They come to see my film. My closest friends. They come from everywhere: high school, nerd camp, goth clubs, fetish clubs, Columbia’s co-ed literary society, a favorite karaoke bar, roller derby, burlesque… the perverted version of the end of It’s a Wonderful Life.

And I was terrified, punctuated by my unsubtle sneaking of sips of The Kraken spiced rum from the bottle. I had stood in front of strangers in Seattle, Portland, Berlin, and barely broke a sweat. But in front of my own friends, I was a complete wreck. Staring at the floor, afraid to see that “you made me sit through your shitty band” look — which is only familiar because of the number of times I’ve tried to hide it.

But it went well. My friends and I closed the KGB Bar. They bought me spiced rum. Some were seeing the film for the second time.

The hard part is clearly over. I am loved, the movie is loved, and I can’t wait to put this baby out to pasture and start the next one.