It’s been a week and my body still aches.
I am generally limited to a grim social life. Only recently I attended two high-pace parties in the space of 24 hours. With no sleep, and a reasonable alcohol blood content. Here is a timeline of events – or rather, me attempting to get closure from the whole ordeal.
19:30 – My barely-heeled wedges are already giving me blisters. I honestly don’t know why I’m here. Or how I’m here. The host – my friend Becca – is so nice for inviting me to her party. I will make it up to her by not quoting Shakespeare in front of other life forms.
20:30 – Only half the party is here and yet everyone is drinking. I prefer to take occasional sips from my friends glasses, as if to determine the alcohol content, and therefore who will be pissed first. I make mental notes in my head, almost like a game. It occurs to me suddenly why I’m not invited to these things.
22:00 – My poor friend Matt’s complexion is redder than my shoes. I ask if he’s okay. He nods. I touch his arm – drenched in sweat. I sigh. A girl is on the trampoline, screaming. We watch her jump in her unravelling top, shouting about her period blood escaping. It’s funny, but I can’t find it in me to laugh.
Some people have started kissing. In all honesty, I want to kiss someone too, but even with alcohol, I’m too awkward to jump on him or whatever. I decide to not tell him.
23:00 – I have made a point of drinking lemonade all evening. Someone says I ought to have fun. I agree.
Matt fixes me a drink. I have a few more while people take shots and experiment with helium. I feel nothing and am thoroughly disappointed in my body’s responses. An older guys tries to chat me up, so I reply: ‘I’m not even slightly fucked yet. Try again later.’
He looks at me like I’m a bagel on a plate of onion rings.
23:45 – The trampoline girl is crying about her ex-boyfriend. I put my arm around her – as one of the more sober humans at the party, I feel it’s my duty. Becca’s mother is saying she needs to leave because she has been screaming all night. Trampoline girl grows angry. She shouts and I freak out – then suddenly feel the alcohol kick in. I am not drunk but I am not myself, and as Trampoline girl runs out of the house barefoot, leaving all her things, we are all obliged to go after her.
0:30 – We sit down on the pavement. I start thinking aloud – ‘I’m not the kind of person who does this!’ I mention my new nerdy scholarship school. Kirsty says ‘Posh twats party MORE Jess! Didn’t you know?’ We laugh.
02:00 – Now back at the house after returning Trampoline girl’s things, everyone’s relaxed a little. We sit around the garden table taking selfies, the pinnacle of teenageness. The tipsy state of mind I was in has worn off, and I am pleased with myself. I didn’t commit a crime! I didn’t make out with a stranger! I didn’t break an expensive vase!
03:30 – Lying on Becca’s floor, five of us are trying to sleep. But can’t. Matt insists on watching some stoner movie, and when it’s finished, we come up with the bright idea of sitting on Becca’s roof, and watching the sun come up. It doesn’t matter that I have another party tomorrow, I think to myself!
06:10 – We’ve just been talking for hours – the morning sun is pretty. We drink coffee on the roof with crumpets and Nutella. It’s cold but we’re too jittery to care.
10:45 – On the tube. AT WHAT POINT DID I THINK NOT SLEEPING WAS A GOOD IDEA?! I curse myself. Here is where I nap, and almost miss my stop.
15:00 – My baby brother’s party (which is basically just for the adults to get drunk and talk about politics) is in full swing. I sneak some Prosecco to stay awake – and opt for sunglasses so I can nap secretly in the corner, until my Stepmum notices and tells me I can go to bed. ‘I’m fine!’ I insist. I am not fine. My eyeballs are crying.
19:15 – The adults are laughing at my jokes. I am trying so hard to maintain my level of consistent humour. My insides want to die.
21:00 – Someone retorts that I’m ‘adventurous’ for staying awake so late.
‘I am not cut out for this shit’, I say. I go to bed, and finally, I sleep.