In the Splash Zone.
“Okay, so take a candid photo of me looking away, but I want to be laughing, and I want to look thin,” I say, punching the emphasis on the last clause, hoping to impress the very dire nature of having a Thinstagram (making that happen?) onto JR, who is not exactly up to the onerous task but is the only person who is sitting across from me, thus giving him the ability to angle the camera in a flattering way.
In the swampy air of the bar, sitting on a reclaimed church pew and in a $10 Uniqlo shirt, I swivel towards Loren, because in this “candid” photo, she’s the one I’m “laughing” with. Sweaty fingers curl around the sweating glass, and as I turn and dive into the first “pose”, the cup slips out of my fingers. The G&T contents douse my left leg but most goes directly into Loren’s crotch as the cup bounces off her thighs and rolls into the nether regions of the Brooklyn bar floor.
JR was kind enough to capture my immediate shock and mortification, so here is that photo.
After mopping up the church pew and Loren’s vagina, we sat back down and listened to a sixty-five-year-old man backed up by a black woman in Casual Friday realness and a drummer in a Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt and wedding ring.
Do you remember in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Aberforth Dumbledore was introduced and you were like “Oh wow, there’s someone who’s an even bigger old hippie than Albus Dumbledore?” This lead singer was the Aberforth to Bernie Sanders’s Albus.
Thirty minutes previous.
Sandwiched between Loren and JR and heavily aware that I’m blocking Cool Black Girl in Red Braids and Snapback from seeing the band we came to see, I’m staring at Hot Lead Singer. He’s lean in the way that all indie singers are, with large capable hands and artistic veins tracing up his smooth forearms. He croons into the microphone, the bulb of which nuzzles his hooked nose. The way he sings feels authentic enough, but it’s like watching a TV show of what an indie band should look like. The low, gravelly voice, the scrunched eyes, the intensity. The overlarge Hawaiian shirt open over a sharp-clavicled chest and clashing printed shorts.
As the sweat pools in my lower back, I realize that this could be my future. Dark, swampy Brooklyn bars, JR and Loren, making eye contact with cute boys in polo shirts. Sweating glasses of amoretto sours and clinking bottles of Blue Moon. The wreathing aroma of someone’s last blunt, the ember of which is probably scattered on the front stoop. For the first time, after the initial awkwardness fades, this feels like it could become something grounded in our reality.
I’m graduating in less than a year. In less than a year, I’ll have to be figuring out my plan for the next few months. If I stay in New York, manage to get a job, and eventually scrape enough money together to move out, I could make this—standing in bars, listening to alt bands, black tees and light-wash denim, gin and tonics splashing onto my shoes—into a life.
Back at Splashgate.
But this is what I get for trying to be a hip Brooklynite: drinkless and sitting next to someone whose vagina is wet because of me (yes, I hear it too. It’s a hilarious joke, but focus on Splashgate).
And when I think I’m all cool and hip, I remember that I ate a Frosty in the car on the way over, and that I still can’t properly pronounce “February.” And these are things—I’m imagining—real adults can do. Not the Frosty part; everyone loves a good fucking Frosty.
Trying to plan for the future feels a little premature when I still feel like such a kid. I mean, all around me, people are growing up, but I think it’s a mark of still being in school—and in that school mindset—that I see myself as a kid. I work with seven-year-olds, and really, their frame of mind is not that different than mine. I have a slighter firmer grasp on economics and a better appreciation for logic, but other than that, we’re the same.
Anywayanywayanyway, this post has been sitting in my “Minimized” folder for almost a week, and I didn’t plan ahead for a blog today—spoiler, I write them ahead of time—so I figured I would just publish this one. Also I’m gonna do a quickie bonus post either today or some other time, of an article I thought was funny, but a little sparse. Kind of like a bald comedian—eyoooooo.
Literally what was I talking about?