In theory, raves should be a sorority girl’s heaven. They are essentially giant playgrounds filled with college-aged kids getting fucked up and listening to music. And debatably the best part? The crafting. Intricate beaded bracelets can take hours to perfect, it is perfectly acceptable to dress up like you would for Halloween for pretty much every festival, and glittered tutus are appropriate for every look. However, there is a stigma that goes along with raves. Partly because of the drug culture associated with it, and partly because raver girls are “trashy” because they party in their underwear. Personally, I thrive on rave culture. I live for making *yet another* butterfly bra or for spending over a thousand dollars on the ticket and hotel room alone. It is the epitome of irresponsibility, so I will live it up while I still can. That being said, this past summer, my high school rave fam and I packed up a van and started our road trip to EDC Las Vegas.
EDC, from what I remember, was fucking amazing. I got to see my all-time favorite artists, I had my first and only one-night stand, and all with my best friends by my side. As with any event, who you go with makes all the difference. EDC itself was incredible, but every moment spent with my squad was hysterical just because I was with them. In fact, my favorite memory from the whole weekend happened on the drive to Las Vegas, before any of the “real fun” even began.
Our crew included myself, my best friend Anne, her twin sister Natalie, Natalie’s boyfriend, Chris, and our friend Dustin. Obviously, we were all excited to see each other after spending the year apart in our respective universities, especially Dustin. Dustin had decided to study in England. Not for a semester, but for the entirety of his college career. You know how your friends will study abroad and come back annoying as fuck? Well, he was no different. He had admitted that his time overseas had caused him to do the most un-American thing possible: he became a vegan. And he started this monstrosity of a “lifestyle” only a few days before our trip.
Personally, I have never put my body through the actual hell that is life without cheeseburgers, but apparently it is not a pretty sight. As in, pretty bad diarrhea while your body adjusts to the abuse. And while watching your friends suffer is undeniably a good time, being trapped in a car with them while it is happening is not. Not to mention that the road to Las Vegas included a lot of time in the desert with no restaurants or rest stops for miles. At some point, the traffic became unbearable due to construction on the road and Dustin’s stomach began to rumble. I’m not sure if any of you have seen the face of true panic, but try to imagine his face as we crawled by a sign that read: “NEXT REST STOP 50 MILES”
With desperation in his voice, he began to plead for Natalie to pull over. But there was nowhere to go. We kept inching along, bumper to bumper while Dustin whimpered from the backseat. Eventually, Natalie found a dirt service road, much to the relief of all of us having to endure the stink bombs getting released from Dustin. Unfortunately, however, the people behind us seemed to think we found a short cut and began to follow us. Not knowing what else to do, Natalie pulled over as far as she could and Dustin rushed out to the street.
He was doing a half waddle-half squat dance away from the car and screaming. All I can say is that we heard everything. He screamed for us to turn the hazards off so that no one would pull over to offer assistance. But how funny would that be if they did? So we kept them on and proceeded to shine the headlights in his general direction. The screaming got louder.
He was out in the war zone for a while, and slowly the cars that had followed us down the dirt trail we pretended was a road started trickling back. Dustin and all of his shame was illuminated by the headlights flooding him from both directions. People were honking, babies were screaming and Dustin was pretty close to tears. I’m grateful, however, that he had to go through that. It was a traumatic experience for him but provided endless entertainment for myself, and at the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters? After all, you know what they say: what happens in Vegas, stays on the side of the road. Or something like that..