SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Rupert Part II - Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017


Thursday, Jun. 18, 2009 @ 8:14 pm
Dave, again and again.



Dave, puts his face into my neck. You smell good. Dave, predictable. I knew he'd do that. I nearly put on the perfume that I used 10 years ago.

I went down to the marina, stepped onto his sailboat. Not his sailboat, but the one that he sailed in on. Men dressed in navy fleece, brown skin, white hair, crinkled eyes. I loved them all instantly. They smile. I cower. They hand me a beer. I gingerly sit on the side of the boat. They pass me nuts. It smells like sweat. Dave can't take his eyes off of me.

I try to drink my beer fast. We wander up the docks to see the other boats in the race. The parliament looms. Loud laughter from a crowd surrounding a street performer. Dave can't take his eyes off of me.

He pours my beer into his cup, and we wander uptown. We go to my favourite bar: Canoe. From sailboat to canoe. A pitcher of Siren pale ale. Her hair seductive across the logo. Dave can't take his eyes off of me.

It doesn't take long for him to return to Dave. The Dave that stumbles and says that he loves me, over and over. That he regrets the past, that it should have been him and I, him and I. Dave can't take his eyes off of me.

The pitcher empties. Dave starts to talk louder, more manic, and people glance at him. We're just steps from the shelter, and he sounds like he could be from there. A drunk's laughter. A drunk's complexion.

He has moved his chair beside me. I am taking his hand off of my leg. I am brushing his hand from my shoulder. He is watching the piece of calamari travel from the plate to my mouth. He takes photos of us, hoping to extend the moment. Dave can't take his eyes off of me.

I ask for the bill. We are too drunk; well, Dave is too drunk. The waiter is convivial. Tip in his pocket.

We walk the long way to another bar, the bar where the sailing racers are celebrating. Another beer is placed in my hand. I am drunk. We sit outside, on the site of old Fort Victoria. I consider the history of this location, look around the table, and imagine us all 100 years ago.

I look down the table and fall in love with these men, these men who sail. One is my age, the son of another man. Are there that many years between them? I am instantly in love with this man. Dave tells me that he is a writer, just promoted to editor of the yachting magazine. I love him even more. I watch his crinkled eyes and soft chin, soft hair. I know that he is good. He looks at me, encouraging.

Do they know about Dave? Why did they invite him to sail? Was it charity? Or, honest friendship? Of course, I love him. They are smart men; they are hoping to help him. The man, the editor, looks at me from down the table. We know. We love for a while, a moment, and then I have to leave. For a moment I am the wife of the editor of a sailing magazine, and we are in love, and we are sailing to Maui. Dave can't take his eyes off of me.

We leave, walk with his dad through town. His dad, an engineer - I could use this contact. Don't screw it up. I wonder if he still hates me. He seems sadder, older, than before. I don't push things. I attempt at intelligent conversation. He leaves to collect the car.

I stand with Dave in front of the Empress. We hug. He tries to kiss me. He really tries. I tell him that I won't kiss him, but I do hug him, and he smells my neck and hair. He's telling me over and over how great it is to see me and how much he loves me, how much he loves me. I tell him that I love him too, but things are the way that they are. I say goodbye. He asks when he'll see me again. I walk away, across the lawns, rummaging for my headphones. Anything to block this out.

And Dave, he can't take his eyes off of me.


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