Being a foreigner has its advantages. One of these is regardless of how plain you are in your country of birth; abroad you have at least one interesting point. Namely, you come from somewhere else and the novelty of which can buy you a morsel of attention from the locals. It was because I was a foreigner in this land that I was interviewed for a documentary about Edinburgh. My uninteresting self was given five minutes of airtime solely on the grounds that I could point out things that are different from the USA. Not too difficult when I regularly see fifteen year olds in pubs with pints of cider. This is how I met a good friend, K_. A thousand years ago, K_ would have been an oracle, or a warrior queen. She is not much taller than most shrubbery but she is a force of nature. One side ways glance could wilt the toughest of men. I have long since given up arguing with her as regardless of how correct my position is the only result from the discussion is that she is correct. Out and about, we garner looks and disapproval as we shout and discuss bizarre topics such as how the world would be better off if we cull 90% of the male population. I agree with this as along as I am on the right side of the remaining 10%. Most of these looks are from withered old woman who have done nothing more for the world except create excrement and colour coordinate their living rooms. So, it is with a measure of approval that I notice these judgemental gazes. Last night was no different and after two bottles of wine for the better, I walked home with a thought towards how lucky I have been to make the acquaintances of several characters like K_.
You know how when a group of people go camping there is always someone in the group whom the biting insects tend to favour. That’s me. But not only for insects but eccentrics, drunks, and miscellaneous melange of non-standard issue personages. On the street, I avoid the staggering drunks who are talking to themselves, because I know if we make eye contact I’ll spend the next half hour getting hugged and sung to. I no longer sit at the tables outside pubs after one individual actually drooled into my Guinness as he apologised for some offence that he committed yet I did not notice. Same with crazies. At university, there was one character that used to preach to the students as they waited for the crosswalk light to change. He would passionately preach to the masses until some unseen being would interrupt him to which he would launch into an angry tirade and chase away the disruptive spectres. It seemed that my presence would always antagonise these spirits because as I would make my way past he would be torn between shouting at the invisible beings and asking me why I kept encouraging them and don’t I know he is trying to save these people’s souls! I soon found another route to class. Though mostly this attractive power is a curse. I must say that it has allowed me to meet some of the most interesting people. People who grew up with the same social conditioning as myself yet manage to retain a uniqueness that is becoming more and more rare. If you want to see just how rare. Go to friendster.com. It depresses me how alike all these ‘different’ people are. So, to those bizarre and beautiful spirits in my life. Thank you. To T_, Thank you for singing officer Krupke from west side story on the bar at full of rough necks. To C_ Thank you for instantaneously launching into German and marching out of the party in response to some jackass trying to ‘network’. To S_ remember when I had broke my ribs and I jokingly suggested you punch them and you did! What the fuck is wrong you! I still laughed as we drove back to the hospital. My life is immeasurably been more enjoyable for having known you all.