Tonight I went to a party where I ran into a girl I knew in high school, who is now six or seven months pregnant, living with her parents and boyfriend, and working "in an office, doing computer stuff." Actually I didn't "run into her." I knew she was going to be at the party (stupid party, by the way; college kids, flip cup (played my first game ever (and lost)), girls making ridiculous eye contact with nothing interesting to say, bad beer -- all in all, actually, it wasn't a bad party, per se, but the type of party I am less in the mood for these days, with the type of people (not to peg everyone there in a hole) but with the type of people I don't have the patience for -- great eye contact, everyone's either attractive or drunk, dancing, singing, nothing to say, nothing to say, nothing to say) . . .
So I knew I was going to run into my friend from high school, LISA, who is now pregnant with bags under her eyes and a sad look, as well as another friend from a long time ago, MICHELLE, so I went to this party.
So MICHELLE was great to see. Last time I saw her was maybe six years ago. Looks just like she used to (gorgeous), not older at all. Is now in grad school at Chapel Hill, doing Speech Therapy, with great roommates, whom I talked with for a while. That was all fine. She was great to see, and made me smile.
Then I talked to LISA, who, like I said twice already, is pregnant. She did not seem to be doing so well. I don't have a whole wealth of experience around pregnant girls who I used to run track with, but I thought I did okay. I used words/phrases like "the most important thing you'll ever do, unless you save the whales" (she laughed) and "beautiful" and "extraordinary" and "mind-boggling" and I looked at nothing but her eyes and I smiled and smiled and smiled and we talked for a while and I tried again and again to make her laugh and feel important and she did not seem to be doing well. She told me she doesn't like her job and isn't up to much (I was flabbergasted - she's fucking pregnant, how is that "not up to much?") and she looked away when I asked her how she was doing "in the grand scheme of things." Her boyfriend was there, next to her, the whole time we talked, but she didn't introduce him, and he didn't introduce himself, and at the time I wasn't sure if he was the boyfriend or not so I didn't want to assume.
Anyway, I found myself feeling bad for her, and feeling fake because of how excited I was acting over her pregnancy (not so say that I wasn't excited, but I was both excited and worried for her).
I found myself thinking of "Beach Week," our senior year in high school, when we all went to Myrtle Beach and everyone was drinking and laying on the beach and drinking and hooking up with one another. She had a boyfriend at the time (not the same guy as now) and still we hooked up, a few times, once in the bathroom, I remember, when she said she wanted to show me her glow-in-the-dark bellybutton ring. At the end of the week, I remember walking on the beach with her and her friends, and they were talking about cheating, I guess, or some variation thereof. And somebody said how wrong it would be to cheat on your boyfriend.
And LISA said, "I know. I would never do that. That would be so wrong, right Ryan?"
And I said yes.