28 October 2006

When I was in grade nine or ten, I used to watch my saxophone teacher play biweekly jazz duets at a small, smoky bar in Ottawa. I was always out of place. But no one seemed to mind a little me on their social horizon.

I remember eating a caesar salad one of those evenings, sitting as close as I could sit without seeming like I had some sort of personal connection to the musicians. A middle-aged lady, whose date had gone to the washroom, approached me and asked whether I was a Virgo.

'Yes. I am.'
'I knew it.'
'What are you?'
'Leo. We have a lot in common. Did you know that?'
'No. I do not know that much about astrology.'
'There so much to know -- about numbers, about stars, about people. I could go on forever. Are you a musician?'
'Yes. That is my teacher up there.'
'I do not want to stop you from listening. I just wanted to say that I love watching you. There is something so beautiful about seeing someone doing what they love.'

Every conversation is a little out of place. (So long as we fight our perfunctory urges.)