My girlfriends and I are in our little cabin in the Appalachian mountains of Georgia. I drove down from Virginia yesterday and listened to about seven podcast episodes — two Fresh Airs, a Radiolab, two TED Radio Hours, a Throughline about the Violence Against Women Act, and a New Yorker Fiction episode where Andrea Lee read “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami. It was my first experience of Murakami, and holy moly. Now I know why everyone loves him.
I arrived around 4:30pm, a few minutes after my four other girlfriends had arrived. They had just unpacked their cars. Roller suitcases, hoodies, purses, and computer bags were strewn across the log cabin living room. I couldn’t see an empty square inch of kitchen counter because it was covered with loaves of bakery bread, baguettes, arborio rice for risotto, shallots, brownie mixes, beer, La Croix, onions, potatoes, garlic, a bag of split peas for split pea soup, potato chips, Fritos, Kettle corn, salty popcorn, a bucket of caramel corn, Girl Scout cookies, a big pot to make the pea soup in, and a box of Alka-Seltzer cold medicine for hangovers.
On the kitchen table was a laundry basket full of booze. I added mine to the mix, and we have enough to make anything we want: two kinds of dark rum, light rum, whiskey, bourbon, two kinds of vodka, two kinds of gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, Campari, red wine, sparkling wine. My friend passed around metal insulated tumblers for each of us. Mine is peach and says Best Bitches on it.
We always talk big about how much we’re going to go crazy and drink on Girls’ Weekend, and we did start pretty much as soon as I arrived, but we’ve slowed down quite a bit over the years. I made Negronis for two of us, then later made Boulevardiers, but I nursed those two drinks over a period of hours, and by 9 o’clock, when we all started yawning, I had switched to tangerine La Croix.
I don’t think we stopped talking or laughing for a single minute from the moment I walked in the door. Often there were at least two conversations going at once. We’ve been waiting all year to talk to each other.
Even after waking at 3:30 am yesterday and not being able to get back to sleep, I was able to stay up until midnight last night. And I wasn’t the first one to bed! We all turned in around that time. Usually the first night lasts until 3:30am. We’re getting old.
Now I hear our early riser, who rises even earlier than me, in the kitchen making coffee. I’m proud of myself for sleeping past 6 am. I’m going to go pour a cup, pad around this warm cabin in my sweatpants, and see what the weather looks like from the balcony overlooking the mountains.