Tuesday, 27 September 2011

An artist's impression

Its good to be back! Broadband on tap again!

Lots to write about, I will be busy posting over the next few days.

On my way back home after doing my sound-check at Moynihan’s for the evening gig, I bumped into Ruben at his local bar.

Ruben is an abstract artist/barman who has worked at this place for years while waiting to become famous. He is in his late twenties, slight of build and with soft facial features that would look more appropriate on a 12 year old boy. He has that slightly startled look of someone who has just bumped into an old friend, or even someone mildly paranoid.

Ruben is deep. Not into lighthearted chat and always analyzing and dissecting all he says and hears. It’s his artistic way I think, for he is an aspiring artist first and foremost, barman second. He works while he talks too; multi-tasks as he pulls a pint, takes payment and even clears tables without pausing the conversation. 

I’ve always liked Ruben, and am only too pleased to have a chat with him whenever time allows. He wanted to tell me about his recent appearance in a talent competition that was televised and I was interested enough to want to hear about it. 

The painting he exhibited was of a woman/amphibian in a blue swirling background. Acrylic on canvas, apparently.

The first person to view it was an elderly woman who said;

 “The alien looks good, if a bit spooky”.

“Alien?” shrieked Ruben, “When you look at your reflection in the mirror do you see an alien?”

“No” came the reply. “Should I? 

“Well, yes!” Said Ruben. “Because that is not an alien but a woman/amphibian hybrid. It is my way of expressing how life came from the oceans and how females evolved first”

“Oh, I’m sorry” apologized the old lady “I can see the woman/amphibian thingy now!”
“Why is it you don’t do nude stuff like all the other exhibitors?”

“Not for me” said Ruben. “The trouble nowadays is that sex is used as a force for manipulating others; something I don’t agree with”

“How’s that?”

“I believe sex is used all too often by women to control men. It has given them the upper hand and some are now abusing that power in a way I find unacceptable” Ruben went on.

“I believe a lot of women are using sex to get their own back on men for past injustices. I find that disturbing as I am innocent and refuse to pay for other men’s mistakes…”

“…would you like to pay for other people’s mistakes?” asked Ruben, of a by now totally perplexed old lady.

“No, I guess not. I’m sorry if you’re going through that kind of thing”.

“No, pleeeeease stop! Do not apologize for someone else’s behaviour” implored Ruben.

A few more tables were cleared and the troubled artist returned to my end of the bar to continue with his story.

“So what has brought this on, Ruben? Anything wrong with you and your girlfriend?”

“Funny you should ask, not with me but with my best friend”.

“He is having a hard time with his girl; a stubborn and petulant girl who can’t handle her drink…”
“…pretty girl alright but strange in equal measure. My mate is madly in love with her and that’s half the problem, I suspect. They’ve lived together a few years…”

“…the girl told him she was going out with her girl friends to the disco for a dance and a chat and that he wasn’t invited…”
“…my mate wanted to go with her as she was already half-drunk and he felt uneasy about the way she was talking” said Ruben, almost weeping by now.

“He decided to follow his girl to the disco where he found her dancing inappropriately with some chap. She was wriggling all over this guy, arms draped around his neck in an openly suggestive way. Sexy performance when apparently at home she’s not that keen on playing sexy” Ruben’s eyes squinted in anger.

“My friend grabbed her by the arm, pulled her off the other guy and wanted to take her home; but to make matters worse the girl refused and actually pushed him away on the dance floor. A classic case of using sex as a weapon, if you ask me. Can you imagine how he must have felt?”

“Yes Ruben, it must have been horrible”

“She eventually returned home some three hours later as if nothing had happened. My mate was sick with worry and heartache by then…”

“…and she always complained how he didn’t trust her and how she is not the cheating type and so on. What would you do in his situation, Joe? You see, I find it difficult to advise my pal on such matters…” 

“…I’m into abstract stuff, as you know, not reality, thank goodness”

“Tough one that, Ruben. If you asked some years ago I would have probably said I’d get her back by doing the same thing. Not so sure now…the older I get the less I know about matters of the heart…”

“…see you around Ruben, cheer up”

Depressing or what? I didn’t feel like having another beer and set off home.

I felt drained after fifteen minutes with Ruben. Maybe he has an overactive empathy gland, or maybe the story is a lot closer to home than he lets on. 

His mate? Yeah right. 

Either way I’m not qualified to advise on such matters.

And I have troubles of my own, as we all do, but I daren’t elaborate to Ruben.

Not unless I have more time than sense…

…and less sense than Ruben



  1. Really sad stuff Joe. I'm not sure how I would react if that was me. I would be absolutely heartbroken if it was the girl I live with now. My initial reaction would be to say "we are over," but then again I love her so much I may wonder why she is treating me that way. I hope things work out for Rubens "friend."
    I’m looking forward to more posts from your new location.

  2. Thanks Dicky. A tough predicament for Ruben's "friend" indeed.

  3. Well, being a woman, I naturally have quite a bit to say about that situation, but I won't. Don't know enough about it to form a worthwhile opinion. But I do hope it all works out. You're a wise friend not to give any advice. Sometimes all a friend needs is someone to listen.

  4. thanks Nessa for dropping by and leaving a comment