Thursday, March 29, 2012
Happy Fall! in April....
I stopped at a tavern yesterday afternoon and saw a friend I know from the complex John and I live in, it was nice to see a familiar face, the weather was great, and the tables and ashtrays <yay, ashtrays> were paired up on the openfaced cafe style seating in front. My neighbor was born here, and likes to fish early mornings, he's a bit 'not quite right', but he's harmless, eloquent, and doesn't ask for cigarettes or beer money. I've learned to like that latter aspect of people a lot. He doesn't apologize for being unmedicated and usually his wife will catch him before he does or says anything politically incorrect or illegal. I really admire her for that, and John too for that matter, but that's not my point.
He introduced me to a mate of his, a tattoo artist from Beverly Hills <they have one here, they're not similar at all> and with the three accents plugging away; one Australian, one Irish, and my butchery of English which is the American way, it would be an understatement to say our conversation was frequently punctuated with 'aye?', 'what's that?', and 'say again?' for two reasons. One was the obvious clash of tongues, but the other was we had clicked right away on a variety of subjects from Iron Maiden, skateboarding, New Zealand, fishing, tattoos, and each of us had a lot to say and wasn't really waiting for their opportunity to speak. We spent the last hours of the afternoon covering topic after topic, and what was funny was each of us at one point or another had said 'Australia is an interesting place because there are so many different kinds of people who've made it home'. It's not uncommon to hear more foreign languages in your elevator here than you do at a party in America at the same time.'
Having been given that forum, it's great to hear a different take on not only political and economic situations, but also what is popular in a range of cultures so far as music, celebrity, and sport. People will come and tell you right out that they 'hate America, but like Americans' here, I'm still working out what that means considering I've heard it from not only strangers, but from people I consider 'friends I've made' since I've been here.
So, while sitting in this convention of minds that were differently molded from three different corners of the globe, I wondered when at home how often this would happen, and was feeling evolved in the ways of international diplomacy.... That is, until I looked in the glass of the tavern store front.
I was pulling a cigarette out and lighting it, and brushed the hair away from my face. I hate the smell of burning hair and ponder often why God would put hair so close to where my cigarette and fire utensil collide. I caught a glimpse of the three of us in the glass and said to myself 'If I were a casual observer, I'd be curious as to what kind of conversation three pony tailed, bearded, tattooed, middle aged white men, drinking outside a tavern well before the end of a work day afternoon were having'. I wonder how it would go.
The laughable exchanges of the likes of Beavis and Butthead, Cheech and Chong, and even Ren and Stimpy went through my head, and I excused myself, got up and went home to cook dinner. I guess I still have to work on that positive thinking thing, and to not be concerned as I am about what imaginary people are saying or what generalizations they're making. My therapist would be less than pleased. You know, the one I haven't seen in four months since I've been here. I also would have sworn I heard someone utter 'Dave's not here, man.' as I departed from the table.