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2022 Night Out Manifestation photo

We will go back to Zebulon again. My friends and I will pile into an Uber for $13, and we will plead to let us four squeeze in, since we will forget again that Ubers still only fit three people. We will clamber out and head to the bar, where we will be able to order quickly even though it’s crowded because we’re hot and we will get four tequila sodas. We will go outside and see some friends over there and then another friend and another friend and then over there will be a guy I met on Hinge with during early Covid. I will say hi to him. I will talk about how I’m graduating in May, or am supposed to, and how I’m trying to decide if I should move to LA or New York afterward. He will offer me some tepid advice as he’s trying to work out the same problem, and then one of us will say we have to pee and we will leave the conversation to have the same one with two other people. I will see the boy I kind of love talking to another girl, and that’s ok, I know that to love and be loved is a joy that doesn’t come with ownership. I’ll search her face for flaws. Her lips will be perfectly juicy red balloons and mine will feel small and pink in comparison and I will wonder if he is thinking about kissing her and I then will think about kissing her. By then it will have been a moment since I said anything so my new conversation partner, an old friend who moved to New York’s roommate, so he’ll ask me a stupid question like how long I’ll be in LA for this time. I will tell him that next week I am going to Joshua Tree to go camping and drop acid. I will ask him if he’s ever done acid so he can talk for a while and I can get back to thinking about kissing this girl and the boy I love, then kissing both of them at the same time. Sooner or later I will actually have to pee and I’ll run into the boy from Hinge in the line for the bathroom and we’ll laugh for a bit. Once I am in the bathroom there’ll be a girl doing coke and she will offer me some and it won’t be laced with anything. When I am done peeing I will get another drink and wander the dance floor and spot a hot guy and make the eyes I make at hot guys and we’ll dance together and then we’ll kiss a bit on the dance floor. He will tell me that he lives right around the corner and we could go back to his place right now. There’s another hour or two left in the night so I will say no, but I’ll smoke a cigarette with him if he wants. We will go back outside to smoke one and I will get his number and tell him a lie about my life and say, hey thanks for the cigarette, I’m going to go talk to my friends. I will finish my drink and rejoin my friends and we will talk loudly about the hot guy I just kissed, who has disappeared by now, and about how everyone we know is here. We will get more drinks and promise to Venmo. When the bar closes there’s a bit of a wait for Ubers so we will all stand outside in the front smoking and waiting for them. The hot guy will walk by me and say goodnight, but by now I will have been invited to come to my friend’s hot tub so I say goodnight back to him, nice to meet you. We will Uber to her house and stand in the darkness outside of the hot tub and undress, and I will catch a glimpse of the guys’ dicks in the darkness and hope that my nipple piercings shine in the moonlight. I will be perfectly drunk by the time I settle into the warm water, letting it wet my hair and course over my nipples. We will have an easy drunken conversation I won’t remember. I will Uber home and wake up late in my childhood bedroom. I will not be hungover from the hot tub and the coke. My hair will look amazing. And I will eat cereal and drink coffee and scroll and text the hot guy all day until it is time to go back to Zebulon again. I will not test positive for Omicron.


image: Joshua Hebburn