The Rules of Attraction.

Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.

– Leonard Cohen. Beautiful Losers. 1966.

I’ve had an interesting evening. Hell, I’ve had an interesting life.

I’ve darted home just now with a meagre 18 minutes to blog. Time’s up, I announce to the only person who seems to care. The only other person in the room. Alas, I must away.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– this blog really has been the making of me socially. Really. Ina city like Sydney it really is the perfect decoy. Because here’s the thing– Even if I like someone. Even if I’m enjoying their company there is always a moment, throughout the course of the evening, when my mind begins to shift, to stir, to wonder, to imagine, to traverse elsewhere.

Tonight has been such a night.

A good night, no less. A really good night. A big day.

There’s a $2.00 Shop near my house. I often frequent the place to purchase incense, wine glasses as house gifts for friends, frames for my Bikram Yoga Challenges, sunglasses for when they break, toilet seat covers for Jayde come winter. I’m there often. And was charmed to learn the man behind the counter was an accounting student from Shanghai.

“You’re studying accounting and you work in a $2.00 dollar shop? Where’s the challenge in that!?”

He’d often laugh at my monetarily exchanged banter– though he swears we only ever met the once. I think it’s been at least five times. He disagrees.

The last time, a fortnight ago, as I purchased some tumblers for Lloyd (who always serves my wine to me in a plastic cup when I come to visit,) a picture frame, as I said, two in fact, one for the Spencer Tunick shoot, the other for the yoga certificate– and some nag champa– He, the guy behind the counter, asked me if I had the time to teach him the sort of English I spoke. “I want to speak like you,” he said, confidently, looking me square in the eye. “Sure. Anytime.”

We exchanged numbers and pretty well much every appointment we’ve agreed upon since I’ve had to cancel.

Except for tonight. I figured I’d cancelled thrice and that that was purely poor form. Enough! Meet the man. Give a dog a bone. Help him out. He’s a lovely human really. And I could tell right away.

He bought me dinner and poured my soya sauce to mix with my wasabi– not an ideal arrangement for me, personally, but still pretty sweet. I’m not comfortable with being bought. I never have been. Nothing for free. Ever. Which remains to be certain, by the way. Still, he with his big belly full of ideas and dreams and things to say but no one to say them to struck me as refreshing, rather than desperate… It was a real treat, in part, to share so much of what I’ve known, or how I’ve felt, in his shoes, prior to now. You know, to someone that gets it.

“I don’t meet people like you in Sydney. I’ve not met anyone here I want to talk like. No one. How do people meet people here? At the pub? I don’t want this life. This kind of animal life. I doesn’t suit me.”

We spoke of language and diaspora, migration and the promiscuous nature of this fair city.

“Does it make you lonely?” He asked.

“No. Not anymore.”

He’s lovely and charming and brave and focused. A Chinese kinda James Dean. Smart, sharp, sexy and ready without being all in your face about it.

“Have you been outside of Sydney? It’s a big country. Have you travelled around here much?”

It’s important to me that expats that live here know that Sydney ain’t all that. There’s more. There’s scarves and books and lattes in Melbourne. Wine pretty well much everywhere up and down either coast. Shooting stars in the desert. Coral in Cairns. And camping everywhere in between.

“I like to travel in style,” he announced, refilling my glass.

“That glass is too full,” I said. “You won’t taste as much when you’re dealing with that sort of quantity.”

I taught him the origins of ‘worry warts’ and ‘groundhog day,’ ‘honne over tatame’ and my thoughts on grief– it’s a part of the pie, after all.

He’s a smart, soft, gentle cat. A good soul. A real human. Not lost but bobbing about the surface, struggling to penetrate the system, trying to get in, make contact, connect.

“Australians are not so good at making people feel welcome,” he admitted. “But you’re different. I feel like you’d understand everything.”

I explained to him how my years of real loneliness were behind me. How I do a lot of yoga. How I don’t seem to worry much about it anymore. It comes and it goes, feeling connected, and that can happen anywhere, at anytime. It’s not a uniquely Sydney thing.

He walked me home and grabbed my arse as we parted ways. He explained to me his idea of sexy. His plan for his future and his relationship with his family as my mind began to wonder how it is you can be attracted to someone without ever needing to go the distance. The ‘Yeah But Nah’ factor. You know?

“I have to blog.” I said bang on half eleven.

“My heart is elsewhere.”

And that’s not subject to change.



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