Here Comes the Gin Again

This afternoon I bought a back to school outfit even though I am not going back to school.

There are three things that I love about the end of August and the beginning of September: (1) the fall style issue of GQ (2) the fall style issue of Details and (3) the start of a new season of The Good Wife. I also like the return of my favourite sport: layering; and the fact that since beach season is over, I no longer have to feel guilty about eating Subway cookies all year long. Fall is a ginger’s time to shine, and even though I am typically on the bottom, this season I am coming out on top!

Well, now that I have concluded the pre-requisite thematic portion of this post, I can start typing about much more pressing matters: like how I got dumped last week. (Alright so maybe I am being a touch dramatic seeing as how I was never in a relationship to begin with.  Allow me to try this one more time, picking up from after the colon):like how I got abandoned at the airport last week sobbing profusely with a complimentary copy of the Globe and Mail and an over-priced grandé dark roast.

Last Thursday morning at approximately seven hundred hours, I said goodbye to my girlfriend Love for the last time. With a one-way ticket to Toronto and a scholarship to the U of T, she flew out of my life and in to her new home. Even though there was never any sexual intercourse between us, I coveted her like she was on my own. She was the Bill Compton to my Sookie Stackhouse, the Shane West to my Mandy Moore and the first person I called whenever I spent too much money on clothes.

The two of us first met in the heat wave of 2009. That fateful summer we began work at the exact same restaurant at the exact same time. Back then, I was just the redhead from Winnipeg, and she was the girl from the schnitzel house in Langley. A Master’s in English, Love painted her lips a fire-truck shade of red and spoke in short story form. Like a masterpiece crafted together by Chekov or Carver, she handled words like they were bars of gold, and finished every conversation leaving you wanting more.

I knew it was love at first malbec the night she confided to me she was seeing four guys at once. “If you put them all together,” she said, topping off my glass of wine at Abigail’s Party, “they equal one half-decent boyfriend.” From that point on, the two of us became inseparable.

While monogamy spread like wildfire in the months that followed, and each new wedding dressed signalled the death of another childhood friendship, the two of us grew evermore single and fabulous. Taking Gastown by storm we started each new sentence with “bitch please” or “shut your face” and knew the best places to get tapas after one a.m. “Table for two please,” I would proudly exclaim each time we walked in to a new restaurant. Even if the sign did say “Please seat yourself.”

On the boy front, we broke news of our sexual conquests and embarrassing defeats via text moments after they happened (and sometimes during). 

2:46 a.m. Monday February 8, 2010.

Fox: So???

Love: Ugh. I can’t even talk about it right now I am so upset. He knew how to throw it down but had no idea how to slow it down.

Fox: OMG, is your box ok?

Love: I don’t know I am too scared to look.

Fox: Next time don’t forget to write ‘Fragile.’

3:46 a.m. Thursday January 2, 2011.

Love: Well? Did Rugged get his groove back?

Fox: I can’t walk.

Love: I thought that’s what you wanted!

Fox: Girth is not a gay’s best friend.

Love: Oh my, interesting.

Love was my Friday night and Sunday morning. And now she is gone.

The night before she flew out I took six buses and seventeen sky trains to help her finish packing at her mother’s house in the country. As we piled one suitcase on top of the other, it occurred to me that from the very beginning, we had always been there to help each other sort out our baggage. After the last zipper was locked, we retired to the backyard with a bottle of bubbly and popped the cork on her salvation and my devastation.

“A toast,” I said, meeting her glass with mine. “To Toronto, cheaper clothes, and the next chapter in life.”

With a clink and a sip, we puckered our lips and basked in the attractive silence.

“I think this is one of the best decisions you could ever make,” I lied straight to her face.

“Bitch please,” she said, “if you had your way I’d be pouring your wine until you were drinking it out of a straw.”

The two of us laughed out loud, kissed each other on the lips, finished the bottle and then went to bed.

The next morning at the airport, I slipped the West Jet employee a twenty to put her bags on the conveyor belt for me and fetched us a coffee and newspaper before meeting her at the gate.

I was more nervous than her mother who was standing right beside me and about five times as heartbroken. “I want you to text me as soon as you get there, and then every three minutes after that for the rest of your life.” In the minute that followed, the line-up for security tripled in size and I could no longer hold on to her. My eyes followed her vintage Vans to the front of the line, and unable to control myself, I shouted, “YOU WILL NEVER FIND ANOTHER MAN LIKE ME!”

Like a leaf floating through the air, she blew me a kiss, waved her boarding pass and disappeared into the distance.

There are three things that I hate about the end of August and the beginning of September (1) the nights become longer (2) the daytime becomes greyer and (3) change is inevitable.

Did I mention this afternoon I bought a back to school outfit, even though I am not going back to school?