Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.

The Talented Mr. Butner

What am I to make of the city here and my place in it?

The night has certainly taken a turn I didn’t expect. I had planned to maybe go out for a drink in the city, to get some of the bar and club scene here in while I was around. Instead I got called into work in a kitchen for a few hours, which brought me out towards the beach. And finishing after dark, feeling a little under the weather, and not wanting to shell out much on drinks if I’m not really feeling it, I decided to check out a road to the beach nearby. I would drive to the shore and then head home.

Here I am, on a computer, in my car, parked on a scenic residential street in the dark, typing up my impressions . Driving along the street was a product of holistic navigation to start with. I was meant to aim it home. But one building looked a bit interesting. Figuring I could drop off at any point, I headed down into the dark, away from the small block of cafes and ice cream shops that were bumping at 8 on a Saturday. Away from the lit up jetty crammed full of people (yet quietly peaceful ) all fishing in the pleasant night air. Past the fish and chip shop where they had all grabbed their food to go, eating more fish than any of them were going to catch.

The street is hilly but straight, lined with bushes blocking the beach on the right side and houses overlooking on the left. The styles of the houses changes lot to lot. A really posh one built in the 80s as a throwback to more 50s style beachfront. A less expensive two story. A modernist black and white angular box, all stucco and glass. An architect’s house, with large curves of walls and awnings over equally rounded patios. The street had only one unifying theme, and that is style. The styles may not match, but each place has style. There is no run-down unit. Nothing too old. Yet everything looks to have class and character, despite the newness.

I have no questions as to the affluence of my surrounds. It is a rich place for sure. People here can afford to have style in addition to their views. And at the end of the strip, near the boat launch, is the place that embodied that. A two story bar. It was setup like everything that Clyde’s wants to be. This is an Annapolis boathouse after-party. White painted wood outside, medium colored wood inside. Brass. Huge open windows to the balconies and patios on both levels. Wooden furniture completely filled, yet not overcrowded with people in sweaters and stripes. V-Necks. The occasional white belt. The place was bumping. And I started to fantasize about being in there. I’m not a yachtie. I don’t know how to tie any knots. And I don’t have heaps of money stashed in mutual funds and investment properties. But as I drove by with the Kronos Quartet covering the song from Pulp Fiction (Adelaide radio is awesome), I started to imagine myself as Tom Ripley. Dress the part. Act the part. Walk in like I know the place, on a mission from a rich relative somewhere halfway around the world. Walk right up to a group of people and laugh with them like I had been there all along. Be the part.

I wonder if I could really do that. I have walked up to groups, and I have been accepted and brought along. But it isn’t usually a calculated move. I wonder if I have it in me. Walk up and put myself into the situation, own if from the start. It is the kind of calculation that you need to have under your skin to pull off a scam, or a con, or any ruse Barney Stinson might try. It is a bit detached for sure, and it isn’t the road I want to go down long term. But I wonder if I could.

It is the same idle curiosity that crops up when you are driving down a road and notice a lone but solid tree just off the asphalt (bitumen). You look at it and, though you don’t have any inclination to end your life, you wonder. What would it be like to just turn the wheel and go full speed? What would happen if I turned the wheel while driving up here on this cliff? Thoughts of will, or wondering what if? Could I? What would the aftermath be?

Never in a dangerous or suicidal or calculating way. These are just thought exercises. Weird little mind-wandering tangents. Methods of making the day to day a bit more interesting.

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This entry was posted on April 15, 2012 by in Australia, Self Analysis, South Australia (Adelaide).

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