I had the craziest conversation I’ve ever had with someone who happens to be habitat-challenged the other day on the bus. I’ve been reading/struggling with Henry James as of late and the gentleman next to me must have been reading over my shoulder because out of nowhere he grunted, “what is that book about?”
When I’m alone on public transit, much to the chagrin of my paramour, I tend to forget the rest of the world exists. As soon as I’m seated, I open a book and the other passengers disappear. The bus itself disappears. I’ve missed many a stop this way. Therefore, it took me a few beats before I even realized the man was talking to me.
“Huh?” was all I could muster in reply.
For the first time I noticed who my seat companion was – how on earth I missed him earlier is unbeknownst to me. For one thing, he smelled pretty bad. I won’t go into too much detail but he fit the homeless stereotype perfectly. Not wanting to appear anti-social, which I kind of am, I smiled at him and apologized for not understanding what he’d asked. But when he repeated his question I was equally dumbfounded. Not because I was shocked he was interested in my book, but because I had no idea how to describe A Portrait of a Lady without making it sound incredibly dull.
“It’s, ah, about a life of, er, a woman in the nineteenth century.” I don’t know how he didn’t start snoring right then and there.
However, all he said was, “The only Henry James I’ve read was Daisy Miller. That one was pretty steamy. Is there sex in there?”
“Um, no. The main character seems kind of prudish.”
“Maybe you’re just reading it wrong.” And then he went on to explain how I might better appreciate nineteenth century American literature in a way that actually made me want to go out and devour every bit of the genre I could find.
Unfortunately, before I could get his name, he got off the bus and disappeared over the horizon never to be seen again.
I can’t even get my partner to look at the cover of a classic novel, let alone discuss one with me. I wonder now if I just made this guy up.
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That’s right. After weeks of un-returned phone calls, texts, and Facebook messages. After going to his house, seeing him peek at her through the window, and then leaving utterly humiliated. After behaving like a coward, like an asshole, literally pretending he doesn’t even know she exists, he had the nerve, the balls, the audacity to call her. She answers. They meet up. She takes him back.
Because she’s my sister and I love her to death I want to take the first flight to Alberta. I want to pound on her head until the only brain cells left are the ones that want to string up this guy. I want to ring her and tell her how stupid she is. I want to stalk him on Facebook and tell everyone I know to stalk him with me. I want to hound her every second until she sees the error of her ways.
But, because she’s my sister and I love her to death, I will call her and listen patiently as she goes on about how much she likes him. I will say I’m happy she is happy and that I hope everything will work out this time. I will be supportive and understanding. I won’t say a word to anyone, not even Carolyn, about how my sister is dating a creep (I may still tell Rob). I won’t even check out his Facebook profile.
And when he inevitably dumps her for the second time, I will listen to her cry on the phone and let my heart break again right along with hers.
It’s so difficult to be inside today when it’s so amazingly beautiful outside. On my way to work I pass Dartmouth Common and I noticed today all the leaves on the gorgeous old trees there are starting to change colour. Instinct told me to get off the bus, sit under one of those lovely trees, and daydream the rest of the day away. My instincts continued to scream at me when the bus crossed the bridge over the harbour and I could see at least three cruise ships rolling in with the rising sun at their backs. My body wanted to wander down to the waterfront and take pictures. Alas, I’m just a conformist after all.
Now I sit at my desk, longing to join the outside world, like everybody else.
What makes it worse, too, is that we shan’t be getting any more days like this for the next while. Not with hurricane/tropical storm Kyle landing in Yarmouth this weekend. *sigh* I will definitely have to make an effort to get out for lunch today, maybe take those photos at the waterfront, before the sky turns grey again.
Unfortunately, there is something else that is marring what should be a fabulous day. My sister’s love life. She’s been seeing someone fairly regularly lately. Someone named Josh – if I had his full name I’d publish it here as well because the jackass deserves to be called out. It seemed to me she thought things were getting fairly serious up until about a week ago. When he stood her up on a Saturday night and then just disappeared off the face of the earth. I haven’t heard the full story yet because I’ve only spoken to her in email. I’ve also been really careful what I’ve written to her because the typed form is so impersonal and I don’t want my tone to come off harsh. Also she still has feelings for this cretin so I don’t want to bash him and risk alienating her. But my little sister is hurting. A lot. More than I think she has ever hurt before.
I should be there to help her through her first real heartbreak. I should be there to take her for margaritas and ice cream. I should be there to hug her and tell her everything is going to be okay. I should be there to hand her darts to throw at his picture and to pick out nasty songs to dedicate to him on the radio. I should be showing up at her house with wine, chocolate, and weepy movies. I SHOULD BE THERE.
But I can’t. I can’t because I live on the other side of the country. When I still lived in Calgary I could just go down for the weekend, hang out, get drunk, be there for her. Halifax isn’t just a two hour drive – more like a five day drive. I knew living far from friends and family would be hard; but I didn’t know it break my heart.
I’ve had my shower. I’ve snuggled with the cat. I’ve poured myself a cup of coffee and taken a couple bites out of the last blueberry muffin. Three days old, not as tasty as the others were. I finished my book this morning as well. It was the first thing I did when Rob closed the door behind him. I couldn’t wait to get to the end, to find out how things finished for Holly. Of course, now that I’m done with it, I wish I’d read a lot slower. It kept me going through the long work week. Really good fluff will do that.
If it was a normal Saturday I’d be snuggling on the couch with Rob right now, arguing with him over how we should spend the day. I think this is the first time since moving to Halifax that we haven’t spent the whole weekend together. It’s sad, sad that I haven’t a clue what to do with myself on my own. If I had friends here I would call someone to meet up for coffee or an afternoon of shopping. But I haven’t met anyone like that yet. I tried watching Mrs. Winterbourne on Bravo but the film was just too horrible. Rikki Lake should never have ventured into acting. Her accent, her mannerisms, the were all so robotic and awful. She looked like she’d just wandered onto the set of a Shirley McLaine movie by mistake. Which is too bad, really, because I was excited to discover Brenden Fraser was in it – sometimes that man makes some screwed up career choices. Mrs. Winterbourne was truly one of those choices.
This muffin is really quite disgusting. I think it might be four days old. I’m going to throw it out.
Last night we went to Jamieson’s for dinner and it was amazing. I think it’s my favourite restaurant in the city. The atmosphere, the cocktail selection, the food…. Mmm. We had a mushroom and ricotta bruschetta for a starter and I could not believe the quality of ingredients. I need to learn how to make that at home. Rob ordered the lamb and it was absolutely incredible. Cooked perfectly, the flavours just exploded in my mouth when I stole a bite. It was his first time having lamb and I think it was the best introduction one could have. I had the shrimp and chorizo pasta which was also delicious. Normally I never clear my plate when I order paste because it’s always so heavy and filling. But the chilli sauce was light and spicy, just the perfect amount of heat so I was practically scraping it up with my fork. It was too bad we were too full for dessert because I know the afters menu is equally fantastic. When family eventually starts coming out to visit that is definitely where I’d take them. The whole experience is so beautiful. Maybe we should have our wedding reception there…
It’s almost noon and I still haven’t figured out what to do with my day. Laundry just doesn’t sound all that exciting. I’ve been with Rob so long I’m losing my savvy singleness. I can’t just mope around the house till he gets home. Can I?
I was going to change the title of this post because I think it’s a bit naff but I’m too lazy to think up a new one. Besides, maybe it’s fitting in spite of its lack of style.
I’m not quite as to why I’ve started up yet one more blog. The ones I’ve begun in the past all made mushroom clouds. I am not exactly the most disciplined writer, especially when it comes to writing about myself. History papers on Napoleon Bonaparte’s body height, I’m extremely prolific, but on my life? Egads. My desk used to be filled with journals that were blank after the first few pages. Frankly, I’m just too lazy. It’s one of my most innate characteristics.
But I digress. Whatever the reason, here I am. I hope I have the wherewithall to actually do something with it this time because I think writing things down can actually be therapeutic. I think forcing myself to do this may help me force myself to make more decisions (indecisiveness is another deep-set trait of mine). Perhaps it’ll help me sort through whatever it is I need to sort through in order to figure out what I want in life. Maybe by the end of the next year or so I’ll actually have accomplished something other than a taste for expensive wine – which is all I think I accomplished this last year.