We drove up to Kent early that morning, Wild Man Billy and I. Purge or no Purge, Halloween is my favorite holiday, and Kent gets wild on Halloween. Kent is also a college town so we figured all the college kids would be too afraid to leave, or at least wouldn’t be purging much beside beer kegs and 4loko. On the drive I quickly got sick of the one scratched Minor Threat demo CD that Billy had, and threw it out the window. He just kept driving and put on the radio. “We Found Love” by Rihanna was playing. He turned the volume way down.
When we got to Kent we headed to Scribbles, the local café, and painted each other’s faces. We bought King Cobras at Speedway and went to drink them on the patio of some tattooed-faced dude’s house. In the air you could feel the tension of what was to come. The Purge was ruining my Halloween, and it was only 5pm. My buzz told me to go elsewhere. There was plenty of Halloweening left to do and not much time until the sun went down.
I finished my 40oz and said “whoop whoop” to Billy and Tattoo Face. They said to be careful but that’s it.
In the streets there was a flood of people. Townies, college kids, all sorts of freaks dressed as freaks. It was kind of cool how everyone was disguising their fear with an actual disguise, and drugs and alcohol, of course. So many people were saying “whoop whoop” to me, bumping into me, I started to feel sick and scared. The sun was going down quickly, and I felt like I had underestimated the danger I put myself in. I had been here before. I was having a panic attack in a sea of people.
I started to walk very fast until I got to the familiar Stone Tavern, where I spotted Jon, a dude I used to bang. I was crying. He smiled at me from across the bar: a hearty smile that made me smile back, through juggalette make-up that was now wet and salty.
Still from across the bar I spoke to him, either a call or a whisper: “Please take me to your studio.” He let out a laugh that I remembered, and said he’d grab some to-go beers. I could tell he was wasted, and that he needed somebody to save him, too.
Jon and I jogged to his studio trying to beat the sun, just like that scene in The Mummy or maybe it’s The Mummy Returns. He locked his door, propped a chair under the handle and closed the curtains. He kissed me hard which I thought was hot and cool; I was dressed like a juggalette and people were dying outside. Was this a movie? To be honest I’d never not gotten laid on Halloween.
While Jon was going down on me I stared at the ceiling and couldn’t block out the sounds of the Purge. I knew I’d never cum, but I let him continue. It wasn’t a problem for me, and maybe it was helping him forget. Jon eventually gave up and jerked himself off on my leg, wow, I thought. Soon after that he started snoring in the way only a drunk guy does, and I was alone. Or at least I felt alone. I stared at his ceiling for seven more hours.
The announcement declaring the end of the Purge woke him. He played The Velvet Underground on his record player and we had sex for real. Afterward, I washed my face and left to find Billy. I was ready to go home. Jon texted me during my walk to tell me that Lou Reed had died that night of a heart attack.
— Destiny Strudwick