hour so he tries to milk it. By the morning no one will remember him or care who he is any more. That's rave culture for you. It's tragically temporary, Even though the scene is so small, there are hundreds of competent deejays on the West Coast already. Meat is perhaps nothing special. Like the feeling of being high on pills, he should all just enjoy it while it lasts.

 Melody and the girls take me to meet some of their mates who have just arrived from another party. They are sorted with K. We all do bumps of it. I go a little further out of my mind and we dance laughing to some happy hardcore for 30 minutes. Then we catch the last hour of the main event of the evening, Carl Cox, who is in from England to play a set in the main room. He makes sounds I've never heard before. The guy totally rocks it. Unlike DJ Feta, nobody here will ever forget his name. 

 After Cox's set, we snort bumps of trail mix (a melange of ecstasy and special K) and kiss and talk in the chill room. We get up from time to time to dance. At 8 a.m. the rave is over, and Melody invites us all back to her house for an after party. My shirt is lost. Someone took it! I grabbed a fresh one out of my backpack in the car.

 Cassandra scored some acid at the party and passes it around. Meat and Jezebel take a few tabs. I decline. I need to come down. The afterparty is a much more mellow vibe than the rave. I am still very high but we drink vodka & orange juice and take a Valium to take the edge off. We talk about our ambitions in life. I want to create video games for the next generation of the console market. Good ones. Cassandra wants to be a Veterinarian. Meat wants to be a professional deejay and then get a Law degree like his father, once his musical career is over. Melody doesn't know what she wants to do yet. In the meantime she is studying History and World Culture. She loves to sing and write rock music. She can't find the words to go along with them, she laments. I tell her I write lyrics and recite some in front of everyone.

 She loves them. Jezebel announces she wants to be a porn star on the Internet, and then says she is only joking. She doesn't know for sure yet either. We mock plan a trip to Europe. We will stay in a Chateau in Provence. More like a flea hotel in Paris, jokes Meat. 

 The rest of the crew at the afterparty start smoking the herbs. I don't join in. Melody says she doesn't like them either. It kills the buzz when you are already high, I swear it makes me paranoid. No one is deejaying so I grab some records and start playing. Not the dance ones though, the rock and roll ones. The ones that are good once the rave is over-- Abba, Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Tom Waits; a nice eclectic mix. Melody whispers in my ear that she is having a great time but needs some sleep. I look at the clock at the wall. It's almost noon. We kiss and go to an empty bedroom. We cuddle and spoon and fall asleep.

 I awake around 6 PM. I can feel something wet in my ear. A tongue. And then a kiss on my lips. I feel electric. Amy, I think. She's electric. Then I remember Amy has left me. Who could this be? Oh yes, it's Cassandra? Jezebel? No, thank God it wasn't a dream, but a lovely Melody. 

 "Wake up boy!" she commands me. 

 My head feels a bit heavy. "Hey. What's the rush?"

 "I am taking you out, to show you off to my rocker friends."

 "Okay. Wow. Let's go."

 Cassandra and Meat are still up from the night before. They are still tripping out from the acid. This makes me glad I didn't do any of it. Acid is a drug which was better left to the 60's. It is definitely not my scene. The poor geezers look like the living dead on holiday. 

 "Hey guys!" I greet them.

 "How do you feel?" they ask me.

 "I feel like pumpkin pie!" I tell them. 

 "You look as scrumptious as pumpkin pie!" Melody tells me as she kisses me again.

 I feel especially blessed to receive her affectations. I am feeling rock and roll. I grab a beer from the fridge. Meat, Cassandra, and Jezebel stare at me in distaste. Some American ravers consider alcohol a square drug.

 "What's going on tonight?" I ask.

 "Nothing for us," confesses Jezebel. "We feel terrible." 

 "You guys look tired and in need of rest," I admit. "Off to bed now. Chop chop. There will be plenty of fun tomorrow. I want to go on a picnic or something."

 "That would be great!" comments Melody. "We can go to Golden Gate Park and drink white wine."

 Meat doesn't say anything. He has had 5 hits or something and can just stare straight ahead and drool.

 "Is he alright?" asks Melody. 

 "Meat? Oh yeah. Don't worry about him. He's like that all the time," I say.

Melody laughs.

 We exit the door and go out to a bar in the Mission for drinks. We meet up with her friends. They are a mix of musicians, computer programmers, and artists. Melody introduces me and we talk about music, technology, and drugs. They are all in bands of some sort or another. One of them talks incessantly about something called the World Wide Web but I don't understand what he is going on about. It's like the Internet with pictures or something. Designed by a Brit like me, apparently.

 One of Melody's friends, an ex named Teddy, mentions he has extra tickets to see Sonic Youth that night. What with the recent death of the King of Grunge and all, that sounds like a good gig to me. Techno and rave is great, but my first love is still rock and roll. Some things never die. I was raised on the sounds of John, Paul, George, and Ringo on guitars and drums. Repetitious dance grooves are just a musical escape for me- an excuse to take too many pills and feed the revolution in my head. 

 We have a corner booth in the back of the bar and this affords us an opportunity to do a few quick lines of white stuff before we head to the concert. At first I think its coke but it's some high grade crystal that the guy calls "glass". It is way strong and in minutes I feel like a honey bee on a new pair of roller skates. 

 Mickey, one of Melody's rich Valley friends, picks up the tab at the bar and we go to the venue to see the bands. Pickled Onion are the local opening band, and they start things off nicely. Then Sonic Youth take the stage. They have got it together. I've been a fan since 16 when a friend got me EVOL for my birthday. 

 We gradually claw our way to the front of the crowd and dance, going crazy with the speed and the loud music. A leather-clad biker tries to dance with me. For fun oblige him for a second. He is crazy on something and rips my shirt from my body in one motion. Then he yells "Boy I gonna fuck you silly!". Melody takes my hand and we run away. 

 "That is the last time I will do something stupid like that," I announce. "Like talk to someone."

 I buy a DayDream Nation t-shirt and we rejoin our friends, laughing. The biker has gone nuts by now and is carted away by security. After the show, we hit an afterhours all night spot back in the Mission. Now the cocaine comes out. We do lines and talk until 8 a.m. and head back to Melody's house. I am ready to have a few more drinks, spin some Blur tunes, and go to sleep. As the cab pulls into the driveway I see Meat step out from his car and wave his arms. 

 "Aaron, where the fuck were you?" he bellows accusingly. 

 I peer through my sunglasses. "Partying like a rock star," I reply.

 "I told you we needed to leave at 6:00 a.m. sharp today. We almost left without you! It's now almost 7:00 a.m. I got that gig tonight at Speakeasy at 9 o'clock tonight. And I want to go home and shower first. And now I'm behind fucking schedule because of you again!"

 "Leave!?!" I cry. "I didn't even get to go record shopping in the Haight yet!"

 "We did," Meat interjected. "The car's leaving. If you want a ride, hop in."

 "You went shopping on acid?" I asked incredulously.

 "That was some surreal shit," Cassandra added between sips of her morning coffee. "I can't even remember what I bought. I think Meat bought two identical Trini Lopez albums."

 "Can't you stay awhile?" asks Melody. 

 I seriously consider it. For a minute there I had forgotten all about my life in Seattle. My job, the rent, and my cat, whose food and water must be running low again. All that stuff was calling me home.

 "Shit baby, I gotta work tomorrow," I rationalized. "Have you ever considered moving to Seattle?"

 "Not really," Melody replied.

 "I play guitar. We could start a rock band," I try to persuade her. It isn't a total lie. I actually do kind of play guitar. Maybe we could get a drum machine and be one of those cool bands who can't play their instruments very well. 

 "I can sing," Melody replies optimistically.

 "That would be a pretty sexy band with just the two of us in it," I joke. 

 "It's a start," she responds. "We just have to think of a good name. That's the hardest part, you know."

 Melody tries to take off my shirt again. I like this girl. She makes me smile inside.

 "You can't have my t-shirt," I joke. "I just fucking bought it."

 "Then give me your pants," she says. "I need something to remind me of you."

 Flattered, I take off my pants and hand them to her. I am not wearing underwear. She kisses me.

 "Fifteen minutes!" I yell to Meat. I need some goodbye sex and a quick shower.

 "No way!" Meat yells. "The car is leaving. We are going to go with or without you."

 I pick up a quarter off the coffee table and flip it. "Heads I stay here and lose my fucking job at Tower Records, tails I go home and think about you incessantly." It comes ups tails.

 "I gotta go. My cat and my fucking job need me. I will call you I promise." I really will this time, I tell myself.

 "I will write a song about you," Melody assures me. 

 As I turn to walk towards the car, Melody grabs my arm, reaches in her purse, and hands me a few Valium to make the car ride home more pleasant. I pop them with a final swig of beer. The car is running and Meat beeps the horn. 

 I run outside the door naked from the waist down and hop in the back seat of the car. In San Francisco nobody even bats an eyelash. Meat puts the transmission in Drive, presses firmly on the gas, and and we are off.

 Jezebel starts to tell me about her weekend and this wonderful guy she met. I put my arms around her and we kiss. Moments later she lowers her head in my exposed lap and starts sucking me off. I see Meat giving me a confused, jealous glare through the rearview mirror. After I come I thank her and kiss her again tenderly before curling up with my head in her lap and falling into a deep slumber. In this sexual madness I  commence to dream a crazy dream of a two-piece rock band called "Aaron's Melody". No wait. That'z too cliche. We should call it, "I Left my Pants in San Francisco".