There is this fantastic show on NBC that no one watches except for me and my roommate’s boyfriend. The show is called Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.
Through a series of events that are too complex to succinctly explain, Zoey develops a kind of superpower where she can hear what people are thinking via song. She calls them “heart songs” because they express what is in their hearts.
In a recent episode, Zoey turns thirty and throws a party at her mom’s house to mark the occasion. There is a musical number at the party where all the characters are singing “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer. It is so romantic and fun and creates a vibe so strong that in the midst of watching it, I was having a moment.
Like, remember parties?
The kind of party your friends throw where you know most of the people there, but there are some people you don’t know or only know of.
And you get excited because you think maybe The Guy is going to be there.
You know, The Guy who is your friend’s friend that you’re not so much friendly with, as flirty with—
The Guy who has question marks of possibility around him…
So you wear a new outfit and put on that pink lipstick that makes your cheeks pop when you smile,
You look nice and you smell nice, and it’s all on purpose, but you do your best to make it seem coincidental.
You get to the party and you hug your friends hello, letting your eyes wander the room, looking for The Guy but trying not to be too obvious about it…
You stand in front of the drink table and you have to decide—
Is it a wine night or a gin night?
You feel a presence next to you so you turn your head and you see a smile.
It’s The Guy’s smile.
You decide right then that it’s a gin night,
And you watch him decide that it’s a gin night too.
You follow each other into the backyard,
You stand next to each other, shoulders accidentally, purposefully colliding as you play harmlessly violent games that involve shouting and flipping cups.
You both need a refill at the same time so you follow each other back into the house,
You rib each other about the game.
You talk about college.
He feeds you subtle, almost imperceptible compliments that you file away for later over-examination.
He makes you laugh,
You touch his arm,
Your cheeks hurt from smiling and there’s a twinkle in his eyes that you want to bottle.
The party gets louder—he bass is deeper,
The crowd is rowdier,
The drinks are stronger,
You’re feeling bolder.
You’re having a moment where you see the whole night stretch out in front of you,
Full of possibilities,
Like it will last forever,
Maybe it will.
You watch The Guy as he speaks,
And you sip your warming gin and you think—
This night is perfect and I’m going to be young forever,
And you see him thinking it too.
But the end of the night comes sooner than you think.
It comes in the backyard when there are only a handful of you left and enough of them are your friends so when “Shallow” comes on, you belt it with abandon and everyone humors you, singing along—
I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
You are the perfect level of drunk and you feel these lyrics down to your core.
You feel them when The Guy finally, finally kisses you,
It’s nonchalant but intentional,
It’s soft but underlying with passion.
Maybe you go home with him to find out what else there is,
And maybe the next morning is awkward,
But maybe it’s not.
You don’t really know what comes after the kiss and that’s the best part,