Monday, September 12, 2005

Bitter pill

Sunday afternoon I sat in the park for a couple of hours. I had a romantic notion that some fresh air would be good for me. You know, like when delicate ladies of yore were sent to the seaside to recuperate from consumption. I spread out a blanket, put on my sunglasses and opened my book. Within a minute or so I realized that the grass had just recently been watered. I now had a substantial wet spot on my ass and not the good kind either. A quick scan confirmed that every square inch of the park had been soaked. Neat. So I decided to ignore the chilly wet denim and try to absorb myself in some reading.

A few pages in and I was distracted by giggling. No, not the appealing laughter of children playing in a park, but the grating giggle of a full-grown woman straining to appear delightful and darling all at once. I looked up and not five feet from me were two young Strathcona-types playing badminton. Well, they were playing badminton in between grope sessions and when they weren't gazing into each other's eyes or dissolving into fits of delirious laughter. They were both shoeless and obviously quite enamoured with the fact that they were doing something really different. They were playing badminton in the park. They were elevating a square sport into something hip and charming. And not only that! They were hopelessly in love. So much in love, in fact, that between each birdie-whacking they just had to embrace and roll around in the grass together. And the giggling again! Oh, I can't tell you how nauseating.

Now, before you rightly label me a bitter hag, let me tell you there was something embarrassingly theatrical about this display. I can't for the life of me figure out who this couquettish and obvious romp was meant to impress. And the park is huge! Why romp and rut a few feet from me? Why?

I'm sure they really were into each other, but there was something show-offish about them. You could tell they were really quite pleased with themselves. I could almost hear the clicking of the rolling film from inside each of their minds. Super 8, of course. And, yes - maybe I was a bit jealous as I sat there alone with a damp ass, bloodshot eyes and my worn copy of Communion. If I wasn't, perhaps I would have resisted snorting and rolling my eyes at them.

I turned my back to them, probably displaying my wet ass in the process, and read and re-read the same page of my book several times. After a while all was quiet so I stole a quick glance over my shoulder. They were down the block and he was picking flowers for her. Picking them out of some poor stranger's flower garden, no doubt. I tried to remember if I've ever been guilty of such obnoxious lovers play when I was younger. Nope. Definitely not. Sitting there, like a miserable black crow in the green and sunshiny park, I unwillingly wondered if this was something to be proud of or horribly regretted.


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