A Strange Birthday Party For A Girl I Knew Briefly

Until today, I couldn’t think of where I’d even met this girl I’ve been thinking about lately. I only knew her briefly, and what I remembered most was the last time I saw her, as I got in my old Pontiac to leave her birthday party.

I used to play guitar at some friends’ house in Ann Arbor, late into the early morning hours. It was mostly a Pantera, thrash type crowd, but the owner of the house liked blues, so when his renter would get behind on the rent, he’d plug me in, and I’d play along with the different musicians that’d come sit in. Somehow, I met this girl during one of those nights. I still remember learning the one song she knew from her: “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey…”

For whatever reason, she invited me to her birthday party.

So, I showed up kind of early, and there were a couple other guys there, her mom and grandmom, and I think her uncle or older brother. As more and more people showed up, It was obvious, that other than the three generations of daughter, mother and grandmother, the party was all guys. And a lot of guys. I wasn’t having any fun. Then a male stripper showed up. At that point, I went and hung out upstairs with the mother and grandmother. This party wasn’t doing anything for me. I finally left, and as I got in my car, the girl came running out. I don’t remember what was said, but it was pretty much, Happy Birthday, take it easy, and she reached in and gave me a hug, before returning to her party.

That was the last time I saw her. But I remember how I felt when I start to see that pattern unfolding.

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