09
Jul
08

Winnipeg dispatch #2: Old friends

It was good seeing Dennis the other night. It’s been years since the last time our paths crossed, but he was looking no different–still boyish, still the same smark-alecky grin. Back in my prowling days, well my early prowling days, we would haunt the highways and byways of the city, actually just one byway , a nightclub called Broadway’s, where the peanuts were free and the Prairie new wave bands played. We were too-frequent regulars there, as well as at Carlos & Murphy’s, a Mexican-ish drinking joint not far from where we lived. It was Dennis’s idea to reconvene at C&M’s for a beer for old time’s sake. Everything had changed except the bathrooms–the menus were laminate, the staff surlier, the wider-assed.

He’s back in the city he swore he’d never return to, at least to live–but that’s what maturity, and ill relatives, will do to you. He’s still happily married, to Sandra, his wife of many years–15? 16? how long ago was it I gave that drunken speech at their wedding?–and they still don’t have kids. That hasn’t changed–they’re still deadset against it, something I found refreshing to hear. “Did you know there are twice as many people on the planet now than when we were born?” he said. “I don’t want to add to that problem.” He has a point.

That was Monday night; yesterday I went for lunch with mom. I should know better, because each time we do something like this I hear more terrible family secrets that I wish I hadn’t. This one is so big, weird and TV movie-of-the-week-ish I’m not even able to divulge it. Suffice it to say it doesn’t involve anyone in my immediate family, thank Odin.

Speaking of my mom, she gets ideas into her head. I suppose it was my mistake in the first place for mentioning I’d been hacking around on the drums with the band I’m in. Ever since she heard that she’s had it in mind that I should take a drum lesson with my 11-year-old nephew’s instructor. I’ve found it’s just easier to agree to these kinds of things than fight them, and so there I was yesterday afternoon getting a drum lesson. “I can see we’re not going to work any miracles here, on the evidence,” says Greg, the drum teacher. He’s thin, shaven-headed, manic, and very loud–a hazard of the job, I guess.

Later today: lunch with my crazy friend Shannon, who never fails to say something offensive, and dinner at my sister’s. Big laughs ahead.


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