Nonfiction | The Secret Life of

Vacancy in the kissing booth

The safe word was bananas.

Tonight is the eve of my birthday, and the evening is pregnant with possibilities. I have always loved my birthday, more so than anyone else’s. I am aware that no one enjoys this occasion as much as I do, and perhaps my enthusiasm would be returned if I celebrated another’s equally. Whether those around me are as excited as I am or rolling their eyes at my childish fervour, I always give this week to myself to do as I please, and tonight I’m feeling acutely excited with a hint of trepidation. I want to tackle this birthday thing with all of my energy, spirit and money, but I can’t ignore an agitated fluttering inside my chest. I’m factoring in the circumstance that I’m interstate this year, which always leaves me feeling a little unanchored. Like I’m far from the harbour of my personality, or whatever excuse people give themselves for acting out of character. It’s an electric emotion tinged with a shadow of Stoicism; a healthy dose of pessimism just to keep my mind in balance. I am a girl who just wants to have fun, but I shouldn’t really be making such a big deal of something which everyone experiences each year.