The Skinny Pete Benefit (Roc Borja POV)
I needed to get outside. There was an overwhelming amount of people here at this “benefit” and we didn’t know anyone.
As I walked through the frame of the back door and into the backyard I could hear the snide voice of one of the faux-punks calling after me:
“Yeah, keep walking asshole!”
“You hear that guy?” Sweet T asked.
I shook it off.
“Yeahhhh, whatever. I’m too old to start trouble with idiot braggarts like that. This was not what I expected when they told us it would be a ‘benefit’. I was expecting like, a fire hall or some shit.”
“Benefit? Shit, this is a benefit for the people who live here to get fucked up.” said a fellow smoker.
Dammit. We had each just paid five bucks for entry (as this was supposedly a fundraiser). I really hoped the money I paid at the door would actually go to Skinny Pete… Hell, he wasn’t even here yet.
Regardless, I had set out to have a good time tonight. It was Saturday. I bought a twelve-pack on my way. I had two packs of cloves between Sweet T and me.
I didn’t even care.
More cloves and cigarettes were lit. Beers were drank heartily. I met a guy named after a sandwich, and a guy with a girl’s name, and a girl with a guy’s name.
I met two eighteen year old guys (one of whom was drunk far beyond his means) and two nineteen year old girls dressed in boys clothing during the length of my smoke. They were college freshmen, almost six years my junior and I suddenly felt old compared to a lot of this young blood.
This “house party” was really starting to fill up.
Let’s call a spade. This might have been a “benefit” for Skinny Pete, but it was really just a house party on a Saturday night.
I was fine with this. Like I said, I just wanted to enjoy my night and I was here for a good cause.
I went inside to grab a beer, when Sweet T and our friend rushed at me.
“My vodka’s been stolen man!” she said, “and Skinny Pete isn’t even here yet.”
“Well, shit, you can have one of our beers. Let me get you one.”
I went to grab my twelve-pack from where I stashed it only to find myself grasping at an empty carton.
“Well, our booze is gone too.” I said, and Sweet T and I both started to laugh. What else could you expect around people that you didn’t know in a house that didn’t belong to you in a part of the city you’d never really been in before?
Lose booze? Well, that’s a casualty of war. I went tit for tat and grabbed four beers out of the thirty-pack that now sat where my twelve pack had once been and handed them to Sweet T and two of our friends. Bottoms up.
For now, fuck it. Semi-stolen beer would have to do. I mingled and I introduced myself to people drunkenly. I took large helpings of jungle juice from a communal bowl. I got my shoes puked on by the eighteen year old who was drunk beyond his means. I laughed. I was having a fuckin’ blast.
I realized that the guest of honor still wasn’t here.
Suddenly a pack of aspiring hip-hop artists walked through the front door. I complimented the jacket of the guy leading the herd. He introduced himself as “Tizz”
Tizz struck up a conversation with me almost immediately, asking me if I liked hip-hop and rap and whatnot, asking me to “like” his Facebook page.
“Hip Hop? Fuck yeah, man! On the right night, I’ve even been known to freestyle,” I said with a grin.
There was much appreciation of this fact, and I had been dubbed their “boy”. In the middle of a party filled with faux-punks and hipsters, four gangster rappers had chosen to break bread with me. We spent a few minutes chatting about the current state of music for a little before our group began to disperse. The girls had all ran off somewhere, and I was by myself for the moment.
And that was when Skinny Pete casually strolled in with my soon to be boss Zero Lives and Clutch.
I clambered over to Pete, hugging him with the “bro squeeze” and spilling my semi-stolen beer on him.
We all shot the shit for a few minutes while drunken people shuffled around us and Skinny Pete tended to those who had come here to see him.
I went upstairs to find Sweet T when I came to a bedroom. Tizz was inside.
“Yo! My man, there you are! We been lookin’ for you!” he yelled.
“I… what? But…”
“You said you freest, right?”
“Freestyle. You said you can, right?”
“Well, uhhh… yeah. Yeah I can.” Fuck it. I was feeling good. I might have been just drunk enough to make this work.
He grabbed my arm and dragged me down the stairs towards the outside of the house, passing Skinny Pete who followed us out front with an intrigued look on his face. Here, a circle of maybe eight guys were spitting rhymes while one videotaped the whole thing.
I was thrust into the center of the circle with the camera in my face.
“What’s your name son?” the camera man said.
I looked coolly into the camera, stone-faced as hell and I said:
“Yo, they call me Roc. And I’m about to make clouds pregnant like I was cumming rain.”
And that’s exactly what I did.
For nearly five minutes straight I opened up and let loose a shit storm of rhyme. The guys around me all stared slack jawed. “Awww shit, son. OH, HELL NO. He did NOT just CRUSH yall,” yelled Tizz.
Everybody laughed and cheered when I was finished. It didn’t matter if my freestyle was good or not (although, you can ask Skinny Pete and he’ll tell you how it sounded) because I had enjoyed myself and was helping to support a friend.
Sometimes, when you go to house parties that are disguised as fundraisers, you don’t know anyone and you get your beer stolen and your shoes get a little puke on them and you find out that you’re the oldest guy at the party.
But sometimes? Sometimes you rap drunkenly for guys in the ghetto and everyone loves you.