i remember the day i met vika
several years ago i came up with the idea of reality bubbles. essentially that our lives are very much ongoing venn diagrams. the me at work is different from the social me and they are both different to the me at home. there can be as many mes as there are situations. each me has its own reality bubble. the differences between the mes might be slight or they might be vast. the differences are brought about partly by the situation – rules of work are not the same as the rules of social engagement, more importantly the differences are brought about by the others who are sharing the reality bubble you are in – the people at work expect me to act in a certain way and respond in kind, while social situations see a more fluid negotiation in expectations and acceptance.
that is a rough and ready view of the reality bubble concept.
you can imagine my surprise when i discover that it has all been used in the recent resurgence of identity politics and the concept of intersectionality.
i am not bitter mind.
i mention this not to show what an unheralded genius i am but because i had been arguing this concept with joel. joel is an old school friend. we share a like of music, some movies and books, but mostly we share a history. joel is creative and arty and has established himself in the creative industry both as a technician (for want of a better word) and as an artist (with a big capital a). most of his social circle come from this sort of arena.
i am not of that grouping.
one of his mates from his creative universe was a laptop musician who ran a very interesting music club. it wasn't quite underground and it wasn't quite mainstream – but it always entertained and always had the potential to surprise.
one of the things that was interesting about the club was its location: a wine bar in a trendy area. this led to some of the audience just being there because it was a hang out they would go to regardless of what was on, while some of the audience (me) wouldn't have stepped foot inside the place but for the music club night.
there we were nodding and noodling to the music as someone twiddled knobs and slid sliders to make music on their laptop.
the night came to an end. we chatted a little as we waited for the crowd to thin before we made our move. suddenly i am confronted by an elfin princess in a huge patterned jumper. in an accent i can't place: “who are you?” she asks, well demands. “i am me” i reply, always quick with the witty response. “who are you?”she asks again. this time i realise she thinks i am someone special, she has confused me with someone who appears in a music magazine. i tell her that i am nobody. this doesn't go down well. i am not doing my bit for foreign relations. she gets frustrated and leaves. i am a bit confused by the whole thing – a feeling that i have missed out on something washes over me.
joel asks what happened. i tell him i am not really sure.
next thing i know joel isn't there and i am left standing like a lemon wondering where he has gone to and which of his creative friends has he buggered off to talk to. when he returns he is a bit out of breath and he hands me a piece of paper. he had chased the elfin princess down the road and asked her what was going on. turns out she was 'interested' in me. then he hands over a name and number along with the instruction: phone her.
now i would like to say this story has a happy ending – but not really.
i do phone her – she is about to go on holiday, but she'd like to chat when she returned to london. no worries. i start counting down the days to her return. she is due back just in time for another gig night. we sort of arrange to meet there. i even make a few cd mixes for her (well mix is too strong a word it was just various albums copied for her – it was the thought that mattered...). on the night she didn't show until the moment i said she had blown me out, but in truth she sort of did as she was with friends and we just smiled and said hello.
i saw her one more time at another music thing. we chatted briefly. i noticed she had very delicate tattooing on her arms and ears – nice work, no need to be lying in her case.
in the end nothing happened between me and vika the elfin princess. it was nice to know that i still had a little magic, even if not quite enough.