Young Geoffrey (ed_rex) wrote,
Young Geoffrey
ed_rex

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A Question of Context (with apologies to James Blish, for the cheap wordplay)

... not that James Blish is likely to care, seeing as how he's been dead for 20 or 30 years.

But I digress.

I cycled home along Dundas rather than Queen today, thinking to stop in a Set Me Free, a bicycle shop about which I curse a good deal, yet to which I keep returning. I've been running on 5 gears rather than 10 and with only one dodgy break for a couple of weeks longer than I should. Being an adult and all, the thought occurred I should get these problems seen to, especially the breaks.

Turns out, my front derailler needs replacing, but the brakes cost me 5 bucks and I was on my way - how nice to know I can stop, quickly, should the need arise!

Following this mild adventure (such is my life, no? Thank the powers of Random Chance that "adventure" is such an elastic word!), I entered in to the smoke-free delight that is Alternative Grounds, purveyors of (no, not some kind of smut, you perverts!) fair-trade coffee and other over-priced commestibles, for a bag of coffee. Organic Nicaraguan Medium, if you're interested in inviting yourself over for a cuppa.

(Speaking of coffee, one of you recently posted something about his/her objection to fair-trade coffee, but never explained what that objection was. Feel free to speak now; I'm curious. And, god knows, if you can give me a good reason not to pay triple what I would at No-Frills, I'll be a grateful young fella.)

Anyway.

Entering the Grounds, I was almost immediately accosted by a man of spreading middle age (who me? Vain? Proud of my relatively svelt good looks? Er, yes, I am). "Geoff! How are you man?"

It was John, one of the old friends I mentioned in one of my recent, more self-pitying, posts. We've run into each other occasionally since our falling out, usually when visiting The Man, occasionally at parties. We've exchanged the time of day, friendly, but nothing more.

Today though, John was really happy to see me. We hugged, laughing, and he said, "I've got to go. Do you have a card or something?"

"A card?" I said, still taken aback by the affection.

"You know, with your number on it!"

"Oh," I said. "Actually, I do." I pulled out my wallet and gave him one. He laughed, seeing the "bumblepuppy" logo on it. "Are you still doing that?" he asked.

"Sort of," I said. "It's online now, and I haven't updated in a while."

"Alright," he said. "Cool. I'll call you!" And he was gone, out onto the depths of Roncesvalles.

I first met John during my 2nd or 3rd year of high-school. We were taking an English Literature class together and got to talking. We liked each other, fast and hard, the way straight boys do.

Now, John was a superb bullshitter, and that became our first shared experience. Each week, we would meet up before class, each week John would admit he hadn't actually read the book in question, and each week, John would nevertheless manage to talk as though he had, asking questions, commenting on things others had said, and generally making out as a very bright young man.

One time, though, he forgot we had talked before-hand, and started to argue with something I had said. I started to answer him, then looked up and said, "John. I know.

"Oh," said John, "that's right."

At which point, we broke into a giggle-fit that must have lasted for 5 minutes, no doubt to the confusion and annoyance of everyone around us.

Not long after, he moved into the basement of the house in which I was living and a few years later, I stayed at his place in Montreal while searching for a place of my own. In short, we became the kind of friends who expect to know each other until one or the other is taken out of the game by Mr. Death.

Until our falling-out, after which I figured that was another relationship down the drain (and, for various reasons, it had been going downhill for some time before the breaking-point).

All of which is to say: Today is the 2nd of January, 2004 - is this some kind of omen? (Maybe he'll never call.)
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