Wednesday, April 16, 2014

i don't even. part ii.

[... continued]

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sunday:

i enjoyed a good wake-up, though it was a rainy day and i went through it to the walmart to pick up a yoga mat. pulse had been talking about the importance of colours, and i was amused to hear that if i want to focus on my upper back i should go with green. i have a thing for green, so that's no biggie. there was a single yoga mat left in stock. it was green, odourless (i'd been warned about chemical mats) and apparently eco-friendly. so that was easy! as i walked to the check-out i received a message informing me that pulse had gifted me a $25 discount on yoga supplies from some online source.

why was the world making it feel like my birthday?

there was a problem at the check-out with the card reader. i was so offended when, after a couple of failed attempts, the cashier grabbed my card and began rubbing the chip as if we were in the nineties. i *told* her it was the reader, not the card. before she could do any damage i thanked her for her efforts and found another counter. my card passed through first time and i left with an image in my head of the first cashier as a kid blowing into a nintendo cartridge.

i went supermarket shopping, forgetting to make change for the laundry, then hit the gym to train. i was specifically going to meet the guy who joined us for yoga last week because i didn't have his number and the instructor was coming in later than we'd agreed. he didn't rock up at all, and instead i worked on the punching bags. i worked really hard, really well and for a long time; so long, in fact, that i didn't leave myself the time i'd intended to return home, shower quickly and return with my new yoga mat. suddenly the instructor had arrived and i'd only had a few minutes' rest. we began the yoga class.

my arms and legs were kinda tired after all the work on the bags. that made the exercises particularly difficult, but i pushed through and was as satisfied as i was sore by the end.

i had a short time between yoga and horseman visiting, really just enough to shower and eat and maybe rest a bit. instead of the latter, when i got home i found a message from aaa waiting for me. oh, i thought. we're going to have the talk.

i called her up and was surprised when instead of the talk, she was inviting herself to the slam! oh, shit. i couldn't think of an inoffensive way to end things in that context, so i remained polite and unenthusiastically told her i'd see her later. i started stressing about the potential drama, already planning to take gd out for a drink after the slam to explain everything, and was discussing the situation with supertongue who's a bit of a drama expert. she told me that i *had* to call aaa back, and i'm really glad i listened!

because i took a moment to compose my thoughts, called her back and told her how i feel. i was relieved to hear her say that it wasn't just me - so i wasn't being an ass! very sweet. we agreed that dating isn't working, but that we both like each other and hanging out is cool. it was actually the nicest "we're not going to date any more" talk i've ever had and we were both laughing for half of it. that was cool, i immediately felt much better, and just then horseman arrived for a tekken session.

we played the new tag tournament, it was a lot of fun but not as competitive as usual. both our games were off but it didn't matter :)

as we left for the slam i stressed about getting dressed, and halfway there i recalled that i'd intended to shave. shave! my beard was looking a bit scraggly. and pulse's comment about presenting my poetry with respect still ran in my ears. but there was no time for that. there was just time to grab a quick bite at la pantere verte and arrive to sign up.

i'm sorry, said my buddy as he greeted us at the door: we've changed the way registration works this week... didn't you get the memo? all the slots are taken, the only thing open is the open mic.

DAMN! i was so disappointed! i signed up for the open mic and made sure he understood that if there was an opening for the slam that i wanted it instead. a slow hour would pass before he could inform me that someone had dropped out, which was an enormous relief :)

we sat down with pulse and gd, were joined by bnw and had a really good time! i was really excited when pulse gave me some insider information that the guys at the company i've been interviewing with are just as excited to have me join them - i don't know if she's exaggerating because she's being super-nice but i'll take it ^_^

we enjoyed ourselves until aaa showed up, at which point things started getting a little weird. i was sitting between everyone and the stage and pulse, gd and aaa were sitting in a row with aaa next to me; i kept thinking "past, hopefully future and present" and both myself and gd, who was being respectfully considerate, were having trouble deciding where to look at any given time.

then the evening began. i was wearing my syndicate shirt, amusingly showing "follow me until you die" to the girls because my back was to them; i was uncomfortable specifically because i couldn't keep an eye on things.

some of the open mic pieces were pathetic, one of them was a surprisingly dramatic improvement by the guy who i hated on the open mic when i judged. still not amazing, but he's at least heading in the right direction :)

...

the slam began. the first guy up was someone i quite like, though his piece left a bit to be desired. my name was announced, and i whisked my bundle of nerves up onto the stage.

1. i should've raised the height of the mic. i'm an idiot.
2. i needed more confidence. my piece deserved more confidence, and now i feel like i let it down.
3. in spite of my shaking and lack of power, i blew the first dude away, was received with heartwarming applause and the mc was so impressed he joyfully fist-bumped me as we passed each other.
4. the judges seem to like it! certainly better than last month.

everyone at my table was thrilled when i sat down, and i turned to look for the scores. as i did so i felt a pair of hands on my back - i stiffened, knowing that it was a victorious "pat on the back" from aaa and sensing that it was a lot more sensual than it should've been. that was our first physical contact after three dates and an ending, and it was totally unappreciated... especially with gd right there! after that i noticed that something was going on between gd and pulse, and a few minutes later they'd disappeared. my phone began to vibrate with messages from gd and there was far too much for me to say in such a short space - as soon as the first round was over i phoned her.

when i heard her voice i was both touched and terrified; i apologized profusely and we agreed to have coffee in the morning to talk it all over. on my way back to the table aaa passed me to say goodbye. her work was done (she didn't say that, obviously), she needed to go.

#$@!. couldn't she have left first?!

...

during the break vfmp and his boyfriend showed up to take the girls' place. much less dramatic :P

mc june went up as the feature for the night. his hop-hop's all french, but even though i could barely follow the words - never mind the poetic meaning - the man was enthralling. the performance was amazing, powerful, obviously clever, and his beatboxing partner who joined him at the end was just brilliant.

moments before the feature, i was informed that i'd made it through to the second round. score! i was thrilled ^_^

i'd prepared the quebec immigration song for the second. i'm really, really, REALLY lucky that i was called up towards the end, because after hearing the first two poems i knew that it wasn't nearly strong enough. fortunately, i still have advice memorized and i decided that it would have to do.

about a minute before my name was called i felt something in my chest harden. it was something akin to anger; a sense of purpose, and rightness. my nerves were blasted away by it and i jumped onto the stage, reset the mic's height and cleared my head.

oh - my - gods. i have never commanded an audience before, but i now know what it feels like. i stared into the darkness and emptied myself into my words, each one flying out precisely. there were laughs in the right places and finger snaps, and the response when i finished was overwhelming. what unbelievable elation and pride! what a reward for finally getting my shit together on stage!

i took fourth overall (when that was announced there were actually a couple of boos, and not from my table ^_^ ) and a couple of the established poets not only made an effort to catch me to introduce themselves but one of them was excitedly talking about us hopefully going together as a team to the nationals. i hope, i hope, i hope that i've made it into the finals next month!!!

...

it was pouring with rain when we left, bnw and i headed to the metro together and stopped halfway at a cool bar to dry off with a couple of drinks. we had a fun time telling hysterical stories and discussing the evening, and when the rain relaxed and we'd finished our drinks it was time to go home.

---
from the moment we said goodnight, i couldn't stop thinking about gd. i was practicing speeches in my head and fretting about all the things that could possibly go wrong, planning apologies and explanations well into the night.

all this was wrapped in ecstasy, a very real high off the evening that was so strong it was shocking!

---
monday:

sleepless before a date with destiny [i wrote that on the way there]. i picked up my laundry, it was the most beautiful, warm, misty spring morning that would turn into a hot - over 20 degrees hot - sunny day. a fantastic day for extremes, i thought, and i couldn't imagine how right i was at the time.

gd's name is the french version of a character out of greek mythology; i wasn't sure if looking up her story was a mistake or a treat, but it was definitely educational.

...

we met at her metro station, and walked and talked for a while until we found a good place to eat. a sweet, cozy diner-type deal, there wasn't anything vegan on the menu but the waiter managed to sort out a huge, delicious off-the-menu special anyway. the coffee was good and we were having a lot of fun, though a lot of our discussion was decidedly inappropriate and the waiter wasn't embarrassed to chime in every now and again because he could hear everything we were saying. i would've been offended but the attitude was totally good :)

we took a semi-romantic walk down to atwater market and around the area, then to her apartment. we talked for ages there too, culminating in a first kiss that,

quite frankly,

i will never forget.

[continued...]

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