Thursday, June 10, 2004

The drinking, the ankle and the encounter with Texta. On Tuesday night it was Linda's birthday at (where else?) Kitten Club. Claire and Anthony were there - I haven't seen them basically since uni (though I bumped into Anthony at Q&A once), so it was great to catch up. It was also a relief to find that more and more people from my course aren't working in ad agencies. I wonder if we ever had a reunion, how many of us would actually be copywriters and art directors?

Anyway, so I had three bottles of beer and a Bloody Mary with an extra vodka shot because Sean was contrite for having mistakenly made me a Virgin Mary. And then I went tipsily on to this party for Chimere's boyfriend John, which was in Brunswick. The Young Professionals were doing a "surprise" set. I can't say if it was the drink or the fact that the street was really poorly lit or that I was looking for the house number instead of watching where I was going, but I failed to notice that the footpath kind of fell away, and I fell over and twisted my ankle.

My ankles have been dodgy ever since an incident at the Field Works Christmas party in 2001 where I jumped off a bench in a beer garden and badly sprained them both. I had to be fireman's-lifted out of the pub, driven home, carried up the stairs to my bedroom and put in bed by a chick from work whom I didn't even know that well. Then I spent the next week sitting on the couch reading, scoffing painkillers and applying ice packs and Voltaren anti-inflammatory gel. I wasn't back to normal until well into January.

Anyway, so my ankle was fucked, I'm lying in this ditch where the footpath should be, and I get an SMS. I'm expecting it to be one of my friends going, Nelson Muntz-style, "Ha ha! I saw you fall over!" but it was actually my new housemate Ben sounding like a Porking Friends classified ad, saying "Where are you? There are good times here!"

So I limped into the house, which turned out to be next door to the ditch. Then I realised I would need anaesthetic beer, so I hobbled back down the street to the Quarry bottlo. When I returned, John was already quite pissed and said enthusiastically to me, "Come and have a tequila shot!" even though I was already holding a longneck. So I followed him into the lounge room and blow me down! there was this chick Texta who has been ignoring me for months!!

I decided that dammit, she wasn't going to get away with it this time - I was going to engage her in conversation! She had a crutch and her knee in a brace and I sensed a potential opener. I began pleasantly:
"Hey! What did you do to yourself?"
Texta rolled her eyes and said bluntly, "I'm not saying. You're the 19th person tonight to ask me that."
Taken aback, I went, "Oh, well, it's just that, you know, I was wondering because, um, I fell over outside and did my ankle, so I thought, um, what happened to you?"
She thrust her crutch at me and went, "Well, you'll be needing this then."
I stammered, "Wha- I can't take your crutch off you!"
She said, "I can walk without it. Anyway, when people ask you why you've got it, then you'll know how I feel."

And with that she limped off.

Now, apparently Texta is really "shy." Riiiight. I was so embarrassed and completely taken aback by her rudeness. I was trying to be friendly, yet I came away feeling like I'd made some enormous faux pas. Anyway, I had the crutch which was an absolute boon because my ankle was killing. And it was great for resting your beer on.

Things only got worse when I was talking to some other people and I said, "Hey, what happened to Texta?" and they said, "She got hit by a car." And I was doubly embarrassed that I was depriving a crash victim of her mobility. After a while I was so mortified that I went over to where she was sitting and said, "Here's your crutch back. I think you need it more than I do." And she just looked at me witheringly like I was the biggest moron ever.

Is this some kind of initiation rite, like if you want to talk to her you have to endure her scorn and humiliate yourself a certain number of times? The next time I see her I'll probably try and talk to her again just to be pig-headed. But at the time I was saying "Fuck her, I'm going to ignore her in future!"

Anyway, I stayed at the party til about 12:30, but I just couldn't shake off this horrible feeling of being embarrassed and not belonging there. The Young Professionals were dancing about to "Young Americans" by David Bowie and other great songs, but I had to dance on one leg because of my ankle. At one point John introduced me to some guy, Andrew? I forget. John was saying to this bemused guy, "This is Mel. She knows Shane." I was so embarrassed. I just went, "Yep. I sure do. Shane is a guy that I know." And then I humiliated myself further by confusing Dannii and Kylie Minogue. After that I just had to leave.

Yesterday I was a source of much amusement in the office as I lurched about. But the ankle got steadily better over the day, and now I can almost walk normally, it just hurts if I flex it too much or put too much weight on it.

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