Journal Assignment #7: Oh, Canada
Write a brief history of your Parents’ Weekend. Try to make it something Grandma would be proud of.
- Professor Brink
Parents’ weekend is great. It is a great time for playing mother-daughter volleyball, or father-son foosball or taking a tour of your scenic campus, or attending lectures with your adorably dorky parents, or say, borrowing your friends car, driving it out of the country and losing said car’s bumper and side view mirrors. You know.
“It’s not that noticeable,” Alexa said, surveying the outside of the black Volvo. Sylvie threw her a look.
“Yeah. Right. Who needs a bumper?”
Alexa nodded seriously, “Right. I mean they don’t do anything. I think bumpers are just for show.” Sylvie fixed Alexa with a maternal look. “Fine, I’ll get it fixed if it’s that important to you.”
“Good.” Sylvie responded.
“Good,” Alexa rejoined, “Can we go home now?”
“Okay – only don’t you think I should drive?” Sylvie inquired implying that she would in fact be driving the black Volvo back the United States regardless of whether her traveling partner responded to this question in the affirmative. The question, she implied with a subtle shifting of her eyes, was rather a technicality. A thing that must be done. Alexa could agree and save face or she could disagree and lose the game of power.
Alexa half-heartedly tossed Jameson’s silver key ring to Sylvie.
“Alright back to college!” said Sylvie with alacrity as she slipped the key into the ignition and Alexa settled into the passenger seat like a freshly caught criminal slumped into the rear seat of a police car.
“You have to admit it was fun though,” Alexa said wistfully as they cleared customs. Sylvie’s glance disagreed. “Will you stop looking at me like that?” Alexa asked nervously.
“You’re just lucky I signed that agreement in your heart,” Sylvie spoke like an officer who was hardened by years in the field, years in which young ingrates had tried to squirm their way out of justice. “Trapeze artists? What were you thinking?”
“Fun Canadian experiences?” Alexa said hopelessly.
“No. Just no. Look at what happened to Jamie’s car!”
“This is nothing,” Alexa said languidly from the passenger’s seat. “ I saw it on an informational – they have this magnet thing – and a little paint…”
“And the bumper?”
“I thought we decided we didn’t need a bumper.”
“We don’t. But Jamie does.”
“Right. I keep forgetting this is his car. Kipper and I have been thorough so much together it’s like a common law marriage – “
“Wait – what?” Sylvie asked, confused by Alexa’s ramblings.
“Well you know how if a couple has lived together for seven years they’re considered married well Kips and I –“
“Now you’re naming Jamie’s car?”
“Of course, you were asleep. I was lonely.”
“So I take it that was before the hitchhiking trapeze artists?”
Sylvie expertly navigated the black Volvo with the bumper strapped to the roof back onto their college campus as she formulated a plan:
“So. You’ll go get the car fixed,” she said turning to Alexa who had since stopped likening the situation to an arrest, and had now decided that she was a mobster who had evaded the law.
“Yeah, I know a guy,” Alexa said with a gleam in her eye, and then straightened up, “and you’ll go to Jamie’s and try and distract him from this whole car thing.”
“I still can’t believe you did this,” Sylvie said she pulled up to Jamie’s block.
“I know,” Alexa said looking as pitiful as a punished pug. “I’ll get it fixed, you just go sidetrack Jamie.”
I’m not going to tell you what went on at the garage. It’s not one of my finer moments, besides Sylvie’s story is much more interesting. Sylvie’s recollection: The Events of Sunday, October Third as told to Alexa:
It all started when Alexa wrecked Jamie’s car. [I didn’t wreck it. I just added to it.] Jamie was expecting us to return the car on Sunday morning and he invited us to a Car-Restitution Brunch. Alexa and I decided to split up. She went to a garage to get the car fixed and I went to Jamie’s, which was very new and exciting. I was met at the door by the smells of burning toast and frying bacon, then a beef of a man bounded up to me. His name is Esbjorn and he is an exchange student from Norway. His blond hair is shiny like the coat of a golden retriever. This attribute coupled with his doggish behavior has led Jameson to nickname him “Golden.”
“You do well morning?” Golden asked me. I responded that I did very well the morning thank you. Jameson was standing in front of the stove wearing jeans and a white button-down shirt with the cuffs rolled up to his elbows. He was also wearing red socks and a white apron that was ever-so-slightly frilly – or maybe just wrinkly.
“Hey, Sylv!” he called out in his low baritone.
“Hi!” I said, pulling off my brown coat.
“Let me get that!” Jamie said, running towards me in the doorway. I handed him my outerwear and he placed it on the coat rack directly to my left upon which three other coats were already hanging. Two pairs of running shoes were neatly assembled directly beneath the rack.
“Come on in!” Jamie urged tugging off his apron, which I was starting to think could have belonged to his mother. Golden ran circles around the apartment assembling chairs and silverware, fruit salad and waffles, coffee and tea, and finally the black toast and beige bacon that I had scented earlier.
Once we were all seated at the makeshift table (a plank of rich mahogany which rested on four towers of books that served as legs) Jamie and Golden passed around the various food objects. Just as I was scooping hulled strawberries sliced bananas and diced mangoes from a silver bowl with a matching engraved ladle, Jamie’s eyes drifted to the empty chair beside me.
“Alex said she’d come right?” He asked, turning to me with those inquisitive brown eyes that could break a spy with just one blink.
“She’s coming,” I said a trifle too abruptly. I began again: “ She’s just running a little late,” I said this line more slowly and our conversation returned to its former hum of polite pleasantries and jokes between friends.
Golden’s English left much to be desired, but his phrases were generally intelligible. Jamie turned red and flustered when Golden met my eyes across the table and announced
“I love you,” Jameson then guffawed with relief when the next words Golden uttered were, “the vaffles!”
Jamie then met my eyes, took my hand, and whispered with a serious tone “I love you, the fruit salad,” I nodded my actress best and proclaimed that I loved him, the bacon. So the morning passed in quiet nonsense, and easy nothing and yet kind of hint of a something.