Well, we had a big party here last night. It was our usual 3 kegs/full bar extravaganza, but this time with more room in the basement and a few more people from the 'hood in attendance. I really like having people from around over to the party, even if it does occasionally cause a little tension. It's the future, as far as I'm concerned, and the future sometimes requires effort. However, things really took a nose dive for me when the neighbors got pissed.
The thing is, we've done this many times before and it's never been an issue. However, this time the man living next door (his father owns their building and is always outside smoking a cigar and listening to mets baseball) came in shouting, wanting us to clear everyone out and turn off the music or he would call the cops. I tried to reason with him but he was livid. Even after the music was off he persisted in complaining, saying there were "too many people" in our house. When he let slip a commet about "mixed races" I realized that I wasn't going to get anywhere with him that night. The truth was he was mad about the noise, but what he was really mad about was the sort of people we had over at our house. There's no reasoning with that, especially not at 12:15AM, and so I set in to wait for the police to arrive.
The 94 squad car appeared in due course -- our man Archie correctly predicting a delay because of shift change. I thought I would meet the police at the door and discuss the issue there, but they had other plans.
"We're coming in," they said.
"I don't think so," I replied, at which point they shoved open the door with the excuse "this is a public hallway." Bullshit. If it's a public hallway, then way are all the locks on that door?
At that point, I thought things were going to go wrong. Usually if you resist the police and they get past you it gets ugly, but the cops did a strange turnaround. Advancing three or four paces into the building, they stopped, simply told us to keep the music off, and then left, pausing only to warn me that if I got in their way again when they said they were coming in, then they were going to take me off in handcuffs. Not really all that constitutional, but I'll take it.
My take is that they quickly realized they had no reason to immediately bust us and that the guys next door were at the very least overracting. I also intuit that they've been called out by the guys next door before. Known complainers, perhaps.
At this point my evening was pretty much shot. There was no getting rid of the tension. It's still with me now. After making the rounds and trying to assure everyone that things would be ok if we left the music off, I retired with Sasha, who blisfully breezed in with a gaggle of beautiful people all wearing wigs. Thank goodness for that, or else I might have just broken down and cried or something.
In the morning, I found my camera was missing (so was Frank's wallet), which really makes it all worse. On the one hand, I'm very angry at my neighbor for blowing up essentially beacuse of the kind of people we have over at our party. On the other hand, I'm angry at whoever was disrespectful enough to steal from me when I invited them into my home. I'm also mad at myself for being dumb enough to leave the camera out, for which I again partly blame my neighbor for if I were not so agitated and stressed I wouldn't have made that mistake. The camera isn't even the issue. I can buy another camera, but I had some really fucking good pictures in there too. Intangable shit.
And so a lot of people still had a grand time, I hear. This is good. It's why I like to throw a party. From a safe distance, I'm sure this evening will provide me with untold hours worth of interesting spectulation. The manner in which groups behave, mixed up wonderful energetic groups, is endlessly fascinating to me. The delecate balance of creating a good vibe with people is something of an art. We were getting good at it until we had to expand our scope to take in the people next door.
But right now the whole thing is putting a damper on my faith in humanity today. Why can we not just be real and truthful with one another? It's possible. Example:as I was trying to keep the music off, one of the guys from the neighborhood kept turning it back on. He and I had a mild confrontation about it, which ended with me holding his hand away from the power switch and simply laying it on the line. "It's not about you," I said. "It's about me and my house and my neighbors and the cops and I'm afraid. I'm sorry and I wish I weren't but I'm afraid, and I need to keep the stereo off." At which point his resistance melted. The truth always feels better.
And now I'm off to Chappaqua. Peace.