1. Australian. a boisterous party or celebration.

The knock on the door is like the crack of a whip at the circus–loud and arresting. This week it bellows a tone of timidity, nauseating me.

Landis and Minnie are incessant. I know it’s them before I even turn around.

This is their Friday night ritual.

I begin to rub my temples, ready to feign some illness worthy of hermetic behavior.

“You coming out tonight?” Landis still remains hopeful. Minnie is inspecting her nails, twisting her slight wrists for no apparent reason.

I grimace effortlessly.

“Migraine,” Minnie offers, helping me.

“You sick?” Landis’ words overlap Minnie’s.

I am.

I press my lips together, nodding slowly as if the effort to communicate pains me.

A saddened look momentarily overtakes Landis’ face as he conjures sympathy from a place uncharted by Minnie, who simply nods knowingly before peeling herself away from the doorframe and floating down the hall unfazed by my delay.

“Maybe next week?”

I strain to give him a slight smile. He can remain hopeful, but like Minnie I’ve moved on, no longer desiring the spotlight.

Even the chess club’s weekly Friday night gathering devolves into a debauched shivoo of King to Queen jokes.

There was once a time when I was able to get in line and play my part. Now, I have no place in the show. No applause or opportunities to cause others amusement as they take my photo and laugh hysterically. There are only Friday nights of quiet loneliness.

But now I remember all of my Friday nights and I don’t regret them.



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