I’m going to have a glass—no, a bottle—of wine and watch Love Island.
Nick won’t be home for hours. It’s girls’ night.
I have no girls here, no boys either. I don’t even speak the language. Not that it matters. The Chinese man at the depanneur down the street is the only person I have to speak to. His English is great.
So for girl’s night I’m going to have a bottle of wine and watch Love Island and talk to my TV. Not to my TV, to the people on it, with their little tight bodies and stolen Brazilian hair. The girls of course. What would I even say to the boys? What do they need to hear from me? They’ve never listened to a girl a day in their lives. Why start now.
“He’s lying to you,” I’ll say to Jessica or Rylie or Peyton after the first glass of wine. It’s then that I’ll feel blown open, expanded and warmed by tannins. I’ll be Love Island’s omniscient sage. Nay, not from merely watching, from living, too, as a hot girl. My hot girl lens will expand and contract, protecting the girls from certain doom. When Love Island is funny, I will hoot and holler. I’ll be in on the joke.
I’ll kill a few more glasses of wine and start replying to people’s Instagram stories like they were sent to me in the post. HA HA! So pretty, I’ll write, but they won’t be as pretty as the girls in the Villa. They’ll have more body fat and less facial symmetry. I’ll feel real love for these people in my phone that I’ve met once or twice or never at all. I’ll wish that my friends had their humour, their cultural insights, their topical memes.
When I look back up I’ll have lost the plot of Love Island. But that’s the good thing about Love Island, you need only float down its stream. Every point is an entry. When Caleb breaks down because he has feelings for Amber but Emily just arrived and she’s two years younger, I’ll use my British accent to call him a slag.
By the fourth glass of wine I will be invested in Olivia and Rem’s love story. There is no limit to the pedestal I’ll place it on: it will penetrate heaven on its way up, up, up. When the sun obliterates itself into fiery fragments one of them may graze my belief in Olivia and Rem. If Rem cheats on Olivia in Casa Amor, I’ll decide, love isn’t real and I will kill myself.
I’ll rise from my couch and open the door to my balcony to calculate if jumping off will do the deed. Downstairs, my 100-year-old neighbour Raymond will look up and smile with his three remaining teeth. Bonjour, I will murmur, the wrong word to say at night.
I’ll slam the door, then, miffed that Raymond has thwarted a potential avenue for ending my life if Rem is unfaithful. But when I return to the TV I’ll see that it is actually Olivia who has cheated on Rem with a bloke from Birmingham with a six-pack. That’s fine, I’ll say. It is what it is! We’ll laugh, the girls and I, them technically at something else in a different timespace but the uncharted laws of consciousness suggest that perhaps in a way we will truly be laughing together.
After all, what is more powerful than a hot girl laughing? And on TV? Disseminating her rosy energy into millions of girl’s nights.
Then it will be time to cry. It’s part of every girl’s night! Girls cannot gather and imbibe without a few tears. Even together we are not exempt from the squirming tentacles of loneliness. The word tentacles will remind me of a Hentai I watched once, and that will provoke a sexual jolt. But no! It’s an unethical thing to consume, I’ll decide, even if it’s a cartoon.
When Nick comes home they’ll be doing the stupidest challenge imaginable. Making dicks from cake or something. I’ll pause or fast-forward so he doesn’t think Love Island is like that. It has substance, I will agree with myself, it’s good to observe humanity in its basest form. And what would the girls do without me to warn them about the boys? Some of them are 22! Some of them haven’t had that feeling yet, the one where you cry so hard that it feels like your stomach is leaking down your legs and you have to force-feed yourself an apple over the garbage bin on day 2. The one that feels worse than death.
Girls’ night will be over, then, because a boy is home. Boo! I’ll slur, maybe knock something over. Nick will ask me how my night went. But that’s between us.
Favorite Drink: Spicy margarita.
Brooke Mackenzie is in her late 20’s and commits the cardinal sin of being Anglophone in Montreal, Quebec. While one of her poems was recently shortlisted for Augur Magazine, she remains otherwise rejected. She tweets about Elden Ring and makeup as @lanasfirstborn.
image: MM Kaufman