At the party this weekend, late into what is technically considered Sunday morning but what we still considered Saturday night, I accidentally bumped into H the Scot while nosing my way through the crowd, in need of another beer. We obviously had the MOST JOYOUS REUNION EVER, despite having been separated for no more than ten minutes, and then segued into a conversation about some entertaining and serious stuff, as it happens after drinking whiskey and wine for 7+ hours. H and I have a tendency to have these intense discussions while we’re smashed somewhere; it’s a quirk we’ve had since the day we met, a warm spring morning drinking leftover red wine on R’s couch, chatting about life while she was occupied elsewhere. Most of the time it’s silly things, conversations we’ve had a million times before, but our Saturday talk has had my head spinning a bit more than usual, even still spinning four days later, because it ends with an unintentional cliffhanger. The noise at Sweet & Vicious made it hard to hear him, the noise plus his accent made it hard to understand him, and the noise, plus the accent, plus the aforementioned 7 hours of drinking made a memory where I can recall one thing he said to me very clearly, and then he said “but” and my memory goes blank.
To clarify, I did not black out on Saturday night. I remember (pretty much) every aspect of getting home, from hailing a cab instead of waiting for an Uber, to stopping at my lovely friend M’s place to pick up everything I’d left there in the afternoon, to a final text exchange with H, where I’m reminded how excited I am that he’s officially forever a part of my life. I remember all of the incredible food from dinner, from the beer-battered lobster to the cupcakes from heaven, the unexpected surprise of college friends I haven’t seen in years, and I remember dancing in the back corner of the bar to all the right music. But I do not remember what came after that “but.” I’ve tried everything I can to remember, which is to say I thought about it really hard for a while and then drank some wine last night hoping it would magically resurface (drunk memory is a real thing, y’all), yet it seems that tiny cliffhanger is set to remain as such. I generally hate spoilers, but I’m just saying, I could use one here.
Now, normally a silly conversation between friends while drinking would not still be on my mind four days after the fact, because normally a silly conversation between friends while drinking amounts to “I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU SO MUCH” and “BUT LIKE, LITERALLY, YOU’RE MY BEST FRIEND.” In this instance, however, I had perhaps been fishing to hear something very specific, something I think I already know, but I still wanted to hear from someone else. I know, I know, it was sneaky of me to spend part of an evening setting up a friend to say something I wanted to hear, and it was even sneakier to do it at his own engagement party, but I actually didn’t intend to bring it up at all throughout the course of the night. It surfaced after he said something offhand about it first, which obviously meant all bets were off, opening the floodgates of speculation, scenario planning and more than one “but do you really think so?”s on my part.
There are girls in this world who don’t need to hear something from someone else for it to be valid, girls who can know something completely enough that they can sit with the information on their own and feel secure. In some aspects of my life, I can be that girl, but in others, I’m the complete opposite; I turn into the one who asks the same question up, down and sideways, the one who says “Are you sure?” as a reaction to everything, the one who wants to believe something really badly but can’t just trust her instincts. I appreciate when friends cater to my self-indulgent need for validation from others, telling me I don’t look puffy following a bad night of sleep (when I totally did), or that my hair doesn’t look like a bad mix of a rat’s nest and a lion’s mane (which it usually does), and that I don’t look ill because I haven’t filled in my eyebrows (IT CHANGES YOUR FACE). But I also appreciate when one of them follows up those words with “but,” because I know they’re about to steer away from what I want to hear into what I need to hear, guiding me off of a fairy tale pedestal into the reality of whatever situation I’m stuck navigating.
Having already discussed the topic to pieces on Saturday, I don’t intend to bring it up again. The words aren’t imperative to my general well-being and to be honest, I think, instinctively, I know where the conversation went after that “but.” I’m sure this weekend or the one after, H and I will find ourselves locked in a conversation in a loud bar somewhere again, maybe shouting “NO SERIOUSLY, YOU’RE THE BEST” and “LEGIT, THIS IS THE MOST FUN I’VE EVER HAD,” and I’m sure a combination of loud noise, a thick accent and a drink (or two) will create another half-memory to ponder while eating chips on my couch the next day. For now, I’ll enjoy the memory for exactly what it is: a sentence I’d been hoping to hear, in a good chat with a great person, in the middle of a night of drinking and dancing, surrounded by all my favorite people and love.