It’s always kind of funny trying to remember events that are just long enough past so that the order in which they occurred, the days in which they took place and even that which happened itself becomes slightly blurred and confused, but I feel the need to try and make some record of them regardless.
On Friday the fifteenth, I was invited out to a poker game amongst a bunch of degenerate gamblers including the likes of Alex and Glen out in the desolate plains of somewhere North of Perth. Having grown up in a house with more board games than really makes any sense, and once having a Nanna who (along with letting me watch my first Indy Jones flick while my parents were away) was only too keen to help teach her grandsons every game involving a deck of cards that was known to man, I had the subtle advantage of knowing which hand beats another, quickly made almost completely useless by printouts of said information scattered around the table for those not so understanding. We played some variant called Texas something-or-other, which, much to my relief, did not involve copulating with ones sister in any form. After several hours of play, and calling a bluff that wasn’t really a bluff (I was convinced the guy was trying to buy his way out of the hand. Turns out he just took all my money instead), I was out, and resigned to playing some wacky game on the X-box where I got to play as Henry Rollins and beat the living snot out of a bunch of rappers and Carmen Electra. I can’t say it made any sense, but by gum it was entertaining.
Out of the blue I had also received an invitation from an old high school friend of mine to a kind of reunion-ish get-together in Bunbury the following evening. Having no other plans, and not having seen her for quite some time, I decided I’d haul ass down there to check it out. There was a turn out of probably just under forty, which, for a graduating class of ninety-something students, isn’t half bad. Some of my friends are married, more are engaged, and many of my acquaintances now have offspring. I couldn’t say what was the most disturbing of the developments, but none of them were particularly surprising. One thing I noticed though, stepping back from myself, was how absolutely cynical and dark all of my conversation sounds when I’m outside of my normal social and cultural groups. While most of my token self-deprecating quips and other anecdotes generally went down as well as usual, I also got a reasonable number of looks of shock and disbelief which seemed to be in surprise at the nature of the things that were coming out of my mouth. I guess you don’t realise how polarised against other folks you’ve become until you really spend some time with them again. Regardless, it was an interesting experience, and I generally found that most everyone that was that way inclined had finished their university or TAFE training, then gone on to take up a job in the relevant field where they found it boring, uninteresting or bordering on unbearably parasitic on their outside life. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, in fact, I was kind of expecting it. The thing that irked me was that none of them seemed interested in changing their circumstance. They’re just planning on sticking with it. I guess somebody’s got to be the hard-working backbone of society. There but for the grace of God eh?
I spent some time with my folks and my dog while I was down and hung around to watch some football with my Dad on Sunday afternoon. Somewhere in there amongst all the token high school rebellion and torrents of teen angst, I started to like my parents, and it’s nice to spend time with them.
Some things change. Others don’t. Deep, huh?