Hopefully the Luau slash surf/slumber/beach/birthday/whatever party went well.
I have a list of reasons for not attending parties. Yes, I am a known competitive talker, a talk-over specialist, and, since I have a voice louder than, most likely, yours, well- if parties are, as I have come to believe after interrogating numerous self-identified partyers for numerous years on what exactly ‘to party’ means; to hang out and talk in various states of consciousness; maybe I actually do party. Informally, as in, without background music.
Perhaps there is, rather than a list, only one item that has me turning down invitations to end-of-the-job, let’s-have-the-workers-over parties, just to mention one category of parties I have declined to RSPV. Ridiculousness. Sub-set would be lack of control of what I say. As in: Either I let it all go, unfiltered, direct from ear to mouth; then re-run all my gaffs and insults (intentional or accidental); or have someone inform me of them; or I go all wallflower and watch others be silly and/or mean and/or pouty and/or approach that delicate place where repartee descends into actual fisticuffs.
No, it’s not a real party unless someone runs off crying, someone melts down in a state of over-intoxication (this usually means being fucked up enough to speak his or her truth), more than one person throws up, a fight or near-fight occurs, someone falls into or is pushed into the bonfire, or, this would be a highlight, police intervene.
In the wallflower scenario, I have been told, I might appear standoffish, condescending, or worse, uppity and/or judgmental. “Who? Me?” There is really no greater social sin than uppity-ness.
Yes, of course there are, but uppity-ness is, you know, bad. “Who invited that stuck up (fill in your own word here)?” Uppity folks might not make the invite list.
Okay. Yes, after I heard there was an upcoming party at a beach almost at the end of what is, essentially, a dead-end road, and did see there was some remote possibility of actual swell, I did text a critical member of the party planners to wrangle an invitation.
Which I declined. Of course. Not because I’m, like, too good to hang out with folks I’ve probably been in the water with, many of whom I have chatted it up with on the beach. “When are the waves getting here?” “Well; glad you asked. According to the data…” Please refer to my list. Above.
Now I can’t help thinking back to beach parties I did attend: SIXTH GRADE GRADUATION (unofficial)- Oceanside Pier, southside. I was the only guy in a speedo (my dad, champion swimmer, wore speedos). I was embarrassed. No, not for that reason. Some people, girls too, mature… earlier. I will have to write about bulges and awkwardness some other time. The mom chaperones seemed to appreciate a speedo. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION (unofficial)- Tamarack. No speedos. Despite having learned to surf at Tamarack, I showed up in street clothes, without a board. I was tackled by a girl from my class as I approached the campfire- pretty much the highlight. It was, at least, what I remember. Oh, just remembered her name- Barbie. Really. Some other surf wannabes from Fallbrook High may have brought boards. No, after four years of teenage angst, of trying to make myself into some imagined version of cool, there was no way I was going to surf in front of these some-time beach goers.
“See? I told you he couldn’t be all that good.” Uppity? Scared? Worried? I’m fine with uppity.
Now I’m thinking about other, non-beach parties I attended. I won’t bore you with the details. Maybe some other time. My motto has long been, “I’m here to surf.” Yeah, but, “When do you think the waves will get here?” “Glad you asked.”
STEPHEN R. DAVIS UPDATE- Steve seems mostly recovered from the super severe, full-body (including eyeballs) reaction to drugs. He just had his second chemo session, and has a port installed. Pretty scary, invasive stuff. When I asked if he’s experiencing all the well-known side effects of chemo, he says he isn’t; he feels great; looking forward to getting back in the water.
“SWAMIS” UPDATE- I just dropped off a thumb drive with what started out to be an outline. This was an attempt, after two bloated versions of a manuscript, to cut the story down to a manageable length and scope. BUT… I love the dialogue. The thing reads more like a script. Hmmm. I have started rewriting the actual novel, trying to stick to the outline. Plot. Plot. Plot. The plot I do have. It’s just that I am so easily distracted.
Happy… whatever you’re celebrating.
Okay. I have written this. I am going to post what I have written. Then, later, I will self-analyze. Harshly. Feel free to participate. I use the ridiculousness scale; try to keep it under eighty-six.