Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tableau Un

I am waiting at Main Street subway station for a streetcar home. My yoke/load is easy/heavy, having just gone grocery shopping at the 24 Sobey's and local green-grocer. I do not like being weighed down by melons at the best of times, and this is no exception. I have opted to purchase my goods about 10 minutes from our house because the roommate is out of town and I have hobbitted myself up, with only the senile, colloquy cat for company. To trek the half hour by streetcar down to Kensington Market would have simply been too much.

Two people on the bench next to me, a man and a woman, are talking. I have my earphones in and so can't hear the content of their conversations but the occasional head nodding in my periphery is enough to alert me. After a while, the man stands up and leaves. The woman turns and mouths something to me. I take out one of my earphones and turn to her, noticing the overabundance of bags at her feet.

"Do you or anyone you know like candles?"

We gots a crazy. And I do not accept candles from crazies.

"Um, my friends and I are more incense people."

*Mental high five to self*

The streetcar mercifully pulls up and I wish the generous bag lady a good day. I get on and the car quickly pulls away. The lady has stayed on the bench. It would seem that her location is more of a social outlet than a mid-journey repose. A young man sits down on the bench next to her. They talk for a moment and then she starts fishing around in her bag with a huge smile on her face.

I wish I had taken a candle.

Tableau Deux

I am flouncing down the stairs humming to myself. I have just arrived home for the weekend, home being 1,500 km from where I live. Being in my old house, my old room, my old role brings up massive, ecstatic waves of nostalgia. I am remembering sitting by my tape deck, blank tape inside, with my finger on the record button, waiting to push it as soon as I hear a song I like. (By my 12th birthday, I would have about 20 of these tapes.)

I stroll into the kitchen, humming the bass line from Whigfield's universally-recognized record, "Saturday Night," and I hear from the other room, in a rich, husky, Hungarian baritone:


My stomach sinks as my father pokes his head into the kitchen.

"You didn't think I knew that song did you? Well it's one of my favourites. It's on the swirly purple and blue cover CD."

I start the bass line again, and again on cue my father comes in with "Deedee-dah-dah-dah." Twice.

"Dad, that only happens once, right at the beginni-"

"No! It happens twice! I know this!"

Later in the weekend, I will walk into the family to the busting 90's beats of Saturday Night and my father will shamefacedly admit that it does, in fact, only happen once. He's checked. Three times.