Monday, May 2, 2011

I have precisely an hour to blow before 6pm comes to whisk me away on my taxi ride to meet my new diving instructor.  Exciting shiny new things.  I haggle these shiny items with the excitement of a Jakarta socialite anticipating the latest Hermes product-launch:  with a tingling sensation underneath the skin and a slight anxiety in the pit of my stomach.  Actually, the uncomfortable feeling in my stomach is PMS pain, so let's not over-romanticize it.

Apart from the above tingles I am in a foul mood.

Reason number 1 being that I met a friend whom I haven't seen for about two years yesterday and instead of feeling elated as I deem it appropriate to feel, I am instead reminded of how little maturity he has gained. He prattles about his achievements and plans with the expectant, beaming demeanor of someone who expects his audience (me!) to be equally thrilled, amazed, and proud for him.  He asks me how I am and when I tell him my stories he responds with the exasperating demeanor of someone who is convinced that he knows me more than I know myself.  He ridicules or praises other people in whom I have no interest whatsoever with the enthusiasm of a talk-show guest. The night ended with one very sad realization: I do not like him.

Reason number 2 being that I attended a small intimate musical performance yesterday by a talented fledgling singer, who sang her own lyrics with the quiet emotion of a woman who sings her own words. It would have been beautiful and haunting.  It would have been one of those unexpected performances where her love and pain would fill up my own empty emotional void and leave me full, warm, therapized.

But there were her friends.  And the toddler.

Her friends were the type of senior musician friends who seem to believe that they are a privileged audience, that the venue is their home, that they have heard her many times before, that she is cool with them. One kept texting on her blackberry and, although it was set to quiet mode, refused to completely silence it.  I could hear the tapping of her thumbnails on her keypads as the singer sang of the man she would give her life for.

The toddler would not keep quiet during the performance, and chose to prance about and exclaim things noisily as the singer sang of the silence she received in return for her expectations of love.  In between all this we could hear his mother and her ineffective, half-hearted "shhh"s, which only added to the noise.

The singer loved the toddler.  She would smile at him and extend her arms, while singing, as he pranced close to her on more than one occasion.  The singer was pretty, warm, gracious.  The toddler was a brat.

Apparently his mother was the singer's friend too.

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