The Party

Krzysztof “Tomash” Drewniak

Scout At The Party III — 2323

The Party never stops.

The Party spontaneously arises at least several times a generation. From there, it waxes and wanes. It crashes into other The Parties, sometimes, in an eruption of fireworks and song, or cleaves itself apart along some newly-discovered fault line. But throughout this, The Party never stops.

The Party gusts ever onward, hopping sim to sim to sim as the days and weeks roll on. Staying in one place is too boring!

The Party bathes in experience. It drowns in experience. It is tossed about by waves of experience that engulf it but can’t sink it.

The Party is a perpetual tornado built of those who want to do everything and need to do nothing.

Gusts of song and dance! Sparks of conversation that might expand to flames of passion! A dusting of food and drink, some impossibly delicious, some merely impossible! Vortices of experimentation, of poking the edge of post-humanity! (<Hey, there’s a lake here, let’s try being jellyfish!> ; <Sounds fun!> ; <Well, I’m going fish fish!> ; an ecosystem flashing into existence and gone two minutes later)

Currents of shared sensorium woven all around, inviting people to grab anything that speaks to them. Rivers of feeling! Of joy, of strangeness (<Anyone want shotgun on my flyover?> calls a helicopter), of psychoactives stacked up in just the right way (behold, a skunk, drunk as only a skunk can be, dancing unstably to inaudible music and offering to share)! All there for anyone brave enough to plunge in.

And here is Scout At The Party III, a dog-shaped and partly dog-minded person. Something about The Party calls to him, as it had to some of his ancestors, the previous Scouts At The Party, now merged down to join the stew of memories that builds the pack. Perhaps it’s the sheer joyful intensity of the place meshing with his desire to simply be a dog. Perhaps it’s the prickle of his fear of fully embracing doghood out here, forsaking language, thought, and purpose in favor of chasing rabbits forever. Or perhaps it’s the sense that someone needs to be here, watching this crowd for things that might require intervention. That would need Tomash, the bipedal furry systech he occasionally remembers forking from, to come by.

Scout hasn’t needed to call. The Party takes care of its own. Breezes of aid and concern wind through the hurricane of activity to nudge anyone who needs a hand or who misjudged their wacky stunt’s feasibility to helping hands. Those who still want to be here but need to step back from (as this The Party’s invite put it) “Sleep: off. Exhaustion: off. Sensoria conference: fully on. Jump in!” for a while can find their way to eyes in the endless storm to catch their breath.

Scout is wandering around, dodging inadvertent tail-stepping from the forest of people around him, wondering what smells good right now.

<Hey, ‘migo, send me you?> someone asks him. <Nice shape!>

Scout obliges, giving the man a ride on his perceptions.

As the connection clicks in, he takes off running.

Here and there, around legs and up on tables and skidding around corners. Running for the sake of it, his own little ribbon of existence winding around the nearby group.

People start watching. Elements of The Party, those attendees that are inclined to this show, “ooooh” at daring leaps and go “oooof” at hard landings and crashes into table legs.

Soon enough, Scout has the sense that he’s gone on long enough. He arranges for a steak (and thank goodness the market’s got some really nice ones) to fall down from the sky and times one last jump so he can intercept it.

There’s applause when he succeeds. How much is for him and how much is for any of the tens, dozens, sometimes hundreds of little shows that finished around then too, no one can truly say.

Scout’s audience disconnects. He flops down to enjoy food. Excitement will come around again.

Excitement always comes around again, of course. The Party never stops.

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