By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
It is cold in the hallway, and your heart is pounding. A toothy blonde from your lit theory section checks your name off. She is a member of the society that holds these naked parties, the one who put the invitation in your campus mailbox. Her breasts slump to a plastic scabbard with a two-foot purple dildothe group's mascotslung in it. On her head, a pirate hat signifies the party's theme. She hands you a plastic grocery bag in which to dispose of your dignity. You think of her pedantic obsession with Middle English and how things will be weird in section after this. You need vodka. Quickly.
Towels are tacked up over the windows. In the dimness, asses smile at you; breasts stare dumbly; penises lurk. There is an indefinable odor rising from many creases. Your hot, bisexual roommate is already here. She has brought her own bong. You sit down and she kisses you, slowly, for show. "Who is that guy?" asks one of the rugby players she is talking to. A loud argument is in progress at the door. "He's totally crashing! Don't you know him?" your roommate asks. "No," you lie. You have never made so much eye contact.
Getting stoned, you gaze around boldly. Most people look diminished, asymmetrical, and much drunker than usual. A girl whose thinness you envied turns out to be stretch-marked. An art major sports a shaved clam complete with clit ring, and a huge tattoo of a black cat curling across her tiny buttocks. She looks ostentatious, as though in a mink. And then you see your crush, broad-shouldered, drinking a beer, and you quickly look awayyou don't want to see his thing so bereft and dangling. You imagine him coming over, taking in your body, kissing you as your hot, bisexual roommate just has. You drive away these thoughts, afraid of oozing and sticking to the pleather couch.
In the center of the room a moon-pale blonde is dancing with a Nigerian guy you recognize from the film society. Their glitter-sprinkled flesh flies in surprising directions. You focus on themthey alone are glamorous and startling, the way you pictured the whole party. Well, they and the six-piece naked jazz band they are dancing to. But your hot, bisexual roommate has vanished, probably with the two boys or the chick she is sort of dating or some combination thereof, and suddenly your space is invaded by a totally uncool acquaintance. "This is your first naked party, isn't it? It's mine, too! It's so surreal, isn't it? Like some, like, big porno orgy fantasy or something. This is totally what college is all about, isn't it? I feel so free!" She's so drunk, her eyes are crossing.
Part Two: The Departure. The Bobbing Creep; Collapse of the Guy No One Admits to Having Invited; The Brief Moment; The Gas Chamber; The Firemen Come; Getting Dressed in the Freezing Vestibule Alone With Strangers
"All these people are as hot as they will ever be in their lives," you think. You get up to go to the bathroom, passing the hostsa large, butchy econ major and a large, butchy painter. Naked, their roundness makes perfect aesthetic sense. They leer at you. "What?" "I said, you have a beautiful body." "Oh, thank you. I exfoliate." Farther down the hallway, a shadowy couple is grinding hard. Then it dawns on you that they are actually screwing.
The bathroom has a foul tang. You go to wipe your hands on your jeans and find yourself swiping at your own bare ass. You think about the people who have seen your body up to this night. Seven or eight lovers (most non-penetrative). The little girls, openly fascinated, who were your campers last summer, in the shower. Then someone opens the door. "Hi there. I saw you come in. Can I give you a kiss?" Out of the corner of your eye, you see the tip of a bobbing erection. It's so ludicrous, you're not even afraid.
The Crasher lurches in. He is grayish green and clearly the source of the smell in here. He dives for the toilet. You go for the door.
Over in the corner, away from the band, your crush is talking to a friend of yours who's gay. They both hug you hello. This is, unfortunately, the high point of your evening. "This is so unerotic, isn't it?" your crush says. At his touch you have blushed down to your nipples. "Yeah. I keep thinking we're all headed for the gas chamber or something." The moment you say it, the image flares up in your pot-paranoiac mind. "It's Masque of the Red Death meets Eyes Wide Shut in here," you add. The guys are looking at you strangely. Then you hear the sirens.
The nude crowd stands frozen and mute. Only your hot, bisexual roommate, appearing in a borrowed bathrobe, has the presence of mind to open the door. "Hello, Miss. Someone call 911?" The firemen carry away the now unconscious Crasher, but only after the chief and his backup parade through the entire apartment, smirking. Your gay friend tries to get them to stay: "Have a drink! Take off your coatsyou look hot!" You and your crush find the Crasher's clothes and wallet at the bottom of a damp pile. After that, just like a bad hookup, there is nothing to do but get dressed and leave.
The next morning, the winter sun wakes you with a glaring headache. Your best bra is missing.