I must have been about 16 that night, though you really needed to be 18 to stay inside when those heavy doors were locked and the counting of the votes commenced. But fuck the law. Being on the inside was where I wanted to be, something SO right. We moved on, the three of us — 2 young cousins and a legislator — to a tour of the relevant political clubhouses.
I even got to meet a kingmaker (more of a dukemaker) who was later arrested for corruption and eventually killed himself. You can’t get better than that. You could feel the aura of manipulation and tragedy. It stuck to your neck like the sweat of that naked guy who recently brushed against you in the locker room of the gym.
It didn’t frighten me much.
Perhaps it had the allure for me that drugs have for less ambitious teens.