So that was the Christmas party. Look at me, still alive and
kicking, if in a considerable amount of pain because I am a clumsy fool, but a
clumsy fool who survived the party with a minimum of trauma (though a maximum
of embarrassment, at the close of the night). I escaped around 10:00, was crawling
into the bathtub around 10:30, was
falling asleep in the tub until around 11:00, and then crawled into bed and was
out like a light. And now, today, this morning, I have to wade through the
wreckage of my house and put everything back together and find where all my
makeup has rolled and figure out how one cleans white wine and gutter puddles
out of one’s pretty party dress.
I almost didn’t make it, and not because I chickened out—I blame
my hair. My stupid hair to which I kept adding more product and more and more
and realizing even as I did that with every palmful of goop I was slapping on, I
was only making things worse. So I gave up, and went and did my makeup, and
then I went into the bathroom and my hair made me so sad and I wanted to shower
again or maybe just crawl back onto the futon and finish watching America’s Next Top Model, but instead I dragged my giant bangs out
of my face, stuck in a little clip with a skull on it, and called myself punk
rock. A cowlick is totally punk rock. Instead of strappy sandals, I wore my Fluevogs.
I was going to wipe off the light lipstick and paint on a super-red mouth, but
decided I didn’t need to be that punk
rock (see "So Not Punk Rock: a MySpace Photo," above).
Presentable—but not the gorgeous flower of womanhood I had
hoped I would be, in order to armor myself against the scary night full of scary people—I burst onto the street and hoofed it down to the train, while the skies opened
up and I realized that I had forgotten to put mascara on. Then, the train
didn’t show up for a half hour. These were all very terrible signs that were
warning me to go home and get back into bed and never, ever come out. But I
ignored them and I waited for the train with my tiny bag, which does not fit a
book, tucked under my arm. The train, at least, was lightning fast because
there were 15 trains behind it. Which meant we kept up with the storm as
it moved across town, so that when I came up from out of the station, I
I swam to the bar I was meeting my department at, and we all
looked very beautiful and complimented each other a lot and I drank a very
large Manhattan very quickly. Then we hiked three blocks to the venue, where
they handed us glasses of wine as we waited in line to check our coats, and I
drank it very quickly, because the place was packed, in an elbow-to-elbow
fashion, and I felt very, very short and a little breathless, with the walls of
suit jackets around me. Then we made our way upstairs where the bar was almost
empty, and I drank a Manhattan very, very quickly, and jumped in the photo booth and made silly faces.
We worked our way back down for the video presentation. I
stood talking to one of the project managers, gestured dramatically, and
knocked the tray out of the hands of one of the cocktail servers, smashing
several glasses. "Oh my god, I suck so much," I said. "No, no,
you’re fine!" she said, and handed me a wad of napkins. Not many people
noticed because they were watching the video, except for most of my department
and some account managers, and then someone said, "Hey, who farted?"
and I escaped back upstairs to die.
The cocktail server came up, and I apologized profusely, and
then we talked about tattoos for a long time, because hers were crazy gorgeous.
One of the security guys came over, and we spent 20 minutes talking about
Shaft and kittens and taxi cabs, and then I realized I was extremely dizzy and
needed to go home and be in the bathtub.
Of course, it was raining, pouring,
flooding, and no taxis were to be found. The security guys called around to a
couple of different places, no one was showing up, so one of them took me down
to the corner with one of their big security guy umbrellas and hailed one for
me. The van pulled a U-turn in the middle of the street and splashed in front
of us. He yanked the door open for me, said "Have a good night!" and
turned away. I said "Thanks!" and tried to haul myself in. My shoes
slipped, I lost my grip on the door, and I tumbled backwards, thinking Oh no, this isn’t really happening oh my god
yes it is and I landed on my ass, in a puddle, and rolled into the curb. Lying
drunk, in a gutter, on Mission Street.
That is probably one of the highlights of my life.
The security guy came running back saying "Oh my god!" and "Are
you okay?" and "Are you sure you’re okay?" "Just my dignity," I said. What little
dignity I ever owned. I was very afraid he was going to pick me up and throw me
in, but I managed to crawl up onto the seat without incident. "Are you
okay?" the cab driver said. "My ass hurts," I said.
This morning, I am still in a lot of pain. I woke up
thinking "Ow, my ass." Shortly after that, "Ow, my pride." I
think the balance sheet evens out, and it was a pretty good night, overall, but
I’d really like my butt to stop hurting.