So there I was, living in a party house in St Paul that got more and more popular by the day. I was receiving Facebook messages from friends of friends of friends asking if they could attend one of my parties. Finally, the hopes and dreams of fifteen year-old Telea had been accomplished. I was the host and resident of one of the most popular party houses in the Twin Cities, and I was gaining rapport by hour.
Now, time for an explanation:
When I initially became homeless on June 2nd, I had a cute, short, train-hopping girlfriend who I had last seen about a week and a half before I was kicked out. As soon as I got kicked out, I asked her if she would come back to the Twin Cities to take me train hopping. Her response was awesome, to say the least. She got so incredibly excited, and promised to be back by the start of July.
So, my stay at Diablo’s house was, indeed, just supposed to be a very short while. We initially settled on three weeks, but when my girlfriend kept getting delayed, it became an open-ended departure from the house. Basically: “Stay as long as you want, don’t break much, and throw good parties.”
I was pretty sure I could handle that. In our first 30 days of solid parties, we threw FOUR big parties, (and 26 parties of varying sizes), once every weekend up to the weekend of July 6th. The first one was a spur-of-the-moment decision that just so happened to work out well. The second was scheduled over Pride Weekend, the third was basically a Pride Afterparty (as in ‘The-Weekend-After-Pride-Party) and the fourth was a party celebrating 30 days of Partying.
On Pride weekend, my friends Alice and Xaundra went with me to the festival before the big party showdown. On our way to Loring Park, we ran into a handsome Dirty Kid sitting shirtless on Nicollet Ave, playing a banjo. We decided to say hello, and found out his name was Joe and that he was working in Wisconsin on an organic farm for the summer. He told us he usually rubber tramped it around the country in a big old van. We parted ways, hoping to see him again at Pride.
The second we walked into the park, it started pouring rain. Just a violent downpour that soaked us to the bone in 0.5 seconds. We took cover under the nearest tree, and so did our dirty friend Joe. He noticed that I had a Ukulele, and I played him a song. After a couple more minutes, Xaundra and Alice decided to go back to the house early instead of braving the rain, and we promptly invited Joe to come to the party, giving him two phone numbers to contact should he decide to make an appearance. Spoiler alert: he did (which is why that story was important at all).
Alice and Xaundra headed home, taking my Ukulele with them, and I continued through the pouring rain of Pride to meet some cute people and hang out. Within fifteen minutes, the rain had subsided, and while the park was soaked (and partially flooded), the sun AND the people came back out to celebrate.
Joe (later renamed James Franco to avoid confusion with the fifty thousand other Joe’s I know – and because he resembled a young, dirty James Franco) was not the only one who got adopted by the house from Pride. With the weather putting a damper on Pride Weekend, our party got bumped to five pm instead of ten pm. At five pm, I was arriving at the house with about five people I knew and thirty people I had found at Pride.
This party was one that went down in the history of the house. Over two hundred people showed up. There was glitter, laughter, and alcohol EVERYWHERE. It was the party where I discovered that my Ukulele had been left at a bus stop in pouring rain confusion. It was the party where everyone came together in a community like one we hadn’t seen before. It was the first party I stayed totally sober for because of the overwhelming number of people showing up, marking the weekend before as the last party I got drunk at – for the rest of the summer. But most importantly of all, this was the party that gave our house its name.
The House of God.
At previous slightly-rowdy parties, we told party-goers that when they went outside to smoke a cigarette, they should always yell ‘Glory Hallelujah’ or ‘Amen’ so that the neighbors wouldn’t suspect a party. Rather, they would think it was a rowdy religious gathering. This joke, thought up because we lived across the street from a church and a sober house, ended up giving our house its name that night.
Furthermore, the previous weekend, someone had spray-painted ‘House of Gold’ right over our doorway.
The kind people at the church, Kandra and Rob, a beautiful couple who were planning to get married that October, LOVED us. Rob was the pastor of the church, and Kandra was the super-sweet, wonderful Fiance. Diablo and I made a habit of visiting the church for the good company and the good acoustics (and the semi-exclusive ‘Breakfast in the Basement’ every Tuesday morning – House of God and Church only). They walked into the party FEARLESSLY while it was in full swing to bring all of the party-goers bread, hummus, fresh fruits and veggies, and a huge bowl of delicious pasta salad.
A drunken person, hearing about this, exclaimed that it really WAS a house of god, having not seen that extra letter ‘L’ in the tag job. It was perfect. With sharpies in hand, we promptly fixed what we later called ‘the biggest spelling error of the month’ and named our house ‘House of God’, later to be fondly referred to as the ‘HoG’.
What was even more amazing was that Church (previously known as Kandra and Rob) loved the name. They saw us as a form of missionaries. We were giving all we had to the people, letting people crash at our house, and providing a safe spot for people to be any hour of the day, any day of the week. Regardless of the fact that we allowed alcohol, drugs, and sex to happen in the house on a regular basis, we were thought of by Church as true followers of the lord. They claimed Jesus would be proud to walk with us, and promptly started referring to our house as the House of God to anyone who brought us up.
We were a growing fashion statement. Weekdays were filled with people asking to come over, cigarettes and beer being bought for us as tributes, and plenty of memories. Weekends were even crazier, with people streaming into the house by nine pm for festivities, live music being played, and suddenly being hailed as ‘The Party Gods’. Waiting for my girlfriend to take me on the road was becoming more and more fun, which, later, left me more and more screwed.