The Raver : Chandra Kavanagh

Eight hours staring at a computer screen turns you into a lunatic. Your body starts shaking from its poorly contained lust for movement. Either that or it goes soft and limp from defeat. A symphony of frantic clicking serves as the soundtrack for the long, slovenly day. She is a quivering mollusk being rapidly devoured by the gentle chastisement of a million crabs. She is pretty sure she is getting black lung from the photocopier. She has stalled on her journey and she is pretty sure that this office is the waiting place that Dr. Seuss warned her about.

She makes good money, which is important cause her man don't work. She eats healthy, except when there are left over cookies from the last board meeting, or she forgot her lunch or she's too tired. She exercises regularly. As regularly as she can, you know, unless the weather is bad or she has too much on her plate or she's just too damn tired. It's raining today so she's going to catch the bus. She waits at the poorly protected stop. There is a roof and three sides but the wind is blowing right into the open side covering her neck and chest with rain. She remembers when she used to smoke; she thinks this would be a good time for a smoke. She used to do a lot of things but she doesn't think about that too much these days. It's not intentional. The cessation of doing or the cessation of contemplating the things she used to do. It's like with old friends, they are these enduring, overarching figures in your life right up until you move on and they don't matter anymore. They don't even really exist anymore, a picture on facebook, a faint twinge every 6 months…8…longer. 

She feels as though she has very little in common with herself. Her life started as a series of unconnected images, she created a narrative that mostly pleased her. Now it seems as if her narrative has been transformed into a sort of brochure, without her consent. Or a flyer, advertising something no one really wants, taken out of courtesy and discarded as soon as possible. She feels, in an inexplicable way, as though she has been bamboozled but she is not sure by whom or what motives they had. 

The bus arrives and she takes a seat across from a blonde raver. She is skinny and 16 or so. She has those ice blue husky dog eyes with pupils so dilated she looks like a lunatic. Her music is audible through her headphones, some deep beat house shit overlaid with robotic vocals. "I want to get higher, higher, higher."

Her face was awake but her body looked exhausted. All except for one leg, jittering uncontrollably as if she had been in front of a computer screen all day.

She wondered how long the raver had been awake. She wondered if the raver's mom was concerned about her, or if she even had a mom. She wondered if the raver was going to turn to her right now and give her a dirty look for staring. The raver didn't turn and she got to keep staring. While she stared she formed a narrative. Lucy was a raver on a journey. She had been out all night at clubs and parties, dancing and drinking and taking drugs. She had received a lot of attention from men that night; it made her feel pretty and wanted. It made her feel worthwhile in a way she never felt when she was alone. The attention was more addictive than the drugs or the scene. She lost her balance dancing and fell off the stage; she blew a dealer for another hit of E and let his friend take pictures with his phone. She did all the things she had heard about from concerned parents lips and reality TV shows.

She had missed her stop. She waved frantically to the bus driver and he pulled over to the side of the road. As she descended the steps she tried to remember what had been upsetting her at the bus stop. It was dusk now and the rain was still falling as she walked the rest of the way home.