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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Out on the town

Below is my not very embellished version of a conversation I overheard last night. Writing dialogue is tough-- just trying it out:

“The baby is kicking a lot,” she comments to her slouching partner who is sprawling artlessly in the chair on the other side of the table.

He orders another round of drinks. He does it loudly as if the carrying capacity of his voice increases his importance.

When his attempt at upstaging his forthcoming child's bid for attention fails, he bellows to the remote waitress, “Another round of drinks for everyone.” The room, including the waitress, continue to ignore him.

“Cathy and Phil are going to get married and she asked me to be the bridesmaid but that'll be hard when I'm pregnant,” she says.

“Get married, why the hell would they do that? Why the hell do that?” His reaction to the news is clearly disconcerting. Marriage is not something he's considering while his girlfriend sits there hopefully sipping her herbal tea sneaking occasional glances at her rippling abdomen. She looks off into the middle distance and imagines him on his knees with dewy eyes and a ring for her hand that rest lightly on her baby bump.

“She's had a really tough life and they are good for each other,” she tells him qualifying the reasons for marriage, the thought process behind proposals.

“Oh, Jesus. Would you look at that guy with the fucking cane. He's like 20 and he doesn't have a fucking limp. What a homo.” He orders another round as he watches the young man walk towards the bar.

“You go ahead,” she says as she plays with the lemon that remains on the bottom of her tea cup. If only the leaves within could instruct her, direct her toward the best path.

They're moving soon to Alberta. They'll never be close to friends or family he tells her, “Get used to it.”

“I found a program in Calgary where I can get my yoga certification so I don't have to go all over the place,” she tells him.

“I think I'll go to Thailand. Yeah Thailand,” is his response.

There are lots of ways to die in Thailand-- attack by supposedly tamed and sedated tigers, decapitation by train trestle, crocodile attacks in flooded streets, and the usual alcohol and drug related modes of self-immolation. But he's not seeking martyrdom, he's not planning to actually leave her and 'the baby'; which is unfortunate for them all.

Single motherhood is scary but not as scary as the man across the table.

They walk out of the bar; he's drunk at 7:30. She's only showing slightly but the bump may already be influencing her decisions; she's going to run while she still can.

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