Thursday, October 28, 2004

Welcome to Vancouver

There are green edges and valleys and
pots of colour, the pale blue tents of
mountains in fog and the pale quiet ocean.
I flake out on my bed on Granville Island,
I'm exhausted and order a pizza and draw
a bath and sit in it until the knock on
my door. The best twenty dollars ever
spent, this pizza, the soft cheesey wedges
and meat and black olives, my god is it
good. I eat half of it. I leave it on
the bed and snooze. I sleep with the
fading light and then the phone rings.
We're waiting for you, Mr Winter, in
the lobby.
Pardon?
To take you to the Grand Reception Fundraiser.
I havent read my welcome package. There
are people waiting to see me.
Okay, I say.
I am whisked in a limo to a posh members club,
tuxedos and ecru evening gowns, a yellow
and brown ceiling, crystal and mirrors.
There's a table with an empty seat. There
is a portion of filet and three
spears of asparagus, a slice of baked
pear. I can't eat a thing. Downstairs
in the Mens there is a set of scales
and a small black book on top. A man
sees me fingering the book.
Is that the book, he says.
It's a book with a lot of numbers.
My goodness, he says, zipping up. It's
still here.
He looks at it. I'm in that, he says.
He flips through it, a man in a tuxedo
standing by the brass and chrome scales.
Here, he says. He has found his initials.
That was my weight in what?
Nineteen sixty-four, I say.
He laughs hard. He holds my shoulder
to laugh. There is a list of weights,
178, 181, 183, 179.
That was my heaviest, he says, 193. I
wonder if George is in here.
He flips to the back, and finds George's
initials. A much heavier man. He laughs
again and strokes his eyebrow.
I'm having dinner this very minute
with George. I had no idea this book
was down here. I'm bringing him down
and we're going to make another entry.
Do you strip off to make an entry.
No, no, just as you are.
Can I put my weight in the book?
Youre not a member, he says. And he's
serious.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favourite line is, "Do you strip off to make an entry?"

12:29 PM  

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