All the events and names in the following blog are not in real time. The dates and names have been masked to protect the identities of the people involved. However, the said events and people are indeed based on my day to day life.
Say Anything - Story #7
Wake up. Go for a run. Shower. Have brunch with a girl I met two nights ago. Change clothes. Wait for the TTC. Attend magazine launch party. Network for business-slash-pleasure. Get new “prospect’s” number. Drunk text girl from earlier. Meet up with her. Wake up. Leave said girl’s place. Go home. Lift weights. Grab a double shot of espresso and a biscotti. Meet with a potential designer. Represent potential designer. Pick up dry cleaning. Change clothes. Attend nightclub opening with a friend. Get hassled by the door man. See a person I know. Have that person vouch for me. Get apology from door man. Grab doubles at the open bar. Bored. Drunk text potential booty call. Get response. Jump in a cab. Meet said booty call. Wake up. LG fashion week. Up-and-coming artist gallery showing. CD release party. TTC. Cabs. Exercise. Work. Eat. Drink. Booty call. Prospect. Repeat, over and over and over. Stop.
My phone rings and I answer; it’s Patrick. He’s covering a music festival that showcases independent bands. He encourages me to meet him at the venue, enticing me by suggesting that this place attracts the kind of women I’m always hoping for a chance to meet. I agree. By the time I get there, a bit of rain has started to drizzle down. It’s been less than half an hour since he coerced me to come and he has already found two lovely young women to keep us company through the show. You have to give Patrick credit – no matter what the venue, he gets a lot accomplished in a short period of time.
He waves me to the front of the stage where the three of them are standing. I head on over and make my introductions. The one he had obviously staked his claim to was named Sonya. She has the facial symmetry that would break any man’s heart. She knows she’s out of my league and she makes this known by her indifference to my arrival, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge my presence. Her friend – a.k.a. “the less attractive one” – smiles at me. She compensates for her physical inferiority with a style best described as “full of character.” She’s dressed in a black fedora, an oversized wool cardigan and plain, black leggings, bottomed off with broken-in brown boots. She’s also wearing a pair of black-framed, clear-lens glasses that covered almost half of her face. This obviously means that she’s intelligent, creative and complicated. Riiight. Her style screams for attention: “Hey look at me – I might not be as pretty as my friend but I’m the next Joni Mitchell - meets -Erykah Badu- meets - Virginia Woolf - meets - *insert some other progressive, soulful female here*”. Target acquired.
We exchange small talk and she informs me that she’s doing her Masters on Global Politics. Great, bring on the pseudo-intellectual, witty banter. She proceeds to inquire how I pay the rent. I tell her about my day job, but that my real passion is writing. She admits that she’s read some of my work and that she thought it was misogynistic and painted a negative image of the obviously-fairer sex. I’d normally be insulted, but any woman attired like a hobo, hiding behind pretentious garments usually lacks any creativity; hence, a constant need to look the part. In turn, these women will cling like parasites to any person with an artistic bone in their body. As if their presence around you will somehow induce genius of their own. Trust me, they’ll usually do anything for your time.
Before the next band even has a chance to set up, the rain starts really coming down. Patrick quickly leads the four of us over to an area where they have tents and couches set up for people with media passes. I motion to the wannabe Nina Simone to take a seat. She goes in body first exposing her ass to my face in an undisguised attempt to hold my interest and generate a pursuit. She might be the queen of clichés, but I’ll admit… The girl has booty.
We sit beside each other on the Corinthian leather couches, mildly intoxicated. Contemporary Janis Joplin begins preaching some self-indulgent diatribe about how the social determinants of music greatly affect today’s youth. I obviously partake in the pretentious discussion in hopes of getting into what I’m certain are “eco-friendly” panties. I humour her with a witty semi-comedic dialogue centering around the death of hip hop. She shares her thoughts and adds that true hip hop is underground, conscious hip hop. Underground, conscious hip hop conveys a positive message to today’s youth, evidently. She starts to intrigue me with her thoughts on music, but I’m still skeptical; she is, after all, dressed in the typical Queen West poser uniform. So I test her knowledge on underground hip hop. Without missing a beat and much as I expected, she lets me down by listing bands like the Wu-Tang Clan and Jay-Z. While I love “Hova” and “Ghostface” as much as the next guy, that music is by no stretch underground, nor is it conscious. Any group who has aliases based on Marvel superheroes is not conscious hip hop. “Brothers try to pass me, but none could match me. No girl can freak me, I’m just too nasty.” Positive messages for the youth of today… Seriously? What’s she going to do next; beat box, drop a verse and tell me 8 Mile should’ve won an Oscar? Kill me now.
That one statement pretty much halted any hope of further pursuit. I couldn’t possibly imagine having a lifelong connection with someone who believes that the social significance of a man who claimed to have killed KKK members is a positive one. Patrick overhears her remark and gave me a familiar “please-dont-screw-up-a-sure-thing-by-over-intellectualizing-this-conversation-with-your-thoughts-on-music” look. Too late. I begin comparing the social relevance of Mos Def to Method man, Tribe to Jay. I begin to unmask all her deep-rooted insecurities, challenging her genuine lack of musical knowledge. I even insult her boots, calling them wannabe-vintage, and not-so-subtly telling the group that I saw them at H&M on sale for $29.99. You can insult a girl’s intelligence, but never insult her boots.
After my courtroom-worthy assault on her character, it was obvious that the two of us weren’t going to be burning incense, or listening to old vinyl whilst practicing our protest chants anytime in the foreseeable future. She looks at me bewildered, as if I’d just kicked a puppy, punched a kitten or – worse – as if I was actually one of those people who bothered to listen to the lyrical content of rap songs. My patience for this girl is wearing dangerously thin. To make matters worse, she is now sitting down, so her ass is no longer exposed, effectively nullifying what little appeal she had left. This interaction has as much positive social significance not only to today’s youth but to me- as ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.” (Why yes, I do like it raw. Positive indeed.)
As I’m getting ready to shoot myself between the eyes, Patrick’s perfect-ten model turns to all of us and comically asks, “What is that girl doing?” I face to see who she’s referring to and I spot an all-too-familiar person. While most of us have gathered together for shelter under tents littered with sponsorship logos, she had walked to the middle of the field, flip flops in hand, without a care in the world. As the rain continues to pour down, she lifts her hands in the air and looks up to the skies with her tongue out, savouring every droplet of water that catches her taste buds. She takes off her yellow rain coat, places it on the wet grass and lies on top of it. Everyone – myself included – looks at her with envy-filled confusion. She pretends not to notice. She bobs her head to the beat of the band that had taken the stage a few minutes ago. I stand there, on the outskirts of the field with everyone else, cowering from the rain, watching her every move. The band has faded into the background and she becomes the main attraction.
In those few, seemingly-everlasting moments, I conclude that she will be my future wife. I turn to Patrick for some advice, or at the very least a look of approval. I’m not sure why. He looks at me, shakes his head and says, “Don’t even think about it. That girl sitting on the grass by herself, she expects too much. She’s looking for a saviour. Whether she knows it or not, she’s just waiting to break someone’s heart.”
Sitting there between an unknowledgeable, wannabe social radical and Patrick – who is about to throw himself into yet another pointless interaction – I decide that maybe today is the day that I choose substance over ass. Maybe today will be the day I finally break this routine. I quickly walk toward the centre of the rain-drenched field, drink in hand, away from the comfort of the corporate-sponsored dry haven. Each step I take kicks up mud and leaves footprints created by my white Keds. I pop the collar of my beige Burberry knock-off, three-quarter cut trench coat, shielding the rest of my clothes from the rain that seems to be pouring down harder with each step I take. I reach the middle of the field where she sits, by her lonesome. She looks up at me with the same look of confusion that she had garnered from the rest of us only minutes ago. I look down and, in my best attempt at being smooth like Casanova voice, I ask, “Is this seat taken?”
She giggles and answers, “It is now,” and moves her flip flops to make room.
I take a seat on the sopping wet grass, and before I get a word out, she turns to me and says, “So, do you always ignore friends you’ve recently slept with when you’re at random parties, or is that treatment exclusively reserved for us ‘unfashionable’ types?”
I was completely caught off guard. There I sat, searching for words. I sit there silently, in the middle of a field surrounded by onlookers, for what seems like an eternity. Speechless.
Eventually, she breaks the awkward silence, “Well say something. Say anything.”
In an eighties John Hughes movie like moment of self reflection meets self affirmation I put my drink down, softly grab her face, run my fingers through her hair and kiss her in what seems like one fleeting-yet-eternal moment. I pull away for a second, she pulls me back in for a whole-hearted hug and she whispers, “You know everyone is watching right?”
I tell her, relieved, that I don’t care anymore.
She smiles and says, “I’ve been waiting for someone to come brave the rain with me my entire life.”
Cheesily Disarming. I always felt moments like that would prompt immediate self induced vomit. That this was the kind of nauseating shit that only happened to Freddy Prinze Jr. or Hugh Grant. But there we were, the two of us, in the middle of a rain soaked field with everyone watching exchanging dialogue and minor bodily fluids straight out of a Julia Roberts’ movie. *Cue that Sixpence None The Richer Song*
I wake up the next morning and there she slept – cuddled up beside me without a post-it note in sight. I watch her sleep for a while. She eventually wakes up, cuddles in tighter and sleepily asks, “So what do you want to do today?”
The possibilities – for the first time in a long time – seem endless and un-habitual. A break from the routine, at last. Maybe we’ll stay in bed for the rest of the day. Possibly grab some breakfast together. Take a walk around the park. Walk around the city. See a movie. Play Scrabble. People-watch. Make funny comments. Browse through books at BMV. See an undiscovered live band. Walk her dog through Trinity Bell. Spend the day at the island. Go to the Ex. Win her an overpriced stuffed animal. Ride our bikes to the beach. Get some soft-serve ice cream. Sit by the water. Talk for hours. Share our experiences. Maybe she would cry. Maybe feel relief. Maybe comfort. Maybe laugh. Maybe joy. Maybe hope. Maybe life. Maybe love.