A few weeks ago, I got a text message from a friend inviting me to a party that he was hosting. He wasn’t inviting me in particular, but more like, inviting everyone he knew so that he could have a successful turn out. When I first got the text, I was really excited because I hadn’t spoken to him in almost ten months, and I haven’t physically seen him in three years. I thought it would be nice to see him again, even if for a few seconds in the periphery. There are other people I really wanted to see as well, people I knew would come to the party. I find myself wondering about some people, whom I considered to be good solid work buddies with the potential to be great friends outside of work.
As the date of the party approached, I began to have a change of heart. I kept going back and forth whether I should really attend one of these TSA-sponsored events, as I used to call them. These parties are usually nothing but that old set I used to work with, stuffed up in a venue somewhere with our favourite DJ and everybody gossiping about what everybody else is doing. Back in the day, that was fun. I used to be so excited for these things, but now I realise I’m a little bit over it. I’m not exactly sure of what I was so excited about back then. I can’t remember. I have been to several TSA-sponsored events since I quit, and every now and again, it seems a little less checkpoint and little more friends of friends of checkpoint. It’s still the same though.
On the night of the party, I went to dinner with my social club. Since the dinner was in Baltimore and the party was also in Baltimore, that was the reasoning I set up in my mind for still deciding that I should go to the party. As me and my fellow successful black women were ogling each other’s trays of sushi and getting tipsy off some very strong mai tais, I thought to myself, “You know what, some things are just better left undone.” Some things, once relegated to the past, need to stay in the past. There’s no sense in bringing back dead shit, especially when some of that crap caused you so much agony and torture in the first place. Why put myself through that again.
I was still undecided as I walked to my car down Charles Street. I sat in the car reapplying makeup, fluffing up my ‘fro and wondering what I should do. Go to the party because you’re curious. Go home because you’ll regret it if you don’t. Go to the party because you just want to know. Go home because it’s the right thing to do. I’m still going back and forth as I cut through downtown, but as I approached the exit that would lead to the party, I quickly changed lanes and drove home. Let’s get real here. I mean really, would I even have a good time? Yes, I would satiate my curiousity. Does everybody still look the same? Who’s messing with who now? Did she lose the weight she wanted? Did she get bigger? Is he still as hot as he used to be? I had all these questions burning in my mind, because, hey, I’ve admitted it before, I’m nosy and I want to know.
But other than that, what would I do? I would stand off to the side somewhere sigh a little wistful sigh over what might have been, what isn’t and what will never be. Then I’d go sit in the corner somewhere because I don’t really like hip hop music, and the idea of a dress-to-impress hip hop party is an oxymoron to me, or I might say hi to a few people who aren’t really my friends, but they’ve always pretended to be friends and we’ll make small talk about what I’m doing these days and what’s been going on. And I’ll think to myself, “Gosh, you guys are still at it?” and they’ll think, “Yup, she’s just as stuck up as ever,” or “Did she gain weight?” And then we’ll hug each other and say something like, “Girl, we should get together sometime,” even though we really have no intention of ever doing so.
I might run into someone I used to know, and he’ll be curious, just like I am, and we’ll talk like we’re old friends. Only, on his side, he’ll think we’re still cool, and I’ll think, “If only I could make him drink cyanide,” and it’ll be oh-so-hilarious because he’ll be trying his hardest to make sure that no one sees us talking, because the magpies will be ready to start up some old drama. Then I will walk away, already forgetting whatever he just said to me, reducing him to the insignificant flotsam that floats around in my brain from time to time, and I’ll go back to being some dumb hoe that he messed with many moons ago.
Then I’ll meander to the bathroom and pretend to fix my makeup, but really I’m just there for something to do, and someone that I’ve always abhorred will cross my path and she’ll look at me, and I’ll look at her, and we’ll both wish that we could stab each other’s eyes out and get away with it, and we’ll smile a very phoney smile to one another. She’ll go to her circle of her friends and start running her mouth, and I’ll get on Facebook and make a thinly veiled comment regarding her and the same cycle of bullshit will start all over again.
I just realised, on my way home, that I’m really told old for that. Unfortunately, all that drama from the past precludes me from stopping in, showing my face and saying hi to a few people that I really do miss being around, but life goes on and for the most part, we’ve all but forgotten about each other. You know they say, out of sight, out of mind, but as soon as you see something, it sparks a memory and everything comes flooding back at you. We like to say that we have grown, made strides, become better people, but in the end we are very much victims of the past. Some of us still carry baggage, even though we try so hard to let it go.
I just decided that I really want to stay in charge of my destiny and not let dead things bother me anymore.
When I got home, I peeled off my party clothes, the ones I had painstakingly picked out so that I would look my best when I went to the dogs (because they’ll talk such trash if I came looking anything less than I should), and I flopped down on my couch and turned on The Sopranos I rented from Netflix. I stretched a little bit since I had the 5K in the morning with the M&M’s and I thought to myself as I drifted off to sleep, “Some things really are better left undone.”