My friend’s turning 21, and when that happens — look out

My friend’s 21st birthday is this week. She is currently a stripper in an all-nude club because she is still under 21. When the day comes and the law permits, I will be helping her transition into the world of alcohol and unremoved G-strings. I can’t wait. We’ll wear matching wigs and obnoxious neon costumes. Maybe we’ll do a good cop/bad cop routine or some other partner-ly antics.

If my memory serves me, I believe I met her randomly in an online eating disorder community. We both coincidentally went to the same high school and happened to know a few of the same people. We had about as much of an eating disorder as any teenage girl had, but we ended up having a lot of other things in common. It’s hard to be an angry teenage girl, consumed in self-obsession and personal scrutiny. It’s easier with friends.

She lived with her mom and step dad when we first started hanging out. He is a doctor and they had this giant house on the hill by a golf course. It was all glass and creamy cappucino colors and had too many garages inside a huge driveway. It had a bright green lawn where rabbits would sometimes hop around. It looked so beautiful in the rich colors of the Las Vegas sunset, when night was hiding over the hills and I was about to kidnap my teenage friend and take her to my place in a less prestigious part of town. I drove through the long winding bowels of roads inside her gated community to pick her up. Her mom thought I was a good influence, because I had to learn to present myself that way, while in reality I was helping my little friend become a stripper.

She looked like some kind of punk-rock cupcake, I recall, when I came to pick her up. She wore little torn black band t-shirts, puffy pastel tea-party skirts and her hair was always short, messy and a slightly different color every time I saw her.

I don’t spend enough time with her anymore. In Las Vegas, there is a hard line drawn between the activities allowed for people under and over 21. I’m excited to show her around on the side where the grass is greener. We’re going to be unstoppable.


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