Monday, November 1, 2010

Crystal and the Ghostly Dog

When I moved to Toronto from Winnipeg nearly six years ago I brought with me a Value Village suitcase jammed with clothes, an old bulk tortilla chip box from the Mexican restaurant I worked at filled with shoes and books, a print of Botticelli's Birth of Venus and this picture of two girls dressed up all harlequin-like.


I the decision to drop out of school and move across the country was one I came to rather spontaneously on day in March, 2005; I bought my plane ticket the next day and was gone on April 6th.

Before I left, my dear, dear friend, Crystal and I took a trip to Value Village so I could buy a suitcase. Crystal and I had, have been friends since we were thirteen. It doesn't matter how many kilometers separate us or how different our lives are or even how many months are between calls, we always pick up just where we left off. She is one of the silliest, most fun people I know and, hot damn, she has the best stories ever. Whether she's inadvertently crashing a sick kid fundraiser picnic with her bandana wearing toddler (who wasn't sick but put a scarf on a toddler's head and, voila, instant sick kid -- it got ugly) or hanging on to a deer spine we found one winter at my cottage and I won't even get into the cat cremation story.

Anyway, so while we were at La Village that day we came upon these two paint-by-numbers depicting the same couple of girls, one blond and one brunette, one with a parrot and one with a creepy white ghost dog. Well, hey, Crystal had blond hair and I had dark brown. Crystal had this creepy, ancient white cat and I kind of liked birds. Obviously it was kismet, we were meant to find those paintings.

We each bought one and promised one another that we would always keep them so that every time we looked at them we would think of the other. And, in so every bedroom I've had in the past six years the Crystal picture has had a place of prominence and sure enough every time I look at it, the picture warms this old lady's withered soul.

Not to mention, it really kicked off my love for paint-by-numbers and obsession with shabby-chic, bohemian home decor.

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