New Year

It was dark in the house and packed with people, hot and humid with breathing, loud with a hundred shouted conversations, bitter with the smell of beer, sweat, desire, cigarette smoke. The first set had just wrapped up, some nameless, tuneless wall of sound pushed into too small of a space on amps turned too high, and his body still thrummed with it. Like pushing your arms against the sides of a doorway until they float up on their own accord when you step forward: like that.

He pulled a random beer out of the pile in the kitchen and went outside into the damp December chill to get some air, some space around his skin. Chris was leaning on the railing smoking, looking out into the inky darkness at the end of the road, the sharp clear borders of the last streetlight, the faint trace of Orion barely visible over the town. He sat down on the step next to him and drank his beer slowly in exhausted, companionable silence.

“Good party.”

“Mmm.” Chris was tall and blonde and ironic. “Glad you could make it.” It was Chris’s house, his band, his beer, his raspberry painted walls; not quite an end of the year tradition, but close to it. Every time the door opened, a wave of happy noise pushed out with it, people going to their cars, to the gas station for more cigarettes, more beer, wandering off into the night to other parties, other shows, other groups. He was happy just to sit and watch smoke curling up against the moon, and enjoy the relative quiet.