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off putting at first

It’s 6:30am and I’ve already been at the airport for an hour and a half. Surprisingly the Canucks restaurant “breakfast sandwich” is very good. I’m off to do a film shoot in San Francisco: super fun. There are going to be zombies! “Why are zombies fun?” I ask myself. Not sure. But they are. Speaking of strange death and un-death, I’m missing a very important callback in Vancouver for something I passionately love. I sent a little pleading note, assuring them I am very interested…but let’s face it. I’m not there. And there’s a lot of great women who are. I take a deep breath and let the gig go over a cup of weak airport coffee. It reminds me of a song I wrote once, Unknown

“I’m stuck in Kamloops en route to Toronto, staring at a poster of New York city, forty years old, still dreaming of Broadway. I”m getting too old for this shade of blonde, Marilyn Monroe was dead by my age…”

Across from me is a handsome young man eating oatmeal. I’m glad he’s eating. He’s most obviously recovering from cancer treatments for what I suspect is a brain tumour: he has a huge telltale scar on the side of his bald head. His browless lash-less eyes catch the light. What would it be like to be so publicly ill?

I saw him earlier at security. I was startled by him and reminded of a friend who died that way. Is he going on a trip to scratch off some things on his bucket list? Is he off to see a specialist? Or, is he making a last journey to say good-bye? Maybe he’s recovering. Maybe he’s going to be fine. None of my business! Stop it, Lucia.

But now, eating oatmeal, I am drawn to him again. I’ve come to terms with the whole scar thing and notice how lovely he is built: his cheekbones, his wide chest. He sees me staring. Oops. I smile, busted. I give my breakfast sandwich my full attention now, out of respect for his privacy. I hope something in him wonders if I’m just staring because he’s handsome. Remember that kind of attention, young man? I want you to remember. The waitress comes and clears his plate. I see he’s eaten all of his oatmeal. Good. I throw him a little prayer as he clears out and saunters towards his gate.images

On the other side of the restaurant are four seniors, three of them are quiet and one is an extremely loud woman who is reading out an entire biography of a football player on her phone. I cannot bear it, being very sensitive to sound. So I stuff little bits of my napkin into my ears. She pierces through. I sneak a peek at her and she looks sweet enough. Her husband is stout and long suffering. He blinks a lot and wipes his beard, like an invisible ablution, perhaps trying to wash the harsh sound away. Is he thinking right now, “I married this woman, why did I marry this woman?” No, Lucia, don’t think that. I’m sure she’s very nice, otherwise, why would these three people travel with her? Even if she is family. I could not. I could not for five minutes. But maybe they don’t find her harsh at all? Maybe all they see is a woman who has devoted her life to generosity? She’s got a cute little grey bob and she’s wearing bright sunny yellow. I imagine her building lego battleships with her grandson. Yeah.

I remove my wads from my ears. They don’t work anyway.

My Fellow has a wonderful rich manly kind of voice. I smile at the memory of him purring into my ear.

I read my emails. I have a note from one of the directors working on one of my plays. (I have seven different plays in  three different countries this year. A treat!) The director has some good cut suggestions that I say yes to. But there is a surprising note about something that is one of the favourite things I’ve ever written. images-1The director finds such and such alienating. Fair enough. I see the point. I smile. But wait, I gently offer. Reconsider. I suspect in time these words will seep in and move them. Sometimes art is like that. Sometimes people are like that. Initially off putting. But they sneak up on us and become some kind of precious good.

 

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