Friday, November 17, 2006

The List.

I always feel nervous when I am being controlled by authority, even if I theoretically know I have nothing to fret about. Like in Beirut when stopped at an impromptu checkpoint by the army. Or on the bus when they check my Oyster card. I feel 'guilty until proven innocent'. Or when I'm queuing for a party and I know I'm on the guest list, but a part of me feels that my name will have magically disappeared, or that I just imagined it all...

I went to a big invite-only party last night. A trashy rival magazine's birthday bash. My name was on the List, my colleague and I were both on the confirmation email of our names being on the List three hours before it was due to roll.
I get there on my kitsch bike, and take my place in the queue. They're all in groups, greasy teenagers with ripped tights, bleached manes, and thick-framed emo eyeglasses. I get to the lady with the clipboard. She's got the List. It feels like a test. "Your name?", I think she was chewing gum. She had bangs and a long ponytail, white killer heels and the attitude of a bitch.
She's got to be, she's in possession of the List.
"Your name?
- Rasha."
She chews her gum and looks over the List. I glance at the clipboard, but she notices and swiftly hides it from me, like the nerd schoolgirl who wants you to fail in class.
It's taking longer than I expected.
And then she turns to me and says:
"You're not on the list, step aside.
- What?! I should be on the list, S. put me on it today. My colleague's already inside.
- Sorry mate, step aside now, behind the rope."

Everyone's looking at me with a smirk. I'm a 'blagger'. I don't look like one, though, I'm not wearing any make-up, not wearing heels and my dress in made of wool for fuck's sake! Blaggers are tall, caked in green eye-shadow and pink foundation, and wear gold mini-skirts even in sub-zero celsius. I didn't fit the part, yet everyone was staring at me, an underdressed un-cool blagger in brown wool...

List-lady's assistant the bouncer looks at me, after I've been pacing for ten minutes dialing number after number:
"- Can I help ya?
- Yes, my name is supposed to be on the list, my friends are inside, but I can't call them cause there's no signal inside."
And he looks at me with dead eyes and says:
"Well, that means it's time to go home."

I've got to admit, it's a pretty good line.

So I go back to chewing gum lady with the List, and I insist that she looks at the List again. I'm ON it, I must be. Can you look again? She rolls her eyes, but I'm sure that she gave me a break because I was just some plain, short girl, and I couldn't possibly be a blagger looking like I did.

"It's Rasha. R-A-S-...
- R-A...?
Yeah, you're on the list. I looked at R-U-S before. Yeah, let her in."

And, with that, I was ushered through security and into the dingy sweaty party.

Russia, again.
Old damn story.


All the crazy horses said...

Listophobia is a branch of “fear” connected with: Identification Cards, Military Service Papers, Boarding Passes, Syrian/Lebanese/Jordanian/Palestinian checkpoints (if you have an ID we arrest you because we know who you are, if you don’t we arrest you because we don’t know who you are)… in fact miss USSR, think of yourself as lucky, had you been on the Syrian border and your name had been misspelled to resemble the name of someone wanted by the Syrian regime for smuggling garlic into Syria, you would have ended up in a jail cell… at its worst in your scenario you would have ended up at home..

Listphobia is also connected with the schools system in which we are brought up. In every class you attend until you’re 18, the teacher comes in and reads the name of the students every morning. Until you’re 17 (and by that age you have already acquired most essential fears) you are constantly afraid that all of a sudden your name will disappear from the class list and you don’t get to say the comforting “PrĂ©sent” in answer to your name.

So you see, the LIST will cut you both way: sometimes you want to be on it, and sometimes you’re praying deep inside that the person holding the list only learned half the alphabet and that your name is Greenland (an Island three times the size of the UK, covered in snow and inhabited by seals, penguins and the Norwegian Navy…)

Wisdom: When you have a life you write less. When you have a life and you write often, then you are exceptional.

Oji said...

A very good line indeed...
I still love you Miss USSR.

bored said...

When your name is Russia, your name should be everywhere.

It's in at least half of the documents secretly sealed in the pentagon.
It's on every list you can possibly find in ma3ameltein.
It's implicitly on all lists of alcoholic drinks
It's also in all lists of secret services of western european countries (inluding britain), and on lists belonging to the taliban before the collapse of the soviet union.
It's on all lists of arms and weapons being transferred to places of conflict around the world, especially in the 3rd world.
It's on all lists of all foriegn relations ministries of all the countries of the world.
It's on the list of all suicidals who like to play games on themselves
It's on the list of all communist parties of all the world
It's on the list of revolutions, faliures, dictatorships, and democracies...

but it wasn't on that party's list.

you should be glad that your name is rasha.

Rasha said...

Love it.

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