We were going up with the elevator. It spun round and round. Not just up and down, it also spun round. I could see the corners flash by like shooting stars. We stepped into a party. There was music, there were drinks, dancing and people, lots of people. I came up with a party of four, four people I didn’t know. When I looked sideways somebody was missing an arm and half her face. We were disappearing. And on the run. The older white haired man said he could help us and we listened without questions. We just followed. Before we’d disappear. And there was Macy, my friend, sitting at a table in the middle of the party.
‘So you are letting me disappear. That’s another way to get rid of your friends.’
‘I only story shrivel you around the fire. In real live you are still my best friend.’
The fire is big, like a beach bonfire should be. I can feel the heat under my feet just on the edge between really hot and burning. My guitar looks like a vision in the light. I play bonfire guitar. Because when I started out that was my goal. I didn’t believe you can proficient when you don’t start at a young age so I learned to play bonfire guitar. All that really takes is three chords and a bottle of tequila. My chart is packed with three chord songs.
D G A G. ‘Get off of my cloud,’ we all sing around the fire. Two guitars strumming, mine and Levine’s. ‘I says, Hey! You! Get off of my wave. Hey! You! Get off of my wave. Hey! You! Get off of my wave. Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd. On my wave, baby.’
‘That’s right,’ shouts Max who’s as big and wide as his own longboard, he’s using a bottle of wine for a microphone. ‘Two’s is a crowd that’s why she knocked you off of her wave, baby. Yeah, get off of her wave. Knock off. Knock out. By a little lady, baby.’ He sings right through the song but we all cheer.
‘True. True. I admit defied. I got knocked off of my wave by a little lady.’ Levine raises his glass to me and nods.
‘Off of my cloud, baby. Off of my wave,’ I say while I play.
‘And I would like to make another toast at the end of this perfect surfing day, to my dear friend Tess who was brave enough to sell her surfboard for money. I never thought she’d do it, because after all this board was in the class A team as Ed Sheeran would say, but now she sells love to another woman. Here’s to bravery and selling your board, baby.’
‘Handmade in South-Africa.’
‘Sex waxed all over the world.’
‘My best friend.’
‘Knee dented with good memories.’
‘Cheers,’ we all sing.
‘What will happen to your baby,’ sings Max in full accord. ‘I know,’ I call while I raise my hand in the air, ‘she will be painted pink. Totally rock ‘n roll if you ask me.’
I begin: Em B7 Em B7 Em D G D B7 ‘I see a white board and I want it painted pink.’ And everybody joins in. Bottles of tequila are clonking. ‘No white anymore I want it to turn pink. I see the surfers surf on their white boards. I have to turn my head and see the pink at my toes.’
‘Okay, now tell us another scary story,’ Tory requests at the end of the song. So I scrape my throat and get ready for another bonfire thriller like you would tell a story when you were a kid with a flashlight under your chin.
‘So I sit at the table, my dad is there and my brother and I’m a kid. We are having dinner at my dads place which is more like an attic than an actual house and his cutlery had white plastic handles and for some reason this intrigues me. He probably bought it at IKEA, but what do you know as a kid right? And now guess what is for dinner?’
They all pitch in their ideas. I get pizza, pasta, scrimps, soup, sushi, Chinese food and such.
‘No, you are all very wrong,’ I say and look about the crowd around the fire, in the distance a bird is saying his goodbyes to the day and the fire is crackling like it will never go out.
‘Snakes,’ and I stop playing my guitar and sit up straight.
‘Snakes? That’s disgusting.’ Is the general opinion.
‘And not just any snakes, they are coloured like oil. Blue mixed with many other colours. And what more…’
‘Don’t tell me,’ says Levine who shudders at his own thought.
‘They’re alive. Squirming and wriggling on our plates. They are not getting away, no, they’re moving about on our plates like it’s their only world.’
‘Stop it. I want to hear no more.’ Macy tries to wash down the thought of eating live snakes in oil colour with a gulp of tequila.
I break my chords to get a more quiet setting.
‘But I don’t eat. I refuse. I utterly refuse.’
‘The others?’ she asks.
‘I thought you wanted to hear no more,’ I lean towards her with my guitar and wide eyes.
‘You’re right. Here. Shut up and drink.’ She hands me her bottle which is about empty.
In the car back home she apparently can’t get enough after all. ‘How on earth do you come up with such stories? Disappearing parties, eating snakes!’
‘I don’t. I dreamed it.’