Monday, December 15, 2008

Group

"So", he said."I cant really talk about it".
"Why not", she asked.
"Well, It's really awkward", he replied.

"Maybe I'll write about instead", he mused.

And, he did.


When I embarked on what would be my first attempt at serious alcohol consumption since New Years Eve 2008, I could never guess at the horror that awaited me at the end of the evening. Truth be told, it would be far happier affair; hands wrapped around a porcelain bowl, asking to die.

Oblivious to all and sundry, I had my bottle of Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay (thanks NFG) for company. I didn't see the other couples wax and wane - the dynamics of power shift from side to side. I didn't hear the terse tones rise above the sizzle of the sausages on the BBQ.

My bottle had a screw top, and all was well with the world.

At the end of the night, my second bottle running desperately low, we retreated like the sun before us, to the lounge to continue what we started.

Before I had realised it, a solid core of friends remained.

If I tried my hardest, I still couldn't remember how it happened: but the deal was this. Everyone in the group had to take their part in turn and say something positive about one of those who remained. When the group had done its round, the next person got to hear.

But my wine bottle had a screw top, and all was well with the world.

Then the kind words came; a group of friends who had known each other since primary school. All the energy of those words stored, the tears that followed flowed in a flood, sweeping aside barriers like matchsticks. From an outsider looking on, it seemed all at once I was a peeping tom. I didn't belong here, I was only six years old.

It was about then I forgot about my damn screw top, and realised that I too was expected to contribute to this emotional maelstrom; and worst yet, receive.

You have to understand what it means to be a New Zealand male.
You have to understand how difficult that would be for me.
There are ways, and there are ways.
But walking away from this truth would speak more about the person I would be,
rather than the person I could choose to be if I stayed.

"So", he said."I cant really talk about it".

And now you know why.

3 comments:

Di Mackey said...

Oh very excellent! writes the woman popping in, curious, from Cairo. I've been wondering since the sms.

xo

Deadlyjelly said...

Woah!

Mark J said...

exactly!