Makes me angry, these people on these sites and the things they say. « I stay active by going to the gym. » The gym. Bunch of sheep. Go for a walk! Get outside. Read a book. The gym. It’s fine as a means to an end but I wouldn’t boast about it! Makes me angry.
« Looking for someone interesting and humerous. » Can’t figure out if he’s a leg man or after some laughs.
It could go down in a number of ways. I saw him pay his bill but his beer is full. He’ll leave when it’s done. He’ll walk by and I’ll say: « Do you have a girlfriend? » I heard him say: « I’m thirty-seven. » I’m thirty-nine. And he’ll answer something but as a vision his response is inconsequential. Or. He’ll finish his beer and he’ll come up to me. He’ll say: « I came here to see you. » And I’ll say: « I came here to see you. » Or. He’ll finish his beer and he’ll be on his way out and he’ll say: « Have a good night. » And I’ll say: « Wait! I came here to see you. Do you have a girlfriend? Might you be interested? » I think he has a new beer. He’s talking with a very old man and not a girl or the waitresses. So that’s good.
I haven’t dared to look at him since he came in. Well I do look a bit like a boy with this short hair but I get quite a lot of compliments and some boys like girls with short hair. It’s possible he could fancy me. It’s just as possible he’s way out of my league. It’s possible he’s not way out my league but simply that he has a girlfriend. Well I’m quite drunk. It’s seven thirty in the evening and I like being tight when it’s still light out.
* * *
It’s quarter to ten in the morning. I slept well and was up early. I have a glass of red before me and am waiting on buckwheat crepes with smoked salmon and goat cheese. I’m living on overdraft. It turned out that he was married with three children and he was very sweet and humble and flattered, he said. Because of his way I did not feel foolish or rejected but glad to have paid him a compliment I felt he deserved. Sometimes people can be decent and alright.
« It feels as though it may have been a longer than normal stretch for me to have gone without saying hello. So here I am, doing just that.
How are things? Anything new? I have some small but wonderful bits of news to share.
Firstly, I sold my car! I have read seven books in the three weeks and two days it had been since going car-free. It has been heaven. Also, I’m basically rich.
I had my five-year evaluation this year. After observing and evaluating me, my principle nominated me for Teacher of the Year. I didn’t end up wining but I am not being modest when I say that I was elated at simply being nominated.
I also chopped my hair off. My guess is you would hate it as all the school boys do. Remember you asked me if my male students had crushes on me and I said I honestly thought no? Well. I only realized that yes a few did after they sure as hell didn’t anymore. I like my hair. My Dad says I look « more French. » Either way, I’m letting it grow back.
Anyway, how do you like that? I just dropped you a line and rambled on about myself! However, I would love if you did the same.
Hope you are very well, am thinking of you, as always! »
The messy, unmistakable child-like handwriting. A regular business-sized white envelope, there on top of a heap of junk mail; flyers in plastic wrap, glossy cardstock advertising this new condo and that new restaurant. A big waste.
Just like her letter.
I tuck it in my knapsack and throw the rest in recycling. It has been nearly a year but seeing her letter only makes me angry and I’m not the least bit curious to open it. It will only be the same lame story. Excuses. Apologies. Her two favourite words! « I’m sorry!!! » Who says I have to put up with this?
I carry the letter around with me for days. I meet up with Nekka. Our long-standing Saturday morning meet. One of my closest friends. I tell her about the letter.
She knows all about her. She’s aware of the situation. « Read it! » She says.
« I just don’t want to. » I tell her, matter-of-factly.
I’m just so tired of it all. What could she possibly have to say?
« Give it to me. I’ll read it. »
Sure. I hand it over. I just don’t care, so why not?
Nekka says: « She sounds remorseful. » I’m outraged!
« Of course she does! She always does! » I am angry that Nekka could fall for it!
I still have no desire to look at the letter. Nekka’s eyes tell me she thinks I am being stubborn, perhaps cold. I am exponentially outraged!
More than a foot taller than me but I can see him eye to eye. The uncanny parallels you read about in classic tales of romance, plus the frivolous ones: he speaks French, he skateboards, he offers to hold a glass of water at the finish line. He carries himself.
He grew up poor and abused, a smashed picture-perfect family that puts me at ease, makes me feel at home. And then the beautiful confidence of no game by choice and openly giving me the upper hand that makes me glow and revel; having the upper hand from an as sweet but helpless soul cannot last. That turns to pity. « A happy wife is a happy home. » This is the wisdom of a good man. A good woman does not mistake this for power. She understands that he chooses this with a woman worth choosing it for and she is conscious to maintain this value and desirability that he sees, that he feels.
« Marry me. » He’d said, earlier. Much earlier. « Okay. » I’d replied. So of course we had to meet.
It’s eight at night and still light out. It’s grey and almost chilly. I look at the ground as I pass people coming up from the subway as I go down. I have no desire to look into anyone’s eyes, see what they look like, if they might be attractive. I am shown the tiniest bit of humanity and I fall to pieces. I mistake kindness for a glimmer of a chance at love. I start to dream and in the same instant I start again to question my sanity. My loneliness is driving me crazy and numb. I ate the whole bag of popcorn at the movie I went to alone and now I might go out for sushi rather than going home toute seule and already. I can see from the corner of my eye a man watching me as I move a newspaper and take a seat. He has set down his book and he has detected my strange, melancholic mood as I move slowly and deliberately, almost graceful but more dead. I feel alive under his gaze but I don’t look at him. Soon he returns to his book and I get off at the next stop.