Greek Day is on Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Broadway will be closed from Blenheim to MacDonald to make room for vendors, music, performances and dancing in the streets. Bring yourself and your friends and be prepared to shake some poly-rhythmic booty. Liam, Vicki and I will be going.
So the other day, Monday actually, Dominique and I did something extremely silly. We made this sign:
Dominique wrote the sign and, after attaching it to sticks, I carried it. (I lack the skills required to create something so girlish). We only got as far as Penelope’s before someone stopped us. A friendly older man in a white shirt thought it was funny and insisted we go in and show the owner.
Already feeling pleasantly ridiculous, we went in and let everyone read it. The owner laughed, said he wished he was younger, then told us to wait, he had just the person. The first man was then sent out to fetch someone as we assembled for a picture to celebrate our first successfully acquired “boyfriend”. The man returned with Memo, a tall young fellow, who had no idea what was going on.
Memo, it turns out, has only been in Canada a month and is still learning english. We asked him if he could bowl and, with a puzzled expression, he said yes. The other men, with shooing motions with their hands, told him he was to go with us. He acquiesced, which was nice of him, and walked up the Drive with us while we laughed and explained that Dominique had been worried that no one would say yes.
Our second “boyfriend” was collected at Abruzzo’s, an Italian cafe in the block after Grandview Park. Francesco, a real character, who admitted a block later that he lied in answer to our skill testing question, “Do you know how to bowl?,” so he could come with us. I’ve never met anyone so stuffed with machismo. He was amazing. Dominique describes him as perhaps “the most macho thing to walk the earth,” and she may be right. He has a small tattoo of some sort of horned creature on his right arm and when I asked him what it was, he fumbled around and replied with, “Something strong, you know? Scary, and big, dangerous or a bull or something, really manly. Masculine. Strong. Fierce. Maybe like a demon thing. I don’t know what it is, but it’s, you know, manly.”
When it came to bowling, the woman who worked there was better than all of us put together. She threw a strike from the seating area. Through pure luck, we each got a strike too, but I was bowling left-handed to save my wrecked shoulder from agony, Dominique can’t stay upright to save her life, Memo had never bowled five-pin before, and Francesco took everything far too seriously. He won, actually, in spite of our group effort to beat him. No matter how poor our aim, he had some terribly encouraging comment, like “It’s going to be a strike this time, I can tell.” or “Oh good try. Good try. You’ll get it next time.” Memo was an angel throughout, grinning when we had fun swinging Francesco’s words back at him, twisting them from irritating to funny. All three of us found it nerve-wracking, but silly too, how little Boyfriend #2 realized we weren’t appreciating his help. There was an especially choice moment, just after Francesco realized he was in the lead, when he asked if the winner got a kiss. I think I saw Dominique’s hands tighten on her ball for a moment and I know I saw Memo just freeze. Instead of looking at him to answer, I kept my face as straight as possible and answered in a level voice, “I would hope not,” I said. “How painfully antique that would be. No fair at all. The winner already gets to win. I say the loser gets a chocolate bar.”
But as it’s now dawn on the longest day of the year, I’m to bed. This is the television to be continued…