I’ve been suffering from the aftermath of a strange evening out. The two new friends I went with are nice. In fact they’re a lot like my other friends. And I generally like the Saturday night vibe, bright lights and dancing and glittering places crowded with beautiful people. The place was even on the riverside – partying near water usually makes me even more effervescent. And yet the evening was the absolute pits. I finally gave up on the excellent band and the happily packed dance floor and pushed my way outside. I stood outside and watched people ebbing and flowing out of the bars and clubs along the quay with a dismayed sense of unbelonging. I saw many versions of myself from ten years ago and noted them with detachment. For the first time in my life, I ruined a night out for the others and caused the party to break up early.
The fear I felt then stayed with me through the following weeks, colouring all the other more immediate ones. I was scared my mind had wrinkled and dried out, that it would never more be capable of anything new, that lightness and sense of humour were gone for good, the effervescence flat. What frightened me most was that I’d looked forward to the evening, wanted to go out and was happy until it actually got underway. I didn’t understand it. It felt like I suddenly had a terminal disease.
But today I visited a blog I follow, read the latest post and realized it wasn’t me at all, at least not in that way. What I had wanted that evening was conversation, contact. A different kind of bar, to be with rude people who make callous jokes about your misfortunes so you can fall about laughing, to trade insults and be silly. That particular Saturday, I'd actually gone out looking for a Sunday night. That’s all it was. What a relief.
I suppose the real moral of the story is that it was a mistake to watch Bridesmaids before going out. It’s the dreariest movie I’ve seen in a long time.
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