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Saturday, 4 August 2012
In the last week, I've seen three things which I just had to share with you.

1. I tagged along to an 'In Conversation With' event being held at the State Library at the beginning of the week. Garth Nix was the special guest and the audience was some fifty to a hundred people (my estimations are about as good as my analogies, so let's just call it a small group). As always, I sat in the second last row. I suspect this is actually a response to watching the Bourne movies too many times, as I always think it gives me a certain edge over everyone else - which is not true. It usually means I see less of the on-stage action and have further to run to reach the door, but this is what I do. The point of this story wasn't my seating preferences, though, so let's keep moving.

The star was a girl two rows in front of me. She must have been about my age, and she was OBSESSED with Garth. Every single line was met with either a ridiculous laugh or a deeply, deeply understanding nod. She was bouncing (literally as well as figuratively) the whole way through, and the true highlight of the session came when Garth was looking through his piles of writerly stuff for a print of his latest book's cover, only to find a copy of the book waving furiously above her seat. "I have it! Use mine!" she screamed (or so I heard). Nice as the offer was, he carried on and found the cover print he was looking for. I'm not bitter-less enough that it didn't annoy me just a little every time she appeared to die upon his words. And there's always at least one. Sometimes there are more and it becomes a Fan War convention where each battles headlong for the friendship of the author. It frustrated me at first, because it seemed too keen. Then I realized I was wrong.

2. If I ask you out in the next few days, ignore what I'm about to say. I hate asking girls for dates. Maybe from a fairly tragic record, or maybe because my natural resistance to prove myself to people clashes with everything that is the dating system. So what then shall I do, when society begs for conforming? (NOTE: not a hipster). Some girls seem worth it and I wonder why I feel so compelled to ignore my own thoughts. Every now and then one comes along so pretty by face, so inspiring in whatever way I find them to be inspiring, that beliefs become obsolete in the enormity of what I know I must in fact do. My crushes are maybe a little different to any normal person's, which I think stems from my complete fear of the normal thing. And so here's the second story of this week.

My current crush (this term seems to mean a lot more in my lifelong narrative than I'm willing to admit) works  in a library. Kind of. Anybody who lives in Brisbane, I dare you to try and find her. But don't. In an attempt to overcome some of my more crippling social problems, the next time I see her I am obligated to ask her out. Now I am petrified of libraries. I only visited one this the last month, and I was gone within five minutes. It's now been a little over four weeks since I saw this girl, but this coming Monday I will see her again, because at this point I have to. Yesterday I 'read a book' outside her library for a little over an hour before realizing that if I didn't leave soon I'd get nothing done all day.

You want to slap me across the face, don't you? Yell and spit and curse all kinds of pitiful? "This is just stupid," you say. "There's no reason to be so worked up. It's just a date." Tell me about it. What a cowering beast of a brain to have, one which follows me though I want desperately to leave it behind a thoughtless horizon. I'm not sure what exactly is stopping me. Nerves, undoubtedly, but to what end? And gee, I'd just love an answer right now.

3. The last was on the ferry home only yesterday afternoon. A girl (I always seem to notice the girls. Wonder why) walked to the till inside and asked for a ticket. That will be $2.30, thanks. No, we can't accept card as payment. She apologised and turned to jump off ship.

"Where are you going?" asked another of the ferry's crew.

"I don't have any cash. It's alright, I'll take the next ferry," she replied.

"Don't do that. I'll pay for your ticket."

The girl stepped back inside in careful deliberation. "Are you serious?"

"Yes, of course I am. Come on, go sit down. I'll take care of it for you."

So sweet. Bus drivers take note.

John "The Frail One" Back

P.S I hope to hell the girl from 2 doesn't read this blog. It's all... a joke?