Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Switching books, from Yonge fare to Spadina wear

Caucasian woman, early 30s, with long blonde hair, oval glasses and bitten down fingernails, wearing a long leather coat (maybe five seasons old), black jeans and black leather boots.

The Last Days of Dogtown
, Anita Diamant (Simon & Schuster)

Page 219:

Newell gulped his tea and handed her the cup while a few men gathered to watch. Easter picked it up, eyed her audience with a mysterious twinkle, and swirled the dregs. Covering the cup with a saucer, she flipped it over with a quick motion and set it on the counter.
Sitting at the tall table, perched on a bar stool, she picks at her eggs, wondering if she should move her backpack from the stool across from her. It's the second Tuesday of the month and the pub is filling quickly, people lining up to spell out their names, letter by letter, over the din of stereo music and a sizzling grill. They peer into the back to see a row of numerologists, tarot card readers and astrologists preparing their makeshift stations. Cones of incense cast an inviting glow reflecting the warmth of flowing batique fabrics.

The woman got here early, ordering her complimentary breakfast before her reading so she could leave immediately after, sit in the park and contemplate. She always sees the same person, Abella. Abella is kind, easy with a laugh, and surprisingly down to earth. The woman moves past the eggs onto the roasted potatoes with fragrant chunks of onion and red pepper. She manoeuvres her fork patiently, skewering one potato per tine. She rests her chin in her hand, studying the fork. It's swallowed in the glare of the front window. Her eyes adjust, her focus settling on the face of another woman, about her age, about to turn 40. She too picks at her brunch, the french toast, hugging the wall of the booth seat she managed to secure. A journal sits open in front of her, a pen hanging loosely in her hand, tipped upright. She'll have to give it a good shake, the woman thinks.

Her name is called. She signals to the bar staff that it's okay to take her plate, she's done. It was very good, thank you. She gathers her coat and backpack, unraveling her scarf from around her neck and fluffing her hair. She walks into the back room to meet Abella's awaiting smile. She sits.

"You said younger. My question is, How much younger?"

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