Friday, June 03, 2005


Getting over the inevitable jet lag proved to be easier than supposed, given the dubious fact that I had been sleeping regularly around 5am before leaving my lovely Paris. Spent day in pajamas, fumbling around with the remote control.

Television... television oh best friend of childhood... television which I have sorely missed since moving to France where it is dominated by talkTV and reality shows. For the last year I have been on a steady diet of the OC and Lost, thanks to the internet. But, besides that, the daily dregs of channel surfing have become like a foreign delicacy, a morsel of ambroise hidden underneath the dark shell of the eagle-eyed oysterhead. No... television in France sucks. So, spent the early morning watching TV. zap zap zap... cooking....zap zap zap... hip hop...zap zap zap.. Cosby Show... zap zap zap... fixer-uppers... zap zap zap... boring

Of course this was dominated by... the French Open... Roland-Garros. Perhaps it is my nostalgia working. No, not really. Rafael Nadal begs no nostalgia. He is pure youthful exuberance. Biceps the size of my brain, this guy swings and thunders like a toro in his living room. He creams Federer's ass before midday, and I'm still eating hot cereal and jammies. Happy Birthday you scary Majorcan you.

Then, swept floor and decided to do laundry. Made it to the laundrymat and was impressed with the dryers. In the last 3 years I have become accustomed to hanging my laundry on a rack to dry. The size of most apartments proscribes dryers... anyways, I just don't think it's in french culture to have soft fluffy hot clothes. Spend serious amounts of time watching cloths fluff themselves into strange forms, tumbling in the dryer. Next time I think of doing drugs, I'll just come here.

Skee calls. We decide to meet up near my house. He's the same... a little larger, the look of mistrust a little more diffused by a corner smile. Otherwise, he's the same. Funnily enough, I feel different.

Back story: I was once desperately in love with this terrible boy, back in school. We had the kind of tortured love affair of none-touching and drunken rebuttals one could imagine in an updated version of Heloise and Abelard. Eventually, it was clear that nothing could be solved. He managed to insert a particularly solvent solution to our relationship problems by articulating very clearly that he "never wanted to see me again in his life." That was two years ago. About 4 months ago, contact was re-established. I guess things change.

So Skee's there. I feel relieved to see him, relieved that time has past and that we don't have to have that same stupid tortured affair all over again. Because, that's the miracle of time. Old hurts fade, and a sense of fondness replaces. I can be friends with him now, even if I was never really friends with him before.

We trawl the College St. W., looking for a patio to park on. It's blazing hot for this time of year and patios are stuffed to the brim with girls in short frilly skirts and boys with gel in their hair. On the way, I see Jane. Jane, the sister of Nancy, who I caught blisteringly drunk with some time this winter by the side of the canal. Jane, who I cannot see properly at first because I don't wear my glasses. I need to get contacts or something. No wonder people think I'm a snot.

Finally park ourselves at Cafe Diplomatico and order some kind of Raspberry Beer. I know it's a girly choice but curiosity wins over cool. The beer is fine. I forget what we talk about... probably old university friends, who got fat, who does drugs, who stopped talking to who, who moved to Japan to be with their Japanese girlfriend, and I think I repeat over and over again how I'm happy but that I feel strange.

Try to get into Souz Dal, but it's not open till 8pm. So swing by the Fish Shop and get a Grilled Salmon sandwich. It's a thin filet of salmon, grilled with peppers and shallots, served on a bun with arugula, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Practically streetfood. This is what TO does well.. cheap fast eats by local people. The sandwich is sensational.

Then send Skee off for beer while I buy my hairbrush. We take our beers and head off to Trinity Bellwoods Park.

I know this city so well... I know all it's fun little nooks and crannies... I can navigate practically blindfolded... but it is built on a grid system. You'd have to be some kind of navigational neanderthal to get lost.

Now it's dark in the city and we head for the dip/bowl at the centre of the park. Sitting by the lawn, looking up at the twinkling hi-rises just beyond the forest line, the night seems fresh and young. We talk. At some point, an army of rollerbladers comes streaming through the dark corner, taking the path that dips down. The roar of their wheels amplified by the bowl, amplified by the speed of the incline. The last one to thunder through has a ghetto blaster taped to his back. It could be ACDC we're listening to.

I'm tired and still jet-lagged, so the night ends there.