During the conference, I stayed with Hannah, a colleague and now friend I came to know while she was studying in Montreal. I liked her the instant I met her, which had everything to do with her energy: there’s something mischievous about her, an up-for-anything air that is both charming and contagious. I suspect she’s the kind of girl who does crazy things when she’s drunk, a character trait I strongly approve of.
On my last night at her place, we paused on Hannah's front stoop to smoke cigarettes after a distinctly unpleasant altercation with a cab driver who tried to rip us off. As we smoked, she said to me, matter-of-factly: “You’ve got spunk. That’s why I like hanging out with you.”
Her comment surprised me. I don’t think of myself as someone who has spunk. I think of myself as the person I was when I was five years old: quiet, almost painfully shy, and deathly afraid of other people. Not spunky in the least.
Is this what trips us up in the end? Are we all, still, our five-year old selves, dwarfed by a world whose scale is incomprehensible to us? Do we all think we’re infinitely smaller than we actually are?
Today, I am thirty years older than five. I think I’ll throw myself a party.