Shannon, the ice queen

31Dec08

shanpolWe met the summer after I’d graduated from university. I wasn’t able work legally in Canada, so I picked up under-the-table jobs to get by – walking my drug dealer’s dog, random dish washing shifts, playing guitar for change on Rue Prince Arthur. My favorite gig came to me after I’d found an old Polaroid camera at a flea market. I’d take peoples’ pictures at bars or parties and then try to sell them back to them. Or, at least get them to buy me a drink.

Shannon, though, wasn’t buying it. I snapped this photo of her sitting alone at a house party in NDG, but she wouldn’t even accept it for free.

“That’s a cute party trick,” she said, “But I’m not interested.”

“I’ll hold on to it for you, then,” I said, as I slipped it into my pocket. Almost immediately after that cold interaction, I asked the party’s host about her, assuming she had a boyfriend.

“To my knowledge, she doesn’t get down with anybody. Around the grad student’s lounge, we have a nickname for her – ‘The Ice Queen.’ I wouldn’t waste my time, Knox.”

Intrigued, staring at the photo, I said, “Are you kidding? All I do these days is waste time.”

I chased her down outside, after I spied her leaving the party alone and apologized for snapping her photo. “Listen, Shannon. I know I come off creepy, snapping stranger’s photos and all. But listen, I’m a nice guy to get a bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup with. Do you like Phở?”

She looked at me cockeyed and said, “Actually, yes. I really do. How’d you know that?”

I could just tell. She met me the next weekend at my favorite Phở spot. After paying the check, I slid the Polaroid back to her and said, “I paid for this whole meal taking these pictures. Will you accept it now?”

She put it in her purse and said “I’ll hold onto it for you, but I have a feeling you’re going to want it back someday.” The rest of the summer I courted her, but to no avail. I had initially assumed that she wasn’t as cold as her demeanor suggested – “The Ice Queen” was a front she put up because she was shy. But no, she was actually kind of a bitch. And the more she rebuked my efforts, the more it drove me crazy. We took walks through Parc Lafontaine and had coffees down by Concordia, and she always seemed to enjoy herself, but still wouldn’t give up even a kiss.

“Don’t you like me?” I asked one night, at a dive bar on the plateau.

“Sure,” she said, smiling. “I just don’t want to.” Later that night, she went home with some gruff looking rocker type who picked her up while I shot pool. When I got home that night, I found the Polaroid in my pocket, with a note on the back.

good luck, knox
yours,
the ice queen



3 Responses to “Shannon, the ice queen”

  1. 1 antzinpantz

    Am I the only one who visits here? Surely that can not be but I see a veritable paucity of comments making me wonder.

    Love the stuff you write. Feels almost voyeuristic reading it.

  2. 2 conundrumer

    This story captures the true essence of vindictiveness in the female gender. It seems to me like this “ice queen” knew about her title and was punishing Knox in the end for knowing it. On the other hand, she could just be one of those emotionally screwed girls that prevents herself from liking nice guys because she has a preconceived notion that she belongs with an asshole (as evidenced by her going home with the gruff random).

    Either way, I like it . . . keep up the good work.

    -D

    • 3 Terence

      Was seeing a girl like Shannon for a while too. Pretty much went down the same way. Kept saying she wasn’t that great, kept pushing back, ended up with some guy. I’ll be writing a pretty long HBD-esque post for her.


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