adult years

How I Ended Up With The Spider Web Stockings

House music, fog machines, and dancing strobe lights…
I don’t usually do night clubs, but when a new friend invited me out, I thought, What the heck, it’s Halloween.
I’d been told that Toto would be here performing their hit, “Africa,” one of my favorites, so I’m really here for that.

The club is packed; if I were ever to get COVID it would definitely be tonight.

I push my way through the crowd all the way up to the bar, make eye contact with the bartender, and order a grapefruit margarita.
The bartender hands me my drink. I take a sip and suddenly feel a burst of excitement run through me.
A drop of tequila to me is like a drop of blood to a vampire.
One taste can make me lose control, turn me into a fiend for more.
For sure, not a good thing.

I head to our table where I’m introduced to a bunch of new people.

One girl is dressed as a leopard, in a stretchy spandex dress so short that her ass is hanging out from underneath it.
Good for her, I thought. Way to own it.
Although she is clearly dressed that way intentionally, her boyfriend makes numerous attempts to pull her dress down.
Each time he pulls it down, it snaps right back up, like a window shade that won’t stay down.
He’s fighting a losing battle but keeps trying, and I find his efforts really sweet.

I then meet a Cuban girl with a kind smile who’s dressed like a gypsy.
She starts telling me how men have treated her like a sexual object since she was a teen.
I know exactly how she feels, but I keep quiet on the subject as I don’t feel like talking about my story tonight.
I want to forget my story tonight.

I try to never talk about what happened to me in my childhood when I’m drinking.
Alcohol plus talking about my story is never a good combo.
So, I listen because I feel like she wants to be heard. She deserves to be heard.
But our conversation is cut short when a friend yells for me to jump in a picture for the gram.
I apologize for having to leave, and after the picture is taken, I glance back and I can tell that she’s struggling inside.

Sometimes I can recognize the same pain I’ve been through in others.

I want to go back and sit with her. Help her in some way.
But it’s not my place. I’m not a therapist.
And my tequila buzz tells me that now is not the time to be talking about sexual abuse.
I don’t want to overstep and trigger her in any way.
So I walk away and don’t look back, feeling helpless and kind of sad.

Next, I meet a guy wearing a purple coat, a fluffy, white, low-cut shirt, heels, and curly hair.
He’s clearly Prince and he plays the part perfectly, with feminine yet masculine style and a dash of cockiness.
Prince was my favorite artist; when I heard of his death, I was so upset I had to pull my car over to collect myself.
Such a tragic ending. RIP purple one.

Then I meet a girl wearing spider web stockings. A petite, aggressive, funny little thing.
She’s drinking Jack and Coke, a drink I’ve stayed clear of ever since I got sick on it at the 2018 UGA/Alabama National Championship.
The smell of it makes me nauseous and reminds me of how bad Georgia tanked in the fourth quarter.
Despite her horrid drink choice, we hit it off and I spend most of the night talking with her.
She tells me her name, but to me, she is Spider Web Stockings.

We are all strangers, just having fun, all brought together by a mutual friend with the most giving heart.
I watch my friend with the giving heart and notice that he loves taking care of others. I wonder if he ever allows others to take care of him.
Probably not, I think. 
I get it though, when you’re used to taking care of others, it’s sometimes hard to let them take care of you.

I then hear the beginning beats of Africa blaring across the club.
I yell, “That’s my jam!” and rush to the stage, passing through a cloud of weed smoke along the way.
I don’t smoke, but it smells kind of nice.
When I get there, I see that the lead singer is clearly fucked up and having trouble remembering the lyrics.
The performance is painful and disappointing, and when it’s over no one claps.

As I walk away from the stage, I see a girl flirting with Rob across the bar. It doesn’t bother me.
Rob can be quite oblivious when women flirt with him and I find it funny and cute.
I stand back and watch while sipping my drink.

In fact, I take in the whole scene of the club.
People are sweaty, mascara is smeared, girls have ditched their heels and are walking barefoot with blisters. How trashy, I think.
There are sloppy make-out sessions happening.
People are drunkenly stumbling around, looking like zombies, which is fitting considering it’s Halloween.

I stare down at my drink, nothing but ice.
Do I get another? I’m tempted, but, no, I think.
How am I still sober? I wonder, slightly impressed with myself.
I walk to Rob and start begging him to find me mac and cheese, and it occurs to me that maybe I’m not as sober as I think.

Suddenly, the music stops, the lights go on and we call an Uber.
Spider Web Stockings gets in the car with us, rambling on and on about how she wants a McChicken.

Instead of going home, we head to our friend’s house – the one with the kind heart. 
Once there, I head straight to the bathroom.
When I turn to shut the door, I’m startled to see Spider Web Stockings in the bathroom with me.
I compliment her stockings, and as soon as I do, she starts taking them off.

“Here, have them,” she says.
“No, no.” I refuse, but she insists.
She grabs my shoulders and sits me down on the toilet, lid down, and starts putting them on me.
“I’ve got it,” I tell her, but she is focused and determined to put them on me and I let her do it.
It’s nothing sexual or weird. It’s more funny than anything.

I walk out of the bathroom wearing the stockings and notice mac and cheese cooking on the stove.
It’s like the mac and cheese gods heard my drunken pleas.
I want to stay for the mac but instead call an Uber for Rob, our two friends, and myself.

As we wait for our Uber, we all lay down on the driveway singing Return of the Mac.
This moment is my favorite part of the night because we were all terribly, spontaneously in sync. 

Now I’m home.
It’s 6 a.m., and while everyone’s sleeping, I’m up eating leftover pizza, watching Hocus Pocus, and writing this. All while still wearing the spider web stockings.
No, I didn’t get up this early—I actually haven’t gone to bed yet.
I probably should.

P.s. I wrote this Halloween night and I wasn’t going to post it but, I don’t see why not

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