i suddenly recalled the couple of unpleasant things that prove that this all has to be real, and that drew me out from my reality-anxiety reverie in a fit of giggles.
firstly, i have to mention an amazing piece of software that's really exciting: it's called firechat, and in a nutshell it allows android / iphone users to create ad-hoc networks when there's no connectivity. the first, most basic use i could think of was to chat with people on the metro; it's an environment with lots of people avoiding all forms of contact, and i think the ability to communicate with people in the same location and situation anonymously could have really interesting potential.
i wasn't going to be able to make boxing in the evening, so i went early to work on the bags. i did some good work, but then i became frustrated as my shins got tender and i managed to hurt my ankle (slightly) on a side-kick to the wrong bag (like kicking a wall, that one). at least i finished feeling looser, and while resting on the pull-up bar i realized that after all this time i'm actually able to hold it with my feet flat on the floor - stretch success!
i went to the tattoo parlor opening that pulse had invited me to. it wasn't too difficult to find, i'm not familiar with the area but it was a beautiful evening and on the way the view of the city was stunningly dystopic. i arrived... on time, and pulse was going to be fifteen minutes late. hesitant to enter alone, not knowing anyone and being pretty bad with strangers, i looked in at the window and decided that i was rather under-dressed. this was no regular tattoo parlor! shit, they'd turned the main area into a gallery and the tattoo artist's paintings were on display, there was a table with wine and cocktail-y stuff and my first impression was that it was packed with pretension.
i opened the door and a beautiful woman jumped forward to welcome me, i automatically assumed that i was talking to one of the proprietors and politely introduced myself before attempting to enter the throng. a small room, packed with people, it was a throng. and everyone was standing and talking in such a way that it was practically impossible to squeeze through to see what was further inside, i was even uncomfortable approaching the table with the refreshments.
i sneaked between the lines-of-sight of the snap-happy photographers while i inspected the artwork: the pieces were all fantastic, the artist has a really cool style and some of the work was really gripping. so there was that.
just as i was staring at a particularly intriguing canvas, i felt a tap on my shoulder and whirled around to find pulse standing beside me. what a relief! she introduced me to her friend, and then re-introduced me to gd, the girl who'd greeted me earlier. the curtain was drawn back, the crowd regained a level of reality and we all proceeded to enjoy the evening together.
there was something special about gd and she basically told me what it was* when she eventually caught me alone; she left with us which gave us an opportunity to chat on the way to the metro. it was immediately obvious that we were going to be friends and we swapped details as we agreed to meet up sometime.
* no, not sharing.
i got home to a message from her that ended in a chat in which we discussed the fact that we were both attracted to each other and the fact that aaa and i were a potential thing. she was happy to respect that and still come see me perform on sunday, and everything was cool. very cool. that is to say, our chat excited me in a way that i haven't been excited in a very long time.
i slept better, but that wasn't difficult to achieve. i read an article on sensory deprivation that sounded suspiciously like using technology to achieve the goals of a yoga exercise pulse had been describing the night before, then went to old montreal to join her for yoga.
if one of the aims of yoga is to relax, then i was halfway there just by walking through old montreal on such an incredible, sunny morning! gods, that area is gorgeous.
the yoga class: pulse had been going about how amazing her instructor is, and while at first i was a little skeptical i really warmed to him over the course of the class. some of the things he says are a bit preachy, but considering some of the conversations i overheard from the other members of the class it was probably quite necessary. speaking of which, the class was completely full and we had to play a form of yoga mat tetris in order to squeeze everyone in...
... the class was awesome, extremely challenging, mentally stimulating and shamefully sweaty for someone using pulse's spare mat (of course i cleaned it afterwards, but still).
pulse and i had a great time visiting atwater market, the highlight being my finding a large tub of marmite. hooray! on the metro, pulse made a comment about using the poetry slam as an opportunity to vet aaa. i thought that was pretty amusing.
after a good lunch, i went to a java u to meet aaa for coffee before going to hear the university of montreal's orchestra. i was trying and failing to speedily learn the slam in the hope that it'd be ready for the following evening. yeah. not so much.
the date: coffee was nice. we travelled to the university, which is pretty impressive, and found our seats. i wasn't sure how i'd feel about a classical performance, but here goes: the first piece was composed by a man in the audience, it was interesting. the second piece appeared to be showcasing a very talented dude with a flute, it was pretty cool. then there was an intermission, and then the main piece.
dimitri chostakovitch, symphony no. 11. ho-ly crap. there were parts of it where i felt like i was in class trying desperately not to fall asleep, and parts filled with heady, powerful stuff. i guess i could say it was equal parts thrilling and somniferous. i couldn't believe how long it was, my mind was reeling trying to fathom how everyone, from the conductor to the guys on the bells, were keeping it together. when i described the experience to my mother i told her that it felt like i was watching the soundtrack to a movie, and felt quite validated (and cultured :P) when she read back a review that basically said the same thing!
the experience was also similar to some of the more advanced psy-trance pieces where the dj brings in recurring themes in different contexts. it was mind-numbing, intoxicating stuff. i was left speechless and a little shocked by the time it was over.
now for the other side of the experience. the entire time, i found myself comparing between how i felt spending time with aaa and how i felt spending time with gd. i'd spent mere minutes talking with gd, and there aaa and i were on our third date with no spark apparent and not even an indication of a desire for physical contact. i felt like a real heel, thinking like this and comparing between the two, and i continually wondered if i was unfairly letting gd influence the way the date was going.
the word for the evening was "dispassionate". i wasn't interested in continuing the date and i gallantly waited with aaa for her metro, during which time a very strong nothing happened. i hopped on my metro thinking that that felt like a "no".
marmite, then bed. i had a big day to prepare for.