Saturday, February 5, 2011

BFD

I have had some of the most fun of my life in the last couple days. I have also had some of the biggest stress. Instead of dwelling on the difficulties, the momentary pain of a life settling into itself, I would like to write my ode to what has made my last 48 hours good.

I briefly looked around. Two thirty in the morning. A pizza place. The floor was wet from the muddy snow everyone had tracked in. A half consumed container of ranch was the centerpiece of our table. Three famished and exhausted girls stood around me masticating their lukewarm pizza with vigor. A couple in their 40s sat behind us. The couple generously shared their table with any college students that needed a place to sit. It currently was two young women wolfing down pizza in pretty black dresses, hair done up, and their faces on.

We were at the end of the night. My sleeves were rolled up, my hair was a mess. Alex refused to let me take anymore pictures of any consequence. Everyone was done feeling pretty, we were ready to go home. Fifteen minutes previous to this moment we were in Irish Times—a bar—stuck at the top of the stairs and trying to descend.

Irish Times is a great bar, large open space with a cool second floor. I had entered the bar knowing that my visit would be brief. I made a beeline to James. I said hi. Spilled someone’s drink. I hurried to the bar, explained my dilemma. The bartender smiled and gave me the drink for free. By the time I returned she had disappeared. I left the drink with Jason and headed to find other people. I was in my body. I felt good; enough alcohol in my system to interact with people comfortably without slurring my speech. I stopped halfway up the stairs and looked out. I couldn’t find anyone I was looking for. It was a sea of excitement; everyone dressed up and beautiful.

I dipped into my pocket and pulled out my phone; a new message from my girlfriend Ciera. I smiled at the message, replied with the wittiest thing I could think of, and closed my phone. I walked backwards in my head, stood at the table of Desperate Annie’s. I was talking to Jess; she was my ally in a steadily declining general mood. A slew of exes had suddenly been forced to interact with each other and we were looking for exit strategies. I was contemplating the tensile force of Jess’s purse strings when she got a call from Claire and Alicia and headed on home. I was momentarily alone on a high wire held tensely by the talking exes. It was fine. I was in a moment, compelled to watch the train wreck slowly emerge. Alex returned from the bathroom and commented on how fun the night had been.

I agreed and teleported my body three blocks away and forty minutes earlier. Katie ran up to me with a plate of cheese and chips. She promptly stuffed her face and tried to share. I grabbed a chip but realistically she had consumed the majority of the food. Alex laughed and stuck the lemon slice from her drink in her mouth. I laughed and looked out on the dance floor. Four years of people I had known since my genesis at Skidmore. 107 days until our lives changed in a way we could not comprehend fully. It was fine. The moment was perfect. Everyone I knew came by and said hi, everyone looked gorgeous. The girls were women now; the boys had become men. Pure fun saturated the room. The picturesque, the beautiful, the young, the carefree time, the us, the now. We all had what people spend their lives remembering. What they spend their lives trying to catch again. And we had happily embraced our privilege, celebrated our moment.

Greg and Korena were dancing together. Natalie was trying to teach Jacob how to dance. James was running between groups of people excitedly jumping and dancing. A typical night. It had started typically.

5 Dayton J. We paid homage to our earliest days at Skidmore. Some cheap booze, a game of beer pong, and characters we had known for four years. We became rowdy, egging each other on, rejoicing in the ease with which we could be together. The house was warm and the music was loud. It was easy to be there and laugh at every joke, to poke fun at each other, to embrace each other wholly and without consequence.

I moved forward through time and space; looked around the pizza place. I smiled at the older couple. They looked troubled and a bit bothered by the college students around them. When I smiled they released the tension in their faces. Alex hurriedly put on her coat and pushed us out the door.

At the bus stop on the corner, Becca decided to change her shoes. In the middle of the process, the bus arrived. We wearily made our way to the back and sat down. I looked at Becca. Then at her shoes. One pink heel and one black flat. Her comical mismatch was strangely symbolic. We were all transitioning to another state, about to wear the shoes our children would try to fill. Becca finished changing her shoes, complained about how cold and sore her feet were, and put the other pair of shoes away. I looked out the window and watched the lights pass by.

I later woke up in my bed and couldn’t recall how I had gotten there. I thought briefly about the night, smiled, and drifted back to sleep.