Friday, December 29, 2006

Donny Osmond- Puppy Love

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

When Jill called twelve years ago and asked me to go and see an Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical I was taken aback.

I have known Jill for years and she is one, tough cookie. She has worked in construction for the past ten years and prior to that she was a bar maid at a very popular tough, blues bar. Famous blues artists knew her by name, greats like Buddy Guy, Mac Guitar Murphy or Stevie Ray Vaughn would dedicate songs in their set to Jill. She could balance a tray of beers, handle change, take a bow all in good grace with a cigarette dangling from her lips.

She was a no nonsense type of woman that was used to smokey caverns and to be asked to go to a musical with her was if anything out from the character I thought I knew.

'Ahh, come on Pendullum! You love musicals! It will be fun!' she begged....

'But, its Andrew Lloyd Webber and I am not a big fan,' and huffily add 'He still has a alot answer for with that 'musical' Cats!'

Ohhh,Come on Pend...Donny Osmond is in it!!

Donny Osmond? Are you kidding? No! No, I mean, even MORE of a reason NOT to go...

Come on, it will be great...she implored.

'I would not put Donny and Andrew Lloyd Weber together and come up with 'Great' Jill...Really!'

'Oh,Pend,My friend Ginger is part of the chorus and really wants to me to go... Please?'

'Oh, Jill...All right, but this is for your friend...'

So my dear, rocking, 'gal pal' drove into the mean city so that we could have lunch get caught up. I did not really see her excitement in the moment. I just though she was excited to see me as it had been a while. I thought the speed in which she talked was due to getting all the information out before we had to sit in the darkened theatre. I thought that when she paid our bill while I was using the loo was just her being generous and thanking me for going to the musical. I did not register the urgency or that she was rushing me out of the restaurant.

How little did I know.

We entered the theatre and were surprised as we were fourth row centre. I was not too taken up with our seats, as I was of the fully grown Donny Osmond fans behind us. These two women were decked out in their purple socks and old Donny Osmond hats and they brought their ten year old daughters to educate them on how great Donny was/is. They were living for this Donny moment all of their lives.

I barely had time to register all of what was around me when the orchestra started to play and the curtain opened and Donny made his appearance. The women behind me went crazy. They screamed as Donny floated above us.

'Fall on me!!!!! Donny!!!!! Fall on me, Do what you want with ME!!!! Donny!!!' they belted in hysteria.

I just simply could not believe this 'Donny experience'. I was in awe that such adoration. Apparently if you love Donny it could last what appears to be a lifetime of unrequitted puppy love.
As the women screamed 'He is the gift that just keeps on giving!!!' I had to smirk.

The fans realized that their screams of want and desire, were being muted by the orchestra and the entire cast belting out the showtunes.They decided to save their voices for the end of the show when Donny would come out for his bow and then their voices would maybe carry to their hearthrob for the last twenty years.

For all my skeptism I was impressed with the show. I dare say it was good. I was entertained and enjoyed the ride of the musical.

And at the end of the show my girlfriend Jill was gloating that I did enjoy the musical. It went unnoticed on my radar when she requested, with the demonic smile, that we go back stage to congratulate Ginger on the show's success. I did not notice that she grabbed me and tugged me along leaving no room for escape.

We had to exit the theatre and go in through the back stage doors. And to my surprise there were our neighbouring seatmates, the mothers from hell in their purple socks with their Donny Osmond records and their embarassed,daughters who had not felt the wonder on Donny. There were waiting at the stage door in hopes of having another Donny moment. I looked at them and looked at my girlfriend. I did not recognize/ register that they were wearing the same crazed expression. As Jill just kept on talking about the show and aparently did not notice these wacky fans. I wish I looked into Jill's eyes at that time. But hindsight is twenty twenty.

My girlfriend gave our name and we were lead into the inner corridors of the theatre. We were told to wait in the green room for Ginger. And while we waited I looked at the portraits on the wall and kept myself amused. I talked about the various publicity shots and my girlfriend responded to each of these comments cohearantly with the odd 'aha'.

When Ginger walked in I gushed and 'oo'ed over her performance. She was pretty happy we came and marvelled at how well received the show was. She then said that she really wanted us to meet Donny. She said that he was a pure joy to work with. He was wholesome and kind. He was considerate to all in the cast and there really was not a bad word you could say about him. In fact, he was going to drop in before he head home.

And almost on cue, Donny entered stage left. He had showered and was wearing grey dress pants and a black shirt as he was due to go to church. He looked good. He still had that boyish, country, wholesome, smile with those great Osmond teeth. He came into the room congratulated Ginger by name, on an excellent performance and then turned his attention to us. Ginger introduced me first.

Hi, Don Osmond.

Hi, I am Pendullum. Boy, that was a really great performance you guys gave. I really liked it a lot. REALLY.Surprised as I did not think I would.

Geez thanks. No,I really do have a great cast. It has been a lot of fun. I really like it here.

And we talked as if we were at a cocktail party. And then Ginger introduced Jill.She was beaming from ear to ear and then I recognized the expression. I recognized the expression as it was the same as the derranged mothers.I was not with my friend Jill. I was with a crazed Donny Osmond fan.

She stood up to greet Donny. She reached out with both her hands and grabbed Donny's hand. She grabbed him with both hands and just stared. A vacant stare with this smile that encompassed her entire face.

Her eyes were fixated on Donny's and she was not blinking.

She opened her mouth to speak.

She was trying to say something.

"annanmmana' came out of her lips.

I looked over at my friend. She was shaking Don's hand with such urgency that Donny's body looked as though it were vibrating.

'Amamannnabanna, ahhhhh, ohhhhh, anananman Jill, amanana loooooooove, amaman Jill, loooooove, ahhh,yyyyyyoouuuu, ahhhhh DDDDDDonny' came out of my drooling friend's mouth.

Donny is looking to me for help as Ginger is thinking this is indeed an out of body experience.

I reach over and try to pry Jill's hands off Mr. Osmond while she still spoke in the forked tongue of love.

I tried as best I could to translate for my friend.

'Ahh, what she is meaning to say Donny, I mean Don, is that her name is Jill and she is a big fan. Is this right Jill?'

'AAAHkkkk ahhkkkke yyyyeaahhh'

And as I pried her hands off of him and he being the pro, with these 'types' of Donny moments kept eye contact with her and nodded and thanked her.

'And I think she is also trying to say that she liked the show? Am I right here, Jill?'

'Ahhhhhhaaaa. wwwove aiiit wwwove Iiiiii wwwwoooovee'

'Well thanks again...' Don says with humble pride.

And when I finally pry his hand free he thanks her for coming and backs out of the green room nice and slow.

And with the essence o Donny still in the room, my girlfriend returns to the land of the living as quickly as she exited.

I look at her in disbelief.

Pendullum, Pendullum! I just shook hands with DONNY OSMOND! DONNY OSMOND!!!!
Ohhh, My Gawd, he is beautiful.I handled that okay. Don't you think? I mean I didn't try and kiss him or anything...

Yeah, you're right! You did not exactly speak English!You kinda spoke Donny Osmondese...

'Ohh, Pendullum,' she sobbed, 'He is just a gift that keeps giving!'

And twelve years later, Jill is so right. Whenever we chat or reminice, we speak 'Donny Osmondese' and laugh and laugh at a 'moment' that just keeps on giving!

And from the bottom of my blogger heart, I wish all of you endless 'Donny Osmondese' moments... as it truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

Love to all of you in 2007!

Much Love,

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Seasons of Love - Rent (Music Video)

Today is the Anniversary of My Best Friend's Passing

My Best Friend died this day 2001 at 4:45pm.

My Best Friend Died Alone in a hospital bed while I frantically tried to figure out how to get back to New York to climb into his hospital bed and whisper from the inner depths of my heart and soul that 'I love you madly!!! 'I truly Love you!!!'

And while my husband said it was so fitting that he died before the darkest day of the year so that I may mourn him...It gave me no solace...

But years later, I still mourn him on this day... For what I lost. For what the world lost.

But most importantly I celebrate him.

I celebrate the friendship.

I celebrate the moments he gave me...and they will be cherished my entire life.

He gave me wonders...

And he wished wonders for me and my family...

And to all of you from the bottom of my heart...

I wish you all wonders on this holiday season...

Lift up your hearts, behold the lights, embrace the stars and give lots of love, for in the end, isn't that how the season and life should be measured?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Art is in the Eye of the Beholder

Loralei is a wonderful human being.

Her parents named her well. She fits the name perfectly. Or did she grow into it?
Loralei is a slight woman, she has twinkly eyes that envelop you in love and humour. She always looks like she is up to mischief or is at the gate to give a melodious laugh to accentuate the end of your witty story. She has a good nature. She is always doing good for the less fortunate and never talks about it. She would never think to boost her self importance up when she helped someone who was down. She really is the Florence Nightingale of our time. She has wiped many a brow, she has brought forth so much to our world that I am blessed to call her my friend.

So, when Loralei's husband called to say he wanted to throw a party to mark her 50 years on earth, there was an overwelming response as a hundred and fifty people drove from far and wide to celebrate her marvellous life with youthful abandon. People came from as far as Dubai, people came from her hometown and we rented a car, and travelled four hours by car as we could not miss such an opportunity to celebrate Loralei's life.

It was a grand fabulous party .There was a band in her dining room that was playing some great old tunes that Loralei loved. There was dancing, there was laughter, there was endless food and long, lost, friends gathered together. We all had a few more laugh lines and a few tear stains for those who were not with us but it truly felt like an intimate family function with 150 of your most closest of friends .

Our Pied Piper was Laralei and the lilt of her laughter have us all transfixed and unified in our love of her.

With the party winding down, Loralei looked at me and said that she was so genuinely, glad that I came to her party as she had something for me.

This is so typical of Loralei, her birthday and yet she has something for me.

She took my hand and brought me into the dining room where the band had just cleared up their geer, people were still milling about and I could not figure out what she had for me. Then she pointed to a picture on the wall. It was a 40 by 46 painting.

Now, please bare with me, as I have not told you dear reader about Loralei's 'hobby'.
I LOVE Loralei, I adore Loralei, she is one of the finest people I know on this earth, I would never want to hurt Loralei, but I have a deep, dark, secret, dear reader...

A secret about Loralei.

Loralei paints pictures.

Her technique is amazing. She has the strokes right down patt.She has mastered shadows, mastered colour, she is a fine technical painter. She paints so close to the object,in such fine strokes you can not see the beginning or end of her brush.

All that being said, she never stands back to look at what she has painted.

So, all her paintings of humans are ... off... there is something not right, the faces tend to be slightly escue, the eyes off balance or ever so slightly cross eyed, or maybe the lips do not line up with the nose, or it may be something that you can not put your finger on what is wrong with the painting per say...Some how most of her subjects look a bit? A bit? Derranged.

So,when she lead me to this 40 by 46 painting. I was in shock.

'This is for you... 'she says.

I was flabbergasted... I could not tear my eyes away from it. What is it???

'Why Loralei that is just too nice, Thank you... It's it's beautiful...'

'Pendullum, I've worked on this for years, It's Scooter when she was a baby. Remember that picture you took? and I told you how much I loved it..and then you gave me a copy... Remember???' she says as she alooks at me, she has those beautiful sparkly eyes imploring me to take another look at the painting further.

It was hard to focus on the magnitude of this painting.

This portrait of a sleeping alien, with the huge bublous head and the long eyebrow was supposed to be my baby?

This 40 by 46 picture is, Scooter???

Quick Pendullum, recover, recover!!!! Loralei is still looking at me and not the painting. Waiting for me to recognize my off spring in her work.

My mind is quickly scanning through every photograph I have ever taken of my daughter trying to find something familiar something to bring me to the recognition of my daughter being the sleeping alien in front of me... And then I remember... Thank goodness! I remember!

'Ohhh, now I rememberrrrr..... New York???? Scooter was a year,,, yes! yes! Loralei that was so long ago. She is nine now. You have floored me. Brought me back!!! Yes, I am sooooo not used to thinking of her as a baby anymore.'I can now announce with confidence.

I then add,'Oh Loralei is it is far too generous. Ohhh, my gawd, it was so long ago when she was that size... I 'm overwelmed. It is so beautiful. Thank you...'

BoyWonder happens to be walking by, on his way to the kitchen to replenish his beer supply and joins us. I can not give him the low down. I do not have the chance prepare him for this. I have no time to monitor what will come out of his tadd tipsy lips....

'BoyWonder, ahhh look!!!' As I point to the alien painting. 'Loralei has giving us this beautiful painting...' I say with a manic, ,high pitched shrill of a voice so that he knows this is no joke.

Ohhhh??? And then he follows me finger pointing to the larger than life painting. He looked as though he just came upon a train wreck... A horror in the eyes, a mouth slightly agape, he could not pull your eyes away from the painting.

'Why Loalei. it is beautiful but we can not take this' he flatly states.

But you must... I insist...It is my absolute favourite picture of a baby sleeping...' exclaims Loralei.

'Well, then you must keep it!' he eagerly retorts.'We can not take something that is so generous!'

'But, ' protests Loralei, 'It's Scooter, I painted it for you guys... It's the blue matt isn't it? Too much? I knew that blue matt seemed too extreme.'

'SCOOTER?' BoyWonder says a bit louder than needed and now he turns from the portrait and is looking at me for guidance.'No Loralei, the blue matt is great! Scooter?'

'Yes, Honey, It's Scooter... It was so long ago, she's nine now but think back...' I say manically nodding at him.
"Are you sure? Are you sure it's, Scooter?' he inquires.

'Honey, it is.' I say louder than normal with a great deal of frantic enthusiasm on my face. ' Loralei painted it from a picture I took years ago... Look at the hands, Scooter still holds her hands that way when she sleeps...'

BoyWonder looks at me again like I am crazy and realizes that he better save grace. He now begins to search the painting for some semblence of our daughter. 'Ohhhh yes,' he says while nodding 'It is Scooter?'

And then Loralei's husband walks in with his martini... He, too has been a bit overserved. He walks over to us and follows our horrified stares to the painting.
He looks at the painting and states 'Isn't that the UGLIEST baby you have ever laid your eyes on?'
Loralei just looks at him
'I mean, the parents of this alien may have taken to eating thier young. Geez, that is one UUUUUUHHHHGLLLLY kid!'
'Yes Loralei.'
'That's Scooter?'
'Scooooooter?' as she nods our way.
'Who the hell, is Scooter??? Besides the UUUGGGGLLLLIIIEST baby alive... Talking about SPAWN! Loralei WHAT?'
'Scooter is Pendullum and BoyWonder's baby.' Loralei now adopting the manic high pitched shrill of me.
He looks at me, he looks at BoyWonder, looks at the painting...

We, BoyWonder and I, have not been able to take our eyes off the painting.

'You guys, you guys, know I was joking, Right? I mean she doesn't look like this now... I mean she is a cute kid... Right? Or does she still look like Zoltar? I mean not that this painting looks like Zoltar or anything like that.'

And for the rest of the night Bill followed us around letting us know that he was tipsy and that upon looking closer to the picture she really was a cute baby.

We were saddened the following day when we returned to the home of Lorali and Bill to find no one had yet risen and we can not pick up the painting.

We know the picture will come back to our house, as we know that we will see Loralei over the holidays and there will definitely be the great unveiling of the portrait. Probably with a great deal of pomp and circumstance from Bill.

And the alien will reside in our home in a place of honour. How oftencan one feel so much love with a gift? And when I look at it, I know that I will think of that night of friendship. And when I look at the painting, I guarantee I will see my husband's look of horror and I will see Bill with a Martini in hand,and I will see Loralei's bright, shining face above all else.I will be sent on a journey. And sometimes with art, it can take you to different places with just one image. Sometimes art just does that. It all depends on how you look at it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dinner and a Show

I have these neighbours. The type of neighbours that never say hello unless you say hello first. They do not appear to know your name, that is until they find themselves stuck in a snowbank and need a push to get out of the tight spot and then your name flows like honey off of their lips. They religously attend church every Sunday. She teaches Sunday school classes. Her hair is always coifed. She is always dressed up, never in jeans and always has gum in her glum mouth which she chews as a viseral display accompanied with a scowl on her imposing face. He, has a loud booming voice that likes to use when dealing with his children. He swaggers when he walks and always has his keys in his left hand. His arms are placed a foot from his body when he walks, thereby taking up the entire sidewalk space with his being and his importance of being the master of his clan. He is on the board of directors of the church and for a first glance he is appears to be the pillar of our community.

This couple also come with replicas. They have three children who have never smiled since my husband and I moved into our home thirteen years ago. They sneer as they walk single file behind their parents. They do not walk side by side but prefer to disassociate themselves from their siblings, and parents by walking single file as they slumpinto their home. There is no outward happiness in this family. No happiness, no light.

Their house is prestine. They rake their leaves in the fall.They shovel their snow to the property line in the winter never helping out either neighbours on either side by shovelling a tad more. They mow their lawn and trim their bushes. They covet their parking spot which is directly in front of they house even though they have a garage in the back and a laneway to the side. They drive everywhere, even though we are steps from all modern conveniences.

Whenever they talk to each other,it is with loud, abrasive voices,that screech through the air and draw attention to their plight of existence. There is an annoyance in each sentence lurking in the air, when they talk with each other.There is always a loud shrill from the mother to 'Shut up!' and the Father always blusters that he 'Needs Peace!' and then he always adds his childrens' names to enlighten his congregation of five who can bring him this inner enlightenment...DAAAAAVVVIIIID!!!!!!MAAAAATTTTHHHHEHWWWW, LINNNNNNDDDDSSSAAAYYYYYY!!!!... He vociferates their names like a mantra daily.
And the kids always retort with a curse for each other with the various swear words of the day, and the obligatory rolling of their eyes as the scowl, in retort to their parents demands...

They are self sufficient.They are self reliant. And they would never help a neighbour as they have no social responsibility to our neighbourhood as they do their duty by going to church. Their pennance to society is done elsewhere.

I have labelled them... The nickname I have given this self-sufficient, self-reliant family is the Belligerent Bunch.

A few years back I had a run in with the Belligerent Bunch. I wrote them off as humans. They now only have a monikker. And are an annoyance to my relatively carefree existance.

My daughter had a sleepover and a few nights ago and Boy Wonder and I had our world as our oyster. We contemplated going out for dinner but settled on a romantic evening with a video and Indian food being delivered in.

We ordered our food and poured the wine in anticipation.

While sitting with glass of wine in hand, talking to each other, we hear a car door slam and with delicious, mouthwatering anticipation we bound to the door with money and wine in hand.

But it is not our tardy delivery boy with our dinner.

Instead it is two drunkards looking for their long lost buddy and have their sights geered toward the Belligerent Bunches' House.

They get out of their taxi and yell to each other.

They have caught our scrupulous attention.

Are you sure this is Marty'ssssssssssss plaaaaaccccccce???? as they look at the prestine house.

'YAaaaahhh, !' and with that the drunkard falls into the driver's side to pay the cabbie.

'Looks different then I remembered it?'

My husband turns off all of our houselights so we can sneekily watch the Belligerent Bunches' show.

The second drunkard becomes disoriented and turns around. He loses his friend who is but a few steps away in the cab. But remembers that he needs to pee, so he walks a few steps, loses his balance, stabilizes himself on the Beligerent Bunches' car on the passenger side. His back it to the cab his let hand is on the car the other hand is fumbling with his trousers. Drunkard Two relieves himself on the passenger side door.(according to my Dad and all his cop friends, this action while it may seem offensive it is not an offence in the eyes of the law, as long as it is on the passenger side....Go Figure!)

Drunkard One is now out of the cab after paying. He can not see Drunkard Two as he is leaning on the car as he urinates. So Drunkard One thinks that his 'buddy' has already gone into the house and is reunited with Marty. He swaggers up the stairs to The Belligerent Bunches' house throwing himself to the top stair and balancing on the doorbell with a mighty push.

Not satisfied with the doorbell, Drunkard now flings open the screen door and uses the prestine, virginal, brass knocker with reckless abandon.
My husband and I snicker in anticipation.


Belligerent Bunches' Dad turns on the light. He looks through the curtain but does not open the door.
Belligerent Bunches' Dad turns off the light.

Coooooome oooonnnn Jooohhhhhnnnn!oooooppppppennnnnn uuuuuppppppp!

'Dere is no John Here' bellows Mr. Belligerent.

'Yessss, dere isssss!"Coooooooommmmmme onnnn he jussssssst went innnnnn...Drunkard One insists.

'Dere is no John here sir, Leave my porch! You Sir, You Do NOT LIVE HERE!' blares Mr. Belligerent.

Now, our drunkard who is still peeing the rest of the 24 on the car and is looking for his friend. He can not find where the voice is coming from. Talking about Blind Drunk! Drunkard Two since he can not find his friend, and opts to leave. He swaggers down the street using each car and friendsly hedge along the way for support.

But Drunkard Buddy Number One does not see this. He thinks his buddy definitely is pulling a fast one on him and is inside the Belligerent Bunches' House.

'Coooommmme AAAWWWWNNNNN...'

Through his powers of drunken observation, Drunkard One concludes that his friend must have gone into the house the back way. He turns around and looks at the stairs. Swaggers, sways, stumbles, while he thinks of how to get down from the porch . He sums up that he can not negotiate the stairs and opts to throw himself off the front porch and lands in the bushes. He slowly pulls himself up, brushes off the offending shubbery off of his hair and jacket and heads towards the back yard in search for John.
Joaaaahhhhhnnnnn... Joaaaaaaahhhhnnnn!!!!!!!!! Come on buddy! where are yaaaa???? said Drunkard One 'Lemme in...'
And with that Drunkard One starts to sing 'Ode to Nova Scotia' at the top of his lungs and with the pride of a time-tested and true, maritimer.
I guess the Ode to Nova Scotia opens doors in someplaces but not with the Belligerent Bunch that is for certain.

I do not know if it was the song, the peeing on the car, the destruction of the bush or the insistance that' Joaaaaahhhnnnn was in da' house..' But the police arrive.

The police pull up. And one of the cops bounds out of the car and addresses all the darkened houses with eyes peering out of darkened windows. (Glad we are not alone.)The policeman gets out of the car stands in front of his car with the lights still ablaze causing his figure to seem like a vaudville performer. He does a circles and turns to all of the houses while points to his wristwatch for affect. In great thespian style announces to all the darkened houses with eyes peering 'Pretty Good, eh? Six minutes people... Six minutes... Your tax payers dollars... Six minutes'

And with that he goes to get Buddy in the backyard.

Another police car arrives a minute later with the Drunkard Two slumped in the back of the cruiser. A cop who is four foot five tall gets out of this cruiser and is hysterical with rage. His voice is high pitched and shreiking 'I trusted you guys, I put you in a cab and I pick you up again?????'
And then the first drunkard who is being brought to the front by the great thesbian cop says. 'Never trust a drunk man listening to a leprechuan.'

and with that all the other cops laugh.

and then I can see my delivery guy heading up my stairs.

And all the cops stop their conversation of 'what to do with the dynamic duo' and have diverted their attention to my delivery guy walking up to my darkened house. I sheepishly answer the door and pay the guy. And slink back into my house.

I know it was childish. I know that it was such a 'bad form' neighbour moment. But my husband and I howled. We could not stop laughing. Maybe we should get out more???
For days we have gone around saying in a deep, booming,articulated, voice 'You sir, You sir,,,,, you do not live here!'

And I do not think I will ever hear the Ode to Nova Scotia without thinking of that night.

And when I think of the Belligerent Bunch I now think to myself....

Sometimes,misery does deserve company!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Dance of Innocence

There are places and times, songs and people that can make you transcend the boundaries of your present and can send you catapulting back, pulling back time, as you fall, it erases all wrinkles and jaded behavior and leaves you just as you were, in the blink of an eye or with the mention of your name, no spa, no drug, no fitness regime could be so powerful to turn back the clock of life.

It was a cold, damp, autumn day, the air permeates through my layers of clothing and causes me to shiver as I prepare to leave the grocery store.The black clouds swirling overhead are beginning to threaten rain which has caused my mood to become more glum than it already is. I am laddened with 50 pounds of groceries distributed through ten plastic bags that are dangling from my wrists. And the wind begins to pick up just as I leave the confines of the store. I feel old. I feel haggard. I feel put out by the evils of northern living. I am not having a good day.

I think, I hear my name being called, but the infuriating sky and my plight with life really has my entire attention.
I ignore the call of my name and adjust my focus to my daughter who is walking about as if it were a balmy summer day. Her head is ahead of the clouds and she is dreaming of unicorns and sunny beaches, when I have to raise my voice to bring her back to the land of cold and miserable.
My dreamer is walking along side me in a t-shirt, with her coat in hand and not a care in the world. And I am a bit envious of her as we plod on.

I have now resigned myself to the fact that I am going to be soaked even if I rush my dreamer along, I continue to curse Caelus of the sky, when I hear my name again.

And this time I look for the person to accompany the voice, for it certainly is not Caelus, as he is mocking my misfortune.

I know the voice and it takes me back in time. I momentarily am not the haggard, baglady with blue hands, with my dreamy side kick daughter. I am instead a fifteen year old school girl. All, in the sound of a voice, that has said my name about a million times...

I turn and there he is. My sweet, dear, friend from high school. There he is, my, dear, sweet, Andy.

I do not remember how I met Andy but I know it was grade ten. He was in grade twelve. I knew him in an age of innocence. And that is how we have remained suspended through the decades.

Andy was one of those types of boys who would have the girls in school giggle a wee bit louder than normal in hopes of capturing his attention. And the boys would hang close in hopes of feeding off his positive energy. To accompany the energy came his boyish, good looks. He was handsome. He had striking blue eyes, that he would insist on talking with, and a smile which could melt most the most hardened.The kind of boy who had a certain dress sense of ripped sweaters layered about with army fatigues that was devastatingly handsome. It was his look. Many had tried in high school to replicate this look but came off just replicas.

He had kind eyes and a voice that kind of squeaked when he talked. There was an uncertainty to the real range of his voice but through his voice there was a charming innocence of life. A soft spoken voice that never changed as we aged and somehow it was always reassuring in its uproarious, delivery.

He was always a person who valued his friends. He would do anything for you. He would always stop, no matter how much in a rush he was in, he would always help with whatever the task, no matter how menial. He was a true friend who put value in moments spent together. I can still shutter and some of the favours he did for me without question through out the years of friendship.

Andy would always walk me home from school if it was getting late. He would always have his bicycle balancing both of our heavy knapsacks on his handle bars as we walked and talked about our day. He would always ask me what I was reading and make a mental note of it for the future. And inevitably he would read whatever I recommended. He and I would race on our bikes to various events. He would cycle with me to parties. And many a time we would lock our bikes together knowing with certainty that we would leave the party together as many a time we preferred our company, to that of a love interest at the time. He would always keep a watchful eye out for me as a big brother would, for that truly was the nature of our friendship. We were very dear friends.We were never attracted to each other and I suppose this is how the innocence of our friendship has been rooted in a time of promise.

And as he called my name again, I went through a magnificent time warp. I let go of my anger for Zeus and his dastardly bunch of weather goons, and as I heard my name again the years vanished and I was fifteen again albeit with my nine year old daughter.

Andy ran across the street to meet me with his bike. The years has been good to him. He threw his left arm around me and balanced his bike on his right side as he was prone and gave me a hug while my arms remained at my sides as I still had my groceries. I could see beyond Andy's shoulder as my daughter stood transfixed by this man who was hugging her mom. A person beyond the grasp of fifteen year old innocence.

He pulled away and looked at Scooter. 'Hi I'm Andy.I met you, a long time ago Scooter but you probably do not remember. I went to school with your momma.'
And with that statement wavering in the air, he put out his hand to shake my daughter's.

And he looked up at the sky and said 'We are in for a big storm.' Discounting the clouds, he systematically took my bags from my hands and placed them on the handle bars of his bike and motioned for us to continue on our path.

He walked alongside my daughter and I. And he talked to my daughter, he showed a vested interest in her thoughts. And he shared our past with her. He talked about the silliness we got into. He talked about me helping him with various tests in high school and university, he talked about how we would row at 5am and how unhappy I would be at that time of the morning. He laughed. He would talk about what I wore to the formal and how we danced all night. He talked about the protest marches we went on, he talked about sitting on my front porch with my family in the summers and having lemonade. He talked about how stubborn I was and nudged my daughter and guaranteed her that I was still very stubborn.He told her how I would make him walk for miles and miles... but he claimed he never minded. He told my daughter how I made him better himself and how I really fostered his love of reading. He told my daughter how lucky she is to have me as a Momma. Andy told my daughter that I would open the world for her.As that is what I did for him in being his friend.

When we reached my home he helped bring the groceries in and had to fly as he was late for a meeting. He guaranteed me that he was only two minutes away from my house by bike.

He gave us such a gift that day.

He chose to say such wonderful, beautiful ,things, that made me cry inside. He brought me back on a quick trip of nostalgia.

And he gave my daughter a gift.
A gift because my daughter has the opportunity to see me as a young, girl, before my work, before her dad, before the house, before her, a life outside the box of her existance.

And as he got on his bike and turned and waved good bye, we watched him disappear down the road and felt the first drops of rain. My daughter smiled as she watched him, as he became a mere fleck in the horizon with the black clouds and leaves swirling about.

She then turned to me and gave a me a big hug, and then a big tug and with urgency she looked at me, and truly examined my face.
'Yes Hon,'
'Momma, did you really teach Andy all those things?'
'Ahh, I don't know 'bout that Hon. He always says such nice things'
'Momma, he told me that you are one of his heroes.'
'Momma, you are my hero, too.'

And as the rain started to trickle down and my daughter hugged me again on the front porch, it made me glad of the moment I was having with my daughter brought on by the wind, the rain, and a chance meeting of my past, catching up with my present.

Ain't Life Grand????

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What's in a word?

We had a scare as a family. My father had been told that he may have prostate cancer.

Cancer is one of those words that is so common in our venacular, and we are not adverse to hearing it on the street about various aquaintances. But no matter how often you hear it, the commonality of the word, does not prepare you.When you hear the word cancer spoken about a loved one it sends you to a place that can only be described as pergotory. That simple word can have the most calm person go into a state of panic for what can be lost forever.

Panic for a life. Panic for the loss of a lifestyle and the quality of life has been taken for granted. Panic laced with a taste of death.

My father had a taste for this word. As he/we had a cancer scare. Having this scare opened up Pandora's Box and all of us seemed to find ourselves in Pandora's Bedroom.

As a child I had certain perimeter that I was willing to explore. As a child I would like to think that my existence on this earth was through immaculate conception. My parents did not have sex to make me. I envisioned the day the heavens opened and released me to earth... Celebrated in my miraculous birth and my parents full of love and wonder with my very being. The fantasy had been dashed away as my parents went on to have three other children besides me.

I am the eldest and believe in a bit of decorum. I believe that there are parimeters in your family life that should not be crossed and talking about my parents' sex life would be top of my list.

I suppose I had a belief that we kept our sexual cards close to our chests. My father was a prude and we never saw him naked. We never mentioned the word sex as a family. But the cancer scare brought the word sex right out into the open air. We learned that my father not only had a prostate but a penis to go along with it.

As my family gathered in my parent's living room, there was talk. There was talk about my dad. There was talk about the prostate. There was talk about his penis. There was talk about his sexuality? There was talk about the fact that he would rather die than not??? Than not??? What word are we saying here?

What are we talking about here? What are we talking? This box is wide open and they, they being my siblings, are all talking and joking about my parents' sex life. I was just listening to them with my mouth hanging open as if witnessing a lovetrain wreck: a sex wreck.

This sex posse went on a diatribe about how 'randy' my parents were/ are. All three seemed to go on with glee as they talked about the walls shaking. They had given my parents sex monikkers.They talked about the fact that my parents need a new bed every four years because they need more 'spring'... I do not know where I have been, or how far in the dark I was/am but glad I have missed on the 'noisemaking' since I left the house twenty three years ago. And I am eternally grateful that my bedroom growing up was far away from theirs. Apparently, my siblings did not have this 'luxury' or so they have bestowed upon me with an endless array of adjectives and adverbs to describe these two people that I have only addressed as 'Mom and Dad'.

Now, my family has me bright red with embarrassment , my mother is busy in the kitchen and my father is in the garage getting all the celebratory livations that are required for having all his children: (apparently the product of his loins) all in one house. And we were all there to be part of the celebrations as he was diagnosed cancer free. He does not have to worry about his 'manhood' for a while yet. 'And if that is not something to celebrate, he does not know what is'....This utterance has not come from his lips, it has come from my sister's.

My father enters the livingroom, his children abruptly seguay into other topics. And decorum has been brought back to his living room with a great sigh of relief from his eldest. As more people arrive, the gathering is becoming more civilized.
I am grateful that the grandchildren have always chosen the comforts of the reckroom for these family gatherings as opposed to the LIVING room with the scoundrels.

There are twelve adults have now meandered into the dining room, in a confined space and one must raise your voice to be heard across the table. One learns very early on to annunciate and support your voice through your diaphram if you want the potatoes passed. A lull in the conversation could be the perfect opportunity to tell a joke. But with so many people gathered there is rarely a lull so one has to pounce fast if you would like the undivided attention of the group.

My elderly, niave, cousin from Ireland, as well as my mother's baby brother have joined in the family dinner. There is a lot of frivolity as the food is passed around the table. There is a wicked sense of life. There is a sense of relief and there is a sense of thankfulness in our moment of all gathering together. We rarely have the luxury of gathering together although we live relatively close. Lives are filled to the brim with commitments and other somewhat benial things to fill our plates. And the fact that the cancer scare has passed it has caused a certain electricity of hope and appreciation for a healthy future and we are all glad to partake in the breaking of the bread together.

Now, I have rarely mentioned my dear, sweet, husband; BoyWonder. BoyWonder tends to like to be 'a mixer': a troublemaker: Johnny Mischief:. He always has a twinkle in his eye and he loves a good laugh. And he loves to razzle my family. He has taken upon himself to be in the centre of the table at this gathering and I am sitting across from him. He is in between my rude sister and my cruder brother.

He has decided to seize the opportunity to report about my younger cousin's band. He decided upon this topic as he knows how to get all these people started. This Pandora's Box has been opened afterall. BoyWonder is just poking at it a bit.

He clears his voice and addresses my father.

He says 'Have you heard of Neil's formed a new band?'

I glare at my husband. The table is too wide for me to kick him. The table is now silent as they are riveted to my dad and WonderBoy's loud conversation of importance.

My dad replies that he has not.

WonderBoy says that they are quite good. And with that he gives me a momentary reprieve. He has me breath a sigh of relief. He makes me think I do not have to whip the mashed potatoes at him. But just as quick as he gives me this gift, he takes it away.
He then sighs, an audible sigh that could be heard over the clattering of utensils on plates. He gives this long sigh and then makes certain that everyone at the table can see his troubled look.

I am going to kill him.

I glare across the table.
He's not!
He's not!
Oh yes he is...

Shame about how rude tha' band's name is. says he.

My dad asks 'how rude can a name be?'

BoyWonder has them all waiting. He has them all without food in their mouths. He has them all watching him.

'Weeeelllll, the band's name is Neil&Bob.'

And with that my crude, ruffians, that claim to be related to me, burst into volcanic laughter... All are laughing except for my mother and my elderly, spinster- could-be/should be-a-nun, cousin.

My mother says'I don't get it'

My cousin says I don't either...

The entire table is crying with laughter...

My mom turns to my dad and is getting angry for not being in on the joke 'What are they laughing at????' she cries.

And to my absolute horror,to my utter horror Dear Reader, from the head of the table, where all eyes are on him, He, my father, my uptight, never talks about sex,but now has a penis and a cancerfree prostate father, looks down the table and says 'Honey! You know...'

And then winks.? Yes, he winks.

My cousin screams in exasperation ' I still do NOT get it!'

My mother is frustrated' I don't either" and glares down the table.

Her younger brother fidgets in midlaugh and says" I don't think you wannna know!'

She rebuffs her younger brother and retorts 'Of course I do. Why would I still be asking?'

And with that, all heads turn to my dad. He clears his throat, and with a bit of embarrassment of a schoolboy caught behind the fence smoking his first cigarette says 'Honey, You know KNEEL and BOB'

He waits to see if it registers. We all turn to her.

Nothing and then, with a sigh, he says it again, except with the actions of a blow job.

My cousin screams' Mother of Gawwwwwwwd!'

My mother blushes and cries 'What kinda rude people have I raised????'

My dad shrugs as it really is NOT his fault. It's BoyWonder's. And he points at my husband and says 'it's his fault!'

I am guilty by being associated with BoyWonder.

My family is howling.

As that dear reader, this is how with a simple word, my entire notion of immaculate conception was blown out of the universe. The image of my father has shattered all the perimeters of my fantasy. My shattered notion of immaculate conception and pretty much every other sacred illusion that has passed my mind about my parents...

De Nile is not only found in Egypt.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My daughter turns Nine on Saturday.

And amongst the chaos, of preparing for her party under the stars, with her twenty most intimate friends, I want to take the time to reflect on her miraculous birth. It is a time to be thankful for her. It is a time to think how I am blessed by the everyday joys of having her in my life and it is also time to remember how she splashed into my life. Her entry into the world was a cue for wonders and to believe in everyday miracles for they happen everyday sometimes you just need a reminder.

My pregnancy was unique as all pregnancies are. I had a menstrual cycle through the first trimester. I only went to the doctor because I thought I had mono. But while in the doctor's office, waiting to seen, I thought... Just maybe, I could be pregnant.

And pregnant I was. I kept my miraculous secret, a secret for two days as I wanted to tell my husband on Valentine's Day, with baby clothes.I wanted his first Valentine to be from our little Scooter. His first Valentine from his wee baby.

I named my wee zygote Scooter as she scooted past the radar of us. She just scooted into our lives and well into our hearts. When we first heard that beautiful cacophony over the monitor, that whhhhaahhhh whaahhhwhaaa whhaahhh heartbeat and saw her flicker on the monitor, our hearts could not contain our joy. The miracle of a life is something to behold. It certainly had my husband and I star struck as we watched the ultrasound. We could not breath as watched her dance on the monitor before our eyes and with the back drop of the heartbeat had the two of us were riveted to the screen.

We had minor and major hiccups with the pregnancy. At 29 weeks, we had a scare during a full moon when our wee little Scooter wanted to come out. Our midwife met us at the crowded hospital where she called in advance so that I may have a bed. I remember being whisked in and forced to lie in a bed, they attached me to a fetal monitor, and while there was panic all around, I was trying to sing a calming lullaby to my wee Scooter I was trying to coax her to stay in for just a few more weeks. A few more weeks and she would have lungs to help her breath and she would not be torn away from us.
And somehow, through no medical intervention, she decided to stay inside until the day she was due. No rhyme or reason, she opted to stay in.

On September 30th at 6a.m. I had my first contraction.

Actually, that's a lie.

My first contraction happened the day before when I was running to catch the bus in the middle of a downtown intersection. I was tying up loose ends at work as my baby was due on September 30th, I had back to back meetings. I was running late when I saw the offending bus.
I ran,
and Owwww!!!
Whoa!!!!!! THE PAIN !
I remember just stopping on the street.
I remember holding the side of a skyscraper with my right hand and my left hand was on my belly. Just one sharp hit and it had me breathless, and I was holding myself up.

It was such a shock that I am certain I howled. I am certain I must have grunted.

Somehow I was not heard or noticed, as I had my first contraction. People kept walking with purpose all around me and there I was motionless and for a brief moment without air.
This contraction that was so unexpected that it did feel like a kick through my spleen.
I breathed in, I breathed out. I breathed in and ooooooout.
And the pain past, just as the people around me did. They fluttered about their business, while I stayed for a brief moment in suspended animation. When oxygen came back to my head and I could find my legs, I continued on my way.
I gingerly walked to the bus stop and waited for the next bus and my composure to return so that I could finish my meetings for the day.

After, tidying all my loose ends at the office, you find me on September 30th at 6am feeling my second contraction while lying in bed. It is a mild taste of yesterday and I am able to function as a normal human being.

I go to use the loo and there is the bloody show. The time has come. My baby is coming. I go back and lie in bed and listen to the birds chirping and the warm autumn air drifting through my open bedroom window. I am going to meet my baby today. I am going to be able to smell her, to hold her, to see her eyes, feel her skin, I am going to be able to nurse her in my arms.

I am talking myself through the day. I am envisioning a bath, I am envisioning a back rub from my husband and while I am 'dreaming' of the activities the pain begins to mount.

At 7:30am the alarm clock goes off. My husband, Boy Wonder wakes up. I tell him I am in labor. He smiles, kisses my belly and goes downstairs to take a SHOWER????

He is whistling in the shower, he is listening to the news, he is having a normal day.

Meanwhile, I rise from our bed descend to our second floor and begin pacing the halls. Walking back and forth. Millions of thoughts of self doubt are swarming through my mind in a flurry of contractions.

Boy Wonder turns on the radio in the bathroom. Boy Wonder shaves. Boy Wonder brushes his teeth. Boy Wonder tests the water. Boy Wonder takes a shower. Boy Wonder combs his hair. Boy Wonder gets ready for WORK?

I have opted to lie in our prepared birthing bed on the second floor, I am in the fetal position, he walks in and plops himself down in the rocking chair in the corner of the room.I look up. He begins to rock himself, his eyes meet mine. He looks at what he is wearing and then cautiously says'I guuuuueeess,I'mmNNNOOOOOOTgoingtowooork?'

I drag myself up from the birthing bed and pass the smiling, the freshly showered, the humorous, the 'non working ',clean man, rocking contently in our rocking chair, in our birthing room.

I start to walk the hall again. I go to one end of the long narrow hall then when I reach the end I return. Back and forth, back and forth. And all the while thoughts are zooming through my head as the contractions build. I am transported to an open field in sixty five years ago to where my grandmother is giving birth alone, I am in the hospital wing where my mother is in her 24th hour of labor on the hottest day of the year with no ventalation. I am thinking of my paternal grandmother giving birth to my father who was her first and weighed in at twelve pounds thirteen ounces. I think of all the birth stories that I have been told to me. I wince through then all and I think I am so unworthy of THIS club. This club, this club of endurance. What made me think I could be a mother?

I then talk myself through the fact that I can not walk away from pain I have to walk through it.

I re-enter my birthing room. My Boy Wonder has now changed into his birthing clothes. He slides himself down on the rocking chair and asks if I have seen his book.
He finds his book and proudly shows me the cover triumphantly, 'The Birth Partner' says he... HE cracks it open and reads aloud 'Chapter One... '

Now, Dear Reader, do not hate him. Boy Wonder went to every appointment with me to see my midwife. He went to the birthing classes. Heck, he even took a parenting class. He just did not do the last bit of homework and now he is cramming.

It is around 9:50 am.

I haul myself up again and walk down the hall to reevaluate my inadequacies in the birthing department.

When, what do I hear from down the hall?
Power tools?
Yes, that is exactly what I heard POWER TOOLS!

I walk towards the noise, towards the birthing room and there, there, in the birthing room is my Boy Wonder installing a new light fixture. I scowl at him as I slink back in the bed.
He then proudly points to a chart that he has made while I was 'away'.

He then says 'Oh, you should be having a contraction!' he says with enthusiasm,
and with that it came...
he timed it... as well as a many others.

and then the phone rings...
He answers it????What tha???? Yes, Dear Reader, he answered the phone.
it is one of my clients... I had a contraction, while Boy Wonder was on the phone with my client. My client then informs him that it would be in his best interest NOT to pick up another call.

Anyway back to us...
Back to the ' uncommunicative wife' and the Birth Partner. The Birth Partner has decided that I am not communicating appropriately, so he calls our midwife at 10:30 am. She tells him, that I have a longway to go and that I have to remain focused. She will arrive at our house at 1pm to help. She then asks to speak to me.

One thing about me Dear Reader, I have a very high pain threshold. And Dear Reader, I was able to 'talk' during a contraction. Our midwife had no idea about how far along I could be. Apparently women should not be able to talk while in full labor and who would have thought that I could have defied what the norm was.

Now, as I mentioned our midwife gave my husband instructions. She told him that I had to remain 'focused'. But focused to a woman in labor and focused to a man that is freshly showered and with power tools mean entirely different things. He took this cue or me needing to remain 'focused' as a perfect time to install a baby mobile above the birthing bed. I took this as a 'cue' to take a walk down the hall and think of ways to distract me from killing him.

When I slunk back the room holding my belly, I saw him smiling in the rockingchair, the showered face, the brushed teeth, the power drill in his left hand, the chart on the table, the Winnie the Pooh baby mobile above the bed...I just said,quite calmly 'You turn that thing and you die!'

I lay there for about a half an hour and then I started pacing again.

And then Dear Reader it all unfolded.
I wanted to relieve the pressure. My water had not broken. I knew it was going to be a long arduous day. But if the sac would just break.

I am focused and think if I just go to the washroom.

At this point my husband has had all he could bare with me. He tries to call the midwife's pager again and this time he reaches a pizza delivery place. He hangs up and calls again. Again it goes not to our midwife's pager but to a corporate switchboard. I should mention, that he did call the proper numbers. But while he was calling, a satellite crashed to earth and took down all paging systems from around the world for ten minutes.

10 minutes of not reaching vital number.

Boy Wonder after one minute of not getting through begins to panic. He makes an executive decision to call the landline of the midwives. He gets a hold of the receptionist and informs her that he needs to talk to a midwife. He thinks that things are really beginning to happen as he says this, I push.
I scream.
He comes running into our bathroom with our portable phone and places the phone on the counter as he yells 'Oh My Gawd,It's the Baby!'

And I yell back that ' IT IS NOT!!!!'
I stand up and everything goes back in.
My husband screams back 'If it is not the baby you are in BIG TROUBLE!!!!'

Now, in Celtic folklore, being born in the cull/sac is one of the luckiest thing that can happen to a person. There is a belief that very few are and it is very special. To be born in the cull is looked upon as a miracle. Well, that was certainly the case with us, as I sat on the loo and pushed to relieve the pressure. Three strong guttural pushes and the baby came out in the cull.
The sac broke my baby's fall as she hit the toilet.

The cull exploded.
The umbilical chord snapped.
The chord snapped, in the right place.

I get up. My legs are shaking and I am hemorrhaging.
I try to get my baby out of the toilet. I can not stand. My husband, pushes me aside and knows from years of experience to move the seat UP, and he picks up our beautiful daughter who has not cried at all. She is just looking all around her like a sage, ole creature.

One thing I have not mentioned through this story has been the fact that I had a dream months before giving birth. I had a dream about my daughter's birth. In my dream I was all alone upstairs in my bathroom and the windows were closed and I could not call for help. In my dream, there was 'a voice 'that kept saying everything was going to be okay. In my dream, it told me to go to the tub to deliver.
And so I followed my dream. And I trusted the voice. I went to the tub, our great Victorian tub which supported my back and my legs and helped me deliver the placenta. I would never have thought of that on my own. It was a perfect place for me to squat. A perfect place to sit and breath.In and out, in and out.

And then the world came hurdling back to us.

We could hear the midwives screaming from the portable phone on the counter'PICK UP PICK UP!PICK UP!'

My Boy Wonder, my hero, picks up the phone, the midwives tell him to give me the baby or I will go into shock if I am not physically responsible for the baby. They also tell them that they have called emergency services and he better get down stairs and open up or they will break down our door to get to us.

They also instruct him to give me the phone.

They start telling me to hold the where the umbilical chord broke, they tell me that Iam the strongest woman alive, they tell me that help is on its way and to stay with them...
And all they while I am holding the umbilical chord, and my daughter and I are just looking at each other.

The paramedics arrive in a matter of minutes.
They take my baby from me and give her to my husband, they also give him a list of things they need from him from our house and then they start ot work on me.
I know that the situation is not good because they will not look in my eyes. They are just focused on trying to stabiize me. I want them to notice me. I want them to hear the voice too.
I want them to stop panicking.
I read one of the guy's names from his badge. 'Jim.'
'Jim!' he stops 'Jim, do you have any kids?'
'How many, Jim?'
'Jim, after each one, everything was all right, right?'
'Well, Jim, everything is going to be okay.Everything is going to be okay' and with that he looked into my eyes and I had him repeat after me.' Everything is going to be okay.'
He nodded and he paused. He looked at me in my eyes. I knew he saw me then. I knew that he saw me as a human. I knew that I was there and he saw me, not just a body that was bleeding away.
I had an IV, I was on a heart monitor and then my 'back up' midwife arrived.

She flashes a badge and said that she is legally allowed to give me these drugs.
And with that she injects me in my left thigh.
She then injects my right thigh.
With the help of the paramedics I get out of the bathtub and I am walked to my birthing room.

The midwife goes to work on stopping the clotts from traveling to my brain.
This basically means that the midwife sits on my chest and beats my stomach for close to twenty minutes.

No one EVER told me about the beating!

The paramedics are not allowed to leave me with the IV. The midwife is not allowed to take it out. Nor is she allowed to touch the heart monitor. The paramedics can not touch the drugs, nor can they touch the baby's med pac.
Very strange as it is all legal mumbo jumbo... But the paramedics and the midwife have to work as a team as the hospitals were in a crisis mode and not taking on any new patients.So this emergency team must work together so they can stabilize me as there is nowhere to go. I will die if the bleeding does not stop.
The drugs start to take affect. I am stabilizing but will need a bit more medical attention from the midwife and I certainly need the IV for another hour or so.

As the midwife works on my body, the paramedics clean up my bathroom. There was blood through out the bathroom and being the compassionate, caring people that they were, they took it upon themselves to clean my bathroom ceilings, floors and walls. They believed that I should never see it.

Our main midwife arrived when all the chaos had passed and my Boy Wonder had to talk the midwife out of the shock of missing the birth of Scooter. She had been a midwife for 20 years and this thing just does not happen. She has never missed a birth. She cries about all that could have happened. Boy Wonder consoles her.

The rest seems so inconsequential as the midwives took an hour to knit me back together, how they ensured that I had enough fluids in my body, how the administered Vitamin K into my baby, how they took all the vitals of Scooter, how the midwives gave my husband some drugs for him to cope with the shock. (He claims that he was just fine, but I do not think that if he was complete control of his faculties as he would have given me the phone to talk to my father when the midwives were knitting me back together...)

This story has been told a great deal of times by us. It is a story of my daughter's birth and my near demise. It is a story that still causes my husband to be overwhelmed with emotion when he gets to the part with the paramedics. The paramedics were taking control when he realized how out of control it all became. The paramedics allowed him to take in the whole story.

It is the story of how we became a family and when my daughter splashed onto the scene at 11:45pm and when the midwives left us at 6pm.

I do not know if I can say with a certainty that fate helped my wee family. I do not know if I would think of us as special as aren't we all? I would say that I do think of most days as having some kind of miracle in them, and sometimes we need to take the time to find it.

I can say that within my heart I am so eternally thankful for having each day.I am so grateful that I am watching my beautiful, wonderful, daughter, flourish. I am beholden with her laughter, her sense of being and her love of song.I am grateful that I can witness her endless compassion. I am grateful that I have the strength to stand by her as she makes mistakes. I am grateful for when I am there to watch her succeed. I am grateful to be there for when she struggles. I am so fortunate that I have experienced nine years of her. I am so fortunate to be part of her cognitive memory. And that she has filled my soul with wonders as she has been growing up.

And while her birth is just part of her story. It was only her entry. I know that someday she will ask for the whole story. The story of her birth. The story that may have her envisioning me walking down the hall and her dad with power tools.

I rarely think of what could have been lost that day. I only think of what I have. And what I have is a great story for my daughter to envision. What I have is a most wonderful husband that could never bare to think of me in pain, much less dying and not spending the rest of his life with me and power tools. What I have is truly a wonderful life with endless moments of miracles in being. And on my daughter's birthday it is just nice to have the reminder.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Neil Sedaka - Calendar Girl

A Girl's Slumber Party.

I am about eleven years old. I am too old for dolls and too young for boys. It is an awkward time to be a girl. That is, unless you have your absolute best friends around and then all fits into place.

This song brings me right back to my bedroom on the third floor in my house in the city. This brings me back to me standing beside my record player and playing this 45 that I just inherited from an old uncle of mine. I would play it over and over and all my girlfriends would take turns dancing, singing and miming out the song. Each time the song played, the campiness of our dancing and our singing would put any Dean Martin Roast to shame. We would squeal and laugh and fall onto my bed and play it again. We would all be wearing our comfortable pj's. We would have our sleeping bags and best junk food littered on the floor. We were young. We had each other.And we had years of friendship under our flannel belts.

I grew up in an age before MTV really got its groove. If you even want to call it a groove now. I grew up LOVING musicals.I could sing the entire score to Fiddler on the Roof and force my friends to play various characters. I grew up listening to Bing Crosby. My parents did not listen to any of this. It was just me, an odd quirky girl. A girl that could persuade her friends to listen to all types of music. I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra mixed in with the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, twinged with Elvis'69 comeback special. I grew up listening to the Jackson 5 and the Osmonds. I grew up to The Beatles and the Monkees. I grew up listening to The Bay City Rollers, Bobby Darren and Eartha Kitt. I grew up listening to Peter,Paul and Mary laced with a bit of Genesis and a whole lot of disco. The time I am bringing you to is before I began to contemplate that Paul McCartney may be dead and talk for hours on the phone of the evidence that sergeant Pepper's produced. I am talking about a period before I found the Sex Pistols and The Ramones. I am talking about a time when I could belt out the words to Cocaine by Eric Clapton and not think what the song was about. And heck, I would sing Rod Stewart's Tonight's the Night at the top of my lungs, much to my prudent, Roman Catholic, father's chagrin. I had not idea it was about THAT!

I grew up in a city. I grew up in a time when you could not order Indian food for delivery. Or there was maybe one Japanese restaurant in the city. Thai was not even heard about in my social circle for a meal. Chinese food was laddened in glow in the dark syrup and a great MSG glow. Pizza was the food of choice for delivery. It was filled with waxy type cheese and pepperoni and always seem to arrive a wee bit soggy.

But at the same time I grew up in a time of new immigrants. My best friends were German, Greek, Japanese and Pakistani and Ukrainian. How's that for a mix?

I would remember each friend and our wee traditions. With my girlfriend Naseem, I would attempt to learn Arabic, I would be part of the daily prayers. I even had my own prayer matt when visiting.I could pray to whatever God I chose. But would have to respect that they were praying too. After, we would finish our prayers we would quickly go back to our Nancy Drews, or our Archie comics laced with a bit of the Trixie Beldon. We would always have Indian music in the background and the smell of delicious curries would permeate the house. The house was filled with exotic women in saris of all different colours. Most of the men wore white and always barefoot in sandals no matter what the weather.

At my German girlfriend's house we would go into the backyard where my girlfriend's father would be building his own airplane for the family to fly to the cottage in.He was always tinkering with his inventions and when we would bore of him, we would then go downstairs where would would make pottery as my girlfriend's mother had a kiln and clay for us to weld our creations.At the end of the day, we would listen to her father play the piano, Beethoven of course... and sometimes he would add a bit of Mozart to his repetoire. We would sit in the living room as her father would give us a recital. And you know, we gobbled it up.We loved to hear him play. We would always insist that he end it with dadadadummmm... from Beethovan's fifth symphony... He would never fail to explain that it was a symphony and we would just look at him and say... Just play the DaDA DaDummmmmm part then...

At my Greek girlfriends house we would enjoy the yoghurt cheese and talk about our love for the Bay City Rollers. We would listen to disco music and try out our best disco moves. For the important Greek Orthodox holidays we were forced to dress in our finest and go to church with Maria. We were forced into all the pageantry as Maria's uncle was one of the highest priests in church.And it was magical with all the gold and we would sit in the pews of honor with Maria's entire extended family. One of my girlfriends caused quite the stir one year as she crossed her legs in church... Apparently that is a BIG NONO!!! And when the service was over, we would all file back to Maria's family's house where Greek music would play and only loud dialogue was spoken.

At my girlfriend Kimiko's house we would be enthralled with the pageantry of being Japanese. Her Grandparents lived upstairs and her parents lived downstairs. Her Grandfather would take enormous pride in his garden. There were exotic flowers and bushes that were cut into the most exquisite shapes. It was easy to think of yourself as a regal princess in his garden in the city. Even when we played Charlie's Angels and we were fighting off vile villains, the garden was where Charlie lived.And we Angels were just visiting with Bosley.
Kimiko's grandmother wore kimonoes of the most beautiful silks. Her hands were always manicured and lotions were always used. Her hair was always in a bun and it was never out of place. She was a most gracious woman and would be calm even when all us girls would descend upon her. The rice steamer was never off.I remember large banquets upstairs with endless arrays of cantaloupe and melon that were the sweetest I have ever tasted. And the orange that were always cut and on display were always bursting with juice. Everything looked beautiful. They never had small dinner parties. There was never less than 40 family members gathered around their table eating and talking in Japanese with us girls running in to grab some sushi from the table and run into our makeshift fort downstairs.
I remember gathering all of our snacks together. I was the offical 'wrapper eater' as I did not care for the Japanese candy but loved eating the rice wrappers from the candies.

The Ukrainian household was a great deal like my own.(But my house was also ensconced with the Irish traditions as well) Where we would eat borscht and Vareneky and Holobtchi and could eat spoonfuls of sour cream. Where there would be songs from the old country. Where there would be thick accents and pinches on the cheek to say that we were all too thin. The conversations were always around the table. There would be a circle of woman making vareneky(Peorogis if you are Polish). The tea towels would be laid out while the women gossiped and had tea while attending to the task at hand. There would be thousands of little dumplings all laidout and the house was always humid with the boiling of soup to accompany the evening meal.

Through all the ethnic diversity we grew up together. We knew all of our traditions We incorporate them all. Christmas Eve was very important for my German girlfriend, so we would all descend on her family for the lighting of the candles.We knew about Ramadan. We all attempted to fast. We knew about bad Japanese movies. We watched countless ones where with bad Japanese accents we would fill in the missing dialogue. We learned about how the Japanese were interned during World War II. We learnt about the Nazis, we learnt about the resistance in Germany , we learned Greek songs and attempted to learn Ukrainian.

And now, in my city I can order Sushi. I can order Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Greek Indian or anything else I chose.

But my life is not peppered and seasoned with the truly ethnic experience I grew up with. All of my gal pals have married and have taken very different paths. They all live in the suburbs and I am the only one that has opted for the city life. My Greek girlfriend married a Hindu boy, my German girlriend married an American, my Japanese girlfriend married a Spaniard, my Ukrainian girlfriend married a Dominican , and my Pakistani girlfriend had an arranged marriage at the age of 16 that had all of us in a tears.

But for a brief moment... Through this song. They are back at my house. We are upstairs and we are full of promise. We are giggling and being told to quiet down which causes us to laugh harder. We are too old for dolls and too young for boys... And we are all Calendar Girls!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Technicolor Dreamcoat?

He saw her at a dance. He can not recall what she wore. He can just recall the moment he saw her. He can only recall the feeling in his stomach. The urgency, in his being, his destination.

He turned to his friend and said 'I am going to marry Her!'

The friend had been listening to the music and scoping the room for a girl to dance with.The friend was just about to cross the room when it dawned on him, his friend had just something?

What? Who? Who are you going to marry?

Her, That girl over there...The boy's friend adjusts his glasses ands takes a better look..

Oh, I don't think so! I went to grade school with her... And you are not going to marry her! You are not on her radar, Bub! She has career plans... Marriage is not in her mind...Have? Have you, even met her?

No, But I am going to right now.

And with that comment suspended in the air, the boy left his friend alone at the other end of the room and went to meet his wife.

She does not recall the dance. She does not recall any urgency upon meeting him. She just remembers dancing all night with him. Every dance was with him.

And on the third date He proposed, at a movie theatre over the buttered popcorn and a soda. He gulped down his pride, straightened himself up, stared at the curtain and asked... 'Will you marry me?' No ring. Just a statement/question.

She laughed as the curtain went up at the movie theatre and the song 'More' by Bobby Darrin started to play. He laughed and said, 'They are even playing our song.'

He took her laughter as a 'Yes' for it certainly was not a no....

He was on top of the world and was glad that his destination was sealed.

Little did She know.

The following day, He went to her family's home to ask her father. Her father was a large, hulking, new immigrant with hands the size of baseball mitts. English was not his first language. He was an overpowering figure to this scrawny nineteen year old boy who was all bones through his suit. This man escaped through the mountains, with his wife and eldest daughter when his family was being persecuted in his old country.This man had helped build a railroad, had slept in ditches to bring his family to this country. This father had been a farmer. This man knew sorrow. This man knew great happiness.This man wanted the best for his youngest daughter.

This boy went through the doors of his betroved house, as He knew He would bring her happiness. I know He thought this, as how else could He have had the courage to go through the door?

I do not know what they talked about. But permission was granted to this boy on the cusp of his twentieth birthday. On the cusp of a new life.

When the girl returned home from a day of shopping with her girlfriends, She was flabbergasted that He was serious. That He DID propose in the movie theatre.
And when She really thought about it, when She sat down and looked at him, her heart filled with joy. A joy that She did not know that She was in need of, until then. She realized that She did say 'Yes!' at the movie theatre, ... And that She, She who had not looked for him, now, could not imagine life without him.

They married 42 years ago.They married in sunshine with the father of the bride crying the entire way down the aisle with his youngest daughter in duchess satin.This boy and girl, this husband and wife, married with a trust of the future with the security of a love everlasting in their hearts.

Beginnings are always beautiful to talk about. They are what most people can relate to,as everyone has had a beginning, just as everyone has known an end.

And I am happy to say, there has not been an end.

The middle is the hard part to talk about. The middle is where it is messy. the middle is what gives the fabric of life its substance. The middle is filled with births and deaths, the middle is filled with sunrises and sunsets, the daily coffees at the kitchen table, the cups of tea in the evenings in the reckroom, the laughter and the incredible pain, the lovemaking and the fights,the dances and the walks, the friends and the family, the moments of endless phone calls to each oher, the loveletters that are still left on the kitchen table with their nicknames for eachother enscribed at the end, the days are filled still with each other, the nights are still spent on a double bed, the nights and the days, the hours and the weeks, can all conveniently blend into one, in a narrative.

But when I think of trying to even encapsolate this couple I am at a loss. A loss because it all would seem trite. The fabric of this marriage, this life together has many interesting stitches, Some have given way in the centre where there a huge gaping holes and other spots have had shoddy patches placed overtop. There is duchess satin and Egyptian cotton, there is burlap as there are parts othe heavens, there are a few stars and many tears, and I do not know how but I am certain that laughter is embedded in the fabric, just as trust and compassion, but just as there is this, there is also rage, there is also anger and there is passion that can not be wasted on the faint of heart. This beautiful blanket allows for others to come in and be enveloped in its beauty. This blanket covers the couple at night, as they have their gentle slumbers or turbulant nightmares. This blanket nourished me as a young girl and as a grown woman.

This blanket helped me through a few storms.It has been a beacon of hope for many.

And on September 18th.I hope that you will raise a glass with me and toast the 42 years of my parents. A lovestory with a beginning and a middle... And for the grace of god, or fate, or whatever you want to call it, no end.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Year of Heroes and Villans

September is filled with a great deal of emotion for this old girl... This time of year is filled to the brim with memory. And yesterday September 10th is a big day for me, as that is the last time I saw my best friend. He flew here from New York City to be a part of my daughter's first day of school. He came to my country to be a part of our family moment. A family that he loved. It was his first voyage to a foreign country since his kidney surgery. A surgery that left him minus a rib, his adrenal glands and both kidneys. He came to my country with a sense of hope for the future. He came to my country in a great deal of pain.

He came to my country to grab his independence back. To realize that the machines that sustained him would not bind him. He was determined to travel again. But just for brief stints as he did love his city so, and New York was home.

I sit on my porch and there under my welcome matt,is the deliable imprint on my bestfriend's shoeprint from that maiden voyage. My husband painstakenly paints around it every two years... But there is a footprint stays on my front porch as a reminder of his last visit in September 2001. A print that always has me sigh, laugh and cry all at the same time, as I recall him stepping on the newly painted porch and all of our laughter at the folly at the time.

My dear friend, that passed away was the embodiment of New York. He was born in New York. He was raised in New York. He grew up with his family on the upper east side in a beautiful brownstone house that housed the last greenhouse ever to be built in a home in Manhattan. Central Park was his playground and the city restaurants were his cafeteria.He loved theatre, he loved art, he loved culture and ethnic diversity. He could have all of it in his great city.

He was jaded and rough, at the same time, having the refined witt and grace of an educated socialite.He grew up on the upper east side but had the edge of being an outcast as he was gay and grew up in a time when he was ostracized by his family and society itself.

He stuck with his fair city through thick and thin, in good times and in bad. He was in New York for the Stonewall Riots and would cry as he would relay all that happened on that day. He would relay in full account of the abuse he faced in the riots all due to what he was. He could cry for what New York did to him and his friends on that day. But through his tears there was forgiveness.

When New York was going broke, he invested. He adored his fair city with the warts and the tinsel. He knew that New York would rise again. He never abandoned hope for his city.

We would walk through Central Park and he would show me where he would sled as a child, or where he would have boat races with his three older brothers. He would show with some twisted sense of pride where he was first beat up as a kid, or how he was robbed at gun point at the age of 20, only having the Guardian Angels rescue him. He would show me murals from graffitti artists that he would enjoy, or go to the MET and marvel at an extraordinary new addition to the walls.

All street corners and stoops had stories.He would recall when he lived in the Dakota how he would have tea with his neighbour Lenny... Or to all of us, this man would have been Mr.Leonard Bernstien. He would relay stories of Dakota and all its legends and ghosts that wandered its halls. I remember entering the lobby of the Dakota and he said 'And this is where John Lennon died.Right here. The three consierges here tried to save him.They tried with all their might. But he died in their arms. Right here, in the fourth stair'

He was a playwright and always used his fair city as a reference.

He was also business suavy and as a result he invested and made his own money. He knew the business world and could manuever around his finances with great ease.He was a New Yorker that believed in knowing your banker and where his fair city had instabanks, he never trusted them. He would always go to his branch, deal face to face with his banker. He felt that you always had to have a face and respect for money. So every time he went abroad he would take out an extrodinary amount of money to last him his vacation. And he would always have a budget for all that he did.

He could take me on walks and show me with great delight the oldest bar in New York and know the whole history of the place. He could tell you how the bar was actually saved by Jackie Kennedy, as it was one of the Irish bars that Jack adored. He could tell you about Jane Mansfield living two doors down from his house. He would talk of his mother sending Ms. Mansfield a letter written on linen stationary scented with roses.The letter addressed to Ms. Mansfield was not a fan letter but a letter to remind the young starlit to pick up after her dog.

He would talk about the great performers of Central Park. The amazing puppetteers that come out every Sunday and give some of the best performances that New York has to offer and all they want is a small donation in their cap. Whenever my daughter and I were with him he would always discreetly put in at least 100 dollar as he knew what it was like to go hungry. To be poor and give art to the mases is never easy. And he never wanted New Yorkers to miss out on such talent. Street performers were part of the fabric of his city and he felt accessible art helped bind his fellow man.

Outside his place on Sundays or Monday nights there would be homelessmen, and these men would set up televisions ouside my friend's home, along with lazyboy chairs, popcorn and beer and have a long wire running from my friend's place as they pirated his cable and his electricity so they could watch their football games. They would always nodd, call him by his name and let him know the score, later on in life they would also tell me if my daughter was up to mischief in the house...Always referring to my daughter as the Wee Miss...

He would not suffer fools lightly and it would not matter if we were in a play or in a cab, if the person did not know their trade his tongue could be ever so wicked. I remember a few plays where he got up and just threw his insult as we left. Sad to say,it would also happen in restaurants as well. And coming from a city where we are all polite and manners it would just send me into manic spasms.

He would take me to endless restaurants and simply go to different planets when he tasted something delicious. He would bang his spoon down and cry with delight exclaiming that he could just lick the plate. He would boast how restaurants were now the biggest tourist attraction in New York. He would take me to all the great restaurants and cute greasy spoons he found through his 57 years of living in New York. He would just love to dress for dinner. And would always gasp in delight, whenever his chosen family entered a room. He would marvel at how we,his family, could clean up for dinner.

And the way he could hail a New York cab was a thing of beauty to bestow. The hand discreetly up like that of Nuryev or Barishnikov. My daughter has since perfected the stance and I enjoy thinking of how he would have loved to see her now.

He was an excellent host. And when in his fair city you knew anything could happen.

That is, until the impossible did.

I remember watching in dismay as I saw the World Trade Center on fire.How my stomach ached when I saw the plane hit the tower. I automatically called my friend. The phone lines were down and panic filled my heart. When the towers crashed. I had to talk with him. I had to hear his voice. I had to hear hope. I had to touch New York.

The phone lines were jammed for close to three hours on September 11th. I heard from my dear friend at 12:18pm. I sighed and cried.
He scolded me.
He asked me 'how I could think that he would be down in the financial district?He hadn't been down that way for close to 15 years'
And I asked 'what were the chances of two planes hitting the WorldTrade Center?'
I had been there, with my daughter in the mornings. And it is not an odd phenomena to be down to visit the World Trade Center.

The odd thing was he was grappling to be that logical New Yorker. He was hurt and angry. He did not know where to turn. New York a city filled with hope. Filled with tinsel and now the air was filled with dust and debris. You could taste the residue from the buildings and the airplanes in the air. He could not get thetaste out of his mouth. He could not breath. The smell was overpowering. The smell was suffocating him. The smell was filled with dispair.

He had been to my house for close to ten days and had just returned to his city. On September 11th, He was on his way to the bank when to second plane hit.He went to a bank to withdraw money and was informed that the banks had closed.He was informed that the subways were closed. He was informed that New York was closed. Closed.

He, as New Yorkers are, are prized fighters. Nothing was going to get them down. Clean themselves up, put on a brave face and do not let them see your tears. The show must go on...

He wanted to grab something that was normal. Something to prove that New York would go on. And on September 11th there was no hope.
It was so overwhelming that New York stopped. And New Yorkers cried. As did the world.

It seems very fitting that my best friend died in the year of heros and villans.He died on December 20, 2001.My husband said it was kind of him to pass on the eve of winter solstice so that we would have the darkest day of the year to mourn him...
But I reminded him, that the darkest day already passed.

So as the anniversary of September 11th approaches. I am on my porch and thinking of the last time I saw my dear friend. I think of all that was lost in my heart in 2001 and the wonderful careless footprint under my welcome matt on my front porch.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Man,I Feel Like A Woman???

Nothing like getting together with some galpals and breaking bread. It had been a long time. I am the only one with a kid and therefore my girlfriends built the whole night around me.They are all still single and they get together all the time. I am the one who is out of the loop. I was grateful that they were building the night around me. It made me feel special and wanted. And dare,I say it???'Carefree, childless and husbandless...'
it was a bit liberating to just be plain ole me'

I got ready. I even let my hair down,I put make up on. I dressed in an 'unkid friendly' way!
My daughter enters the bathroom and exclaims 'Momma you look beautiful!' This sends shivers down my spine, as I think of a

My husband follows her, hears the dialogue between the two of us and then interjects with 'No, hon you look good in a GOOD way!' which translates into' No, Hon you do NOT look like a HOOKER!'
So, with one more look in the mirror, a double check for wallet and keys, I am off to the races.

I walk briskly up the street clicking my high heels and feeling invigorated. A night out with the girls is just what I need. A pit stop to refuel for the day to day.

I wait at the streetcar stop and then head on ...

Now, I have been in a bartender in my pastlife. I know the drill. I know that at one drink you, may tell me a story, but at 8 drinks I become the most gorgeous woman in the room. Liquor does that to people.
I walk onto my streetcar and there are three guys who have had at least 15 drinks each and I am the only woman on the car.

They start to scream... 'Ohh, my gawwd!!! Guyssss!!! Cannnnnn you believe it?'
'Can you believe our luck?'
'I know that she lived here at one time! But Fuck! It's her! It's heeeeeerrrrr!'

'Mother-of-God, not AGAIN!!'! think I!

They then belt 'Shania, come oooooon give ussssssssssss a soooonnnnnng!!!.
They start to show themselves as loyal and true fans,of mine, by 'singing' and crooning all of Shania's repetoire.
And as the serenade continues, I stare out the window, willing the streetcar forward to put myself and the other patrons out of the Shania Mania misery that has ensued.

As I am pushing the streetcar forward to telepathy. I watch a woman at the stop ahead. She is in her early twenties. Her hair has recently been cut into a bobb as she keeps trying to put her hair behind her ears and it keeps falling off its target. She is reading a hardcover book. She is carrying a yellow, burlap bag that has buttons stuck on the straps. She occasionally looks up to see how far the streetcar has inched forward.
A man in his early twenties runs up the street. He is in a rush. He is bouncing from one leg to the other . He is late for something. And he is preoccupied with the bouncing as if the streetcar will reach him faster if he bounces faster and shows his anxiety.
And then, dear reader, he sees 'my lady'.
He sees her...
and his world stops...
You can actually see the world stop!
He stops bouncing. And he just stares.
My streetcar lurches forward. It lurches to an abrupt stop.
Which causes my fans to stop singing... The say, Wellllll Shannnnnnniaaaa, this isssssssss oursssssssstoauuuuupppppp... Ev'n iffff you are a snob we sssstilll love ya kid...
and with that the leave me with "Man I feel like a woman!'

The young lady boards my streetcar along with the young man in tow.
They sit in the seats directly behind me just recently been vacated by the Shania fan club.
The young mand musters the courage to ask her what she is reading.
She replies that it is just a book of poetry...
He knows the poets and lists off a few that he likes... and they are off to the races...
Our streetcar is now going at lightning speed and we enter the subway before we know it. The exit in front of me and I follow at a respectable distance down to the subway.

They stop abruptly.

and she says...Well, I am going west'
Ohh, says he... I am going east
Well, says she, That was nice... See you around...
Ahh, yeah, It was nice.

And with that she heads towards the westbound platform and he is in front of me walking down the stairs for the eastbound platform...

'I am staring at his head. I am putting in all me telepathy... What are you doing man???That WAS nice????'
'Where are you going?????'

And then he stops halfway down the staircase.
He is fumbling with his pockets. He is looking for something... What??? A Pen ? A paper?

I can hear the subway breaks screeching...'Idiot, What are you doing???' My heart is racing!!!

Ahhh, he finds what he is looking for... His Businesscard!!!

He turns around abruptly and runs up the stairs, three steps at a time!!!

I rush down....

I look across the medium for the girl going west... She is not there??? Ahhh, there she is but I hear the subway... Where is he???
I see him. He is looking for her. He sees her. He runs. He reaches her. He taps her on the shoulder.
She smiles.
He smiles.
He gives her his card.
And then my subway arrives.

I board.
I am Euphoric?????
Yes, I am Euphoric!!!!

I meet my girlfriends and relay the story to them.
They are good friends who know the fine art of listening.
They only interject with...
And then????
And then???
And did he???
We had a wonderful time.

And at the end of the evening my girlfriends serenade me to 'Man, I feel Like a woman!'
Man, that woman has fans everywhere! Who would have thunk???