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The Party Issue

Captain Bring Down Says...

In fact, parties* are terrible things. Horrific piles of nonsense full of lost souls wandering around looking desperately for someone drunk or lonely enough to throw their decorum to the wind and engage in something heart-crippling in a toilet or...
DK
Κείμενο Daniel Kitson

Photo by Sanna Charles

In fact, parties* are terrible things. Horrific piles of nonsense full of lost souls wandering around looking desperately for someone drunk or lonely enough to throw their decorum to the wind and engage in something heart-crippling in a toilet or nearby bedroom. This is parties. Parties are darkness, noise, sticky floors, tears, hatred, jealousy and regret drizzled all over a seething heap of vapidity. This is what parties are and they are not for me. My first party was an occasion of optimism at Jonathan Lodges' house. I had my dad's long coat and aftershave and my mum's confidence, coupled with my own castrating insecurities. After an hour of watching girls I liked at school getting a bit weird and stupid and generally unpleasant after having some of a bottle of cider, I placed my lemonade back on the floor and left. I'm pretty certain that I walked home in tears. Maybe I took the death of innocence as a personal bereavement. Maybe there was something implicitly hostile about that level of planned, preordained fun, that "pencilled in" debauchery. Whatever it was I had a fairly violent reaction to it. And so I steered pretty clear of it until about three years later. By that time I had a friend. A party companion. He was called Sam. He liked to get drunk, particularly when at parties attended by the various objects of his massive unrequited affection. He was great. I don't remember any of the parties I went to with him. I remember walking him home to my mum and dad's house. Holding him up for a two mile stretch of main road as he staggered again and again towards to the middle of the road, pointing out that it was actually the ideal place to piss. I tried to convince him that actually the toilet was the best place for that sort of business. Since then I have used various tactics at parties. I have sat on the stairs and let the party come to me. I have ensconced myself in the music. Naming myself as the DJ and choosing various songs. Basically I always needed a role beyond socialising. Because I couldn't do that. I knew the people at the party I wanted to be talking to. And they were normally one girl. Who was generally busy. I avoid parties now. I would far rather be in a quieter room. With fewer people (all of whom I like), more food and less desperation. * The "parties" I refer to are the teenage parties of yore. Borne out by some in adulthood only with fewer children and more money lavished on them. I have been to lovely parties. But they are not parties of the "Paaaaaarrty" school. They are tiny little parties. Birthday parties with four other people I very much care about. Food. Charlie's Angels. Ice cream. Midnight food. They are dinner parties with 14 courses and little talking. They are parties I left early with the girl I arrived with. These are the parties I care about. And they are not the parties the majority of you would like. But you are wrong. They are brilliant.