Tea at Tympani Lane Records

World Message of Peace

It is quiet post Canada Day, the Summer is quiet and grey. This is a short story reprint in Love Canadian style. Poetry is writing . . .

The Friday Night Girl. It’s Friday night! In the immortal words of a girl from the cannery . . . hair, pedicure, nails . . . she sits in front of the tv dreaming about where her next boyfriend is coming from, will she be married one day? And she doesn’t look like she’s been there that long but she’s still wearing the same bathrobe bought from Eaton’s in 1997 (before the head office Eaton’s store was turned into Sears, before the lights went out across the street and everything became post Hiroshima, except for the fountains, the fountains were good . . .) The entire ritual started in 1997, the day her boyfriend left, the day he took his computer to his father’s house and that left only his clothes, why was his computer missing without his clothes? (I could feel her fingernails against glass . . . ) those came next . . . and then when he took his clothes and even his toothbrush, that left only the cats. In rehab again . . . (even the cats gone). Post rehab, it’s time for a new bathrobe and every Friday, the same routine, a night at the Spa, Coke and popcorn in front of the tv set. Different variations on a theme, pedicure with milk, pedicure with scrub, cheese popcorn, nails short, buttered popcorn, nails buffed, chips, hair washed . . . a series of The Simpsons, French fries and always a big jug of Coke. Revolving series of The Simpsons, with a satellite, The Simpsons, back to back The Simpsons, from the livingroom to the kitchen (for Coke, Chips, popcorn) to the bedroom, and on Friday night to the bathroom for Spa night. Ten years later . . . One Friday night, not like any other night she has ever known, a knock on the door, her hair is wrapped up in a towel and she is in her bathrobe, not expecting any company, she continues to sit in front of the tv. Someone knocks insistently on the door. Quietly, rustling she tells herself, if it is someone really interesting he’ll love me even if I am dressed only in my bathrobe (sure, he’ll marry me even if I only work in a cannery . . . ) Undaunted she answers the door. At first, her eyes adjusting to the darkness, she doesn’t quite recognize . . . he says “It’s me, I was in the neighbourhood, how are things going at the cannery?” She says, “I’m sorry have we met before . . . “ she doesn’t quite recognize him, “We met in university, it’s Rick . . . “ “But that was in 1981” “Well, I was just in the neighborhood . . . “ “This is the most excitement I’ve had since 1997, do you want some Coke?” “But your dressed in your bathrobe . . . “ “I can take it off” “It’s just that I haven’t seen one like that since 1997, how can you still wear a bathrobe from 1997? Why don’t you get dressed, we’ll go out for coffee” . . . And that’s how it all started. They began to date seriously. As if moving through a mirror slowly it is like it is 1981 again and all she can remember is the sound of goodbye, and the silence as he hung up the phone. Yet, he is right in front of her now, big, quiet offering French fries and Coke in the heat of Summer, she can’t quite believe it. He is tall but not too tall, with wide shoulders that look thinner from the side, and a quiet way that says nothing but seems to say enough. Is this for real? In the silence of enough, he is “the perfect” the quiet aura, the golden light phenomenon of “yes” starts to happen, she forgets, but he remembers, she forgets, but he remembers, she forgets but he remembers. Who would not love this guy? The waitress at the coffee shop, the girl behind the counter at Sears, the grocery checkout girl, they all seem to be secretly interested in her boyfriend. She very quietly and very slowly starts to head into the “zone.” In a quiet daymare she imagines them on the couch in the livingroom . . . . Come on, come on snap out of it . . . in the hallway . . . no way . . . in the bedroom! Eek! I know they all secretly want to sleep with my boyfriend.(And from the zone into the dark . . . ) “Are you sleeping with her?” “Look I know you want to sleep with her”“Yes, I wanted to sleep with her” “So you slept with her?” “No, I didn’t sleep with her” “Yes you did” “O.K. I slept with her”, “and the girl at the liquor store?” “Yes, the girl at the liquor store too” “See I knew you slept with her, you slept around on me” “Pht” “You don’t love me” he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her down to the floor . . .

It’s late, she is fidgeting in the front seat of the car, they head to the liquor store. She is sweating and nervous. He starts to talk to the cash girl, they went to highschool together, the Friday night girl cuts in and bursts “Are you attracted to her”, startled they both turn to look at her, and she says to the cash girl “Do you want to sleep with him?” “Truthfully, he’s not my right blood type” as he starts to undo the Friday night girl’s top buttons and smuggle her out of the store, he can barely get the car door open and he pulls her down to the backseat of the car. “Gee, I hope nobody sees this” “I think it’s O.K., it’s dark out” he mumbles . . . No more rehab. (And she got the cats back . . . )

The Way of Peace,



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