Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bloor Line, on my day off until I realized I'd sold her the book at WOTS

Caucasian woman, early 20s, spiky faux hawk, thick, handsome nose, droopy eyes, chiseled lips, wearing black skinny jeans, black Pumas and a puffy, white parka with furry hood. She looks long and lean, but when she stands she's surprisingly petite.

I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes--A Fairy Tale for Grown Ups, the pink cover, Jaclyn Moriarty (House of Anansi Press)

Page 132:

She and Marbie had both learned to pick a lock when their fingers were fresh and nimble. She got into the apartment in less than three seconds, smiled at the cat, and slid silently from room to room in a quick Emptiness check. (There had once been a plumber in the bathroom, but Fancy, ingeniously, recruited him on the spot. He was now one of their best.)

In grade six, I sat behind Archie H. He was the first true punk kid I'd ever met, a real bad seed who would grow up to drink tall boys at Jerry's Alley and wait for people, even girls, to beat the crap out of. I once caught him behind the school fingering Darlene J. The next Monday he turned around mid lesson and placed a padlock and hairpin on my desk. "See how long it takes you." Each day, he'd time me giving me tips, place the pin to the far right and turn it until the lock pops. At eleven, I remember sitting in an airport helping a panicked woman open her luggage. Eleven.

Years later, I won a game of pool at Jerry's, playing against a hustler who came after me with her cue when I sank the eight ball off a trick shot. (Heck, I called it.) Archie lunged from the bar seeing his chance to pummel someone. "Archie! It's me! Julie!...You taught me how to pick locks in grade six!" It wasn't a Hallmark moment. He didn't turn into a puppy dog. We didn't sway, shoulder to shoulder, singing "Add It Up" in two part harmony. He shoved my shoulder and told me to "get the fuck out." And, like back in grade six, on that day behind the school, I stuck my tongue out, smelled my finger and ran away.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was just looking at that book today. I love the serendipity of this blog.
Now I'm going to walk around reading funny stuff just to amuse you in case you ever run into me. I think we haunt the same neighbourhood. If you see a woman with a copy of _The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind_, please post it... my five minutes of fame are overdue.

Julie Wilson said...

I haven't read it but it's apparently quite good. Some Australianisms were edited to appeal more to a Canadian audience. Throw some peameal on the barbie?

And now you've given me something else to look out for. :)

Shannon said...

Oh I so want to read this book, first saw it at an airport bookshop in Melbourne - the cover grabbed me, it's much better than the North American edition, it's a hot air balloon with the title on a scroll, it's very detailed and the colours are gorgeous. I know this is really superficial but sometimes I'll wait to buy a book so I can get the one with the cover I want!

Julie Wilson said...

I totally understand. I don't know if you've seen the many covers for Camilla Gibb's "Mouthing the Words" but the one I have looks like a girl with her face melting off. Interestingly, they rereleased with something very different, very photographic.

I love that "I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes" comes in yellow, pink, blue AND green! A production nightmare, yet very effective when it comes to enticing people...