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Harp On

April 2, 2010

I’ve decided to let others do the harping today…

Many years ago in a faraway land I met a person I might well have been better off never meeting, but then, if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been in the room when he put on the Joanna Newsom record that one morning. Being introduced to her was almost worth all the other shit. Maybe not even “almost.” She writes astoundingly good lyrics, and she OWNS the pedal harp. She sings like a five-year-old on hallucinogenic drugs. Today while using the iTunes store as a distraction from a cover letter I’m writing in iambic pentameter (of course I’m serious) I discovered that she has a new album out. Four years I’ve spent fantasizing about this day and it is finally here.

There was a harpist busking downtown earlier this week and I just about asked her out right then and there–every elf maiden needs a soundtrack–but instead I walked the rest of the way to London Drugs and purchased a hair straightener, which don’t even get me started. I can’t believe I picked a hair straightener over probably the love of my life. I should be enfolded in her delicate arms composing oral poetry about cherry blossoms and teacups, not sitting here writing my 150th blog post. The past two mornings, I’ve tried to teach myself how to use the straightener, and it is not going great.

The majority of my raggedy damaged hair was chopped off last week by a Yaletown stylist who told me, not in the words I’m about to use but in other ones, that he felt duty-bound to facilitate the community’s awareness of my cheekbones. My cousin recommended him; she told me he got the job done and didn’t insist on chitchatting with you the entire time he was doing it. It was a glorious thing, we talked for two minutes and then he got to work shearing my head. I didn’t have to explain what classics is or feign interest in the Twilight series or anything. And now I’ve got this rather short hair that the dude spent plenty of time straightening at the salon, which led me to believe that that was going to become a part of the morning routine.

I hied myself London Drugsward two days later, and I guess I just wasn’t emotionally prepared for an encounter with a comely harpmistress. My mind was elsewhere. I had my eyes on the prize. This Conair thing. Gel grips. She, meanwhile, probably didn’t even see me, she was probably too busy concentrating on her riffs and powerchords. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: love is a terrible thing.

Now I’m alone in my bedroom listening to Joanna Newsom’s dope pluckin’ and eating bag after bag of Peek Freans. The cover letter is for a position at the Bard on the Beach box office so I don’t think the iambic pentameter is inappropriate. I’ve become convinced that for me, balls are the way forward. Any time anything good happens to me it’s because I’ve shown some serious balls. No more ingratiating cover letters. It’s balls all the way from now on.

Maybe I should take the straightener back to the store. Maybe the harpist busks at that same corner all the time. I could use my refund money to buy her a shitload of half-price Easter candy. Ten pounds of Mini Eggs would probably seal the deal…

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