Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spadina streetcar, cold brakes or new driver.

Caucasian male, early 20s, wearing a blue fleece pullover and scarf, low slung jeans and a bag strapped across his back. He sways in the aisle, ten seconds away from being batted by the woman who sits across from him, annoyed that his bag finds its way to her cheek with every lunge.

Thank You For Smoking, Christopher Buckley (Random House)

Page 171:

Mel was a beautiful smoker.

I worked on a farm in the summers, riding the back of a tractor, dropping tomato plants through a rotating chute. Smoke spilled out of the cab, the driver, Deb, a late 30s Harley Davidson girl with dead hair and a five-times-a-day pot habit. We started 7:00 am each morning, ending out at 3:00 pm. Standing at the end of the field, arms crossed, Deb giggling, our supervisor eyeballed the line and just couldn't deny that they were straightest rows of all the teams.

One shift, Deb offered me a drive home, suggesting we stop in at Bugsy's for wings and a pitcher. Deb sucked the meat through the middle, double-dipping into the blue cheese. She pointed a wing at me and swallowed.

"You'd look good smoking."

I nibbled at the head of my wing, trying to avoid any gristle. Deb wiped her mouth with a toilette and took a swig of beer. She continued.

"You got that tan and your hair pulled back all the time." She picked up another wing, burping out the side of her mouth. "You ever wear your hair down?"

I shook my head, No.

"See, this is what I'm saying. You always got your hair back in that little bun. You look like that woman, what's her name? That actress." She jabbed a half-eaten wing around the crown of my head. "Greta Garbo! You look like Greta Garbo!"

I shrugged again. I only wore the hair back because it was easy for work.

"Yah, well, you look like a friggin' movie star is all I'm sayin'." She pushed a pack of Export As across the table. "You'd look good smoking."

I opened the pack, a perfect line of cigarettes on one side of the foil, a tiny clear bag on the other.

"Oh, yah. You can keep that. Might have to cut the twigs though."

No comments: