Kickstart My Heart
One of the wildest nights of my life happened because I stood still in a rainstorm. I should explain; the drops were 20’s, 50’s, & 100’s, and in appreciation of the rare weather –I was at a club that wasn’t filled with strippers- I looked for the source. While everyone around me lost their shit I searched, my eyes landed on a guy still throwing bills who couldn’t have been older than my twenty-two-year-old self.
Our faces had the same expression; I maneuvered through the throng of people sopping up spilled drinks with green paper they shoved in their pockets, past the ring of employees who wished they could do the same, up the stairs to ennui embodied.
He was looking where I came from, watched me approach, let it happen, forced me to announce my approach. “You know you’re supposed to hand the bartenders your money right? You don’t even have a drink and now you’ll be lucky if you get one before last call.”
“Price of being me.” He grabbed more green from his pocket, crumpled it into a booger which he then flicked into the crowd. “Alcohol just doesn’t do it.”
“Fuck you doing in a bar then?”
He raised an eyebrow. “What’re you doing here with questions like that?”
“Looking for something to do. I’m like you I guess.”
“None of that money could help you?”
“Me either.” He looked over my shoulder, “I bet if we leave now we make it to this party before it dies down.”
“What, the guy with a ton of money doesn’t have any friends?”
“You can come or not.”
He went and I followed, we speed-walked out of the bar, through the stumbling drunkards clogging the street, to a house that wasn’t too far. Something occurred to me the moment before we entered, “What are you trying to accomplish tonight that alcohol and a government okayed party couldn’t do?”
“Kickstart my heart.” He said as if it made perfect sense then went in without warning; there were fewer people in the party than had been at the bar but the crowd was more alert, existed as a level below rainforest challenge to cut through. Five minutes later we’d stopped moving and he turned as if he knew I needed an explanation. “You ever sky-dive naked from an airplane?”
Three, four, five seconds passed; he was actually waiting for me to answer. “Maybe when I was a baby but not that I remember.”
He nodded, face serious. “That’s how I was born; I knew you understood.” The stranger I was starting to regret following stepped to the side, had been standing in front of a counter not coated but covered, topped by mountains of glittering rainbow dust. “My body is from outer space, everything works except my heart; I’ve been trying to get it going forever.”
I stepped to the stove, he nodded again; the rail I picked started purple but ended white, ran from one end of the continental countertop to the other. It was up my nostril after one extended snort, my face got hot, eyes were O-P-E-N, the first thing they saw after my head recoiled was the stranger with a kazoo in his mouth.
“Open.” Had he read my mind? I listened, he blew and along with the sound came a hailstorm of mint chunks that blasted against my chin, into my esophagus, turned my drip into liquid nitrogen that numbed all of me.