The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, June 29, 2007

Stupid Hot

It has been hot and sweaty here in Montreal. I’ve had to resort to the ugly but powerful Seabreeze 3200-0 Turbo-aire fan to restore me to my normal good humour. I keep one beside my bed, where I went early last night to elevate my feet and read the latest New Yorker.

My husband brought me a glass of Zinfandel fresh from the freezer. I used what little energy I had to wave the magazine at him. It flapped in the airstream, losing my page. I had wanted to show him the article that I’d been reading, but no matter. I would tell him about it instead, just as soon as I’d had a sip of my drink. The glass was filled to the rim. Was he trying to get me drunk? Was this a come-on?

“There’s an article in here,” I said, “By that Jewish guy.” I stopped there, hoping that this would suffice. Conversation had been difficult of late, and not only because of the heat. We had had a fight that morning at breakfast over the true nature of fruit salad: does it constitute a meal or not? (I’d said the answer was dependent on the age of the person eating, suggesting that it was usually older people who went for the all-fruit breakfast. My husband had been fervent in his disagreement.) We’d been unable to resolve this, choosing instead to never mention “fruit” or “salad” ever again, especially when the temperature was above a yet-to-be determined threshold.

But my husband was staring at me blankly, so I pressed on. “The Jewish guy,” I said. “I forget his name. The one who lives in New York.”

I meant the short-story writer and essayist Shalom Auslander, whose work frequently draws on his Orthodox background, usually to comedic effect.

“New York?” asked my husband.

“Not the city,” I said. “The state.”

And somehow, miraculously, this information—which I’ve since learned is erroneous—was enough.

“The guy who wrote the essay about hockey?” asked my husband.

And suddenly I didn’t care so much about fruit salad. Let him call it what he wanted—a square meal, a blowout, a brunch—just so long as he knew which Jewish guy in which New York, and when to put the Zinfandel in the freezer. That was more than enough.


Blogger Martin Heavisides said...

This reminds me of a piece I read by that wasp fellow who hangs out, you know, in downtown Soho. It's been hot in Toronto too.

Fri Jun 29, 06:01:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I love that sense you get with the people you are close to- icebergs of communication with only the tip of a word or two needing to be said out loud.

Fri Jun 29, 10:05:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Beautiful photo. Funny story. Thanks.

Fri Jun 29, 02:03:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Heh heh. So funny and true. And look at that adorable family; all happy and hot. I returned to middling temperatures of 20/70-ish, after leaving that 40/110-ish humidity.

And I'm thinking of moving back east, why???

Fri Jun 29, 02:21:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

The cardboard centers of the Scott towel rolls always seem to take the long route to the recycling, don't they?

Fri Jun 29, 03:37:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Even cardboard likes to be photographed for posterity.

Fri Jun 29, 03:39:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Anne, I totally get this feeling. Thanks for the reminder and I'm so glad you posted that beautiful picture!

Sun Jul 01, 10:34:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger sass said...

funny. i just had a conversation this morning with your husband about how much meat constitutes a meal.

it was quite a bit.

Tue Jul 03, 10:51:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

You should hear him on the potato chip as dessert. No wait, you probably have.

Wed Jul 04, 07:46:00 am GMT-4  

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