Wednesday, 18 June 2008

My Dream Play Mate

About a week ago, my mother and I watched a documentary about whether foods that have passed their use-by dates are still edible. The journalist tested several products which he prepared and found some of them tasted quite "normal." He also interviewed a man who lives on food that have been discarded by supermarkets for one reason or another.

Mum was quite angry about this because she doesn't like waste. She said there are so many people starving and supermarkets are throwing food away which can be redistributed, and then putting up their prizes.

The programme reminded me of a friend's experience. He said once he was at the supermarket, he noticed an assistant clearing out some food that had reached their sell-by-dates. He took one but the assistant asked him to hand it back. My friend pointed out that since they were going to chuck them away he might as well have it. The assistant said it was against their policy to give their food away. My friend held on to the sandwich for dear life and they had to call Security for assistance. It was one of the funniest stories I'd ever heard. I shared my friend's experience with mum and she thought it was hilarious.

I wondered how my friend was. The last I heard from him he was going away for a month. I wondered if he'd gone to the "Cannes Film Festival" (my friend is an actor). Yesterday morning, the last dream I had before I woke up was about my friend. I was chatting to him but I couldn't understand what he was saying.

Later I went to the library to write. When my time was running out on the computer, I went to ask one of the librarians to extend my time. It was then I saw a familiar face at the desk, my friend.

"Oh my God, I had a dream about you this morning," I hugged him, "but you were speaking gibberish!"

"Oh yeah!" he returned my hug. "I've been thinking about you and I was even going to call you. I'm not going to bother now."

My friend told me he'd come to do some research on his grandfather which he needs for personal reasons that I'm not going to divulge here. This library specialises in historical data and attracts lots of researchers, particular those interested in their family trees. He was advised that what he was looking for was not kept at that library but at another records office.

We decided to hang out so we could catch up. We walked via the River Thames into town. He said he'd spent time in Cannes looking for work. After Cannes he went to Lourdes and then spent a few days in Spain.

My friend has been intending to do some research on his grandfather for some time and he feels this is the right time. As if he was getting encouragement from the Universe, he even found a weekly travelcard that enables you to travel on buses, overground and underground trains. The travelcard will come handy for his journey the next day to the records office and wherever he needs to go. As we were walking he spotted a one day travelcard someone had dropped which he picked up and gave to me, in case I wanted to travel home by train. I thought it was amazing how he'd manifested two travelcards for free.

He took me to his favourite cafe in Soho. We had to sit outside because he smokes. He ordered tea for both of us. I couldn't resist teasing him over his "filthy habit."

"Because of us non-smokers, smoking has been banned from all public transports and buildings," I said. "Have you heard about 2012 when people believe there is going to be a huge leap in human consciousness?"

"Yes, I'm aware of this."

"Actually, what's really going to happen in that year is all smokers are going to be banished from this planet. So you'd better give up smoking or else you're a goner."

The weather was lovely and warm for a change. It was fun sitting outside watching the world go by. Lots of the cafes had people outside. I noticed there were Italian flags on the road we were on and pointed this out to my friend.

"That's because of the football. Italy's playing France."

"Sounds like the last World Cup Final."

"Yes, but it's not the finals. Only one team can go through to the next round."

"What team do you want to win?" I said. "I would like Italy to win."

"I'm not bothered. May the best team win."

"It's not about who's the best but about who I want to win. I want Italy to win because I prefer Italian to French. So I'm going to visualise Italy scoring. I can see Italy winning. Yes, Italy has won!"

We chatted about music. My friend said some of the boys from the pop group, Westlife, who happen to be my mother's favourite group, hail from his home town, Sligo in Ireland. Just as my friend was telling me this, he spotted a man walking by. From what he was wearing, he looked like a Hari Krishna monk. My friend attracted his attention with the "Hari Krishna" greeting. The man stopped and asked my friend where he was from. My friend told him. The man said he had just come from Ireland. He also knew Sligo. He sat at our table and he and my friend discussed Ireland and Hari Krishna. I learned there was an Hari Krishna island in Ireland. He also gave us books on the Hari Krishna diets which I used to be into when I was a vegetarian.

After a few minutes chatting to our Hari Krishna friend, we heard some people chanting Hari Krishna. I recognised one of the monks from the local Hari Krishna temple that I used to go to a while back. They stopped and chanted in front of us and my friend and I chanted with them. After singing and dancing for about fifteen minutes they left.

My friend and I left the cafe and we walked round Soho. We went into a cake shop that sells fresh Jammie Dodgers, which is a biscuit with jelly inside. They even have huge ones which my friend bought but I didn't fancy any. We headed to the bookshop to check if they had a naturist magazine he likes. On the way we saw two women standing outside a pub. One woman had a security badge on. My friend pointed at the badge and said, "So you work in security then?"

She said yes.

As we walked away my friend said the woman was probably thinking: "Who was that nutter eating a giant Jammie Dodger pointing at my badge. Maybe it is I who needs security!" We had a giggle about that.

The bookshop had stopped stocking the magazine my friend was interested in. I told my friend that maybe the bookshop stopped stocking the magazine because they didn't want to attract pervs like him. We stood near the magazine racks chatting. We noticed two young guys picking up magazines to read.

"Have you got enough magazines there?" my friend said.

"Yes, we have," they said.

"You missed out this one." My friend pointed at a magazine called "Oprah" with the chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

"We are not interested in Oprah!" one guy said.

"Why aren't you interested in Oprah?" my friend said.

"Because we're not. Maybe when we're older."

"Don't mind him," I said to the guys, "my friend is nuts. Enjoy whatever you enjoy."

I was curious what magazines they were into. They'd picked up lifestyle magazines like "Vogue" which focuses on fashion and "Hello" which focuses on celebrity. As one guy was flicking through "Vogue" I told him it reminded me of the outfits in the comedy "Sex and the City." He told me he was a fan and was looking forward to seeing the movie when it came out. I told him it was already out. We chatted for a few minutes about the comedy, then they went upstairs to read.

My friend shared his hobby with me which is collecting passport photos he finds in the street. I thought I was crazy but my friend is bonkers.

We had to part company because my friend wanted to go home to watch the football match. I stayed in the bookshop to browse. I even spotted the two guys I had chatted to earlier and I waved at them.

My friend is my perfect dream play mate and always a lot of fun to be with. I'm sure we'll see each other soon enough when we're both thinking of each other. Love always seem to attract love.

(By the way, Italy did win the football last night: 2-0. Fantastico!)


Related articles: Fancy a Game of Footy?; Cigarette Smoke, the Scholar and Sharing the Magic; Boys Will Be Boys!; Bellissimo!