Sunday, 21 March 2010

Timelines and Lifelines

This post was written on the 2nd of February, 2010, but after I had written it, it all suddenly seemed too real, too personal to share. It has now become a small tale and I feel comfortable relating it.

So... I DID go to "Makari" on Sunday and well I did, it seems... It's very peculiar, when the things you believe in and have somehow shoved to the very back of your head, seem to assert their presence, their reality and words seem to fail you - or if not, you stumble over them trying to say what you think and ending up sounding weird, at the very least...

I got there very early, at 20:00, when our three hostesses for the night would not be coming until 20:30 and the event scheduled to start at 21:00. I went inside to check anyway. I must confess, I had not gotten around to writing the story I was (at the time, only probably) going to tell in full. Sure, I had the outline, some specific phrases, characters and all that but still, I was nervous and not very focused on my surroundings. So I saw this - well, I am not sure "girl" is appropriate anymore - young woman who seemed somehow familiar and my twitching brain decided I must have seen here working there last time. So naturally I asked whether any of the Daughters had come by yet, to which she replied all naturally "no", so I thought my assumption was right. Then she begun to ask, I interrupted and the following dialog ensued:

"Do you have anything to do with..."

"The Daughters? Well, I watched their show here last time and Vassilia--"

"No, no. I was going to ask, did we go to school together?"

I am now convinced my mind is hard-wired like a file-storage (which is kind of scary, if you think about it carefully), since her face was placed in a completely different context within moments, breaths. I hadn't seen her in... 10 years? No, wait... we bumped into each other once 8 years ago, somewhere around my neighborhood, but that was it. Her name popped into my head. I uttered it; tentatively. She reciprocated. We were both dumbstruck. She asked if I was staying for the show, I said I was, but I would return when the Daughters arrived and then promptly rushed out.

Only much later did I realize in how much shock I had been. I am not sure why. Sure, we shared a bit of history but just a bit: mostly common friends with whom I was in the school Acting Club, common anecdotes, a few events that became anecdotes over the years or were completely forgotten by most and swept away like so much dust by the winds of time. Truth be told, at times, when I sift through my old papers, letters, memorabilia, photos, I bring to mind the people I have known, sometimes connected with - or not - and I always get this image of lifelines, threads of each person's history, forming a mess of patterns, a network which, more often than not, leaves me watching at the lives diverge, extend into the distance, presumably, maybe, never to intersect again. I remember thinking, once, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, that I would probably never see many of these people, who I still remembered as children - barely teenagers though they may have been 18 the last time I saw them - and they, over time, would probably forget we had ever met. She was among them.

But somehow, one of those threads I had watched disappear into the distance, as well as my own, intersected with so many others, took so many turns, twisted in so many different shapes, that in a roundabout, unexpected, unforeseeable way, they intersected again in the most unlikely (from a pragmatic standpoint) and yet most fitting manner: in a place where tales are told... And she had not forgotten we had ever met; and for no reason at all - none that I know how to put into words, certainly - I was deeply moved by that meeting, moved into a state of shock, so much that I simply had to get out of there, collect my thoughts, try to put them in order between having to tell a decent tale and... and... making sense of that strange feeling that time and happenstance are things we really understand so very little about.

As to the gathering itself, nothing I say will do justice to the good mood of the congregation, the beautiful tales of the Daughters, the warm reception of my own, strangely (given the events I just described) a tale having to do with time and how it treats us like we treat it, the amazing tale and storytelling of Mr. George, who took us from Kypseli to Harun Al-Rashid'd Baghdad and back again in one fell swoop, as well as my old friend from school and one of her band-mates singing at the very end.

It was a night to remember and for all the reasons I don't seem to be able to put it into words, a night to be grateful for.

Perchance to dream,


1 comment:

Skauld Skauksson said...

Twice this week has there been a story bearing your signature and twice have I been one step before being moved into tears... Stop trying to make me cry, ye bastard!!! :P And make this "apostrophe-d" an "apostrophe-s" after Harun's surname...! :P