Night of the pony tails

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like rain.. At all! Which makes for a bit of a problem when living where I live coz Danish winters are usually all about rain.. And a little more rain thrown in for good measure. Yesterday was no exception. In fact it was pouring down all morning and unlike other days where I could just huddle up inside and feel sorry for Louise and her colleagues who were out delivering the daily mail, this day, I too, needed to get out in the rain as I had a meeting at uni at 11.

All in all I guess it wasn’t too bad.. If you’re into either swimming or SCUBA diving. Me, I’m not really, so when I arrived at uni, soaked through to the skin, I was pretty damn happy to be met by my counselors on my project with a cup of warm tea, lit candles and a few comforting words from those lucky enough to be owning a car. The meeting itself lasted all of 13 minutes and basically just evolved around them telling me that they liked what I’d done so far, that they wanted me to press on according to schedule and that they’d send me a few articles to read up on.. And I spent 40 minutes in the rain for that? Umm.. E-mail? Either way, it was hard for me to be too upset, it was good to know that, despite not having spent as much time on the thing as I probably should have, I was doing well and they were happy with what I’d done so far.

Anyways, I rushed back home as fast as I could, picked up some groceries on the way and set down to write a little more. I spent a good few hours in this way without really getting much down on paper, but at least I tried. At around 4 PM, I caught a shower as I had plans with Louise for the evening and it was pretty soon after that I received a call which kinda made me feel bad about complaining so much about the weather and what have you. The call was from Louise who mustered a much tinier voice than usual, but in return spent a hell of a lot of more time cursing than she usually does (which actually says quite a lot, given the raunchy nature of the conversations we usually have). The reason for her calling was that she needed a bit of encouragement after having blown a tire on her scooter and was finishing up the remainder of her mail route on foot, dragging the heavy thing along-side her.

I guess I spent about a half hour talking to the poor girl, trying to let her blow off whatever steam she could and cheering her up best as I could. We then hung up as she made to finish the last of her route and I went to the store to double the beer supply of the evening thinking Louise (and myself for that matter) could probably use an extra beer or two. When I got back, I got another call from Louise who now stated that I was welcome to drop by if I dared. When I enquired just what she meant by that, she sulkingly told me that she’d just accidentally spilled orange juice all over her keyboard and floor.. Sheesh! :/ Thinking that the sooner I got to her rescue, the better, I packed up some beers and other supplies and headed down there as fast as I could and was greeted by a very pouty-faced Louise who’d just finished mopping her floor.

I figured it was probably gonna take a little more than a hug and a pat on the back to cheer her up, so after doing just that, I pretty quickly got around to opening one of the king sized beers I’d brought (only cutting myself twice in the process and only bleeding ever so slightly profusely all over the place) and we sat down to share a couple of glasses of beer, chat, talk things through and listen to some good, angry music. Louise naturally needed to vent a whole lot after all the crap she’d been through, but eventually after a few beers, a shower, a change of clothes and getting all prettied up, she came around and we actually started having a good cozy time. Of course, another bottle of beer and the fact that I, for the first time in my life, got to eat Xmas rice pudding for dinner probably helped. I swear to God, if she wants to pull through with her master plan of getting me to love Xmas, I think she only needs to keep serving me this stuff and by the end of December I’ll be a fat and happy Xmas loving Johan!

Ahem, anyways, good times! After a cozy dinner, a couple of beers, some good music and Johan first spraining his toe by tripping over the cord to Louise’s flattening iron and then getting told off for trying to clear the table (I’m sorry, that’s just how I roll), we got ready to leave and head down to our old public school for the party/reunion thing that we’d so been looking forward to. We spent the most of the way there talking about just how incredibly crappy Danish winter weather can be. We eventually ended up chatting about the great blizzard of ’95 and I got around to once again feeling pretty damn old when Louise mentioned she was in first grade at that time.. Funny how that works. I mean, the age difference really means nothing now, but back then seemed like such a HUGE gap.. I guess it’s coz we’re all (err.. somewhat) growed up now!

So, yea, as we rounded one of the last corners, I was lucky enough to be torn out of my early midlife crisis by Louise suddenly looking at me and shrieking “you’re not wearing a jacket? What the fuck is wrong with you!” – I replied that I was indeed wearing a jacket because in my book, a blazer counts as a jacket and I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt under it for that matter. The poor girl, winter jacket and all, just looked at me, shuddered and started shaking her head and calling me crazy. Well, at least it was a welcome break from her comments of me being nearly 30 years old and I got to spend the last part of the walk trying to convince my date for the evening that there wasn’t something fundamentally wrong with me. What a great way to kick things off!

Jacket or no jacket, we eventually made it inside and I realized for the first time that it must’ve really been cold outside as I was thrown into instant blindness as my glasses fogged up from the heat of the school gym, blinking, I took off my glasses, looked around and realized a hell of a lot had happened since I’d left public school 11 years ago. While, in my time, we’d barely been able to fill half of the gym for a school party, they were apparently now struggling to fit everybody in there.. Huh. It was around this time I realized that our main objective of the evening, meeting up with familiar faces, might be a little harder to accomplish than I’d expected. My fears only grew bigger as our first (seemingly simple) task of the evening, finding a place for Louise’s coat, proved as trying as anything.  After traversing the length of the gym twice and getting stuck in “traffic” on more than a few occasions, we eventually located the wardrobe area close to where we’d first entered.. Umm, yea. But hey, at least we ran into a few people we knew, including Louise’s little brother, our German teacher of yesteryear (who didn’t even recognize Louise.. Hmm..) and an ex-teacher of Louise’s whom none of us had anything really good to say about.

Having thusly deposited Louise’s jacket, shoved a few pennies in our pocket and surveyed the area, we set out on our main mission of the evening, to locate the infamous Henrik H, who’d taught both of us (albeit a couple of years apart)  and who’d from both of us had earned the title of favorite teacher.. And what fun that mission was! We kicked things off by squeezing into the line at the bar and ordering a few beers. As we did, I noticed a guy who (considering I hadn’t seen the guy in 11 years) looked a lot like Henrik. I tapped Louise on the shoulder and pointed, asking “you said something about him growing his hair, right? Is that by any chance him over there?” –  “Yes,” came the ecstatic reply, “should we pounce on him now or just get a beer and then go say hi?” .. Well, the general consensus on that matter was that since we were still in line, we might as well just get our beers, then locate him.. How far off could he go and how hard could it possibly be, after all?

Umm.. Well.. Apparently he could indeed venture quite a way off into the distance, and apparently locating a single, long-haired guy in a crowd of 1,500 wasn’t all that easy. Or, that is to say, I spotted a lot of long-haired guys, they just weren’t the right long-haired guy. After consulting with Louise’s brother, who was apparently also looking for him, we started venturing around aimlessly. Walking between the dancing and dining areas for a while before eventually stopping at a table, putting down our beers and surveying the area. After standing around for a while, talking and growing none the wiser on the whereabouts of Mr. Henrik, we not only decided that these beers were the worst we’d ever had, we also decided that we had probably better start moving again, lest we miss him completely. As we got back on the move, we ran into none other than Youngstar of KFC Support fame who looked about as surprised to see us as we did to see him.

Upon inquiring about what the hell he was doing here, we learned that he was actually currently a student at the school and as such we decided to ask him if he knew where we might find Henrik. “What, you mean that long haired guy with the glasses and the pony tail walking around with a camera and all, is he like your dad or something?” he said while looking at me. I laughed and ensured him that he wasn’t my dad and that we just wanted to say hi. He then suggested we headed back to the dining area and looked for any signs of a flash going off.. Rather a good suggestion, actually, so we did! We managed to walk around for a long, long while without seeing any flashes go off, though, when I finally did – and got all excited in the process – (coz that’s how I roll) it turned out to be just some punk kid with a digital camera.

Oh well, at least it somewhat let us in the right direction, because it illuminated a familiar face in the shape of Peter Henriksen, Louise’s old *cough* French *cough* teacher and my first grade music teacher who we were quite happy to see. He immediately recognized Louise, but I on the other hand went to introduce myself, thinking that he’d probably not remember me. To which he replied something along the lines of “Of course I remember you, Johan, we met in first grade, you were in class with so-and-so, your parents and grand parents owned that business downtown, etc..” impressive, downright impressive! Especially for someone who hadn’t seen me for 15 years. Apparently, I leave a lasting impression. As we stood there chatting, Louise’s phone rang and we were quite thrilled to hear that it was her brother who had managed to locate the illusive Henrik down in the other end of the room.

Excusing ourselves, we rushed down to the other end, looking for any sign of Louise’s brother, Mathias, or a middle aged man with long hair. Interestingly, we spotted said middle aged man first and I immediately bursted out laughing at the sheer comic value of him and I sporting similar hair styles. Henrik, on the other hand, beamed as he saw us, greeted Louise in true gentleman fashion, then turned to me, pointed and went “YES! YES!!”, extending his fingers in a thumbs up manner, then shaking my hand profusely, evidently happy about my hairstyle and the way that I’d apparently shot up into the air since last time around. We spent some time catching up before Henrik suddenly froze in his tracks, looked at Louise, looked at me standing next to her, then looking at Mathias whom he must’ve understood me to know as well as I was heavily engaged in conversation with him. He then looked back at Louise and I going “Wait.. Are you guys.. an item?” – “No,” I replied, smiling, “but we were when you last met her and as you can see, we’re still getting along very well” .. Pause, smile, laughter.. “Holy crap,” he then ventured, looking at Louise, “you scored with Johan?” .. “Well, truth be told, I don’t really know who scored with who,” I clarified, “but yea, good times!” Evidently, this left poor Henrik a bit baffled and not really knowing what to say, he simply ventured something along the lines of “Well, that’s sad, you guys should be together,” before making the quickest possible exit stage left, leaving us no time to explain things further.. Poor guy.. Our secret mission of shocking him by turning up together had evidently worked pretty well. Probably even more so a few minutes later when, after just hearing that we were doing really well together, he looked over and saw Louise and I engaged in a mock argument, shoving and poking each other around for the fun of it.

Mathias eventually left along with his girlfriend, declining the offer of having a drink with Louise and I, we on the other hand, decided to go look for Youngstar again as he’d let slip something about working as a DJ that evening. So, we went on to the dancing area where we found not only Youngstar and a friend at the decks, but also Henrik and some 100 teens dancing about in unison to a 30+ year old Danish folk tune which offered a bit of a laugh for both of us while we waited for things to break up so we could go make our goodbyes with Henrik and head on. They eventually did, and we walked over to say goodbye, see you next year, stay metal and all that jazz.. Okay, maybe not the last part, but we did want to say a proper goodbye. We eventually ended up talking a bit more and Henrik, too, commented on the bizarre aspect of the youngsters knowing such an old song. Putting a loving arm around Louise, I commented that even she wasn’t old enough to know the song which caused her to pout and shove me away. In keeping with my usual spirit of not exaggerating things, I maintained eye contact with Henrik and spoke on as I leaped up and offered Louise a shoulder tackle in return (sorry, babe, I know you bruise easily, but it had to be done), which I guess Henrik took to mean that we’d better talk about something else. Yea, maybe I can kinda start to see why sometimes people get confused our Louise and I and our behavior towards eachother. 😉

Anyways, we ended our talk speaking a bit about student life and student rights in Kolding before Louise and I settled our differences and fights and walked off arm in arm (while still bickering about whether or not I was “close to 30”), leaving a smiling albeit possibly confused Henrik in our wake, and heading by way of the wardrobe into the night on a quest to go have a goodnight beer at Domhuset.. Where we kinda rushed down since the temperature had all but risen since we first headed out.

“Good evening, Mr. Nin-Hansen,” some drunken patron ventured as we first entered (probably referring to our being a little over-dressed for a bar visit), “that’s one fine looking girl you’ve got there!” As we sat down, I could of course only thank him for his observation and whole-heartedly agree. Which he apparently took to mean that I wanted to have a conversation with him. Even more interestingly, he wanted to have said conversation with me as if Louise wasn’t even there despite her sitting right next to me and me seemingly being more interested in talking to her than him.. He first wanted to know if we knew each other, which I got kind of a laugh out of seeing as we’d come in together, when I confirmed this he then, as his next move, wanted to know how we’d met. Thinking I might as well have a bit of fun, too, I basically told him that Louise chased me down downtown a few months ago and that after I initially thought she was looking to beat me up, she just wanted to give me her number instead.. Which is sorta.. kinda what happened, though, admittedly a bit simplified.

Seemingly impressed, the next move of our new friend was to ask whether we’d ever talked since. Refusing the urge to simply ask what the hell he thought we were doing as we entered or were trying to do now, I figured I’d try to at least get Louise involved in the conversation and not blatantly ignored, so I turned to her, asking “Hmm.. I dunno, have we ever talked since?” Louise, too, laughed and replied something along the lines of “Only every day ever since..” – Now, I dunno if it was the aspect of a woman actually talking to him or if he’d simply not registered her presence until now, but her speaking visibly shook him.. Or his mind anyways.. Because the next brilliant thing out of his mouth was the ever begging question: “You guys aren’t brothers or anything, are you?” .. Scratching my head and looking Louise up and down a bit, I eventually lost it and turned to our friend, and begging the questions “Now, how the hell would you come up with a question like that?” and “You do know what a woman looks like, right?” – “I’m sorry,” came the drawling reply, “I’m probably a bit drunk” .. Yes, I rather think you are, I could only silently agree.. None the less, this caused him to finally take a hint and leave us alone.

Which meant that we got to round off the evening, sipping a few beers and talking to our new-found bartender friend, Pia, whom we’d evidently seen before but who had never seen us before in such a fresh and largely sober way, as she so diplomatically put it. She actually turned out to be a really nice gal who in no way held the drunken mayhem we’ve caused down there against us, apparently knowing that it was all in good fun.. Oh and I got to try something completely new as well as Louise kept talking about Sambuca and Sprite, a combination that I in no way could imagine, but was none the less curious about.. So, just prior to leaving, we ended up ordering one up just for the sake of me trying it, and I have to admit that it was, in fact, really, really good.. Believe it or not!

After a long evening, and an even longer day, we ended up leaving Domhuset at around 1:20 AM. I first walked Louise home as I had left some stuff, including my beloved iPod, at her place and very much wanted some music for the last, freezing stretch home.. I guess I’d have to agree by then that a blazer didn’t count as a jacket.. I then bid her goodnight and headed home to the tune of some happy go luck rock music. I eventually made it home at close to 2 AM, kicked off my shoes, nursed my sprained toe, blisters, cuts and all for a bit before finally turning in and catching what seemed like way too little sleep.

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