The Limitations of Friendship

If you are awake of your own volition at 12:59 a.m., and with the understanding you are not hustling to make that money, it is advised that you find the nearest available bed, couch, or reasonably comfortable ditch to lay yourself down upon and pray for the quick onset of sleep. Because once the clock strikes one o’clock, no adults remain. Even the most serious and sedate among us shed the skins of our maturity and blossom into tall twelve year olds.

welcome-drink-1071956__180My two best friends and I found ourselves in such a situation after our company’s Christmas party one year. Our day job had us toiling under the oppressive fluorescence of hospital hallways, so we leapt at the chance to chow down on free food and cut loose on the dance floor in all our finery. When it ended at the respectable hour of eleven, we piled into one car and drove to my house, unwilling to end the fun. Unfortunately for me, the combination of four hours of dancing and the cheapest wine the cash bar stocked proved mightier than my resolve, and I soon slipped into dreamland.

It’s worth noting that these two friends are the people I love and trust most in the world. If it came down to it, I would give them each a kidney and flash a double thumbs up before I toppled into the morgue drawer. They have proven their ability to keep me physically safe and mentally sane(ish). Sadly, the price I pay for such devotion is functioning as their human Etch-A-Sketch.

I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to find that my left leg, laid bare from knee to ankle, had been adorned with all matter of graffiti: a proclamation of my love for the odious janitor at our hospital on my shin, a penis of impressive length and girth rounding the knob of my knee, and curiously, a rather adorable Dalmatian on my calf.

Google determined for me that hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol are effective means of removing permanent marker from skin. I don’t know who the Heloise behind that particular household hint is, but she lies. The ink faded, but the images were indelible and unmistakable.

As fate would have it, later that week I had a date with a gentleman I’d had a meet-cute with at the Verizon store. Still being ensconced in the chill of December, it was easy to conceal my not-as-temporary-as-I’d-like tattoos beneath jeans and high-topped boots. I didn’t, however, count on lust.

My date was a man infinitely more attractive than I or any woman living outside Beverly Hills could ever reasonably hope to snare. He was so beautiful even his sweater clung to his abs in what can only be described as desperation. When we inevitably ended up back at his place I shucked my clothes with abandon, remembering only after I’d divested my jeans that I was a one-woman R-rated version of Ray Bradbury’s classic The Illustrated Man.

To his credit, once we were in his room my date didn’t mention or even seem to notice that my leg was hosting the world’s smallest pop-up gallery, as his attention was focused on more precise aspects of our respective anatomies. At the very least, I learned that no matter the perceived flaws on a woman’s body, a man truly does not notice whatever she has spent so much of her worry agonizing over.

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