The day somehow ends up like this after perusing college nightlife on rooftops and in bars the size of hallways and living rooms. I despise this kind of life. The kind where girls swallow lakes of liquor too quickly, pouncing around the beach streets in outfits that are practically identical. One of the only ways you can tell who is who is by breast size or height. Otherwise, they all pretty much resemble a bag of tortilla chips. Each one tasting the same, but slightly differentiating in shape.
I’m judgmental this way.
I have no idea who these people really are, but I don’t want to know them anyway. I must have at least one thing in common with them though because occasionally, we all end up in the same room. But we stand in these rooms a little bit differently. I tend to gravitate toward the corners and sides, while they form in centers and circles. I don’t mind them taking over the middle. The corners and sides make me feel somewhat safe in a place that dares me to forget the next few hours.
I rarely give in.
On this particular night my friend and I stuck to the side of the rooftop, barely taking space. We guzzled our beers while X-raying the room, fishing for individuals who looked like they didn’t belong – just like us. We were ants in this place. The tortilla-chip-girls had stepped on us countless times, bouncing around us like we were too small to be there. Perhaps we were wearing too much clothing and they couldn’t see us in the dark. Although Gabby and I were glued to the side, we weren’t territorial enough to not get hit on.
A guy who was eight years older than us, more or less, made his way to our party of two. He asked for our names, we shared our real ones, he shook our hands, and proceeded to tell us individually that we were “gorgeous.” As much as a girl squirms from compliments like these, I couldn’t help but imagine the number of girls he’s said this to. I guess his way of being charming was by complimenting in pairs. How brave of him. After such an introduction, he was even more courageous.
“You’re going to break hearts,” he said.
As much as I liked the idea of chopping a heart into two, making it bleed and suffer in the ICU, tears heavy enough to cause a hurricane, leaving a body in the forest to fend for itself, starting a fire just to watch it burn, getting hit by a train, calling a lover on a crashing plane –
As much as I liked the idea, I have never broken a heart.
With a roar and a scoff, I jolted at him, “Break hearts? I break hearts left and right.”
This was an attempt to humor both him and myself, but my ego was silenced by the loudness of my own voice. I froze on the side of the rooftop, as I had already stuck myself to these exact coordinates for the hour. The girls and boys that zooed the room were suddenly distorted clouds. And just like them, an animal, I was. Once again, reminding myself that I am the only person I’m going home with tonight.
I sulk in place for a moment like a dog who can’t come inside while it’s raining. My brain begins its chipping and tortilla crumbs fall to the floor.