Launch, Lawrence and later …

Men do not wear high heels, but they still suffer. “He could now walk almost without pain”: The Prussian Officer. Since reading that sentence I want to write a story from it. My high school English teacher adored Lawrence and as a result I knew every nook and cranny of Sons and Lovers by age sixteen (those being pretty steamy nooks and crannies of course). David Herbert Lawrence may not have been a Serious Lady but he was certainly a very Serious Gent, and I find myself returning to his stories and poems with renewed respect after mocking his loin-filled novels for too many years. Class, passion, nature–all my favourite topics. Thanks to Keath Fraser for reminding me of this.

And thank goodness for MacLeod’s Books. During my daughter’s recent ballet recital rehearsal downtown I allowed myself a precious hour wandering their perilous stacks of fragrantly musty books and even ventured downstairs, into its twilit honeycomb of towering book piles where, in the Canadian Fiction section, I located copies of Sheila Watson’s Double Hook and John Metcalf’s Selected Stories. Add to this a volume of Lawrence’s short stories and the afternoon was complete.

The recital went well, as did the launch for Something about the Animal, despite it being Italian Days on the Drive and there being an ear-splitting dance music stage set up directly outside the Cafe Deux Soleils door. The dancers dispersed and the book was duly launched, so thanks to all who came and helped me celebrate. Phil DeMarsh played beautiful acoustic guitar, Fiona Tinwei Lam MC’d eloquently, and Jane Bouey from People’s Co-op Bookstore actually sold out. I wore my new necklace made by Vintage Venus Designs and with the help of my beloveds rose above such petty details as a car that wouldn’t start and three pairs of instantly laddered nylons. So now it is later, and somewhat quieter. I wonder what the summer will bring.

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