House Parties

1.

Come as you are, she says.
All friends here. Come over.

Friends, my ass.
They eye my fraying shorts
That had once been my jeans,
And raise their noses to my hoodie
That has always been my hoodie.
Batman and Joker laugh together
At the baggy darkness under my eyes.
The werewolf and hobbit howl
At my bathroom-slippered hairy feet.
You’ve fallen pretty far, hunh?
Their smiles suggest.

What are you dressed as, one asks,
Offering my drink of choice.
The Creative, I say, the Creative.
And I take the water, thank you.
Who’s that, another asks. DC?
I marvel at his entrenchment.
No. Independent, I say.
They all say Aah.

Friends, my ass.

2.

When I tell them
Characters visit me
They nod like they know
I’m shitting them, but
They’re too high
Society to roll eyes.
They sit pissing smoke
Out of mouths, stinking
Of upward mobility,
And judge me.
So I tell them the lie
I tell my loony doc:
“Medication helps.”

That gets a cough.

3.

She snatches the book
And tells me to have fun.
I say I was, but she shrugs
And comes close, too close
To breathe a kiss on my neck.
Can your book do that?
She giggles and eyes me
And takes my hand over
To the middle of the room
Where others are dancing
Close to their partners
But away from the others.
I take her lead and move
My awkward legs stiff,
My awkward hands stiffer,
But she giggles and kisses
And I giggle and kiss back
And she jumps in celebration
And others clap and whistle
And I realise it was all a dare.

She joins her friends at the bar.
I join mine at the bookshelf.