I don't really remember how we ended up at the gothic guy's apartment. It was one of those blurry nights back in the early '90s in Atlanta with my roommate Rachel. Somehow we were out with our neighbor, Juliet.
That was strange in itself. We shared a hallway, and were nice enough to each other, but she would go on these screaming and crying jags late at night. We weren't really sure if we were supposed to do anything or not, so we'd just turn the TV up louder (free cable!) and drink more Natural Light. I remember our downstairs neighbors warning me about her. "I'm from Ireland," she said. "I know about banshees."
So we tended to keep our distance.
Somehow after drinking somewhere Juliet ended up taking us to a friend's apartment. I don't remember the guy's name, let's call him Raven or Mykel or something. I remember the apartment was painted black and he had a lot of black and spiky furniture. He also didn't seem to want us hanging around. Probably because we looked pretty square, and weren't our stripper neighbor.
Raven kept talking to Juliet while Rachel and I giggled about how much of a cliche the dude was. I mean, he was wearing leather pants, just sitting around the house! Sure, it was immature, especially since the guy had begrudgingly given us more beer and a dark place to sit in, but you know how it is in your early 20s. And hey, we had to amuse ourselves somehow while he tried macking on our neighbor.
"What's the matter, you don't like Nine Inch Nails?" Raven yelled over the stereo.
"Yeah, they're OK, I guess," I said. "They played them in the mall last week while I was shopping for Dockers."
"Oh yeah? Well, check these out."
With that, Raven dropped a pile of photographs on my lap.
"I don't know if I want to look at dead people, man."
"What's the matter, can't take it? Well, I've got tons of these. Most people can't take it, but this is unfiltered, in-your-face reality."
"Yeah, well, I guess you totally win...hey, wait a minute! This picture's from a movie. That's from Dawn of the Dead, right?"
I ended up trying to talk horror movies with the guy, but he was a little crestfallen after finding out that his in-your-face reality was actually concocted by special effects wizard Tom Savini.
I can't remember how we left the guy's apartment, or if we were still with Juliet, but I can say with about 90 percent certainty that we ended up getting Taco Bell, drinking Natural Light and watching Mystery Science Theater 3000.
I never really did make that many friends in Atlanta.