Im in a hotel room in Adelaide. Anna and Meagan are on the couch, quite drunk and whinging about their weight. Brenton is only tipsy, which explains why I couldn't talk him into going on the mechanical bull tonight. I went on, and kneed myself in the face when I fell off. Square on the nose. It hurt, and not only did it hurt my nose, it also felt like I pulled my hammy, but a bit more alcohol fixed that.
And now we're home again. Well, at the hotel. It's an odd night. The girls are both having boy issues. I got plenty of offers from boys at The Woolshed tonight, but this trip is about friends, not randoms. I don't want one. They would spoil my night. That didn't stop me from pointing out dozens of them to Meagan and going "I want that one. No, that one. Or that one. I'll have that one too" But really, on a trip like this, that's not a disruption I want, no matter how cute he is.
My mobile internet keeps freezing the laptop. I needed to reboot it 3 times between that bit of the post and this bit, and about an hour has passed, as well as plenty of other stuff, so here's how my post is actually. I kinda forgot about that top bit.
I have many talents. I'm good at, for instance, memorising people's credit card information. Fortunately for them, I'm also good at never actually using it. I'm good at finding an entire new of outfit in under an hour for under $100, and I like to occasionally keep in practice just in case it's a skill I ever need in my day to day life. If I'm going on the run, for instance. Possibly because I've stolen so many people's identities, not actually to use, but just because I like to know that if I need to, I can.
As for more mundane talents, I can make a lined, zippered card and coin purse, with two pockets, in about 20 minutes. I can sew straps onto a strapless dress, by hand, in the car. I look very good in very short shorts. I make bitchin roadtrip CDs, and I can find fishnet stockings when noone else can. For $4 a pair.
I also have another talent, and it's a bit of a strange one. See, when push comes to shove, I am surprisingly good at knowing what to say. I'm the one that talks people through crisies, and yet I feel, as far as I can tell, far more disconnected from it than the friends who don't know what to say. I'm not sure why, if maybe it's that they're feeling guilty in another room that they didn't know what to say and I'm there just opening my mouth and letting the words spill out and hoping they're the right ones. It seems that they are, or maybe I've just gotten lucky way too many times, because before I know it there will be smiles through the tears and hugs and I'll walk away feeling a bit bewildered as to what the hell just happened. I suspect it's a bit how a hostage negotiator feels, like the rush of the moment is so great it obscures the whole thing. I'm glad that I can do it, because it makes people feel better, but afterwards I feel quite lost. Something amazing just happened, I was there, I actually did it, but, um, I'm not sure what it was. It would be like making an amazing quilt top only for it to completely dissapear, to exist only as a vauge memory. I feel a bit empty, like I was working so hard to pour my reassurances into her that I'm left with none of my own.
I forget sometimes that I'm older than my friends, that the horrible, socially awkward, tell me what to do to make it all better stage that is long in the past for me is something they're still struggling with every day. But then, I wonder how much I'm really past it. Subconciously, I'm always looking for an exit, an escape route, a way to get out of all of it should shit hit the fan in such a way that I can't magically talk my way out of it. I usually can though. Today, the lady at the front desk of the hotel gave me a third key even though there's strictly only meant to be two keys per room. I didn't need it. I could have got one of my friends to come down and let me in, but it felt really nice to know that I could talk my way in. It's not something that I need to do, it's just something that I need to know I can do, should the situation arise.
And that, maybe, is where I find happiness. The safe, secure, keeping me warm at night knowledge that when I have to, I can rise up to pretty much whatever is in front of me. The knowledge that I don't need people at my back because I have me. I feel cliched telling the girls that they need to love themselves before they start worrying about what a boy thinks/says about them, but it's true. And I'm lying to them when I tell them that we've got their back, and that's all that matters*, but it's only because when you're upset you don't really want to hear that one day, you'll be grown up enough to have your own back, and that's when you'll be ready. For anything.
*I'm lying in saying that that's all that matters. I'm not lying when I say we have their back, because we do, but really, fat load of good we can do for them.