A Party

By Sarah Cottee

He woke up, put his panda outfit on and walked to the party at about the same time he slouched into his usual seat at the bar. ‘I’ll only order one tonight’ he thought as he took the last swig of his 4th, or was it his 3rd, double whiskey. The barman kicked him out again and he woke up on his 26th birthday which he was sure was 2years away. He decided to celebrate it differently this year so went to the same pub and drank a number of double whiskeys. A woman was there who he might or might not have known so he said hello to her again and she smiled. She asked if she could try on his Panda outfit and he said ‘I’m sorry I quit that job a while ago and got a real job at a supermarket, kids parties just aren’t for me’ but she picked up the costume from his bedroom floor in any case and put it on while they had sex for 3 to 300 minutes.

At the party the next day, or was it the next year, he couldn’t quite remember-there were two pandas and a baby panda who he was sure was the result of his birthday night maybe. He then decided to see if he still had the job, or ever did have a job, at the supermarket so he walked in without his panda costume and saw a woman who he might or might not have known and said hello to her again and she smiled. They finished work and he walked her home and resisted sleeping with her, ‘I really must only sleep with one from now on’ he thought as he closed the other ones door and stumbled down the street to his house to change into his panda costume. He was sick for the first time in this outfit at the party, but luckily he had made a bag that hung down from his neck like a bib to catch the sick each day, so it didn’t even matter. The party was his other child’s 1st birthday who either did or did not share the same mother as the first one. When it was over he went straight home to sleep after one and a few more double whiskeys. As the doorbell rang he woke up and looked around at the empty whiskey bottles that someone else must have drunk because he hated the stuff. ‘Hi dad sorry I forgot my keys’ said his 18year old son who had lived with him for 2 or maybe 14years. Time to put on the panda again and go to another party if that was still his job and if that giant panda outfit did even exist. But on his way there or back he bumped into another panda whose eyes reminded him of something he couldn’t remember. Maybe it was something to do with his favorite bar, so he went to the supermarket and asked if they have seen a panda recently but instead of answering him they put him in handcuffs and threw him in the back of a van.

He ended up wearing a costume that wasn’t a panda’s and sitting in a room that wasn’t his and but he had some new friends now that he had known for 10years. His son and a woman had just visited with his grandson who he didn’t know existed and said that he wasn’t going to be released soon which made him more angry than when he got provoked outside the supermarket by a man who said some things about how he slept with his wife who worked at the supermarket but this couldn’t have been true because he had never even been to the supermarket! So he injured the man, or took his life, he forgot which, using his panda paw and a rock. All that seems so far away now he thought as he walked back home in his recently recovered panda outfit and tried to take a swig of the empty whiskey bottle he just bought. An old woman came and took him by the paw then led him to a house which could have been his. They sat on the sofa and stared into each other’s panda eyes. ‘Ah. It’s the woman who visited me in prison and who I’m either married to or divorce from because I definitely did or didn’t slept with another one.’ He picked up a full bottle of whiskey as an empty one slid from his hand. ‘What a life’ he thought as he never woke up.