Yesterday, I attended a birthday party for a 1 year old girl. I had never met her before but I was fucking her aunt and so it seemed the appropriate thing to do. Megan had invited me several days ago and I had tentatively agreed. Things always seem to come up in my life and so I don’t like to build expectations in my relationships. The night before Shan and Mom had decided to stay the night and so my day began by entertaining them. When the three of us came back home, lugging the chair we had just purchased from the garage sale, Megan was on her way out. She said goodbye to us, telling us she was heading over to the party.
I walked mom and Shan home feeling a bit bad that I didn’t make it to the party. I also felt bad that she hadn’t asked me again. Looking back, that’s obviously stupid since she had already asked me. I decided to text her an apology and an offer to stop by. She texted back immediately saying that the party would go from 2-5pm and that i should come on by. Now I was in that familiar state of both wanting to attend and not having to deal with people. I decided to swallow the urge to stay home and take a lovely nap.
I biked to Megan’s sister’s place on Springfield ave. just west of where we live. The initial experience was a little awkward. I knew a few people there but they were all Megan’s relatives. I was introduced to Omar, Javi’s brother. Omar was an attractive guy who embodied the idea of ‘Man’ in popular culture. I have always had an interesting relationship with this archetype as we are both foreign to one another and, in many ways, threaten each other with our foreignness. And even though I wasn’t interested in creating romantic interests with any of the girls there and was attending simply to attend, I could feel this tension all evening.
There were many interesting things about this party. It was fascinating to see how the groups immediately diverged into men and women. The men discussed football with the usual passion. They declared there everlasting hate for certain quarterbacks, their genuine shock for physical feats (“Holy Shit! he got 200 fuckin’ yards?!”), and there entitled criticism of effort (“What kind of fucking pass was that”). I wasn’t in the women section but I overheard passing comments about the glittered balloons and discussion on the food presentation.
I made a genuine friend in Roberto that evening, as well. Our discussions ranged from our experiences in visiting Colombia to the types of challenges we have at work. He told me a fascinating story about one of his most challenging experiences as an appliance repairman. It involved a lady in a wheelchair, urine stained hardwood floors, and hose that he didn’t know how to shut off as it sprayed hot water. Near the end of the party he told me his experiences living in Logan Square and the chaotic warzone it once was.
My favorite moment was meeting London. I asked Laurie if I could hold her for a bit. I liked tickling her feet and I loved the way she pushed back as if she was analyzing me. I loved the moment we had near the end, as well. I had gotten quite stoned and was standing talking to Laurie while the unraveling of the presents was happening. She kept turning her head and staring back at me instead of paying interest to the presents that were being opened. Everyone noticed and Megan blurted out that she had a crush on Raza. I have no idea how to handle such attention so I shied away. I loved it though, her cute little skeptical eyes staring back. That was my favorite. The botched exit was also nice.