Yet in that moment each in his mind’s eye had an image of the other’s life – the lives streaming out like two rivers across the broad sweep of the land. Rivers divided. But running through the same terrain.
~ Nigel Cox, Waiting for Einstein
Most people don’t believe me when I say I am an introvert, but it’s true… there’s still a part of me that shies away, prefers a hidden spot to the stage. Or, when I DO get on stage, I love it – but only if I don’t have to talk or interact directly with the audience. I get tired at parties with too many people. I ran away from Fanzone on the launch day of Rugby World Cup at 6pm. I hate small talk. People interest me greatly, but truth be told, I prefer getting close and personal with characters in a book rather than in real life (unless I really like you, in which case I will make a point to see you in person/call/email etc more than once. Real life friends reading this – cue to go *aww* here…)
I’ve been pretty WOWED by people lately though. In real life. As mentioned in my last blog post, I had a super weekend in Wellington, notably with Arty Bees (on par with Unity Books and Kinokuniya in my books!), hangin’ with Haidee and Herman, talking books & language with Margaret, wandering around the markets in the rain, a trip to Cafe Polo in Miramar (finally!) (their # browns are to die for!), dinner with my sweet friend Sally at Le Canard (Sally runs marathons, is as practical as she is sympathetic, has a great sense of humour, speaks with that lovely British accent, and digs in heartily – I like her very much), a chat about everything with Brad (by the way, Brad is gifted with a voice and way with music which you should go and listen to here)… hmmm I am becoming aware that this sentence has too many commas, so I shall end this sentence here. Wellington was nice to me – it was even sunny for two days out of three!
Back to Auckland: yesterday, my colleague shared her lunch with me at work. Impromptu. I stopped by her desk to see if she wanted to go and get lunch (I was too lazy to make mine in the morning), to which she said “I have enough for us both. Do you want some?”. I know it’s a little silly, but I got rather sentimental about it… it was so sweet! She went to fetch salad leaves (from the Saturday market), beans, sardines, vinaigrette from the kitchen. Actually, she could have fed me bananas… it would still have tasted good (the salad was delicious, as a matter of fact). We ate and talked at her desk.
Food is at its best when it’s shared in friendship, when it’s fed to hungry stomachs, when it’s eaten over conversation, when it’s generously given?
Today, I went to get my coffee from my usual stop – and the coffee lady complimented me on my choice of outfit. Again, small gesture, but coming from this blunt, brisk, straightforward, busy lady, I receive her compliments humbly! She is always polite, but she’s not the sort to gush or say things that aren’t true. I like that about her. When she says something especially nice to you, it hardly ever comes out sounding like flowery praise, but you always go away happy because you know she means it. As she handed me my coffee and pecan/caramel brioche, I felt like we had just drawn just a tiny bit closer… you know? When you feel like you connect with another human, in MORE than a logical “I know what you just said, this is my automatic response” way? Like that.
I love how coffee and breakfast gave us an excuse (if we needed one) to start chatting…
And then after work today, I went to get a drink with my friend Tim at a sun-drenched table by the waterfront. Tim is one of my best friends in the whole universe, partly because he saved my life a few years ago. I’ve known him since 2007, and over the years I have become more and more proud to know him – his golden hair and little boy face still make me smile; his personal integrity, love for his friends and just that TIM-nature make me want to be a better human. I don’t know why he’s my friend, but I am sure glad he is. He recently got engaged to a very sweet lady, and I am very pleased for them both! Minutes felt like seconds as we talked…
I wonder how many soul conversations take place in bars and restaurants every day…
Lastly, dinner tonight at Nickies Thai Restaurant with Gail and Simon. With the Entertainment Book, we got a bottle of wine, a plate of spring rolls, three mains and three desserts for $38.10 each. Not a cheap dinner, but not a price I regret paying for what we got today. I noted with pleasure their friendly service – when Gail’s dessert came with a different ice cream flavour to what was agreed with the waiter, he apologised with a smile, whisked it away and returned shortly with a correct order and a beautiful attitude :-) The food was very nice – I had the drunken noodles with prawns, which arrived garnished with a beautiful carrot rose and dotted with juicy prawns, and tasted as nice as it looked.
Everything was to our satisfaction and we chatted till past 10pm about life and possibilities… I was inspired by the way Simon has gone after (and still does pursue) his dreams, the honesty in his eyes, his impossible-to-offend sense of humour and optimism and grace. And as always, I enjoyed Gail – she’s so funny, without knowing it; she’s smart, careful, relaxed and beautiful – sounds like a contradiction or something impossible to get in one person, but it’s true she is. I admire the fact that she works hard and goes after what she wants, and I’m pleased to see that she often does achieve her dreams – and she never fails to encourage!
Teach me to cook, teach me to eat, teach me to love.
Anyway, I am sure this post reads ALL over the place – but, well, I am just so happy with what I have right now; where I am right now; the people in my life right now; the dreams in my head right now… that I just had to tell someone at least a bit of it. It’s past midnight, so lucky you!
Goodnight, thanks for reading my rambles, happy weekend!
P.S. With no clear idea of what picture to accompany this post, I uploaded (above) a (not so brilliant) photo of last night’s (simple and pretty good) dinner – spinach + butter beans + garlic + eggs + parmesan.
P.P.S. Nigel Cox was a fantastic observer of life, of the unconscious and conscious motivations that move us, of relationships with others and with self – and expressed these brilliantly in prose… look forward to reading more of his writing (just finished “Waiting for Einstein”).