Saturday, March 15, 2014

WHERE SMOKING IS PERMITTED

Due entirely to my enjoyment of the company of certain people, my Saturday evening routine is set in stone. No change is possible, except within certain parameters. Basically, return to the city and eat dinner in Chinatown, at one of several restaurants where the wait-staff consists entirely of pleasant women who speak Cantonese better than any other language, and would never consider me romantic material no matter what the circumstance. There's no threat there, just a measure of mutual respect. Most of them are not so young (timorous eighteen somethings) as to realistically still be looking; either they're married already, or heading into a singular and unique maturity.

A few of them qualify as "aunty" (阿姨 'ah yi').

Excellent food, no theatre majors, artists, or snoots.

After that, over to an environment where most of the patrons are either middle aged, or men, or both. Where smoking is permitted.


A CIGAR CLUB

There are a few individuals there whose company is always enjoyable. Yes, I've frequently had pleasant conversations with other folks there, but many people cannot get beyond the voice, the range of facts at my finger tips, the vocabulary, and the sheer oddness of my frames of reference.

Not boasting.

I grew up listening to Oscar Brand singing totally unprintable songs, many of which I had memorized completely by the time I was eight years old, and I devoured my parents humongous library. Reading was an obsessive behavior, and I enjoy the company of people for whom it is the same. Those whose nose is ever in a book.

That, by definition, excludes a large majority.

Add to that the fact that I know next to nothing about sports -- any sport, period -- and you have a portrait of someone who challenges the paradigm.

There are about half a dozen intelligent and likable Saturday night regulars at the place where smoking is permitted. They are fascinating and complex, even though several of them know distressingly much about sports, and can at times be easily distracted by a well-placed ball or foot on the telly. They are more perfectly socialized than I am, apparently, and somehow got infected.


I tend to be a bit lonely during baseball and football season, when everyone is distracted. And my eyes kind of glaze over.

I would bring a book, but that might elicit negative comments.

Reading seems so "anti-social".

Even "unfriendly".


Heaven forfend, don't want to be accused of anything like that, ever. In the middle-ages they burned such people at the stake.
I can already smell the smoldering faggots!
Oh wait..., those are cigars.

Perhaps taking someone there who didn't know diddly about sports, had no interest in spandex men and their balls besides, and devoured books, might be a good idea. We could discreetly, politely, and privately, poo poo the glazed eyes, while reviewing recent reading matter and food adventures for each other's pleasure.
It would by edifying.


At the right moment, we could pull out our ...... books.

When no one notices.

Heh.



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