open mic

It's a Friday night. Weekend nights are becoming my time to blog - when cool, sociable people are out drinking and the like. I was out, and I was going to continue my night and enter higher levels of sociable-ness, but my friends bailed on me. Actually I'm a bit upset right now, to tell the truth. I've had a hard week and I was counting on seeing one friend in particular tonight. I guess the whole thing wasn't as definite in her head as it was in mine. I sent a slightly bitter text message, and she hasn't responded. Oh well. It wasn't a bitchy message - I just wanted to let her know that I thought it was a bit shit. But text messages are so hard to interpret, and sometimes you can get a whole different tone out of something than was ever intended.

Nathaniel and I went to an open mic night at the Art House on Monday night. We'd put the date into our diaries ages ago, and made a pack to write some poetry and then read it out. We'd planned to go to a different venue that we'd read about in the Victorian Writers' Centre magazine, but when Nathaniel go there, he was told that there hadn't been poetry there in 18 months. So he saw this other thing on at the Art House. I got there first. Turned out it was a heavy metal venue. It was dark and dingy and had a slightly creepy vibe. People sat alone drinking pints of beer or in small huddles, not saying much. I put our names down on the list, alongside scores of songwriters on guitars, and the occasional comedian. The MC was pissed, and swaggered onto to stage with a half-full pint of beer in one hand. He introduced the first guy, who got up sang a lot of ooos and aahhs in a minor key and had one eyebrow perminantly higher than the other. He had a lot of tatoos and looked like his heart had been broken a lot. He made a few jokes in between songs that not many people got. The people who followed were in a similar vein - full of angst and depressing themes like drowning one's self and not being able to get out of bed in the morning. I appreciated the comedians - one of them talked about blowing a whale up on a beach in San Francisco; and I remember laughing at the other one, but I can't remember what he talked about. Soon it was my turn, and I read my poems, which I had been quite proud of. The funny one got some laughs, and nobody laughed at the one that wasn't meant to be funny, so I thought it was a success. It was an odd experience, partly because I was the only female performer, and one of only a few women in the room.

After Nathaniel, there was a guy who got up and played the keyboard while doing hip hop lyrics. He did some reggae and other styles as well - he was pretty good. When the whole thing was over I got up and went over to him. I told him I liked his music, especially how it was a mix of different styles. He told me that he liked my poetry, and especially how I tilted my foot to one side as I stood reading. There was some intense chemistry. He told me he worked in a bank. I was intrigued. Nathanel came over and stood there, between us. I made some awkward conversation. The guy didn't say too much, but just kind of smiled a bit. Nathaniel kept standing there. I found out that the guy's name was Stu. He was from New Zealand. Eventually, we didn't know what else to do or say, so we indicated that we'd better go, and Stu dropped some hints about other places he frequented. Asking for a number was all too hard at that point. So kicking myself, I left the building. I said goodbye to Nathaniel outside, then turned around and walked past the door again. Stu came out. Why hello, I said, and he asked if I wanted a lift anywhere. Sure, I replied, and got into his car, no questions asked. Crazy, I know. He drove me to my place. I asked how he liked Melbourne, and he said that he liked it very much, except that he was worried about the water situation. More and more people keep moving here, he said, but there was just not enough water to go round! The way he said it was kind of cute, I thought. Eventually we drove past my place and he pulled over. We sat in the car a while. I giggled and he giggled. It's just like your poem, he said, and it was. The poem I had read was called "On the verge of a kiss". I said, "Do you want to get a drink?" and he paused and said, "Why not?" I told him that we would need to go through my place, which was a church (I live in a church), because I had to turn off the lights. He was intrigued, so I showed him into the sanctuary. Then I got excited and showed him Credo, because I love showing people Credo. I get pretty proud of it, I think. Eventually we went into the laneway. I could tell something wasn't right and he said, "It's late. I have to work tomorrow - can I get your number and we'll do a raincheck on the drink?" Sure, I answered, and gave him my number. We kissed goodbye - on the cheek, that is. And he went home.

And so that was it. That was Monday, and now it's Friday, and I haven't heard a peep. I jump everytime the phone rings - I think I'm really desperate or something. Part of it is the feeling of rejection, I guess. And disappointment, because I kind of liked the guy, and wanted to get to know him a bit better. Sigh. This morning I decided that I needed to get over it. So during my meditation, I tried to give it over to God. It sounds weird, but I lit a candle and then took an earring, and let the earring represent the desperate Stu situation. I put the earring beside the candle. And I felt better about it, but I still check my phone a little more than usual. I think it's all over now, although if I'm completely honest, maybe there's a small glimmer of hope that I've insisted on keeping alive. It's just that the chemistry was really great, and that happens so rarely for me. Oh well, I'm only ever attracted to guys with low self-esteem, anyway, which never really works out. The fact that I was so attracted probably means that Stu has REALLY low self esteem. Better to steer clear. Although if he rings, I'd see him in a flash!

I guess I'm just lonely. How sad. Around so many people, yet still have that empty ache. I just want somebody to hold me and tell me I'm special. Sob. Intellectually, I'm telling myself to sit with my loneliness. Don't fight it - just rest with it. I've started fasting, and in some ways, it's a bit like that. You can be hungry without fighting against the hunger. You can be hungry without dreaming of food. In the same way, you can crave intimacy without fighting the loneliness; you can have that empty spot without dreaming constantly of being held and touched and told lovely things. I want to sit with this feeling, but right now, it's feeling pretty yucky. I just want somebody to curl up next to.