Sunday, 5 May 2013

Fate, signs, and serendipity

Mary was 21 on Thursday, but she also had two finals, so she decided to have her birthday celebrations on Friday. Now on Fridays I normally tutor in the evenings, but those students are on holiday. My lesson with A, however, was still on track for the next day and so, feeling like a heel, I had told Mary that I could not make her party.

Knowing I'd not be going anywhere after the end of work that day, I confess I'd not bothered shaving or washing my hair. I had a vague idea of going to get my hair cut (I know, it's still not happened, and it's becoming quite hideous) but aside from that, there was nothing that required my attention. Having finished a little early that day, I decided to stretch my legs and wander down to the station to pick up some t+ tickets for the bus to A's house and back.

When I'd bought them, I found that someone had left a ticket from Rueil - where I live - to Paris. In addition, as I picked it up, my phone sounded in my pocket - A had to cancel the next day's lesson.

This is why the blog is titled as such. I do not believe in signs or fate; after all, if these circumstances had not arrived together in such a manner I would not be writing about them. Sometimes these things happen, but mostly they do not.

This time they did, and in short order I had rushed home, slung things in a bag, and rushed out again. The ticket that I'd acquired (or been left there by the hand of fate, whichever better suits your worldview) got me to St Lazare and one very quick transaction later I was on the train towards Le Havre.

I got there for around 10 and the girls met me there; Kate, Mary, and a newcomer - Jaimie, who takes the place (but could never replace) Paula. After hellos we made our way to a bar called The Trappist, which in true French style was tiny and already packed to the rafters. Getting a drink was a matter of simply giving in to the flow of people and seizing a glass as you passed the bar, and then dropping some money on the way back. Actually stopping was a foolish notion; the only place there was no movement was the loo, which (again, in true French style) you did not so much queue for as suddenly find yourself in front of and then leap into, seriously aggravating whoever had been just behind you.

I only had about three pints in this bar, while Mary did her best to sink her (admittedly tiny) weight in alcohol. Her friends, being good and true, did their utmost to aid in the completion of that goal, and before long it was well-achieved. To round off the night, the DJ - wherever he was - put on "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and our little group erupted.

With that glorious chorus complete, we made out merry way home. Friends slowly peeled away, final wishes of "Happy Birthday!" hanging in the still-warm air. We slept until ten the next day, when Mary - unbelievably - suffered no hangover. I, on the other hand, had the kind of pounding headache and unsettled stomach that I normally associate with a third of a bottle of vodka - not three pints. Emasculated and injured, I took my sorry, sweating, shivering self home. The train journey was agony. The bus was worse. I strongly suspect that the blow to my manhood was causing my symptoms to worsen. Three pints!

In any case, I got home and collapsed. I woke at ten, better but still achey, and staggered out for something greasy and satisfying. I found it, and it was both, but it seemed to cure me almost immediately. Stuffed and sleepy, I fell back into sleep, but it was a much better and more natural sleep than before.

And so this brings us to now. With apologies for my tardiness - two posts missed! - and a recommendation of my friend Rachael's blog, where you'll see at the bottom that my grip of geography is as strong as ever. 

Oh, and it turns out Delirium is so-named because it knocks in at 9%. My manhood is restored, but from now on I'm drinking Belgian beers out of this:

25ml measures only