On Saturdays

On Saturdays, we celebrate birthdays with loud cheers and bad music. I sit myself down on a stool in the center of the room and wonder why it is that my skirt has suddenly become so short. How did I not notice that it barely covered my ass when I tried it on in front of the mirror at my house? I tug on it, feeling self conscious, trying to pull it just a little bit lower. When that fails, I ensure that my legs are shut together so tightly that there is a chance that they may never open again.
But eventually they do open because I get up and migrate to the kitchen where various shouts of encouragement are emanating from. I peer around the fridge to see a guy with a box on his head funneling a beer. I wonder, to myself, when it was that we all became cliches. I don't mind though. I stay in the kitchen for just a little while longer. Long enough to see another guy funnel a tall boy. "You are a God!" his friends shout.
I make my way back down the hallway and around the corner to a bedroom. There is a much smaller group of people gathered here. They are discussing the Smiths, and Morrissey. I occasionally interject a few comments into the conversation, but am generally content to lean back against the wall and absorb everything around me.
Later on someone from this room will run around the house writing words on the necks of those who agree to it. "For Morrissey!" they will exclaim. The next day, the few that did agree will wish they'd thought to ask if the marker being used was permanent.
Nothing is really permanent, not even marker. This is the last year we will all be here like this. People are already packing up their belongings and getting ready to take them somewhere else, somewhere that is not this city. Next year, those of us who remain will be haunted by ghosts of the past. We'll remember the people who used to sit beside us and talk about Morrissey, the people who held the funnel high above our heads and cried out with joy as we emptied it, and the people who made us realize that the most significant parts of University are not the facts you learn, but the people you learn you can never live without. But right now we try to forget that. Thinking about the future too much only causes us to miss out on the present. And so we sit in that room just a little bit longer, trying to hold off the inevitable for as long as we can.

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