Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coversation 2.0

I'm in the social lounge/bar area of a theatre festival. A woman, maybe 58 years old, who must be in (or associated) with one of the productions has obviously had a few glasses of red wine (over the years and this evening). She is taking the lead in a social interaction between her, a director and another actor. She is the center of attention and absolutely must express her deepest, most complex reading of some production she had participated in however long ago. For 20 minutes she does not stop speaking; she is loud, overly gestural and full of sauce and this is her time to prove that she has an unique and valid opinion about what happens on and behind the stage. The director and actor stare at her and nod their heads silently. I sensed they were itching to get up and leave. Maybe not, but probably.

"So these fucking lines are just so.... Blah! I don't know. This poor man is trying to find his deepest, most profound understanding of his Grandfather. Now, why do we care? If it was anyone else's Grandfather we wouldn't give a flying fuck. But since we know it's his grandfather, we care. And the elegance and prestige Sarah gave to her character (the women looks over her glasses and tilts one eyebrow to the ceiling and pauses)

was , to fucking, die for! It was to bloody die for, I assure you. And Sarah, despite herself, really listened to me and delivered a version of the Patricia that I swept me from my disposition completely. And so I misjudged her. Although Henry, bless him, might tell you a different version"

. -she spills a little wine on the floor. She is now cross legged on the ground while the other sit on a couch. She continues to rant as the other are obviously looking beyond her at the rest of the schmoozers in the general social zone. I thought to myself, this is her moment, let her take it to the moon. Please world, just let her shine tonight, she needs this. Deliver her home safely.

Coversation 2

I am in the Victoria airport preparing to board a plane to Edmonton and then onto Regina. Moments before they announce pre-boarding I overhear a conversation that a man is having on his cellphone sitting behind me. The man is seated so his back is to my back; he has strawberry blond hair and beach-like attire. He speaks in your typical “sup dude, wanna grab a pint” kind of tone. His vocal presence was comparable to California surf culture meets Western Canadian “broseph” culture. (are they even different? inform me) Young people and the beach, let me tell you.

Anyways, the body of his conversation painted me a picture of a young man who just got dumped by his girlfriend and is heading back to Alberta to visit family and friends, desperately looking for drinking buddies that can make him feel better about his heavy heart. (which is he is too masculine to reveal)


“Hey John, what’s up buddy? Aw not much, I’m on my way to Edmonton right away here. Ya, its kind of hard to leave Vic, it’s so nice here. No doubt, no doubt. Ya, so you heard me and Jen broke up? Ya. ya..... oh ya. Ya, we haven’t even seen each other yet. But whatevz, s’al good. She’s just a chick right? ha, ya. You interested in a drink later? Oh ya, fuck. Bumber dude, I really wanna see you, pound a few back, have a conversation. Aight, ya. Right. Alright, well....if you change your mind just give me a ring. Ya, I’m thinking of hittin’ up White Ave for some Bevy’s, you know, seein’ some peeps. Cool bro, get at me”.

He looks depressed all of a sudden. He redials.... He leaves a message....

“Hey man, it’s Pat, just wondering what’s up. I’m going to be in town for a couple weeks, we should get together for some drinks. Not sure what your work schedule is, holla at me dude. Alright, take care. Peace.

He redials.... leaves a message

“Amber, its Pat, just wanted to let you know I’m in town for some time, we should get together, REALLY talk about our feelings (he says in a playful and satirical voice). Anyways, text me or call back and let me know w’sup.” Alright, peace out.”

He redials, get’s a hold of some guy.......

Tom? Right on buddy how goes it? Fuckin’ rights bro... what’s that? ah ya, fuck man, It’s rough. haha, ya. Ya we just broke up dude. Fuck, whatevz brother we got each other. You work tomorrow? Fuck.... aight, aight, well just give me a shout whenever duder. Aight, peace”.....ya for sure bro, alight, peace”.

He looked so broken and alone. I wished I could have been his drinking buddy. Maybe we could have talked about some poor server’s breasts and flirt with young girls that don’t even do their own banking yet. And the hockey score. Oh wait, it’s not hockey season.... I mean we could talk about how much money we make and what province is calling us.

Conversations I hear

"Conversations I Hear" is a new project of mine that involves me inadvertently picking up on what I consider to be interesting conversations in social space and jotting-down the most interesting highlights. Later on I will type these highlights into a 're-telling' of the conversation online. These conversations will initially be posted on facebook (because that's where all my friends and acquaintances will see them immediately without a link) , and then to be formally plugged into a blog. Maybe one day it will be an extended publication with a forward by an academic hero, who knows, but for now....

"Conversations I Hear"

Conversation number one

I walk into an all you can eat sushi restaurant in Kitchener, Ontario. There is a wide selection of seats available to the left of the restaurant but since I am alone the waiter seats me at a 'single' table that is in close parallel proximity to another table of teenagers. There were three females and a male. The male was dressed in a seashell necklace with his his blond hair gelled up in the front, 1997 style. He had a blond goatee. The women were in skimpy summer clothes. If it were not for the sectional wall dividing us, we would all be sitting at the same table. At first I was annoyed by this dynamic of space, and then I started to listen to what they were saying:

The first dialogue that caught my attention was this:

"Can you spell D.U.I"? says the male

"Shut up Derek, you drink and drive all the time" responds one of the females

"I haven't drank and drove since last week. Wait, I did on my birthday. haha. I'm baaad..." (baaad is said in a very cute, Gabbo form the Simpsons kind of voice)

One of the females adds to the conversation in an equally cute and non-confrontational tone-

" You lied to me on you're birthday. You said you didn't drive home silly".

"I'm baaaaad" responds the male

"Was that the night my cousin bitched you out?" asks one of the females

I ordered my first barrage of sushi and tuned back into the conversation to hear the following fragments. Keep in mind, I didn't have a tape recorder so I had to write as fast as possible, thus producing these fragments as they are. There may be some minor transmission due to this factor.

"I remember in grade 10 I had a decent amount of shoes, like 9 pairs. And Nikki Damanski deliberately bought like, 3 pairs of the same ones I had in different colors"

One of females begins to talk about her fake I.D-

"When I go into the LB I twirl my car keys around my fingers so I look older"

"That looks nothing like you"

" I also have Anna's visa. I'm like...shoppinnnng!"

All of a sudden several text signals go off in short proximity to each other (weird) and each individual becomes immersed in their own phone. Eventually the male begins to read his message- " It's Sean, he's like...still working, off at 9, let's go drinking'. Fuck ya, right on buddy".

The conversation then switches back to the question of whether or not the female looks old enough to buy alcohol. The male blurts out-

"Just show them your tits. I walk up into the place gangsta. I'm like, whaddup shawty, let's get crizzle".

Later on, several spicy tuna rolls later I take a quick glance at the male as he has finally shut up for a few moments. I Iook into his eyes and strangely imagine a more sensitive and reflective side to this individual. His distracted and somber gaze briefly put my character judgements aside; I convinced myself that perhaps he had a soul. And then he spoke again in response to whatever someone else was saying-

"I'll stab you in the jugular, huh huh".