I was about 10 years old, and we went to what was called the semi Annual Waifs and Foundlings.
A party by any other name. It was a tradition amongst my parents circle of friends, who were for the most part, either estranged from their families ("get out of my house you freak!") or so far away from home as to make returning for holidays hard ("I'm a free spirit man! Just give me a stretch of road and a pair of wheels and i'm gone....").
So several times a year, they would all gather at one of their homes, and insanity would ensue. On this particular occasion the excuse was Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or something. It was a very mild autumn, and the hosts were the parents of a girl, three years my elder, who i had a massive crush on.
Oh, and she was a redhead. A deep rich natural red like arterial blood, blue eyes, a perfect smile, stunning, curvy tall and stunning.
So anywho, being a couple of wild children out of control, and with parents on the sauce and a variety of other intoxicants, we were left to our own devices.
Messing around with dry ice in the upside-down plexiglas skylight full of cold water and bear, poking stuff in the bonfire in back behind the house, watching a whole lamb turn on a spit, following her older brother, a tall mohawk sporting punk rocker six years older than I, and watching him chop up watermelons gleefully with a machete. Generally running around and screaming like mad banshees - something she did particularly well.
Eventually we found the helium her dad had used to fill thousands of balloons that decorated the party. We started off filling a balloon and taking hits of it to mess with our voices, and eventually just took shots of helium off the tank itself, the giddy feeling was probably oxygen deprecation. After a while we staggered through the house like a couple of drunken Disney characters, imitating with little effort a drunken sailor impression one of my father's old friends was doing quite well in the front room at the time.
I found myself bouncing down the hall like a ping pong ball towards a screen door, pushing the door open, veering towards the steps to sit down....and dirt!
I woke moments later light headed, that feeling you get when you stand up too fast...
...found myself face down in a flower patch by the front walk...about three feet from the steps of the house.
I got up, dusted myself off and checked for all my parts.
I walked back into the house and found myself faced with a wild head of Red. Did i mention it was curly and down to her waist? Her back was turned to me, she was backing towards me in a stumbly staggering way.
She 'whoops'ed and the next thing i knew i had a face full of soft sweet smelling hair and a unconscious girl in my arms....
.... she woke up moments later like i did in the flowers, all fogy and fuzzy, and we learned nothing from our youthful folly at the time, in fact we went right back to the helium and got all light headed and giddy again, and to this day i have a massive sweet spot for red heads.
posted by max at 6/19/2002 02:32:00 a.m.