Cover Photo: Vacancy in the kissing booth by Ebony A. Caron

Vacancy in the kissing booth

The safe word was bananas.

Tonight is the eve of my birthday, and the evening is pregnant with possibilities. I have always loved my birthday, more so than anyone else’s. I am aware that no one enjoys this occasion as much as I do, and perhaps my enthusiasm would be returned if I celebrated another’s equally. Whether those around me are as excited as I am or rolling their eyes at my childish fervour, I always give this week to myself to do as I please, and tonight I’m feeling acutely excited with a hint of trepidation. I want to tackle this birthday thing with all of my energy, spirit and money, but I can’t ignore an agitated fluttering inside my chest. I’m factoring in the circumstance that I’m interstate this year, which always leaves me feeling a little unanchored. Like I’m far from the harbour of my personality, or whatever excuse people give themselves for acting out of character. It’s an electric emotion tinged with a shadow of Stoicism; a healthy dose of pessimism just to keep my mind in balance. I am a girl who just wants to have fun, but I shouldn’t really be making such a big deal of something which everyone experiences each year.