On June 6th, 2014, I found myself heading to a party being thrown by my best friend and her boyfriend at the time. It was explained to me that Diablo (the name I lovingly gave to Alice’s boyfriend) was renting a house in St. Paul, MN for 300 dollars a month and that his cousin owned it. I thought that was incredible and, while I had visited the house before some time during the previous winter, I was more intrigued the night that I showed up for a party rather than a breakdown.
A party it was. This nerdy little man had managed to pull together a pretty decent crowd of people and a pretty decent supply of alcohol. I did happen to get very drunk and kiss a very pretty boy quite a few times and then pass out at 5 am on the carpet upstairs.
This was my first night at a house I would end up living in for two and a half months. A strange, free blessing that ended my homelessness just a few days after it began. Diablo and I set up an immediate agreement; I was leaving soon, so I could stay for free and I would throw parties. That was literally my rent. Throwing parties.
That Sunday, I adopted a dog. Irresponsible as it seemed at the time, I figured if I wasn’t paying for rent or food or literally anything, I could probably afford to take care of a dog. After all, I was living in a three bedroom house with a fully fenced-in yard that my dog could frolic in.
When she arrived at the house, her name was Izzy. Her fur was falling out, she was peeing nervously, and she was too skinny. At ten months old, this poor little black lab/husky/wolf mix had already been shown a life of fear and starvation. The couple dropped the dog off with me, warning “She’s not trained at all. She poops in the house. She won’t eat. She’s scared of water. She’s aggressive toward children.”
A week later, her name was Trax. She was eating regularly, she adored me, she had learned a handful of commands, and she only pooped in the house when I left her alone and she freaked out. I had a rescue who was ready for a new life. She put most of her fears behind her and began developing into an awesome dog. I fell in love.
As awesome as she was, she still had lab puppy in her, and every time the fence was left open, she would bolt for it, exploring the world and not coming back (we’re still working on this little problem). This was especially a problem, since every single day since I had arrived at the house was a party.
At a party, someone is bound to leave the gate open, carelessly or drunkenly or unknowingly. It became tradition for a set of volunteers to run into the streets barefoot, drunk, or tripping to find my dog and bring her back.
A week of straight partying turned to two weeks of partying, and Diablo and I began to wonder…Can we do it? Can we pull off an entire month straight of parties? Can we influence the people to keep coming over, every night, for thirty whole days?
Spoiler alert. We did. July fourth was looking like the end of things. At nine pm I was sitting on the roof of the house with my dog and my ukulele, watching the first fireworks. By 10:30 pm, three people were there. By 11, there were eight. Eight people and a load of booze and a few musical instruments = party.
It was the slowest night at the house that existed. It was also one of the best. Kissing cute girls on the roof, serenading new friends, topless hula-hooping. It was a crazy night for the small number of people who arrived, and it was a magical one. At four am, I puked, and it was time to turn in….
For an hour. I returned to the party in full glory for about forty-five minutes. It was a weak-at-best attempt at the ‘Ralph-n-Rally’, a pro move in party culture in which the puker remains the partier.
It was a lucky time, and one I will elaborate more on in my next blog post, which will be cleverly titled and witty all the way through…maybe.