The Nickname Posse

“I can’t believe you bitches took photos without me!”

The scene: about 9 p.m. on Saturday night. I’d left the office about an hour earlier and headed straight to my partner-in-crime R’s new place with her Scot H, where I was greeted by two dogs and a full cup of plum vodka. My lovely friend M, her N, my fashionista C and briefly my work buddy S were all watching the final minutes of the World Cup game as I showed up, exhausted and frustrated after making stupid mistakes while working that day. We decided to spend the remainder of the waning daylight, my only exposure to it all day, on the roof, before heading out to dinner, when we realized the temperature had dropped significantly in the few minutes between my arrival and our trek to the top of the building. C decided to run home (which is conveniently next door to R and H’s place) and grab a jacket before we all went out for food and some more much-needed drinks. Much-needed on my end, at least.

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M and I decided to explore a little before heading downstairs, and upon rounding a corner, found the most incredible view of One World Trade in the setting sun, the perfect reminder of why we live in New York: for views like that, moments like that. We insisted that N and H snap a picture, which they managed to do with only minimal inappropriate gestures to get us to smile, and without inundating my camera roll with selfies (Aside: that is a big deal, and very unlike them. End aside). I had to put the photo online, proof of my first real, full-body laugh in far too long. Naturally upon meeting with C once she’d secured an extra layer against the setting chill in the air, she jokingly chided us for taking photos immediately after she left (which wasn’t true, it was at least ten minutes!), and to make it better, I halted everyone in the middle of a crowded sidewalk so I could get a group selfie. The picture is almost grotesque in the most hilarious way: all teeth and close-up features and funny faces, but it captures our group, my Nickname Posse, in the most amazing, unattractive, wonderful way.

I say it here all the time, jokingly or in more serious matters, but the people in that Epic Selfie are nothing less than my lifeline. In my stressed out and confused mess of self in recent days, they let me snap at them via both text and email, cry immediately upon entering an apartment, skip out on plans so I could sit at home and sulk (read: drink wine and listen to T. Swift), complain about the same thing over and over, ask the same questions over and over and generally be a pain in the ass. And in dealing with my bratty attitude and elevated sass levels, they never once snapped back, never coddled me when I was being irrational and never let me forget that they are there for me, unconditionally. They give the tough advice and reality checks I need in the gentlest manner, the kind where I have to listen because it makes too much sense. And they give the unconditional, unwavering, unmatched love that you only experience with a few people in a lifetime, the kind where saying “best friends” would never be enough.

We were sitting around R’s coffee table after dinner, R, H, N and C getting ready to go out, and M and I getting ready to go home, playing Cards Against Humanity and sipping whiskey like water. My stomach and my cheeks ached from how hard I was laughing at how depraved we all are, after the least offensive card in a category read that “Preteens” were Batman’s guilty pleasure. N had said something to M earlier which she relayed to me, a simple observation looking around all of us, the Nickname Posse. Earlier that day, he’d surveyed the room and told her simply, “I like this group of people.”

Me too, doll. Absolutely me too.

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