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.