30 June 2011

Let's bring back the nametag.

We go to a house party that turns out to be 4 people sitting at a table. Awkward introductions are made in which the one common friend introduces me and my friend to the people already there. I forget everyone's names almost immediately after hearing them. A blond guy starts to talk to me. I feel relieved that I'm not standing there not doing anything anymore.

"So you're in art school? What do you do, paint?"


"What do you paint?"

I don't answer for a noticeable amount of seconds and then I say, "I don't know, anything". He looks uncomfortable and amused.

"So you're going to be an art teacher or something?"

"Not necessarily, but maybe I guess."

"So you're going to be a professional artist?"

"I guess, maybe." He doesn't look amused anymore. I feel bad, like I'm being difficult, like I should try harder to converse normally even if it means saying things I don't really mean. I feel like I should just start making up disingenuous answers that are satisfying and exciting in order to entertain the blond guy, and keep him comfortable with talking to me. But the conversation has already ended somehow and he is off somewhere, presumably in the kitchen getting another drink.

I go back over to my friend who is standing there not doing anything. I tell her I think I failed that conversation and she tells me that she heard the whole thing and that yeah I did. There is loud laughter coming from the table where everyone is. There are a few more people now who have pulled up chairs from other rooms and are starting a card game. I move slightly closer to the table and a girl with big earrings gives me an evil look for no reason. I think, "Fuck that" and "I'm scared" and quickly move away to another room.

In the other room there is a bed with coats and bags on it. I stare at it for a while trying to match them to the people I've seen. I decide the blue-gray military style jacket belongs to blond guy and the big sliver bag belongs to earrings girl. I think about blond guy wearing the jacket outside and looking cold because it is snowing and the jacket is not warm enough. I think, "He'll freeze in that. I should buy him a sweater". I imagine myself going out that night and buying him a sweater and coming back and giving it to him. I spend enough time doing this that I finish my drink. I then notice there is someone in the room on the computer to my immediate left. I say "Oh, Sorry" and quickly leave. He says something like "What? It's Ok" but I don't hear it fully.

I see my friend in the hall; she says she's bored and that she has to work tomorrow so she's leaving soon. I say, "Ok" and walk towards the kitchen to get another drink. Blond guy is there talking to a guy that has a beard. The beard really suits his face. Blond guy notices me and introduces me to beard man. I don't register his name because I'm too busy thinking of something interesting to say to redeem myself for our first conversation. I say "hi!.." in a weird, high-pitched valley girl tone. They continue talking, as I mix myself a strong vodka and coke, mostly to each other but with body orientations that imply I am also vaguely included. Blond guy smiles at me every so often and I feel comforted. Beard man looks sad but interested in what blond guy is saying. He rarely looks at me and never smiles. A few more people join the kitchen group. They start talking about school and professors. They are all in the same program and I have no idea what they are talking about. I have nothing to add to this conversation and I don't really know anyone there. I start to feel as though everyone there is as aware of this as I am. I finish my drink quickly but the feeling doesn't go away.

I leave the kitchen and see that earrings girl and two of her friends are getting ready to leave. They announce loudly that they are going to meet some other people at a bar. I see her leave with the big silver bag that I had guessed was her's. I feel good about being right about this. A lot of people decide to go with them and the place is nearly emptied in five minutes. I look for blond guy and I don't find him. I look for my friend and find her chatting with the computer kid in the coatroom. She grabs our stuff and tells me we're leaving. She is in a rush for some reason. We start walking to the bus stop with two beers we stole from the fridge 'for the road'. I think about blond guy as I drink and walk.

"He'll freeze!" I think aloud by accident.



We walk for a few minutes and I half listen to her complain about how she has to work tomorrow. As we near the bus stop we see two figures way down the adjacent street, walking toward the student residences. It's blond guy and beard man. Beard man splits off in another direction and blond guy turns sideways a little to wave goodbye to him. He is wearing a warm looking black parka with a fuzzy hood.

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