As some of you may know, Julio has come to visit me for two weeks. As I write he is halfway through his stay and he is in Montreal for three days, and frankly, I need the rest. It is fairly exhausting being around someone the whole time anyway, when you're me, but Julio being there when I get back from work, all bouncy and full of energy and determined to go out clubbing until the small hours like an alcoholic Tigger is hard work for a confirmed hermit.
But, fuck me the boy is funny. The gems, covered and mentioned before, are varied and many and only so many are staying in my head, but his almost total lack of awareness of his surroundings is legendary and two little stories from the last week need telling:
Story one: Julio goes to the Supermarket on his first day in Canada. He is drifting gently around possibly the poshest supermarket in Toronto (Whole Foods in Yorkville) and happens to be standing in the vegetable section next to the pumpkins. A very well dressed little old lady wanders by, points at the pumpkins and says something to our illustrious Geordie hero. Who, surprisingly enough, looks confused and replies:
"Oh? Which one? None of them do to me, really? Did you mean that one?" (pointing at a particular pumpkin).
Little old lady looks equally baffled "Excuse me?"
Julio flounders a bit and scans the fruit again "I was looking for the one that looks like a bottom, and I couldn't see which one you meant..."
Little Old Lady, looking aghast with sudden comprehension: "NO! I said 'It looks like Autumn!'"
At which she gathered herself up and haughtily flees the scene.
Oh dear. Because that is exactly what classy old people say to scruffy strangers, isn't it? "It looks like a bottom"? But that is what he thought she said...
Second story (of many, but I only have so much time!) and I need to lay down some groundwork. Take a look at the following image. It is of my flat, and it is (to be brutally honest) a shot of nearly all my flat. The only thing not actually in the photo is the kitchen and the bathroom. Julio has been sleeping on a blow up mattress against the wall that you see in front of you. You may notice something about it. Something 'reflective'. Also, bear in mind that this story occurred last night (Tuesday) and Julio has at this point been here since last Wednesday.
Julio sits down on the sofa-bed that you see there. He looks up and has a little bit of a start:
"Fookin 'ell, that's a big mirror, isn't it?"
Me (after a pause): "Oh my fucking god, don't tell me you only just noticed it?"
Julio, starting to laugh a little sheepishly: "Well, you know. I'd noticed it, but...um...well...not actually noticed it..." (tailing off and laughing...)
Amazing. How can a man stay in a tiny house like this for nearly a week (the first two days of which he didn't leave the house, but just worked here), sleep next to an 8 foot square mirror - looking at himself in it every morning - yet get startled by its existence six days after his arrival?
People? It's an education spending time with this man. Sometimes frustrating, mostly hilarious, but never, ever, dull...