The night was gorgeous and perfect and great and the alcohol was coursing through my veins (just enough to make things blurry but keep me coherent) while I danced, clothed in shiny things and surrounded by more people in shinier things.

And then, I don't know what happened.

I snapped, I guess. I break a little every time I think too much, but this was different. I looked around and noticed that every friend who had walked through the door with me was now draped over someone else, whispering and blissfully ignorant. I started to wonder why I was even moving. Was it for myself, or some mysterious lover I imagined gazing at me from across the room? There have been so many times when I have danced alone in my basement and felt completely happy, but now I was surrounded by other people and nothing seemed right.

So I stopped dancing. I couldn't help crying a little. No one was looking, anyway. And then I cried some more because I realized how stupid and indulgent it was of me to cry in the first place. After all, I wasn't the only one in that room who was lonely, not by far. But I felt like it. And it's just that nothing has changed in so long.

Dory found me walking over to get my coat and insisted on coming back with me even though I didn't want to talk. I didn't want to be forced to explain. It sounded useless and pathetic, and, on top of that, not even worthy of storming out. I mean, if you're going to burst into tears in the middle of a fucking formal you should at least have an angry love story.

She put on some Belle and Sebastian when we got to my room and made me eat dried fruit while she told silly stories about people she once knew. I didn't care if anyone was looking for me. In fact, I hoped they were. I even had their coat check tickets.

We walked all the way to Fran's in the bitter cold just to sit with the smoky drunks and the rejects, just to hear their insane rumbling noise. It's always been comforting to me. When the whores give me dirty looks it reminds me of home.

So we walked back in the cold, too, and I guess this is the part where I should say "but, you know, it really wasn't that cold anymore because we had the city's warmth in our bellies" or something redeeming like that. But it was still pretty fucking cold.

We found the black ribbon of a dismantled tape on the road. It stretched and curled along the curb with all of its tiny recorded secrets hidden safely away, and when it rose up with the wind I felt better.

We were almost home when we noticed a group of young-ish guys stood outside one of the ridiculously imposing campus buildings, spitting among the pillars, youth pissing in the face of grandeur and standing on the shoulders of giants. As we passed they said "Hey girls, do you wanna be in a movie?" and we walked faster because everybody knows what that means. "No, seriously," they said, and a boy with glasses and a video camera convinced us to help. Our directions were to turn around to the guy stumbling after us and tell him to FUCK OFF in any way we thought appropriate. So he started rolling and we said FUCK OFF to our heart's delight (Dory was more creative but I just kept repeating fuck off fuck off fuck off over and over again because it was so addictive once I got going).

After I screamed I felt cleansed, alive, and good enough to go home and fall asleep without thinking of monsters. I had to work in three hours, anyway.

The next day I had a dream that I was pulling bones out of a swamp. They were human, maybe even people I knew. Somehow I felt like it related to something in particular. Pull the bones out of the swamp and keep going - that's what I kept thinking when I woke up.

I guess it was a pretty long night, more in the sense of relative experiences than actual time. Sometimes when I think about it I get quiet, but if I find a place to yell I can sleep a lot better.

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