Thursday, August 31, 2006

Something Hannah said

During the conference, I stayed with Hannah, a colleague and now friend I came to know while she was studying in Montreal. I liked her the instant I met her, which had everything to do with her energy: there’s something mischievous about her, an up-for-anything air that is both charming and contagious. I suspect she’s the kind of girl who does crazy things when she’s drunk, a character trait I strongly approve of.

On my last night at her place, we paused on Hannah's front stoop to smoke cigarettes after a distinctly unpleasant altercation with a cab driver who tried to rip us off. As we smoked, she said to me, matter-of-factly: “You’ve got spunk. That’s why I like hanging out with you.”

Her comment surprised me. I don’t think of myself as someone who has spunk. I think of myself as the person I was when I was five years old: quiet, almost painfully shy, and deathly afraid of other people. Not spunky in the least.

Is this what trips us up in the end? Are we all, still, our five-year old selves, dwarfed by a world whose scale is incomprehensible to us? Do we all think we’re infinitely smaller than we actually are?

Today, I am thirty years older than five. I think I’ll throw myself a party.

8 comments:

Frank said...

Happy b-day. That's funny that our birthdays are so close. Same year less than a week apart. Were you also born in a "Second City"?

Yeah, I kinda think of myself as shy/reserved. It's funny how our self-image doesn't match our persona. Though I'd rather be like this than be an egomaniac.

Me:The Sequel said...

Being shy/reserved has nothing to do with having "spunk". They are not mutually exclusive qualities.

Plenty of extroverts out there who are boring as fuck... and vice versa.

Happy Birthday :)

husk said...

Bonne fĂȘte! ...as for spunk, I don't know you but there are traces of spunk-like character all over this blog -- I wouldn't change that! Have a good one

xanthium said...

happy b-day, vila! i've always been secretly terrified of people too. i think that is one of the reasons i smoke.

bob said...

i am also terrified of people, and it's for that reason that i do most everything that i do. it's all about placating, avoiding, or attacking the scary scary people.

ahem. happy birthday!!!

Heather said...

Happy Birthday Villa! I got yelled at once by a stranger when I was five years old, and the thought of it happening again still terrifies me deeply.

I'm so happy to have gotten to know you.

Caron said...

Funny, I've long posited a similar self-analysis, but I'm stuck at age 14. Imagine that one!

Here's to many more shags and fags in your 35th!

tornwordo said...

Happy birthday! And they say our personality is fixed by the age of five. So really we're all battling the same demons we battled in kindergarten.