Last month I attended a “Meetup” group with “Trifle with Danger”, a self-styled Group of “Social Adventurers”.
I learned a few things…like the official word for having three testicles and the singular of Scampi (which I have checked since and was incorrect). I’ve learned that some people consider the fractured pitting of lame attempts to shoehorn sex into a conversation in 5 second factoids that everyone ignores before making their own non-sequential addition to the pile, does not make a conversation. And that when people run out of ways to say it, simply commenting “why are we only talking about sex” is considered an interesting way to continue to bore everyone witless. Even that has its limits before you quickly devolve into someone piping up with the even worse “Can somebody come up with something to talk about?” (I was staying resolutely silent throughout, believe me). One guy holding court boldly announced that one of the 398 internet social networks he attends (this was his third “event” that day alone) was called “Spice” but Haha should be called “Old Spice” cos last time he went there were only a couple of people under 40 and it wasn’t worth bothering with…. Twitch. “50 Shades of Grey is demeaning to women” (presumably that includes the millions that have read it) “….its set back feminism 20 years…” (how so?) “Has anyone here read it go on have any of you girls read it…” One woman, like me at her first “event” piped up in the affirmative… “So did you find it erotic, did you, did you”. Conversation starter for ten. All this notwithstanding the fact that I seriously doubt he had ever been within 30 metres of a living, breathing, flesh-and-blood female in his life. “I prefer sign language to English you know, its so much easier to express yourself, you can wave your hands faster instead of having to shout to emphasise a point…Did you know that this… means Bullshit in sign langauge, did you, or actually if you do this… well that’s “Bullshit” too but really most of the time its really this… (twirls hands again) …that’s really how you “do” Bullshit”.
I stared into my beer. Briefly pondered if I was in the presence of a Master of Irony. But no…it really was just Bullshit.
Girl next to me ventures to him “Ooo you’re so clever. You know so many things!”
I wanted to throw up.
Open my shoulders. Plant my feet. Lift my heart to the sun. Stand like a mountain… Tadasana. Occupy my space with intent.
Look, boy. How many women have you loved? And how many have you lost? How many times have you stared into the blistering blue eyes of a child new in the world, your own flesh and blood? Have you cradled a dying stranger? Given them water and prayers for the lost? Ever woken up on a slab screaming for morphine? Ever looked death square in the eye and said “no”, and chosen to live? I do that every day when I wake up, boy.
I didn’t say it out loud. What’s the freaking point. Just picked up my hat, gave a nod and walked out into the cold night. I have better conversations with my cat.