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Mr. Canada, Pixie and East Van

April 8, 2017

Mr. Canada took me up to his studio apartment. I was relieved not to be met with the smell of cat litter or ammonia. I finally met the infamous Pixie who I instantly began calling Mr. Kitty because I had become accustomed to saying that name in Lori’s house. It took me a minute to correct myself.

The place was simple and cool with a great view of the city and mountains. It was pretty clean. I could see that he had just mopped the floors and the bathroom and kitchen were spotless.

There was, however Pixie’s long, white hair….everywhere! Over the course of the weekend I had to simply adjust to its presence. I think I had some in my lungs by Sunday. I half expected to cough up a hair ball when I got back.

I did come to love Pixie, though. He’s an old, spoiled, soft as silk, all fur, pure breed, hot mess who basically spends his life sleeping in corners and meowing for either food or attention. Mostly attention.

We went to a liquor store for wine and while we were there one of his good friends called him and when I told her hi from beside him, she asked to talk to me. She told me how much Mr. Canada loved me and how he talked about me all the time.

“I’m so jealous of the story of how you two met…..it makes me want to slit my throat,” she joked.

“Awwww…….that’s the nicest thing anyone could say,” I laughed.

I showered and pulled up a bar stool that he had on his balcony next to the stove and drank wine while he cooked. He made duck breasts and potatoes cooked in duck fat. It was easy and fun being with him. He talked the whole time. Mr. Canada’s a talker.

I looked around at the surroundings I had seen so many times through skype, sitting in my apartment in Lafayette. I couldn’t believe I was really there. Just over a month ago I was in Louisiana and here I was sitting next to my tall, dark, handsome boyfriend watching him make me dinner in fucking Vancouver, Canada.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next day, we walked out for coffee and he made me breakfast.

And then I had what may very well be one of the best days of my life.

He drove me out toward Granville Island, isn’t really an island. He took me through some cool neighborhoods with high rise after high rise of new condos. I’ve never seen so much housing in a city before. What do all these people do? I wondered. He drove around until he found a good parking spot and we walked towards the island and market. It was a gloriously beautiful sunny day. Just cold enough to have a jacket on. Not wanting to stumble around with my camera bag, I brought one body and my purse, putting a couple of small lenses in it.

Nevertheless I was as goofy as ever and Mr. Canada took great delight in laughing at me.

“I’ve never seen anyone have so much trouble getting out of a car,” he teased.

The island was filled with New Orleans-like eclectic shops. It was well designed without one big open area that might attrack large crowds. It was touristy, of course but Mr. Canada claimed that Vancouver-ites shop and eat there regularly. It had a nice flow. There was an art school, a conservatory and a few theaters. I found a shop that sold umbrellas. Just umbrellas. It was beautiful. I want to own an umbrella shop.

The willow trees are a different color here in the pacific northwest. They’re very tall and a shade of neon green. Almost yellow but not quite. They almost match the color of the moss that grows on everything. I’m quite taken with them. And there’s cherry blossoms everywhere. I always regretted not going to D.C. during the cherry blossom season but now I see them all the time. Why don’t we have cherry blossoms in Louisiana?

Mr. Canada took me through the island commenting on things here and there. Pointing out good restaurants and places he’s been. We spent some time looking at house boats and dreaming of living in one some day.

I like being with him. I like being with him more and more. We often walk arm in arm or holding hands. He turns to me and kisses me often and sometimes I can’t stop looking at him, which I think makes him a little uncomfortable. I’m not sure. I want my body to be close to his all the time. I can’t get enough of his energy and warmth. We laugh a lot and have fun together. Life with him is easy going and relaxed with lots of walking and talking. Sometimes more walking than I can handle. Either I’m horribly out of shape or I need to get my heart checked again. Every time I have to climb stairs, I feel like I’m going to die. But Mr. Canada is patient even while teasing me.

We’re better in person. We need to be with each other. The ways that he gets on my nerves and upsets me over the phone are easy to mitigate when he’s next to me. I just punch him in the arm or shove him aside and he comes back and holds me and kisses me and says, “What?” or “Whhhyyyyy?” in that weird whiney way he has.

We got a pot pie from a place that Lori insisted we go to and ate it together in the market. We perused shops and I bought a Canada sticker and magnet for my collection. Sometimes he would hint at buying me things, asking me if I liked this or that. I commented on the things I liked and didn’t, warning him, “I have very particular taste. You can’t shop for me.”

“I’m figuring it out,” he claimed. But he knows I don’t want him to buy me things. He knows I have issues with money in relationships. Besides, as I keep warning him, I’m just going to lose anything he might buy me.

We found a little place near the water with lobsters, crabs and oysters in bins of water, fresh off the boat. Mr. Canada was delighted with the prices and suggested we have oysters for dinner. He knew all the different kinds and what their names meant and what they would taste like. My mouth was watering over the huge lobsters, imagining a giant pot of them, boiled and thrown onto newspaper on a long table and eating them like crawfish. I want to have a crawfish-style lobster boil!

We walked back over the bridge and through some lovely neighborhoods with meandering walkways and inviting landscapes. I marveled at the elegant architecture and we discussed which styles we liked better. We walked on the edge of the bay, viewing the city and sailboats and waterfront condos with modern, colorful doors and big windows.

Then we went back to the oyster place and Mr. C picked out two dozen oysters with my contribution based on the appearance of their shells. The guy who helped us was very odd in both look and behavior. He was all business and tense, untying the bags and spreading the oysters out to count them carefully. He barely made eye contact and never smiled. As we walked out Mr. C said, “Thanks man.” The dude didn’t look up. “Thanks a lot. See you later,” he tried again with his insistent politeness. The guy finally looked up and said, “Oh, yeah, ok, yeah.”

Crossing the bridge we had seen a fisherman with a big, fresh salmon below in the harbor. He was holding it up showing an older Asian couple as they looked down and took pictures. When we walked back over, the couple was on the dock, the woman gesturing profusely, trying to communicate. We stopped and watched and the fisherman put the spine with some meat still on it into a plastic bag and gave it to her. She used classic charade methods to explain that she was going to make a good soup from the gift. They all took a picture together.

“Shall we go to the car?” Mr. C asked.

“No, I want to stay here for a couple more hours.” I joked.

He took me to Kits beach and we walked along the shore and in the neighborhood, again comparing taste in house designs. I liked more contemporary looks. Mr. C tended to like an old English style. The beach was weird and different than the Oregon coast. Lots of big rocks with kelp and barnacles and crows every where. It was beautiful. The sun was going down and we could see Stanley Park across the bay that was filled with tanker ships moored, waiting for their turn to deliver their contents.

I could see why someone would want to live in this amazing city. No wonder the border officers were worried about me sneaking in to stay. I wanted to stay. Portland’s got nothing on Vancouver. Portland seemed boring compared to this.

We left the beach and he drove to the grocery store to pick out supplies for a charcuterie board he promised to make me for dinner. When we were in Portland we had ordered one at a bar and I was very disappointed with both its contents and presentation. Mr. C later told me he had been proud of my instincts. So, he was going to do it right.

We went back to the apartment and I showered and changed and watch him shuck the oysters. He told stories about working for Gordon Ramsey. We watched Home Movies and ate oysters on the patio table he had relocated inside. I was in heaven. We drank wine and he sliced and arranged his creation. We nibbled and laughed our way through the spread. We were supposed to go out to a bar but Mr. C can’t hold his wine so we stayed in instead.

We laid in bed and watched t.v., making out and pushing the ever-needy Pixie off the bed.

That night I slept like a baby, turning over to snuggle with him or putting my arm around him.

The next day we slept in then went out for coffee again and he took me to an Italian store and bought a large sandwich-like creation. This was on Commercial Drive and I experienced the same feeling I had when I drove in but this street was even more remarkable.

Coffee shops on every block (not Starbucks, but little, individual cafés), restaurants from every culture and nation on earth, vintage stores, import stores, a butcher, a tailor!….a fucking tailor! Block after block of interesting businesses, organically assembled. This was no River Ranch! This was no planned community. There were dives and graffiti but also high end boutiques. I bought a pair of boots at a vintage store for $40 (that’s 30 American dollars!). We went into a childrens’ boutique and I saw a pair of toddler pants with a big fox on it that I knew Lori would love.

“Are you going to get it?” Mr. C asked.

“Yeeesssss,” I said as I turned over the tag to see that it was $26. “Noooo.” I then cooed. No article of clothing that will be outgrown in a matter of months should cost that much. I was walking out when he grabbed it and took it to the counter and bought it for me. Lori loved it.

We walked up and down, people watching and teasing each other. I was head over heels in love with Vancouver. I had never been anywhere like it.

“I hate for you to leave this place,” I told him.

“Well, maybe you can move here then,” he said.

I just sighed. Not that I wouldn’t want to but it’s not easy to immigrate to Canada. I wasn’t sure how we could make it happen. Yet, when I think of him leaving this wonderful place to come to Portland……it seemed like a tragedy.

Mr. C often jokes with me about getting married. Mostly, he claims because he knows it makes me squirm. When we were on the beach, he said it again, that I could live there if I married him. We stopped and I hugged him close and looked up at him.

“What if I said yes and I wanted to get married tomorrow? You’d do it?”

“Of course I would,” he said.

“You’re really that sure?”

He looked down at me and kissed me.

“I told you. I know this is going to work. I’ve never had a doubt in my mind.”

“You’re so stupid,” I said. (This has become a running joke I say to him anytime he expresses his confidence or unconditional love.)

He laughed.

But I don’t want to get married again. Or at the very least, I’m not ready.

Walking back to the car, arms around each other, the sun in our eyes he said, “I could see you staying close to Lori and the baby and the kid for about a year or two then maybe coming up here to live.”

“You think we can sustain this for a year or two?” I asked.

“Yeah, I think we can,” he said.

When I think of all the wishy washy, flighty men I have attempted to date over the past five years. Mr. Houston who said a three hour drive was too far. Pumpkin Patch who couldn’t give up his Baton Rough girl, the guy from Gramercy who couldn’t be bothered to drive an hour and a half….etc…etc….

There I was in Vancouver, Canada walking with a man who I was crazy about and talking about our future.

Maybe I finally found my Mr. Moon.

We went back to the apartment and I gathered my things and we carried them down. We said goodbye by the car and I held him tight, putting my head on his chest.

“I’ll see you Friday,” he said.

“Yeah, that’s right. I’ll see you Friday, boo boo.” I said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At the American border, the car got searched again and they asked me lots of questions again. They were surprised I had been let into Canada with all that stuff.

I think Mr. C and I should have special speed passes that we can put on our dashes.

At the very least, I’ve got to convince Lori to let me put all that stuff in her crowded garage. For once in my life I’d like to go through a border without being questioned.

 

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From → Rantings

One Comment
  1. Flying is much easier – Canadians and Americans use the same line, its everyone else that gets interrogated.

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