As Frank Sinatra sang:
"It isn’t your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation, oh no
It’s just the nearness of you."
That's how I would describe my subway ride two nights ago, when from the belly of Castle Frank station came my new argument for mothers to do drugs while pregnant.
A scruffy fellow entered the subway car, sat, and began a stream of conversation that I imagine continued long after I deboarded the train at Bathurst.
He looked as though he should smell like a bowl of steamed skunk assholes, but he didn't.
Here, for posterity, I record the highlights.
And by "conversation" I should clarify: he spoke to an unseen provocateurer known only to our subway car as "Jew boy" the entire time.
"Hey Jew boy! You want a piece of me? Want a piece of this? If I get my piece I'll blow your head off! (pffffft) Blow it right off!"
"How long has it been? How long? Eleven years? Eleven years! And I hate you! And you've never got the title! Never got the title off me! (time-honoured motion to invisible wrestling belt around waist) It doesn't matter what name you use in the ring, you'll never get the title, Jew boy!"
"How long has it been? Thirty years? Thirty years! And I'll fuck you up, like I fucked you up all those years! And you fucked me up--messed with the wrong guy! How long has it been? Thirty fucking years!"
"Bring your regiment--bring the whole platoon! They won't get me--too scared to get me! They'll run, if I have my piece (pfffft) I'll blow them away! Or I'll turn them against you! Eleven years, and no one has got me!"
"I'm not paying you for the ambulance ride!! The driver said that I get ten rides for free! That was the tenth! I'm not fucking paying you for that ride! I don't care what drugs I'm on, I'll drive the ambulance myself if you want to charge me for the ride! I'll drive it myself, Jew boy! The driver said 'The first ten rides are free' I remember!"
"I'm feeling fucking happy fancy-free tonight!"
"They gave me eight cats for free. Eight's a lucky number."
And then I was gone. Our lives, for an instant, were on the same track; then Bathurst station came, and I went.
It isn't just his sweet conversation with the Jew boy that I miss; it's also the nearness of him.