Friday, February 17, 2012

{title track}

it's a neon day, the kind with its own heartbeat. 
{i used to be an extrovert, but now i crave my alone time.}

my house is right near the skyscrapers, and on a day like this i like to put on my headphones, choose coeur de pirate, and walk around below them, pretending like they're the eiffel tower or something. i visit the book store and the coffee shop and the record store and those kinds of places; i keep moving. but this day i find myself short of breath. 

i sit on a bench. i tap the volume button a couple times so that the music completely drowns out the clack of heels on paving stone.  
"encore, et moi je t'aime un peu plus fort..."
i realize how long it's been since i just sat outside like this, watching people, smiling at strangers. 
why don't i do this more often? this is my favourite thing.

i admire the building tops, the way the windows reflect the sun; i lean back on my hands and watch a small child, apparently also tired of walking, suddenly sprawl out on the pavement. he will walk not one more step today.
i wish i was three. when you get tired, you just lay down until someone picks you up and takes you home for some apple slices and a nap.
his mother looks exasperated and i smile at her as she surveys her sack-of-potatoes three year-old. 

why don't i do this more often? this is my favourite thing!

i think it's amazing how you don't need eyes or ears to know when someone is beside or behind you. what sense is that? the one that is not quite a sound and not quite a sight and not even a feeling?

i turn with a start and find a guy grinning at me from a couple feet away. 

"great weather! isn't this weather great?" he asks exuberantly. "last year this time we had 6 feet of snow! last year this time it was forty below! and here we are, same time, same place, sitting on a bench."

i've eased my right ear bud out so i can hear him, but i hold it close to my ear so that he can see that i'm not interested in conversation. 

"yep," i say. because, you know, i don't mean to be rude, but i didn't come here to pick up guys. i smile, but only with my mouth, and start to put my ear bud back in.

"it's not even snowing," he observes.

i nod. because i agree. because it's true.

he seems happy that we have something in common, even if it's just the weather. 

"i have so many cold sores," he tells me.

i try to keep a straight face, but i know my eyes are widening a little. he has obviously thought this through. 1: find something we have in common. 2: reveal any possible deal breakers. 3: redeem myself by showing my good qualities, like how i'm a family man. 

"my mom was saying that yesterday. i go over there for sunday suppers all the time. she says it looks like i got beat up. it kind of does, doesn't it? like i have a bloody lip?"

i nod again. because i agree. because it's true. 

"but they have great stuff now that you can put on cold sores. they'll be gone in no time at all. i'll put it on tonight and they'll be gone by tomorrow." 

"yeah, for sure," i say. 
"that's great," i say. 
"well," i say, looking at my watchless wrist, because that just seems to be the international sign for having to rush off somewhere and because i've completely forgotten how to excuse myself from unwanted conversation, and finally, oh yes, "i have to go. nice to meet you."

and, i guess, that's why i don't do this more often.

32 comments:

  1. oh no i hate it when that happens--i always seems to attract the talkers too, my husband says it is because i look happy and smile at everyone--well if it is because of that i want to keep smiling anyway.

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    1. that's probably totally it. if you look approachable, i guess..people will approach you! haha. :)

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  2. You've basically described every single time I try to hang out by myself in public. Variations of the unwanted conversation.

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    1. as unwanted as they are at the time, they always make me laugh a bit after. which is nice.

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  3. Ok no. Telling someone you have soooo many cold sores does not make someone fall in love with you. Sexy? Not at all. Yikes. Some people have no filters and there you were, just trying to innocently enjoy your day! Yikes.

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    1. what?! you don't think cold sores are sexy?

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  4. This is my favorite kind of day. Since we moved a bit further out of the city into a downtown NEIGHBORHOOD instead of just downtown, I feel robbed of it? I have to drive somewhere to go walk and that's just not the same. Or I can walk here and see nothing and no one, just houses and trees, which is good in its own way. But still.

    What I'm saying is I'm jealous because that's a good day!

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    1. i know what you mean. we always talk of someday moving away from the city centre, which makes me very sad indeed.

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  5. First of all, i love the imagery in the first line. Its such a stunning description. Its a neon day... i love that. I love the way you write. It makes me feel like im there. Like you are pulling me in to tell me a secret. Not in a creepy way, idk. I dig it.
    And second, i feel a little bad for that guy because, wow, someone needs to help him learn how to be around women!! Haha. Thats so funny. He really wanted you to know those cole sores would be gone by tonight. Haha. Just in case!

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    1. oh garsh. thanks so much for the kind words!!!
      also, you know, maybe you could come and give him a few pointers. i'm sure we could find him again and you could pull him aside and help him out. that'd be awfully kind of you. :)

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  6. I love your adorable brain and the way you paint pictures with words. :)

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  7. Hysterical! It is EXACTLY those kinds of encounters that are why I don't do things like that more often either!

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    1. haha--isn't it a shame?
      i have to admit though, i'm weighing the options and i'm still probably going to keep walking around this strange neighbourhood and stopping and having weird encounters.

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    1. ooh, is this a clever way of greeting me AND telling me your opinion in one word?

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  9. haha hilarious. He was trying to pick you up by talking about his cold sores? Talk about awkward...

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    1. oh yeah! best pick-up line ever... :)

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  10. Haha! I love this. I've been there, that's for sure. And bringing up cold sores? Who does that?!? :P

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    1. haha, this man does apparently! i mean, they were quite prominent, so i'm assuming he just thought he should get the elephant{s} out of the room right away?

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  11. :)

    that is really funny. poor guy.
    lovely way of sharing the awkwardness, though! hahaa- i laughed out loud. for real

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    1. haha poor guy is right--and thanks for the kind words. :D

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  12. Ugh, that's the worst! I've had similar experiences when I'm sitting reading a book somewhere. I understand that if I accidentally make eye contact with someone they might think it's an invitation to chat, but for some reason some people interpret my nose deep in a book as "hey, I'm only reading because I have no one to talk to!" Luckily I've never had anyone discuss their cold sores with me. That takes the cake!

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    1. hahahah, i love that. probably people do think you'd rather be talking than reading. that's what i think when i see someone with their nose in a book... :)
      people. are. ridiculous.

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  13. Hi Suzy Q!
    I tagged you in a fun post over on my blog.
    Just check it out!

    http://caraalynn.blogspot.com/2012/02/and-today-was-fairy-tale.html

    xoxoxo

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  14. sometimes people just need to talk.

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  15. WHY do people share such weird, gross information with strangers?! Once Sean and I were just about to be seated at a Chinese restaurant when the hostess/owner/mother of all the employees dove into how she'd had diarrhoea all day. *gag*

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