Sonja and I spent Sunday in a park. We laid out our blue blanket on the brown grass and read and watched the boats going out to sea and coming back to get more beer. Sonja read her sex book. When your old man gets to be as old as me a good sex book is as good as it gets. I started a book by David Sedaris. Guy in the book shop told me Sedaris is funny as fuck. He forgot to tell me Sedaris is also gay as fuck too unless his wife is named Hugh.
It got to be a little hot in the sun for me so when a shaded bench overlooking the water opened up I went over and sat down. It was a splendid spot. Too splendid a spot, I thought, to be left alone for long. Sure enough a Chinese lady and her daughter sat down beside me and began taking pictures of themselves and chatting in their language.
In the past I would not have talked to them but since I have to fill up this space with bullshit I small-talked them. "We have only been in Canada one year," the daughter told me, her English perfect. "We love it here in Canada." Everybody loves it here in Canada.
They had not yet left the invisible urban walls of Dope City. "We don't have a car," the daughter told me. I told them they must get into the wilderness as soon as possible. "Lots of people come to this country and never leave the city once they get here. Or if they do get out of the city they never get past Whistler. You will never fully understand the great mystery of Canada until you have paddled across one of our great lakes in a canoe."
My bench sharing new friends listened to me politely. I looked into their sweet brown eyes and wondered how much dog they had eaten back in China.
The daughter asked me, "Are there other places near Dope City we could visit without a car as nice as this?" I told them, "Probably not," but told them of a few places nearly as nice. Then I told them to check out Paul St. Pierre's books from the library this winter when they wanted to experience Canada from the warmth of their Bumblebee apartment.
"Who is this Paul St. Pierre you speak so highly of?" the daughter asked.
"He could have been the Prime Minister of Canada" I answered, "if only he was not from the West and drank more."
I have met many more strangers than I did in the past since I began the Dope City Free Press. The mother and the daughter were the best strangers yet. They are going to do alright in my country. They are going to do alright.