I CAUGHT SIGHT OF A RAFT COMING MY WAY. There was someone on-board, perched at the front, wearing a sailor’s cap and aviators and nothing else but swim trunks.
I turned to the three guys behind me and pointed to the raft. They knew what I needed. Two of them put their hands together and I stepped in the human stirrups, as the third pushed me up—on top of the crowd, going up and down as I crossed shorter and less-enthusiastic, less-upper-body-strength waves.
The guy in the raft was headed straight for me.
“Full speed ahead,” he yelled, pointing my way: Mr. Captain Ahab.
A beat started up and four-four time carried me over bracelets and beer cups. Hands frisked me, pulled me in opposite directions, as I slipped and slid and fell and rolled.
The Captain reached me, adrift on a set of muscular bros. “Care for a ride?” he said, as he took my hand.
He pulled me on to the raft, and we entered stormy waters. A wave of girls shrieked as the shadow of our yellow raft crossed over them (or, more like, fell on them). The boat shifted and fell and sent me headfirst towards a rapids of glow sticks, but the Captain had trained for such dangers, and wasn’t about to let his new First Mate go overboard that easily. He grabbed my arm until the raft stabilized.
“Good?” he asked.
“Good,” I said, and gave him a thumbs-up, just before we went over the front of the crowd and over the edge of the world before the stage. We had not marked our position with a sextant, and we were being rushed by the monsters on the edge of the map: bouncers.
As we were being removed, and the people were cheering our adventure, I shared a moment with the Captain. I shouted “Oh, Captain, my Captain,” and instantly regretted it. It was very cheesy. I never saw the Captain again, and I’m kind of glad. Let him remember me as I was: a drunken idiot, crowdsurfing on a raft. Not as I felt—a drunken idiot becoming overly emotional with a stranger.