Inside, the place was lit with candles and there were a few mingling around the snack table in the kitchen but I could see past that everyone was out back.
“Here,” my friend handed me a joint. “It’s got lavender in it.”
“Perfect. I could use the relaxation.”
“You have beautiful eyes,” he said.
I did not tell him I was already stoned nor that I don’t do well in crowds but merely sucked the paper and felt it burn in my throat.
“Thank you,” I cough. “Take me to the backyard.”
I hand it back. We walk past the crowd and I realize his friend and the angel are behind me, shuffling and I hear her murmur but can’t make out what she said.
“First,” he says. “Pardon me, mate.”
I did not realize at first he had an Australian accent which made it more interesting.
“Greetings,” I say to the man he pushed aside.
I am seven inches taller than I am, towering over the women in the room.
“You have to wear a name tag,” he hands me a black sharpie.
“I don’t have to do anything, mate,” I say mimicking his accent.
“Haha,” he squints at me. “True. Where are you from?”
Outside, it was cooler and I was relieved to be out there as the weed was getting to me. The crowd was getting to me too.
“Unseasonably warm, yeah?” Sansom was blathering.
I found it hard to focus and kept nodding, clutching the seltzer in my hands. He touched my hand lightly admiring my long, red acrylics and it didn’t bother me though I hissed.
“What’s your name?” he yelled over the music.
It was an accordion synthesizer. There had been no lyrics since I had been standing here which felt like an hour but I was certain only fifteen minutes had passed. My eyes darted around the room. One index nail pointing to the name tag.
“Isn’t that part of the game? We don’t tell anyone?”
Everyone was wearing a mask of some sort. The angel had one of those ones you held the whole time with big white feathers at the top and pearls lining the edges. All white.
“How did you get here?” Sansom asked.
“I walked, mate.”
“Haha, I mean, like, who invited you?”
I touched his arm and he forgot the rest.