28 September 2006


It's one of those parties where everyone's known each other for about fifteen years, but haven't seen each other for ten.

Except us. We're just tagging along with someone.

We're at a pub, watching a band. All the conversations around us are, "Do you remember that time when we..." and "So, seen old so-and-so lately? What's he up to nowadays?" There's not a lot we can contribute.

It's a reunion, so everyone's main goal is to catch up with old friends, not make new ones. We can only strike up conversations for a minute or so before people glaze over and they start glancing around for someone they know.

People gather in little groups. Smoking is only allowed outside, and the bar is inside. The groups break up regularly, and are re-formed into new groups. If a group breaks up, people look for another group they can edge towards and join in. It's not hard, for them; everyone's known each other for years.

Sometimes someone is left without a group. They stand around, looking intently at the sky or the ground, pretending they're just having a thoughtful moment. Then they nanchalantly move off as if they've finished thinking and might get a drink now.

We're left without a group a lot. They all know each other here. We came with someone, but he's just as intent on catching up with old friends as they are. We feel foolish trailing around after him from group to group, following like lost puppies.

I'm grateful for the band. While they're playing, I can focus on them like there's nothing else in the world I'd rather be doing.


DZER said...

I hate those kinds of situations ... I hope the band was good.

ArtfulDodger said...

ouch, those moments can be very uncomfortable. so that's when i start a lot of really weird conversations, or pretend i am someone they should all know... just to mix things up a little.

Stinkypaw said...

Those things are always a bit strange, but at least there was a band!

hasarder said...

The band was very good. Made the whole thing worthwhile.