We’ve started making wagers in our multiplayer Magic games, small baubles or other people’s property or an half-hour of labour to add another dimension to the gameplay. For a particular three-way match, I anted my attendance at Catan Catan Strip-Catan cause I couldn’t make up my mind on going. Another busy week meant I was tired of being social — with the possibility of being naked in such a situation, no less — but it still sounded like a night that shouldn’t be passed up.
Socks are usually the first to go, but the pair counts as one point. And Brandon isn’t playing, he’s just half-naked for reasons.
Tiana and Shawn teamed up on me, since they wanted me to go more than they wanted to win what I had offered. However, they’ve also been making me feel comfortable with myself lately (the cuddles always help), so I was okay with being tackle-out at some point during the party. I ended up winning all my Catan matches anyway, and never needed to take off more than an accoutrement.
My wit and my eloquence are not at their best at this particular moment, which is why I have no quick riposte to your ribbing. All my humour is dry and self-deprecating anyway. It’s making me wonder if you think I can’t take an Asian joke or two. The truth is, I don’t know how to make fun of anyone but myself.
Too bad you’ve got piss tests coming up. We’ve got this balcony, the right occasion, and I don’t drink anymore. Doesn’t mean I can’t listen to your war stories, or dangle in the air when you give out bear hugs. Perhaps I’d be less awkward when it comes to such bonding if I was in high-school JV football. Seth made the team one year, and scored a touchdown for guys like us.
I remember you. Iain and I went to buy a $5 hit off your bong 10 years ago, back when we cut our teeth on prairie fires and five-cent wings and I’ll-never-do-that-again. You were dancing to jazz by yourself in a beater and perpetual Kangol when we walked in, but you wore no shame on your face. The world is small when our lives are not.
Last time I saw Iain was at the housewarming, but I still think of him every time I use those crystal glasses he gave me that day. He would have wanted them filled with something tight-bodied and twelve-years old. Nowadays all I can take is a little Bailey’s on my Mayan chocolate Häagen-Dazs. Luckily they’re also perfect for ice cream.
I’ve long missed these nights. Breathing fresh air when stepping out of a stuffy bar. That sudden calm when coming out of the din. Big groups with the chance to change conversations. Nights that have been replaced by dinners with nuclear families and one-on-ones. Oddly enough, the only thing in common are stories of how one’s son is learning to play with his dick. The world would have me believe that a man isn’t made by the drinks he orders but by the attention he gives his kids.
If only I didn’t have to go so soon. I’ve never been to the peelers in Ottawa, and I can only imagine where my bills will end up.
I’ve been trying to stay vocal about my needs, lest I fall back into old life traps and defence mechanisms. It means I’m still applying lessons learned from last year, still trying to be open even if it means being vulnerable.
As far as I can tell, this has been working in my favour. Otherwise, Seth wouldn’t be coming over on Saturday to teach me how to play the acoustic version of Sean Rowe’s Jonathan, one of those songs I’ve always wanted to learn before I die.
As a side-effect, it’s been a struggle to balance my relationship needs with overstimulation. The other night we smoked an apéritif in the car before spending three hours gorging ourselves on all-you-can-eat sushi, learning that the small but significant privileges of our class come in plates of bite-sized fatty protein made to order. Then we watched the entire first season of Tim and Eric, Awesome Show! Great Job, and played Magic until 4:30 in the morning.
It left me burnt out and I must have lost two days, yet it still feels like I don’t have enough nights like that, sharing real moments with people who don’t perpetually have somewhere else to be or someone else to see. I need more of those times in my everyday life, not just in the days marked on my calendar.
This day is the same every year. The streets are dead and filled with slush, the stores all closed. No matter where I am, it seems people are looking for a channel on TV to watch a corporate-sponsored countdown, and I always feel alone even though I’m surrounded by friends.
If it’s the same every year, it’s strange that my memories of New Year’s Eve are so mixed. Jocks harassing me on the bus. Bundling up in big coats to share petit coronas outside. Panic attacks. Blonds and redheads. Rich foods and too much drink. And somehow the people I love and the people I hate end up at the same parties.
Sometimes it reminds me too much of my childhood. My family hosted the same countdown party every year that became the only real time we spent with other people, and the only time we ever caught up with our “friends”. Numbers would be shouted in unison, champagne would be toasted, nothing would change. An empty ritual for empty people. Maybe that’s why I never feel like I belong anywhere on this day. It’s like I’m waiting to feel what everyone else around me is feeling when the ball drops.
Filmed another lovely wedding.
There were lots of fantastic little details, especially in the way people interact with their hands, but my favourite moment is when the pastor does a little tilt, mimicking the kiss between the new husband and wife.