I have a feeling this day will be the new dividing line in my life, something that was previously pre and post-kiss, and now also a separation between who I reached out to and who I didn’t call. And, oddly enough, this song will forever remind me of what happened, some Canadian indie-rock hit from ’94 I had on repeat the whole day.
Things are going to be different now, even though nothing’s changed. I just wish I knew what that meant.
Lila’s been my inspiration lately. Her photos are of such routine subjects, but every frame is more than that moment. There’s something about them that exudes glamour and intimacy, as if her entire life was filled with champagne and Channel.
I asked her what theory she follows, what equipment she uses, expecting to learn some basic technique I’ve somehow missed. Instead, she tells me she doesn’t do or use anything special. She doesn’t even know what she sets for exposure and tone, cause she always plays around and changes them for every photo she takes. A true Taoist when it comes to photography, and a true photographer after my heart.
One of my favourite subjects is her perfectly-coifed, impeccably-dressed Norwegian boyfriend. Sometimes he’s just lying by the window, and with his shirt off you can make out the fabric creases that have marked his back, revealing that he’s recently turned over on the bed. It makes you wonder what’s happened, or what’s about to happen. These are the details she’s chosen to capture. These things were important enough for her to pick up her camera. There’s such affection under it all, and perhaps that’s why it’s so fascinating to see how the girl looks at the guy.
It’s the same with Aurora’s old entries:
Rolf is sitting a few feet away from me on a Sunday night and we’re about to play Settlers Of Catan online together. He’ll wake me with a kiss in the morning and we’ll drive to work together. I’m full of a tasty new supper that he introduced me to. We’ve just fucked on the floor.
Do I love him? Or do I love this? How big is the difference?
I’ve always wondered what a person would say if she ever wrote about me the way Aurora wrote about him. To see a lover learning and growing, figuring out their life and the world, and discovering what part I play in all of that.
(I was going through some old e-mails when I found this missed connection post I wrote years ago. Aside from getting in touch with the person I was writing to, one person replied, “I am not her… but I read this page hoping that one day someone would post something this nice about me after a random smile exchanged on a street corner. Well Done.” Don’t we all.)
I was walking north on O’Connor around 5pm yesterday, lost in a thought, when I turned the corner and saw you looking at me.
You gave me an uninhibited smile, the likes of which seemed to convey a strange familiarity. Like we had seen each other at an office party but were never formally introduced, so we knew of each other’s existence but were too shy to be the first one to say anything, and relegated our communication to giving each other quick glances when passing each other in the hall.
It made me think of this line that Emilio Estevez says in St. Elmo’s Fire:
There are several quintessential moments in a man’s life: losing his virginity, getting married, becoming a father, and having the right girl smile at you.
Okay, so maybe Joel Schumacher got the entire concept of St. Elmo’s fire wrong in the movie, and sure, Andie MacDowell’s role was as challenging as putting butter on bread, but she was perfect for it. She had a fresh face with the right amount of charm and mystery to be the love interest of the guy who played the popular jock in The Breakfast Club, and for a moment yesterday, YOU WERE THAT GIRL. If that makes me the crazy, obsessed waiter-cum-law student then so be it. At least I wasn’t the wild frat boy with a bastard son who couldn’t hold his life together that Rob Lowe won the Razzie for, right?
You were the girl who defined one of those four quintessential moments, and it came at the right time, as I had just spent so much time cursing Ottawa for having such inconsiderate drivers and inaccessible downtown parking. I was the guy you smiled at who probably lives a little too vicariously through 80s coming-of-age movies cause I was never cool enough to have any “real” problems, and your smile stopped me in my tracks. By the time I gained the clarity to turn around, all I could see was you walking away, in a long black coat, black hat, with red hair.
All I need now is to lose my virginity, get married, and become a father. Maybe you could help me with those too.
I awoke after five minutes — or five seconds — to a changed world. For a moment, I was free of feeling…love, hate, jealousy. And it all felt like happiness.
—Maurice Bendrix, The End of the Affair
A fog hangs low in the streets, illuminated by the indirect rays of an unrisen sun, leaving everything was awash in grey instead of white.
The seasons are changing. Winter is officially over. It never recovers from a day like this, when the inevitability of spring can be felt on your skin, as tangible as any snowflake or raindrop. This is when I can look forward to sleeping with the windows open again, a ritual made only sweeter by it’s ephemerality.
And with that moist smell heavy in the air, I forget all else.