I am sitting outside in my front garden in the dark. It’s 2:00 a.m. and too hot to sleep. All around are the sounds of people having too much fun.
It is the weekend before Labor Day, and in my neighborhood of this beautiful city, young people are making the most of the last days of summer before they head back to classrooms, or buckle down at work. One last weekend to savor summer before the holiday that traditionally delineates laid-back from focused attention hits home.
Tonight they push aside impending reality. I listen to the giggling girls and the whooping boys. I think to myself, what is it about alcohol that makes people think they have to turn the volume switch of their voices up to “11?” Underneath the human sounds are the thumping rhythms of bar music. Within two blocks of my home are seven restaurants which ramp up late at night, and five clubs. All but two of the bars are upscale.
Clumps of kids come weaving up my block. They tend to segregate by gender if they haven’t already paired off and gone wherever it is they go to get better acquainted. As I’ve turned off the porch light, it is too dark for them to notice me. A group of girls stop several times on their walk for yet another to remove her expensive, come hither, but by now painful shoes. That’s when you can tell the liquor is losing it’s magic- they begin to notice their feet hurt. They complain woefully about their Blahniks and Choos.
All clothed in little black dresses with miles of young bare skin, these are City girls. Private school graduates. Even when tipsy, they project confidence. They have had enough of the trolls.
I used to find the weekend scene around here irritating, especially when my kids were small. Thoughts about how shallow the partiers seemed, and the petty smugness of knowing that they would one day be sitting on the sofa the same time the bars closed, babe to breast, dripping milk everywhere. Selfish gits, I would confide to my child. They have no idea. I was jealous.
Now I enjoy listening to them. They are vibrant and still on this side of innocence. They are of an age when they should be celebrating their freedom and beauty. Didn’t we? Having crossed over into full adulthood, we know that real life will intrude on the Tuesday morning after Labor Day. But for tonight have fun. Get laid.
Hangovers and walks of shame that greet tomorrow be damned. The kids will buck up and carry on. We did.