It was Saturday night, and I was dressed head to toe in blue, complete with glitter on my face, flowers in my hair and cheer-leading streamers in my pocket. I must’ve been six drinks deep; my choice of the night was sailor jerry rum and ginger ale, a perfect combination that goes down almost too well.
It was Saturday night and I was sitting outside the house party, on the steps, looking at the stars. And then I was sitting in the backyard on a chair placed in the middle of the lawn, contemplating the creek that ran behind my friends house. And then I was sitting on the porch of my friends house, surveying the quiet suburban street.
Always sitting outside, escaping the hustle and bustle, the bodies, the noise. Outside at night is quiet, it hums with a steady thrumming, and it speaks to the small corners of the soul. The darkness, and the stillness, they are my friends, my allies.
So I was sitting outside this house party, because I’d been vomiting and sought the fresh air.
I vomited because I smoked
one two cigarettes. It may seem trivial, and in some regards it is, but mostly it isn’t. I haven’t smoked since I first turned eighteen; I smoked cigarettes for a period of maybe three or four months when I was seventeen, eighteen, simply because it gave my ego something to obsess over. I loved the secrecy, the romance and allure of it. Then I got bronchitis, and matched the two up, reminding myself why I was so anti-smoking in the first place; seeing my Pop go through mouth and throat cancer was enough. But I did, I smoked two cigarettes on Saturday night, I said fuck it. Fuck my RULES, fuck the built up ideals of who I am, fuck the fear that something will kill me or make me a terrible person.
Much like the one night stand I had a few weeks ago, these two cigarettes were much needed, spontaneous and fucking enjoyed. I’m allowed to relax my boundaries. Yes, smoking is awful for you and my body can attest to that as it vomited the toxins up pretty much straight away, but I feel so much better now I scratched that itch. What is one cigarette every few years? It will not kill me. What is a one night stand if I feel like it? It does not make me any less of a woman.
So anyway, I stood on the porch at this house party, and this guy comes out wearing an afro wig and we begin talking. About what, I have no idea, all I know is that I sat down on the bench and called him over. And the following conversation was one of the most honest conversations I’ve had in a while. Open, heart to heart, I hear you, I acknowledge you, I understand you, I’m here with you brother type of conversation. The type of conversation that I truly need to survive. Being on exchange here in Guelph has been nice, it’s been a riot, had some awesome nights and met some amazing people, but a lot of the time I have been sacrificing who I am, suppressing it and going with the status quo. And to be so honest, it’s been killing me. I have been dying inside, piece by piece and I am sick of it. No more.
We have one life.
You are here.
On this amazing planet, so small in the grand scheme of things. So rejoyce. Be your fabulous Earthly self, be out of this world, embrace the fucking day. Go for that run and see how far you can go, smoke that one cigarette, paint your face just because you feel like it, laugh when you are walking by yourself, climb that fucking tree, sing that fucking song, tell that fucking girl you love her because we’ve got one shot.
So dear stranger, whose name I think was Peter, thank you. I needed to talk to someone openly and honestly and I needed that reciprocated and you were there and, just, thank you.