the Latrine

Hornhonkers, Their Friends, Voices in Their Head and Weed

by Joseph Avery-North

OK, this is the story of my day so far and it's only 12:39 my time.

The house next door to me is puzzling. Neither my flatmate or the few friends who've been here are quite sure about the tenants. There seem to be a half dozen or so, male and female but... well best way to say it is that my friend Lynn was over a week or so ago and asked what was with the house next door. Commented that the 2 guys on the porch were, well, weird. I've noticed that our neighbours aren't exactly average bears. We theorised it might be some type of boarding home for the mentally-not-quite-there-but-mostly-functional-under-moderate-supervision. Maybe it's just a house that coincidentally rented to some people that make your friends and yourself ask if it's the other kind of house.

There's a woman that works a couple blocks from where I live. We worked together for 6 months, 6 years ago. I ran into her a couple weeks back. We've talked a couple times since. Before you think that, she's not even close to my type in any way And I'm not looking anyhow. My heart belongs to someone even though nothing may ever come of it again. (That's why there was no Latrine article last month. I was writing songs instead.) Did I mention that the woman I used to work with lived next door and was moving out as we were moving in? That's how I ran into her again.

Anyhow, she gave me a ring the other night, suggested getting together for a drink or a smoke. Why not? She rings me up around 9:30 this morning, asks what I'm doing. Nothing. Wanna go for a coffee for an hour or so? Sure, what the hell. Hey, I wanna go price some TVs, would you come with me. Sure. I'm a man, it's electronics. I worked in retail management for 4 years, selling electronics. Cool, she'll call when she's on her way.

An hour or so later, my cell rings. Be there in 5 minuntes she says. Fine. I hear her pull in. I'm putting on my jacket... she honks the bloody horn. I hate horn honkers. It's not the road, you're not honking at some moron driver that's about to hit you. You're in my driveway. I can see you through the window. I know you're there. I hop in the car. We start driving. She tells me that something is wrong with the fuel injection and the steering. She has poor accelearation from stops. The car lurches. It's worse coming off of a right turn. The ride to the edge of the city was not fun. Especially when her cell phone started ringing, she started fumbling in her purse for it while the car was exhibiting it's lousy take off after a red light and there are cars behind with drivers wondering "WTF is this woman's problem?". Answering cell phones while driving, applying make up or reading a map while the car is moving are pet peeves of mine as it is, even in smooth running cars. It's one of her girlfriends. She taps my leg and smiles and proceeds to tell her friend that I'm there and she should meet me and I'm a great guy and blah blah blah. We'll, flattered I'm sure but I'm not looking to meet anyone. I have my reasons. She knows I don't wanna meet anyone. She tells her friend we'll pick her up in an hour. Uh huh.

We get to the south end of the city, to one of the malls and go into Wal-Mart. She grabs a flyer. Starts leafing through it. Grabs a cart. Asks me if I'll push it while she reads the flyer. I don't wanna push the cart. I don't want anyone thinking we're together. I make my flatmate get her own cart when we go to the grocery store. Ok, I'm a nice guy, I'm pushing the cart. Fine. Enough of this. We go price some TVs. Or rather she does. I wander off in search of DVD boxsets I'm interested in. I didn't really get to do a thorough check because she's speed walking up and down the isles looking for me. She actually called my name out rather loudly only she used the first half of my last name as if it were my middle name and shortens my first name without my leave as it is. My name is Joseph. I introduce myself as Joseph. Few indeed are the people allowed to call me Joe. Fewer still are allowed to call me Joey and then only a lady in the most intimate of situations. Anyhow, after shooting her a rather scathing glance, I answer her questions of which TV she should get. Now she needs to go look at a vacuum cleaner. The cart is abandoned in the electronics section. I could tell you about the trip to the isle with the vacumm cleaners but it'd take longer than I want to spend thinking about it. Suffice to say, I did my best to look like I wasn't with her, flashed long suffering glances at people who even looked like they were looking at us thinking we were a couple and wound up carrying the bloody vacuum to her car for her.

Next, a trip to the Canadian Tire store next to the mall. She wants to look at patio furniture. Fine. Whatever. We go look at patio furniture. I am still trying to make it subtly clear to everyone in the store who might think we are a couple that we're not. Let's cut this paragraph short by saying that after sitting in a patio chair to try it out, she walks away, leaving me to put it back up on the shelf. She goes to look at mops. Takes 2 down from the rack way up at the top, makes her decision, reaches in to grab the 2nd in the row and walks away leaving the first 2 on the floor, leaving me to put them back up.

Ok, we leave now. We're back in this crap car with the crap acceleration that annoys the people behind us. We now go pick up her friend. Her friend is not my type. Right off the hop, not my type even if I was looking, which I'm not because as I've explained already, I'm not. Her friend gets in the car, we're introduced, my natural charm can't help but come through. For laughs I even throw on one of my British Hugh Grant kind of accents. (Funny, the English are not known for being great lovers yet women over here are suckers for a UK accent. I used to use one exclusively when I was younger, frequenting bars and competing with Captain Kirk, Sam Malone and Dan Fielding.) Any how, her friend is very flirtatious and verbally forward. But not my type. At all. Not even because I'm not looking. Just physically not my type. Or mentally either for that matter which I will find out in due course even though it's a moot point.

OK. Maybe I should name these girls so the story becomes slighty easier to follow. At the very least, you'll have the program for the cast of characters. The girl with the car, vacuum, mop and bad shopping manners is K. The one we're picking up is S. S is Greek. Her parents own a Greek restaurant. It is blue and white. The house behind it is blue and white. S gets in the car wearing a blue and white sweater. I ask why the restaurant isn't called Zorba's. We all laugh. We are apparently going back to the K's place to drop off the vaccum and the mop. Then we're going to go to their friend's and so they can get some weed. After that, we're apparently going back to my place. Uh... I'm not overly convinced I like this idea. S is 30, lives at home, loudly proclaims that for 4 years she heard the voices of angels in her head. She was in rehab as well. She can't go home if she's high because of her mom being there. She says she wants to get high and says she wants me to seduce her. She had a hospital piece of gauze bandaged to her one hand. I'm not sure she should be smoking weed anyhow and as already established, she is neither my type, nor am I looking.

We drop off the vacuum and mop. The friend with the weed (G) lives in the same building. We go down to visit him. He is cool. He puts the new Mark Knopfler CD on the stereo. They smoke a joint. S starts acting, well, differently than most people when they smoke a joint. G and I both wonder aloud if S needed to smoke anything. I privately wonder if she still hears the voices. Some time passes. K wants to go shopping again. Do I want to go. No, I don't. S apparently still wants to hang out at my place. K says she isn't gonna stay but will drop us off and pick S up in an hour or 2. I'm not liking this. I tell K that I don't want S at my place if she (K) isn't staying. S states she can't go home high. I suggest S stay at G's and K can pick her up later. K asks G. G says ok. I am relieved. All is good.

K drives me home. The car ride still sucks. K asks what I think of S. I politely say simply not my type. She probes. I simply repeat myself. I certainly wasn't about to list the reasons I've listed here. K drops me off. Says we should get together tomorrow. I politely say, well... if I'm not busy while thinking, uh, no.

As K pulls out of the driveway and I'm opening my door, she honks the horn. I'm really wondering about the house next door now.

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