It’s all supposed to be so glamorous, isn’t it? Saturday nights. Some version of me is attending a poetry reading, serving up Chucks and lips stained matte merlot. You know. Just cool. Or I’m at the club, lost in a sea of brown queer women, grinding up on my wife, and feeling free to move like I do when I’m at home. Or we’re at our friend’s house, having wine (or something harder), laughing and reveling. Soiree-ing.
Sometimes that happens. Or at least, parts of it manifest somehow someway. My lips could indeed be popping, weep-worthy, because I got it like that. And I do wear Chucks on the regular. And I am up for some good old-fashioned revelry.
But the reality right now is…quiet. Still. The cats are asleep, and the TV is on mute from when I called my parents. I’m listening to a Sampha playlist on Spotify, and it’s all really nothing special.
It’s easy to look at the Instagram accounts of people I know and wonder… Their lives look amazing and fashion-forward, Afrofuturist and free. Some people post landscapes, some people do selfies, and others offer snapshots of their goal-worthy squads.
And I know these folks have kids and bills to pay, so it’s not all laughter and beautiful moments frozen in time. I know this, and yet it’s easy to fall into the trap.
Of course, they have Saturday nights that are the stuff of legend, experiences that are the payoff of all that wishing and hoping we did as teenagers: “When I grow up…”
This is the struggle. We all have it in our heads, that we are supposed to have cool hobbies, interesting quirks, and by God, stories about our Saturday nights. Stories that confirm that we are “real” adults, stories about how we drink hard liquor, and make unfortunate decisions sometimes, and boldly have uncomfortable conversations. “Real” adults have social calendars filled with the things we never quite imagined ourselves doing, but still expected of ourselves anyway (art gallery openings?!).
All I got right now is that Sampha is giving me life. I’m happy I got a chance to see one of my closest friends today; we had a quick bite to eat and some good conversation. We didn’t go bungee-jumping, or snowboarding, or laser-tagging. We didn’t go to a burlesque show.
We had chips and salsa and Arnold Palmers.
And now I have to figure out what to cook for dinner.