Posts Tagged ‘girlfriends’

Doing the Right Thing and Hating It

March 17, 2008

As St. Patrick’s day arrives, I’m reminded of one year ago today when I was in a Main Street bar not too far from here.  I’d been stopping in for a month or two to watch the Canucks games and have a few beers.  There was a beautiful server who had caught my eye.

I found myself looking in her direction.  I’m sure she noticed.  We talked a little every time I saw her.  I complimented her every time, telling her she looked beautiful.  She didn’t seem to mind, despite having a boyfriend.  In fact, I think she liked it.  She even thanked me for the encouragement when I made what I thought was a pretty ordinary comment about her career ambitions.

Another great thing about her – as I watched her talking to a co-worker at the end of the bar, I saw her doing the same crank up the middle finger thing that I’ve been known to do.  Others have done it, of course, but I was the first.  I stole it from Tom Waits in ‘Rumble Fish’ before them.  Obviously, we thought alike.

On that St. Patrick’s day she looked extra good.  She wore a green patterned halter style top, her loose blond curls tied up with a stick or pencil through them.  Every time she turned her back to me to enter her orders on the computer terminal, I admired her delicate back.  There were two exquisite dimples near her shoulder blades.  I couldn’t help looking.  They were too beautiful and fascinating.

On my way to the washroom, I stopped at the terminal and told her she had these exquisite dimples in her back.  Worried that this latest in a growing line of compliments may have been too much, I said, “Sorry, am I embarrassing you?”  “No, you’re OK”, she replied.  She clearly appreciated being appreciated.

I don’t know if she didn’t hear them enough, or even at all, but one night she responded to my compliment by saying something like, “I’ve never really thought of myself as being beautiful.”  Shocked at her modesty, I asked “Why not?”  She replied, “I don’t know, I just don’t.”

Some time after the Canucks’ playoffs came to an end, I was in the bar again and had one or two more than usual.  As I was leaving, I came across her sitting outside, her shift over.  We spoke a little, as usual.  In my case I spoke a little too much.  When she got up to go back inside, we hugged and I said something I shouldn’t have.  Then I kissed her on the cheek.  Again, if she minded, she didn’t show it.  She may even have subtly pulled herself closer.  It doesn’t matter.  Compliments are one thing, but I crossed the line.  You don’t mess with another man’s woman.  “I’ll see you real soon”, she said, and went inside.

If something is alright for you to do, it’s alright for everyone to do.  Otherwise, you place yourself above everyone else.  If we all just took what we wanted, we could also have anything taken from us and we’d have no right to complain.  That’s no way to live.

I did the right thing and stayed away.  There has been no reward, in kind or otherwise.  No positive ‘karma’ has come my way, and don’t even think about telling me my reward will be in ‘heaven’.  If any good came of it, it was an infinitesimal increment in collective co-operation.  One more person tried to do the right thing.

Maybe she was interested, too.  Maybe if I’d persisted she could have been mine.  Maybe she was unhappy, or not happy enough, with her boyfriend.  Maybe she continued living with him for security or financial reasons, even though she hoped for something better.  Maybe she was afraid to live alone.  I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  I did the right thing, and hate it, but the right thing has to be done.

Sometimes I wish I was more selfish.


Three Right Feet

February 15, 2008

Something strange is going on in the Strait of Georgia.  Over the past few months, several feet have been found.  Human feet, that is.  Curiously, they’re all right feet.

A few months ago, two right feet, both in size twelve running shoes, washed up on islands about a hundred miles apart in the channel between Vancouver Island and the mainland.  Recently, another right foot washed up on another of the Gulf Islands.

So, where did they come from?  There have been no reports of people losing right feet in boating accidents.  Occasionally, light aircraft serving the forestry industry go down, but the workers wear work boots rather than runners.  DNA tests have not matched any missing persons.

I suppose it’s possible they were victims of animal attacks.  Theoretically, three separate idiots could have taunted killer whales and found out how they got their name.  Similarly, it could have been bear attacks on the coast.  But, missing persons like those get reported.

Then there’s foul play.  They could have been the victims of gangland killings, their bodies disposed of at sea.  Alternatively, it’s possible the feet were pounds of flesh forfeited in lieu of payment of a debt or as punishment for being behind in payments.

There’s another possible explanation.  These men could have lost their right feet as punishment for being bad dancers.  They could have been unfortunate enough to have very high maintenance girlfriends who really, really wanted to go on ‘Ballroom Dancing’, but let them down.

“You idiot!  I was going to be on television!  Everyone would have been watching me!  Looking at me!  They would have seen me in my beautiful gown!  Then they would have seen me win and adored me!  And YOU ruined everything!  Well, since you have two left feet, I guess you don’t need your right one!”  Chop.

But three of them?  That just doesn’t seem likely.

Three right feet.  Three right feet.  See how they…  Sorry, that was just tasteless.