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The Dirt Hole
I don't know why I went for a drive that night. It was probably stress- either too much sherry from the long drawn-out party I attended with my parents, or the argument with my mother, when I asked her if we could leave early.
What strikes me more, is what made me go back to the Dirt Hole. When I got there, I knew I was right. No one had come back since the night Steven drowned. There were still skid
marks from the cars that raced away, the drivers in disbelief. Everyone was surprised that I took it so well. He was my closest friend at the time. Of course no one said anything to me about it, but I think I could see it in their faces. I understood why no one wanted to talk about it, and no
one wanted to go back. I'm still not sure why I went back.
The Dirt Hole was referred to as "Aliah's café," to the uninformed, even though no such place existed in Anders Valley. It was a place where our sherry and white wine turned into beer and vodka; our polo and golf into pool and poker. Our intelligent talk of professors and universities and politics transformed into mangled talk of dirty things and common movies and
words that shouldn't be spoken.
The Dirt Hole was really just an empty, old house by the side of the river- ancient, actually. There hadn't been a house so small and filthy in Anders Valley in fifty years. That's
why no one ever discovered us, or the body. No one lived near the house, because no one wanted to even remember it was there.
Outside the Dirt Hole, Steven was the most intelligent of us all. Inside, he was the loudest and most reckless of us all. No one could stop him when he started drinking. Not that we tried, but I think he knew what we were thinking.
Steven drank and drank when he was there. That night he shot down ten rounds of vodka, and then walked around with a couple of forties. He joined a few poker games, losing some
more of his parent's money, like the rest of the kids.
I remember we had a conversation that night about the girls we'd like to get with, and
although I never had the courage to do anything about it, Steven would walk right up to a girl, and be upstairs with her ten minutes later. I think he was with a girl named Sammy that night-Samantha outside the Dirt Hole. She barely talked anymore. Especially not to me. I think the jealousy overwhelmed me that night.
After he stumbled down the stairs after being with her, he took my arm and brought me outside. Said he wanted to get some fresh air, and have a smoke. "I don't know if I can do it
anymore, buddy," he said, slurring a few words while we walked towards the river. I asked him what he meant. He didn't respond. "I mean, what does it all mean!?" he yelled, looking up to the sky and waiting for an echo.
He sat down by the river and started crying. He wasn't one to cry, even when he drank too much. I sat next to him. He put his head in the water and sat there for awhile, scrubbing his hair.
I looked at him. He was still sitting there, scrubbing, forcing something out of his head. Right then, I think I understood what he meant. "What the hell do you mean, you shithead! You have everything! The most money of us all, you could go to any university in the world, you have
looks, friends, what more do you want!?"
He was sobbing out of control at this point. I stopped, breathed, and tried to think of ways to take back what I had just said. Before I could, he said the three words that ruined us all. "I want you."
So he was a faggot. The little shit was a faggot. My best friend. I wonder if he had ever slept with a girl his entire life. He was probably upstairs sharing his innermost secrets and feelings with Sammy- not doing her.
It was too much for me at that point. I began creating complex scenes of him in my mind. Steven with men, Steven in drag. Jesus, he probably had some special girly name he was called.
Stephanie, maybe. I imagined him, sitting in his room, thinking of me in that way. The pain, the anger, the confusion all overwhelmed me until I could hardly stand it. I lashed out.
Holding him under, I barely thought about what I was doing, where I was. Pure emotion was all that was in my head. After a minute or so, it was over. There was no struggle, and never
He floated away down the river. At that point I didn't care. True, he didn't drown that night. At least not on his own, like everyone thought. And it's all his fault.