It was getting close to five and although the opening didn’t start until 8, we were getting tired of hanging out so Johnny suggested we let the girls leave for Jenny’s to get ready and we would go home and get ready ourselves. Jen didn’t live far from me; another apartment dweller about six or seven blocks away. That suited me. Maybe even a nap until John called. I gave up my car a year ago so Johnny was my ride around town if needed. Fortunately I lived closer to the strip than he did and I could walk to most things, bus to others. I had the best of both worlds.
Life hadn’t quite turned out as I had expected. It had been five or six years since school and I’d had as many jobs in that time. Now I was working for social services in a youth care facility. I had worked with young offenders off and on for a few years and seemed to like their world to that of the adults around us. Youth were more exposed, more transparent. They weren’t really hiding themselves though they wouldn’t admit it – they were very open with their feelings. They wore them on their sleeves. They had almost all come from broken homes, and almost all done crimes that called for respect among their peers however misguided and consequential. They had their own week, uninspiring codes of heroism and truth – everything was black and white except accountability.
As I took the stairs up to my third floor apartment I wasn’t thinking too much about that night. Just another nervous rush of energy wasted over a weekend filled with excess that had begun with the brewery. I shook my head as I slipped the key into the lock and the cool breeze from the open window hit my face as the door swung open. Something caught my eye on the sofa. It rolled over on its back and meowed. Sasha was glad I was home.