"It's a shame we haven't met. Do you want to come to my Speakeasy Party?"
"Sure why not. I don't think this will actually facilitate meeting you."
"You could try to come early."
"I'll see what I can do."
In the end I didn't end up going earlier, mostly as I was having a lazy day and I didn't feel like accelerating to get their earlier. I stressed for a few days on what to wear to this party and even went the extra mile of getting a Gatsby style flapper dress, but in the end I went with a silk charmeuse slip dress which is technically lingerie, but that works. It goes with the style of the time which was loose clothing to represent loose women. And...well...
At the party I meet the host, who is dressed in perfect 20s style. He looks like he could easily be running an illicit bar and working with Al Capone. The guest that were already there were well dressed for it as well, and I gotten a headband to put a feather and beads in my hair. I do like the style.
Of course, the challenge here was I was partying with complete and total strangers.
And they all clearly knew each other. So I mingled about a bit, had some drinks, tried mingling with the smokers a bit, because it is fun to smoke in doors when you can, and then realized I was standing in a corner and I wasn't talking to anyone. So I found a group of people to work my way into and asked a simple question.
"So what is the most interesting thing you did in 2016?"
I figured this would be an easy question and we would be able to have fun and get to know each other.
"I mean, what you do you mean the most interesting thing?"
"I mean, like you know, well, one of the most interesting things that happened to me last year..." What do I talk about, I had an interesting year. The thing is I have interesting things to talk about regardless of the travel. The traveling gives me fun new experiences, but I have more than enough happen when I'm not traveling to talk about as well. Perhaps that is the point of writing it down. There is a life here. I have a life here. I am living a life here. Life is a story and telling it is more interesting that not, otherwise each day is just a drear slog that goes nowhere. I'd rather think that there is more than getting up, going to work, and going to bed to repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat.
Last year, without travel, I had parties on my roof top, I met strangers in strange places, I went to interesting parties nearby, I read excellent books in strange locations, I had adventures in gardens and met strangers on trains. I talked and I talked and I talked. I found different places to explore both my present and my past. I had adventures even if I wasn't on the road. Each day had a different little adventure in it. I think that is worth noting.
But, the crowd I was in just didn't have stories. I told my 'hitchhiking in San Francisco as I thought that was a fairly simple story in which nothing too outlandish happens and it might be potentially relate-able to the group. And then did relate. And the only interesting stories that had to share were things that happened about work.
There was a moment of pondering this: these young people in their mid-twenties and early thirties, shouldn't they, at this point, have something interesting to talk about. They seem interesting, they seem dynamic, they seem like they might have stories to share. All they can find is work.
I found myself later in a corner thinking that this party had been a mistake. It wasn't that the gathered crowd were not my kind of people, being kinky and poly and cute they were all the type of people I like being around, but I felt isolated from them because their lives seemed fixed in the day to day and I feel I have moved so far beyond that, or at least, I have never been trapped by banality.