Books don’t treat you like an afterthought.
You know the saying. All dressed up with nowhere to go. It’s as sad as you’d imagine it to be.
Teeth flossed, shirt pressed, kicks so new it squeaks with glee because this Saturday night we are taking a break from books and candles in exchange for a good buzz and real human interaction.
Saturday night calls for the right underwear; both style and comfort and ready for anything. Alas they remain hostage in the hamper caught between laundry day and contemplation. Going commando is not an option as winter would hibernate the boys when I want to be out and about. I settled for basic cotton because an emergency delicate wash would make me unfashionably late. Besides, who throws a party in the afternoon past the age of six?
Feeling fresh and clean with a spring in my step ready to paint the town pink. If I learned anything as a party host, #1 Don’t be late if you’re a newcomer and #2 Always bring the host a gift of some sort; a thoughtfully wrapped book in a cute beeswax paper complete with a glittery ribbon and a note that says “You are gorgeous and never briefly” A piece of literature that had me in tears in the first fifteen pages. Who knows if they’re even a reader but at least I’m giving them something that inspires a good hobby because what? Reading is fundamental!
Got the booze on the other hand clinking away inside the bag brings back memories of youth running around town to different parties and bars with no care in the world. Relax, it’s just a party. Yet for some reason I’m touched to be invited. Why wouldn’t they? We had just made a passion project together — the kind of project every filmmaker is obligated to do once or twice or twenty times in their career — to feed that raw uninterrupted creativity where you have the utmost control and actually have fun with it. It fills you up to the point where you feel like you got away with illegal magic. Sure I didn’t get paid for it but I believed in my Muse so much that I went in full force. You can pay me with praise and love and friendship. My Muse had that sort of blinding presence that made anyone melt under their light. But one must not stare. Handle beautiful creatures accordingly, unbothered. People in the city are comfortable in their own circles. One would rarely step out of it once you’ve found your people. So when you do get an invite from another circle, you should be touched. It means We like you so come and join us! Our passion project was such a rewarding experience we surpassed all professional obligations and finally allowed ourselves to let loose.
I arrived. Waiting to be buzzed in. They pick up but all I could hear was the party noise. Music and laughter — the usual obnoxious party noise. Doors remain locked. I buzz again but this time they didn’t pick up. Buzz again, nothing. It started to feel like punishment for the times I refused to let anyone in. Now I was on the other side of the glass. Finally someone nice yet stupid enough exits and holds the door open for me — I’m the stranger being let inside the building. I looked at the invite on my phone just to be certain I’m in the right place. But the obstacle wasn’t over. There were two wings in the building so I try the left wing first with no luck as one needed keys to access the elevator. I try the right wing and finally managed to get in. I get to the door but before I could knock, something felt odd. It was dead silence. I knock anyway. No answer. There I stood in the deserted hallway feeling… embarrassed? Disappointed? Am I at the wrong address? Where is everyone? I text the host letting them know I’m here but there’s no party.
Luckily, I have a friend that lives in the same building. Would I be calling them to rescue me? Am I that desperate for a night out? A true friend would invite you up unannounced no matter the state of their house. He was in the middle of unpacking from a recent trip and his house was a mess but he was gracious enough to let me in with the kind of enthusiasm one could expect from potential new friends that invited you into their circle. My friend couldn’t help but laugh at my situation but felt sorry enough to surprise me with a gift; a pair of sexy underwear he bought from the trip. I was touched. I put them on immediately.
An hour later I finally get a response from the host, super casual, excusing themselves for giving me the wrong address because they moved and forgot to update the invite. Last I heard when I tried buzzing in, the party was very much happening which meant I was the only one that didn’t get the memo. After my friend hunoured me with shots — the same friend who never drinks — suspicious, but very much appreciated in my moment of bruised ego. I decided to go home shortly after. And returned to my books.
I love my books. They are loyal companions whose characters may make you cry but will never treat you like an afterthought. They have you in mind as they live out their lives in pages before them. And you are along for the ride. Most touching of all, they let you right in.