Thursday, 25 October 2007

Story: the story of Maz

I met Maz at a party. It was sometime in the early Autumn of 2005, maybe September. It was probably before October, I think. Everybody left in October. It was at the house of my friend Petra -when she still was here-, next to the tracks of the train. I spent time picking raspberries in my way there and then we took buckets to go down to the tracks to keep on picking. There was a fire and a barbaque. It was warm for Cardiff. The sun was setting and I picked a guitar and played with this guy that had bongos with him. His name was Maz and he was the boyfriend of this one girl from Swaziland I had met before. The girl was savage -in a nice way-, so straightforward and fun, really lacking that British defect (or barrier) of the Politeness. Once over dinner, when a friend said that she was vegetarian, my Swazi friend replied disgusted: "vegetarian? you're useless!" I really enjoyed that. She was even more surprised when I told her that I ate my meat raw sometimes: "you're evil!" That was great, I love teasing people. Anyhow, we got on well and lots of times spent drinking till late (beer, wine, the bottle of vodka, that bottle of whisky she had at hers when I walked her back with a friend a long long way at night very very late to the residences where the students are so so noisy).

Well, so there was Maz with his bongos, me with a guitar, a fire taking care of the loads of meat, the sunset behind us -making the sky blue and bright like in a summer day- and buckets full of berries. We played I'm Waiting for the Man at least three times; before, while and after drinking, which meant that we never played the same song. It was great, it just got longer and better and more twisted and it had more stories and that drumming got louder and more monotonic and faster till it was part of the night like the stars above us. Which means that nobody cared a shit, excepting Maz and me, of course. Maz told me that he was going to visit Quasi -his girlfriend- in Swaziland. I thought he was mad, just never do those things for a girl unless you really know what you do. We have all been young and mad, which is the reason why we are all old and mad now. And the night turned morning.

I met Maz in the pub. Since that night with the Man and the berries I hadn't seen him or heard from him. My first question was... man, did you really go to Swaziland? He did, he really did. I was amazed. It was one of those places I hadn't heard much about, where white men go with cameras to say they've been there. We kept on chatting about it with a beer, we kept on chatting about it in the urinals with a beer in the hand and then back in the pub. Maz went to Swaziland for a month in a quest of adventure and passion. Brilliant. When he got there he found that she had met another man and this guy was not very happy about Maz being around. None the less he took part of the ritual ceremony in front of the King. I can picture it. This huge flat dusty plain full of men dressed with a piece of animal skin, a shield and a spear. In the middle of it, our white and chubby Maz popping out like a raisin in a scorn. He told me it took a bit to get in synch with all his Swazi, that children all skilled with their spear were giggling at him, but after a while he got into it. "It's all about hitting the shield with the spear" he said and jumping to the sides (Rocky Horror anybody?). There he is, the white man with the shield in the middle of those muscular black bodies dancing in a velvia sunset of reds and purples, almost naked, in a country not of his own, with the trance-like drumming going on for hours, without really a girlfriend anymore and wondering what to do next. I forgot to mention that her parents talked about marriage. Yes, he met them. In the backroom her father said that ten cows would do. Some other girls were more cows, but she was getting a bit old (mid twenties) and had a child, so that seems to give you a bit of a reduced price. But instead of leaving, Maz stayed in Swaziland. And he had fun and adventures for a couple of weeks and he really loved it. He was a bit disappointed about not learning more drumming techniques there. At the end of the day it's an adorable place. He tried to call me but I was in Italy.

I met Maz in the pub. It was about a month ago. We watched rugby. We drank a pint. We drank a couple of pints more. It's a long time since I've touched a bottle of whisky. We talked about music, the Underground, the Pistols. He plays with a band. At some point I got home.

(The image is some random house party I shot before the end of the last term.)

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