I am sitting in an adorable coffee shop on the corner of West Broadway and hospital. Since it is fall, I am decked out in my favourite woollen sweater Cole, and blowing my nose in to every napkin I can find. In this city, it is imperative that you take advantage of new cafes as soon they open their doors. You never know when your favourite dark roast and friendly smile will turn in to a locked door and “FOR LEASE” sign.
Speaking of going out of business, can we talk about this website for a paragraph? Slap a “MUST SELL EVERYTHING” sign on my forehead because at the rate these fingers are typing I am concerned. It has become clear over the last year that my writing has taken a back seat to my pursuit of a career at the Meatball Hut. The only major word counts I see these days come in the form of apology letters and meeting minutes. One day I am confident I will write about my life inside a restaurant; but for now I am too busy living it.
So where do we begin? I could tell you about the real life happenings of a redhead trying to stay afloat on the Pacific Ocean. I could tell about my dramatic escape from the prison cell of an apartment I called home for the last year. Or I could go in to detail about how I quit my job last June, bought a one-way ticket back to Winnipeg and then decided to stay in Vancouver with 72 hours to spare. I could tell you a lot of things; but right now I want to start with my trip to Nashville.
Now I know what you are thinking, “WTF?” Because that is exactly what I said when my cousin called me to announce she was getting married in Tennessee.
“John Grisham!” I exclaimed over speakerphone. My hands were shaking so hard the bubbles I had just poured myself to celebrate began to erupt over the couch. “Do you know what happens to flaming redhead boys in the South?”
“They drink Veuve like cosmopolitans and bed married rich men like it’s a hobby,” she replied. Her perception of the situation was obviously much different from mine.
“Ugh! No! Ugh! Wait! Really? What! How?” I tripped over one-word sentences like it was nobody’s business.
“Correction! They get dragged behind trucks, beaten over the head with tire irons and dumped in the backwoods. Have you ever seen Brokeback Mountain? Peace be to Heath Ledger.” I could barely keep myself together.
I could hear my cousin take a deep breath over the phone. She was used to my theatrics and knew it was only a matter of time before I became distracted and forgot what I was so upset about to begin with.
“Ok for starters, you are not going to get dragged behind a truck and secondly, Brokeback was set in Wyoming.”
“Whatever,” I brushed my invisible bangs back. “Laramie, Nashville they are practically twin cities. All I know is that homosexuals and cowboy boots only get a long when they are strutting down runways on shopping on Fifth Avenue.” Family or not, it was clear nothing was going to get me on a plane to the Country Capitol of the world.
“I want you to be MC at the wedding,” she said next.
“Shut your face!” I shot back the rest of my glass. “You know much I love a spotlight! When do I fly in? OMG what, what, what am I going to wear?”
I had approximately sixty-five days to prepare for my performance at the wedding. I was no longer afraid about getting beaten to death; but rather upstaging the bride’s dress. I decided early it was going to be a total Oscar situation. I was going to need at least four to five outfit changes to keep the crowd a combination of interested and turned on. I took to heart the words my mother told me as a child, “Always prepare for paparazzi.”
To be continued.