I grab another beer and move on to Perry's room, joining a group of people listening to some songs we'd done on his Portastudio, and, sitting on the floor, I tried to find the cassette we were using when I'd overdubbed a synthesizer track for another of his songs, an experiment in recording and synth-programming while on ecstasy. Then I feel a warm breath on my ear - it's Amanda, whispering "Come home with me?", having switched to a playful-little-girl lilt in her repertoire.

Now here's why "No" is the best answer: I had already been through something like this, less than a week before. A bunch of folks were at my apartment. By about 3 AM, everyone else had left; Amanda wouldn't leave. We went to bed. Period. We slept. Full stop. We were together there in a weak, non-committal almost-spoon. Few - if any - words were exchanged, and not a kiss was shared. We went to bed, we slept. I discovered that I was now just one notch above stuffed animal in her sleeping cosmology, and several notches below sex partner - just a convenient warm body for the night. Some semen dripped aimlessly into my briefs; I moved my head away from her, so she wouldn't notice the tears.

In the morning, after we'd gotten dressed, we were sitting on the carpet in the foyer, sitting with the requisite ten-foot pole between us. I tried to express the feeling of loss I had been experiencing, made just a little worse after the "sleeping together" we'd just done. Then I tried to describe a strange dream I'd had a week before: we were standing together in that very foyer; I was angry and comtemplating striking her. I awakened in mid-contemplation, then cried for a few minutes, both wondering how that violence came to displace the ahimsa, and knowing damn well how. But there was little reaction from Amanda to either of these things; I had crossed the small-talk boundary, and she wasn't playing along today. She left a few minutes later.

So "No" is the best answer here; I don't want to go through that again.

"Let's go", I say; we rummage through the house to collect her two bestest friends, Lissa and Paul, and we catch a ride to Amanda's with someone sober enough to drive us.


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