Aren’t we a tad too late in the game to still be subscribing to the ‘caste’ system?
Surely, would’ve been my standard response. Until something curious happened to me, right here, in democratic(-ish) Cape Town, full of enough shape, colour, size and sexual orientation than you can shake a stick at.
I know him, but he doesn’t know me. His name precedes him. He’s quite the man about the too-cool-for-school. He wears unpronounceable jeans, and buys all his music in Tokyo. He launched the dreams of a thousand graffiti artistes and makes being the Coolest Kid on the Block look annoyingly effortless. If he wasn’t so devastatingly dapper I’d probably hate him.
He has a swarm of anorexic, limp-haired, floppy boot wearing supermodelly-types buzzing around him at all times. Not that he notices. He’s too busy being his fabulous, amazing, creative geniussy-type to worry what anyone else in the Entire Universe thinks about him.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I spilt my drink on his pointy patent puffy top sneakers, he probably wouldn’t have spoken to me. But I did, and here we are, talking about the depth of field of this fine exhibitors photos of decapitated Barbie dolls. Deep.
We like the same music, I appreciate his Bathing Ape obsession, and he notices my Dita Von Teese preoccupation. I love his work, he makes fun of my work. We were both born with silver spoons in our mouths, not platinum, like so many of our acquaintances. He wears a Casio from the 80’s, I wear two Fauxlex’s on one arm, different time zones of course. We’ve exchanged enough subversive culture banter to realise we are pretty much approximately exactly on the same wavelength intellectually. And to look at us, a stranger might hazard a guess our children wouldn’t have elephantitus.
Make each other laugh? Tick. Attracted to one another? Tick. Are able to converse for 2 hours without displaying a blank glazed expression? Tick.
Oh-kayyyy. Shall we meet each other again? *silence*
What is it? It’s that niggling little feeling that It Just Wouldn’t Work. We both smell it. He loathes the sort of people I work for; I think some of his colleagues would do well to have a bath this week. He uses lingo so foreign to me I need to buy a dictionary; he thinks the way I talk is “cute and amusing”. (I don’t LIKE being “cute and amusing”). I think Woolworths is the best place on Earth, and he thinks I’m “fuelling corporate bureaucratic regime”. (OK buddy, and where do you buy your spray paint from? An old Frenchman who whips it up in his back garden?)
His friends all live in lofts in nameless alleyways with elevators made in the 1950’s, he drives a baby blue Fairmont with a hula girl on the dashboard, he owns 3 pinball machines… I appreciate rooms with walls and air conditioning, German engineering and a Kindle.
The sad fact is if we were the only two people stranded on a deserted island together, I don’t think we’d eat each other, I think we’d fall in love. Ahem. Let me explain: sometimes, we are too scared to Colour Outside the Lines. To date outside our ‘genre’. To experiment with Velvet Underground when we’re used to Belinda Carlisle, to taste aloe jelly when we’re used to chocolate custard, to wear fluoro when it doesn’t quite match our Balenciaga messenger bag.
The mind boggles. How do people get it right to fall in love across continental divides, SERIOUS differences of faith, variations of skin colour and through prison cells when we can’t even date outside our zipcode?!
Just another thing to ponder while I sip on my take away latte from another Consumer Driven Corporate Machine.
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