When I was in high school, some friends and I would often go to the underage clubs in Milwaukee. I don't remember any of the names specifically, but there were two or three of them. We would get dressed up in old black clothes (I remember with particular fondness a black velvet jacket I had, and a number of white shirts with lace ruffles) and put on dark eye makeup and dance until we could hardly stand. I suppose we were proto-goths, although we called ourselves New Romantics, after the British bands we listened to.
It was at this club that I met Myke and his friends. They were older, edgier, cooler than we were, and they were city kids, unlike me and my friends. It didn't occur to me at the time to ask why Myke, who was 22, would be interested in a 16 year old girl like me, although, in hindsight, Myke wasn't the most mature guy I've ever dated. Perhaps we were evenly matched. Anyway, Myke and I started dating and one night, I went out with him and his friends, maybe five or six other people, guys and girls in vague arrangements of couples. We stayed out until 4 or 5 in the morning, going first to the clubs and then to the lakefront, where we spawled on the beach and smoked cigarettes and talked until the dark sky began to fade.
This was the summer of The Lost Boys, the vampire movie starring Jason Patric and Keifer Sutherland, and I remember distinctly seeing the posters in the movie theatre - "party all night, sleep all day, never grow old, never die" - it was a teenager's perfect fantasy. Myke's crowd took that movie as their guide and model, and this night on the beach was, for him, just one of many.
We were doomed, of course.
Not only was there the distance between Milwaukee and my home town - a good 45 minutes if there wasn't traffic - but the long and the short of it was that I was a Good Girl, which meant good grades and (mostly) obeying my mother and being a little freaked out when Myke told me that I was the most important thing in the world to him. We broke up, although I can't say how, exactly. Maybe he just stopped making the drive. But whenever I hear songs from The Lost Boys - Roger Daltry's version of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" or, as I did this morning, Gerard McMann's "Cry, Little Sister" - I am transported instantly back to that night on the beach, lying on my back on the rough sand and watching Myke's profile as he smoked and laughed with his best friends in the world.