February 20, 2003
3 Acquaintances

Our Paths Crossed...

On Two Occasions

I met her for the second time a month ago, in a bar. She worked in a cemetery when she went to art school, I have no idea what she does now - it never came up.

She hated The Beatles. She said "I don't even want to talk about it - they're just the worst. It's bubblegum - I wish people would just see that it's all bubble gum, it's like tv commercials, jingles - the original tv commercial jingles - I just wish people would get a grip and move on!"

When I asked her if she really "hates" John Lennon I saw the rage his name provoked in her: "I - I - I just, I feel like raping him everytime I see him, I really want something to happen to him, just something to give him a little depth."

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On Three Occasions

A handy-man who worked in my apartment building, the last apartment building I would live in in Vancouver. He had been in his last semester of law school when the bombs started falling in Yugoslavia. He got out at night, swore never to go back, found a job in BC where he developed a bad back working seven days a week for his two children. He said "all you need to know about why they're always over there starting wars is that 18 of the 50 states have as their number one industry the manufacturing of arms - that's all you need to know."

He adored Howard Stern. He found his book when he was cleaning out someone's apartment and read it in a single night. He told me he couldn't put it down. He said, "You know, you might think less of me, but I really love this guy." He went to the library the next day and read his second book. He lamented not being able to listen to his radio show, and resented that Vancouver prided itself on being Howard-free. A Christian, who felt very passionately about taking his kids to church on Sundays, it didn't seem incongruous when he said he wanted Vancouver to know Howard's wrath, "so they would know what it was like to be around someone with an edge."

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On One Occasion

Dog-sitting on an island off the coast of Washington. A retriever named Rex, all the way from the Windy city, brought west by his owner who passed away a few days after their arrival. Rex loved me for the walks I provided.

Our second walk (the first time he took the beach) he led me up the mountain to what appeared to be an abandoned bus, and started scrapping with a Labrador. The Lab's owner put an end to the fight with a single shout.

He was my age. He had black hair and white skin, a sizable bald spot above his right ear, light grey eyes. One of them had just a touch of green in it.

He told me he'd been looking for work and finally found it, a job on the mainland slaughtering pigs from nine to five, at seven bucks an hour. He said it was hard to find work because he had seizures all the time. Being unemployed, he had become a suspect on the island. "Every time something goes missing everyone's over here raiding my fucking bus."

The bus came from California in the early 70s. There was a wood stove, a kitchen area, a raised bed - a record player and a sizable record collection. From the outside it looked run-down - you'd have no idea anyone lived in it. It was the kind of thing I used to fantasize about as a kid, only way lonelier.

He told me about the time he found a $400 wad of cash at a Phish show. It was, he said, the best day of his life. Then he offered to sell me "Alaskan Thunderfuck Weed" grown on the property, and I had to say "No way Dude". It was hard for him to understand: I was on a cop free Island, but I was still in America - I had to keep away from that stuff.

Posted by at February 20, 2003 07:31 PM
Comments

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On approximately 3000 occasions

...but I'll choose to recall the one where you came to my mother's apartment to play ping pong, only to find me passed out stomach-down on the carpet after I'd consumed six tacos.

(I know I know, that happened more than once.)

Posted by: tv on February 21, 2003 04:28 PM .

Can you make up an ending in which all these paths cross?

Posted by: D on February 21, 2003 07:43 PM .

Bureaucrat, n.:
A person who cuts red tape sideways.
-- J. McCabe

Posted by: Party Poker on November 4, 2004 08:47 PM .
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