Tuesday, December 06, 2005

If Harry never met Sally?

Picture this:

Boy walks into a party, hosted by the cousin of a friend of a friend (that's not a typo, the relationship is indeed that remote). He had been at an office party before he arrived at this one, so not only is he dressed pretty nattily, but has imbibed enough alcohol to inhabit the borderline zone of buzzed and tipsy. He meets an attractive brunette, they hit the dance floor, consume copious amounts of alcohol and are all over each other as the party draws to a close.

She wants him to take her home, but on the way changes her mind and asks him to take her to his home instead. The next day, he drops her home, and comes back to realize that she had forgotten her coat and earrings. A-ha! an excuse to meet again eh? No problem, she gave him her phone number. But when he dials her number, he realizes something is horribly wrong. The number is non-existent. In all probability they were way too drunk at the time of the exchange, and hence he didn't take down the number properly. Also, the girl was invited through a generic email sent out by the hostess, and hence, not known to the hostess at all. Ergo, now boy and girl have no way to find each other in this humungous city. Or do they?

If you think I'm writing a Hollywood blockbuster script, let me just say that at times truth merely mirrors fiction, even the sappy, chick-flick kind. The boy happens to be Soto, S' friend, the hostess of the party was Em's cousin, and not only did we attend the party, but also shot surreptious cellphone videos of Soto on the dance floor with the brunette to embarrass him later (ha ha, look what you do when you're drunk!).

We arrived at the party stuffed to the gills, coming as we were from a potluck thrown by S' friend Florence. In a move that could have been terribly foolhardy, I made Thai sweet sticky rice with mango (Khao Niew Ma Muang), a dish I've never attempted before. Thankfully the guests were mostly Vietnamese and Chinese, so no Thai accused me of massacring a beloved Thai dessert, and the others were kind enough to not berate me for the out-of-season mangoes. After the food we got a fresh green coconut each to drink, which apparently is very inexpensive in the markets of the New Chinatown in San Gabriel Valley.

So at the party, all we did was drink and dance (well S drank loads of apple juice and water, and I downed some jello shots with unidentified liquor). The mother of the hostess, Em's aunt, revealed herself to be a champion vodka drinker. She and Em
stood talking in the kitchen downing one vodka shot after another, till Em was completely drunk, but she, amazing woman, held her liquor superbly. As the night progressed, Armenian music took over from salsa (the family is part Armenian) and many of the guests formed a circle to dance a traditional Armenian folk dance.

The amazing part is that all of them were Iranian Armenians, most of whom had never lived in Armenia, and yet they had preserved the cultural facets so well. In fact the Armenian diaspora of Los Angeles is a fascinating mix, of people of Armenian descent mostly from Iran, Lebanon and Armenia, as well as from other parts of Europe like Greece and France. The neighbourhoods of Glendale and Hollywood have substantial Armenian populations, many of the best known Lebanese restaurants in town are run by Lebanese-Armenians. Also, the ever so slightly Francophilic Armenians run the best pastry shops in town, with delectable cakes and French-style pastries.

After the party died down and brunette and Soto left together, we decided that Em was a bit too happy (read drunk) to be allowed to drive by himself and bullied him into getting into our car. On the way the freeway snaked through the Hollywood hills, parting at times to reveal the valley of Glendale, lit with what seemed like a zillion fireflies. Some of these fireflies twinkled through the hills as well, marking spots were houses had sprung up, perched precariously on the hills, holding on optimistically against landslides and forest fires. There is something eerie about the hills at night, at times a primaeval fear returns: what if the road does indeed get swallowed by a never-ending vortex that the hills conceal. But no, such romance gives way to the sure knowledge that the road entwines the sinews of downtown skyscrapers, all very modern and rational, standing firm as the emblems of the loss of mystery. Ah well.

7 Comments:

Blogger K said...

Oh man! I'm sure they'll find each other. You and S were highly responsible, whats wrong with you!

8:31 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Yes, I think so too, but what intrigues us now is: does Soto realy wish to find her?

When it comes to responsibility S is guilty as charged, the man doesn't drink any alcohol for chrissakes, only the occasional swig of Bailey's. I on the other hand must repudiate any malicious responsible accusations against me :)!

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

This one was a happy trip alright! But the pondering last paragraph threw me off. Very nice last paragraph though!
And yet again, two huge posts same day! You know, you can save them as drafts and publish them later? But, of course, as you wish, Ma'am!

11:56 PM  
Blogger shakester said...

but heck you gotta let us know when harry does meet sally. After all, all things going to *plan* he will meet her if he decides he doesnt want to or couldnt care less. And won't if he is dying to...:)

9:57 PM  
Blogger Quizman said...

They should try this Wait a minute, you were the one who blogged about it! :-)

3:18 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Pidus, thank you so much for praise for the last para. I highly recommend a night drive through the mountains and valleys of North Hollywood and further upto Simi Valley and Ventura. There's really something very eerie about the mountains (and no it wasn't my liquor that made me feel so).

You're quite right about the posts, I should really space them out.

Akr, the latest update on the saga is that the lady has made no attempt to retrieve her coat and earrings. The gentleman is miffed, feels that he's been had, and doesn't want to seem like the one taking initiative to find her. Ergo, gridlock.

Quizman, I didn't think about the Craiglist connections :)! As I wrote, there's an ego hit involved in making the first move, so no one's budging.

7:08 PM  
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8:00 AM  

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