Party Like It's 2001
It was the day before New Year's Eve 2000, and I was living on the third floor of my cousin's house in Reservoir Hill in my own apartment. I had a total of $40 in my pocket, an impressive negative balance in my bank account, and my friends and I were looking for a way to party without having to spend a car payment to get in a club, so I suggested we gather at my place. They would supply the drinks, and I would use my limited funds to provide a feast suited for mere peasants. A friend offered his talents as a DJ to start the party and keep it going, and by the time the planning was done, 30 people were set to come over and entertain themselves while I worried about what they were going to break in their drunken New Year's state.
The party started at 9, but word had leaked out like a Jay-Z album, and by 10:30 about 80 people were roaming through my apartment. I would see a stranger's face and ask, "Who invited you?" and get responses like, "Oh, this is your party? Dre invited us," and I'd walk away thinking, Who the hell is Dre?
Before long, I was ready to give all uninvited folks the heave-ho but was convinced by a couple of close friends to let them have a good time, the more the merrier. After midnight, we toasted. Folks were dancing, or stumbling rhythmically. One of my brother's girlfriend's friends had displayed all of what she had eaten earlier that day on my floor, then passed out. A lot of folks were hugged up, and some had to be separated due to lack of licensing for public sexual acts. And I spent the better part of the evening avoiding some annoying girl who kept cornering me, saying, "Femi, why you keep hiding from me? You acting like you scared of all this," her words slurring together. On her best day, I didn't want to end up with her (sorry).
Everything was pretty much under control until about 1 a.m., when a flood of people found their way in. It was so packed that people were spilling out into the street. On my way downstairs to deal with the people outside, I stepped into a crowd on the first floor equivalent in number to what I had on the third floor--my floor. The partygoers had opened my cousin's closed but unfortunately not locked door and let themselves in. My cousin wasn't home from his own New Year's activities, but people were shooting pool on his table and playing spades at his dining room table, empty bottles were everywhere, and I got into an argument with a guy who insisted on drinking his beer from wine glasses taken from my cousin's china cabinet.
During the course of the evening, I found solitude in my cousin's bedroom, gathering myself so I could figure out how much of a fun-crusher I was going to have to be. But before I could begin kicking folks out, another one of my brothers got into a physical altercation with somebody we didn't know, so a couple of us had to remove him and his crew from the house and calm my brother down. Outside the guy and I almost came to blows as he kept trying to re-enter "my" house telling me that he was invited by the homeowner, until he was made aware that it was me.
Around 3:30 or so, I had removed all strangers from my residence, leaving 30 or so people--the people I had actually invited--dancing, talking, and a playing a pool tournament that went on till about 7 in the morning. My cousin was home by then, but I had fixed all the visible damage, so he just joined in with folks talking until he wandered off to bed. I didn't mind folks going to sleep--I passed out blankets and covered a few folks who were already knocked out--but I was so stressed out from everything, I didn't sleep until that night. To this day people still tell me what a good time they had at that party and ask when I'm throwing another one. I tell them never, unless we can have it at their house.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201