Let me start at the beginning. We connect on the cell phone. I’ll ride across town on my
bicycle; we’ll hook up at your place.
So I put on a motorbike rain-kit and ride across town through the tail end of a typhoon that has marked time over Taipei for five days. It takes me about 45 minutes to arrive wet at your five story walk up. I press the intercom-system door bell and you click me through to your place. I go to lock up my bike and drop my guard in anticipation of good conversation. I’d ride through a typhoon for one and then some. I know I’ve only nudged one number in the combination lock.
Then I pounce up the stairs like a Bengal tiger in a Hindu temple to your place. You stand at the gate to your apartment – weird to have a gate on the fifth floor of a walk up unless your basic thief has been working out – you open it and point to a chair. I see a beer open on the table and I feel the weight of the four in my hand. You examine the contents of my bag swiftly then squirrel it away in the fridge for later-- later conversations. I’m slightly more interested in disrobing from my rain gear.
We switch tracks and now you are in your love seat and I in an armchair and we engage. Starting where?
I can remember the comfort click of the rip-top can. We settle back in our chairs and after that it’s a crapshoot of fun, laughs, possibilities, bucket-loads of poorly misunderstood understandings, a free zone. Forty-five minutes across town, why the hell not?
I click shit into gear with a discussion about our limbic system – our ability to read people by body movements. You really bought the topic up with a keen observation that language has its roots in human action – we were talking theater after all. I know what you mean though and get a kick out of being with you. It’s nerdy popular science, but I like it.
The limbic system? What the fuck do I know about the limbic system? As it turns out a shit load! It’s after all the limbic system. It’s the system of communication you use at your most kind of primitive. My only memories of the limbic system are thoughts of a walk through a bookshop and the picking up of an “FBI Agents Seven Ways of Reading People” or some such crap, but my knowledge is prodigious. It’s tucked under every feather of every brain cell I have.
That’s what’s fun about you is fun thoughts. I like the Jive talkin’, shootin’ the breeze, hangin’ out, just the sweet burning of time.
Then we pass forward an hour or two and it’s time for me according to the limbic system to hit the fucking road man, don’t you have a family to go to?
I know I do and it’s good advice. So I stumble down the stairs to my bicycle, lean forward and fumble the combination lock until a memory plays back from the past, my arrival at the foot of the stairs after a forty-five minute ride through a typhoon marking time and think of the ride ahead with relish.