For me ...

Raving is about a random nameless kid on the streets glancing at my bracelets, smiling bright, and passing me this beautiful bright-colored flyer without a word, and dissapearing into the crowd again.

Raving is about spending hours gazing at this psychadelic flyer and memorizing the DJ list and trying to convince all my kids that they've just got to come to this phat party I'm so psyched about.

Raving is about the day of the party being finally here and dancing through the whole morning on this happy cloud of anticipation and driving my friends and loved ones insane with my irrepressible cheer.

Raving is about spending three hours before the party downing party gear and applying the necessary pounds of glitter, fairy wings, glowing star stickerss, brand new ready-to-give-away candy on my wrists, and plastic rhinestones from the fabric store stuck onto my cheeks and brows with nail glue that clearly reads on the label "avoid contact with skin".

Raving is about the long drive there in a tiny car packed way over capacity with party kids all as psyched and joyous as I am, our elbows jostling, the techno music thumping, the laughter warming the car when the broken heater cannot, and the absolutely ridiculous assembly-line procedure of delicately passing a cigarette from one end of the cramped car to the other so it can get ashed out the only not-frozen-shut window.

Raving is about the parking lot outside, with kids hocking their various chemical wares with little subtlety, where I stand admiring the packs of party kids as they migrate towards the venue, grinning and shouting out to familiar faces ... and past the sea of parked cars I hear tendrils of very faint music thumping over the horizon and it weaves into my brain this tapestry of anticipation until I'm bouncing in circles around the car waiting for everybody else to get their shit together already so we can get to the party!!!

Raving is about the immediate five people ahead and behind you in the long ass line to get in, as together you shiver, swap introductions, bracelets, and small talk, holler futively at cutters, and later contemplate how amazing it is that you have these new friendships and owe it all to proximity and circumstance.

Raving is about the suspence as the security pats you down and comes soo close to your stash but then her hands move away and you get this tinglehappy thrill as she boredly waves you through and you dance past her into the crowd.
Raving is about ... you're in.  O god. Awe.

Raving is about overcoming those initial standstill moments of drinking it all in, letting the pulse of the music and the vibe wash over silly dumbstruck you ... and then slowly it pulls you until you find yourself one with the crowd, dancing wild and drunk on bliss.

Raving is about here, you are so cool, have a bracelet!  You visor is so nekked, have a star!  You lost your binky? Have a blowpop!  This is your first rave?  Have a bracelet and a huge hug and a fabulous time!

Raving is about where are they selling the glowsticks!?

Raving is
about ohh you are so cool, I love you to death, let's trade numbers and email adresses so we can keep in touch .. ohshit I don't have a pen!! (And then like, six people standing nearby dig out pens for you).

Raving is about the music.

Raving is about the girl lost in the music and dancing like she's the only one in the room, or she's one with the room as a whole, or somewhere in between.  It's about the boy who's hypnotized a whole circle of onlookers with his insane beautiful liquids and is so entranced himself that he hasn't even noticed his audience.  It's about the DJ who's world has become his little place behind the scene where he's spinning out rhythms and the turntables have become an extension of his soul, his greatest love, his sense of purpose.

Raving is
about hitting that first stage of exhaustion after hours of hard dancing and surging adreneline, and stumbling into the chill room and finding a little niche to sprawl out with someone you love and rub each other's shoulders and let empathy and love for him/her fill your heart to bursting.

Raving is about getting your second wind and tugging the person up again to rush back out and join the crowd.

Raving is
about helping out the kid who's sick in the bathroom, finding them some sugar to help them come down a bit, tying back loose hairs and fanning them with a flyer, telling them they'll be fine.

Raving is about seeing that kid hours later, all recovered and happy and flashing you a secret smile of thanks as you pass by.

Raving is about the flash of regret as you realize the crowd has thinned and you've nearly pushed yourself to your physical limitations and that outside the sun is probably lighting up the eastern horizon.

Raving is about sleeping peacefully on the ride home, cheeck to the shoulder of a loved one.

Raving is about that next day of recovery, achy and zombie-brained and full of crazy bright memories.

Raving is about doing it all over again next weekend.
*~What is Raving~*
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