Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Watching Camilla Gibb Eat A Sandwich

Last week I was downtown buying a present for my brother's wife's father. He's [my brother's wife's father] turning fifty next week, and we're all going to their place for a glitzy backyard party. They live near the Spadina Village; they've got a two-hundred-year-old oak tree in their backyard; they serve premium liquor, and they've always got lots of lemon and ice. The last time we were there they were celebrating their thirtieth anniversary. I had about eight cups of coffee, and spent most of my time talking to a really attractive, really vital, really athletic young female dentist. She was thinking about leaving dentistry to become a weaver, and I tried to convince her that it was the right thing to do. But it didn't work. "What're you trying to do to my sister," my sister-in-law asked. "You want her to lose her mind?"

The affair was catered by Josh Okorofsky Catering, and the food and service were superb. I'd describe it as a classy barbecue, and even Gerry Schwartz left full.

The man likes expensive cheese. I can't understand it, it's never been my thing. Very rarely would I say to someone, "And what kind of cheese is that?" But it makes it very easy to shop for him. Buy him a wheel of good cheese and it's like he's just been sent back in time to his sixteenth birthday party. With the listeria scare hitting Kensington Market, I decided to stop by Olympic Cheese Mart in the St. Lawrence Market. I don't know anything about cheese, but were prepared to point me at something and take my money. And I think that's terrific.

There's a place downstairs in the market that sells eggplant and veal sandwiches. Go there from 11-1 on any weekday and you'll find lines snaking through the door. They've got six people working in a space that's just big enough to park a car. They need two people just to hand out change.

I stopped there after I'd picked out my cheese wedge. I was hungry and it was time for lunch. And guess who was in line just steps away? My favourite Diablo Cody thinkalike: Camilla Gibb. I was the only one who noticed her. The three firemen behind me were busy talking about a tire, and the rest of my linemates were occupied with picking out their sandwiches. Would they get cheese or no cheese? Sauce or meat sauce? That type of thing. I watched Gibb as she chewed her hair.

I don't believe in hero worship, but I've defended the right of average Canadians to touch and pet our literary "celebrities." But that day I didn't feel like fawning; just watching.

And I watched. Gibb ordered a giant meatball sandwich with sauce and cheese. She took it all the way down to York Street, where she settled on a concrete construction barrier that was being used to shepherd people past Union Station.

I'll say this about Gibb: she's a slow eater. After twenty minutes of nursing her sandwich she took a sip of a diet Pepsi. Then she went back to the sandwich, dropping a meatball on her skirt. Then she hiked up the skirt, just enough to give me a glimpse of a large bruise, and dropped a meatball on the bruise.

I couldn't take it, so I walked across the road to offer her a napkin.

"Excuse me. Hi, I think you need this." And I handed her the napkin.

"Thank you," she said, ignoring my extended hand. "But I can just lick this clean."

And she raised the hem of her skirt--raised it all the way to her mouth--and licked off the sauce.

"Wow," I said. "Can Mary Novik do that?"

"Yes."

That was an interesting answer. "Fair enough," I said.

"Who are you, anyway? Were you watching me?" Kind of sly.

"No, no, I wasn't watching you." I thought this was kind of slick. "I was admiring you."

"I was writing a prose poem."

"No, I think you were eating a sandwich."

"I can do both."

I looked at her skirt, at her thigh. "No, I don't think you can."

"Fair enough."

So, that was my day. If I see Camilla again I'll be sure to relate it in this blog. I'd love to date her, but she says that I'm just too rational for her. That was an interesting conversation. "When you park," she started, "where do you park?"

"In a space?" I said, not at all confused.

"Yeah, that's what I thought."

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Which is better Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
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