Meanwhile In Toronto…
I chose to walk home, rather than take the subway so close to rush hour. I immediately regretted my decision when I was stuck behind an annoying girl and a guy for about three city blocks. The assholes were walking at just the right clip that I couldn’t comfortably go any faster to outpace them or any slower without making me late for my swim date. The girl just went on and on and on in an amazing combination of nasal and sing-song voice. I managed to drown her out with my usual trick – singing the Oscar Meyer wiener theme song in my head – until, every once in a while, the guy would try to get a word in edge-wise only to be verbally plowed over by the girl’s unending enthusiasm in whatever it was she had to say. Eventually the Oscar Meyer theme song became just as annoying as her and I couldn’t help but tune in. This is when I realized she was making fun of her boyfriend or date’s impotence.
Apparently her guy had trouble getting it up and she thought this was fucking hilarious. She recounted the scenario to her male friend in great detail and with much biting mirth. He appeared to know the guy she was talking about. I barely fought the urge to tell her that her date might have had an easier time getting a hard on if she would just shut the fuck up for three and a half minutes. I decided then that speed walking home might be a good idea after all and I zoomed past them.
Unfortunately I was still hell bent on going at a pace just less than jogging when I overheard the following interaction religious zealot and a big, fun, sloppy looking guy:
Religious Zealout: Have you hear about the power of Allah?
Big, Fun, Sloppy Looking Guy: Have you heard about the drag show tonight?
Religious Zealout: I will teach you about the almighty Allah if you will give me the chance!
Big, Fun,Sloppy Looking Guy: I’ll take you to see some fantastic drag queens if you give me the chance!
Religious Zealout: Allah loves all, Allah knows all, Allah will help you.
Big, Fun, Sloppy Looking Guy: Sure but these drag queens know their shit, too.
Religious Zealout: Let me teach you about the powers of Allah!
Big, Fun, Sloppy Looking Guy: Look, do you want to go see some drag queens or not?
Unfortunately I was already half a block away when it occurred to me that I might like to see a drag queen show tonight. Fuck, why didn’t I offer to go with him? I probably could have helped him bark up a few more suitable trees while I was at it.
My musings were cut short when I spied a couple of frustrated tourists puzzling over a map. While I couldn’t hear what they were saying exactly, I could tell by their tones that they were starting to get snippy with each other as they attempted to piece together where they were. I stopped and asked if I could help them and the stress disappeared from their faces as I showed them exactly how to get to the C.N. Tower from where they stood. As added measure, I then pulled out a pen and drew an X where their hotel was and pointed out a brewery they could stop at for a free beer on their way to their destination. They were profusely thanking me, as if I had just performed some massive public service instead of simply offering a few directions, when a guy interrupted to ask if I had a light.
“Sure,” I answered fishing one from my purse and handing it to him. He took the light and pulled a massive joint from his pocket. He lit it and offered me a puff.
“No thanks, I have to swim in twenty minutes.” I responded while retrieving my lighter. I turned back to the couple. Their eyes were huge and round.
“Is that guy smoking marijuana on the street?” the lady wondered aloud. “In broad daylight?”
“Welcome to Toronto,” I smiled. “I hope you have a nice vacation.”
“Well, the people seem…fun,” the husband replied. I wondered then, if a guy smoking a joint blew their minds, what might they have thought of two conversations I had just overheard. For some reason my mind then conjured an image of this couple sitting at a drag show, surrounded in a plume of marijuana smoke, their expressions exactly the same as they are now. I tried to keep my amusement from showing as I waved goodbye.
Hey, now that I think about it, that would make a great flash fiction piece. Shit, maybe all three conversations could be used as flash fiction inspiration.
’til next time, folks, I’m off to update my TBW (To Be Written) list.