So after my first weekend at my new job, ( pre-lock-downs ) Bianca and I sailed to Randwick on an Uber cloud of $20, as it poured an ocean outside.
The theme of the housewarming was ‘anything-but-a-cup’, so Bianca bought her coffee brewing-pot and filled my portable dog water bottle with red wine. The red didn’t enjoy the innovation of the joint funnels and proceeded to lash out and stain both my pants and white top before I even made it through the door. Figures.
When it opened we were greeted by Jay, my basketball friend and his new girlfriend Frankie. Her and I had met briefly before tonight, on a dance-floor full of 18 year-olds. She seemed lovely, (as far as I could hear ) and a few days later, Jay told me on the courts, that after a 5-day bender, Frankie and him were now an item.
“Nice!” I said, before changing the subject back to basketball. I don’t know any love story that started and ended well, with alcohol being the glue… It seemed… crazy. Not to mention, he was 26 with two jobs. How did he have the time for a bender?
I hugged Frankie and said congrats, which she instantly took as an invite to pull Bianca and I into a room so she could tell us all about it. Within two minutes Jay unlocked the door and came to lay down and add his two-cents to the story.
Around that time, I had an eery feeling that she had done this to a lot of people that night, like she was treating the housewarming as her pre-engagement party. My spidey-senses tingled again as when when left the bed on the hunt for a drink, the golden couple vanished, without bothering to introduce us to anyone. It was an excellent strategy on her part, with the only set of eyes we found being either drunk or bloodshot, and no familiar face in sight.
I felt like I was at a small scale highschool party. One I always thought I wanted to go to, with boys, girls and drugs. However after tonight I realised I was really glad I missed out…
The boys kept to themselves, entering and exiting each bedroom to do more drugs. People with partners didn’t talk to anyone, only there to take up space on the couch. And a flock of girls clustered in different rooms, like a gaggle of wild, loud geese.
There were donuts though so that was fabulous. I quickly scoped the boxes, picking which lucky one to throw into my mouth. Bianca did the same but with men.
After two more drinks and some more attempts to mingle with people, which left me either disappointed or bored, Bianca began wielding her brewing-cup and giggling, as we began dancing with stuffed animals scattered around the place. The odd act seemed to double as a white-flag of friendship for the cluster of girls, which suddenly started to flock… because a stuffed unicorn is a safe space, more so than cocaine on the top of a toilet seat.
” I have a moral dilemma,” one girl with stringy blonde hair told me.
The foundation on her nose had been smudged off and she wore a brown crop top and the kind of pants that were both comfortable and extremely ass-grabbing.
” So I like this guy…” she pointed to Jay’s friend; the only attractive-ish guy there, not off his face or with his girlfriend’s hand tapped to his thigh.
“So what’s the problem?” I asked while dancing.
” Go talk to him.” I could almost feel the red wine flooding my body, from my head dropping all the way down to my toes.
” Apparently my friend Kat will be cut if I went there, she told me” she said.
” Oh- then better not.”
“But it’s either him or the guy with the girlfriend…”
“What?” I stopped dancing and tried not to focus on her cute pink foundation-less nose.
” You know, there are millions of others out there, right? ”
” No I know, but I really like him. And I met them at the same time so Kat isn’t really my friend.”
Hoe no, she didn’t – But hoe yes – she did.
I paused, channelling all my unaffected brain-cells bobbing around in what was now red wine-slushie.
” I think…” I said. “You should wait until we go out and there will be a bigger selection to play with.”
” I mean…. yeah, but I need to blow someone here, at this party, you know? It’s kind of my thing.”
” To blow people at… parties?” I asked, slowly.
” I mean yeah.”
“Maybe go stick a donut in your mouth babe. That’s what I’m gonna do,” I said. And then my legs walked me obediently to the donut table, as I browsed for a sweet escape to the most conflicting conversation of my week. Month. And possibly a whole quarantined covid-year.
After some more dancing, I spied with my drunker eyes, Jay’s attractive friend sitting in his room alone. And I just couldn’t help myself… I saw my prey and decided to pounce as I had questions, and obviously too much curiosity.
“So who’s it going to be Matt? ” I asked, sitting down next to him.
He looks slightly shocked, as we haven’t spoken more than two words before.
“Tonight seems like a live episode of the Bachelor for you.”
“What?” Matt said.
“I’m not Matt.”
I looked at him a bit closer and frowned.
” Oh my lord you’re right! But how come you look just like him? “
“That’s because I’m his brother?” He said, before the real Matt walked into his room, said a stupid remark and closed the door behind us like the asshat that he was.
His younger brother obviously feeling awkward decided he would answer my question and then go back to his phone, purposefully forgetting I was there.
“Right, well I’m gonna go.”
I quickly got up to leave feeling annoyed that I was trying to be as friendly as the person who taps you on the back to tell you your bag’s open and instead was labelled a whore within two seconds.
“Assholes,” I said, as Matt and co appeared at his screen door to do kisses faces on the glass.
Disappointed another interaction went south, Bianca and I ended up heading outside where even the rain was more refreshing than the people inside. And if Frankie grabbed me one more time to talk about herself, I was positive, I was going to grab her.
Two other people were also outside. The guy who when I asked if he was in line for the bathroom, told me he was on every drug under the sun and couldn’t answer my question and a new girl. She had on a wool knit wrap top and black pleather pants with matching boots. She gave off a kind, ‘I’m not drunk’ vibe which I enjoyed as something different. We needed up having a nice conversation about her engineering degree, how she had just gone through a break up and was learning to go it alone again.
While chatting I couldn’t help but notice two girls giving each other a lap dance inside. And of course, it had to be Kat and blonde stringy-hair-girl, with the pink nose. Bless their cotton-socks- they saw this as an opportunity in getting closer to the same guy. Fuck it was sad, however I also remember living by this logic when I was 19….
Soon after, we all headed off to the city.
When we got off the light-rail, Bianca and I rode our drunk euphoria to Sidebar, where we danced like there was no tomorrow. It was probably the best part of the night. We felt free, with so many bodies all bobbing around like little lobsters, under wandering flood lights. Unexpectedly, the crowd for a Sunday was rather epic.
After an hour or so of dancing, and the wine blending into vodka soda’s, I turned around to find some guy tapping me on the shoulder.
After 4 more taps, I was annoyed.
“Why do you keep tapping me?” I asked.
He looked stunned.
” I wasn’t, I swear.”
So I go back to dancing in my gal circle. Then the tapping continues.
This time he smiles.
Then his friend next to him, tells me that, surprise, it was him, but not before introducing himself and asking if he could buy me a drink.
“I’m Alex by the way and so is he.”
“Your both not called Alex…. come on”, I said, getting annoyed again.
” Here!” They both whip out their IDs. They both smile at me like I’m steak after and so I look between them and think, hmmmmm. Which Alex should I eat…
“ Just before we do this-” I said to one, “..roughly how many girls have you made out with tonight? I don’t care, I just want to know if this will end in mono or not, because I’d rather not. “
He looks at me like I’m a little nuts, “I just got here. “
“Oh – okay.” I say before sliding my hands around his neck and slitting his thr…. KIDDING. I just kissed him.
During which, I felt someone else squeeze my butt and looked around to find his friend all but disappeared. Lovely, I thought to myself, sexual assault on a Sunday. It really matched the night.
After we left for the next place, the flock of geese came up to interview me about my make-out, as high school really never dies.
I said it was whatever, because it was. He was my first kiss that didn’t taste like my ex-boyfriend. It actually tasted like nothing which was even better.
Que Frankie to ruffle the flock’s feather by injecting, ” I was kinda shocked you know, he was way below-average. I mean, you could have done so much better.”
I wanted to say, “well babe at least I’m not keeping mine.”
But instead I swallowed it and let the vibe roll, thinking – Frankie… sweet Frankie… I’m not an aggressive person. But if I was ever to hit another girl, you would be first in line.
On the light-rail over to the next bar, Bianca finally started chatting to her crush. He worked with Jay and was one of the bathroom boys which made it hard for Bianca to have a chat ( his face, or rather his nose were in such high demand.)
However he was actually quite sweet. They had seen each other in passing for the past few years as they shared a degree together, but never actually spoke. I watched as he included me in their conversations and didn’t start groping her mid-way through, which made me like him more.
When we got off I made a line to the bathroom where I stayed for about 20 mins. Esther’s were notorious for their bathrooms being inscribed with layers upon layers of graffiti. Or really, people’s confessions.
Each wall was like a Humans of Sydney platform, for people to scribble whatever was on their minds at 12/3am in the morning. Which took the route of mostly love, rage, regret and names of potential pedophiles…
I started reading some and then just couldn’t stop. I wondered who these people were in the world, how many times they came back here and what kind of night was out there waiting for them next.
There wa “Peter loves Simone.”
“Matt from Hungry Jacks Granville has an ugly penis. “
“Martha is gay! I knew it!”
“Max and Ellie forever.”
The scribbles in marker pen were more real then most of the party, not to mention, that girl I really liked chatting to had evaporated along with the vibe.
When I finally coaxed myself out of the bathroom/library, my nose found the pizza and so I pulled up a stool. I spotted Bianca chatting a little while away and decided to let her ride the rest of the night out with Mouloud. Sitting next to stupid Frankie and Jay, I had my Uber ordered and was waiting on some pizza.
Unfortunately, during the wait I heard Frankie say another horrible comment, about the girl with the blonde stringy hair ( her friend ) looking “pathetic and desperate.” And to my horror, Jay agreed with her!
I wondered if this was a pattern of people, one half was nice and easy-going and then they match with a insecure, calculated person who turns them into an island. Love like a ruffie which people willingly take. Or like a black jelly bean that changes their whole personality or friendship group…. Either way, it was kinda scary to watch the change.
Before I could order another vodka soda just to empty into her bag, my Uber arrived and I took my pizza and myself to a better place- home. And OH LORD, was that pizza the best I’ve ever had!!
So all in all, I’m glad I went. I met some great pizza, danced like crazy and saw Bianca happy as a pig in mud.
I guess just becuase the people weren’t as tasty as the food doesn’t make it an unforgettable night. It just makes Frankie a cow.