Knowledge Is The Ultimate Power
When do you ever stop being curious? I’d guess when I’m dead, probably.
I’m within the Pan’s Labyrinth of Modern Mexican Artwork. My eyes spy a man with long dreads staring at a video. It projects a mural in Mexico that you have to see from above, below, and all sides to fully realize it. I love Artwork where more than a glance at it is needed. Where it needs to be realized from every angle.
He doesn’t know that I’m studying him. His friend who is a smaller, more compact man converses a little with him. I’ve tried to fade into the background after my encounter with the one security guard. I know that I made more noise than I needed to and I fall into a relative, quiet silence.
The man with dreads takes a wide legged stance as he watches the screen. He starts to roll onto his heels, then to his toes, and back again. I can tell from his mannerisms he’s a man that doesn’t stay in one place for long.
I bite my lip earnestly as I repress my laughter. There’s something about him that piques my curiosity. Engage him, my mind whispers like a secretive lover trying to persuade me into something awkward. I don’t know what I’ll say.
All I know is whatever I say it’ll sound crazy. And they’ll either be receptive to it, and engage back, or not and reject my initial words and walk away. I won’t lose anything from the situation, and I have the possibility to gain something. Which could be another interesting, possible friendship.
The man disappears from my sight and I breathe a sigh. It’s hard for me to hold in my ridiculousness at times. But, today I feel like I’m at half capacity. My introversion is showing since I chose the art exhibit over a networking event and a lawn party at another Museum.
I just want to witness art and see what it stirs within me. I’m drawn to the dark pieces with deep reds and the blackest of obsidian colors. There’s a particular piece where two shadows walk in opposite directions with oppressive dark maroons and midnight streets. This sticks with me and I stare at it and read the panel.
It was created within the Depression and shows how these two men live in this colorless world where hope has faded away. Doomed to never cross paths and share this quintessential human connection with each other.
I walk the entire area without coming across the two men again. My feet move down the last bit of Artwork and I see the smaller man staring at this one piece. He crouches close to it and I approach it at a distance but step a little closer.
He moves from his crouched position and I curse myself. I always try to make sure that I don’t Crowd anyone when I read or look at Artwork. But my overwhelming personality always seems to push people out of my pathway.
“It’s okay, you didn’t have to move.”
“Nah, it’s alright, I didn’t mind getting out of your way,” he replies.
There’s this distinct accent to his words. I smile at him and I’m acutely aware of the dress I wore to the museum. It’s what I call my va va voom dress where all my hourglass curves are accentuated. I feel both sexy, and still very hardcore with my boots making sure I walk heavily like a man. I’m aware of his eyes tracing the lines of my dress with an appreciative glimmer.
“It’s quite something, right?”
“Yeah, what with the skeletons created with the silhouette of the figure. There’s that eyeball, like the third eye at the top of the head…” my voice trails off.
“Where do you live?” he asks me randomly.
I tell him where and his eyebrows pop up. I’m aware that it’s a very different area than this place. We talk about rent and how where I live is slightly cheaper. He disagrees me with a quick tongue and an even sharper wit.
He’s clever, a fiery disposition that comes on strong to me. I tell him about the networking event and he asks me to text it to him. I’ve cared less about sharing my phone number because no one bothers me after I share my number. He brings me over to where his friend is and I see the same man with long dreads I was studying before.
“I’m Miguel and this is Rick. You should come with us to where we’re going, it’s called House Pillowtalk. And, you should call up your friends to come,” Miguel says.
He winks at me and I throw back my head. My laughter comes rolling out like thunder and I slap my hand against my thigh.
“You don’t want to have me invite my friends. They’re all guys, and some of them tend to be a bit territorial,” I inform him.
Miguel’s face becomes crestfallen at this sudden information. He says that while my guy friends may be nice, they’d rather have women invited to the Ranch. I’m still chuckling to myself and I cover my mouth with my hand. He tries to get Rick to convince me to come with them.
Miguel says that he’s going to go across the street to the happy hour and Rick says he still wants to see the rest of the exhibit. I’m stuck between several paths I can choose. Either between these two men or I can leave them both and find a corner to Introvert myself into.
The two men remind me of Fire and Ice in personalities. Miguel is fiery, a bit of a trouble maker I discern, but also someone who probably has a big heart. Rick is more of a laid back, extremely chill personality. Hard to rattle and a perfect compliment to Miguel’s personality. They are a ying to the other’s yang and I can tell they have a warm, familiar friendship.
My decision is to either trapeze with Miguel to the happy hour or chill with Rick and show him some of my favorite pieces. I’m always an information whore so I end up with Rick.
“Let me show you where the naked women are in this exhibit.”
“Oh, really?” Rick laughs.
I inform him like the security guard I like reading people. I don’t know why I’m so forthright about that bit of information today. We come across the angry nude and I point out that her flesh has been peeled away on her forearm. He admits he wouldn’t have picked up on that at first look.
“Did you see us before you talked to us?”
It is now my turn to be disarmed and I stop walking. My feet pause as I observe this man next to me. I’ve rarely had people ask me if my talking to them was planned or serendipitous. I know that I’ll be honest with him, yet I hope that it doesn’t seem like I’m excessively flirting.
I never try to intentionally flirt with people since they may think I want them to touch me. When, if I’ve just met them this couldn’t be further from what I want. There is nothing that quite gets me to put space between someone like a person trying to pop my personal space bubble.
“Yeah, I saw you over by the video with your wide legged stance. I thought to myself don’t engage, don’t engage.”
“So, you planned this whole thing then? To bump into Miguel on purpose?”
Rick asks me in an incredulous tone. I chuckle to myself and run my fingers through my hair. My plan today was to keep to myself and recharge since I wasn’t in the best mindset today. I shake my head from side to side and my shoulder length hair bobs back and forth.
“Nah, not on purpose at all. I try not to talk to people too much because… I don’t know, I’m weird. It disarms them, and they don’t like it. People are like she’s crazy, which I get a lot. But, with that said I’ve been making a lot of friends engaging with people lately.”
“Are they seasonal friends or true friends?”
My mouth opens slightly and I really stare at this man walking beside me. I knew he was intelligent and interesting, but I never know the reason of why my intuition tells me this. I let out a rush of air like he punched me in the stomach with his probing, fascinating question.
“Everything with me is seasonal. I seem like a fun person so no one wants to scratch under the surface. I have a couple that really do care though, so that is special to me. I keep everyone distanced from me, it’s a thing.”
We stroll through the different hallways and corridors together. I suck in my breath and feel my no bullshit brain taking over.
“I like you. I really love how you say that, seasonal friends or true friends. I’ve never heard it that way, that’s really quite in depth.”
He seems taken aback by my comment. Luckily for me he takes it as a compliment, and he moves his one hand in circles. His face opens into a genuine smile that brings out his brown eyes. A thought crosses my mind that I targeted him because he’s attractive. He has an Old Soul feel to how he talks attached to his younger looking body.
“You know how it is, those who are seasonal are just there to party and have fun. While true friends are there always for you, no matter what.”
“How did you and your friend meet?”
He laughs at my question and it’s my turn to raise an eyebrow. I lightly hit him on the shoulder and then chastise myself for it. My one tell I can’t seem to get a handle on is that I softly smack people without thinking. It’s meant as a physical jest, like a get out of here kind of expression but I always hope I’m not pushing an invisible line.
He doesn’t seem bothered by my light smack and only smiles more.
“Everybody always asks us that when we meet. Because we’re so different from each other, it’s the first thing people ask. We’re actually colleagues who used to work together.”
It’s my turn to chuckle at his explanation. I wasn’t even thinking the way he described it. That they physically look so different that people commonly ask this question. My hand rubs the back of my neck as we bob through the Art corridors together.
“Ah, okay, I get it. I just ask because my friendships and how they’re formed are… strange. It’s me talking shit about something and somehow they… become my friends. So, no colleagues, coworkers, any of that normal stuff so it makes me curious.”
“When do you ever stop being curious?”
“Never, ever, I’m always curious about so many things. Like you two, you intrigued me,” I admit.
I shift my gaze to my feet to avoid his stare. He’s now quite fascinated why I have this interest in him. It disarms people, confuses them, or worse they think I’m like a scientist studying them. And, once I figure out my case study I’ll be done with them.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but people think it’s a cocky confidence that is driving me. When really it’s the realization I know so little in this world, and I want to know more.
I make the mistake of looking back over at him. There’s something about him that tells me his mind doesn’t work like others. I was worried about the fiery one but the Ice individual may be more for me to handle. A part of me considers taking on their request of coming to their strangely named Ranch.
“Alright, show me everything else you want me to see in this exhibit.”
I grin like a maniac at all the possibilities and mental notes I made for us to see together. We head over to the Surrealist area and I wonder what else we might get into together.