After the church, I decided, kind of against Christian’s advice, that maybe I should go to the mysterious party after all.
(kind of related complaint: it is incredibly hard to buy beer in PA. You have to go to a beer distributor, and even then they won’t let you buy less than 24 at a time. Whatever, I thought, I’d just have some to share. And get absolutely hammered besides.)
So Christian drops me off there, at the Budd Building, somewhere in a bleak, industrial part of the city. I can’t help but think I’m in the absolute wrong place. It’s that same kind of post-industrial foreboding atmosphere as Palahniuk’s Wilmington, or Coppola’s Brooklyn. I’m actually surprised when the person behind the mystery phone actually answers, and shows me the way in. The party itself is on the top floor of the warehouse, and about as far from the street as one could get, looking out onto some roofs and a courtyard.
I don’t recognize many of the guests at first, but they all seem to know me. Of course they would – my face had been plastered on the Memester page enough times, and here I was in his city, quite possibly in his presence. As they introduced themselves I started to realize I knew a few of them as the trolls who were giving me so much trouble last year, but at least this one night we all seemed to get along, pissing the night away around a bum fire in an abandoned factory while police helicopters buzzed around looking for something that wasn’t us.
Somewhere around 1am the party started to break up, and (of course) the people I was supposed to spend the night with were nowhere to be found anymore, and people were going on about taking me to Delaware, which didn’t quite seem right. As I should have expected, I was well too far gone to make any reasonable decisions, but I followed people to a nightclub downtown that I’m not sure any of us really wanted to go to, but it was a place, and there were things there, and maybe friends. And far too many people, and shitty music. We would have walked right out right then if we didn’t have to pay a $15 cover charge no one told us about.
I don’t really have any idea what happened next. Apparently I left the club – next thing I knew it was 8.30am, and I was on the floor of some girl’s bedroom, laying on a pink shaggy rug as two cats woke me up playing “king of my face”. She wasn’t even home, and I didn’t have any clue where I was, but I figured I should get out of the house and, as it turns out, back to Philadelphia, considering I had somehow made it all the way to New Castle, Delaware with no recollection of when or how.
By this time I was lost and late, but I still wanted to try to meet up with Brendan and explore the rest of where we partied last night. I found my way there, and they said they were driving all over looking for a Wawa for breakfast. So I asked them to bring me something too, and they got me a bagel, which didn’t seem like any big deal at the time, and for me to pay for their gas to come meet me there and drive me back to the train station, which I parted with $20.
And once that was settled (ish) we explored the Packard Plant’s east coast cousin, Budd.
Well, I explored it, while Higgins and Ray looked for shit they could steal and sell.
This is an awful picture, but I’m pretty sure this was the party room, and the fire was in that basin sink thing.
And I think these are the stairs I fell down drunk on the way out.
I left Philly thinking everything turned out right in the end, and I’d be likely to come back there eventually. But apparently they were just playing nice and actually think I’m mentally unstable and owe someone $11. Oh well. If anyone would have me back, I’d love to see more of Philly. And whoever it is who is missing $11, let me know and I’ll set that right too.