Prattle on
Sunday, March 12, 2006

So, the romantic life of Debbie has suffered yet another set back. Every Saturday since early January I’ve been seeing the same guy working the desk at the Nordelec building where my gym is located. For the first few weeks that I began seeing him I would forget how attractive he is only to be reminded the moment I finished the flight of stars up to the reception desk. Flashing me a smile while sliding the brown and metal clipboard and pen across the modern stainless steel desk, there he’d sit. “Bonjour,” he’d say, perhaps to prompt me to action because on more than one occasion I believe I was so caught up with smiling back I neglected to write my name, the time and where I was going. Smooth.

After a few weeks of agony I decided to formulate a plan to ‘chat-up’ the smiling man at the counter, perhaps get some semi-personal information or maybe find out his age. It was a daring plan, but I just had to take a chance. My problem is that in social settings like a party, club, base ball game or community street fair I am super approachable and very friendly. I have no problem meeting and talking to men. However, should I form an attraction to someone in a setting that isn’t all fun and games, I get trapped in a force field of my own stupidity and I am incapable of getting my mouth to form actual words.

Last week I was ready to put my plan into place. I decided to talk to him. That’s right, folks I had prepared some questions and conversation starters. During the three-minute walk up my street, I visualized myself having an affable conversation with him, leaning on the desk, and laughing at his brilliant jokes. The plan was solid.

So, last week I actually talked to him. We had a nice conversation but all together too short as cute-couple-of-the-year, Alain et Andre, from my gym appeared at the desk just as I was getting the details of his work schedule, but before I found out his name. Apart from learning that he works twelve- hour days I got nothing. I don’t know if he is single, I don’t know if he lives in the neighbourhood. I have no idea how old he is (This is partially due to the fact that us black people are famous for not showing our age. We have what I call BPIAS – Black Person of Indeterminate Age Syndrome. This guy could be 25, he could be 35, you just don’t know. All I know is that he is old enough to hold down a full time job).

Anyway, as Alain et Andre stood there waiting to sign out, I thought better to just get to the gym rather than wait for them to leave and risk an awkward moment as he’ll no doubt wonder why I was still standing there to talk about his work schedule. So I took my leave thinking that I would see him on the way out. No such luck. When I left, he was nowhere to be found.

It was not a complete failure. I, at least, got him to chat with me, so I decided that I had laid the foundation. It was time to start building the structure.

Of course in the week between the plan’s first strike and my triumphant return to the Nordelec building for the second strike I had fully imagined what this guy is like and our life together. Of course, the plan would work out better than I could have dreamed, if that is indeed possible as my dream was as follows:

I had decided that his name is Marcus and that his family is from Guadalupe. He works as a security guard full time, but he is very busy in his time off as he is a welder’s apprentice working toward getting his welders license both here and in Ontario – which will become invaluable for our eventual move back to Toronto.

After the move, Marcus and I would live in a small, one bedroom, Parkdale apartment and work extremely hard to save up a large sum of money. Then, we will travel around the world together for about six months or so, stopping in England or Australia depending on the time of year, where we will both get work VISAs. I will work for Conde Nast and he will be a builder.

While away I will get pregnant, we will come home when I am a few months along and make my mothers decade! We will have gorgeous twins, one boy and one girl. They will have their mother’s hair and their father’s smile. Due to our fantastic genes they will never need braces.

We will buy a modest house in Parkdale, which Marcus will forever be improving, and live there happily ever after. The end.

My dreams came to disaterous end just yesterday. I was pumped and ready to bounce up the stairs to greet Marcus, the future welder and father of twins, with a smile. The skies over Montreal were clear and the sun had warmed the earth in earnest. It was the perfect day for me to welcome the love of my life.

I walked toward the desk smiling warmly at Marcus and the other guy who works there ready to remark on the clear blue sky and bright yellow sun. Marcus barely glanced at me and returned his gaze to his computer screen managing only to get out half of ‘bonjour.’ He ignored me. How could he throw away our home, and our children like that? Now I really know what Millie Vanilli meant when they lip synced, “It’s a tragedy for me to see, the dream is over. And I never will forget the day we met, girl I’m gonna miss you”

Note on the drawing:
A few years ago my friend Toni and I had a year long diary of such pictures. In it is a pictoral representation of my life in the year 1998. So, this is a throwback to Toni and that time. The boy's shirt reads "I'm with her" and the girl's shirt says "Parkdale of for Lovers." If only I had a scanner. My digi cam did nothing for my crayon picture. Perhaps I will scan it at work tomorrow.

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