The Story So Far

July 25, 2007

Chapter 11

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 7:09 pm

Entering the office ,where I was booked to take the aptitude test, which would hopefully end with a large neon sign pointing me in some direction in my life, and if that direction has something to do with a rainbow and a pot of gold then hey, money well spent, I couldn’t help shake the nagging feeling that I had made a huge mistake. The aptitude test may be a waste of time, I was doing it more to placate others then for myself, but that wasn’t the mistake I had made, the mistake that was weighing heavily on my chest. Guy and Murphy had decided that they would go on to some nearby eatery for their post lunch, pre supper, meal, and Steven had asked if he could tag along with me, having forgotten his wallet and been banned from pulling that trick on the gang again, and so being banished from Guy and Murphy’s indulgent activity. In a bleary state of one who is having to keep an appointment that they don’t fully believe in I had said yes to Stevens request.

The first signs that this would prove to be a test of my will to live didn’t occur when we got to the office, but when Steven insisted on going  home to change out of his “eating clothes” and into his “I might meet some hot chick clothes.” This outfit consisted of a pair of jeans and sneakers, and the main focal point of his get up, a t-shit he had borrowed from his brother. Now everyone borrows cloths from their siblings, its a way of doubling your wardrobe without spending any more money, generally unless you only have a sister, every guy does it. The problems do however extend beyond only having a sibling of the opposite sex. Steven was a case in point. His brother is 9. Steven is 24. He was wearing his brothers Spiderman logo t-shirt. The shirt could have had Harry Potter on it and it would have been fine so long as it fit, but a 24 year old man wearing a 9 year olds Spiderman t-shirt is blinding sight that was apparently for my eyes only today. He argued that it made him look bigger, stronger, more manly. It made him look like he was a very ugly, fat, teenage girl in a crop top. I made him walk a few paces behind me.

Entering the office meant my forced buffer zone was cut out of the equation. Steven ambling up to me and standing at my shoulder effectively ended any doubts that anyone watching would have had about us knowing each other. He was very clearly with me.

“You know you didn’t have to come down here with me. I’m perfectly capable of finding my way to and back from this place.” I said to him through semi clenched teeth, my stare fixed straight ahead waiting for some acknowledgement from someone who works here.

“Nonsense man, someone like you, who never leaves his sofa, you guys are easy pickings for people out here. Like guys like that.” He said, pointing at the man behind the reception desk.

Someone one like me? People who wear cloths that fit? I’m surprised no one has pressed a panic button, or got up and hurriedly left the place, with what can only be described as a white trash drug pusher slash paedophile walking in and pointing to people.

“Who? The desk clerk?”

“Yeah, but how do we really know he;s a desk clerk?” Came the answer from someone who has clearly been watching to many spy movies on TV and not eating enough fish.

“Well, he is behind a desk, and he does have one of those name tags on his blazer, those guys always have name tags. Lets see, name tag, blazer, behind a desk, yeah that’s good enough for me.”

“Yeah but how do we know its all real and…”

“Okay enough of this cloak and dagger stuff, the guy has been staring at us in his best “can I help you leave” pose, so lets get this over with.” I interrupted Stevens real life spy series rant.

As I explained to the desk clerk who I was, that I had an appointment, and apologised to him for bringing Steven with me while at the same time assuring him I had no choice in the matter, all done in a loud enough voice so that all gathered in the waiting room could hear, and maybe be put to ease slightly and not concentrate on the fact that I was about to go in to the back office to complete the test, and Steven would be left with them, a comforting fact to me, but a terrifying one for them I am sure. Either way I had a test to do. One that could help shape my path to fame and riches. Steven was now their problem.

July 14, 2007

Chapter 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 12:55 pm

When sitting with a group of friends who have ordered what appears to be the lunch menu in its entirety there are few things you expect to hear, like boy this food looks great! Or pass the salt. Anything to that affect. What you don’t expect to hear is what came out of Guy’s half filled, chewing, mouth, the words I mean not the food being sprayed around the table as he tries to talk and at the same time make sure he doesn’t miss out on any of the food he paid a bit for.

“So what we gonna do for lunch?” he managed to blurb out.

I’m sure had he not been trying to justify the price tags on the food he would have actually said
“so what are we going to have for lunch?” He’s generally a well spoken and articulate kind of guy but the combination of fighting for a meal and talking about a meal got the better of him this time. The brain slows down under the duress of some thoughts and activities and clearly food is what does it for Guy. Considering his manners have gone out the window I could clearly rest my case in court. This is the very same person who once shouted out “A little etiquette” to a group of people who were maybe talking a bit too loud for church on a night out. That was greeted by laughter and teasing. Mainly by us. His red face and defeated look where well worth the stares from other people digging our way.

“It’s almost half one genius.” Was my clever reply, cause you see he isn’t a genius, I was mocking him. Clearly I am the genius. I sat back with a smirk that would have gotten the dog in trouble, confident that my message was received.

“So? What’s your point.”

My confident smirk was wiped off my face.

“We’re eating now. Well we are eating and then talking, while you are eating and talking at the same time, trying to save time or just be disgusting, I really don’t know, but the thing is we are eating at lunch time, this is lunch.”

He must have got that, right? I mean he has to be pregnant or have worms to be thinking of eating lunch during lunch right? And I saw that documentary when I was younger, you know the one where Arnie has the baby? Danny Devito was in it too. That was a good educational programme. So I know that science can make men get pregnant. Guy likes science. He wants to a vet, or a tree guy, or something that involves science. Maybe he is pregnant? I hope its not worms. That’s just gross.

“Lets get pizza” chimed in Murphy.

My little trip into my head, thinking about the pregnancy issue or worm problem, however fleeting it was, had given the other chimps the opportunity to jump in unsupervised.

“I don’t know, Pizza, Italian, Chinese, cereal, I’m not sure what I feel like.” said Guy, responding to Murphy’s pizza suggestion.

A response. this was dangerously becoming a conversation, one of their stupid, pointless, stringing together of thoughts and ideas, that may or may not be linked, into a conversation about nothing that seems to take over and become everything to them. At least it was only two of them. If Steven joined in and this conversation became a group discussion I was seriously in danger of losing my mind.

“Pizza is Italian right? I mean I know its basically global, but you can still get it in an Italian place right?”

Just like that Steven added to the conversation, which was now a group discussion. I think it, fear it, and it happens. One of the things that makes me certain that there is a God, and that he has a wicked sense of humour. Well played god, that’s another point to you. You always lose when you go up against someone all powerful, but hey don’t hate the player.

“No one mentioned French food. We never get French stuff. What is French food? I mean I know you get french salad but there’s more to french food then salad and wine right?”

“There’s bread, the french have bread.”

“And snails and frog legs.”

It was hard to tell who was saying what anymore, they just flowed from sentence to sentence like an enormous, annoying, wave about to crash into me.

“We never cut up any frogs at school, you know, like how they always do on T.V.?”

“I don’t think they do that anymore, maybe green peace or tree huggers or something got them to stop.”

“You guys see they cut down that tree, the really big one that used to leave leafs and stuff all over the street.”

Okay I had to put a stop to this.

Reaching for my coat I got up and scooted my way past Guy and Steven to the freedom that was not the booth. I hate sitting and booths when you have to scoot to get past people.

“Where are you going? We’re trying to figure out where to go for lunch.” was the anguish reply from GuyMurphySteven, the three headed beast.

“Well what ever you decide it’ll have to be in town somewhere cause I have an appointment there soon.”

“What sort of appointment?” Quarried Murphy, with no mention of food.

“Yeah, how’s your prostate?”

Everyone turned and looked at Steven, who really couldn’t understand why we were all suddenly paying him attention.

“What? He said appointment.”

“Okay, I’m getting one of those aptitude tests to try and give me an inkling of an idea of what exactly I should be doing with my life, apart from listening to a discussion about lunch during lunch. Oh and Steven, don’t sit near me.”

June 6, 2007

Chapter 9

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 6:29 pm

While I admit I love to watch people, not in a vicarious living kind of way, but more in an amusing sort of way – people are very entertaining when they think they aren’t being watched. The one down side to this hobby, or activity, is that it leaves you blind sided to the sneak attack of your friends, who you seem to have forgotten you’re meeting. Why else would I have come here? Guess I got lost in the babies cries. Also in that girl crossing the street over there. She looks vaguely familiar, but I can’t seem to place her. Oh that’s right, she’s the girl from the local papers. Every city seems to have one of these girls, you tend to find them in the social pages of your weekend papers, draped in cheap cloths in catalogues for shops you wouldn’t go to, and invariably them being pasted everywhere seems to make some clueless person think they’re a someone and the girl usually ends ups penning a coulomb in a magazine she believes everyone reads – but really no one does. It’s always a mystery how they ended up plastered all over the place, almost invading your pages, considering they are, after all the airbrushing and photo shopping, very average looking. You’d also think since the people behind the scenes are going to air brush, and fix up so much, they’d at least try and hide the back fat and saddle bags around her waist, but no that’s left there. Maybe they think back fat is hot. Maybe its a trend they’re trying to bring in. Maybe its a new thing they’re trying to start. God I hope not. Look at her, across the road, waiting for the traffic to pass, or slow, so she can cross over, looking at each and every person that passes her, and even those no where near her, waiting for someone to recognize her, for someone to say “hey, wow its really you, I love you!” Waiting, expecting lustful looks from the guys easing past. Practising her embarrassed “yes it’s me” look as she looks down and bites her lip. But no one even breaks their stride, no one even notices, and no one even cares. That’s what you get when you’re over exposed, over hyped, and a no one that thinks they’re someone. Oh god, she’s coming in here. Well I’m not going to even give her the satisfaction of looking at her. Somewhat ironic though that the one person who does actually recognise her, me, is someone who cant stand her, and all that she stands for. And that’s when I noticed my friends, and Steven, heading towards my table.

“I need to go to the bathroom. Alone” I announced before anyone could even say hi.

A bit rude I guess, but they’re my friends, so you know, they don’t count. Also sitting watching the passers by, the babies cry, hey that kind of rhymed, and drinking all the free water they’d allow me before actually ordering something, a coke, no ice, your bladder does eventually reach a point of no return. That point just happened to coincide with the arrival of the guys.

Walking back to the table, after doing my stuff, I couldn’t help notice that they table was now full of food. Strange considering it took an age for each glass of water to arrive at my table, yet in the time it took me to pee they had managed to rustle up an assortment of different meals. I guess when you’re paying,the staff are more responsive. Fair enough.

“So what are you guys mumbling about?” I asked as I took my seat

“We were just trying to establish whether or not you’re the type of guy who washed his hands after he takes a leak. My guess was not.” Answered a confident Guy.

“I said you do. In fact that’s the most predictable thing about you. You wash your hands way to much.” Said Murphy.

Obviously he was right, being my brother and growing up with me, and knowing how ridiculously clean I am. I say ridiculously because that’s what everyone else says. I don’t think it is. I mean I have to wash my hands if I go anywhere near a bathroom, never mind actually stepping in one. People are generally pigs, and lazy,so I know just how filthy they can be, and I’ll wash my hands if I even come anywhere near something they’ve been in contact with. God I’d never use one of those public toilets you find in parks and the like, you know the type George Michael uses for “recreational activities.” Not a chance. I use restaurant toilets only when I absolutely have to, like today, and that’s just to pee, and usually involves me standing a foot away and taking careful aim. No part of me ever comes into contact with the actual toilet. And even then I still feel tainted, filthy, covered in little tiny specs of unclean molecules. When I go home I’ll probably boil my hands, and then my entire body in the shower. That’s something to look forward to – being clean. But first I have to deal with these clowns.

“Hey, that girl sitting there, alone, isn’t that…” Steven started saying, with to much eagerness and excitement.

“Don’t give her any attention you idiot.” I managed to cut him off just before he wet himself.

Guy and Murphy pulled a couple of classic moves to see who got Steven all worked up, and who drew my derision. You know the type of moves, the pretend, over exaggerated yawn, hands stretched out, mouth gaping wide, head tilted to catch a glimpse of who everyone is talking about.

“Oh it’s that chick. Shame it must be killing her that no one cares who she is.” Said Guy with a smirk curled up on his lips.

“Look at her beady eyes darting everywhere, as she sips her drink, wondering why no one has come up to tell her how much they adore her.” Chimed in Murphy

“I bet they’ve noticed the folds of skin hugging every inch of her top.” Snickered Guy

It’s sometimes fun having friends who judge everyone. So long as they agree with what you think.

“I think she’s hot.”

And that was Steven. The voice of delusion.

“You’re joking? Her?” That could have been any one of Guy, Murphy, or myself. We all thought it and probably said it at the same time.

“Yeah her! She’s been on TV.”

“So you think anyone who has been on TV is hot?”

“Yup. Anyone who has ever been on TV becomes hot.”

And this was obviously Steven’s deciding point of whether anyone was hot or not. Clearly the guy had very low expectations.

“What about the ugly girl they always get to play the hot girls friend in movies?”

“If she’s been on TV she’s hot.”

It’s amazing that some people actually think this way. I mean this girl is clearly not attractive, and the way she’s acting makes it seem like she’s an attention craving whore. But because she’s been on TV or on print some people will create a special category for her, one that actually makes her hot to them. Yet if this girl was not everywhere, if she just happened to be your dental hygienist, well then you really wouldn’t care about her at all. That really doesn’t seem to make any sense. Does it?

May 14, 2007

Chapter 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 12:48 pm

As I sat in a window seat of a street side coffee shop, coffee on table, newspaper in hand, pretending to read, and watching, watching, watching all before, around and away from me, I noticed a couple fawning over their crying baby. Now granted the baby was crying, and this may have had a major impact on my mood, but this baby just seemed unusually ugly. I know that’s a cruel thing to say, but the world is cruel, and the world is true. And the truth here was that this was no cute baby. I know there’s a general feeling that no baby is ugly, all babies are cute blah blah blah. But just like adults, not all babies are cute, some are adorable, little pictures of joy, and some are miserable little so and so’s who look like a combination of their unattractive parents. That may be cute to some, but to me that’s just ugly. And that’s the truth. I know what you’re thinking – shame it’s not their fault – but as true as that may be, it’s also true of an ugly grown up, it’s all genetics. Unless of course the lack of looks is because of that person not looking after themselves, letting themselves go, not having any pride in their appearance, and generally not caring – then it’s the persons fault. But all things being even it’s neither the babies, or the older man or woman’s fault. I know this almost seems despicable that I’m sitting, watching everyones lives as they pass by me, and I’m commenting about a baby being ugly, hey I’m sure the kid is a lovely person, although right now he or she is screaming and crying his tiny lungs out, but my point will follow. You see girls are always going on about how adorable the little cherub is, no matter what they actually look like, be it the kid of two beautiful statues, or the daughter of big foot and the elephant man. They also think that old, senile and grouchy people are adorable. My friends grandfather is a short, bald, fat man, with a ridiculous moustache and who very well maybe the most racist person I have ever met. He’s never happy, always complaining, and has a permanent grimace, with his eyes forming mean slits, which he views the world he hates through. Somewhat ironic considering his hatred of all Chinese, Japanese, and Asian people. Not to mention black, South American, Central American, Arab, Indian, Jews, Muslims, and basically anyone who isn’t 100% white and Christian. Yet with his odd demeanour and frequent tyrannical rambles, all the girls think he is so cute! So it’s the very young and the very old that get away with being unpleasant in both appearance and disposition. What about those in between? On my way here I pass a homeless man, with the most pungent smell I have ever blocked my nose to. The smell helped to highlight is scruffy, torn cloths that are at least two sizes too small, his balding on top, but long flowing on the sides and at the back, white hair, patchy beard, teeth that are either missing or yellow, and the foulest mouth this side of South Park. All of which go very well with his box house, and box toilet. More then begging, he spends his days drinking, if he can afford something, and harassing any passing women. Yet not a single one of these women has ever described him as adorable. They tend to shoo him with their meanest face, and deadliest heels. They run, screaming for help, and head straight for the bathroom to clean off the “homeless person germs” that have infected them, before they take over and render them homeless too. Where’s the line? How fair is that? He really does smell though. Really bad. Shame, I guess the kid is cute, from a certain angle.

May 12, 2007

Chapter 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 12:43 pm

Sometime I like to sit and pretend I’m doing something, you know, like reading the news paper, drinking coffee, eating breakfast, whatever, it doesn’t really matter since you’re just pretending. And while I’m pretending I watch. I watch the people around me, the people walking past, the people standing around, I watch everyone. Not in a wearing a pair of dark glasses, baseball cap pulled down low, box of doughnuts next to me, and binoculars or camera fixed to my eyes, kind of way. Nope, I’m not a stalker, just a watcher. As idiotic and annoying as people tend to be, they are still fascinating, and the most fascinating of all are those who don’t know I’m watching. You know the type, they’re walking down the street, lost in the crowd, being pulled along by the sea of people around them, and they have their cell phones fastened to their ears. Now generally if they were at home, or at work, having a conversation on their phones they’d be very secretive. Yet out in the crowd of strangers its as if they think if they don’t know you you’re deaf. Sound logic, but as I said, people tend to be morons. “What do you mean I have herpes? No they weren’t strangers, they were strippers.” Yup no one heard that buddy. Now we all know you’re just class. You may have an expensive suit on, hair that looks like it’s all yours and immaculately cut and styled, you may be waving around your keys, with their BMW key ring flashing around, your brown leather wallet could be filled with cash, credit cards, pictures of the wife, kids, new born baby and Fluffy the dog who likes to be called “Killer”, you may be off to fetch the mother in law to have her over for that lovely home cooked meal you’re wife slaved over all day, but when you think no one is paying attention – then you’re class comes shining through like that first ray of light under the blinds in the morning that blinds you as you open your sleeping eyes. Herpes from strippers. That’s plural. That’s class. All class. God I love days that start like this.

April 25, 2007

Chapter 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 8:46 pm

You know I didn’t always spend most of my time in front of the TV, watching every series,sitcom and sporting match going, eating, and hardly moving at all. Well except for changing positions, fluffing my pillow, and general comfort movement. Nope I did stuff. There was a time in the past, the dark days, when we never had satellite TV, when we only had four channels. Four channels, can you believe that? No wonder we did other things. Every Friday afternoon a bunch of us would walk down to the University fields and play soccer. Sometimes we’d only have enough for a four a side game, and sometimes more people would come down, people who’d been brought over by any member of the gang with the promise of a bit of fun, a run around, sometimes we’d join in with people who were already there, or anyone walking past would ask to join in, and we rarely ever said no. Rarely. There was this one guy who seemed a little to eager. He’d show up on his bike, take his shirt off and insist on being on the skins side, even though no one else was half naked. He’d go in for tackles too hard, with all his gear on, boots, pads, studs showing, with the rest of us kitted out in, well nothing in the way of proper kit. Barefoot versus studs and you know who’s coming out on top. Those were simpler times. Playing football on a Friday afternoon on a quarter of the university rugby fields. The rugby fields were also the cricket field and was generally much better looked after then the soccer field and so was generally very appreciated by our shoeless feet. How I used to dominate those sessions. Others would probably remember it differently, but in my mind its crystal clear. I remember this one guy, we’ll call him Jabs. He fancied himself quite a cultured footballer, often lamenting the fact that he was stuck playing with us when he belonged in the big leagues. Typical stuff you’d find from a Liverpool supporter, delusions of grandeur would best sum up the feelings here. He was a good player, but me, I was different class. Like I said I remember things a bit differently to how he, or others may. I remember this one afternoon, it was an unusually hot afternoon, those hot days when the humidity hangs thickly in the air, the sweat pours down your top with almost no excursion needed. The type of day that makes even women “glisten.” The grass was just cut, with the accompanying freshly cut grass smell that always seems to best fit any out side fantasies. We had a good turn out, i think about seven a side. I remember vividly running at Jabs all afternoon, dribbling, putting the ball past him, through his legs, every trick in the book, just running circles around him all game. There was one point where i remember him on his knees, after being left for dead yet again, looking up to the sky, tears of frustration and embarrassment flowing down his cheeks, begging God to “Please, please make him stop, he’s just too good, he’s just too good.” Come to think of it that was just a typical Friday afternoon. Firing in the goals, making grown men cry. Yup just a typical Friday afternoon.

April 12, 2007

Chapter 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 7:58 am

There’s another typical Steven story that usually gets lashed around whenever we have company, or are in general need of a laugh. This one, and there are many derivatives of it, involves Steven in his apartment, doing whatever it is he does when he’s locked away behind closed doors and out of the public eye, and his land lady and her daughter are banging away at his door screaming for the rent, threatening him with eviction and whatever else they can come up with in the usual end of month game that goes on here. These actions and threats are of course decoded as “I want to sleep with you” in the mind that is Steven. On the occasion that the daughter is rapping at the door, asking for their dues, it does of course translate as “is it okay if I go after mum?” It is for this very reason that we, and anyone else, have to take great care and caution as to what is said and done around him. The warped mind of his, due I’m sure to some terrible trauma he suffered as a kid that I’m equally sure that he has no idea was even a trauma, will turn anything said or done into whatever it is he wants, usually some sort of great affection for him. Perhaps it is easier to not worry about it at all as I’m quite certain that there is nothing that can be said or done that will not come out as he sees the world. So why bother? These were just a few of the thoughts that drifted through my uncluttered mind as the days news spewed out from my rather impressive television screen. Apparently someone has died doing something. The news is getting more and more general and vague these days as the world quickly becomes one. Apparently McDonalds being on every corner of every street in every country is the road map for a better future. I stopped eating McDonalds a while ago. I’ll show them. I’ll single handedly put a stop to their global reign of terror. I once ate 36 Big Mac Meals in 30 days. I was working at a supermarket and refused to eat the subsidized food they dished out at lunch. Mainly because I didn’t want to associate with the other supermarket workers. Inside their cafeteria I was just another supermarket worker, outside I was just a guy who liked Big Macs. Interestingly I didn’t put on any weight during that binge. Probably because I was working and actually doing something as apposed to the many who sit on their bums all day eating fast food crap and are surprised when they suddenly find themselves resembling fat, pregnant pigs and then have the audacity to sue the fast food chains for “making” them fat. They shouldn’t get a cent. They don’t pay me every time I have to witness them stuff a dozen burgers, fries and a milkshake down their throats and then guiltily watch the guy with the bucket and mop clean up my vomit. Fair is fair.

April 3, 2007

Chapter 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 8:14 am

Leaving the bathroom i allowed the door to swing closed with an extra push on its way, hoping to either trap who I’d hurriedly left behind, or failing that, crossing my fingers that the door would hit him with such force and impact that he’d either be knocked out, giving me a moments peace, or, just like on TV, the sudden blow to his head would make him forget who he was and he could be convinced that we don’t know each other – giving me more than a moments peace. The sound of approaching feet, getting closer and faster, and not changing directions as my glance to the heavens hoped, coupled with a self assured, yet badly out of tune and escaping all pitch, singing of some other teen bop classic, told me that my reprieve had been the shortest possible. Steven was once again next to me. Hurriedly trying to make my way back to the others, so as to put more bodies between Steven’s delusions and myself, I only succeeded in almost mowing down an approaching waitress. Before I could utter a word of apology and hope that this brief stop in stride hadn’t brought Steven even closer, the waitress said sorry, excused herself, and walked off. I have no idea why I was surprised by what happened next. Sidling up to me with the expertise of a Cold War spy, or more likely a stalker, Steven was suddenly looking over my shoulder with an unusually, even for him, smug air of arrogance painted across his face.

“Did you see that?” He whispered uncomfortably close to my ear.

“See what?” I replied, continuing my journey back to the others that now seemed almost an epic tale of lonely hopelessness. Actually being in an epic tale of lonely hopelessness does seem more appealing right now.

“What that waitress just did.”

 “Yeah, that was nice of her, although to be fair we should have been the ones stepping aside.”

 “You don’t get it.” He whispered in an exasperated tone of one who seems to be seldom on the same plane as others.

“Get what? Manners? I think I’ve got the just of it.”

 “No, one of those waitresses wants me, and they’re all in on it, it’s so obvious.”

He was right. I didn’t get it. What was obvious though was that he truly believed this to be the case. This day may not end up being a total loss. Steven could still end up making a fool of himself and getting a slap for his troubles. Although none of my other prayers had been answered. There was still hope though, and hope I would cling to, its all i had going right now. Caught up in my own dreams of violence and embarrassment being meted out to my self assured “friend” I failed to notice the smile that had crept up on my face as I approached the table in dreamland. Sitting down I was brought back to reality by the hollowed whistling of the teen pop master again. God I hope he wasn’t peeing again.

 “Ahh, Hotel California!” Said Guy, leaning back in his chair, arms behind his head, obviously taken back to a moment when that song meant something to him.

“Baby Hit Me One More Time.” Corrected Steven, a little bemused as to why no one could recognise his tune.

“A classic!” Replied Guy, obviously wanting to turn this into a conversation.

“Not without the video.” Chimed in Murphy, granting Guy his wish.

“Oh, Ooops I did it again! Now there’s a hot video.”

 They were all involved. This was now a conversation born out of off tune whistling that could have been anything but turned out to be a Britney Spears “classic” that a group of guys in their mid 20’s were now using as a bases of a conversation. A group of well educated, and seemingly intelligent guys I may add, and Steven of course.

 “Oh yeah, the red jump suit, wow!”

 “Okay, can you guys spell statutory rape?” I added, not wanting to be left totally out of the stream of dialogue, but at the sane time trying to distance myself from it.

“S-A-T” Spelled Steven.

Like i said, a group of well educated guys – and Steven.

 “Shut up, and you were spelling “satutory” rape.” I said, faining frustration but secretly enjoying the fact that he had taken me literally and still failed.

 “Yeah that’s a entirely different thing”

“It’s when everything starts leaking and…”

It seems that Guy and Murphy where starting to enjoy themselves. They’ll talk about anything, and its not that they like the sound of their own voices, or each others I suspect, but rather the plain simple truth that they are bored. Very bored. Plus I think they both have a thing for Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera and will use any excuse to talk about them, especially if it involves picturing them. The fact that this was brought up by Steven is just gravy for them. Also they don’t seem bothered that this has turned away from the objects of their lust to a silly game play about the made up word “satutary.” The mere fact that the conversation was started with Britney in mind is enough to flame this one all night. It’s pretty easy to drift off whenever these guys get going. It’s kind of like your day time soaps, you can watch them everyday, then go on holiday for a while, and when you return for your afternoon TV the story may have moved on but in many ways it’s the same, and pretty easy to pick up on. Somewhat comforting in a way. That’s what conversations were like here, you can drift in and out, go over your shopping list, anything you’d rather be doing at that moment, wondering if you still remember the starting line up of the first Cup Final you ever watched, and drift back into the conversation, easily picking up on whats being talked about without necessarily having participated in the last few minutes. Comforting. The scenario is comforting, not the topic in this particular discussion. I’ll briefly attempt to surmise the just of their hotly participated in conversation. Guy kicked off this particular subject by wondering why men in general, when asked by a girl if they think the likes of Britney or Christina are hot, they tend to say no. The idea here being that men seem to feel that the best approach here is to appease the girls by telling them what they feel the girl in question wants to hear. Leaving the real answers to the locker room and Foosball tables. Murphy went on to substantiate that it was the whole “lesbian thing.” His words not mine. The idea here, in supporting the whole argument, is that men think the idea of lesbians, so long as they look like Britney and Christina and not Brian and Chris, are a turn on. But when asked by girls the usual answer is “no, yuck” when in reality they are thinking “where, how much.” I know this conversation has you on the edge of your seat, hanging on to every word of this engrossing, topically relevant conversation, especially in this time of war, famine and George Bush. This is where the discussion takes a Steven turn, and this is best described in his words, as simple as they are they fully justify all that is Steven and why he is so lightly tolerated.

 “I once had a threesome with these totally hot lesbians.” said Steven, staring off into the distance, as one does when seeming to not care if anyone is listening, but hoping that they all are, stunned and in awe.

“No you didn’t.” Replied Murphy, in a tired, almost frustrated tone of someone, like the rest of us, who’d heard it all before and was very nearly on the verge of violence, in any small form.

“Okay, but I almost did. I turned them down.”

“No, you did’t.”

 “I did, seriously, I did!”

 “When?”

“last week, in a club.”

“WHEN?”

“Last week, in a club!”

 “That club was a strip club, and you asked the strippers to kiss, and they slapped you.”

“Oh, you were there.”

 And that’s Steven, In his own words. You couldn’t make this stuff up. I sometimes wish I could, because then he may not be as Steven as I make him out to be. Unfortunately he is.

March 23, 2007

Chapter Three

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 4:13 pm

When walking in on someone you care very little about molesting your razor it’s fair to say that you never want to see or be around that person again. Firstly apart from the very obvious trauma and nightmares that will subsequently become part of your daily and nightly life, you have to go out and buy a new razor. Those things are expensive. The blades even more so. Of course I then have to replace all the pipes and tiles in my bathroom. One song that may or may not have been a Barbra Streisand song is going to end up costing me a fortune.It’s the type of situation that you feel somewhere down the line, days, months, years down the line, you’ll be laughing uncontrollably as you tell people of the day you walked in on your friend shaving himself with your razor. The type of situation where you somehow find yourself thinking “if only I had hada camera!” IF we where younger I could have brought the photo out at his 21st birthday party and we would have all had a good laugh at our very funny, youthful misadventure, or incident. Unfortunately we’re past 21 and if I had found it funny and photo worthy the only time I could have brought that picture out into the public domain would have been for his 50th birthday, and then people would be telling their kids not to talk to me and to blow this whistle if I came close to them. How I loathed this person set up against my sink.Unfortunately this feeling of loathing is one way as it turned out. Steven thinks we’re best pals now. He says we bonded. He may have bonded with my razor but I didn’t bond with anyone. Or anything. He even finds it necessary to call shot gun on the seat next to mine wherever we go to eat or drink. And so I find myself slouched over a table one hand on my head, elbow resting on the surface, staring at a glass of water, with Him sitting next to me. After all that happened I was still someone surprised by what he said next.

“I love you baby.”

“Shut up. Don’t talk to me. Ever.” I replied through the side of my mouth, not even lifting me gaze from the half empty glass of still water sitting across from me.

“No, I don’t think he’s talking to you, he’s got his little pocket mirror out again.” Said Guy with a humorous but pathetic tinge to his voice.

With relief tinged with an expectant knowing I looked up in time to see Steven kissing his reflection and found myself once again praying. This time that the mirror would shatter, or at least crack a little. Once again my prayers were unanswered. I guess that half a glass of water must have flown through my system, or just sitting near Steven made me want to cleanse my system. Either way I needed to pee.

“Right, I gotta go pee.” I announced to no one and everyone as I stood.

I turned ready to make my way to the bathroom, not expecting and not wanting any reply but as these things work I got one. No points for guessing who it came from.

“Oh, I’ll go with you” said the body shaver.

“What?”

“You need to pee, and I’ll go with you.”He said this with an air of someone who didn’t sense anything was wrong, and clearly he didn’t.

“It’s okay, we’re not women, this isn’t a team effort, I can manage on my own.”

“He’s right you know, I’ve seen him go to the bathroom before, he was back in a few minutes. He’ll be fine.” That was Guys attempt to stifle the situation.

As can be expected, it fell on deaf ears. Steven followed me to the bathroom. Now not only was I once again in a bathroom with the last person on earth I’d ever want to be there with, but as in the nightmarish recent past, he was again making sounds. Only this time he was talking, not singing.

“Look you don’t have to talk to me when I’m peeing.”

“I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Yes you were, you kept on saying everything’s ok, and I kept telling you to shut up, and you just said relax, everything’s cool, and then you started whistling Hotel California or something.”

“It was Hit Me Baby One More Time, a classic, and I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to him.”

“God?”

“No, him” he said nodding downwards “he needs to be motivated sometimes, you see it all started when my mother…”

And that’s when I made my quick exit and swore to anyone around that I would never again be caught alone with that person ever again.

March 21, 2007

Chapter Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — Riaz Mehtar @ 2:15 pm

How can I hate being around people but at the same time be terrified of being alone? What’s going on with me? Am I finally admitting something to myself that I’ve been to scared to see my whole life? Do I actually like people? Do I crave them? Am I frightened of being alone or just scared of what I may realize when I’ve got no one around to distract me? That must be it. That makes far more sense than the other one. I’m just scared that when I’ve got no one around to complain about I actually have to think about me and what I’m doing or going to do. Yes. I think that’s it. I’m far more comfortable believing that. No way do I like people or even need people. And what the hell is that noise coming from my bathroom?I struggled my way off my sofa, the same way I’d imagine a heavy set person would struggle their way off any piece of furniture, or anything else I’d think, but in my case, being only 60 odd kg’s it would be more a case of struggling off a comfort zone rather then battling gravity. Edging my way towards the bathroom door the noise became more and more audible. A murmuring and then screeching attempt at singing being gargled by the sound of water flowing. Ear propped by the door I held by breath a tried to make out words that were being strung together to form this ghastly weapon of song. Is someone singing Barbra Streisand? How do I know what a Barbra Streisand song sounds like having never ever heard one? But that was the first and is still the only option that came into my now stinging head. Someone is taking a shower and singing blue murder in my bathroom. Blue murder being my take on the situation rather then the song title, like I said I’ve never heard a Streisand song so have no idea if she ever sang anything called Blue Murder, and somehow doubt it. I could be wrong. Guy would probably know. Wait. Guy. He was here just now. And someone else. Someone else. Someone dirty, slimy, with no body hair.And that was the start of what was being formulated in my head as to who the mystery singing assailant was that ultimately lead to me making one of the biggest errors in judgment that has ever been erred in history. I swung my door open.When we were younger we’d often argue, me and my friends, about which of our senses we could do without if we ever had the misfortune of losing one. Back and forth the arguments would flow. If you couldn’t talk you could still communicate through sign, if you couldn’t hear you could still see and lip read, losing your sense of touch never came up, and losing your sense of taste was surprisingly high up on our ten year old order of merit. Losing your sight scared me to death. Not being able to see gave me a feeling of claustrophobia, like I was trapped in a dark box and too scared to even move. I didn’t even mention that because like all young thugs I’d get picked on forever tormented to games like Blind Man Bluff, which we hadn’t played since we were five but which no doubt would have miraculously become popular again following my disclosure. You know how young boys are – not happy unless someone is crying.And so I swung my door open with all the gusto and bravado of a theatre extra. At that moment I wished and prayed like so many other unanswered prayers that I could have lost my sense of sight a second before. It appears that our egotistical hairless friend was in fact not as naturally hairless as he had earlier claimed. There he stood before my unresponsive eyes, still wide open even though I begged and begged for them to shut and never open again, naked, with his head turned down and my razor in his hand. If only he had been using it to cut his wrists. Or at the very least shave his face. But no that’s not the way God plans things with my life. He was shaving his groin. With my razor. If anything, I let out a whimper, just audible above his singing. He turned and looked at me and with barely a care in the world, asked me if I had any more shaving cream, that I was out. That was a brand new can. Not opened yet. Where else had he been shaving. What else had my very EX razor touched. Yes I hate people. No doubt about it now.

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