Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday Night Adventures

On Friday was the welcome party for my program's students. And by welcome party I don’t mean a gathering of students standing in little circles shifting their feet, eating Pigs in A Blanket out of napkins. I mean, Welcomeeee Partyyyyy!!!!! Free shots!!

I told myself to go. I said, “Joy, no choice. Go.” I only whined a little:

“But can’t I just stay home and watch the Bachelor…?”


“But if I go that means I have to take the train for an hour into the city, and then an hour back. And I already did that today.”

“No choice.”

Disclaimer: It’s not that I’m antisocial or against partying. I love a good party, especially when it’s at college, and I have to walk 50 feet down College Street, and I don’t feel weird doing weird stuff because everyone already knows I’m weird.

I convinced myself to go. On the way to the train, I said to myself, “Stop thinking. Just go.” Why was I thinking so much anyway? My theory is that I was at my limit of uncomfortable-ness. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most stressed and 1 being at incredible ease, navigating the train system was about a 6, finding my classrooms and going to class was also about a 6, the fear of getting lost and losing my passport and my shoes and my head was about an 8. So going to this party and having all those things in addition was pushing me to a 9.

Once I got on the train I called a few new friends. They all said the same thing, “We will be at the party around 9 ish, we are going to pre-game first.” Fun! Only problem was, these people lived about thirty minutes in the opposite direction of where I was heading, 2 buses, one train, and a fifteen minute walk away. Fine. Except I had forgotten my glasses, which meant I was blind to street signs and oncoming bikers, and it was getting dark out, which meant I was blind to everything except Time Square sized signs. And then: beep beep. My phone—low battery.

“Don’t give up.” I told myself. “I’ll just go to the party by myself. Two hours early. No big deal.” And then an image of me wandering into a club, squinting at fellow students and passing time reading the graffiti on the bathroom stall doors popped into my head.

I sunk into my seat and wallowed in self-pity. I got to the city at about 7:15 and sat on a bench to contemplate what to do. I tried listening to Rihanna to pump myself up,

but I kept picturing my host family, cuddled together in a candle lit room, drinking tea and watching a Danish movie. I looked at my train schedule. 1 hour until the next train going back into my town.

10, 20, 30 minutes passed. I counted 23 women with Hunter rain boots. I counted 37 bikes, 11 babies.

40 minutes, 50 minutes, 1 hour. Train! But this train looked different, was called something different, and therefore, I watched it pull out of the station. Then I looked at the screen, and realized it was an express version of the train I usually take. Express? I didn’t even know that existed. Next train: 57 minutes.

Enter: strange man with pointy black shoes. He sat down next to me on the bench and started speaking to me in Italian, and then Danish, and then French.

I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but he kept talking.

And talking.

I tried having an imaginary prolonged phone conversation so that he would leave me alone.

But you know what showed up then?

Finally. I came home, and the family was still on the couch, and the tea was still hot. And at least I got some fresh air.

The end.


  1. This is impressively illustrated. But perhaps if you didn't spend so much time with Microsoft Paint, you'd party more.

  2. I think my favorite is the toilet scene.

  3. My favorite is definitely the toilet scene. Or the trying to listen to Rihanna to pump herself up.

  4. are you sure you aren't studying studio art?!?