The house party is still in full swing when we pull up in front of the obvious student house, run down with a couch on the front porch. Kids swig beer bottles on the balcony, music pumps through every window and door until you can feel your soul vibrating with the beat and the cracked concrete steps provide a weirdly tilted approach to the house. We were not the first ambulance to be called to this party tonight, and would not be the last before the over-stretched cops managed to shut it down.
The party pulses on around us as we make our way to the stairs, although they do turn the music down a smidgen at my request. We are led upstairs by a clean cut, surprisingly sober collegiate guy who shouts at us over the music, "I found her on the floor and couldn't wake her up so I called!" We wind past couples making out in the hallway, interrupting their pleasure as our bags knock against their bodies.
She is curled into the fetal position on the floor of a tiny bedroom, young and obviously fresh out of high school. This is her first educational experience at her new university and it appears she is failing miserably. She is completely unconscious, a sternal rub barely elicts a groan, and is in no shape to be left alone. Fortunately for us; upstairs in this tiny, tiny house, she is very petite, and Matt and our student for the night easily pick her up. Carrying the bags and her flower-embroidered little purse, I attempt to part the crowd as we leave with our patient. The crowd flows back together as we pass and the music gets louder as we step onto the porch. We leave as though we were never there, the party continues, and the next patient-to-be keeps chugging, bringing themselves closer to the inevitable moment in which we will return to carry them out, the circle of life during frosh week.