Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Le Garcon Sans Savoir Vivre I

One night while possessed of malevolent glee,
The Fates played a prank on unwitting S.P.
And brought my path to cross,
Through a series of circumstances,
With that of one of my many
One-sided diminutive romances.
Oh, how I loathe you, omniscient narrator
Of Le Livre de Ma Vie!
You are one without heart, 
Sans merci for poor me~
Poor little S.P.

And thus begins this little story, 
A short sort of allegory
Of le garcon sans savoir vivre..
-Sitting Pretty (Pathetic)

                It was Friday night on the weekend of the big Mardi Gras festival in this sometimes charming Queen City of the South. The excitement in the air was palpable, weighted by the collective anticipation of the thousands of people that had swollen the city's population. - the relative calm before the face-painting, street-writhing, drum-beating, trumpeting storm. I had decided to eschew the pre-Sinulog festivities as I had already gone out the night before and fulfilled my weekly quota for number of nights per week spent inebriated  (with interesting results, both inane and insane, one such episode I've dubbed The Curious Incident of the Mirror in the Nighttime). Plus, I was looking forward to staying in and reading my latest Fully Booked sale acquisitions (Nabokov, Camus, Eggers) and a couple of books, too, from a charming little used books place in Mandaue City called La Belle Aurore Bookshop where I had found, to my utter delight, a copy of early short stories by Simone de Beauvoir.

                 So there I was, comfortably ensconced in my queen bed, clad in oversized T-shirt and fuzzy striped socks with individual toes, pillows arranged strategically to best simulate a La-Z-Boy recliner (a couple propped up against the headboard, two more underneath my legs just beneath the backs of my knees), and my mug of coffee at a perfect distance on the nightstand (requiring only the minimal extension of an arm to reach). In short, I was planning on being a sloppy slobby bum, balancing a book in my lap, dribbling coffee down my chin, and being too lazy to find a tissue, wipe it away with the back of my hand. Just as I was smiling in a self satisfied way at my ergonomic improvisations, the message alert on my phone goes off and it's my fabulous fairy friend, A.D.

                "Hey! Where are you? Come have dinner with me and some of my college friends. Drinks after."

                "No, thanks. I've reverted to my introverted ways. Maybe next time?"

                "Okay, then. =)"

                A few hours go by. It is midnight. Nabokov's wordplay and literary allusions are starting to irk me a bit. I get antsy. I jump out of bed in my striped feet, almost slipping on the polished wood floor. I call A.D.

                "Is it too late to catch up?" I ask. 

                "No! Dinner is over but we're having drinks at The Tinder Box. Get over here! I won't take no for an answer. Andd," he adds, with a sly inflection, "There's someone I want you to meet."

            'Hmm,' I think, cocking an eyebrow. A boy perhaps? Since December A.D. has been saying half-jokingly that he's going to set me up with some boy or other and I wonder if this is one of the prospects he had in mind. I usually find such arrangements abhorrent, but given the lull in my dating life recently (and resultant lack of fodder for this blog), I feel compelled to take a tiny step down from my high horse. I am mildly curious and for some reason now itching to get out of the house. He might be cute. This might be good. 

            "Be there in a bit!" I exclaim, as I scrounge around in my closet for something to wear and curse myself for not being one of those girls who buys tons of clothes and shoes. I settle on my favorite pair of tight grey vintage wash Mango jeans, a loose (as to cover the paunch I've grown over the past months of neglecting the gym) silk blouse from bYSI with a hand-painted floral design on the front with a nacreous shimmer, and a simple little black blazer I had commissioned a few years ago by a Cebu designer named Joy Bernaldez with the sleeves pushed up toward my elbows. I'm not a fashion maven or anything , this is just an attempt to sound fancier than I actually am. I finished with grey-silver peep-toe pumps with a 3-inch heel and my mom's decades-old Christian Dior purse with a gold chain.  I slapped on some make-up and was out the door in seconds flat.

                 I get to the little wine shop slash delicatessen and deftly step around the little puddles left by the rain. The parking lot is illuminated by a rectangle of soft yellowish light from within.  There is a boy standing in the lot. It appears he is waiting for something or someone.

                 "Hey cutie, maybe it's me you've been waiting for all your life, hmm?"

                 I'm always coming on to guys in my imagination. I walk silently past the boy to the entrance. It's a squat sort of building with an entirely glass front where you can see through to the deli and shelves of Eurpoean treats. I notice there are no people sitting at the tables by the window when fabulous A.D. greets me at the door with the customary fairy beso.

                "Hey, you! Glad  you could make it. We're over in the back, come."

                We turn left to make our way to the back room  when I look up and straight into the face of the first customer to enter my field of vision, at the same moment he looks up to see me.

                 It is the Object of 2010's Preoccupation & Aggravation.

                 Oh, bugger. 


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