Friday, November 18, 2005

Missed Moments

Went to a performance last night. It was good. Might post the review beneath this post.

On the way to the show, this old guy ran by and slammed into me and just kept running. I was walking and talking to The Dreaded One, trying to claw my way out of the deep ditch of sludge that appears to be my permanent state of mind at the moment, and the bastard jogged past in his old codger gait wearing his old codger clothes and slammed me. Fucker. I just felt my temper flare. I was outraged. He didn’t even glance over his shoulder to say sorry. I swore and took off after him. I had just had enough of people being rude, and clumsily slamming into someone in the street is the height of rudeness.

He wasn’t doing a bad pace for a rude old codger, but he was not going to get away with it. I put on a bit more speed, weaving through the crowd and bumping a couple of people... but I turned apologised, didn’t I. I got up behind him, then went in low, tackling the fucker around his old codger, arthritic knees and taking him down hard.

“What IS your fucking problem?” I shouted as I rolled his little old body over and beat the shit...

Okay, it’s an indication of how angry it made me that I imagined that at all. I did shout at him though as he hobbled off into the crowd. Must have looked pretty funny to anyone not realising he slammed into me. Just me, no reason at all, shouting, “What’s your fucking problem! Arsehole!” so loudly that I could feel my neck veins stand out.

I’m having problems with old people lately. Old guy came into the shop last week (I have a shop with a couple of partners that sells crazy clubbing gear) because he said he found the clothes in the window “Just fascinating.” I smiled at him and agreed that they are pretty out there.

He wandered around the shop, checking stuff out, wandered over to the desk and said, “I could never get away with wearing this kind of clothing.”

“No? Why not?”

“Well I’m old. I’m 78, you see.”

He was well spoken and had his head together. He was looking at me with clear blue eyes, his face old but with pink, healthy looking skin. “Oh I dunno,” I told him. “This is Newtown. You could probably get away with it.”

“Mmm,” he grunted back as I returned to the computer and he turned around. “Yes. Well. I did get away with it.”

He kept walking and I was already completely absorbed by whatever I was doing on the computer. He asked if I designed the clothes. I told him I didn’t, that we buy them from overseas and locally, but that we do encourage local designers. He nodded to this and left the store.

And I felt like a prick. Old guy probably wanted me to ask about him. What have you done? What do you do with yourself? What do you mean you did get away with it? Tell me your story.

But I didn’t because, more than likely I was adding to this blog, telling more of my story. Or making one up. I don’t know. When I realised that he probably wanted to share some of himself with someone and I had shown such an amazing lack of interest... well it was just not very cool. I know sometimes it’s a mistake to invite someone to tell you about them, but on this occasion it felt like a mistake not to have asked. He seemed like a really sweet old guy, sharp and intelligent and he could well have lived a far more interesting life than anyone I know. Hell, he could have been a designer of cutting edge clothes once upon a time. If I see him again, I’ll probably smile and say hello and ask him how he is in a way that lets him know that I want to know. But I’ll probably never see him again.

Missed moments... I’m good at those.

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