The ultimate test of friendship is talking to the lesser pretty girl while your friend bags the trophy. If it’s on a night out, you are definitely guaranteed extra rounds depending on the level of inebriation needed to accomplish the task at hand. It doesn’t help if your friend is a gym rat fitting the ‘tall, dark and handsome’ standards set and they have the pick of the litter. That just means you have to work extra hard at it – the proverbial burning the midnight oil.
You’ve set up a meet at a joint in the suburbs. The kind where once seated the waitress snubs you purposefully with an air of nobility trying to get you irked up. Where the security personnel wield Kenwood walkie-talkies and FBI type ear pieces dangle from their canals and their well-tailored suits hang off their shoulders flawlessly like majestic waterfalls. They have a strict entry criteria and flashing a crumpled hundred shilling note will not get you in – so no toddlers. You have to flash ID to get in.
Have you ever been to a place where if you even have the slightest whiff of putrid sweat and body odor entry is denied? Yes, here you have to be rocking something made by a guy with overly gelled hair, an Italian accent and walks like a model in training. Your cloth has to be well cut, and you have to exude a demeanor that hints that your bank account is obese. It helps if while taking out ID you have a metallic silver card that glimmers making the security guy squint and a handful of crisp brown notes subtly sticking out. They won’t notice that you’re two years younger – you’ll be ushered in to a den of vanity, overpriced drinks, hobnob music and the musk of expensive tobacco.
I don’t go to such places. My bank account might have something to do with it but mostly because the entrances are monitored. Should you ‘walk’ in it is radioed up that a ‘footer’ is in the vicinity. Entry will be denied faster than Okechukwu applying for an American visa. You have to leisurely stroll up the stairs dangling the keys to an automobile and an expensive looking phone in hand. Image is everything here.
So imagine my surprise when my friend hits me up and asks me to accompany him to this place. Being who I am and being who he is I had to ask the status of drinks. He assured me he would subsidize the cost. What this meant was I’d pay the usual price I’m used to and he’d foot the rest – fair enough I thought. He mentioned something about two ladies and was vague enough to insinuate that I’d be entertaining one. The date was set for a Sunday afternoon and that was that.
Come Sunday the guy gives me a call to confirm if we’re still on – of course we are. I get dressed up trying to pull off a laid back – yet serious but expensive look. It’s funny what linens, a t-shirt and loafers can do for that. A few minutes to noon he pulls up in a white Japanese sedan – I don’t even ask where he got it from – I just get in and we set off. The usual car banter full of jest and personal insults was underway. That’s another test of true friendship – if you can’t lay a good insult and get back an equally abusive response, face it, you’re not as close as you think.
We pull up to the main gate and the architectural work on the building is exquisite. The architect had done a good job playing with the edges and angles and ultimately the glass finish. Driving into the parking lot we find a secluded spot under a palm tree. We walk up the stairs and are greeted by the security personnel. Their coats are off – must be the weather – but they have white shirts that seem like they want to tear open from the bulges of their biceps and chests. They amicably say hi and wand us in – they didn’t ask for ID we note. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s early afternoon and business was slow. We find a spot close to the windows and the view was as picturesque as they get.
Have you ever seen a view and wanted to have sex with it and have little view babies that looked as good as it? A view that’s as tranquil as much as it is thought provoking. A sexy view, if it was a woman. A view that complements the cologne lightly dabbed on your collar. A view that could be put up as a prize in one of those shinda chapaa promotions. A view so serene and cultured you can’t take a picture because you want to act like it’s nothing new. Like it’s something you’re used to every morning when you wake up in your 18th floor penthouse sipping some freshly brewed Brazilian coffee. Like being in a room with celebrities – you act casual and even snub some of them. Damn, the view was viewish.
A few minutes later, two ladies walked in. One had on chino pants, brown gladiator heels and a loose cream blouse. The other had a white t-shirt that had the union jack boldly printed in bright colors, black pencil jeans and red suede ankle boots. My friend got up to say hi, I didn’t follow suit I kept staring at the view as I nursed the golden liquid from a glimmering green bottle. A light tap on the shoulder later and I was introduced to the ladies. I assumed the one he introduced first was the new catch – quite a looker I must admit – then her friend. I remembered we had talked about my drinks but the details were a little sketchy when it came to the ladies. This would be the worst time to ask so I took it all in stride and put my game face on.
With ladies at the table waiters don’t hover around acting busy – they quicken their steps and let words roll out of their tongues like melted silver. They are very quick to suggest the house cocktails whose prices make you uncomfortably squirm in our seat – like it’s too hot and your boxers are edging up where they shouldn’t. Like you have an itch up in your unmentionables and you’re trying to use the chair to calm it in a polite and subtle way. One asked for the wine list, and ordered something deep from the provinces of Chile that promised to be delicate and slightly floral on the palate. I couldn’t even pronounce the name but the price – well let’s say my friend had better have robbed a bank.