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Monday, June 07, 2010

Reflecting: Part One

I have been feeling a sense of upheaval and change regarding my blog lately . As many of you know, I am returning to work full-time in September, and with that date approaching quickly, I guess I don't really know what will become of my blog. It scares me, it saddens me, but I am just trying to be realistic. A full-time job with three young children is likely going to be all that I can handle. I've considered taking the blog down, but I don't feel ready to do that yet. Last night as I walked my dog through the tree-lined streets in my neighbourhood, a song popped up on my iPod's shuffle mode that really spoke to me and made me want to write this.

The Cranberries' "Zombie" blasts from the dusty and archaic black stereo speakers in their ninth floor apartment. The girls had been painting for hours - all day to be exact. The upbeat music oscillating through their veins pulsed alongside their adrenaline, keeping them going long after they should have taken a break. Empty coffee mugs and the leftover pizza they had ordered for dinner were all that were visible in their plastic-covered condo.

"It looks fantastic!" first girl exclaimed to her roommate, her eyes wide like saucers from too much coffee and an overdose of paint fumes.

"Yes, it does," second girl admitted, giggling incessantly as she scanned her own handiwork. "We could totally ditch our degrees and become painters, you know."

The pair had just completed their third year of university. Their thrifty landlord had responded to their pleas to give the apartment a new coat of paint by offering them paint at no cost. So they could paint the walls themselves. As these young ladies matured, they would see how they were "swindled" by their landlord with an unrecognizably thick French accent. But at the time, they were pleased to have completed such an onerous task, a welcome reprieve from their final exams and a brief interlude before they started their summer employment.

"I'm exhausted", second girl proclaimed. "I could lay down right here on the carpet and go to sleep."

"Maybe we should have a beer to celebrate our success?" first girl suggested.

"We don't have any beer," second girl reminded her thirsty friend.

"We could go pick some up?"

Second girl was known by her friends to occasionally resemble a stick-in-the-mud. "I'm so tired," she said. "My entire body aches, it's late, and my face and hair are coated with thick, white paint."

"So what?" first girl demanded. "What if we just threw caution to the wind, hopped in the car, and headed over to the Beer Store?"

"You only live once," first girl added, as if it were an afterthought, either as worldly advice or as back-up to persuade her friend to put her petty reservations aside and have a little fun.

"Meet you in the car!" second girl screamed, grabbing a light sweater from a hook near the front door, and dashing to the elevator to beat her roommate, like she was ten years old.

First girl had the music in her car blaring and the windows all the way down as they drove the couple of kilometres it would take them to get to the Beer Store. They belted out the lyrics to those mid-1990s songs on the radio like they owned them. They laughed as the ridiculousness of their situation set in and they began to wonder if people would mistaken them for gangsters with their painted-covered faces.

They stepped into the front doorway of the Beer Store minutes before it was closing. First girl walked up to the cashier and asked for Labatt Blue. Second girl - as if on cue - stuck her finger down her throat to convey her distaste for the prolific Upper Canadian beer.

"I'll take twelve Moosehead," she told the young man behind the cash. "Only because you don't sell Keith's in Ottawa yet."

Other customers must have been inspecting the two young, paint-stained, seemingly care-free girls arm themselves with the alcohol they would need for a night of fun. The girls paid for their beer and headed back to the small red hatchback that they had arrived in. They acknowledged a couple whistles and a hoot and holler from several college guys in the same parking lot. They waved, grinned, and hopped in the car and drove away.

To Be Continued

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