Wednesday, March 30, 2011

People from last night

A wild-eyed man pulling a trolley up Gouger St, storming and shouting at everything he passes. He grabs an empty beer bottle from a planter and charges towards me. I don't panic because a) I barely have time to and b) surely not, right? and sure enough, he says to me "Nah, I'm not going to hurt you, buddy" and changes direction. I am chuffed, more about the "buddy" part than the bit about not being glassed.

A girl, utterly singular because she is the only person in the room shorter than I am. Her gorgeous smile and sweet vibe eclipses her tiny frame and this gives me personal hope for wee brunettes everywhere, particularly me. I like her headband and tell her so. She brushes off the compliment with a "Bad hair day", and it is exactly what I would have said in the same situation.

Another girl. Balinese vibe, clothes that cut away from her slender figure to show a large, delicate tattoo of a tree (I think, something lush and organic anyway) on her shoulderblade. A friend of a friend of a friend, we don't talk but share dancefloor space and an ephemeral sense of genetic and cultural heritage (or maybe that's just me). On leaving, I tell her the tattoo is beautiful; she squeezes my hand and walks away.

I see someone I met in passing a few nights previously, but my shyness keeps me alone at the bar holding a beer I'm not sure entirely sure I want. 20 minutes later (with Alice by my side as backup) I say hello and am greeted by a big grin, a bear hug, and an enthusiastic rundown of my basic information checklist to the girl next to him. He dances continuously, with exuberance and without alcohol. Ahh, more people like that please. Less (fewer?) inhibited idiots like me.

A guy sitting across from me on the train. Orange polo shirt, blue checked shorts, chunky sandals. Preoccupied and frowny, he rubs his eyes and his hair, and on closer inspection looks like he's trying not to think about something so sad it will make him inconsolable. I have uncharitable thoughts connecting all this to what he's wearing, but decency wins in the end and I long to ask if he's OK. I'm not sure this is an entirely altruistic impulse; I just like interesting stories.

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