An evening with literati

Posted on March 8, 2006


I have a friend from undergrad who is a novelist. Isn’t that cool? Well, he’s still writing it, but it’ll definitely get published because Canada being as teeny, he was able to get Margaret Atwood to supervise him and critique his manuscript and the like. Margaret fucking Atwood. Spell check knows who she is. Anyway, I hang out with him just to hear weird stories about various things, bitch about his personal hygiene and give him advice about women.
He gave me directions to his new place. It involved, as I had expected simply from knowing him, walking down a dark narrow alley in a shady part of town. Luckily the alley had rape lights – you know, the ones that turn on as you walk past them. I came to a dodgy green door that was barely visible in the wall, and pressed a button labelled 2. He came down, and then we ascended limitless flights of stairs till we got to the sort of rickety pre-war apartment that part of town is known for. As we climbed the stairs he indicated my purse and said, “I see you have one of those purses that look like girls’ asses.” As you can see it looks like nothing of the sort! Unless he is dating a peculiar breed of square, wrinkly-assed females. Which, of course, he very well might be.
“You mean because it’s….soft and pink? I’d forgotten that you liked white girls.”

Upstairs I asked his friend if she thought the bag had any resemblance to a girl’s butt. “Hmmm…maybe, because he likes white girls. Who knows how their butts are?”
His was a biohazard, as usual. On top of the radioactive materials were 3,168 books. I set to rescuing these precious items from the toxicity, chattering about the ones I’d read as I went. We counted the number of filthy socks in the vicinity – there were 9. We also found a tiny dime bag containing a substance that G claimed had not been criminalized yet. This I doubted, so we didn’t try it. We couldn’t find any of the more definitely criminalized substances either, so we sat back down.
G related stories from his summer “finding himself” in Morocco, where he made friends with a French guy who had “decided” to become Arab. The man moved to Morocco because he found Arab women “fatale” and planned to support himself by phonetically learning Fairuz songs and performing them across the Arab world. It sounds gravely undoable, but we fatales appreciate the compliment to our inimitable charms.
His roommate came in and apologized to G for her friend mistaking him for her on the phone. Blithely I confessed that I had mistaken her for him on the phone myself. There were several angry/embarrassed giggles. I have to start developing an inner dialogue, I think. People are always asking me to. Am I to understand that other people actually have conversations out in their head before saying things? How bizarre.
G also lambasted me for not writing this book I’ve been saying I want to write for years, although mine will definitely be a chicklit sort of book and not magical realism bullshit like his. Thing is, I have the imaginative capabilities of a desk lamp. The book would have to be all about my life. And after so many years of concealing my activities from my parents, I go and publish the shit?! I don’t think so.
Afterwards I stopped for shawerma at a place I couldn’t resist because it was called “Cleopatra’s Restaurant”. Needless to say, I got into a pitched dispute over whether the correct condiment for a chicken shawerma was garlic paste or tahina. It’s always garlic! But I took the tahina one and stuffed my face just the same, and dribbled it happily down my chin all the way home.

Posted in: books, food, friends