Monday, November 14, 2005

Plywood rant

Okay, I did care about the marks; there can never be enough pocket change brownie points.


Banana Chic's visit was much appreciated. Unconditionally easy-going, we've lasted longer than Lohan's driving record. Banana Chic came with two of her roommates, Alex and John: two 19-year-olds who couldn't be more different. I got along great with everyone, even if the former tried snookering me with a whole lot of self-aggrandizing malarky and unimpressive proclamations. (The latter was an ardent gentleman and modest mouse who sprung a sketched portrait of me that unintentionally depicted this Asian as a babushka with the face of an Inuit wood carving based on some sea sponge demon: "Oh ... wow, thank you. It's really, um ... You're a decent guy, John, ya know that?") A New Brunswickan on paper only, I gave Alex the benefit of the doubt and naturally believed him when he said he was bilingual because he didn't refute it when I presumed, his companions too polite to confute. Of course, his Jerichoan walls soon fell once we visited the Cinematheque Quebecoise and, after approaching a mounted poem, accused me of "messing [him] up" when I was translating for the rest of the Kazuyo gang (aspiring architects, they love them contemporary design and textiles). Messing him up? He can't differentiate la croix from le crap. Childish and inconsiderate, he handed me garbage instead of throwing it out. Arrogant and passive/aggresive, he tried to get everyone to revolve their plans around him. "So what's the itinerary tomorrow?" I asked. A series of indiscriminate mumbles tried passing for an answer. He spoke for the other two: "I want to visit my uncle. I guess we're leaving after that." My best friend came to Montreal to see me and the boys already wasted over half of the weekend in search of a movie neither she nor I wanted to see (nor Alex, apparently, since he fell asleep during the Iranian documentary and left poor John staring cluelessly at French subtitles). And here he was, too proud to ask for directions and fess up to his shortcomings, rolling his eyes behind the host? Giving me attitude for taking detours from his one-way street sweeps? I calmly informed him that I've revised the plan and hope there would be no objections -- it was imperitive that the next few hours be utilised efficiently.

And it was. Banana Chic and I went to a salsa club where two considerably older Mexican men politely asked us to dance ... then *sigh* went in for the inevitable kill. "You promise to come back, yes? I wait for you next Saturday."

University. It's a term that has many connotations. It carries with it a notion of higher learning, a place for Platonic engagements and intellectual trysts. Nuh uh, Captain Kangaroo. It's high school with more expensive cockfights perpetuated by the same, tired suspects. 20-year-olds are still 20-year-olds, maturity comes only with time. When children play with adult tools, it's easy to fall for the show. It's a sub-culture of dress-up fiends, desperate to understand why grown-ups do the things they do. What is hospitality, we ask, if not a formality to overcome gossip and a cheapskate reputation? What is generosity, we say, if not a lifestyle accessory and social label? Saving graces can't compete when saving face is king.

I am clearly turning into a misanthrope. Daily 4 a.m. wailings for "bacon and eggs!" by wasted undergrads and pounding music played at a deafening Spinal Tap 11 will do that to a person. People are such a pain in the ass. And in this case, I'm trapped because these neighbours of mine tell me that being loud is how they get me to come over (even if it's to pound on their goddamn door). I'm a clown because I have to be; I'm a loner because I want to be. Aren't I justified in being a punishing tease?

It's so sad that the deepest thing guys want to get into is connected to my uterus and continually closed for seasonal maintenance.

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