It was a rainy Saturday night. The playcentre was having a fundraiser at the hall in the village. I had a slight cold, but I still felt like I should go. And maybe it would give me something to write about on my blog.
"I thought you were sick," said Adam.
It was too late to get a sitter. When I left the house, Adam was lying on the couch by the fire, sensibly nursing his cold, and watching a movie. Did I really want to go out? I asked myself.
I drove carefully through the rain and parked my car near the hall. At the door, I said hello to A., who was standing outside with a group of people.
I looked inside the hall. Tables were arranged in intimate groups in front of the stage. Everyone was dressed up. I felt like I had stumbled into a private dinner party in my gum boots. Showing up alone on a Saturday night seemed like a faux pas. I should be here with someone, I thought. H. said hello, and I saw V. and T. get up from their tables.
I had a panic attack. This village is too small and insular. I wish I could be anonymous.
I fled to my car. I got in and sat stupidly in the dark, listening to the rain falling on the roof of the car. I took a few deep breaths and tried to calm down. I should go back, I thought. I’m already here.
Through the passenger window, I watched the people standing outside the hall in the yellow glow of a street light. The eave of the hall sheltered them from the rain.
I imagined asking Twitter for help. No, I couldn’t tweet about this. Hiding in my car was too pathetic. I checked the time on my phone. It was 10pm. I didn't want to miss the Nablopomo deadline. I had two hours to publish a post on my blog.
I drove back home.
"That was quick," said Adam.
“Have you ever been afraid to go to a pub or a party?” I asked.
“No, I just work through it,” Adam replied.
"Hmph," I said.