She came floating over to me in an inflatable ring made to look like a doughnut. In her outstretched tattooed hand was a can of Bud Light. The tattoo was of a rose with a skull in the middle. In her mouth was an unlit cigarette. She didn’t smoke tobacco. “I just like the way it looks right now,” she said. She was against smoking, not for health concerns, but because it made her hair smell.
“You’re an American badass,” I told her.
The party was dwindling down. The backyard was quieter now. Most of the people we knew had already left, but we didn’t care. I clung to the edge of her doughnut and drifted with her. I tilted my head back so all I could see was the turquoise Southern Californian sky and a few lazy palm trees leaning in the breeze. I really had nothing on my mind. After a minute of being lost in this bliss of no-thought, I looked at her and she was staring at me, smiling. Her brown eyes like peppercorns in a field of snow. I knew it wasn’t a perfect love, but it was some kind of love, and it felt good. Instead of saying anything to her I let my body drop, submerging under water, then yanked on her leg so she spilled out of the raft and came sinking to the bottom with me.