Monday, August 24, 2009

I'll Have A Cafe Mocha Vodka Marijuana Latte To Go, Please

A mouse chaser just pranced across my firm (?), hundred mile diet ravaged(??) stomach. Now she's back and she's resting her purring face on my right arm while using my elbow as a fleshy, makeshift scratching post. The famous feline wears a red, heart-shaped name tag. It says Sam. I'm using my right hand to keep princess Sam purring, and also to keep her regal mane off the keyboard, so I'm typing this with my left hand.

Oh damn!

Sam's just caught her claw in my white cotton t-shirt and it doesn't appear that the claw is coming free during the ninety-one years remaining in this century. I'm having visions of showering, shopping and surfing with an auxiliary pussy dangling precipitously close to my spleen... the closest I'll get to the unfortunate condition know as hermaphroditism. It's not quite how I imagined my life playing out, but do any of us really know what the future holds? Sam damn well better like Aveda Shampure shampoo, surfing stores and salt water...because that's what's in my immediate future.

Needless to say, I'm not at home. I'm in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Dartmouth is famous for...umm, errr, well,....nothing of which I'm aware. The Trailer Park Boys was filmed on the unscrubbed backside of Dartmouth, but that's like bragging that Don Cherry used to be your babysitter. Interesting, but not historically significant. Other than the Micmac Mall, I know nothing about Dartmouth.

I arrived in Dartmouth under the cloak of darkness and made my way to my friend's latest home. She's not in the military, but likes to pretend that she is, dispatching herself to a new posting every two years or so. She left her Halifax pied-a-terre recently, and now spends her days on the other side of the bridge. Dartmouth has always played ugly step sister to the glossy, glassy towers of well educated Halifax, but perhaps it's a reputation that's undeserved.

When my eyelids parted at 6 a.m. this morning, I found myself in a quiet, leafy suburban neighbourhood. It's reminiscent of the place where I grew up except the architecture is more imaginative, and the postage stamp square lots are far more generous. Choruses of birds were texting and twittering back and forth. Red squirrels were making red squirrel noises, announcing to each other that they'd found a new way to get into Reg Bumford's attic.

This boy slept in a trailer last evening, which doesn't actually bolster Dartmouth's reputation. In fact, the trailer is a gorgeous vintage 1960s Avion. You know nothing about Avion trailers, in the manner that I know nothing about Dartmouth. They're the lesser known cousin to the wildly popular, and expensive, Airstreams. You know the's the giant Coors Light can on wheels with the five star interior (and no beer in the fridge). The Avion is similar, except with the heart of a VW van and a Kerouacan sense of wanderlust. The Airstream drinks martinis and expensive Scotch. The Avion walks up to the bar and says "I'll have a cafe mocha vodka marijuana latte to go." But only if it's out of home brew.

I didn't make the cafe mocha thing up. When I poured myself out of my friend's Avion this morning, I wandered into her house and did what a normal house guest does when the host is still asleep...I snooped. I saw a sign in her kitchen with the aforementioned bar order, and I liked it's sense of irreverence. It seemed fitting of an Avion owner.

The Avion owner is also a surfer and surfing is what's on my plate this morning. Hurricane Bill has willed itself toward Newfoundland and only the swell remains. The wind, waves and weather are decidedly more user friendly today. Yesterday's surf was big enough to skin a cat, which wouldn't do at all. Today I'll swing by the local surf shop to get Sam a wetsuit, then hopefully we'll paddle out and catch some waves together.

Does it make sense to surf with a cat? When you only have one life, it does.

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