Monday, July 30, 2007

75 Cents

Today I reached deep into my left pocket to pull out the only 75 cents I had to my name at the time and dropped it into the one free palm belonging to a man holding the hand of a silent, angelic four year old boy in an orange t-shirt. His request "Can you help me and my son get back to Rockville, I forgot my wallet?" The number of times I've heard that excuse could fill a naughty homeless man's detention chalkboard.

I will not lie and pretend I'm seeking bus fare
I will not lie and pretend I'm seeking bus fare
I will not lie and pretend I'm seeking bus fare

I smiled and asked Little Man in his oversized, pumpkin-shaded scrubs how he was doing. His mouth remained firmly sealed; his gaze elsewhere. Little man had clearly been his panhandler father's monkey lure for too many hours that day and it broke my heart. But in the humidity of the day, I couldn't get fired up at the father’s cunning use of innocent bait-age. In a world of have and have-nots, the dividing line between me and this man/son partnership was indisputable. Regardless of the blatant manipulation, the have-not patriarch provided my ‘have’ self with a 75 cent ticket to a clear conscience for the day. I helped a poor man and his son get back to Rockville (eat a sandwich, or smoke a pack of cloves). Anything to get precious Little Man out of the clammy, Northeast sun-haze and back under the comfort of a moral roof.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Please Don't Drink and Blog

…Or you could end up sending driveling text messages to your newly published author/friend about how proud you are of his accomplishments. For shame.

The Novel

There were several moments this weekend when I felt an unusual sense of joyful melancholy kick into gear. A bliss that provokes somber reflection. Little snippets of wonderful that make me contemplate how much has changed.

In the plush booth of a local lounge where my old blogging friends had gathered to get silly on screwdrivers and whiskey, I perused the introduction to an acquaintance’s debut novel and lamented not knowing better the man behind the verbal philosophies. I was touched when one of my favourite humour columnists praised my rhetoric so vehemently, but distressed that I cannot contribute daily. And again I slouched contritely when I discovered I had not attended such an event, at which I used to be a fixture, since November.

In the dressing room of the bridal shop as I zipped two of my bridesmaids and best friends into their simple, navy blue, chiffon dresses and admired their classic beauty, my smile felt unnaturally forced. It was a blithesome moment, but I felt a distance I wasn’t used to. I no longer know what is happening to them via the real-time play-by-play we used to have as roommates. Though I am the happiest I have ever been, supported unconditionally by my fairytale Prince Charming, I still need the women in my life. My work schedule is such that I am barely able to scrape together quality time with my fiancĂ©; and as a result my girlfriends feel the greatest brunt of my absence. The growing pains that come with life’s milestones are to be expected and even though I struggle to find that one-on-one time that flowed so freely in our youth, I hope they know I love them just as deeply as I always have.

Interesting that every disappointment breezing across my thoughts this weekend centered on a single theme; time…and the regret for the way in which I prioritize it. I suppose that even as we go along our divergent paths, we always have our memories to ground us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Citizen Canadia

My heart has been burdened since I discovered the one thing I swore up and down I would NEVER do is going to be a requisite sacrifice of my marriage. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in common citizenship…I will be taking a vow of loyalty, duty and support of the man I love. And as a result, for reasons irrelevant to my point, it appears I may be obliged to renounce my homeland; that extraordinary tundra of a moose-pasture that shaped my inner being.

I sport a maple leaf tattoo on my backside. I eat poutine and drink 2-4s of Rickards Red. Gord Downie’s voice makes me jizz. I cheer for the Olympic athletes in red and white spandex and I care which province wins the briar. I love the word eh? The joyful tears that sweat from my lashes each and every time I see my ‘welcome home’ sign are just one of the multitudinous proofs that I am the spitting resemblance of Stompin’ Tom Connors’ Real Canadian Girl.


So why, if I have lived and loved in the United States for almost half my life, does the thought of being anything more than a green card-bearing, permanent resident give me such fits of heart burn? But for my sweetheart...I'll do what I need to.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In Flight

I never had a fear of wedging my hips securely in place by the seatbelt of a hurtling human sardine can; it’s something I do every other week. In fact, whenever possible, I tuck into the window seat so I can survey God’s wonder passing below the cumulonimbus puffs of air on which I ride towards my destination of the moment. I swore for the longest time that my dream career was not consultant or writer, but rather, commercial airline pilot. Neither turbulence nor icy wings could dissuade my opinion that airplanes are the most miraculous of vehicles. I have picnicked at Gravelly Point for hours just to hear the deafening roar of engines pushing tin.

Why then, do I suddenly find my heart in my throat with each spontaneous ding of the fasten seatbelt sign or decrease in the decibels emitted by the motors? Because at 30, my iceberg of invincibility is just beginning to melt. In all my infinite happiness it is only now that I am able to conceive of what I would be leaving behind, God forbid something were to happen to me. And in an environment where I have absolutely no control over my own safety, regardless of the odds, my mind starts to wander.

The fears however, will never stop me from continuing to duck into those speeding metal cabins of fascination. Like I said, it's just...what I do.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Baby Elizabeth

For the most part I wake up from a dream feeling either momentary confusion as I acclimate to the light, or relief that I was only envisioning the ridiculous tableau of jealous former flames or dangerous alien menace that had displayed so vividly across my subconscious only minutes before. As I regain my bearings, I curl up into the curve of my sweetheart’s arm and he squeezes the hand that I slip gently under his fingers to reassure me that his presence is every bit as real as it feels.

The other morning, however, in a shocking moment of biological clock tickage, I woke up after a graphic dream feeling…disappointed. I had been lying on the tissue-coated plastic of a doctor’s examination table, gelatinous fluid on my exposed belly, staring at my tiny likeness on an ultrasound screen; a smiling head of curls. But when I opened my eyes it was only my sweetheart who lay beside me, no little one in brew.

With less than three months to go until I marry my perfect match, I’m not surprised that my subliminal imagination is running rampant. In the 30 years since I emerged from my mother’s womb I have always known what I’ve wanted. The overwhelming thing is, those feeble figments of desire are now my life.

For a brief moment, I experienced the same elation that I’m going to feel when I enter the gates of motherhood. I’m not racing to that finish line, I’ve spent 30 years weed whacking my way through to the ideal paternal candidate and I am savouring every breath-taking minute of our courtship. The disappointment I incurred in the sunrise following my dream was simply a side effect of detoxification. When I do reach that milestone, motherhood is going to be the high I will never come down from.

Baby Elizabeth

**May I also extend heartfelt congratulations to my dear friend Ted whose beautiful baby girl was born the very hour of said reverie.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Grammar Police

“I’m gonna miss you, like a child misses their blanket...” So, not only is my boy Josh Duhamel dating a troll, he’s also dating a grammatical misfit. How are the young millennials supposed to learn how to speak their own language correctly when the songs that infiltrate their middle school radios match singular nouns with plural possessive pronouns?