I like the ballet. The Australian Ballet actually. I really enjoy the whole thing. Get dressed up a bit, watch the show, bubbly during the intervals, supper, a real night out.
Now that I am no longer burdened with the minister for war, I get to invite beautiful women to attend with me.
Well, last night was opening night for 2012.
Tickets in hand, (Not the best I admit, but better than nothing) I arrive with plenty of time, parking prepaid, programmes too. Eventually, she arrives. A vision of beauty, and not only in my eyes. How often have other people gratuitously complimented your companion on her beautiful appearance? Makes a gentleman's eyes twinkle. She was very glamorous, she had done way better than well!
A glass of bubbly before the show, and we are in. The actual ballet was well, interesting to say the least. I can never get over how some blokes think that the ballet is not for them. Curious, I enjoy seeing scantilly clad young women flitting about the stage and my companions do not complain about the male dancers with their wedding tackle on display, admittedly inside some lycra, but not a lot.
So we bump through the show. I prefer a set piece, whereas, this performance was more like a buffet with allsorts of stuff confronting the audience. Still, in my experience if you don't like this bit, it'll change soon. Like Melbourne's weather.
And so it did. The second dance was excellent. Clever, very athletic and poignant, the music was incredible, a cacophony of noise. The third was odd, not good, not bad, just odd.
Interval. Now the ballet often has more than one interval. This has caught some of my companions off guard as they didn't realise that there was a second chance to have yet another glass of bubbly! So, we head towards the bar, I leave my beautiful lady and order two glasses. Holding the glasses one in each hand I head back the few metres where I had left her.
Oh well, perhaps she went to "powder her nose". Women do that. Frequently.
So I wait. Small sip out of my glass. Check my phone, just in case, check the time.
After several minutes of looking like a shag on a rock, I edge closer to the female toilets. I have a pretty good view of the bar area. No, she is not anywhere to be seen.
The bells start ringing. Panic surges through my mind. What did I say? Well, nothing in any way silly at all. I finish off my glass and head off towards the male conveniences. Leave the bubbly outside, enter and return. She is still nowhere, I poke my head into the ladies loo, nothing, just empty cubicles!
I head back to the door. She may be inside sitting in her seat.
No, she is not.
Where is she? What has happened? I've been stood up during the show! That's a first.
At the end of a delightful dance featuring Ravel's Bolero and some very raunchy costuming which emphasized the female dancers' chests (lots of double sided tape used) I vacate the auditorium. The audience assumes I had too much to drink. The staff are very polite telling how to get to the male toilets. I escape out to the bar area. A steward looks quizzicaly at me. I explain my dilemma. He turns on a hidden TV out of the wall so I can at least watch the ballet I am missing. He also suggests I have another drink, to calm my nerves. So, here I am, half way through he opening night of the ballet, glass of pinot noir in hand, three glasses of bubbly in my gut, and I've lost a beautiful young lady!
I check my phone. Nothing. Hang on, the message to tell her which bar to meet me in is still sitting in the phone. Maybe, phones do not work down here. Down here. That could be a gizmo to get for the office, a kill mobile phone thingy. But I digress. Where is she? This cannot be happening again to me. How do I manage to "Lose" women? I washed, I shaved, clean clothes, bow tie, evening shirt. I had been pleasant to her. I praised her appearance, I said I really liked her dress, which I did. What had I done wrong?
I wandered back to the auditorium. On the TV monitor I could see two dancers flopping about in civvies. Hate that. Ballerinas' look good in slinky outfits or tutus, not bloody jeans and check shirts! I check my watch, time to head off for dinner. What do I do now? Cancel? With 8 minutes to go? Pretty good excuse though. I've been stood up during the performance. Even Craig Thomson wouldn't go with that!
So, I ambled off towards the restaurant. Broken, down hearted, hungry and alone.
As soon as I get near the street the phone rings furiously. Its her.
Well at least she hasn't been stolen by people smugglers for the sex trade. Oh, she is not well and her phone wouldn't work in the theatre and she profusely apologises.
So, I wander into the restaurant, explain my predicament and have slap up dinner of oysters, rabbit and cheese. All from Tasmania. The wine was magnificent, not for the feint hearted at $16 a glass, but worth every cent. A magnificent Pinot Noir from the Tarkyne and Coal Valleys, blended yes, but truly a very smooth, light, full flavoured red. The oysters were a tad small, Bruney Island is not my favourite source of oysters, but hey she is no longer missing. The rabbit was excellent. Rolls of delicious lapin meat complete with a "Rack of Rabbit" delicious sauce too. The wine was a compliment to the food. Cheese to follow. Bruney Island makes great cheeses though!
Walk back to the car, help some Kiwis find the path up to the bridge over the Yarra. Jibed them about Rugby. They were appreciative of my guidence through the construction camp around Hamer Hall.
Drive home, alone.
But she is safe, not sure if she is ok. But she is no longer missing.