Friday, May 08, 2009

.delightful day.

So today was absolutely lovely.
I had a great morning, and great classes (even if they were a little on the quiet side) and then Pam's husband Matt had made banana chocolate chip muffins for us all at the Centre, and then I bought a bike. She's beautiful. And her name is Free Spirit. (It's written on the bike, I didn't make that one up. but I like it.)
So Amy came to my office after work, cuz the guy I bought it from lives near downtown so it was a quick drive. I'd found him on Kijiji and he has a ton of bikes for sale, but I'd already figured out which one I really wanted from the pictures. So I called him before I left to make sure he'd be home, and he told me to just come around back and he'd be there. I was making small talk with him because he has like 100 bikes in his backyard in various states of disrepair. I wondered where he found them all, and he got all shifty eyed and vague and answered "You really have to search hard for them." Then he showed me an Amsterdam bike and he said he visits there every year, so I asked him if he got some of these from there, and he said no. So I let it go. I just really hope no one ever comes up to me and asks if I stole their bike!!
Anyways, I don't have any bungee cords which proved to be a problem. We got the bike mostly in my car (I can flip down the back seat) but not quite, so I couldn't shut my trunk. So we wrestled with it some more and Amy ended up cycling to my place. Good thing she came with me! Also, she'd just bought a helmet. For the worriers out there.
Then we decided to grab food at The House because neither of us felt like cooking, plus I have no fresh veggies at the moment, and they make stellar sandwiches. So we got our sandwiches and London Fog's, and as we sat there, this beautiful man joined us. I wish I had a picture of him. He has a wonderful toothless grin, and a very animated face. He looked really old, but we found out he's only 52. He told us that he's pretty shy and is afraid of people, but we had a great chat, so maybe we're just really approachable? He started off his conversation with us by telling jokes that he'd found in Reader's Digest. He wouldn't tell an off-colour joke, like the ones some people might find in Playboy. In fact, he wouldn't even pick that trash up. But it's a good thing we were neither Muslim nor Jewish, and it's a good thing we could understand the Catholic joke even though we're not Catholic ourselves. Also, it's important to be careful who you tell these jokes to, because you might not know if they've got a relative who has Alzheimer's and might become offended. He was a good joke teller though, and had excellent expression.
At one point he asked us what we do. For me that's always a bit of a dangerous question and I never know quite how to answer it. If I say counsellor they might dump all their problems on me, or talk about the people they know who had counselling or need counselling, or rant about how it doesn't help (he'd already made a joke about how counselling doesn't work) and if I say teacher then they'd ask me at what school I work, and since it changes every day that's awkward, and if I say the Pregnancy Care Centre then they tell me their pregnancy issues. This time, I chose simply saying that I work at the Pregnancy Care Centre because it seemed the safest. Oops. He then began telling us that, speaking for himself only, he can't tell you about the other men in the room, he remembers every woman he's ever slept with. One was his common law wife who stayed with him for 3 and a half years. But he remembers them all. But he never had kids of his own, and he knows that for sure. And he figured this out all on his own, no one helped him, and it's because he's an alcoholic. So he's 52 and he's been an alcoholic for 41 years, and drinking every day made his semen come and go, so it was so full of alcohol that it wouldn't impregnate anyone. Sometimes he sees kids and feels sad because he doesn't have any of his own, because he likes kids.
One time, though, he came close to raising kids. It was in the '70s when he was a teenager. He raised huskies. He got his first one when it was 2 weeks old, and he took it right from its mother's nipples. By 6 months, this is how smart dogs are you see, by just six months his dog was so well trained. The dog knew that he wasn't allowed to go on the road. And he never had to use a leash or chain, never. He would go for walks with the dog, and he would walk right next to him, and if he stopped, even in the middle of the street, the dog would lie down and wait, and not get up and move until he moved (this was accompanied by a demonstration in the cafe).
Unfortunately we had to leave, but I do hope we'll run into him again sometime. Which is likely, because this is the only place he'll drink coffee. Never Tim Hortons or Second Cup or Starbucks. And you know why? It's because of the atmosphere at those places. You could overhear anyone there talking about this business deal, and this money loss/gain, but here it's not about the money. That's not the concern. Which I think is a cool observation, because The House definitely does have a different atmosphere (which I guess it should since it's non-profit) and it's also great because this guy is welcomed in with open arms.
Anyways, after this lovely conversation, we went to Eau Claire to see a movie. Sunshine Cleaning. Amazing movie. This has been a good year for movies. Anyways, I loved it. It was quirky and funny and sad (I shed a few tears) and beautiful.
Then we stopped by Steve's for the games night, which apparently was boys' night until we got there. We played a few rounds of 3s and then I needed to call it a night. I get a little loopy when I'm tired. So why am I writing this blog? I don't know. But I do know that my bed is calling my name.
Goeden nacht!


Eric said...

Great story. I can totally hear the old guy talking, through your writing!

justmeghs said...

thank you Eric! What a wonderful compliment!