Tuesday, 19 August 2014

North American Ways.

I was just listening to a track called Beautiful Dawn by The Wailin’ Jennys. It has a nice Country feel about it, and for some odd reason it reminded me of a night in a Toronto bar quite a few years ago.

I was slumped over the bar counter with my straight up scotch (no ice; who the hell puts ice in scotch except North Americans?) The female bartender – they don’t call them barmaids in North America, as we Brits do with our taste for economy of form and less political correctness – was sitting on a stool filing her nails. A woman came in and began re-arranging the bar mats all along the counter, doing so with great diligence and purpose until she was sure they were all in precisely the right place. The female bartender looked at me and shrugged; I did the knowing look in return.

She was the same bartender who took my payment for a drink, then kept the change by way of a tip. I didn’t complain, but exercised discretion. ‘Never knock the natives until you know them,’ I thought. Which is probably a good way to think.

I do miss Zoe, though. Something she said to me about three years ago gave me the biggest high I’ve had in the last twenty years. Pity I wasn’t up to the task of returning the favour. Fools and North Americans rush in where angels and Europeans fear to tread.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Am I the fool or the angel?

I had a dream that you had passed away, that I hadn't gotten to say goodbye. I haven't been responding to your emails because I haven't wanted to disrupt any part of your life. I've been (unintentionally) quite disruptive in the past.

Just know that I still think highly of you and that when I feel alone and like a speck of nothing in an under/overwhelming universe, I remember that I knew you and I feel less alone. I think these moments of unity are the most purposeful moments in life, for me. You aren't alone, either.

JJ Beazley said...

Do I risk assuming the identity of the writer? Logical deduction can be so easily hoodwinked.

OK, assumption it is, followed by bullet points:

1. I would say a singular hybrid of the two. Singular = rare.

2.At the time of writing I haven't passed away, although I have little faith in the prospect of tomorrow these days. The black dog has been most in evidence this week.

3. What life? If by 'disruptive' you mean exposing my flaws/ideals (take your pick) then I'd agree. Keeping me up until 5 o'clock in the morning (albeit only once) was also disruptive, but of lesser consequence. Throwing my consciousness into a state of confused euphoria was... erm... disruptive, but I will always bless you for it. You didn't let me down, by the way. Don't ever think that.

4. I think you must be a little crazy to say something as complimentary as that to somebody who was hopelessly inadequate to your needs. But I needed a lift, so I'll take the gift. (There I go unintentionally finding rhymes again.) I noticed about a week ago that Venus has reappeared in the western sky at dusk, by the way.

5. 'Moments of unity' means a lot to me. Thank you.

6. How could I be alone when I find pictures like this on a YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D84cuIPx5aQ

I wondered whether she'd ever sold bagels.

7. Don't worry about saying goodbye. If it's allowed, I'll be seeking you out. A lot of the things you said still crop up in my mind and are very precious.

8. Disregard all of the above (with my apologies) if you're not who I think you are.