It's midnight and I've been in heels, a sundress and pearls since 3:30. Damn Derby and its fashion requirements. My toes hurt, but I'm having a good time. For some reason everyone was born this weekend twenty-something years ago and I've been celebrating one thing or another since leaving work on Friday. Now I'm at Cap Lounge for the birthday of my old roommate J, a guy I love dearly even though he and I have nearly strangled one another at times. He's one of the few people I really have ever fought with, and while it scared the bejesus out of me, I think we're better friends for having gone through it.
I twirl the the straw in my gimlet as K fills me in on wedding plans. I know she's worried about being That Girl Who Only Talks About Her Wedding, but I secretly enjoy hearing about it. I don't know about that whole "marriage" thing, but am a big fan of parties with pretty dresses and bands and open bars.
J lurches over to us. He's damn fun normally, but is even more entertaining when drunk, all grabby and affectionate and foul-mouthed. He's spent a significant portion of the night trying to go up V's skirt. It's a lot more charming than it sounds, I promise.
"Emmmmmmmmmmm," he slurs. "Emaleeeeeeeeee. I looooove your blooooog. I reads it all the tiiiiime and when you don't update I get all saaaaaaad."
When J gets like this it's best to hug him and play along. "But I can't update anymore!" I tell him. I have to shout to be heard over the Arctic Monkeys blaring from the speaker and the jackass in the Nats trucker cap currently slinging his arms around K and B. "J, I can't update because everyone in my life reads the damn thing. I can't write about my friends because they all read it. I can't write about college because I work at my alma mater. I can't write about politics because if I ever go back into political work or journalism then there's a public record of my uncensored opinions."
I've gotten started and I can't stop. Cap Lounge basement after thirty consecutive hours of drinking is not the time or place to be voicing these thoughts, but I suddenly can't stop.
"I can't write about my family because they've asked me not to. I can't write about the people I hook up with because I'm looking for something real and when I find it and the guy finds out then he'll read about them. I can't write about work because I'm not stupid. I can't write about my mistakes because I don't want to dwell on them and I can't write about my successes because I don't want to brag. I think about what to write here all the time but when I sit down to type, nothing comes out because I. Can't. Write.
"I want to write something substantial. I hate the idea of being just another yuppie girl blogger writing about her cocktails and boys and bitching about her boss and whining about how confusing life is when you're trying to be a grownup. But I can't write about anything that matters because the consequences are too big. I can't back it up and I'm bored and I'm scared."
J cocks his head to the side in a gesture that would seem thoughtful from someone a little more sober. He puts his hand up to his chin as if to ponder, but misses the first time and hits his ear. Then he leans in and rests his chin on my shoulder so that he's speaking directly into my left ear.
"Awwwwww, EM!" he yells. I jump back, spilling my gimlet on the bar. He sets a paw-like hand on my shoulder and breaks out into a huge grin. "You can always write about me!"
And so I will. Happy Birthday to a dear friend.
And that'll do for now.