Predawn partiers congregate
on the lawn outside my fraternity house.
They swarm with red cups to the keg
like ravenous fire ants cascading over a corpse.
Neither dead nor alive, just there;
transient nomads that roam for libations
given freely by frat boys.
I peer out at them
through the back door by the bar.
The rainbow of their fancy fabric is broken
by the uniformed red hand.
They stand clustered in clicks,
no one wanting to be alone.
As I stand by the bar, fending off ferocious drunks
eager to soak their brains in beer suds,
I see her far across the lawn. She stands their talking
with our friends, actually talking,
not spitting out meaningless tidbits and gossip
about people I’ll never see again after four years,
or less if I’m lucky.
They are a small group no more than four,
awash in the abyss of alcohol.
They are like a lighthouse, a beacon of better times.
I attempt to reach them, navigating the rip current
pulling me into the party.
Perhaps I’d get there sooner
if I too were three sheets to the wind.
Alas they are only ever a dot on my horizon;
I catch a brief glimpse of them now and then
as I attempt to escape chats with people that will never remember
and whom I care nothing about.
Hosts should please and appease,
but all I want to do is
have a meaningful conversation.