A Very Happy Birthday

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A Very Happy Birthday

In a house decorated with a flashy fish mural, there is a birthday party put together with a patchwork of people I don’t know. An American guy is scrupulously describing the details of a sound system in some bar I don’t care about. Getting another drink becomes a harmless excuse.

We pretend to have forgotten our responsibilities, try to carelessly drown all the things we have to do on Monday morning with the fifth shot of bitter herbal liqueur that burns in the stomach. I spot a plate with cake leftovers smeared all over it. I dip my finger in what seems to be the softest cheesecake in the world. With the sweetness of the cake, I taste my own blood from a scratch that I don’t remember getting.

A beautiful boy with eyes black and deep is sitting across from me on the couch. In his look, everything that could be but won’t because he “settled down with this nice girl he met the other day”. There is nothing we can say to each other, so we exchange a sad smile of acceptance instead. All is lost before it even begins.

Somebody is ordering a taxi to Gooiseweg in broken Dutch, mixing up g with h, which causes great confusion on the other side of the line. I give each person a slow hug so that they wouldn’t think I’m leaving in a hurry, even though I am. My promises to meet again get suspended in the air. They keep hanging like sticky spider webs spread between my mouth and yours, while we pretend to be too busy exchanging courtesies with the host to even notice them.

Featured photo by Andreas Rønningen on Unsplash

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