From the Archives – I Met a Girl the Other Night

For a week or two, now, I’ve been noticing beautiful women everywhere. It’s becoming something of a distraction. I’m attracted to women at all turns.

I’m attracted to women! Now, I just need to learn how to talk to them. Baby steps, Bernard. Baby steps. But no babies.

I don’t have time to pound out a piece about this right now, so I’ll leave you with this anecdote from the archives.

I met a girl the other night at fundraiser for the Regent Park School of Music and the Humber College Scholarship Fund. It was a nineteen-twenties-themed party held at the Winchester in Cabbagetown. It is a nice little venue, with a capacity for about 120 people, and is only about 100 feet long by 30 feet wide.

I showed up in a ball cap, a button-up shirt, jeans, and canvas shoes. I was thirty minutes late, but the show was starting in fifteen minutes.

She was wearing a black bowler hat, a black bow tie, and a black-polka-dot white satin top. She had a fitted black blazer on that opened up just above her navel; you could see the fair skin of her lower torso through the satin of her top when the light was just right. She had tight black pants on, and was wearing calf-high black boots, with a three-inch heel.

She knew how to dress to flatter her figure. She was fit and toned, with slight, noticeable curves. She was stunning to look at, especially when she stood akimbo, upright, and with her feet together. We stood at eye-level to one another.

Her brown hair was just longer than her chin. She had a long, narrow face, with the only signs of age being the burgeoning crows feet beside her eyes. Her finger nails were neatly trimmed and unpainted. She had long fingers, that I imagine would only be accentuated by evening gloves. She was wearing red lipstick.

Within thirty seconds of walking into the bar, she walked up to me and commented on my hat. She asked if it was, in fact, from the twenties. I just nodded, and laughed a little, as she pulled my hat lower down over my face while walking away. I had my eye on the bar, looking for the selection of bourbon, but managed to turn to watch her walk away.

I got a drink, and then met with some people; my cousin introduced me to her friends, so I struck up a few conversations with them. Every now and again, I would look up toward the dance floor to try to catch sight of her.

As things go in a busy bar, you get nudged around and I ended up standing in the middle of the room watching the band play. At some point, she had to squeeze by me, grabbing my hips with both hands as she brushed past. It happened from behind me so I turned around, only to see her from behind and out of reach.

The time came for me to grab another drink, and while I was waiting for the barmaid to notice me, she came up to me and brought up my hat again. She said that we should just agree to believe that I used to play for the Dodgers. I agreed, but she was gone before I could say anything more.

While standing in the middle of the room again – my cousin’s friends had all left at this point – I noticed her taking a break from dancing, and our eyes met. I gave her a deep bow while lifting my hat up slightly above my head. I then smiled and raised my glass to her. She did the same. Not long after this, she walked over and stood next to me.

She said, “I can’t dance to scat.”

I said, “I thought you were doing pretty well. You even did something with your hat.”

She said, “Oh, you noticed me take it off and put it back on again?”

I said, “Yeah, I’ve been looking over at you all night.”

The a cappella group started singing, and we couldn’t guess the song; it turned out to be Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye. We stood next to each other listening for a bit.

The next song that the group started to sing was Mad World by Tears for Fears. We tried to guess the movie that the song was from. She kept saying, “Donnie…,” while snapping her fingers.

I said, “Brasco?”

She said, “No. Donnie…? The one with Jake Gyllenhaal.”

I said, “Jake Gyllenhaal? The one with Johnny Deep and Al Pacino?”

She said, “No, you’re thinking of Donnie…Brasco.” She snapped her fingers a few more times, then exclaimed, “Darko! Donnie Darko.”

I said, “Oh, I’ve never seen that.”

She insisted that I must watch it.

She leaned over, placing her hand on my bottom, to tell me about how depressing the song, Mad World, is, and how the a cappella group was doing it in a very cheery and upbeat way. She said how heart-wrenching the song is, and that the a cappella group kind of missed the point. She ended the conversation by mentioning that she had just grabbed my ass.

A stool opened up next to the bar, and she sat down. When the seat next to her opened up, her friend left the dance floor and took a seat. I stood next to them, and chatted for a while. I tried to keep my distance, but she kept tugging on my shirt and pulling me closer to her as she spoke.

A stool opened up next to her, so I sat down; she sat between me and her friend. I tried to bring her friend into the conversation, but it was hard to yell past one person and over the music.

We engaged in playful banter, and did not speak about anything particularly important. We talked a little bit about music, a little bit about the history of baseball, a little bit about the history of the twenties, and a little bit about her fake bow tie. She mentioned that she did not have to work in the morning, so she wanted to order another glass of red wine. I ordered a beer to motivate her to stay for another. She did.

To be honest, I do not remember much of the conversation that we had. I think I was mostly taken by the fact that this beautiful woman chose to sit next to and chat with me. All of the guys in the room had been looking over at her all night, and I was the one she chose. It felt kind of nice.

So, we sat, the three of us, and just shot the shit. We shared stories about things that had nothing to do with us personally. We laughed, and enjoyed each others’ company.

Around 23:50, she jumped off of her stool, pointed to her friend, and announced, “This dame has to go home!”

I stood up to wish them a farewell.

She outstretched her arms and called me in for a hug. While hugging one another she told me that I am a funny man. I told her that she was as well. We looked at each while embraced, and I corrected myself by saying that she is a funny woman. We backed away from each other, and I gave her a slight bow goodbye.

I sat down and sipped on my beer for a few minutes, before deciding that I wanted a cigarette. I went outside, stood by a tree, and lit one up.

She and her friend came outside and noticed me standing there. She said, “Hugs,” so we hugged again. This time, as our embrace was breaking, she said, “What’s your name?”

I said, “[Bernard],” while I stretched out my hand for a handshake. She shook my hand and said, “R–.” Then I shook her friend’s hand, and her friend said, “K–.”

I stood there, smoking my cigarette, and watched them walk down the street together. Under the street lights I could see them search and find for each others’ hand without looking at one another, but while looking ahead. They pulled each other close and kissed, as they rounded the corner and out of my sight.

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