The Probable Outcomes

Around us the other kids move in little oscillating circles, fish in a fish tank. It’s mostly guys aside from Lisa, but there are a couple of girls, both in patterned tights and very drunk. One leans over and throws up into a bush. I wonder if technically I’m responsible for that. But if not for me, then they would’ve just gotten their alcohol elsewhere. I mean, who’s really supposed to be the adult here—me or their parents? The thought makes me indignant. Why shouldn’t these kids get drunk and flail around, searching for space of their own? Why shouldn’t they be misfits? After all, they are at the receiving end of the greatest swindle our culture perpetrates. We promise them salvation for being themselves and then punish them for not knowing who they are.