Jim and Sarah hosted another huge party up in Oracle last night. It really was their best fete to date. The centerpiece was a table laden with food and wine. Dozens of silver-plated coolers of beer and vodka lined the blue-velvet-draped walls (with sequins pushed in for stars), and grapes spilled across the floor every time someone bumped the table which was often since the only way to avoid the entangling, flesh-eating trumpet creeper vine dangling from the glittering disco balls was to crawl under the table. The punch didn't last long, of course, because of the merpeople in the bowl, but once it had been drained, we contented ourselves with chocolate rum fizzes and creme de cassis and tequila poured over perfectly spherical ice cubes with violets frozen in the centers. You couldn't blame the merpeople, really - with that lime-colored jellyfish pumping itself ethereally around in the bathtub and the kitchen sink filled with burnt caramel-scented soap for drunken irridescent bubble-blowing, where else were they supposed to be? The guests were fabulous, as usual. The troupe of bisexual (or was it asexual?) albino snakedancers was the life of the party as always, and we all had a merry time playing a high-spirited game of hide-and-seek with a wayward Rinkhals cobra (Hemachatus haemachatus) - a delightful snake native to Australia considered to be one of the few cobras actually capable (and how!) of spitting - that was finally found playing dead behind the downstairs toilet about halfway through the night by a black-haired sorority girl originally from Slovenia and now married to a Russian clown who lives three-quarters of the year in New York City. At one point a fight broke out (in French) between a very tall woman with purple wings and glittery high heels and three diminutive danseuses de ballet who passed through the crowd in spiralling pirouettes and wore orange and yellow roses pinned to their gauzy skirts, and also, it turned out, carried silver daggers down the fronts of their corsets. But the fight was reasonably brief and turned out to be over the rapper in the corner with the gold chains looped down to his angles and sapphire-set sunglasses the size of dinnerplates. Once he disappeared outside on the muscular arm of the opera singer with the strawberry-blonde sausage curls and the champagne-colored mini-skirt, the tension dissipated and the daggers were sheathed. We danced all night to Billie Holliday and glam rock ballads and at length to a sort of new age Tchaikovsky-esque/electronica piece that went on for an hour and forty-one minutes. And of course to Jim's brother's band, American Mother Trucker, who covered Tom Petty and John Prine and wore fuschia-colored cravats and black silk blindfolds and sang mostly in falsetto. Several children attended the party, including the brilliant, though partly mute, twin sons of a noted local singer/songwriter (and sometime vampire). The boys procured flashlights from a passing medicine man and led all the children (and a border collie) into a gnome-ridden cave concealed by cholla at the base of a large boulder just off the patio. They returned several hours later, minus the border collie, dirty and tired and playing tiny flutes made of the narrow ends of mesquite roots and eating jam-and-marshmallow sandwiches. (Most of their flashlights had inexplicably burned out.) We left shortly after that. Most of the chairs had run off into the desert by then, and the remaining seven were taken up by a hugely pregnant woman who had given birth already to one of her sextuplets and carried the infant on the shelf of her enormous belly wrapped up in a golden net bag while reclining on the chairs and waiting for the second-oldest of her five unborn children to make an appearance. We successfully avoided the now-feral pack of wild chairs on the way to the car in the sparkling darkness (spotting Cassiopeia on the way, etched out in the stars) and drove home slowly, having put out the car's wings so we merely skimmed the pavement, scooping up half-melted strawberry mousse with our fingers from a glass bowl Sarah had pressed on us as we ventured out into the night.
But unfortunately I didn't bring my camera this time.