Yesterday I was on an early-ish bus to town because the previous evening, while I was snorfing down some veggie couscous and indulging my very camp inner gay man by watching back-to-back showings of Priscilla and Truth Or Dare, David had texted me to let me know that my (and everyone else’s) boyfriends Flight Of The Conchords were playing a super-secret live gig at a video store in Aro Valley. I stood on the same corner as Jemaine one time this past October, right by the Mt. Vic New World, and we totally made eye contact, but ever since then I have been frustrated in my attempts to see him or Bret in the wild. It didn’t help that all my friends are always casually saying things like “Oh, I saw Jemaine at Kaffe Eis the other day!” and “I sat next to Bret at a party over the weekend…he’s in that show you like, right?” or “I talked to Jemaine about The Artist Formerly Known As Prince at Mighty Mighty,” leaving me to gnash my teeth in frustration and longing.
So it was with a light heart and a skip in my step that I trundled over to the video store and got in the queue with all the other die-hard freaks. David showed up, gigantic camera lens in hand, and we got to chatting to some of the people in the crowd with us, including one very nice girl called Traci who had just moved to Wellington from Palmerston North and was still getting used to all the entertainment options afforded by the big city. We were three of the first hundred people to get into the store, so we smooshed in with everyone else and stood on tiptoe to hear the guys play.
They played “Jenny,” “Inner City” and “Issues” and were funny and gracious and awesome. I didn’t buy a DVD but Traci did and so I went up with her to get it signed. Loren Horsley from my favorite movie of the year Eagle Vs. Shark was also there, so after being tossed on the crowd like a piece of flotsam on the sea (“Very poetic,” said the Aro Video store clerk when I said this to him, over by the FotC CD selection) I finally made it up to where she was and told her the movie would always remind me of Wellington. We talked a little bit about where I live (“Oh, my mum lives near there!”) and where I was from and she ended up making me a little drawing on a ripped-off piece of scratch paper that said “Wellington = Awesome,” which, you know, it totally does. And then Jemaine, who was sitting next to her, leaned over and wrote–after a big discussion of how to write and pronounce my name; I said “it’s like Chianti plus tiara” and he went “I spell those two things all the time, ” which I’m sure was an oblique for-my-ears-only reference to his Grammy-winning rockstar lifestyle–“Chiara, Wellington will miss you,” and that was all very exciting. I didn’t speak to Bret but he seemed lovely and friendly as well and it was really nice to have that funny little talk with some people I admire and like looking at on various screens.
David had had to go back to work but Traci was waiting for me outside, and we walked over to Fidel’s together and had hot chocolate and a blackberry-apple-custard brioche and talked about the band and about Wellington and about pastry in general. The sun was shining on Manners Mall and she gave me a hug before I went to the bank to deposit my KiwiSaver refund before meeting Ken in Newtown for lunch. We ate panini and talked about boys and then it was time to stop off for dinner fixins on the way home, where I did some laundry and napping before Alice came over. I made a variation on my normal mixed-vegetables-over-starch dish that I make pretty much every week and she went through all the clothes I’m giving away and sat around looking weirdly like me in my yoga pants and my t-shirt and my fuzzy socks I got at the Victoria Market over the winter. We sat around talking about boys and our trip to Nelson until Paul showed up bearing ice cream, when we immediately commenced talking about theatre and real estate.
Just three more nights in my bed. This time next week I will have given everything away that can be given and will be snorkeling, I hope, on a reef off Muri Beach. Today I am cleaning out my room and choking back tears as I take my decorations off the walls and clean out my closet, but yesterday was perfect, filled with things I like to do and people I like to see in the city of my heart: more and more evidence of why I have to come back and back and back.