Monday, May 19, 2008


Last weekend, a failed excursion and my second wind.

Some foiled Friday

Meet Sophia, a Spanish fighter pilot who first chartered herself to our shores in search of a soul mate. Sophia had been a warrior her entire life, sporty in nature and willing to take the helm of any endeavor she undertook. I had that image of Sophia before I met her, I know her today as a socialite, an extrovert without caution. She still fights, for the environment no less, but I suspect the darling concerns herself with people first these days.

So naturally we were talking about a man, we can call him SM1 (soul mate one)
“You might meet him tonight” she explains. She’s holding a thick blue-green cocktail in one hand and sips slowly, flinching slightly at the potency.
I am drinking something pink and fruity, image be damned. “Oh yeah, great, you should point him out… I’ll give him a good talking to.”
“Oh? Mmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t then.” – in mock concern
A Lokian chuckle from me and a reassuring shake of the head. “No worries”

Sophia is a good friend and has been since we first crossed paths, I am grateful for her company. Tonight especially, I was just happy to get immersed into the company of strangers and forget a certain someone... and other black holes I suppose. In our present company I had just met Chocolate Bear. Chocolate Bear likes Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother, which means I instantly like him. We sit at the bar and chat with Bronwen the bartender while Sophia fetches herself another drink. He relates an amusing story about a road trip to Durban and the foibles inherit with jacking a Merc.
“You know, cause they have those special points for jacking.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yeah, and here we borrowed some strangers jack and made a night of trying to change the thing. We wound up at the beach and just smoking spliff…”

And so it went…time passes, more folks join us and we chat. Sophia comes back and we all head to the dance floor. Time passes, in a good way. I had no trouble getting into the mood of the party tonight. Inane though the music may have been at times, I was having a rare bout of fun on fun. The hour clocks over to 2am or so and after taking a breather where I spoke briefly with an Afrikaans man and his Korean beau, I decided to find my new friends on the dance floor again… only to bump into the certain someone. I didn’t even think she came to this place, but there she was. She smiled, she greeted politely, introduced me to the gentlemen she was with. She knows I’m in turmoil over seeing her but continues to dance, sultry swinger that she is. I want to talk to her but she will have none of it and I decide that the good part of my night is over. I left without saying goodbye to Sophia, CB or any of the rest of the hatters… I was done. I wailed along with Jeff Buckley on my way home.

Where the lederhosen at?

The next morning I called Sophia to ask how the night went and explain my damper from last night. She’s sympathetic and explains to me that she had drunkenly told SM1 he was no longer fit to be her soul mate. She had instead hooked up with SM2, who would not leave her alone for the whole night, though she says she tried to ditch him a few times. I guess we’ll see where SM2 lands up. They say they’re heading out to the German schule basar for a few drinks under the sun. After last night I was in no mood, I told Sophe I’d sulk at home and go for a run later and that would be my day. She shrugs (I imagine) and hangs up after a bit. I picked up my guitar and strummed out Oasis’s “Don’t go away” and, as an experiment, cut my own hair. Then I read some… then I turned on the idiot box and escaped to MTV reality-land where a shy chubby guy is struggling to get a date for the prom. Sitting there I thought that I was a sure shooter for shy chubby guy 2 – so I called up Sophia for directions to the Schule basar. “If I see her again though I’m attaching a chain to my foot and diving into a keg.”

In a crowd of 7000, I felt hidden enough to enjoy myself though. We met up with the don, El Rey and his muse, the Italian maiden. Flore. El and Flor had been together for five years and are one of those rare-spotted couples that seem to be a perfect fit. El is witty, so witty I want to write down things he says and make a post of them. He has a mind geared toward modern society (and a keen interest in the information age), a luminous green shirt (and car) and two mismatched All Star takkies. Flor almost meets him on height and probably surpasses her beloved on brains. Hers is a gentler soul, she dresses in soft white and long skirts, a smile always in bloom. I like the two of them very much. We all sat together on the lush schoolfield, ate pancakes and wondered where the lederhosen were at…

“At the other German beer fest they had more than two people appropriately dressed… the atmosphere was more genuine… not that the people here aren’t dressed in their own special way….” El muses

“To be fair, this is a German school’s bazaar and not a ‘German beer fest’ per se” I interject.

“… and they drank more at the other one,” he continues.

We wind up across from a table where a flick of Sophia’s scarf (she is a fighter pilot of the WW2 tradition after all) catches some guy called Toughie in the face. Toughie amuses her and regales her with a tale about being pepper sprayed and, unfortunately, how much he misses his ex-girlfriend. Later, when we left the basar, a man pissing against a fence receives a jab from her, I can’t recall what about. This charmer turns around, device in hand and notices Sophia, “oh my, you’re beautiful” he says embarrassed.

I’d never seen Sophe in that way, she was my friend. But as I got to know and spend time with her I found that many guys did. I wonder how many SM’s we’ll go through in the time we know each other.

Safe and remote

You must understand, I thought I was safe on Friday when I went out and saw someone I shouldn’t have. So I was hesitant coming out on Saturday night again, but Sophe, El, Flor, myself and this other guy – call him BJ – head out to supper together at this Italian place which has a thing for pepperdews and watch the Sharks dole out what-for. El is not sporty of mind and jokingly draws our attention to the screen every 10 seconds exclaiming: “Does that mean they’ve won?!” and “Oh look!” and so on…. Then we went to a small place where there’s hardly room to sit. It remind me of my old varsity bar, where people go to drink and chat and not much else. It’s well hidden within a small shopping centre and I rightly assume I will not run into certain someone again. Instead I sit next to Nelly, who likes to make a game of reading people. We play Body Language and imagine relationships up for various people interacting around the bar.

I knew I was at home when two guys start swinging fists at one another and cause bottles to crash. Kids! I shake my head. We later learnt that the pick had peen picked because one fool had hit his girlfriend and the guys seeing it decided to teach him a lesson. I remember that there are sometimes reasons to fight, that last time I had fought it was to protect a weaker friend of mine from bullies, that was during school days. I wanted to go and laud the fight pickers but they were not to be found. I decided that since I was up I would leave. Tonight had gone considerably better than last night, this time I said goodbye to everyone and drove him with Bon Jovi in my ears – because I could.

Never underestimate the value of good company and connecting with a stranger. It validates you as a person in the social sphere, it makes you feel good about yourself shy chubby boy. Also, as Einstein once observed, experiences are relative. A minute with your hand on a hot plate feels like an hour, a minute with your hand on a hot woman feels like a second.

And some parting advice, to the girl at the door of the club of Friday night, who asked a frighteningly ironic question: Yes, guys are dumb, we need to be told everything – from how you feel to what you feel like eating. If he actually puts himself out there and says he likes you and you’re not sure, say you’re not sure. If you think you like him but like someone else more, say “I think I like you but I’m sure I like someone else more.” The golden rule is: Men are simple. Spell all of it out so we don’t get it wrong.