Double Trouble (Bad Lines: Part Twenty)
Sunday afternoon, unlocking my bicycle on Dundas West, outside the liquor store. A man approaches from behind, and as he passes me, turns around and asks if my name is Jessica. Note that he has not yet seen my face–I have been hunched over, wrangling a U-lock and packing bottles of chianti into my bicycle basket. I’m flushed and sweaty, I am a mess. I am mostly concealed behind dark glasses, a helmet, and a nest of long hair.
“Really? Because you look so much like Jessica!”
“Not me, not Jessica.”
“Well, you look really familiar.”
“I look like your friend Jessica from behind? Because, you asked me before you saw my face.”
“Oh, no, I saw you inside, in the liquor store, with your,” (glances at my basket), “with your wine.”
We both know that I don’t look like “Jessica”, that this man probably doesn’t even know a woman called Jessica, and that while sure, he might have seen me in the shop, he didn’t for an instant believe I was someone he knew. Rather, I am someone he would like to know, and frankly, he’s not trying nearly hard enough to be charming or candid.
There’s a pretty slim chance that if his friend Jessica exists, her tattoos, assuming she has some, are not the same as mine, and that he’s the sort of fellow who would know what his friend’s body looks like. Because, you know, he seems like the observant type. And so, we see this exchange to its conclusion, aware that he’s not walking away with the prize.
The Dialogue, cont’d:
“Hmmm. Well, my sister’s name is Jessica, so you’re close, but no cigar.”
” Oh, that must be it–you look so much alike!”
“Yeah. Well. My name’s Joseph, what’s yours?”
(extends a hand to shake; we shake)
“Nice to meet you, Joseph.”
“Nice to meet you. So, where are you off to?”
“I’m going to a party!”
(remember, it is noonish on a Sunday)
“Really? Well, have a good time.”
“Ok, well, I guess I’ll see you later, Jess.”
A sunny day plus sexy sunglasses (mine) plus a sweaty brow (his) plus a batch of tattoos (mine) plus a guy on the make (him), makes for a sporting exchange but no score.