Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Rigging her up

It was a rather unglorious ending to a long Tuesday. It started fast, but it ended painstakingly slowly.

I was supposed to go on a "date". I was even a little excited to go home and call the girl who I was lucky enough to convince to go on a "date" with, provided I tried really hard to impress her. That was the deal. See, we've known each other for awhile, she just broke up with her BF and we could never go on a date date, but it was a nice thought that I'd have this pretty young thing to share even a "date." I do not get to experience such things so often, being the type of bear I am.

But of course it couldn't work out. I was supposed to call her at 7, and at 7:30 I'm watching a man fiddle with a screwdriver atop a ridiculously angled swing-stage, hands bleeding. Of course she'll think I just forgot. Ironic how you've already grinded panels, lifted 55 pound weights, pulled your shoulder trying to hold up a swing-stage yourself as three guys try to wrench out the damn coiler, made the ritual sex jokes about caulking this or that, encouraged D to "bang her hard" as he hammers a safety pin into place at which he grins, worked for 12 hours, (with some coffee and freezy breaks thrown in there), tried to slug around in 30 degree Celcius heat with a hard-hat, respirator and safety glasses, covering oneself in paint-dust, and then it's just the thing to get tangled up and die right at the end of the day, making it too late to call to explain, no I didn't forget, that I had a date. As a man who works with us and will work until the day he dies would say "Jaysus H Christ!!"

And I thought she might be impressed.

Oh well, suppose I'll go play chess with C.

Let me go back a little, for I haven't been around to tell you how the benefit concert went.

The BENEFIT CONCERT was a great success!! The band was amazing!! They are a few middle-aged men, two brothers, a drummer, a singer, a bassist, a pianist, and two trumpeters, covering such songs as "Just the Two of Us" (a fave) and "Summer Wind" as well as others. Notably, the trumpeter hit piercing high notes, and the drummer was experimenting with some very interesting rhythums. They were tight, oh they were smokin!@

After work on friday, my old man picked me up, I drove to Waterloo, got showered, had my sisters help me tape and cut the last pieces of my red tissue-papered and black bristolboard candleholder centrepieces for the event (bless them), took a shower, dressed myself in the finest pink dress shirt, (which happens to work for me, despite contrary notions of firmly established heterosexuality and certain colours) went off, saw the Deacons of Jazz, realized that the lead singer was my old volleyball coach, served desserts, coffee etc (everything a Menno loves) and observed that about 100 people came out!! (Which is wonderful. Our goal was 80). It was good to reconnect with my home church and the community, and the coordinator of MCC who I was working with throughout my PR project this year. I also got an offer to do graphic design due to the fact that the current designer of Ten Thousand Villages in Waterloo just quit. An affiliate of MCC noticed and was pleased with my promotional poster. I was flattered.

I got some things from my parents house, including...a barbecue, picnic-table, and lots and lots of plants. I ran around, went to another barbecue with my good friend C, and then played some of my songs at the open mic, having the added benefit of a drummer to spice things up. At first I mixed up some of my words, but overall it was one of my better performances. I'm happy about my new song "Some Something."

Yesterday was a lonely hearts club band kind of day. I talked to people about break-ups and heart-ache. I talked to C about his misguided love and sat drinking, telling him it's not that you don't have to remember or cherish or get over, it's just that you have to get over regret, because relationships are sacred the way they are, frustrations and all. You are made stronger by realizing you haven't found the one yet but it was worth trying.

He was really sad and teary, but it made him feel good to talk like that. We wanted to see someone else, but she was meeting her boyfriend. It was just us and a couple beers until she came in again, tears streaming down her face. I knew something was wrong but only enough to know I needed to hold on to her hand and wait until her facial muscles relaxed before I would get any further occassion. She had just caught her boyfriend cheating on her.

So we were quite a threesome. It helped having a female perspective on relationships, so that we had an equal share of why the female species is cruel and why the male species is made up of bastards. Somewhere along the way we found some good points about people in general. It was good to just talk, with caring, thoughtful people, have someone ruffle and play with my hair, and then go out into the night. However, I came to the conclusion that it is not worth it or actionable to try to see the best in everyone. There has to be something in there that includes the best AND the achieveable in and about people. You can't put them up on a pedestal, nor can you hold them there, because if you do you'll never give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You'll be spent. You have to find what you want. You can't use people, but I do believe people are happiest and most productive when they are put to good use. You have to be a smooth commissioner. You can't change yourself at the drop of a hat, and you can't stop loving.

Yesterday I had had fun at work. S and I would pile the rubble on the swing-stage, then literally drive ourselves up the wall, then down again, tilt the stage, and hoot and holler "yippeee!!" as the concrete chunks stampeded and came crashing down. We had kind of a romantic moment at the end of the day after I coiled up his life-line for him (The life-line is a rope that you are tied to to ensure that if you fall off the stage, you don't go plummeting to your death, hence, the "life-line") I was doing it because true brothers do this sort of thing, but I suppose S thought it was sweet of me, so he asked me to marry him. I thought that was swell. It wasn't the first time I'd been asked that question yesterday. Needless to say, I said "no".

But Anyway, today was different. It was a messy choas at the end of the day. The strings that attach us to the stars sometimes get tangled, and time delays. Though there is no need for expostulation, it is sometimes unavoidable. That meant: No date for me. I just called but she's out anyway. There are always loose connections like that, but what do you expect? Actually I'm kind of relieved that I can just relax. I don't know how impressing I feel right now.

Perhaps tomorrow, I'll rig things a little better so that I don't get driven up the wall in my own hell of occupation. I won't go all batty from grinding. I'll have my people sorted out. I'll know my friends and enemies. I'll have a few more minutes. But for now, I think I'll eat those hot-dogs off of my barbecue, and wash this paint-dust out of my afro.


Blogger Candace said...

MMmmmmmm, hot dogs.

And, by the way, just what the hell do you DO? It's like you're speaking a foreign language, with the "stage" and the "swing lines" and all.

7:53 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Sorry. It must be confusing. For the summer I am a restoration technician. That means that I fix foundations of buildings, lay concrete, grind off patio panels and repaint them, reseal cracks, etc. The stages are platforms that carry us up and down the side of the buildings to get access to the balconies. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

6:19 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call her again, what's the worst that could happen? As a friend of your sister's (have even heard your CD!) I think she's lucky to have you interested in her. Also, what is Caulking? Don't think we say that in Scotland...

8:37 a.m.  
Blogger Candace said...


It all makes sense now!

7:35 p.m.  
Blogger J said...

Who is this mysterious C? S?? Do they wear suits? Dark glasses? Should I be afraid? Paranoid?

10:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

most definitely call her again, she'll get over it, although that sucks. as for your band/music...you should post an audio clip so your fans and followers can have a listen. Musicians rock...well only if they're good of course. Kudos on Waterloo, Canada dude....a fellow patriot, always good to come across. cheers.... ;)

8:52 a.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Anonymous, who are you? Where is my sister? Can you tell her I say hi? Can you come back and introduce yourself? I'd like to meet a Scot.

12:40 a.m.  

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