Side doors, dancing, silver cans: A writer’s journey into party-culture
By: Steve Miller – Staff Writer
Cheers pierced the frigid winter air near the end of Kiefaber Street, just a stone’s throw from the central campus of the University of Dayton. I walked alongside my wingman, Theo, and thrill-seekers Juicy J and Magnus as we approached Friday night’s social central in Dayton.
I had heard much about the party scene on UD’s campus, but never quite found a good enough opportunity to explore the venues first-hand. This was my chance.
With the bulk of our social group away for the weekend on a retreat—the moral direction gone with it—Theo and I found ourselves tempted by the thrills of college life. Thus, we employed the expertise of Juicy J to lead us into the land flowing with the collegiate version of milk and honey.
“It’s the house on the corner,” Magnus declared as we turned onto Kiefaber. She was pointing to the corner of…what exactly?
“That kind of sketchy alleyway,” Theo said as I finally made out the small side street next to the indicated house.
As we approached, small gaggles of students passed back and forth through a side door, releasing bursts of music, laughter and voices with each opening.
“How do we get in?” I asked, since there appeared to be no protocol for entering such a colorfully occupied establishment.
“You just go up to the door and walk in,” Juicy J replied in half-snide annoyance at my asking such an apparently unintelligent question.
“Easy enough,” I prematurely declared as we arrived at the location.
Our strategy was to allow Juicy to enter the dwelling first, followed by me and Theo in order to ensure the safety of the gathering. J, of course, had the most experience of all of us and was therefore most equipped to judge and escape a potentially-messy situation.
He opened the door to the unexpectedly close back of a partygoer. There was no available standing room inside the threshold.
“Do you just push yourself in?” I sputtered, knowing such an activity is much too barbaric for the fine residents of this prestigious institution.
Again, I had spoken prematurely. No sooner was I barely in the door, smushed between J and Theo, when I felt a forceful shove from behind and found myself falling forward, only to be held up by the large and dense presence of people in the center of what I could only presume to be the living room on a normal day.
But this was no normal day.
I had come equipped with a bottle of water, which could be conceived by others as a different clear beverage, in order to ensure I stayed hydrated and free from the pressure of consuming alternative drinks. However, I soon realized my plan was made moot by the sheer amount of flesh in the room, which covered the contents of people’s hands.
I remained close beside Theo. Like gazelles in the African wilderness, we are vulnerable when solitary. I also noticed that he and I were easily the tallest two in the room, which made us feel all the more exposed.
Music blared from an undiscernible location as I attempted to bob in rhythm, disguising my discomfort by flawlessly matching my body movements to the vibe of the venue.
More people pushed through the door to make this miniscule space feel even smaller. People pushed by me and (inadvertently?) made pelvic contact.
I looked to the far corner of the room to see a young man with light smoke rising from above his visage. I peered down to see an old-fashioned pipe clenched between his hand and lips. I connected with his class and gazed in awe at his enjoyment.
At that point, it became apparent that he was not the only smoker in the room. I turned around to see a few young men next to the kitchen door, also smoking. It was soon difficult to breathe.
Then, I turned to see J and M coming from the side room with silver cans of adult beverages. Incredible. I had lost sight of them for less than 30 seconds, and they had attained the highest honor one could be bestowed in social central. Theo and I were clearly the inferior class.
Hours seemed like minutes and minutes like seconds (or maybe it was the other way around) as the evening wore on. Theo and I decided it might be time explore the remainder of Dayton’s finest.
Wandering around the neighboring blocks, nothing quite struck our fancy the way the original house on Kiefaber did, so Theo, Juicy and I decided it was in our best interest to pack it in for the night, having experienced the famous thrill of the campus.
We returned to our dorm room haven and commenced a session of “Grand Theft Auto,” sitting back, changed men.
Editor’s Note: This article is satirical. Names have been changed to avoid tarnishing the reputation of those involved.