Photo: Marta Calistri

Once you’re grown up you can’t come back.

Dear Sophia:

In the Uber app you can text and receive messages from your next rider. Tonight, I got this message from Matthew:

M: I’m green AF
L: Wot?
PP: I’m dressed as Peter Pan lol
PP: Staff party
L: Sir, this is an Uber not a psychiatrist

PP: Just for that imma give you a full tip for this trip, absolutely hilarious.

I picked Peter Pan up from a party venue on the North Shore, he was around twenty and was frolicking around a pretty dark car park. Yes, really frolicking. He was laughing as he got into the car.

“You are pretty funny” he said “fucking hilarious”

“Thanks, but I am not the one wearing tights!” I said. “Was it a fun night out?”

“It was great” he said “it was our Christmas party – really good party!”

“Peter” I said “It’s the end of February”

Turns out that some businesses that are pretty busy during the holiday season postpone their corporate parties until later in the summer so more people can go. Peter Pan worked for Pak’N’Save – a New Zealand supermarket known for low prices. I had dropped someone at his store that day.

It turns out that was the first store to be overrun with panic buying due to the virus.

We got to chatting about the party-turns out one of his bosses had come as Captain Hook. Being quick on the draw, they decided to pair up for the dance competition. They lost out to another boss who had come as Snow White. Apparently the outfit was pretty amazing, given that boss was a middle-aged dude.

So, I asked Peter why we were going to the park where we were headed.

“I’m meeting a girl, and she thinks you are really funny too” he said. “I told her that if she was keen to finally meet this would be the best night. I told her to bring a couple of blankets and not to bother her parents about this at all”

“Wait, wait, you have never met this girl and you decide that you want to meet her both somewhat shitfaced and dressed like Peter Pan?”

“Well, yes. She thinks it is funny too. Is it a dodgy park btw?” he asked

“Well, yeah, it’ll be after midnight by the time you get there and maybe you should wait until you sober up a bit.”

“No, she’s keen, I am going for it. We’ve been talking for months.” he said.

Sophia, it was pretty clear that he was going for the anecdote.

I remembered the feeling of going on a hilariously set up date in the middle of the night. That feeling of invincibility and the next day feeling of “something huge happened to me last night”. Calling friends and telling them every moment, play by play.

What I can’t remember is when it was exactly that I didn’t have any nights like that at all.

We pulled into the park and I considered hanging out for a few minutes to make sure that it didn’t turn into an ugly story, but there was a security guard at the gate. I left Peter Pan there, stumbling into the park, dressed in green tights, a green tunic and a fetching, pointy, green hat.

“Have fun storming the castle” I yelled, mixing stories. “Stay Gold”

He laughed while gamboling into the night like a newly born lamb.



Photo: Marta Calistri, with thanks