Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Never too old for "Hotel California"....

My friend Valentina was here for the New Year. I met her by the train station. I haven't seen in six years. I hugged her like I saw her yesterday. Her hair is now all the way down her back. It has really been six years!"Its all the way down your ass!" I scream with surprise. She hates it. She can never do anything with it. We decide to go to a pub. We get beer like we used to when we were 19 and broke.She asks me if that's really what I want. What I really want is a glass of white wine but I feel like I am 19 again....and broke. We comment briefly on the dingy state of the pub...and then proceed to talk about the only thing she wanted to talk about..."old age".She reminds me of when we used to go to the "scottish pub" and laugh at all the women..."what's she doing here? old cargo!" and we'll laugh in our drunken states. Then we'll proceed to the next stop which was always dancing to "Gypsy kings" or "Abba"...every Saturday night, the same thing. She tells me she always tells everybody I met the great love of my life dancing to bamboleo. She is devastated about turning thirty. "I am old!" she says.

"We are old! Like those women we used to laugh at!". I drink my beer and get another. She asks me if I do not care. "Why should I? I can't wait for it to be all over, frankly speaking, the sooner, the better. I am not so fond of life" I say. She hisses at me.She invites me back to a country I left six years ago. She paints a very appealing picture. Just the two of us, hitting the pubs, laughing like maniacs and eating noodles in the mornings, then she spoils it all by saying "we are fucking old!"

She doesn't look old. She is beautiful. We laugh, drink and gossip about everybody we know. Our lives are all different. Just one person got married among the old group."Its because he is catholic" she says. He married "the Bulgarian girl". I have no idea who that is. I am still recovering from the shock of not seeing the woman I thought was his "great love" beside him in those pictures. I tell her I almost had a heart attack. "Everybody is getting old, of course he has to get married". I explain that the heart attack was not for the marriage but for the woman. She says the woman I know has not been in the picture for years. I sigh.

Then we drink some more and she tells me that I should come for a visit. We'll do the pubs...and this time, the young girls will laugh at us.

She is impressed I do not smoke anymore, I am impressed that she does. I stand outside with her in the cold as she smokes. For a moment, I thought I would cry but I don't. I hug her like I will see her tomorrow and I walk home, humming "Hotel California" all the way. I wonder if she still knows all the words...she always sang along when it came on. Everybody did.




10 comments:

K said...

Old age...its something some people either deal with well or can not handle at all. This was written so well, it reminds me of the meetings with my friends now...very nostalgic.

Danny Bagucci said...

WOW.. Six years apart and you're still cool... Commendable.. Now on the subject of growing old... That's some serious banana skin there... Sometimes i wish I had the chance to change the way somethings panned out over the past years but then life goes on....

Afrobabe said...

Now you make me feel old babes...

Funny enough a friend and I were just talking abour some girls we used to laugh at just cause they were around 3o.....and not married..

Now I am 30 and not married....shit...gues thats what makes the world go round...

StandTall-The Activist said...

DO we feel old at 30? In fact, I dont feel 30. I feel I am younger

Nice meeting with your friend. I was touched

Patrice said...

A beautiful story. Nostaliga always elicits emotions and it is why I believe that we should live for our past and not just for the day.

Hotel California seems the appropriate song for you to have hummed as you walked home.

"We are all just prisoners here of our own device."

"You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

The video is great. It shows that the Eagles are one of the most proficient rock bands ever.

Longsufferer said...

Waffy only you...while it is still cool to be 30 and hanging out in a bar...lets us not catch you bar hoping at 60....but knowing u...u just might...Happy new year darling....it this year bring with it JOY,HOPE,PEACE that surpasses all understanding......

love u babes.........

Chukbyke.Okey,C. said...

30? A nice age

Ms. Catwalq said...

I have often wondered what would happen if I were to meet friends that I have not seen since graduation some eight years ago. Yes, we are all below thirty but experiences must have changed us a great deal. I know I have changed. I think that is what ages one: the experiences that force you to grow up hard and quick

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

ultimately, we are only as old as we feel. All we can do is love who we were then, who we are now and who we will ultimately become. When we get to that point, we can all look back to when we were younger in appreciation of who we all are as fabulous more mature men and women. Even if we are still broke, lol!

Nice one.

In my head & around me wrote a post about her first trip to warri. You really should check it out.

Catch you later.

SPEECHgirl Bucknor said...

its hard to quit smoking
i dont think u ever truly can!