sometimes you just gotta' row

Like browsing Indigo in Laval…

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Yes, there was a woman and maybe, just possibly, it isn’t this way every time.

This evening I went to Indigo, a favourite perusing place and, though part of a large faceless chain, one of the few bookstores with bricks and mortar. I write, read and enjoy chatting with interesting people so it’s not an unreasonable venue. Not that everyone I’ve met at Indigo has been interesting but at least they do tend to read and converse in the same language as I do. It’s all relative.

If I were of those men to whom bringing home a girl for Mother’s approval mattered, she would not have been a bringer. We met under the auspices of enjoying each other’s company, period. She is an attractive and interesting woman who reads occasionally and can maintain a conversation, though not necessarily in a language I understand.

Being in the unending process of revising my diet as well as my views on spirituality, I was intending to browse the Indigo shelves for both Sushi cookbooks and Druidry.  The Indigo store nearest to me is located in a banal, confused mass of soulless strife called Laval. That’s where I went.

We’d decided…well, I’d come to the logical conclusion, that there’d be no point in continuing with a relationship that would require her to commute to see me. I had neither intentions of owning a car nor of moving anywhere near a city. She was fixed amongst her children, workplace and ex-husband; she wasn’t going to be moving anywhere either.

I’d not been in a large community bookstore in many months and walked from the parking lot with a real glee-full buzz of anticipation. Within a half-step of landing inside the front door, however, I knew that Kansas was a long, long way away from here.

After a long telephone conversation where we bid each other the kind of farewell that appears to be, ought to be, mildly disappointing but sounds mostly indifferent, she appeared at my door. Some people just need to win.

The challenges of running a bookstore that’s part of a national chain in what is, ostensibly, a bilingual neighbourhood would likely be significant. Not so, in this locale. It might be about what you’re calling bilingual.

After a rather pleasantly-carnal evening, we decided that there’d be no harm in simply “seeing where it goes”.  Sure, we can try that.

There were satellite tables with displays of various clearance items and other highlighted books; just like any Indigo except these were positioned in such a way that to browse shelves with English books required that you posses the ability to bend over from the ankles. Consistently positioned throughout the store, these tables. Bend over if you’re English. Exactly.

Turns out that her life is in fact storied, though mostly in a way that made her “interesting’ rather than interesting. Among the chapters, there is the ex-husband whose office is five minutes away from her house. Her office was forty minutes away.  She’d bought the five-minutes away place after selling their former family-together house.  The five-minute house is part of a development on land owned by the Bombardier organization and, with the area being light-industrial, the airport was near. Very near. No, extremely near. Her house could have served as a visual guide for pilots on approach and departure from Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. A large commercial jet aircraft taking off or landing immediately overhead at an elevation of less than two-hundred feet is truly something to behold. Beholding these things at a frequency of subway trains moving through a busy hub you quickly feel your hearing ability dissipate; well, you actually lose your ability to feel. Please, don’t flush. I’m sure she has her reasons for being there…love and/or money might likely be in the short list.

One Sushi cookbook was reported to be in the store though I couldn’t find it. Not one of the dozens of books on Druidry carried by Indigo was offered in the store. Not much of anything else for that matter and certainly not-a-one of the potentially interesting, English-speaking, literate women that might be found in a bookstore and be up for a quick chat about Miriam Toew’s most recent offering, etc. In fact, there might have been a total of five people in the whole place who didn’t work there and one of them was a portly, red-faced gentleman, articulating his displeasure to a sales clerk, possibly about the store. Couldn’t tell for sure, his diatribe was en Francais.

Yes, fraught with complications that defy logic. Yet, here I am, as I was before, attempting to remove her well-entrenched position from all portions of conscious thought. Time fells all for sure; it just seems to take so long, this time thing.

Screw the books, then. I’ll order them online and instead, I’ll go see a movie! Sure, step right this way. Whoops, it looks like the one that you want to see, originally scheduled to start at 21:25, won’t, but might start at 22:10.

And so it goes. There is a certain obtuseness in so much of this culture that it obfuscates the identity of the people and obliterates any sense of loyalty to it. During the fifties through the seventies, the region had more in common with Las Vegas than with genuine French joie de vivre. It might be that the governing influences of the era left marks, scars, on the generations to follow. Morals, principles and general outlook. I’ve found several dear, true friends here, all Quebecois, who are also miffed by the spirit of the place. As the name of the area’s dominant federal political party “Bloc” is more poignant than anyone could have imagined

She’s going to stay where she is, of that I’m certain, though I know she’s heard the whispers of logic and perspective, questioning the way she knows and, you can never tell where that will lead, even if it takes a generation or two.

Me, I’m headed for the sea; no, no belles on.


Written by glh

October 27, 2010 at 02:41

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