Crack: if I'm in search of a word that i can associate Shirshank with, this is it. I remember prepping for a random party on St. Patrick's day at Jimi's bar (not that this day is celebrated that much in Bangalore, but we had a decent amount of expat friends to make a big deal out of it) The theme was green, and i went a bit out of my way to look as green as ever. Just felt like it. Yep, Green Tee, Green pants, Green boxers too.
When i reached, only one third of the crowd managed to follow the dress code, which made me feel all the more awkward since I didn't know anyone there. That's when I met this short guy having sharp features who sported a Green Day t-shirt going green all the way. He introduced himself as 'Shirley' and waved a beer at me asking if I wanted one. It's been over two years since that day. Along with time, Beers went by, joints passed by and random dance-offs went by. Shirley would feed off these times. It could only take a life threatening disease to put Shirley out of action.
There's no one in this World i can think of who is a combination of the words below: Dancer, Deep and Desolate.
The Dancer: If Shirley's reading this now, I'm sure he'd be smirking now, because any mention of him would be incomplete if it didn't include his passion for dancing. He's that guy you'd wish was around if it called for a time to express yourself by dancing, or going crazy.. If Shirley gets a hint that you feel like 'shakin it', he'd get you to start, he'll join you and compliment you later for trying. No judgments passed, and he won't take credit for any of that. Shirley rolls on his own accord.
Deep: Once in his comfort zone, Shirley would do what he's best known for. Talk. And when he does, silence hits the city. Say if I start a conversation with him across a table, within two minutes I'm lost. I often find myself looking at other people from the corner of my eye, wondering if they're smiling at me because I'm not comprehending what Shirley's talking about. In my defense, he can talk about quantum physics and make it sound like a movie plot. The passion he says it with used to make me feel guilty that I'm not 100% there in that one-way conversation. Sometimes I've had to politely stop him, or if it's a bad day- be a bit more blunt. But don't think for once that he's disregarded you or your opinions. As much as he enjoys getting attention, he's one of the few I know who loves giving people the attention, and he's great in making it their moment.
Desolate: The word's pretty strong, so I'll explain myself before i get any angry calls. Shirley, although in his most energetic social best, always refers to times when he's sitting solitary in his room, reading novels at home. Maybe he'll watch Discovery Channel to learn how turtles mate with each other, and then trip over it. Maybe you'll find him sitting alone on a rooftop watching planes fly into the horizon.
Say if God granted you a wish to stay in the most beautiful place on Earth, with a TV and supplies, on condition that you are all by yourself with no access to the internet or phone. Once you decide to get out, you can never go back again, how long would you want to stay there? What would be your answer? Most of us would dread the thought of being stuck alone, even if it's the best place on Earth, we'd choose from a few hours to a couple of days, with the promise of a ticket back home. From what I know of Shirley, he wouldn't flinch and say "for eternity" provided he has his comics, his stash and an unlimited supply of good music.
Shirley, I have to hand it to you for making every good time a great time, for making every conversation a thought-provoking one, and for making every dance off feel like we're on sets of an '8 mile' movie.