Any resemblance to Catholic Youth Conferences I attended is, of course, entirely coincidental.
The mixed crowd of the state youth conference danced and wound through themselves while I fought my way outside. After I uttered the last unheard excuse me, I was finally out of the makeshift dance hall. I savored the outside smell, the feel of the slight breeze through my t-shirt. The streetlight over the counselor’s parking lot shone a brilliant blue. The chow hall door closed behind me. I had made it out. I had escaped from the noise, the chaos, and the bodies. I had escaped from the polite and final “No, thank you.”