Graphic by Billy Kirchgessner / North by Northwestern

I watch without realizing I’m watching,
And I’m several feet outside some celebrity club.
These partiers could be worldwide
Celebrities, or just some kids from
The tiny circle of my elite school.
Makes no difference to me, anyway.
Alcohol’s in their hands and in the air;
It colors their laughter, and stains their costumes.
I feel it even where I stand, still as a stone.
It starts to get wild, as I gaze, dissociated,
And wonder if this is how adults live.

The rain starts to pour. I feel it on my skin,
And I finally become aware
Of myself! What am I doing here?
Why do I see these long-goners in my mind?
It’s been so long, since those emotions –
Petty emotions evoked by this pathetic scene –
Were so prescient in my envious little head.

Do I want to join? No…
But why am I jealous?
Why am I staring?

I have to go home.
But something in me wants to spectate, even here.
Even drenched in the rain.

A shorter girl walks up as I almost stumble away
And offers to take me to another party with her group.
I look back at the scene of “kids.”
I’m gonna be a ghost either way.
But I follow her instead.