I went to a ‘gender-bending’ party last night. I wore a white shirt with suspenders, and a black bowler hat. My friend Jemma, whose party it was, said I looked like one of the 1920s gangsters in her favourite video game. She told me the name of the game three times but I’ve already forgotten it because I was quite drunk when she said it. I also have a very poor memory generally when it comes to remembering facts.
I got to the party late because I’d just been to a poetry reading with my friends Tom and Emily. I thought the poets were very clever because I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but it was all very hypnotising and beautiful, and the red wine was also very good. It was my first poetry reading. I was sitting on a bohemian rug in a small, cold room drinking Shiraz out of a plastic cup with a roomful of strangers, and we were all listening and connected and I was part of a new community and my mouth kept wanting to smile at the thought of it. I couldn’t help smiling a couple of times. One time the guy sitting across from me with pretty, dark hair that kept falling into his eyes saw me and smiled back, and I looked away quickly but I liked it.
When I got to the party I felt awkward and strange because I had been silent for so long listening to poetry. Jemma got me some punch and I drank it while talking to my friends, who had already arrived. Then we started dancing. There were lots of people dancing and everyone was really drunk. When I was dancing I didn’t know where to look. I never know how often to make eye contact with people when I’m dancing and for how long it should last. I think you really need to look at people a bit when you dance or you look disconnected and aloof, but you don’t want to do it too much or you might look creepy or like you are coming on to someone that you don’t mean to come on to.
After a while we stopped dancing and Jemma told us that she was going outside. Annie saw her make a hand gesture when she left, which she thought might mean that she was going to smoke pot. I was excited about this as I have not yet tried it and I’m not even sure what it smells like if I am being one hundred percent honest, which is shameful for someone my age. I don’t really think that I want to try it though. One of my friends said she had some in Amsterdam and became really paranoid and depressed and lay awake the whole night in her hostel dorm with her heart hammering thinking the Swedish guys in the next bunk were going to kill her in her sleep. I also read that some people can become schizophrenic after smoking it just once. I think that I would be a strong candidate for schizophrenia. My brain can be pretty hyperactive sometimes. I also think that I might have an addictive personality so this worries me. My friend Annie said she will never try it because it made some of her close blood relatives schizophrenic. But then she thought perhaps it was the magic mushrooms that made them schizophrenic. ‘We will have to research this more,’ I said to her.
We decided to go outside to see and smell the pot and see what people are like when they are high in real life and not a movie. But when we got there no one was smoking anything at all. I was very disappointed. So we stood outside for one minute to seem polite and then we went back inside and danced again. It was great dancing without high heels. It reminded me of when I went to a Michael Jackson-themed party two years ago and I dressed like Michael Jackson and all the other girls wore heels and pretty dresses and just had on a single white glove, and I was very comfortable in my flat shoes but I wasn’t approached by a guy once except for Ray, because he is my friend and it was his party.
I liked watching the guys as we danced. They kept stroking their boobs and shaking their hips. One guy had been standing in the kitchen staring at his reflection in the window for around ten minutes as he adjusted his chicken fillets in his crop top. I think he liked the way he looked very much. He then came onto the dance floor and two minutes later his boobs fell out onto the floor near where I was dancing and someone stepped on them and he let out a yelp and snatched them up quickly looking very distressed and embarrassed.
Once when I was dancing this really tall guy with long, curly, platinum blonde hair brushed past me. His perfume was very strong and sweet. He had large blue eyes with long Bambi lashes and a very prominent nose and Adam’s apple. He did this cute little wiggle as he went by me and kind of popped out his chest. I wondered whether he was straight. I watched him dancing across the room. ‘That guy is so pretty!’ I said to Annie. She looked over her shoulder at him and nodded enthusiastically. ‘He is!’ she said. ‘He reminds me of this girl I went to high school with.’
In the corner I saw a guy in a pink dress with red lipstick kissing his girlfriend who had on a shirt and suspenders like me. They looked really into each other. I wondered if it would feel strange kissing your boyfriend when he looked like a girl. She looked really into it. I am slightly in awe of people who are in relationships. I can’t imagine being in one. Sometimes I think that I would like to have a boyfriend. But most of the time I think that I prefer being single because I like being alone, and I am afraid of intimacy and of things going badly and of not being liked and of running out of conversation.
When I was watching the couple a guy in fishnet stockings came up to my friends and I and asked us if we by any chance had a penis. We told him that we were sorry but we did not. He shrugged and walked off. I thought he had wanted to check if any of us were really guys but Annie laughed and explained that he was looking for this dildo that was being passed around. We saw it five minutes later strapped onto Jemma who was waving it around and touching it as she danced. She looked really happy. I took a photo of her on my iPhone but you couldn’t see the dildo properly in the photo because the dildo was black, and blended in with the night.
We danced to the Vengaboys and then Annie and I decided to leave. She said she would give me a lift home. We took a photo with Bella and her friend Alexandra so that it could be uploaded to Facebook. When we were taking the photo I saw the boy with the blonde, curly hair again and I wanted to tell him how pretty he looked dressed as a girl and I almost did but then I didn’t. ‘He is really pretty,’ I said to Annie.
Then we went to find Jemma to say goodbye. She was in her bedroom. I told her that she lived on a nice street, and she told me that she had some very interesting neighbours. She said that the couple next door were swingers and she and her housemates had found this out when an elderly couple turned up at their house by mistake at ten o’clock on a Wednesday night asking where ‘the coffee party’ was taking place. She said that the old man next door on the other side was very nice and would bring her housemates and her cookies, but also had a habit of peering in at their front window and staring at them as they played Xbox in the lounge. I laughed and said some things and accidentally hit Jemma’s erect penis twice as I gestured with my hands. I apologised but she said it was okay as she couldn’t feel it.
When I got home I couldn’t sleep so I listened to The Vamps’ ‘Can We Dance’ really loud on my iPhone while jumping around in my room pretending that I was a teenage boy trying to impress a girl with strawberry blonde hair. I really like being a guy sometimes. I can feel quite masculine sometimes.Then I danced very sluttily to ‘Bootylicious’ by Destiny’s Child imagining that I was Beyonce and guys that looked like Guy Pearce were lined up around the block to sleep with me because I was such a goddess. Then I danced to ‘Cartoon Heroes’ by Aqua and I was free and genderless and asexual.
Then I went to sleep, and in the morning the guy with the blonde, curly hair flashed up in my ‘people you may know’ tab on Facebook and I clicked into his profile. He had short, dark hair and his profile said that he was interested in women. I smiled and clicked back to my newsfeed. I tried to decide how much I would like him as a guy dressed as a guy. I couldn’t decide. But he really did look beautiful in that blonde wig with Bambi eyelashes.