For D, and Biz Az (hee hee)

Posted on December 2, 2005

5


A few weeks ago, two friends of mine came to stay for a couple days to interview with Toronto firms. Well, one was an old friend of mine from Egypt days (D of bird-fearing blog fame), and the other was her friend from law school, C.
D arrived at the ungodly hour of 7 am, when as far as I am concerned only unicellular organisms should be at large. I opened the door, muttered something, and slid back into bed, expecting that she would do the same ( I had taken the courtesy to provide her with pillows, something which has never crossed her mind when I have visited her in the past. Also a place to put her stuff). The first thing she did, as I expected, was go straight towards my wall clock and confiscate it. It ticks very loudly, OK, but it’s not a shot gun. It doesn’t demand immediate banishment. I find it soothing.
So we were laying in bed (yes, we always share a bed – get over it, there are plaid pyjamas and zit cream involved) and I was happily drifting off to sleep when she said, “I can’t sleep. I need to put my sleep hypnosis on.”
Wearily I said, “You’ve just spent all night on a plane. Just shut up and go to sleep.”
“No, I’m too excited. I need it.” She brought over her laptop to the bed. “I’ll keep it low.”
“What?! Are you saying this will involve noise? I thought it was some sort of repeating visualization thing!”
A deep voice began to tell me to imagine my worries as a light blue mist floating away from my body. I snickered. “Are you serious?”
“Just give it a chance!”
I eventually fell asleep. I deny it was because of the hypnosis though. I was just tired. I’m not crazy.
The next morning I woke up to find that D had somehow reduced my room to a violent crime scene. Everything was strewn everywhere to a degree that must have taken concentrated effort. I have this thing where empty cans of coke can stay in my room, but not mugs or plates. For days after D left I was collecting mugs from out of the way corners. I should have expected this – the last time I visited her, I was parched for days because all her mugs were under my ass. She was also trying this new thing where she didn’t want to use sheets anymore – she said it was strangely freeing and comfortable. I threw a fit and she postponed such experimentation till my departure. I swear I’m the dirtiest person alive, too, so it’s not me.
She makes me into such a tightass. But is it just me that finds it unacceptable when friends wear brown jackets with black shoes? That’s an incontrovertible fashion tenet, right?
Later on that night, after their very sexist interviews were over, D and C and I went out to dinner with a friend of theirs. We took the subway. They were both complaining about how pushy Toronto was and full of crazy people, and I was scoffing. Toronto still strikes me as pretty quaint and tame, even the ghetto where I live. Anyway so as we argued a homeless guy came and asked us for a quarter for a donut (although it did seem to me that paying 2.50 to get on the subway for this purpose was really counterproductive). We refused. He asked someone else and then he sat down opposite us. We were talking again when suddenly he bellowed “MAYBE IF I’D HAD GOOD TEETH, THE BLONDE LADY OVER THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE INTERESTED IN ME.” Mortified, we ignored him. He bared his admittedly terrible teeth at us. “BECAUSE HAVING GOOD TEETH IS IMPORTANT, SEXXXXUALLY.” Pause. “YOU KNOW, FOR SEXXXXUAL INTERCOURSE.”
At this point a strangely placid girl sitting across from us pressed that curious yellow strip near the top of the train that you’re supposed to press in case of harassment, fire, illness etc. the train immediately came to a stop and starting to emit a high pitched whine. The homeless man leapt to his feet and without another glance at us ran up to the door and waited tensely for it to open. Evidently he was used to the drill. Nothing happened for a few minutes. We were all locked in an unmoving train in a dark tunnel. Had there been a really violent situation, the blood would have been flowing like water by now. Eventually the train started up again and at the next station the guy calmly got out. Presently a security guard came strolling by, finding nothing out of the usual. Apparently the TTC believes in giving disasters enough time to take their course, stabbings time to wrap up, etc, all to the accompaniment of a soothing whine and a nice still train. After that the perpetrator is obligingly allowed to escape and his handiwork examined by a TTC employee who is utterly free of weaponry, foam, whatever. Good times. Not that it would have occurred to us to press the strip; years of Middle Eastern conditioning have led us to believe that sexual harassment can only be dumbly endured. But now that I know of the strip’s facilitation of crime and accidents, I think I’ll just get out calmly at the next station rather than meet death-by-yellow-strip.

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Posted in: friends, nutjobs