2 of November
Day of Xcaret Party, 22:00
“I’m kinda starting to miss my tattoos,” I joke to Mum as she heads up the stairs. It’s 15:10 now, or 3:10 for you Americans. Last night was Tepeyak’s Halloween party, and I can still say, after another party, that the quinceanera I went to was my favorite party in Playa, even though it was void of booze and the likes. Mrs. Kander and Chris came to pick me up to take me to the party, which was at Calle 30 N Bis entre Avenita Diagonal 85 y Avenita 80. After an hour of driving around in search of the venue and multiple calls to Mum and Pop, we found finally found the place: a house down a dark, shady street surrounded by guys’ cars and loitering teens. Flashing lights and booming basses escaped from the metal gate, which was cracked slightly open, so I could see into the crowded backyard. The grounds were littered with kids and smashed plastic cups. Mrs. Kander, undoubtably relieved we had actually made it to the party, sighed goodbye to her son and me as we hopped out of the car and got in line to pay our entrance fee. The kids manning the table charged a hundred pesos for each person, something I found out by observing the many kids waiting in front of us in line. I wanted to be sure we weren’t going to get ripped off. Chris and I got wristbands that read,”Are You Ready!?” and squeezed through the gate as their security, a shirtless guy with a hospital mask covering his mouth, held it open for us.
Inside was an evolving conundrum of chaos. Although we were already an hour late, people were still arriving in their chipped paint Chevy’s and Lexus’ and the kids poured through the gate all throughout the night. As we were still attempting to get our bearings in the mass frenzy of pink-faced teenagers, Alma trotted up to me in a mini Superwoman costume. “Maia! You’re here! Finally out again!” She exclaimed as her eyes grew wide with excitement. She kissed my cheek and I introduced her to Chris as Alma pulled me by the arm to a group of my nearest and dearest friends.
“Eyy, Maia you’re out!” Everyone kissed me and tried to suppress their shock that Mum had released me to the night. “Yup, I made it,” I confirmed as I stretched upward to kiss Juan’s cheek,”Well, let’s have a heck of a time because y’all know I don’t get out too often!” I smiled and talked with my friends: Alex, Juan, Malakai, Santos (who was in a full-blown cow costume), and a few other boys from my class. Alma pulled me away to meet Dominique, her closest girlfriend besides me, whom I’ve met only once before, even though we’ve tried to hook up multiple times. She’s from Belize, and is absolutely one of the cutest, sweetest girls here in Playa, in my opinion. She kissed my cheek and seemed genuinely happy to see me again, and insisted that we take pictures. Alma sped off to the bar, which was set up in a tight corner that was the most crowded in the whole backyard- literally the only way to get in or out of the space was to push and shove or get down on your knees and crawl through the intertwining legs of the girls in heels and the guys ordering tequila shots for them. Stairs led up to a rooftop access, where the kids who wanted to chill, have a smoke. and take a breather from the downstairs catastrophe of costumes rested. Chris and I ended up there multiple times throughout the night to escape the downstairs scene, where I had strategically lost some guys who wanted me to take shots with them. It allowed for a breath of cool, fresh air, because once you descended into the fiery pit of sweaty, bobbing kids with hot hot hot cigarettes and smoky circles of friends, there was no getting away from the pressure of the heat.
“Snooki! Amy Winehouse!” Party patrons guessed when they saw my costume. “Amy Winehouse,” I’d chuckle and confirm. “You look gorgeous,” they’d continue, and I’d return the gesture. This would be followed by questions of what school I go to, what country I’m from, and and how old I am, phrases dropped casually and smoothly, as if they’d asked them a hundred times. Which I suppose they have.
Now I don’t want to bore you with every finite detail of the night, but I will say that I met- and became re-acquianted with- many new people, nourishing my growing roots into the soil of Playa. For example: two guys came up to me that I’d never met and pronounced that I’d talked with them before at La Doce, the infamous club street on Quinta, and walking distance from my house. That was their fatal flaw, because I have never been clubbing here, or anywhere, and at this age, frankly, I don’t want to risk myself by going. “Ohh, really?” I couldn’t help but smile sarcastically at their obvious lie. “Yes,” they encouraged me. They introduced themselves saying, “How could you not remember us? We danced all night!” And I found myself politely leaving them with some laughs, a wave of my hand, and an “I’ll see ya around, then.” At one point, when I was upstairs with Chris and a group of some friends, I decided to return back to the life of the party, which was by the DJs, downstairs. I got stuck in traffic on the stairwell, and ended up pushed close to a guy sitting on the edge of the balcony, who I noticed had been staring at me whenever I used the stairs. I decided I was safe enough, with my group of friends and Chris by my side, so I stared right back at the guy and told him he should quit staring and ask me to dance, if that’s what he wanted. I don’t remember what he responded to that, but I ended up sitting next to him on the edge of the balcony as I waited for the stairwell traffic to disperse. He wasn’t drinking or smoking, although a full cup of coke and rum sat next to him, even more precariously perched them we were. I found out he was eighteen, and from Merida, quite a while’s away from Playa. I left him when the stairs finally cleared, saying that if he still wanted to dance he could find me later. I had no intention of fulfilling that promise.
And my last story I’ll tell you is about Justin, who, after a three month hiatus on my part, was ecstatic to see me again. Alma sidled me up to him. “We met a couple months ago at that party, remember?” I vaguely stated, hoping he’d save me the introductions, which I was quite sick of at that point- it seemed to me as if I’d met half of the party. But Justin just smiled and said, “How could I forget?” We yelled into each other’s ears over the din of the music for quite a while, and he even knew Chris, who ended up with a crowd of young girls in low-cut costumes oohing and aahing at his magic tricks. Because of my connection with Justin, I became acquainted with the eighteen and older men and women at that party, who couldn’t believe I’m fourteen. “Seventeen or eighteen,” they all pronounced assuredly, but I just smiled, and responded that they were wrong. Justin bid me goodnight with a kiss on either cheek even before I left the party, with promises to see me ASAP (that’s what he thinks) and even went so far to say that he had tried to get ahold of me before, but couldn’t. I also spotted Lily and Daisy in the crowd around eleven o’clock, and I knew they were watching me as Lily smoked and Daisy stared contemptibly at my black bouffant, or maybe my cat-eye makeup, or maybe even my pin-up girl tattoo that reads “Cynthia”. They were alone, and it seems to me like nobody cares about them anymore. I spoke to Dario about them as well, and he assured me that he didn’t know me well enough to make any bad judgments about me and believe the things his friends Lily and Daisy said about me. I always knew I liked him.
At around twelve am, I turned to Chris and asked him if he was ready to kick it. I called Papa, and not long after we hopped into our gold beater minivan like it was our getaway car- which I guess it was. Mrs. Kander picked Chris up in the Soriana parking lot, not far from Calle 30 N Bis, and then my Papa and I drove home to a dark house and a sleeping family.
Today we spent the night in Puerto Aventuras with the Kanders, and I skipped the Xcaret party. I guess I knew all along it was either that party, or the Tepeyak party- besides, I’ve been holding off a cold for the last couple days. My friends will be disappointed I didn’t make it, Justin even contacted me to ask if I was going, but I’m gleeful to return to the normal hum-drum of my chaotic, busy life with my family. Although I will admit, Playa nightlife has its charms.