Two years ago I visited Rob on the Cape for the first time. I met his college friends, boys I instantly liked and instantly beat at Mario Kart. I tried my first oyster and sat on my first sailboat and I brought a book to a party.
To be fair, it was the second night of an all-weekend party.
The first night was fairly miserable, as to be expected of parties. Rob’s friends and I lolled around, pretending to talk to other people before we huddled in a group outside and talked about how much we hated parties.
That bit was actually pretty fun.
I couldn’t believe it when the next night his friends all got dressed and ready for another round.
“Wait, what?” I said. “All we talked about last night was wanting to be home playing Nintendo and eating cheesecake and now we are purposefully putting ourselves back into that same situation? What is wrong with you? What is wrong with all of you?”
No one had a good answer.
Soon I was back at the party.
I was prepared this time, though. I brought a book for the journey. If I was going to be stuck in some fabulous home in some fabulous town, at least I would have something to entertain me.
“See you, boys,” I said and headed into the empty dining room. I turned on the lamp and opened my book.
Before I knew it, one of Rob’s friends was standing by me.
“Whatcha reading?” he asked.
“Go party,” I said.
Another friend came up. “So, what’s up?” he said.
“Is this really happening?” I said.
One by one, all of Rob’s friends joined me in the dining room by the lamp.
“Excellent!” I said. “Now I will drive us all home where we can continue this conversation.”
No one moved.
In fact, they actively resisted my moving.
“All right then, let’s take this nightmare on the road!” I said.
No one moved again.
They did move when the party continued at a nearby bar. Sluggishly, well behind the rest of the group, we walked towards town. “I don’t even want to make it,” they said.
“Why are we going then?” I asked.
“This is so boring,” they said.
“I AM OFFERING YOU A RIDE HOME!” I said.
Hours later we made it back to Rob’s house.
We played Nintendo and ate cheesecake.
“Remember when you brought a book to a party?” they said.