As you know, I'm sorta tapped out these days, and I figure the best way to not stop blogging is to force myself to write. Because, all things considered I don't want to stop. Jocelyn asked for the story of my meeting with Mr. Jazz. It's not a romantic story, but it is very us. So this one's for you Joce.
Once upon a time, many many years ago, I moved to Montreal. Because I had to. Because Quebec city... well not so much. But since that is in no way germane to our story lets move along.
In Montreal I had many lovely adventures. And met this guy. The eventually to be vilified ex (insert ominous drumroll here).
He had some redeeming qualities I guess, despite the fact that my family unanimously hated him because they immediately pegged him as an asshole - and rightly so. After all, he, like Mr. Jazz fed me. But again, that information has nothing to do with Mr. Jazz so lets move on.
One of the good things about the ex is that he introduced me to a circle of "friends" with whom he regularly partied. One of those was Mr. Jazz.
The first time I met him, though, was at a concert. We (and he) had tickets to see a Genesis cover band. Now, despite the fact that I'm a girl, I love Genesis. To the point where I know (or at any rate, those many years ago - knew) the lyrics to their songs. The real songs from the real Genesis, not the pop band they morphed into under Collins. Don't get me started on the dreck Genesis became. But back then...
I later learned that Mr. Jazz, he was impressed. Cause being a boy, well he had the whole Genesis thing down. And he didn't know of many creatures of the female persuasion who did. And as a girl you have to love a show where there's no lineup for the women's loo - and there is one for the boys. Maybe that's why I've always been a fan of prog rock.
This, however was a couple of years before we ever got to the point of... um... exchanging bodily fluids. He was with someone, I was with someone (though to this day I wonder what the hell I was thinking) so we were all in happyish coupledom. We saw each other regularly at parties - which were held pretty much every week somewhere or another. And we talked to be polite but there was no inkling on the part of either of us of what was to come. Honestly, on my part there was no attraction. He was Mr. Not-Yet-Jazz, friend of the boyfriend.
And then the STBE* got a job. In Toronto. Temporarily. He was going, I was staying end of discussion, well on his side at any rate. I suppose he was doing the man-of-the-house-who-makes-the-decisions-while-the-submissive-little-woman-just-says-yes-dear thing. We'd been living together a year by then. WHAT was he thinking!?!
In hindsight thank god, 'cause I might still be living in the "Mistake by the Lake" today. In a suburb. In a house with three kids and an in ground pool. And soccer/hockey/baseball games. WHOA!!! Without him no doubt because I would eventually have come to my senses, yes I would. Yet, the very thought of babies/suburbs scares the living bejesus outta me.
This of course was the perfect excuse for a party. Perhaps also for a "we're well rid of him" party. That I don't know. They would've been polite enough not to tell me. Suffice it to say, in short order a send-off party was organized.
The beer and wine flowed in copious amounts - come to think of it they still do - and of course the type of conversation that shouldn't ensue... well it did. It sorta went like this:
STBE - Hey, Not-Quite-Mr. Jazz, while I'm gone, take care of Jazz.
Mr. Jazz - ....
STBE - You'll see, she's real good in bed**
Mr. Jazz - !!!!
And then he just walked away. Which was a good thing indeed because the STBE really didn't need anyone to witness me tearing him a new one, even though he already was one.
Cut to a few weeks later.
I'm at home and the phone rings. It's Mr. Jazz asking what I'm doing the next evening. I'm free so we decide to meet for drinks. (How sophisticated that sounds! Meeting for drinks. There's a certain Noel Coward-ness to it, even though at that age it meant a pitcher of cheap beer or sangria.)
And for the record, though I was still officially with the STBE (I was extricating myself - but damned if I had any compunctions about "cheating"), I had found out between the ill fated party and that call that his girlfriend was now his ex - to the surprise of many. They'd been together four years, which in your mid-20s is like, for-EVAH, dude!
On the evening of the "date" I came home to a phone message cancelling. He said he'd call back. Right. Any woman who hasn't heard that particular line, please raise your hand.
Yeah, didn't think so.
And yet, he called the next evening and we rescheduled though I swore I wouldn't, that his chance had passed. And for the record, he had a very good reason for cancelling.
We went to a Greek bar which, surprisingly for Montreal, still exists after all these years (Au Près de Ma Blonde). We used to spend a lot of time there, all of us, back then. I shudder to think how many gallons of alcohol the lot of us consumed there over the years. We probably kept them afloat during the lean times.
Ah Kanellos ( the owner). They just don't make 'em like that anymore. Over 20 years ago, he was already pickled. The man was always drunk. Always. At best he was very drunk. At worse... let's not go there. In all those years I never once saw him sober. I'm sure if he was cremated when he died, he must still be burning.
So there we sat, nursing our sangria when along comes Kanellos with a glass full of brandy which he dumps into our pitcher, claiming:
"You watch, special sangria! Good sangria, good sex!"
Again with the sex! Were people seeing something we weren't?
Dear old Kanellos, he was right, bless his pickled heart.
The next morning, to my dismay I had to go clean the carpets to my new apartment. The extrication proceeded apace.
And there, Jocelyn, is the story of our first and pretty much only date. Cause we basically moved in together right there, spending pretty much every night together from then on (22 years later we still do) though I figured he was my transition guy and I was his transition goil and when we got over the exes we'd go on with our lives.
Either we were deep in denial or we both have extreme transition periods.
*Soon to be Ex
** Whether I was or not is totally immaterial here, because after all, BB will probably read this and that is perhaps TMI for a big brother.