Nine years ago I was a cat for Halloween. That was my freshman year of college. I had waited too long to pull any of my dozens of costume ideas together so I wound up throwing on some of my clothes, doctoring it with make-up, and calling it good. I tried to fake it 'til I made it and tried not to stare too longingly at Jade while we dressed. She got someone from our dorm to take pictures of us before we went out. We planned to party-hop. We'd drunk something mixed and picked up weirdo Tim, who was dressed like a white-trash ax murderer, on our way out.
Getting dressed to go out was a trying affair most times that year. Jade would spend some energy telling me I was beautiful, to stop belittling myself, to get dressed already. Then we'd smoke and turn up the music. I would spend time doing my best to hike my tits up and hide my "spare-tire." Again I forced a smile and kept up. Halloween wasn't particularly eventful. There was a packed frat house basement where I tried not to feel invisible. There was the walk back to campus drinking as quickly as possible, hoping to loosen up. We found Tim being apprehended by campus security for drawing swastikas in the frost on parked cars. I couldn't wait to go to my room, get high, and watch television.
For Christmas I received some new clothing. I'd lost 15 pounds. In January and February I pursued Matt while he pursued grain alcohol. There are pictures of us. One that I remember shows his red face with its mouth open in a stretched oval. His forty rests in his lap while his hands gesture. My eyes are lined with purple make-up and on him. My shirt is low cut and my smile cool. After a house party one night I kissed him in his truck. We were parked in front of the dormitories. I was in the driver's seat because he was too drunk to drive us there. We never did have sex. The first time ended before it began when he fell off of me, and the bed, on to the floor. He said he thought he heard his roommate coming in. The second time he stopped me after I had taken him deep in my mouth a few times. Told me "he couldn't." He got up from the futon in my dorm and went to get some beer.