In less than a week, I will enter my 33rd year upon this sphere.
I have been trying and trying to figure out how the hell to celebrate. A couple months ago I had the most brilliant idea anyone’s had since slicing bread: I would invite everybody I knew to join me at the Roxy, a local gay bar, for Roller Disco. It was perfect: roller disco night is on Wednesday, as is my birthday, and what better way to celebrate my imminent entry into senility and decrepitude than with a return to the birthday ritual of my youth, the gayest birthday ritual of them all, the roller skating party?
I got very, very excited; I spent hours combing the internet for photographs with which to construct my own fabulous evite. It would be divine: my nearest and dearest, as well as the not so near and perhaps even the not so dear (because a present is, regardless of the source, still a present) would all congregate in a tacky bar in Chelsea and roller skate in my honor to “We Will Rock You” and “Dancing Queen.”
E.S. kept insisting that we go to Roller Disco at some point before I actually issued any invitations, just to make sure it was, if not everything I hoped it would be, at least close. Scoffing at the thought that it could be anything short of perfect, I nevertheless agreed to his suggestions just so he would stop nagging me. So a few weeks ago, we walked over to 10th Avenue, rented our skates–shades of 1982!–and went inside.
To be greeted by the sight of a huge room full of straight people roller skating.
Full of skanky straight people roller skating.
Honestly, it was as if the entire population of Hackensack had been magically teleported into the Roxy and given orders to skate as slowly as they possibly could. There were two people in clown outfits roller skating in slow motion.
And I thought, wasn’t it enough that you stole pierced ears and freedom rings from us? You had to take roller skating, too?
I almost started to cry. Why does reality have to puncture all my dreams so cruelly? Can’t she leave one or two untouched until they float, gently, to the ground, like helium balloons three days after the party is over?
At first I thought I might be able to make it work anyway, and that with enough of my friends in attendance, the place would be forced to acquire a sense of irony. But then the clowns skated past me, still in slow motion, and I realized that there are some things that just aren’t meant to be.
We skated for about fifteen minutes more, but our hearts just weren’t in it, so we left, defeated.
For what it’s worth, if you’re reading this, please know that you were almost invited to my birthday party.