David Attenborough   Leave a comment

If only you could talk to the humans.

After the stress and glorious elation of getting plastered (hehe), and a nap to recover from normal-person hours, I thought I’d relax by going to the open mic night at Cafe Con Leche. I know one of the singers from school, which makes me look slightly less like the awkward, scary loner that I actually am because occasionally she’ll talk to me. The rest of the time I’ll listen to the people playing and prop up the bar (or a handy column that blocks out some of the sound, if they’re not very good). I like it, it’s a pleasant cafe/bar, and one of the few places herabouts where nights seem unlikely to end in a hospital stay and being a witness in a GBH trial. Shame they don’t do hot drinks in the evening.

An advantage of social anxiety is that social events can cause you to flush, stumble over words and generally be a bit awkward; all the advantages of booze without spending the money! The thing where you clench your jaw muscles is less useful, but nevermind. The doctor offered me some beta blockers to try and negate these reactions, but I decided “I’m a man, I can handle it” and turned them down.
I could just drink to try and overcome my inhibitions, but I don’t like drinking just a little bit – it gives me a horrible dizzy, buzzy, slightly nauseous feeling for hours. And getting trolleyed isn’t an option when you’ve got to be up the next morning and get horrible hangovers (that always make me wonder: why do I drink at all? The answer’s obvious: I’m an idiot.), so it’s handy to be able to stay sober and still look like you fit in.

Insofar as the only guy in the place by himself fits in. But you can watch the behaviour of these strange animals, see how they travel in flocks, and hunt in packs. You can hear their communicating, admire their plumage, and try to ignore their mating rituals because upsetting an alpha male or female could be unfortunate. You can wonder what it would be like to be able to talk to them. I wonder if this is how David Attenborough feels when he’s watching apes in some rapidly-receding jungle somewhere; they’re so like us, and yet.

Of course, unlike David Attenborough, I’m watching people, not a more-or-less distant simian cousin (also I don’t have a husky, whispering voice and I’m not as well paid). Their thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes would be similar to mine. They even speak the same language. Technically one could talk to them, but where would one even begin? If only I knew.

If it were Richard Attenborough there would be dinosaurs. You can’t talk to them either, but it would be much more fun.

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Posted 20 May 2011 by Colthor in Diary

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