Halloween 2007. The holiday occurred near the culmination of an epic year dallying with the social scene, one in which I have yet muster the energy to match. I was 23, making money, downing 2 cans of Monster a day, going out 5 nights a week. Halloween was predicted to be exceptional. It landed on a Sunday, which meant it was absolutely necessary to have parties two days leading up to the actual event. I spent the weekend dressed up like Liza Minelli’s backup dancer, putting my false eyelashes on each evening and peeling them off closer to dawn the next morning. On the third day a group of us combined forces and turned ourselves into a formidable cabaret troupe. Marco came over and I painted him up like a Pinocchio cum transvestite marionette.
The first party delivered its fair share of fun. We ran around taking pictures, myself high on energy drinks and my friends off of whatever I had watched them snort off of the dryer in the yellow-walled laundry room. When the fun began to wane, it was off to the Chateau for some famed annual party. The floors of the outside patio were covered with Persian rugs; people stood around laughing and drunk. My friend sparked up a flirtation with James Franco that lasted a few months following.
Somehow our group got shuttled into a hotel room, led up a series of stairs by a group of men wearing gorilla masks. Once the door closed I found out that Leonardo DiCaprio was the leader of the primate pack. I’d have liked to tell him how many times as a 12 year old I would watch and rewind the scene where he and Claire Danes fall into the pool, kissing madly in clear bubbles and how that image single-handedly shaped what I feel romance should be…but I don’t. I watched him sit on a bed in the back of the room while I tried to ignore the feeling that everyone in the room was on drugs. Oh Romeo…
As we exited the hotel and spilled onto the cobblestone driveway where they park classic cars and Range Rovers, a very drunk and very stumbly [Name Omitted] says to me, “Oh my Gaaawwwddd. Look at that baawwwhhh-deeee. Can I just…Caaan I just touch you?” In the spirit of cooperation I allowed him to grope my leg for a second and then we left for yet another party. Two years later, when my friend started dating this very same groper I didn’t mention the incident. And when I had dinner across from the happy couple I said nothing. But when he pushed the plate of molten chocolate cake my way, I knew where that roaming hand had been.