I wouldn’t say that I can grow an impressive moustache. My heritage dictates this fact. No-one in my mum’s entire family has any body hair to speak of, so facial hair is even more scarce. – Does that mean it grows negatively? – Whatever… As much as it can, the space above my lip is where it grows best. I grew a moustache for ‘Mowvember’ a couple of times, and have kind of warmed to the idea of having it on my face and the way it looks. Every now and then I play around with it. – Like I am now. It’s sparse, like the kind that, if you grew it from your chin – and it wasn’t a moustache – it would be a long, flowing, grey, ex-ninja-warrior beard that you could flick and play with while you were prophesying. Like the thin hair of an old homeless man, but on your face. Or something like that. It definitely serves to make me look much dodgier than I do. – Than I already do. Yeah. Just like that. One funny month or week or day or 2 weeks or 3 days or whatever it was, I got involved in growing one of these moustaches. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even anywhere near as pseudo-impressive as the one I’ve got now, I don’t know what this added to the situation, but it just looked like shit, basically. Tal was coming in to town, so on this particular day, off I went to meet him at the tube station. After a bit of scanning around from exit to exit, across the street and along the road, I found him and went skipping – masculinely – my way over. Once we were within distance of each other enough to notice, we broke out into laughter, acknowledging the fact that for some reason, we’d both decided to grow dodgy moustaches.
Of my time in London, I wasn’t totally at liberty to have Tal stay with me. Jimmy and Luke were out of town, and Tal had stayed at mine before (or maybe it was Emmanuel?) but we’d already made arrangements for us to go around to Luke’s place, pick up his key from his kitchen and his housemates, and use Luke’s empty room as Tal’s accommodation.
You know how you feel when you’ve been flying – I can’t remember where he flew from – and you know that you’re going to your room, you’ve got your space and you can drop your shit, do what you want with your things and yourself and then go about the next part of whatever part of your trip or tour or life you’re embarking on? – You know how that is. You know the inherited relief you feel when you’re on your way to that moment? – That’s how we were when we were walking down the street, relaxed with that in mind, excited with anticipation of the rest of the weekend to come…
Yeah, so we get to Luke’s right. Tal has asked about the plan, and everything will go as follows, because that’s how it’s been organised: We knock at the door, whoever is there is expecting us, we grab Luke’s key from the place where he’s hidden it and we head up to his room, unlock the door and it’s all ours. – Or Tal’s.
We’re greeted at the door by people who can barely understand us. These people (who we can barely understand also) though, are faced with two young men. Men of similar height, similar dress, similar intentions and two – equal only in dodgyness – moustaches. Imagine how you would react to this at your door? And then imagine the fact that we’re saying to them: “Luke has left a key for us. He’s going to be staying here for the weekend” I say while motioning at the friendly (but moustachioed – poorly) Tal. This all happens in the space of about 20 seconds, because they immediately try to close the door in our faces. My foot jams the door, and we continue our conversation.
By now im sure that they’re waiting for us to pull guns out. – Unless they we’re going to attempt a deadly ‘is that a real moustache’ rip at our upper lip hair hats.
(This is not true, but could be something that you are wondering yourself)
Suffice to say, I almost needn’t go on with the rest of the story. We try in vain for about 10 minutes to explain to them that they can just let us in and at least watch us walk to the kitchen – under their supervision – and grab this key that we’re talking about. “We wouldn’t know where the key is if we weren’t supposed to be here to collect it!” I say to them, painfully aware that my moustache is intercepting every word that passes over my lips, and making them unbelievable. “But we don’t know anything about this” is their continued mantra of a response. Tal and I keep looking at each other. Disbelieving. Wondering what we’re gonna do, how we’re going to manage this situation, when they are clearly at a loss to understand and we clearly look like con-men from some band of the mafia in Scandinavia.
Its funny now (and im obviously going to finish the rest of this little tale) that they’re starting to bend slightly to our idea, but they still try and push the door closed when they turn around to make a phone call to try and get some confirmation of what the fuck is going on. Amused, Tal and I are still pushing comments back and forth between each other about what is going on and how comical it is. We totally understand their reason for discrimination. Not least because their grasp of English is also failing them. Luckily the landlord (who they’ve now called and is now on their way) isn’t far off, because we’re sick of our (fake) moustaches, and we’re sick of waiting at the door trying to explain to these stupid fucks what the situation is. We’re about to pull our guns out. The landlord arrives, she knows what’s going on (no: these moustaches are not fake) and she’s explaining it to Luke’s most forthcoming housemates/abode dwellers.
With one final look at us, they allow us in through their door (only slightly more ajar) and sharply left into their kitchen, where we acquire Luke’s room key from his special hiding spot in amongst the vegemite and other Australian cupboard landmarks.
Maybe we should shave before we continue our day?