samedi, septembre 05, 2009

Souvenir 03: The Welcome Home (with Seuil)

OK, so I'm writing this more than two months after the event itself, but I just had to document one thread of events from the party that I thought was really interesting:

At the party itself, sometime around 2 or 3 a.m., a girl dancing near me approaches and asks, “Hey, are you Luis?” When I say yes, she seems really thrilled and says, “It’s so good to finally meet you! I’m really good friends with O [a friend from France that lives in Chicago now and was co-organizing tonight’s event] and I’ve heard so much about you. I’m Lola.” She’s originally from Poland and I just returned from a year in France and Germany, so we talk a bit about the differences between North America and Europe and the odd situation one can develop of feeling at home in one place while longing for another place. We cross paths occasionally throughout the rest of the party and check in with each other, saying things like “How’re you feeling?” and lightly grasping each other’s shoulders.

The afterparty at a friend’s warehouse loft starts at about 7 a.m. and runs until some ungodly hour that evening (9 p.m., I think). I have a great time and hang out with friends, but eventually I tire and need to get home. I’m still marginally jet-lagged from my return from France, and I’ve spent all week unpacking things and running errands. It’s nearly 2 p.m., I haven’t slept all night/morning, and I was beginning to run out of energy. I make the rounds of the room, saying goodbye to everyone.

As I’m saying goodbye to O., she sees Lola nearby and asks us both, “Do you know each other?”

Lola says, “Of course! We’re best friends.”

Her arm comes up around my shoulder, and my arm winds around her waist. While still facing O., as if we were performing for her, we turn to each other, press our torsos into a half-hug, and reach out with our other arms to rub each others shoulders affectionately. I turn to give her a peck on the check and she turns her head toward me and we end up exchanging a brief peck on the lips.

We had just met for the first time in our lives a few hours ago, and we had hardly said anything to each other after our brief conversation at the party. Nonetheless, something about our encounter made is possible for Lola to claim that we were “best friends,” for me to agree and engage smoothly with her in these gestures of intimacy. It was casual and undramatic, as if we were making observations about the weather rather than claiming a deep, 12-hour-old friendship.

O. smiles with an expression that could be indulgent or bemused or merely pleased, and she says, “Of course.”

(By the way, Seuil’s set, both at the party and the afterparty, kicked major ass.)

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