Filed under: chronotopes, departure lounge | Tags: Melissa Holbrook Pierson, party
I found this on Melissa Holbrook Pierson’s lovely blog It’s Nelly’s World – worth way more time than I’ve spent with it.
I was like this growing up, still am, like a body held in sway and pulled here and away by desire, claustrophobia, loneliness, friendship, shame and – in eternal hope – love.
It once seemed that my whole life was just one long reluctant approach to the party, followed by retreat. And approach again. From the dark outside I would enter, the bar, the club, the private party. The sight of the people inside, a huge gang of togetherness, would hit me like the wall of heat when you open an oven door. I would stand there, furtively scanning the floor, or the fire exit more likely, quivering inwardly from a fear I could not name. After a couple of hours of gripping the bricks with my fingernails behind my back, never speaking to a soul, and invisible to all of them anyway, I would put my coat back on and re-enter the night cold outside for the subway trip back home. There was both relief and inestimable sadness in this moment. Look! I can be abandoned by people I don’t even know yet!
But hope sprang eternal in some gland, and the next weekend I would ride the train to some other convocation of strangers. Return home again.
—Convivial, Melissa Holbrook Pierson, It’s Nelly’s World
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