Hi, Darling.

By Justin Jones August 25, 2011

Categories: Family & Friends, Our Lives

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I reek of hairspray as I make my entrance into my kitchen.

“Jonesy!” Fab-Glam Brandon calls. We embrace. He’s a model. I hate him for his good looks and how easily he gets men. He tells me he plans to move to Chicago, which is of course unacceptable because I need him here to be fabulous with me.

The music is loud, but it’s nine on a Saturday. We have a couple hours before we have to worry about the neighbors complaining. We’re listening to a classical-techno fusion: high in class, heavy in bass: the story of our lives. The air is thick with cologne from a dozen of my closest, most darling friends.

I’m an awful host, so I tell guests to help themselves to the alcohol in the fridge. My roommate, Ty, is better at that stuff–he’s nice enough to actually pour someone a drink. I’m too busy saying hi and hearing about what’s new (which translates into my needing to attend a class on hosting etiquette). At least I’m providing decent vodka.

I make my way outside to talk to the smokers. It’s humid. We have a huge balcony with a view of the city–a perfect backdrop for risky romantic liaisons, Sunday morning recaps about Saturday night mistakes, and conversation over cocktails.

“Hi, love,” I say and lean in to kiss a familiar face, “Love your outfit. Very, um, Summer in the Hamptons.”

He laughs. He’s Mr. Harvard Graduate, so it fits him. We talk with a couple of friends about the perils of our week, which somehow shifts to what “happiness” really means. Were I a smoker, this would be a flawless moment: stylishly encased in a cloud of tobacco fog, watching the sparkle of downtown, debating life with friends. I’d use my cigarette hand to emphasize critical points.

The night’s just begun, and will unfold over the next 9 hours–it will end as the sun rises- -and in those 9 hours, I will greet friends and acquaintances (and a few strangers) as we navigate the city’s nightlife. I’ll have many more alcohol-induced conversations that are too deep. And I’ll love every fucking minute of it.

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