By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Bob and another kid eventually track Casey down, finding him at the other party watching Hostel. This causes a fight between Casey and Marly, so I head to the back room at about 5 a.m. to find the last remaining awake people chilling in the hot tub. Casey and Dave get into a free-styling contest; despite their enthusiasm, I don't think anyone actually won.
Dana and I talk for a bit in the hot tub, but she's sitting on this kid Clayton's lap. Clayton's my favorite person at the party. He's got the most sense about him of any of the kids and reminds me of one of my best friends. He's also funny, and he's spent a large chunk of the night taking care of a friend who'd been too friendly with Jose Cuervo. This is a good development. (Two weeks later, Clayton will ask Dana to be his girlfriend.)
I bid the two of them a good night and find some floor space in the living room. Prom 2K6 is coming to a close. I think back to the questions I was supposed to be answering. Turns out this group is just like I was five years ago, and probably just like their parents were 25 years ago. Only these kids have better fashion sense, maybe even more common sense. Was prom important? Definitely not, but it was fun. There'll be plenty of memories and pictures to hang on to. There's too many thoughts in my head and, too tired to think, I crash.
At 6:30 a.m. the whole place wakes up to hear Bob's wife yelling at him.
"You're a drunk asshole!" she screams.
"You knew that when you married me," Bob retorts, with surprising calm.
"Those kids are trying to sleep!"
We were. Now we're trying to figure out if this is a serious fight. Probably not. Bob is a drunk asshole and she probably did know that when she married him. At 7 a.m. Bob decides we all need to wake up and begins opening blinds. Slowly, we gather our things and say our good-byes. I find Dana and put her bags in the car. Casey and Marly are working on making up.
The sun is just over the water and the surf is choppy. "Oh, man, look at those waves," says Casey. Dana and another couple I'm driving home hop in the car, and we head back to Clear Lake. We're all too tired to talk. I pull into Dana's driveway to drop her off. No parents peeping out the window. I give her a hug and the mixtape and she promises to keep me appraised of her social life. She tells me she had a good time, so karma has been repaid, mission accomplished. It's been 16 of the most surreal hours of my life, and maybe I'm getting old, but I can't wait to get home to my bed.