Suddenly everything went all two-dimensional and the air became pellucid, uncannily still. No breezes, no birds, no traffic. Not a sound in Allan Gardens.
I’m pretty sure I saw Marie Antoinette there, in the distance, prancing about with freakishly exaggerated pelvic thrusts, sticking out her tongue at the sanitation workers and cat-walking up and down, up and down the steps that lead to the front of the Palm House. What a kidder, what a marron ! The life of the eternally non-existent party!
I noticed she was still wearing her shepherdess costume from Hallowe’en. Once white as Christmas snow in Bobcaygeon, its linen skirt had now degraded, through who knows what depraved process, to the grimy color of Sherbourne Street slush on Boxing Day, all urine-yellow and soot; the pink and blue satin ribbons were in fleshy tatters, and she was smoking a broken crack pipe that had raised a bleeding welt on her lower lip; but she still – oh, timeless miracle! – had that old nose-in-the-air Antoinette flair, that ol’ “let ’em eat Timbits!” pizzazz.
God love ya, Tony! You devil-may-care, you vanilla cream! Mon petit pain au chocolat, Traveller across centuries! You bring ineffable, effing joy with every swoosh of your pretty petticoats! Your glorious stench, my dear, will live forever! Pfuh!
You never know what will happen in the park. Or who’s gonna lose their head.