Secret Pop

Nov 27, 2003

Quelle the After Party

In my experience, the eve of Thanksgiving is either a stress-filled, last-minute prep time for me in the kitchen or a sad testament to the absence of real nightlife in the city that I happen to be in, but Jivewire at the Casbah was going off, even though I didn't get there until well after midnight. I ran into some friends and some strangers. A girl asked me for some gum and whispered to me on the sly that she was planning to make out with a boy tonight. I wished her well and assured her that my spearmint Orbit gum is the very best possible thing for that exact scenario. And she favored me with her friendship by saying, "You should make out with that guy behind you."

Coincidentally, I ended up at an after party at the home of the guy who was behind me. But not before watching a lot of dancefloor oddities. A couple doing tandem (shabby) robot. A guy doing a sort of swim-slash-bunny hop thing. Friends of mine getting busy to the beat. My drinks were steep and strong. Whiskey with a whisper of seven. Those bartenders did me no favors. I was just planning to catch up with a friend before the holiday got underway. Little did I know.

The after party took some time to get its sea legs. But I sampled a number of conversations and learned that I really have difficulty receiving compliments. Gary, a guy I've met before on a number of occasions at a number of different bars and parties, said very little to me other than, "You're gorgeous," over and over again and always with a hint of flattering disbelief. Each time I caught my reflection, I disagreed with him, but I can't help but be grateful for the repeated attempts to break down the walls of my stolid self-deprecation.

I met a girl I had only ever seen on Friendster and told her that I had thought she was really pretty and wanted to write on that sole basis but was fearful of coming across like a weirdo. She soothed my fears and agreed in advance of my asking to become part of my network. Victory served neat.

Kiley is moving back to New Orleans. I had never met her before, but I admired her red jacket.

I drove down from L.A. tonight and didn't reach San Diego until after 10 P.M. Before stopping by Beulah and Justin's new apartment for an hour or so, I was at my parents' long enough to hear my mom tell me how she essentially stole a turkey from Henry's. Apparently, she went to get her turkey and learned too late that, without a reservation in advance, she would only be able to purchase a frozen turkey. They were all out of fresh turkeys except for those that had been presold. Well, she knew that a frozen turkey would not thaw in time, so it was paramount that she acquire a fresh turkey, as was her original intention. Therefore, when the butcher was busy with something else and foolishly turned his back on her, she stealthfully lifted a twenty-three pounder from the top of the display and tucked it into her cart and made for the registers. I gasped and asked if she considered that she was ruining the Thanksgiving of the Benson family or the Rodriguez family or whatever large clan had required that large a bird. And she shrugged and shook her head and said, "Nah. They had more." She was convinced that the butcher had only denied her for spite, I guess. Twenty-three pounds was a bit more than she had wanted and would require her to be up at 4 A.M. to put the bird in the oven. That's why I had to shamefully affirm that I just got home when she spoke to me through my bedroom door a moment ago. I had no intention of being out so late. But that seems to be a frequent condition.

So many things were different today. Too many to enumerate. Less remorse. More hope. The ability to sing along to the songs. The urge to groove to the beat. I didn't feel gorgeous exactly, but I felt pretty. And I felt a bit guilty when a guy touched my arm to get my attention and asked me to dance and I said, "I'm taking a picture." I was taking a picture, in point of fact, but I guess that sounded like "no" to him. Oh, well. The turkey will still taste like turkey to him. I'm certain of that.

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