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Mr. Canada’s Visit Part 1

January 23, 2017

Despite my nervousness about seeing him for the first time in person, I overslept the morning that Mr. Canada’s flight was arriving in New Orleans.

I took too long with my clothes and hair and make-up, worried about that first impression. I twisted my hair up with a rubber thingee while it was still wet. This has been my preferred method of adding curl to my hair, since I’m too lazy to style it and the more I touch it, the more oils are released resulting in a very uncomfortable feeling by 3pm. But I digress.

I stopped for coffee and sped my way to New Orleans. I sent him a few messages in case I didn’t make it on time. Over the Pontchartrain, I released my messy hair, trying to comb it out a bit and apply some hairspray while driving.

I arrived with time to spare, parked the car, tried to make a note of where I parked and how to get back to it and looked for the Air Canada terminal. Just outside security was a large round seating area with a big sky light and well-designed sections of seating. There was a lot of orange and several young men in uniforms, lounging about amongst individuals and families.

I found a place to sit and put my headphones on, trying to calm my nerves with my music. I began to see people trickling in from beyond security down a hallway in the distance. I watched each person, waiting to see signs of a tall, Indian man.

Then there he was. I followed his movement as he walked around the outside the orange seating area. He wasn’t going to see me. So I gathered my stuff, got up and rushed over to him.

“Mr. Canada,” I called out. He didn’t turn around.

“Mr. Canada,” I said again louder. He turned around.

He walked up to me, put his bag down and gave me a hug.

“You’re here,” I said.

He kissed me. It was warm and tender and he smelled good. He was wearing a heavy coat.

We went to baggage claim to pick up his second piece of luggage. He had his arm around me and kissed me again as we waited. I think that was the time I was the most nervous.

I attempted to guide him back to the car, getting embarrassingly turned around and lost. We found the car and I looked up the directions to Bacchanal and we headed out.

I took him down Airline Highway instead of the Interstate so he could see more of the city. He commented on everything, the whole way there. He said it reminded him of Trinidad. He called out the names of restaurants and businesses. We laughed easily as we had done on our phone and skype calls.

I found a place to park around the corner from Bacchanal. I didn’t realize how close I was and I initially led us right past the nondescript, old building. We had to consult phone maps and turn back before finding it. As we walked, he continued to remark on the architecture and landscape, pulling me to him to kiss me every so often. We were peaking through a gate at a big, beautiful, typically southern house when he put his hands around my waist from behind me and tucked his head in my neck. I felt a tingle go down my spine and I let out a sigh. I liked having him so close to me.

AtBacchanal I let him make the cheese and tapas-style selections, insisting only on the mussels. We had a delightful lunch outside in the corner of Bacchanal ‘s expansive courtyard, surrounded by trees. There was only one other couple there and two musicians arrived and began to play smooth, jazzy, latin-ish music just a few feet from us.

At this point, I didn’t know how I felt, exactly. He had a high-pitched voice and funny mannerisms. But he was also a lot of fun and charming and attentive. In my heart, the jury was still out.

I decided to play a joke on my co-worker, Kelly. She has been there to hear all my dating and non-dating stories over the past couple of years, and the last one, Tim, light…..the guy who couldn’t be bothered to drive an hour and a half….had thrown both of us for a loop. So, when Mr. Canada said he was flying all the way from Vancouver to meet me, we were both skeptical.

“If he doesn’t show up, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she had said to me at work.

“Watch this,” I said to Mr. Canada. I texted Kelly, “He missed his flight.”

Her response was swift and strong. I began to record a video of the overall scene, ending with Mr. Canada saying, “Hi Kelly!” Before I could send it to her, she had called three times. Then she finally received it.

“Girl, I was about to come unglued,” she texted. She asked me what I thought so far.

“He’s cute and nerdy and his lips taste sweet,” I replied.

We left Bacchanal and headed for the rainbow bridge that leads to a walking path that would get us to the quarter. He kissed me often and we held hands. We climbed over a fence to get closer to the river and sat down on a jutting piece of asphalt. We sat there and made out for a while, no agenda, no timetable and no hurry.

We made our way to the French Market and walked through the wares. We saw the cathedral and sat at the corner restaurant where I had once taken a photograph of my sister, Vivian just after our mom died. We shared a beer and commented on a rather beautiful and strangely dressed woman sitting near one of many open french doors, overlooking the cathedral and a hot dog stand. After a while, it was obvious that the woman knew we were looking at her and talking about her, so I turned away and tried to get a reluctant Mr. Canada to do the same.

I took him to Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo and we walked around. He said he was tipsy from the half a beer. “That was like kool-aid to me,” I said.

He loved New Orleans and often stopped to gaze into the many courtyards tucked away between buildings. On Royal street we passed by an antique store that had an odd drink dispenser in it’s window. It looked eastern in origin. It had a small central vessel with spouts that dispensed into shot-sized cups all around it. He claimed it must be for absinthe. I argued that it probably wasn’t because there was no mechanism for dripping water on a sugar cube, like most absinthe fountains have.

This led to a lengthy and headed debate. The kind that we had been having in conversations since we met. It was an example of the kind of competitive discussions that we continued to have the entire time he was there and will no doubt continue to have for as long as we are together.

We tried asking the man in the store, but he didn’t know. Mr. Canada eventually asked a bartender at the Old Absinthe House, which at the time was overrun with frat boy-looking men and a few basic bitches. He claimed that said bartender affirmed his guess, but I don’t believe he did and I stand by my conviction that it was probably some kind of coffee dispenser.

I don’t remember where else we went but I was getting hungry. After some attempts at advice on good places to eat, I remembered….Shaya. We called an uber and headed to Magazine street. Mr. Canada was chatty with the driver as he held my hand in the back seat. We got a table outside and I ordered a glass of wine and he had a cocktail. I let him order the entrees and went in the restroom to freshen.

The food was amazing and we had a relaxing and pleasant time as the sun began to set.

I was relaxed with him and looked forward to our days ahead.

“Ready to head home?” I asked.

“Sure.”

We ubered back to the car and I fumbled my way toward finding I-10. I first went down the wrong side of a divided street then Siri must have taken my request to go home as the home I once had in Ocean Springs, Mississippi because she was giving directions towards I-10 East. But, I finally found I-10 West and we headed to Lafayette.

These moments of goofiness were embarrassing to me but at least he was seeing me in all my train-wreck glory. And he never seemed annoyed or impatient. He just laughed and went with the flow.

Back at #3, I showed him around. He liked the Christmas tree. We sat on the sofa and made out and eventually took things to the bedroom. Our first time together was wonderful, a prelude to a level of connection that rivaled any other I’ve ever had. But that would happen in the coming days.

When we woke up, he looked at me and said, “This is exactly how I imagined waking up with you would be.”

 

to be continued…

 

 

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