day 27 – conversations
If I could record all the snippets of conversations I’ve had and overheard in my lifetime, it would make for a hell of a book.
Example: Summer of 2008, in the kitchen of a woman whose apartment I was renting. We called the apartment the boat because it kept us afloat whilst we recovered from tormenting breakups. It was a great apartment. I remember it was hot that night. The back door was open onto the back alley, people were walking by. Fabie. Short for Fabienne. But might as well be short for “fabulous french woman”. Bisexual. Switched on. Brilliant writer. Very liberal. The kind of woman who didn’t take no shit. The kind of woman who was involved in every community outreach program you could imagine. The following week, she’d be heading North to a small Inuit village to teach for nine months.
After 2 glasses of wine and too many cigarettes, she starts in with a monologue, out of the blue.
I remember in 1987 when I slept with an Algerian man in the toilet of an airplane from Paris to Montreal. I looked at him after a couple of drinks and I said “I get the feeling you want to fuck me“. Let me tell ya, you really have to want to get laid to join the mile high club. The toilets are small, it stinks, you have people knocking on the door, feet up in the air. It’s awful.
And after all that, we landed, he asked for my number, I said no then jumped in a taxi and left and never saw him again.
Having never met Fabie, you might be judging her right now. Slut is one word that might come to mind. But she was so far from being a harlot. She was just a free spirit. She knew what she wanted and she went after it. And I have nothing but awe for her. I wonder what she’s up to these days? If she’s still smoking fags and sipping cheap wine on her back porch? If she’s found someone to love? If she’s still regaling the world with her crazy stories?
For you Frenchies, it sounded so much better in her mother tongue:
“Aye, je me rappelle en 1987 quand j’ai couché avec un algérien dans les toilettes d’un avion de Paris à Montreal. Je l’ai regardé après une couple de drink et j’ai dit: “J”ai l’impression que t’as envie de baiser avec moi.” Faut vraiment vouloir. C’est petit, ça pu, t’as des gens qui cogne sur la porte, les pattes en l’air. Pis après tout ça, on a atterri, il voulait mon numéro, j’ai dit non pis j’ai sauté dans un taxi et je suis partie.“