By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Eighteen-year-old Kendra Nackos and Darrel O'Pry, 21, are working the DanceSafe booth now. "Isn't this great?" shouts Nackos, wearing a black halter top, as she bobs up and down to the beat. O'Pry spritzes water on a needy raver standing before the booth.
Dazed looks abound.
A guy sitting in a high chair next to the booth stares blankly, his mouth gaping open, his cheeks sunken. His head cocks forward. Meredith Brock, her hair blow-dried straight at evening's start but now wavy from tonight's indoor humidity, starts manning the booth. I point him out to her. She snaps her fingers in front of his eyes. No response. She rushes out of the booth. Mosmeyer rushes to her side, grabs the semi-conscious man and, as if he were rescuing a fellow vet in the line of fire, puts his arm over his shoulder and drags him through the club, past the glow sticks, the ravers. Meredith follows.
They're at the back door now, with Mosmeyer furiously trying to get past the crowd. A security guy sees Mosmeyer with the jaded raver.
"Hey, this is for real!" the security man shouts to the crowd, his voice barely audible over the music. "Get the fuck out of the way!"
They're now outside the club, in front of the ambulance, and the raver's coming to his senses. The emergency medical technician has come forward, but Mosmeyer shoos him away with his hand. "It's OK," he tells him. "He'll be fine."
Brock sprinkles the raver with water from a cup. "I'm fine," the man says groggily. "It's just too fucking hot." She pours more water on him.
"I don't want to get my cigarettes wet," he says and gets up. Blinky's his name, says this gaunt, 25-year-old Dallasite who says he downed an ecstasy pill a few hours earlier.
I go to the front door and see more ravers waiting to get in. Some dress in tongue-in-cheek costumes. "Patient #021042," reads the front of one's white shirt. "Psychiatric Ward," reads the back.
"I just got evicted for smoking a J [joint]," a young man outside tells a member of a security team.
"Try to sneak in," says the 25-year-old security guy. "What's better?" he asks me. "To see a drunk on the road or a kid at a rave trying to figure out life?"
I walk over to some of the DanceSafe wannabes who are gathered in the parking lot. "I just saw a girl smoking crack in the bathroom," says Cody Weeks, 18. She catches herself, now regretting that she divulged that bit of news to a Dallas Observer reporter.
"Anywhere you go there will be drugs," she says. "The media chooses one thing to focus on.'" If my article focuses on the drugs, she tells me, "It will totally ruin our scene."
I go inside. Seconds later, a guy approaches me. "Are you rolling?" he asks. "This is the fucking most bad-ass I've ever gotten from one pill." He took a Mickey Mouse, a brand of E.
Near the booth, a shirtless, sweaty guy sitting in a chair leans forward, blowing Vicks VapoRub into the eyes of the guy in front of him. The menthol fumes supposedly intensify the buzz.
Others walk around the place with masks strapped to their faces. They've placed Vicks inhalers inside, for the high.
Later, when I see Mosmeyer outside, he acts nervous. I tell him that an Observer photographer saw him down some pills tonight. Mosmeyer pulls from his pocket some caffeine pills. That's all he took, he tells me.
"It's very easy to get the wrong impression about the whole scene," he says, as we now sit on the grass. "Yeah, there are drugs, and we're not going to deny that. However, the scene is not about the drugs."
It's nearly 5 a.m. now, and Mosmeyer looks forlorn, defeated. So much for a "safe" rave. Still, the after-parties, the ones after this, might cheer him up. He's silent a moment.
"Unless you give it time," he tells me defensively, "you can't know what it's all about."