About Me-email is... grant.go@aol.com

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garden bay, west coast, Canada
persistent digging,never say never

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One Night in Madiera Park

The summer of discontent, the boiling point, political battles personal tragedies and the inevitable came towards me like a runaway freight train without a conductor, no one in control no way to stop it and it ran me over and left me scarred for life....

I hadn`t been able to go out much lately, by out meaning out on social or personal levels, mood swings and emotions still dominated my thought processes but strangely enough, maybe not strange to you faithful readers but in person for the most part I am very quiet but after being battered by what is now history I find myself opening up to almost everyone, straight talk from my heart with nothing held back and I don`t know why but in thinking about it I believe it`s because I have nothing left to lose, my Dad and best friend is gone my decades old pets are no more and personal possessions are but vague memories and lastly my first and only female soul-mate returned to an innocent childhood place in her mind, I`m pleased in a way on that last one for at least she is safe from the ravages of society...

I went out a couple of weeks ago to a local watering hole, one that I haven`t been at for a few years, not that there is anything wrong with the place but with my aversion to drinking and driving and living in a town void of transit or taxi it makes it difficult to indulge and with such long distances, in this case a 25 kilometer round trip to and from..

Well I made arrangements for safe travel and out I went, alone, and when I say alone don`t be sad for me because solitary indulgence really is my preferred choice although that too may be on the verge of change.

After traversing our winding highway my chariot dropped me off at our local saloon/restaurant, the Grasshopper, now I may not have a hounds tooth coat and shiny cowboy boots but I have to admit, I looked marvelous, cheap runners that look like expensive Nike`s a flat black T shirt and my most expensive piece of clothing I own, a $400 dollar leather coat that mom bought for me several years ago, I felt the eyes upon me when I sauntered in, a quick glance around the room and as usual there are no eligible females in sight, or at least that`s what I thought, the Grasshopper is separated in 2 sections, restaurant and drinks on one side and a pool table and a more generalized drinking area on the other, although both sides on this night were almost full with meal eaters only, I mean everyone was drinking but food seemed to dominate the landscape, mainly middle-aged or older couples and to tell you the truth, there wasn`t much beauty in the room, well, I didn`t expect much in the way of the female persuasion on a Tuesday night in downtown Pender Harbour...

The waitress was slow but eventually she came around and I ordered a large mugg of beer and told her to keep it crisp, while waiting for the waitress before and after I was splashing the balls around on the pool table, playing pool frees up my mind and on this particular evening Minnesota fats himself couldn`t have beat me, I was banking shots, screwing the cue ball around obstacles and the only sound one could hear on this side of the room was the crack of the balls and the smacking of the back of the pocket, the beer was cold and tasted fine, meanwhile all eyes, most eyes were gazed at me, well maybe they were glued to the shooting exhibition but either way eyes were burning my direction.......45 balls in a row, three racks, time for a respite and a chance for the cue to cool off, the waitress came by with another crisp beer and asked if I wanted any food, she told me about the Chicken wing special, hot wings for $4,99 a lb, I said perhaps a little later for now my appetite is calm, what a stupid thing I said I thought to myself as she walked away, oh well, no big deal, funny though, it was then I chuckled to myself out loud, that would explain the large group of poultry piglets in the joint.

While sitting for a bit I scanned the room and noted the present cast of characters and I couldn`t help but notice this rather large motley bearded man with a rather petite older woman beside him, there was something about him, I couldn`t quite put my finger on it but then it struck me in a flash....The man, the table had 7 dishes of hot wings on it, that would be 7 pounds of hot wings and being a newly converted brave free public speaker I couldn`t resist....I approached and asked him if he needed any help with his order and or is he in some sortta eating challenge, his older girlfriend burst out laughing and said no, he`s just a pig!!!....That too brought me a public chuckle...

Time to rack em up again, strangely no one wanted to challenge me at billiards or so I thought, from the far side of the restaurant a girl, I mean younger lady approached and tapped me on the shoulder and asked if she could join me for a game, ever the gentleman I said sure and I couldn`t help notice she had an English accent, something like what you would hear on Coronation street only slightly different, what is that accent I asked, she proudly proclaimed it was Zimbabwean, she was charming from the get go, Maggie(her name) boldly joined my table and for sure I thought a boyfriend, her boyfriend would soon too join us, she was too pretty to be single up here, 35ish and well rounded,  but no, she was indeed alone I learned that after my first inquiry,  she was from Zimbabwe and was traveling the world, sort of, Maggie was chatty and for whatever reasons she opened up to me.... Maggie insisted on playing pool using Zimbabwe rules, what the heck are Zimbabwe rules I muttered, apparently if you scratch a shot your opponent gets two shots back even if they miss the first one!....Well that is screwy I thought but resisted the easy opening she left me for a come-backer.....And after beating her 3 games in a-row we sat and chatted and to tell you the truth I was dying to enter her mind, how often will I get a chance to meet a White Zimbabwean visitor to Madiera Park,...There had to be an interesting story and maybe it`s my probative nature but she told me lots, personal stuff too..She`s been in Pender Harbour for 4 months, she`s a live-in caretaker for a local older couple that are long-time friends of her parents, her parents that live back in Zimbabwe... Maggie told me it wasn`t working out and she was leaving for Toronto in 2 days... The older couple, the man has Parkinsons disease and needs almost 24 hour care... but for whatever reason and I can`t explain it but it came across as not right, she didn`t seem the domestic type, Maggie was bubbly and very outgoing, she was in a party party mood and bought me a couple of large glasses of wine at her insistence..Now feeling a little brazen and sensing a willing reception...

 I peered deep into Maggie`s thirsty blue green eyes and caused to her to pause, what are you looking at she smirkily remarked, vacant of words I too paused and paused, no words cometh and finally I responded with .....What is Zimbabwe like, any apartheid fallout ongoing...Yea I know, that was a stupid thing to say, why that came out is beyond me..

Maggie quickly became very defensive and said don`t you judge me, you don`t know what it`s like there, I knew I hit a nerve so I pursued more, Maggie told a story of living on a large estate with many black servants, maids, gardeners, cooks, security, a mere dollar a day per servant and Maggie insisted that if they didn`t hire the blacks they would sit around on the side of the road doing nothing....Her story kinda threw me, not because it was unbelievable but because it was true, not the lazy black part but the servants back home part,   So here I`m aroused with this Zimbabwean Queen while my equal rights center is curious.....We had another drink...

When the waitress returned Maggie ordered a round while I ordered 2 pounds of wings and to my dismay the waitress informed me they had run out of wings, they started with 100 pounds of wings and the last pound just went out, well, I needed another icebreaker and being in a rather bold mood I rose to my feet and approached the table of the rather large motley bearded man with a rather petite older woman, their table now with but with one plate and a mere 3 wings on it and said...Madame, due to that now gorged manimal beside you who ate the wings off of 50 chickens means that me and my lady don`t get any, I hope your happy! ...Well,  the man slid the remaining plate over and said help yourself then we all proceeded to laugh...

On return to my table there was a now smiling relaxed Maggie who was entertained by my performance......My mind still abuzz with curiosity and attraction I couldn`t resist asking Maggie the obvious question.....What does it feel like to go from having several black servants doing all your domestic chores to being a live-in caretaker slash servant on 24 hour call, don`t you find that ironic, again I touched a nerve and Maggie trotted into the bathroom, well....I thought it might be a good time for some air, I took my drink and headed out to the adjacent outdoor deck...Not 2 minutes passed when Maggie joined me with a glass of wine in hand....Again I gazed directly into her soul looking for answers, this story isn`t complete I said, tell me more, Maggie had tears welling up and instinctively I knew something was coming, Maggie kissed me, twice, tender kisses,...... Maggie told me they wouldn`t let her out, she hadn`t been allowed out her entire time here on the coast, 24 hour live-in, can`t leave the house and she just couldn`t take it anymore, that`s why she is leaving and heading for Toronto....And boy am I a sucker for tears..

Both of us now fully entwined mentally I changed the theme to humour and turned on the improv, with my best southern drawl I quoted some lines from one of my all time favorite movies,  The Long Hot Summer, a movie about the Varners, a rich Southern plantation/Town owner.... "Well Miss Clara, you can run and run and you keep on running......"       To which my surprise she knew the movie and turned on her own Southern drawl, mind you a drawl with a South African twist and threw a line back at me,....."You are just incorrigible Ben Quick"...We laughed relaxed and talked a little more..

Maggie went inside to refresh and after six or seven minutes I wasn`t sure if she was coming back, she did return though, she peered into my eyes and said she wanted to stay with me but she can`t,  Maggie said the Woman was coming to pick her up, she`s needed back at the house, Maggie told me she called the woman, her boss and asked if she could stay out for two more hours, the woman refused,........I thought to myself and said this is crazy, you are a grown woman, stay with me awhile..

I put my drink down and went inside to use the facilities, in the short time I was away my mind was spinning, was I in love, does love trump all, was it destiny, I haven`t been out socializing in a long time I haven`t been to the Grasshopper in years and to meet a woman from Zimbabwe in Madiera park Canada who has been kept on a household leash for four months seems almost like it was meant to..

Be.....But it wasn`t, for when I returned to the front deck a nasty older woman in a fancy gold coloured luxury car was yelling at Maggie to get in, I called to Maggie and shouted my last name and said call me as the car pulled away, with no vehicle in which to follow and a little too oiled for that as well I was saddened, yet there is hope for someone in the bar must know who or where Maggie is, the waitress a patron, someone.

I Remember what Maggie told me, it was her first time out in four months,  and nary a soul at the Grasshopper knew who she was or where she came from, the staff thought she was with me, I found an ad the next day in our local under care givers wanted, one in the Pender Harbour area, however inquiries to the ad had to go snail mail to a post box 50 kilometers away, Maggie would be in Toronto in 2 days...

Thanks for the memory Maggie...

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open


Anonymous said...

Oh no!!

As I was reading, I was happy thinking. Good for Grant, it's long past due for a little happiness in his life...And then she was gone. Who in the hell was she working for? They should be damned well ashamed. However, I then remembered, those are the king of people, who find wealth by ripping other people off.

Same as the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals and Harper too. I found a lot of humor in, Harper preaching about democracy for Libya. Other country's media say, they are shocked by how badly, Harper is destroying democracy in Canada.

Harper was also, in on the BC HST scam too. He is just a thief, no different than Campbell, who prey on people such as, the lady you just met. Those s.o.b. types, should be prosecuted for their evil treatment towards that lady. But, then I have to remember, justice in BC is only for those who can afford it, or have access to tax payers money.

Don F. said...

I was enjoying that so much I did not want it to end I certainly didn't expect the ending. I'm hoping somewhere in your conversations with her you possibly mentioned your blog and she may be in touch.
Your writing has a quality that could capture many hearts Grant. My wish for you is to be given the opportunity to persue it seriously, I personally wouldook forward to your works.
Don l

BC Mary said...

In J-School, they teach the importance of keeping the reporter OUT of the story. It's a good rule, in regular news terms. But you stood that rule on its head, with great effect.

I found today's posting a warm, delightful visit with you at Pender Harbour and enjoyed every line of it. Maggie will find you, I feel sure of that.

Just wondered, though: seems she's being abused ... so have you thought of having a quiet chat with the local cops?

Grant G said...

Thank you Don...The book is a work in progress..

Mary, ah..You never fail to say the right thing, you both warmed my heart.

And for the commenter who laughed disparaging...

This site is a news source, but it`s also a public diary, my diary, the above story was hard to tell, emotions, my mind was full of fresh emotions when I wrote it..

I`m sorry this side of my nature has so offended you.

Good Day

Anonymous said...

You have gone through so much Grant. Anyone who would laugh and sneer about it, seriously needs a mental evaluation. Sounds like a sociopath to me. Ignore the idiot(s).

I am wondering if that lady left a forwarding address. If you could find what her address was, at the place she was working.

I am also wondering, if the ad in the paper, was the same people she was working for, looking for a replacement?

Think about getting three little kittens, from the SPCA. I had a cat that was eighteen years old. When she died, I said, I would never have another cat. However, I got a kitten for x-mas, from a friend of my son's in 1997. He bought her from the S.P.C.A. She too is getting old now. She has been a good companion for me. Her antics have made me laugh, over and over.

I buy one big bag of the good cat food, each month. My son delivers it for me. He knows I would walk out of the S.P.C.A...With every cat and dog in there.

oceantor said...

So sorry - The lyrics are from a song by Nat King Cole "L.O.V.E." and they were not meant to offend and my conclusion was meant to bring you laughter and joy because I was jealous - So sorry

Grant G said...

No need to be Oceantor, I took the comment the wrong way.

As for being jealous..Don`t be, nothing I have is worth a plug nickel...

Yet I wouldn`t trade it for all the Gold in Fort Knox.

Good Day

istvan said...

Best to you Grant and keep your stick on the ice.

istvan said...

You have many friends.

oceantor said...

Har! - Sounds like a fish story to me?
You know? Like the one that got away??
Just kidding - Just kidding - I mean it I'm just Kidding - I really try to be a jokester. I like it when people smile and laugh. And I do enjoy your blog as I do Laila's etc. - I do not ooze intelligence and don't pretend to. So being a dumb ass how do you like me now? Personally? Really I don't give a hoot and neither should you. But I want you to know this; I feel your blog is about as close to the truth as we your readers will find. For that I give my most heart rendering gratitudes. I truly mean that; "Thank-you" As For Maggy; If it was meant to be Deja-vu? But if it doesn't" you still have us"?
Keep smiling - Yeah OK, bye

Anonymous said...

Your story reminds me of all the "what ifs". What if I was still with Wendy, Sharon, Janice,Lauren, Ricky, or that girl with the big boobs? Guess I will never know.
I do have a nice wife in spite of my dickishness. Glad I grew up.
More stories like this please!!
Sometimes politics sucks!