She arrives late. As she turns down the dirt driveway, she can hear music playing faintly from an old ghetto blaster and she sees the smoke from the campfire and she smells the sweet smells of pot and dried wood burning. The June air is warm and still and she can discern the vaguely forboding shape of the old farmhouse at the end of the driveway. As she pulls up, two large German shepherds bound toward the car. She gets out and a voice from the darkness calls the dogs and they give her a perfunctory sniff before bounding back toward the fire.
She waves hello to the people around the campfire and is greeted by slurred voices and laughter and she takes a hit off the joint that someone offers before she pulls open the screen door. The light inside the farmhouse is glaring and harsh and she blinks a few times, adjusting to the change, before wandering through the kitchen to the living room. Empty beer bottles are lined up along one wall and a bunch of people she doesn't know are sitting in the brown checkered armchairs and on the floor around an old record player, listening to Time/Life collections from the 70s. She sees her boyfriend in the corner playing euchre with some friends at a small brown card table and they wave her over and give her a plastic cup and a handful of mushrooms. She fills the cup with the purple jesus the boys have mixed in a cooler and she chews the mushrooms, feeling the woody, rubbery texture of them between her teeth. She washes them down and feels the heat of the liquor spread in her stomach.
She has a lone hand in hearts and is on her fourth cup of purple jesus when she becomes suddenly aware of the aural shift and she looks around at the people sitting at the table with her and she laughs and asks them if they hear that, too. The record player is suddenly too loud and the voices of the people around her melt into each other and the room with its bare lightbulb is oppressively bright so the five of them decide to go upstairs into one of the bedrooms to enjoy the high together. And on her way up, the vomit comes effortlessly, without warning, technicolour purple Koolaid floods the bare wooden stairs, and she laughs, shocked at the suddenness of it, and she hears the echoing laughter of the boys ahead of her and, holding the handrail, she skips those steps and continues up.