~ I wanted a new, perhaps wackily brightly coloured, sport-coat for the Mount Benson / Legion show tomorrow night. So I went to Value Village. They only had jackets similar to the jackets I already own (and a bunch of unwearable atrocities) so I went to the books hoping for a Chandler or a Hammet.
This where I ran into the ex-girlfriend of my old highschool friend A. About ten years ago, they moved to Vancouver and became junkies. When he came back, the one time I had coffee with him, he implied she’d become a junkie prostitute when he wouldn’t let her use his supply anymore. That was a nice story. Then he tried to get me to drive him somewhere to “meet some guy” and I figured it was time to not spend anymore time re-initiating this friendship. Anyway, that was about eight years ago and since then I hear he’s cleaned up his act a bit — sells pot in Parksville for a living.
So, his ex is talking to me at V V. She looks like she’s probably not a junkie anymore but you can tell she used to be from her still near-skeletal frame and raspy voice. She tells me about her 3 year old kid, and how she’s painting murals in Ladysmith but I’m thinking about how weird it is junkies/ex-junkies all have this same strange body language. Strange that it’s always the same. It’s not like a twitchy-shiftiness you might associate with someone who’s “cracked-out” but a lot of exaggerated movements and an almost unnatural exuberance. I can’t really describe it. Seems like it would be an interesting topic for a sociologist to study.
After about ten awkward minutes of prying questions, I’m only half paying attention to because I’m trying to devise an escape, she asks if I want to have coffee sometime. To which I stammer, “Er, well…” and she says, “I shouldn’t be so blunt. I don’t know, you could be married.” To which I say, “Yeah. Well, uh, nice seeing you.” And we left it at that. And I got the hell out of there.
In a couple of weeks it will make sense to aggressively insert your vivid presence into the thick of the action. There will be dizzying opportunities to chase down and intoxicating connections to forge. But it’s premature to get riled up about all that yet. For the foreseeable future, Sagittarius, take your inspiration from Franz Kafka, who gave the following advice in his book *The Great Wall of China*: “You need not do anything. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, just wait. You need not even wait, just learn to be quiet, still, and solitary. And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”