I hated you a bit this afternoon, she said, for having to give up this cool party, because I need to spend time with you, because I’ve been neglecting you.
No, go to the cool party, I said. Don’t deny yourself. Don’t resent me.
You sound, she said, like I do when I’m trying to convince someone to do something I really don’t want them to do.
Later I thought, well, she’s young and lively, and should go and enjoy herself among her peers, and I’m quoting Suzie of course.
She asked me to pick her up after the party (why hasn’t she called yet?) and I said sure, and she said that’s great, because she really hates leaving a party by herself and feeling so lonely, and I thought yeah, that’s why I hated parties, because they made me feel so lonely. It was like that when I was a kid, and it was like that when Suz was telling me that sure, she doesn’t mind if I go out and hang out with “my peers”, because those kids made me feel all old and just as lonely as when they were really my age.
So I took her to the party and felt jealous. And later, coming in to wait for her call, I realized that I hate her a bit for making me feel back in high school again, shut out of the cool kids’ party.
But I thought of dropping her off at the party, twenty minutes before, and how, in her costume ball dress and loose hair, uncut since her teens, she didn’t look like she was heading to some decadent and debauched orgy, she looked like a kid, heading for her class party, hesitant and lost as I felt inside.