The Biggest Party Ever
I got invited to this party. It was easily the biggest party I’ve ever been to.
I looked around at one point and it felt like everyone I knew was there. I ran into some friends I hadn’t seen for ages. Just like old times we were laughing and telling stories about all the stupid things we used to do…and then this guy that none of us really knew, came up and started going off about Syria and refugees, immigration reform and the government and Israel. Some woman that just happened to be passing by overheard him and (thankfully) picked up what he was laying down. They drifted off into their own little conversation of outrage, but my friends had used the chaos of the moment to disappear, leaving me flying solo. “No worries” I thought, I’ll just start mingling.
More people were arriving all the time. One guy just barely got inside before he burst into tears and started sharing all this personal stuff about how his wife just passed away. Personally, this party was the last place I would have gone if I felt like him…but whatever. I’m not judging. I didn’t know what to say, so I just kind of drifted away.
Someone mentioned Bowie and pretty soon a bunch of them were all quoting their favourite lyrics talking about the stars and the earth feeling off its axis. A woman tried to show me a picture of her cat just as my neighbour shoved his phone in my face trying to show me a fail video he thought was hilarious. The party that had started with so much promise was starting to feel more like work than play.
Someone made an announcement that they were looking for a place to rent. A lady went off on Trump and what a misogynistic racist he was, as someone behind me started shouting to defend him.
At that exact moment, a potential client I’d really been looking forward to meeting, walked in. But we’d barely said two words to each other when my friend’s college-age kid staggered up and proceeded to drop an F-bomb laden rant about some douchebag she’d just broken up with. A couple girls sympathized with her and they all decided to smoke a bowl together.
The party is Facebook. The place where all my friends, family and casual acquaintances are together in one place…and everyone is having a shitty time.
Rik Leaf is a world traveler, slam poet, songwriter, storyteller and author of Four Homeless Millionaires — How One Family Found Riches By Leaving Everything Behind.