Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bad supermarket vibes

You are walking in the mall or in the street, minding your own business (or at least trying to), when you suddenly spot that person that you kind of know. What do I mean by, “kind of know?” Well this is that person that you have never really got to converse with in great detail.  It could be that neighbour from years ago, who would never really smile at you or greet you in the expected neighbourly fashion. It could also be that old school mate who you have always shared some twisted rivalry dating back to twenty or more years ago. It could be that colleague from work that has never really been able to tolerate you or vice-versa. In yet another scenario, this might be a distant relative who thinks that he or she is much better than the rest of the family.

Anyway, whoever this individual is, he or she also steals a glance at you and looks away. You inch closer to each other and it becomes clear that there is no detour for either of you to escape that much dreaded moment when you will have to talk to each other. You pretend to be focused on some random product on the supermarket shelf and your foe fiddles away on the keypad of a cellphone; “chatting” with some non-existent contact on an imaginary social network.

Finally the moment of reckoning comes; you both cannot pretend not to be aware of each other’s existence any longer. Sooner or later embarrassment must prevail over pride and that is when both of you look up, stare at each other and with fake surprise, you loudly proclaim how good it is to meet each other. Bear hugs are dished out and plastic smiles are flashed. All of these shows of affection are as fake as the hairs on a faux fur jacket. After a few more minutes of torturous small talk, you part ways and promise to meet each other soon for tea or lunch. In your warped minds you size each other up for the last time and part, each with the most spiteful of thoughts and feelings racing within. Your brain and mouth are at clear odds; the poor organs are puzzled by the glaring disparity between thought and word.

Such is life. When a lion meets a kudu face to face in the wilderness, there is no fake friendliness. The lion roars and gets ready to pounce and the kudu does not need to be told that it should dash for dear life. The two animals’ relationship is clearly defined and both know where they stand with each other. Unfortunately when it comes to us humans, what you see is often what you do not get. We walk around with a lot of animosity for others and we think that the best way to deal with this garbage is to hide it, not get rid of it! In spite of our pompousness and superiority complex, in the final scheme of things, we really are a sorry lot.

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