When I was with Glenn, we lived in San Diego (La Jolla specifically, and University City even more specifically). Our proximity to UCSD lent itself to several employment opportunities. I was a temp at UCSD's Graphics and Reproduction Services (!) department, where I learned a lot... and Glenn had taken a job at a nearby independent bookstore. We'd just returned from a summer misspent, canning salmon in Alaska. (More on this adventure some other time.)
This bookstore, next to the Albertson's on La Jolla Village Drive, employed a number of recent college graduates who, directionless and sun-dazed, were nonetheless quite smart. When they weren't engaged in selling books to a just-off-the-speaking-circuit Deepak Chopra, they took turns hosting ridiculous parties in the hills just outside the University City area of La Jolla.
Everyone who worked at the bookstore attended these soirees, including wary East Coasters Glenn and I. After his shift ended at the bookstore, we'd drive to some vertiginously perched art-deco chateau overlooking the smoggy basin of San Diego. Someone would crank up their parents' stereo, and things would get rolling.
I know what you're thinking. It's San Diego, the mid-1990s. We're at some rich kid's parents house - who aren't home. There will be coke, and hookers, and possibly arrests will be made. None of these things happened.
What we did, is sit around and talk - the Go-Go's was a favorite soundtrack. "Head over heels where should I go/Can't stop myself out of control/Head over heels no time to think/It's like the whole world's out of synch." We made pizzas in the oven that we'd bought frozen at Albertson's. We watched amusing shows on television and commented about how easily our generation is entertained.
I was amazed at how much time I'd spent with these people, not really knowing them, not really. But they didn't really know each other, either. We did have this in common: we loved Whigfield's dance anthem, Saturday Night.* At each of these gatherings, we'd play this song several times in a row, and do the line dance associated with it, faster and faster and faster until we were jumping in unison, double time.
We had lots of other places to go, and I would soon realize that San Diego wasn't the right place for me to be, but for that moment this house, whatever house it was, seemed like the right place to be, and these people seemed like the right ones to be near.
Wondering if those folks are still in SD now, and if they remember those strange days.
*It never caught on in the States, but was apparently huge in Belgium.