A is for Ageingby Dylan Muhlenberg / 25.11.2009
Friday night made me feel old. It was the first night that my soul mate and I had even wanted to go out since saying “I do”, and only because it was her brother Dario’s party. Still, even though the guest list was four pages long and guy only has one sister in the whole wide world, my wife wasn’t on the list. So I left her to deal with the 12-year old door lady and went to go get drinks. The astore crew was working the bar and clearly this type of work was too much for the graft-shy hipsters. The corners of their mouths were pulled downwards and their soft delicate hands were palsied by the unfamiliar coinage; their store only selling wares that require panoramic piles of paper money. My brother-in-law was very busy ignoring me, counting out small change like a tin shaking, traffic light golem, so I grabbed him by the arm and shook him like a gypped slot machine until he spilled change all over the countertop.
“Hello brother,” I said, sticking out my hand towards him. He took it like a soiled nappy and instead of a “How you?” he asked me what I was drinking. So I told him, and when he returned I gave him a hundred rand note for each of the Black Labels that I’d ordered and a third hundred rand note for the Vodka Red Bull, telling him that I wanted separate change from each note. He rolled his eyes, which only made him look more like a shark, so I positioned myself on the balls of my feet and readied myself to counter attack. However, after being on his knees for so long he’s forgotten what it means to stand up. He gave me my change and I thrust it into my pockets, without leaving a tip, and then accused him of short-changing me. Dario pulled a fist full of change out of the tip jar and poured the coins into my cupped hands.
“Just go now,” he whinged. “Leave me alone.”
“So long, shiteyes,” I shouted over my shoulder, telling him that I’d be back and that he’d be sorry for ever having a sister. “We are family now. Till death do us part.”
After witnessing my rapport with Dario, Ace from Vice magazine decided to imitate my penny-pinching, seeing as his sidekick – that Fong-Kong knockoff doppelganger, Dylan Cool Train – had the night off from being a cheap imitation of me. And despite having no relation to the effeminate barman Ace screamed indignantly about being shortchanged while his substitute partner in crime – a large Cape-Spanish brute dressed in maternity sized hip hop gear and perspiring an ugly malevolence – squirreled away warm beers into his oversized ¾ length jeans.
Unfortunately for them freelance bartender Sean-O had noticed this, and being the type of guy who goes knocking on doors in Gimpy Street on a Sunday night after his MacBook Pro has been stolen, eventually going home with a Dell, this aggression was never going to stand. They were arguing and doing the argy-bargy and despite my brother-in-law having the decorum of an open sore, I decided to help him out nonetheless. Because that is what family does. The scumbags were in a huff at being the object of suspicion and before the scene could get any uglier I shooed them away into Paul van der Spuy’s biker bar next door, telling them to stop being such cunts.
Which is when the Cape-Spaniard grabbed me around the testicles and I had to quickly signal for tequila and beer chasers to appease him. It was funny though, because even with the hand around my crotch this bar was a definite improvement to the kindergarten next door. Sadly I could not soak up the atmosphere for too long as I was forced to leave for the bathroom where I could rearrange my privates, which had been mashed by the brute’s calloused brown hand. Enroute I saw Catwalk Trash graunching that blonde model who steals everyone else’s boyfriend, which straightened me out straight away. The blood filling my cock drained my brain of oxygen and I immediately started defending her to the rabble of naysayers huddled on the sidelines, who were accusing her of lip-synching and being all style and no substance. “How very, very dare you!” I said. “You’re all taking fucking liberties. Catwalk Trash is a genuine musician and she writes all the music herself and she’s got more talent in…” I can’t actually remember what else I was saying, just that I was saying it loud enough in the hopes that she’d hear me.
I quickly went back inside to look for my wife in the hopes of getting her to taste some Catwalk Trash after the blonde had finished with her, but the sweaty-palmed we-are-awesome photographers were hyuck-hyucking around her so instead I demanded that they take a picture of the two of us. They got all embarrassed for me, acting as skittish as dogs at Guy Fawkes, because I wasn’t adhering to the usual proto-cool: stand around emitting vibe long enough for your pose to get flashed in the we-are-awesome famebulb. I refused to employ any sort of subtlety with these geeky-charasmatic-christian-A-students and told them to just shoot my picture and shoot it good. Sure I’m not a Lebanese girl with a pair of scissors tattooed to my head and I’m not a bearded sitar player who only wears clothes that previously belonged to the dead and I’m not the drunk-as-fuck mother of two doing a type of rain-dance where instead of rain caseworkers come and take your kids away… but despite all these shortcomings I am most definitely awesome enough to be on we-are-awesome, thankyouverymuch. Jack Parow would’ve agreed with me.
So it’s funny how music made me feel young again: Sunday afternoon watching Johnny Clegg play at the Kirstenbosch Gardens where folks carried picnic baskets and small children instead of their intoxicated friends and illicit drugs. My wife and my friend and I immediately started mocking the old people and their calloused old gnarled bare feet and their crocs and their fat arses bulging out of their mom jeans and their bald spots and their potato salads and their cry-baby children and then a woman behind us shushed us.
“Excuse me,” she said, “but you’ve been talking since the concert started and we were just wondering if you’d give it a break for a while so that we can enjoy the music.”
It was exactly what we needed.
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