Lights Out

Welp, after 2 weeks of preparation I had my 15 minutes of fame. 3 minutes actually. The non-profit organization that organizes the dance classes (among the capoeira ones I take) put together a big show at the "capitool", which is Ghent’s biggest theatre, to show off their best students.
Our teacher went on first with the berimbau, and his student playing the atabaque. (Capoeira instruments) The two best students then went and did the first two sequences of Bimba, after which the rest of us (10 in total) joined them on stage and performed a series of attack and defense sequences: Duck, Queixada, evade, Negativa Rolê, cartwheel, Mei Lua De Compasso, Martelo. Without time to think and about 1,500 people watching you. The whole thing took 3 minutes, which, come to think of it, reduces my time on stage to about 2 mins. But still, it was more than worth it. For 2 weeks I got to go to class twice a week, and we got to train some in the park, under a nice sun. Trust me, it feels like nothing before when there’s 10 of you doing the same sequence with equal passion and aggression. It’s a sense of pride I haven’t felt in a very long time.
I first subscribed to lessons after someone insisted I would. I tried to thank her later on but all I got was a cynical remark, I don’t believe she knows just how grateful I am. I’ve been getting compliments from more experienced students about my progress, and it’s a fantastic way to vent sometimes. Ducking, kicking, jumping, it gets an adrenalin rush doing that often lasts until I’m on my way home. The main difference between this and any other martial art, is that it lacks the types that are just out to kick or punch someone and then boast about it. It’s one group of equally charming individuals, doing our best to get it down to perfection.
A few of us already got our nicknames, like Dove or Mafia. I was at first named Mohican (mohawk) but since it was too hard for some to remember that quickly changed to Apache and eventually just, Punk. Not the most original name but I’m proud of it nonetheless. Capoeira encourages a personal style and I’m pretty sure I’m the first with a "punk" style, if that would make any sense at all. Don’t fuck with the Punk. Sounds pretty bad-ass though, no?
The day of the show I went to town a couple hour early to settle a few things that needed settling and take a walk through the city, my personal way of meditating. However walking seems to have turned into riding the bike recently, there’s nothing more relaxing than shooting through traffic and down steps. Anyway, my rear brakes needed replacing so I went and bought a pair of blocks and sat down in the park to work on them.
An elderly man passed by and started talking to me. I was just minding my own business, so my first reaction was "Great, someone lonely enough to talk to random people in the park." Nevertheless I was my usual friendly self and we actually got to talking about some interesting stuff, and the man turned out to be a good conversation partner. After a while, he just said "Well I’ll be off and let you work" and just strolled off.
It got me thinking, what kind of a cynical ass I’ve become to judge anyone talking to a stranger as lonely and socially retarded, while in this case it was the exact opposite. Belgium, in contrary to any other countries like the Netherlands, the US or Spain, houses the kind of people that look at you funny when you talk to them. At a bar, or basically just any place, you are branded "Loser" when you open your mouth unless introduced by a common friend, first. I realize very well I’m a text book example of this. I’ll talk back when spoken to, but even then with a certain suspicion. Quite sad actually, but hey at least I don’t just blatantly ignore the person in question like some would.
I went and put my Roger Waters (singer of Pink Floyd) shirt on EBay! I feel like a whore right now, really. At first no one seemed to want it for €70, which suited me just fine. It’s a pretty awesome shirt and I can’t help wonder why I put it up in the first place. But alas, some guy was dumb enough to go and pay that much. A pretty hard-core Waters fan, judging from his past purchases. Not that I can blame him, the concert was beyond spectacular and the shirt really is worth much more than what I sold it for (dumb shit).
I’m trying really hard to be nice to this guy, but the fact that I’m giving him this über-cool shirt for little money weighs a bit. Him being a genuine asshole about it isn’t helping either. The first word I get from him literally went like this:
For your information I want this shirt sent BY REGISTERED MAIL. You may send me the total cost for this delivery and the object.
Please also, your account number and full address data.
When I receive all the information I wish for, only then will a transfer of the money be done.
With this, I count on your willing co-operation and on a smooth transaction.

With a friendly greeting,

The [name here] family.
Now I don’t know about anyone else, but this just rubs me the entirely wrong way. First of all he has the balls to demand a better service than agreed upon, then goes and asks for information he already has (shows a good trust) and then basically goes and threatens me. I replied in a manner as friendly as I could pull out of my ass, but if he’s going to continue that way he can just blow me nice and slow and kiss his beloved little tee goodbye. Fucking prick thinks he can boss me around, think again.
I need to watch myself carefully though, if he gives me negative feedback on the site I’m going to be feeling it next sale. Already 1 out of the 5 I got is bad, from some guy who couldn’t cope with fact I wasn’t pleased with a French version of Half-Life that I can’t update and go on the net with, in a broken case. His loss, but also mine. It doesn’t look good on ya when it says "AVOID THIS EBAYER AT ALL COST" on your profile. 2/6 would be a bit much, especially in a place where most insist on a 99% positive reputation.
It seems lately my posts have been little else than gloomy spittings of emotion. I’m not sure where all that came from but I do know it felt good getting them off my system. I’ve been getting gradually better at doing so, I manage to describe things I couldn’t put into words before.
If there is one thing I learned from the numerous shrinks that gave up on me, it’s that rambling does help. Here you got someone asking how you are, getting paid to do so but nonetheless. I had this habit of thinking for a minute, and then just tossing out exactly "how I was". Not just to anyone though, there aren’t too many shrinks that actually deserve the trust they ask of you. So-called professional secrecy goes right out the window when your father asks how it was, after all he’s the one paying.
Again, I honestly have no clue why suddenly general "Guess what happened this week" wasn’t enough anymore. Maybe I’ll figure it out in a while when I read back, but until then I’m more than happy not knowing. That’s right, for once I just don’t want to figure things out. When you cough up something slimy, and in this case very much alive and squirmy, you don’t go and dissect it either. You’re just happy it’s out and leave it behind for someone to sit in. I’m content with it being gone, end of story.

One response

  1. Lisa

    Contrary to your thoughts, I am pleased as hell you took my advice about the class. Not just the class, but about alot of things. You know what I mean. I hated seeing you living your life as you were and words can\’t express how flattered I am to think I helped positively inflence your life. You\’re awesome. You know it. I know it. Your friends know it. Must I CONSTANTLY ego stroke you? *teases* Don\’t let my attitude affect you. Not all of us are in good mindsets all the time like you ;)

    7 June 2007 at 01:33

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