Tuesday, August 23, 2005

does it frighten you? are you shocked?

WARNING: I indulged. This post contains ranting.

A young guy I know from work lent me a powercord for a laptop I'm borrowing from a friend. To pick it up, I went by his place after work. He and his two roommates had a friend over, they were getting drunk on G&Ts (not a thing wrong with that) and putting together IKEA furniture (arguably the best way to put together IKEA furniture). He kindly offered me a G&T when I arrived which to my surprise, I accepted. That is, with almost no appreciable desire to stick around, I found myself finishing the first thing I said ("are you kidding me?") with "I'd love one, thank you" (which was, after all, true).

The friend, Byron, was wearing large Lenny-Kravitz sunglasses inside. He had shaved armpits and wore a tank-top with fabric paint graffiti on it. He had artfully "distressed" jeans, with rips in all the right places. (And by that no, no I do not mean there was a rip in the crotch.) He was all about urban chic, and he had it down.

Now you know, I can respect and enjoy different styles -- some people care and some people don't care about how they put themselves together, and it makes no difference to me -- but I like best when people dress how they like, even if they're a fashion whore and it's straight from a magazine, or if they are a terrible dresser who wears white gym socks with black dress shoes. (I kind of draw the line at men wearing women's jeans though, because that's not even good drag, it's just a plain old bad idea. That's a rant for another day.)

Anyway instead of being fun and eccentric, Byron turned out to be the kind of intensely dull (that is, intense AND dull) guy who draws loud attention to the fact that he is plowing his drinks down so others will think he's a pro. When they went out for a smoke, (which I took as an opportune time to leave without creating a fuss), he actually shouted out "Hey Subaru, get away from my car!", so I'd notice his flashy BMW parked in the street. I'm guessing Byron doesn't have a happy bone in his body.

Byron said he worked for the Canadian Embassy in China for two years and is fluent in Mandarin. He said he's recently been on the phone with the CEO of Goldman (I assume he means Goldman-Sachs and that he's an investment guy, yay). The conversation with the CEO was to postpone taking a lucrative position with them in China, which he says he can do because he "has blue eyes but can speak the language, so I'm gold to them". He's now working for the UNDP, yes, for the environment supposedly. He asked me not to tell anyone he works with that he had five martinis at lunch on this, his first day. He kept asking me "are you scared now, that a guy like me is working for the environment?" or "does it frighten you that a guy like me is sitting down with the Russian ambassador?". I said no. I was asked something along these times so many times, and again on my parting, (was I shocked? was I disturbed?) that I finally just sighed, "No, no, none of this is new to me. This is all old."

Byron, the world is fully of silly people in positions of power, (real or imagined).


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