Observations From An EC Party

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You’re at the holiday/end of the semester party for a club that you’ve been at least tangentially a part of all semester. You’ve showed up to at least a couple meetings and you can definitely name at least half the people in this room…at least a quarter of the people in this room. Before you can think about that for too long, your friend drags you over to the drinks and starts handing you one right after the other.

The calm before the storm.

Before the hour’s out, you’re down five shots of peppermint vodka in the name of being “festive” and you can barely stand. With your friend’s help, you stumble over to an unoccupied chair shoved in a corner. You don’t know it at the time, but this will be your home for the rest of the night. The rest of the party plays out before you like a holiday play; even in your drunken stupor, you know exactly how it will end, but you have no idea how you’re going to get there.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” starts playing. You aren’t sure this is the type of song you’re supposed to twerk to, but some people who definitely shouldn’t be testing that hypothesis are. You try to look away, but it’s like watching a train wreck (or someone trying to consume an entire bowl of Ferris pasta). Luckily, it looks like there’s a small crowd taking a video in the corner, so others will be forced to feel your pain via Snapchat story.

Someone comes up to you. They look vaguely familiar. You probably couldn’t remember sober, but right now you definitely have no idea. Maybe they were in your LitHum class? Still, that taste of familiarity is enough. They sit down next to you and you have a deep conversation about your mutual goals, relationship statuses, and personal struggles with racial and sexual identity. They leave without saying goodbye, and you idly hope your words helped, at least a little bit.

At some point after she walks, you realize you should probably start looking for your friend. You go to text her, but realize you gave someone else your phone an hour ago so you didn’t try to drunk text your mom (again). Hopefully you get that back eventually, but you’re not too worried about it right now.

You finally see your friend. She’s making out with someone in the kitchen doorway and it looks like she’s having a good time. Next to her are several other couples. You’re pretty sure some of them are in committed relationships with other people but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Perhaps it will in the morning.

Someone offers you a glass of water, and you start spouting off about how much you love and appreciate this person. They return several minutes later, having fought through the crowd, and ask you why you’re crying. This occurs several times throughout the night, any time someone approaches you. You just love everyone so much and they need to know this. At one point, the girl you had a crush on in the beginning of the semester comes up to you and you decide this is the perfect time to confess the feelings your previously held. It’s a freeing moment, though you don’t have those feelings anymore, to let them out into the world so they can’t bother you anymore.

Your friends come up to you and tell you that they’re going to JJ’s. You would go with them but standing up still seems like a bad idea. It’s been several hours; this chair is your home now. Someone will make sure you make it back, so you send them on their way and promise to let them know when you make it back.

One of the people in those committed relationships, who was not making out with someone else, ends up next to you and you offer to beat up whoever she wants you to. She appreciates the offer but realizes, perhaps more than you, that you’re still working on reacquiring your gross motor skills.

Slowly but surely, the night begins winding down. There are a handful of people still trying to dance, celebrating the end of their semester or trying to stave off the finals staring them down in the next week. Everyone else is sitting around the periphery of the room, having conversations in low voices. A few more people come up to you and ask how you’re doing, but you’ve recovered from earlier in the night. Now, everything is warm and fuzzy. You’re glad you decided to come, even if you did nothing but sit in this chair for three hours. It’s been a good night.

You wake up the next morning in your own bed, unsure how you arrived there. Your phone is on the nightstand, your ID next to it. Your coat is hung in the closet. Everything tastes vaguely of peppermint. You remember nothing.

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