Passive-Aggressive Bullshit

You know one of those nights where you go out, and no matter how much you drink, you can’t get drunk? Tonight was one of those nights.

It’s 3:44 am at the moment. This evening, I went for a run, followed by a brief appearance at a barbecue at a friend’s house. As I was so late, we all soon left to peruse the local clubs. I went to get money out of a cash machine, and lost the people I was following. It just so happened that I ran into a friendly man who I’ve often stopped to talk to, who sells the Big Issue. As he’s such a nice chap, I decided to stay and talk to him, especially seeing as I didn’t really have anything to do at that moment in time. I decided I’d try to help him sell his magazines, which I did, as well as reminding people to vote in the upcoming European parliament elections. If you’re currently undecided as to whether to vote, please do your country and your fellow man a service, and vote on Thursday. I told the gentleman selling the Big Issue that I’d had experience with direct sales, which I did, and he seemed very impressed. He eventually left his ‘pitch’ to me, as he went off for a cigarette, and as I tried to talk to complete strangers, I remembered the anger I felt last summer at people who completely ignore you, and pretend you’re not even there. I explained this to him when he returned, and he said that he didn’t feel that at all. He just kept smiling, and did the best he could.

Eventually, I left, having sold one magazine, and decided to walk around and see if I would bump into anyone from the barbecue. Instead, I ended up bumping into an old friend of mine, who I explained my situation to. He told me to accompany him to a nearby pub, where he was drinking with his coursemates. As soon as we entered, he insisted on buying me a drink, which was very nice of him. He then persuaded me to move to a club, which I did, and where I returned the favour.

In one of the quieter parts of the club (which was Jesters, for those of you who know Southampton well) I ran into another old friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen for months. We began talking, and he soon introduced me to his sister, who was visiting, and her friend April. I got talking with April (his sister was completely out of it) and it soon came up that she was a vegan. She’d been a vegetarian for seven years, but she’d only become a vegan in the past six months. I guess, due to this, I instantly took a shine to her. It takes a special kind of person to make a stand for any type of cause, and I’ve got a heck of a lot of respect for anyone who does so. We talked for a while about vegan cooking, the current lacklustre state of animal welfare in the world, and politics. We then went to have a dance.

This is probably going to be the most honest thing I’ve ever written. I used to be horribly conscious of my dancing, and it used to really hinder me from getting out there and…well…dancing, really. This is a shame, as I’ve got vivid memories of always wanting to dance as a child. I always used to get up and dance with my dad at family get-togethers. He’s a great dancer, but sadly he’s succumbed to old age, recently. I’ve always wanted to learn the ‘proper’ way to dance in the old Greek style, but I always had fun getting up there, spinning wildly, and clicking my fingers, with my arms out.

Unfortunately, something then happened which stopped me dancing. I’m not sure what it was. Probably the onset of adolescence, or something of the sort. I remember being at a family gathering of a close friend of mine, in my early teens. He comes from an Iranian family, who were also crazy about dancing. This friend is rather shy, and so, when the time came to dance, his mum encouraged me to get up on the dance floor, and ‘show him how it’s done’. Something stopped me, however. For the first time in my life, I was too shy.

Fast-forward many years, and I grew up, started drinking, began going to clubs, and yet I still couldn’t dance. When I reached university, there was still a barrier there. In my first year, I remember doing the robot in front of my flatmates, in a club, and them looking at me very oddly. I don’t blame them, I would have as well. I eventually made friends with people who could dance, though, and through observing them, I figured out that dancing is, well…dancing. It’s all about listening to the music, and moving along with it. There wasn’t really an art to it – at least, as not as much as most people think it to be. It’s mostly about rhythm. I would go out with these amazing dancers, watch them closely, and simply follow along, copying their ‘moves’.

I saw the same thing happening tonight, but the strangest thing was that it was myself who was being copied. The friend (whose sister I was introduced to) complemented me on my dancing, and I saw that his actions mimicked mine, somewhat, with a short delay, just like when I had mimicked my friends. It was…flattering. I don’t know how else to explain it. I felt very humbled, but was just…flattered.

I didn’t dance with April, though. It seems that whatever you do, however well you try to perform, or think you’re perfoming something, you can always do better. On the walk back to my friend’s house, where April was staying, along with his sister, we talked more in-depth about veganism. My friend’s sister told me that I had very nice hair, and asked if she could plait it. I’ve always prided myself on my hair, and I do my best to take care of it. I revealed that I use Loréal Fructis shampoo and conditioner, and then asked April what type of conditioner she used. She told me she used a conditioner called ‘Veganese’, and that Loréal test on animals. I lost points here. We somehow moved on to the topic of palm oil. I said that I always make sure that the products I use that contain palm oil, ensure that the palm oil comes from sustainable projects. In case you don’t know, there’s a problem in the rainforest. Trees are cut down to harvest palm oil, destroying various animal habitats. Orangutans are dying out, now. Go figure. April simply told me that you can’t trust anyone who says that their palm oil doesn’t come from the rainforest, which I suppose is right. Still, I lost points here.

That’s a funny thing. I talk about points, as if life is some kind of game that you can win or lose – like our karma is somehow linked to an overarching points system. I told April that as a vegan, she got a lot of points. She told me I shouldn’t think of people, and about life so plainly. She does have a point. Being vegan doesn’t mean that you care any less about the environment than omnivores. Indeed, I have omnivorous friends who have very finicky standards when it comes to eating meat. I’m also not saying in any way that I’m better than anyone else, especially not because I’m a vegan. Why does talking to this one vegan make me feel like I’m doing all of these things, then? Am I a bad vegan? Does that make me a bad person? I honestly don’t know.

All in all, I’m just trying my hardest to be the best person that I can be. I guess I’ve just discovered that sometimes there’s absolutely no difference at all between damnation and salvation. The time is 4:35 am.

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