InQuire's Creative Writing Competition 2019 - Highly Commended

A Toast to House Parties

A typical house party

Image courtesy of Handel & Hendrix in London

We pull out memories from the cracks in the sofa.

The one where we found each other as the night ran out.

Trying to make conversation over someone’s cheap speakers,

When our ears rang like empty glasses

Struck with silver spoons.

Here are the words scattered across the room

Like scrabble pieces that have fallen out of the box.

The words we could only shake out intoxicated.

Sharing secrets and stories that burst into giggles

And the possibly the gossip of the week.

You had to check on your friend passed out in the bathroom.

The one whose eyes were bigger than his beer belly,

Who wore a cone on his head like a crown.

Turns out he was not the king of downing drinks,

But a pauper begging for more booze.

We wake in morning to the cherry aftertaste

of lips smashing against lips

And the shots that have smacked stomachs.

We wear these bruises like badges of our “Britishness.”

You ignored the warning signs as your face flushed green.

You’ll worry about that tomorrow, you said.

Tomorrow always arrives whether you agree or not.

The sun, she is somehow brighter than before

And you are Icarus cowering behind the blinds.

But still, no matter how close we get to burning,

The warmth we felt was worth it.

So, we take our hoarse voices

And karaoke our way back to where we started.

Singing the words of here we go again

Without any inflection of regret.