The other night, the neighbours in the apartment next door had a party. I could see them in a yellow room or out on the patio, drinking, smoking, talking too loud. Sometimes I feel sad that I missed the part of life where you’re supposed to go to parties all the time, and get drunk, and do stupid things. And sometimes I don’t care at all.
A part of me did want to go to that party though. I wanted to be in that yellow room, squished on a couch between friends new and old, trying to make conversation over too-loud music. Except the people at the party seemed young and full of potential, dew still clinging to their eyelashes, trying to make the most of their dwindling freedom before school starts again in the fall. It would be nice to have that freshness again. The kind of youthful summer where the sun is always sweltering, and your skin is always sticky, and you ride bikes with the next door neighbour and fall in love.
Of course, a part of me realizes that parties always seem more fun and exciting when you’re on the outside looking in. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s usually too crowded, too loud, too hot. Or else people are too drunk or too annoying. Or the person you like is kissing somebody else.
I’ve always preferred small gatherings over large parties because it’s easier to contribute to conversations without feeling like you have nothing to say or no one to talk to. But the thought of being in a noisy living room, or gathered in a tightly-packed kitchen with everybody else is nice. How great would it be to be cramped in that yellow room, free from obligations and worry, unblemished and unburdened, nothing to do but spend the whole night and early morning wandering from other people’s front doors to their kitchens and living rooms, and stairwells.
The party next door was like looking into a window at the summer I never had. It represents a small space I never squished into, a period of recklessness and wildness and too much time, marked by too many glasses of wine and no regret.