Monday, December 24, 2007

another "night at café"

Sometimes I think the things I say are far more powerful than they appear - insofar as their effectiveness in attracting the Irony Gods™ goes, anyway.
As anyone who's been following the blog (yes, yes, I mean that one poor person who has the RSS feed) knows, I borrowed a book from someone's home in another city a while ago. Then, this morning, I made some rather pompous allusions to my tendency to entertain empty hopes. What more did I need? Nothing, that's what.
Voilà! Instant karma.

So it turns out the Gem of a Boy is in Bangalore. Not that he called to tell me - I had to find it out through other channels. He finally did call me (after his sending me an email confessing he'd lost my phone number and another from me furnishing him with it) this evening. I'd been expecting the call for a day and a half, and had wonderfully witty things all ready to say. Then, a moment before he called, someone else asked me for my phone number, and when the phone rang I was caught all unprepared, alas, egad, ecod! Still, hellos were said, suggestions of a meeting were made; I'll call you back, he said. An hour or so later (during which i called him to ask if anything was actually going to happen you see it's late already and i need to make plans and arrange transport etc), he did. He was meeting a friend of his at Koshy's later, would I care to join them? I'd put my shoes on already, so I said yes, of course I will, what a pleasure whee.
So I wrapped up the present (shhh it's still a secret) and combed my hair and checked my bag for my umbrella, phone and wallet. Ready! I thought.

Then I had to call him back to find out what he looked like (he does not have a photograph of himself anywhere on the internet). I have a goatee, he said. I told him all the waiters at Koshy's had goatees; that wasn't enough to go on. You like adventures, don't you? he said. He sounded rather irritated at having to receive all those calls, so I shut up and hung up and left the house.
It was half-past-six. We were to meet at half-past-seven.

The moment I'd stepped out of the house, my phone rang.
My parents, who (oh my, did i forget to mention?) were out of town, were calling to check up on me. I walked back up the ten steps I'd walked down, opened the door and managed to walk all the way to where my sister was watching television and hand the phone to her at exactly the right moment in the conversation. The truth was avoided, the parental worries appeased, and I finally got out of the house at a quarter to seven.
Thus, boys and girls, I was late leaving the house.

The next thing I did was in all probability the only intelligent thing I did the entire evening - I decided to take the bus anyway. I had a pleasant time on the bus, for once - a place to sit, a nice conductor, a knowledge of exactly how I was to get to where I was to get. I got off roughly two kilometres from my destination; the nearest stop to it, in fact. I walked along, alone by the light of the moon, and my head cooled to alarming degrees as I passed great trees along the parade ground walls. I thought a couple of interesting thoughts about trees and temperature and weather and climate, some about shady characters smoking by the side of the road, some more about the fact that I was twenty minutes late; and then I was there, hurrah!

But you see, it's Christmas Eve. And I hadn't considered, in my wildest dreams, that the interior of the restaurant would be dimly and murkily lit by a large number of candles that made it impossible to tell one goateed gentleman from another, or that I would spend the next forty minutes alternating between sitting outside and writing sad things in my journal and taking turns around the interior of the establishment (with my cheeks burning and to the accompaniment of a constant monotone of my god is there anything more embarrassing could there possibly anything as embarrassing) staring at the faces of people inside.

Let us dwell, for a moment, on the phone call I made, halfway through my waiting, to his residence to find out from his sister what he was wearing, and, oh god, what he looked like:
He has a long face. And he has a goatee, but also a bit of a beard. <--I suppose she meant the length of the goatee? Who knows. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow
And... he's a little bald -

You mean in front? says T, because she's thinking that now she'll have to go in and start staring at the backs of people's heads...

I should have stood at the door and shouted "Firstname Lastname!" so that I'd know where he was. People would have smiled and I would have embarrassed him, hopefully, and then it would have been a show and everything would have been all right and tight. But then I got distracted by all the holiday cheer and the smells of families and the intimate candle-light and the thought that I was out there because of a lie two lies all lies; to meet two people I'd never seen before in my life.

Sigh. So I left and caught a bus, and then another bus; and I got home all in one piece, thank goodness.
Perhaps this was my Christmas Miracle.

You owe me, Mister Man.

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