August 10, 2008

I waited for the leaves to fall, for old John Wayne to save us all

It was close to 3 when we decided to leave. Simone and Bhags ran to the deli with J for a late night snack. I climbed over two kids on the stairs yelling back a "Get home safe!"
Saying goodnight on a street corner as Polish strangers looked on, my phone rang and it was B. She was having an anxiety attack.

Rewind to a couple hours earlier. Perched on the counter top, I found myself cornered in the kitchen by 3-6 party guests with black plastic bags. They ambled towards the fridge with their personal booze supply of cheap Polish beer and Sam Adams. It was already brimming with Pabst and nectarines. I helped myself to a nectarine.
I watched a girl open a bottle of something and take a sip and it looked really natural, the way normal people are natural because normal people bring beer to parties and drink it at the party.
I take fruit and water from people's homes and make conversation about anything and don't worry about acting natural because acting unnatural seems to elicit a more positive response from people.
A man in a deep-V tshirt came in, leaning on the wall, exclaiming "How can you people stand in this light!" He said his tshirt was a $13 marc jacobs find. The host ushered us all out of the kitchen, encouraging us to check out the DJ and J held my hand as we reluctantly complied.

The rest of the night, I took advantage of every opportunity to remember things as they are and not as they were. But not everything because after waitressing 8 hours on top of 6 hours of sleep, my tolerance for appropriate behavior was somewhere lost along with the other 2 hours of sleep I could've used last night. I didn't know half of anyone there. And the half I did know I hadn't spoken to in a long enough period where catching up became a gauntlet of things I didn't feel like discussing.
I danced to remixed 80s music and watched my shoes.
I took a few moments caught by the host to tell him that the girl he's looking for won't be showing up. She's gone to bed, I said. It was a partial lie.
She really loves you, he told me. My heart broke a little and I didn't know why. I just wished he'd been better for her. I wished he wanted to be. He asked about J. His half-closed eyes told me that I could tell him anything now and there was a good chance no one would hear about it.
He's very tall, I obliged. He's very cute, he replied.
S pulled me aside asking about decoys. Not necessary! I assured her.
It was a partial truth.

I met B on the corner close to 4 to assuage her crisis situation. It was crisp enough when we walked back to her apartment to remind me that this is an unusual August and for God's Sake how long will it be before tonight repeats itself-- which it will-- and when will this sort of thing reach to the bottom of my belly. I miss feeling the weight.
B and I filled our bellies with ice cream and deli sandwiches respectively, and I tried to understand what just happened tonight while I tried to ignore what will happen tomorrow.

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