The following is what was to be the start of an article for the newspaper, that I decided to go a different direction with.
I was in the Well, watching the Tegan and Sara concert, when I heard my name called. I turned to see a tall fellow standing beside my chair. I said hello as I tried to place his face; had I worked in a project group with him once or taken a class with him or even gone to high school with him? I certainly could not place the face.
“I love your writing man,” he said.
Ah, it’s going to be one of those conversations.
He proceeded to tell me, in what I believe was a German accent, that he had been reading the Phoenix for years and enjoyed my articles “about encounters with women” the best. He wanted to know why I wasn’t writing anymore.
“I wrote a book review last issue,” I pointed out.
He waved his hand dismissively, and asked again for more stories about my encounters with women, more articles like I used to write about not being able to get a girlfriend. Book reviews and concert photography wouldn’t satiate him.
Now I suppose I should clarify what is meant by the fairly vague, phrase “encounters with women”. We’re not talking about erotic Penthouse Letters here, we’re talking stories of women not wanting to go out with me, mostly drawn from high school experiences. Tales of rejection, sadness and self-pity, described by someone else recently as a fruity “blend of Hunter S. Thompson and Douglas Coupland”. I would call it a mix of Woody Allen and the Magnetic Fields but then again who am I to judge.
Am I still the same person as I was when I wrote those types of articles? Granted I still identify with the Beck song “Loser” and I’m a 26-year-old virgin who has never had a girlfriend and I’m starting to worry that one day I’ll identify not with “Loser” but with the Tragically Hip’s “38 Years Old”, a song with a chorus that claims “he’s 38 years old and never kissed a girl”. Yet I would like to think I’ve grown in some way, gotten past the point where I have to whine about being single in print. I mean isn’t that what this website is for?