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Dreamed 1984/6/1 by Chris Wayan

A hot summer night, down by a yacht harbor. A big club on the water is hosting a college dance party with a swimsuit theme, which was sensible, given the stifling heat. Sandals and one-piece suits and sunglasses, loud surfer shorts and sneakers. Flawless TV bods, though the suits are ugly, the latest fashion fad--squarish maillots ending in faux shorts. The club won't allow bikinis on the dance floor. There's a beer shower with complimentary photographer, so few couples actually swim in the sea. Part of the pier is dark, but there's not enough privacy for serious sex. The party may look cool, but the rules behind the rules still rule.

In the dark outside, on a sea-wall, watching the party through the picture windows, slipping behind a truck whenever the rentacop walks by, are three high school seniors with binoculars. Three cynical reporters covering the dance beat. Panama whispers a naked-eye overview into her mike while Pedro and Price scan for side action on the pier and in the water with their infrared gear.

Behind the reporters, down in the boats and on the other piers, much younger teens are huddled, listening to Panama's report, too intimidated to even raise their heads. It's true the Evil Twins (the meanest bouncers in the tri-state area) unilaterally declared the whole harbor off-limits to kids--they'll cross the road and throw kids in the sea just for peeking in the windows.

Panama announces each flirtation like a sports play, every kiss as a minor score, every pass as a... well, a pass. She speculates, she brings up batting averages, she spots jealousy and predicts breakups...

Ironic. They pay her to report the action, but as she comments wittily on the cruising by the bar, the war between two girls with the same suit, the sweet groping in quiet corners, the discreet drug deal out back, the little orgy on the pier, the standup sex in the dark by the pylons... I notice that she exaggerates. When she doesn't make it up entirely!

Panama is lying.

And her audience? Insecure adolescents already, they hear tales of these wild college kids and feel younger and plainer and dumber:

Not enough money.
Not enough muscles.
Not enough social skills.
Not enough tits.
Not enough courage...

They're intimidated by a fiction!

And the irony is, way more's going on in the knots of schoolkids below than in the club. No dress code down here in the dark, and way more privacy. Little knots of pot smokers and drinkers, the long low lozenges of couples, some naked, some in the water, playing or kissing, making out or making love...

They think the action's up there.

The action is here.

Where action always is. Wherever you are.


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