I am all in white; the heat is incredible. I am dancing with a tanned skin man. We spin and my feet, strapped into high-heeled shoes, know all of the steps. We weave in and out of other tanned skin men and their white-skirted partners. The song ends, I see the light shinning on his face; the light which has reflected off of the sweat of my skin covered bones. We are all working on our disappearing acts. I go to the bathroom to practice mine, a woman lends me a mirror, and the white powder races to my brain, through my arms and legs. I leave, watching her get ready to start disappearing.
It's morning, South America has left, and my cold room has reappeared. I lay shivering under blankets thinking of my dream and of the night before.
The girl's room was too warm and the air was filled with smoke. Someone cracked a window, the flow of smoke from the faces around me took no heed to the freedom it was being offered. Girls are sitting on the floor, boys being chosen for each of them, passing a handle of tequila back and forth. Their faces are flushed, they are laughing and throwing their bodies on the boys and each other like they aren't made of skin and bones, like they are made of something careless and carefree.
I was sitting next to a boy and his girlfriend. He must have been talking about how he feels fat, because she was saying how glad she was to be able to sit on his lap and not feel like she was going to break his bones. As we watched the other girls and boys pair up, he told me about when he lived in South America. He doesn't smoke any more. He doesn't do drugs any more either. He grabbed the tequila and drinks it straight out of the bottle, "But, I still drink." We all laughed. "I used to weigh 130 pounds, I weigh 170 now." He told me more about the drugs, about his life. I told him that he must have been disgustingly thin. He looked away, "I really miss being emaciated." His girlfriend laughed at him, like it is their old joke. He didn't smile until she threw her arms around him, and he had turned to face her.
There was a girl sitting across the room, talking to some other boy. She was telling him about her stay in the hospital, the nuthouse, when she was sick, how she is sick, how she doesn't remember how to eat. Her bones poked through the fabric of her clothes, her eyes looked heavy and broken. I looked back to the boy and his girlfriend, he looked over at me and all I could think was "I can understand that."
And, I can understand that.