Thursday, April 30, 2009

8 Vignettes From the Birthday Party

kate and james, Lina Scheynius

i am tired even as i walk in. the room is full of merriment. people laughing. there are colours everywhere, matching polo-shirts (for the guys) t-shirts (for the girls) with nicknames spray-painted on the back. it is a nice touch, and i can't help but smile (quietly) (to myself) (on the inside somewhere where smiles are first generated). Q - T I P . baby blue. the collar scratches my neck, it's been a while since i wore a polo.
____someone says something to me. they're all already tipsy so it's much louder than he might have intended. i'm taken aback a moment. my hand is in my pocket. it fidgets as i try to find another smile. yesyesyes. [smile] yeah good buddy, going well, it's been a crazy week huh?

- what's the question?
- what health problem do Churchill, Einstein, Thomas Edison and... someone else
- Da Vinci
- yeah, and Da Vinci have in common?
- Dyslexia.
- what? i thought they were all short.
- that's not a health problem.
- it kinda is.
- no, it's kinda not.
- are you sure it's dyslexia?
- sweetheart, the last time i was sure about something i was 8 years old and sure the dream was real.
- ... fair enough.
- go with dyslexia?
- Mike says it's dyslexia.
- fine. dyslexia.

but i can't hear the next question. someone's throwing pieces of chocolate cake around. block it out q, block it out q. the coffee-shop attendant throws a baleful glance our way. the table of pretentious 'adults' besides us throws us a meaner look (yeah, but you got the last question right Q so f*ck them! i laugh, dyslexia. who would have thought). a shout now, male. another, female. someone runs and the table erupts. laughter. a remnant from an untold joke only drunakrds and the too-highly-imaginative are privy to.

she wanders around quietly. eyes slightly redder than i'm used to seeing them. sits a while besides a tall German wearing a dark-blue polo. then rests her shoulder on another friend's shoulder. then she's behind me - what's the question?
- what are a group of unicorns called?
- a myth. it's a myth they don't exist.
- what about horses? it should be the same as horses.
- no, it's a trick question.
(she sits quietly through all this).

- what?
- what?
- did anyone hear the answer?
- a f*cking blessing of unicorns.
- what the f*ck!
- seriously. who reads sci-fi?!

the Starbucks attendant is beautiful. i can't tell her that. excuse me, i recently started drinking soy which means all my drinks taste like they're slightly demented- can you recommend a drink that tastes good with soy? She drinks everything with soy. i persist: can i tell you a story?, i'd like to tell you a story (girls love stories). she laughs on cue, and i stare at her eyes looking for a connection. something tangible that lives in the air between two people. her blue eyes eventually gloss over. that's attraction. i've learnt to spot it. now i can tell her she's beautiful, but i don't. i take my grande soy chai latte with 2 extra pumps please and step out onto the side of the street to talk about James Joyce.

- why is every conversation with you a conversation about James freaking Joyce?
- because he wrote about everything. so he relates to everything.
- ... fine. good answer. smart-ass.

somewhere between C.S. Lewis and Beckett's short stories i lose him to sobriety and walk alone to meet the loud noisy cover band that's enveloping my friends in a blanket of cacophony entirely unbearable.

i walk into your hug. you don't let go. your eyes are sadder when they're that redder colour. of course i struggle to read your face, but you smell nice.

we're strrreeaaakkkiiinnnnggggg. between the brown hair of the body on top of me, and the sand beneath me, i see a pale white male figure in black underwear running for the water. then, a woman's black bra- a horizontal silhouette on a white back follows, screaming. another. another. the zombies with a droned wail run for the waves. i laugh. behind me someone smokes a cigarette leaning against a tree. between brown hair and brittle sand i find a neck and lean into it.

- can we just take a moment to acknowledge how hot i look right now?
(the white figure. the black bra. wet hair. back home, a car ride later. still no shirt. it's true, she does:
- totally / - yeah seriously.
- shower-time! see ya!
(she runs into the bathroom with a light gambol).

two people left. standing opposite each other. tired eyes to red eyes.
- i... should __might, . um. go.
- ye ah. like . yeh.

lost lips to lost lips.

nuclear explosion.

clench your teeth and prepare to observe 2 minutes pandemonium.

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