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Golf on the Plains of Abraham
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Chapter 2 -   The Partners

 

 

 

         When I woke up, at first I thought I had only taken a small nap, because it was still dark, but I looked at his alarm clock and it was eight in the evening. He and I had slept all Sunday and I never got to go register how many people went to church that morning. Not many? Yes I know! But some still go. People just have to realise that it is good to pray together, to make time to do things together under one roof.

"Oh my God! What time is it? And what king of voice is this always in my head?" Who me? He just doesnt know how many thoughts go through his head in his sleep. Either way, although I enjoy talking to you, I need to keep my voice down so he cant hear me

"Eight oclock at night? Great! So much for testing Quebec for socialization..." he seemed disappointed that he lost all his day sleeping. But he couldnt be more disappointed than me: I was trapped for another night!

The telephone rang and he dropped it a few times before being able to respond. He as angry and still in a sleepy mood.

"Hello!" He finally said.

"Hi Charles. Its Lys. How was your Sunday?" She was full of energy and sounded happy. I felt like screaming for help to Lys and tell her I was trapped in a mad head. Okay! PTSD is not madness, but I can be normal for an instance. Most normal people see mental disorders as something bad others cant see it at all. If you knew the abuse people have suffered through history in mad houses and jails just because they were different you would understand me better. I guess it is the same for everything; we need to be well informed if we are to understand what is really going on. Thats something I admire about Charles although he scares me. He seems to be interested in knowing and learning more about his own niche. In addition he seems like a fighter who never gives up and finds creative radical ways to win his battles.

"I slept all day and I feel like Im trapped in a bubble." What did he mean trapped? Im the one who is trapped!

"Well, do you want to go for coffee or tea?"

"Tea time has passed. Its eight o'clock. Diner would be more in order. Do you have any suggestions?"

"Anywhere in Quebec is good to go out and eat. But if you like I can pick you up and we can go to place Saint Jean. There, the restaurants; Il Teatro and Au Petit Coin Breton. I have not eaten there yet and they are well advertised by the newspapers."

"You told me not to believe too much what the paper says!"

"Do you want me to pick you up or not?"

"That would be very nice of you."

"Okay. I should be there in thirty or thirty three minutes."

"Why not twenty or twenty eight?" He joked.

"Why? You really miss me?" She asked.

"Maybe..."

"Sure is more hope than last night."

"Im sorry about last night. I need some time alone too. I just got here in town and everything happened so fast please forgive me Lys."

"Just get ready and we will talk later. Okay?"

"Okay! Bye." He put down the telephone and just stood there staring at it. His thoughts were a mixture of logging for someone in his life, but strong emotions of lack of self esteem continued to tell him that he was no one, no good and sick person. He just paralysed. Hey! Hey! I called out again in his mind. Your about to go out on a second date and you have thirty three minutes to make yourself presentable, I sublimely subjected into in conscious.

"I better shower and shave and move my ass," he said as he ran into the bathroom.

When he stepped into the shower I could hear all the rain on the roof of his head. It made me think of all the rain when I was on Noahs Arc. I got scared and my little heart started pounding just like when I was trapped in Noahs hands to be sent searching for land. I was having a flash back even if I knew I was safe in Charles head who was just taking a wonderful shower.  Being in his mind was beginning to affect me too. His weakness for flash backs was now becoming part of me. I tried to use his knowledge of visualisations to change the end results of bad experiences. I visualised my self as a parrot taking a shower in someones home and on my cage. I danced under the water and it felt good. Just like the rain in the rains forest my native niche. If I could enjoy the rain in someone shower is because I could find home next to someone that is entirely different than I. This was a good feeling and a peaceful one. I enjoyed the shower. I stated thinking about the good parts Noahs voyage. There were so many other animals; it was incredible just to be there all together under one roof. Like the first families on earth they all lived together as a community. Today? Well today I live with Charles and I have to focus on the positives. After all I am going to tag along on a second date

When he shaved I could see through his eyes the fogged up mirror and my reflection of a bird at the very centre of his eyes. He, on the other hand, was so used to shaving that he paid no attention to his reflection.

He started to hum a song as he shaved his beard and made his skin as soft as a babys skin. He seemed happy. It was nice to see him this way for a change. It was an experience of peace for me because his thoughts were calm. Believe me; being in someones head when their thoughts are not at peace like last night, its not pleasant at all. I tried to find comfort and hide in a corner of his mind, but I was attacked by all sides. Just like the French felt after confederation, they had an Englishmen in front, behind, one on each side and even one over them I felt like I was intra-muros between two wall-  and I had to run and run so I would not be shot by the enemy on all the walls. I was scared, horrified. After a long battle and struggle I was exhausted and could no longer move, making it easy for an aiming carabine to send a chunk of lead deep into my back. I fell to the side in pain and exhausted. In pain I slept all the beautiful daylight of a Sunday where I should have been flying freely in the opens skies over this wonderful land on a colourful autumn.

Now I am awake and the mind that gave me this terrible insight is humming and at peace. I could profit and take a nap, but Im too curious to see what is going to happen with Lys.

"Where is my cologne?" he asked himself out-loud after he finished his shaving. I could sense he had not used his cologne in a long time. "Now what should I wear? Hum? Ah! A nice colourful sweater and a pair of comfortable jeans. Yes!" Why not a nice pair of dress pants? I influenced. "Or maybe my black pants and a black sweater? With my black barrette! Yes! Much better. And it makes me look like a real writer," he rationalised. Then he felt guilty as his thoughts announced to him the reality about his journals. I must tell Lys the truth and that Im not really a writer, but rather a very sick person struggling to get better by all means possible. He was now sad once again and I felt like a roller coaster in his mind.

The door buzzer sounded off just in time. It was Lys and his thoughts changed to happiness once again. Thats when I realised that an attachment for him would be most important. It would help make him more at peace, give him company and reasons to trust others. It would have to be someone who really carries the fire of family and tranquility inside. Someone respectful and with an open mind, conscious about the complexities of the world. Someone with positive critical qualities and a spirit of profound reflection, for Charles is a special troubled spirit who has an amazing capacity for healing and understanding. Someone like Lys?

He needs to get out of his own individual world and rejoice with others. Maybe Lys is a good start! I was beginning to be happy to be around and witness all of these changes in a human being even if it was not so pleasant at times.

As he ran down the stairs, out the door and into her car, his emotions raised and raised, full of dancing thoughts. I was like a big dance floor, in his mind, with different sections and different music. On one side thoughts danced to the swing, in another, to a valse and the sounds of the violin. It was a huge fiesta where thoughts were all in good health and in a balance. What I found interesting was that they danced in partnership with difference. The thoughts of bad memories partnered up with the thoughts of good memories, the ones of fears with the ones of courage, and the ones of stress with the ones of peace. At the centre of the dance floor were the host and hostess. It was the thought of rejection dancing with the thought of love. It was a feeling of non-logical behaviour and I was puzzled.

"Hey. How are you doing?" He said as he got in the car.

She stretched over, grabbed his face and kissed him gently. I wanted to see a long kiss not a short friendly one.

"I'm doing very well now," she responded smiling and still holding his cheek. He became uncomfortable.

"Shall we go? Im starving," he changed the mood.

"Yes Charles. You havent eaten all day or shall I say, all night?" she teased him for sleeping all day. She drove off through Saint Roch's area and up town to the old Quebec. She parked on Place Moncalm square and suggested they would walk the rest of the way since it was not far from there. The square was a place I knew well but I could sense questions in Charles head. He as curious about the square and I was curious about his second date and the outcome. I was beginning to feel the raised expectations.

"I feel like Ive been here before, but in reality I dont know this place," he said as they started to walk in direction to Il Teatro.

"We walked here last night when we went dancing at Le Bistro. This is the square that leads to the gates of Saint Jean."

"Oh! How come I dont remember the outdoor skating ring?" He pointed to the ice in front of Palais Moncalm.

Because it was late at night and your eyes were all over me? responded Lys.

They were not!

Yes they were. Who can resist my charm? Not even those hockey players. Watch! She moved close to the ice and sat on the edge. Go Maurice go! She screamed at a young man making a clear to the net. He looked at her, tripped on his own stick and entered the net himself leaving the pock behind for another of sweep away. You see Charles! She returned next to him.

Okay. Maybe I was a little distracted by your charm. How do they make the ice outside in fall weather? He was still puzzled and intrigued by the ice ring. It was indeed a great idea.

They have a special cooling system underneath, and because our fall weather is chilly it works very well. She explained.

Its a great tourist attraction I guess.

Yes, but most of all it promotes part of our heritage in Quebec. Lots of Americans and Canadians come to Quebec every year and year around. We want to keep them reminded that the Quebec contributed much to the North America sports and culture although hockey on ice was really started in Nova Scotia it had its first in ring and rules at Montreal. Same with golf, like I told you yesterday, many associations and clubs grew in the second halve of the eighteen hundreds.

Like Yung Mens Christian Association?

Yes! How did you know?

Look! He pointed to an old beautiful building across the street where many cafés and restaurants cohabite. Up on the front wall... The name and the year of its construction.... I guess associating to protect the Catholic Church from a threatening protestant was important after the confederation. I believe it was a time of oppression as well and women were not allowed to do many things like voting and associating.

Pretty good Charles. Soon you will know more about the culture of Quebec than I do if you continue at this rate. I see that the readings you did yesterday at the library really paid off for someone who could practically be considered a tabua-raza without any knowledge­ on Quebec culture. Maybe if you continue reading and learning about the history, costumes and traditions of Quebec you will find it easier to integrate?

I need to learn the language too. I heard once someone say that the word bird is some languages means more than just bird and we see it in English or French. It seems that when they say the word bird it also attaches symbolic information about a birds habitat, behaviour, nature and even mythology.

Like our French language. There are many words that have multiple meanings and when spoken we experience a feeling of partnership of common values and knowledge. It makes us feel good and happy.

Just like those people playing hockey?

Yes, that too. You know my beliefs are that culture comes in a variety of ways and that it is in constant evolution. The problem is that some of the channels become the message. Like Television and newspapers and politicians. Take dancing. Ive enjoyed our dancing last night. I really enjoyed myself. Hockey is watched by different groups in Quebec and they all share the same feelings and common values. Language is important, but not more important. It is the feelings of partnership on common grounds that are important. Like the feeling of being with someone we like. She grabbed his hand and they crossed the street.

Where are we going to eat?

We can go Italian and eat here at Il Teatro or we can go a little more nationalist and go down to Au Peti Coin Breton.

To be entirely honest with you a hamburger will do me fine. Yes and with sesame seeds on the bread because Im hungry too, I tried to influence him.

No, we are going to go right there. She pointed to an old stone building where a lot of people seemed to be enjoying them selves.

I was curious and I was hungry. As a magical bird in someones head I could only be nourished when the person ate. So it was out of my control and a dangerous mission. I could only hope they would order soon, but no, they had to take their time and admire the place.

Its beautiful here Lys. Thank you for inviting me.

And its advertised much. It is mostly known by word of mouth.

Commercial advertisement instruments is God for many people, the news papers for example and television gain the trust of the people by making the news and then flush them with junk when they less expect it: the commercial breaks the pages of publicity Im happy you choose this place.

You invited me to your place yesterday and I really enjoyed it. Its my way of appreciating the receiving I got yesterday

So what are we going to eat? There are so many things on the menu and they all sound delicious. I dont care Charles. Just order something Im starving. Order fries nowadays birds like fries. Maybe some fries?

Very modern. Today were stepping back in time and were going to experience traditional Quebec. Look at the menu. You see the section of fish and wild game. Chose one from there. The waiter came by to take the order. Its about time, I said frustrated with all the nicks and bits around the ceremony of eating. We birds eat when we are hungry and what ever is available. I never really understood why humans have to make cooking an art and a culture. Is it their natural instinct and need to play with their food or is it because they really need to experience the pleasures of sharing knowledge.

May I take your order? asked the kind but late arrival of a waiter.

I will have the quails with ginger and roasted potatoes and a glass of apple cider, ordered Lys.

And for you Monsieur? Come on Charles make up your mind

I will have this here, he pointed to the menu. I never had the chance to see what he ordered. It better be good or its going to be me who's going to give him night mares later!

Would you like a glass of red wine to go with it?

Yes. Sure. If thats your recommendation. What are you talking about? You cant drink alcohol with me in your head. I get drunk with two or three drops of wine and then I will miss on all the action tonight. I remember the last time I was in someone head. It was Charles de Galt in 67 at Montreal. I was pretty drunk then and in trouble. I never saw a man drink so much to hide his emotions of guilt. He was so guilty that France ignored Quebec for so many years that he felt compelled to tell Quebec: vivre le Quebec libre. He meant of course that Quebec had earned its liberty from France and has done so very well, even under the oppression of the English. But I think some radicals in Quebec interpreted his words in a different way. Either way, that day, I was really drunk. Lucky me I managed to exit his head before night fall.

Your drinks, said the waiter as she pace a glace of apple cider in front of Lys and a glass of red wine for Charles. The cider and the wine are local from the Ile dOrleans. It will go very well with the quails and the moose. Your meal will take about thirty minutes. Enjoy your drinks. And the waiter walked away.

Moose? Sounds delicious, but its going to take a long time. Charles complained to Lys. I had no one to complain. Imagine a bird eating a moose.

Im not in a rush and you can put your hunger on hold a little. It will be better this way trust me! She was looking deep into his eyes as he said those words and her smile was tender and it announced a storm or something I could not quite understand. In Charles head the dance floor was no longer there. It was now a large medieval bedroom. The room had long wooden planks on the floor, old antique furniture and a bed full of rose petals and silk sheeting. It was softly illuminated by a huge candle that fought the breeze coming in through the windows of his eyes. The white silk curtains held by his eye lashes drifted as the breeze made its way into the large bedroom where I was, in his head. I hid under the bed, I was afraid to be seen by the breeze and scare her off. Then the room became very a total darkness as the huge candle lost the battle against the breeze. She was in the room, I could sense her. It was total silence and a very comfortable peace. I didnt realise at first, because I always thought that a kiss of love was colourful and full of light and movement, but no it was just silent in a peace that can only be experienced in total darkness. Unfortunately for me I didnt get to see anything. I was under the bed or shall I say: he closed his eyes and I could not see what was going on.

Lys! You are begging to get into my head and it scares me. Its been a very long time for me I must admit that I really enjoyed the time we spent together so far. Thats when I knew they kissed. His eyes were open again and I could see her humid lips. I began to feel sad myself, being eternal was getting to be a pain for my love life. Yes there were many nice Dove ladies in my long life, but I outlived them and I had to see loves and loves die before my eyes. After a few relationships like that I couldnt take it anymore and I decided to stay single. Its a little like reliving a particular culture over and over always in the same conservative fashion. It looses its spice and flare in life. The new generations need to create their own path and their own ways to feel complete and that they made a difference. Many times people impose their old ways on youth just so they can continue living in their ways as if their going to defeat mortality. Sometimes it is much better to take the role of an observer and just let things roll. Its probably why I enjoy watching others fall in love instead. I have seen many people die in anguish and in hate. When their moment came they were so terrified that they fought it like a wild animal. The soul is very fragile at the moment the body dies and it can be spread into many peaces and lost in the dark abysm of the universe. It is not the way to continue living and it is the way the future selects the good souls from the bad ones.

Live the moment Charles. We cant live on the past. We should learn from the past and continue to enjoy the teachings of the past, like the wonderful recipes of the food were going to enjoy tonight, but the things from the past that keep us from enjoying our present are better off left in the past were they belong.

Like the defeat of the French in Quebec? I couldnt believe I was hearing this. Telling a Quebec woman who just finished kissing him that the French were defeat was not nice and I believed it to be romantic suicide.

No one defeated anyone! She allowed her emotions to show. NO one won anything. Europeans caused terrible destruction to humanity in the process of airing the new world of Americas. Through wars and disease they killed millions of people. They wiped out entire civilisations.

You mean the Spanish, Portuguese, French and English?

I mean our ancestors. We are not responsible for what our ancestors did. We are responsible for our present for it will become our past tomorrow and we want to look back and find many enjoyable memories to enjoy over and over again. I call this positive culture making.

I like your philosophical side Lys.

And I like your willing to know more, side.

What have you decide about testing a dance group for your project?

 Tomorrow Ill speak to Gilles; hes the person responsible for the socio-cultural activities at Laval, and see if he can spare me a room to make the dance course.

Excuse me Madame. Your diner. Said the waiter when as he arrived at the table with steaming dishes. The odours announced a heritage of good memories. And for you Monsieur.

Merci, responded Charles in French. Lys smiled.

When the waiter walked away Lys lifted up her glass.

To a dance course and to a story, she said.

To the exit of the intra-muros by enjoying the present moments in company of others! Added Charles.

And a new history tomorrow?

To a new history tomorrow! Oh God. Get it over with Im starving, I said in his head.

The glasses came together and they both drank the wine looking each other in the eyes. Then they both dug into the wonderful dishes and I was happy. The food was really delicious and the wine? Oh well, I was a little pompette.

The evening was great indeed. The two continued to discuss culture and history and I got my nourishment, but I never got to witness their sweet kisses. He always closed his eyes; I guess honesty was too much? All I could see was the same visualization of the old medieval bed room with silk bed sheets a huge candle and silky curtains dancing in the breeze. Nothing changed in the room and wile I continued to hide under the bed, so I assume they only kissed that night. But then again, with all the wine, I was not all there to remember everything.

I do remember his excitement when he got back home late that Sunday evening. He went straight to his lap top and continued his writings from the night before. This time I confess I didnt give him any ideas. He was all on his own for I was falling asleep.

Okay, where did I leave Nathalie? Oh yes, she was arriving at the Royal golf Club and see saw other early birds unloading their Golf bags. With the knowledge from his readings and with the excitement of the memoirs of Lys he wrote very motivated and inspired.

 

 I didn't recognise them and I know most the members. I parked next to them with intentions of asking them if they had a tee off time so early in the morning and to try to get in with someone myself.

It was two gentlemen, both in their forties I hoped. They were just so very handsome. They looked European, maybe Spanish or Italian. They had dark brown hair and eyes, about five seven five eight maximum. Their car had a sticker that was round and formed a circle of white stars on a blue back ground. It was the flag of the European Economic Community. That confirmed to me that they were European, but their licence plate read very clearly the Quebec slogan of J'me suis bien.

I was curious, were they European or Canadian Quebecois? On one hand they seemed proud to show their stars of Union, just like the United States shows their stars on their flag. I wondered why stars were chosen to symbolise the unification of States. Could it be because people believed the sky is not the limit, but rather the stars? Or could it be that people felt special once united, like the stars? Personally I know that unification brings so much assimilation and cultural transformations, like the melting pot of North America. It can be sad and there are no stars about it. Most of all I was curious whether or not they were bachelors. I rushed out of my car.

"Good morning," I said hopping they would be polite enough to start conversation with a lady who is looking for one.

"Good morning," they both replied as they continued preparing their bags. I was not ready to just say good morning to such nice looking guys, even if I am looking for a true French Quebecois. Besides I didn't know if they were Quebecois, Europeans and Quebecois look alike.

"It's going to be a nice day I think they're announcing 28 today," I said. It made me feel a little shy and I can explain especially if youre not a golfer. You see most of us golfing people who get up this early are passionate about the sport and we learn every thing there is to learn about it. One of the things we usually do is checking the weather channel and we also call the local environment Canada weather line. So to start conversation with two handsome golfers about the weather this early in the morning is like begging for attention. Besides, I parked right next to them when the whole parking lot offered much space. I was shy.

"Yes it seems that way I'm Vittorio and this is Carlos We didn't really check the weather," they looked at each other.

 Okay now I'm shy, they must be thinking that I'm a desperate woman who just doesn't give up, I thought. A part of me didn't care. Not really it's true that I don't give up, not easy and I admit I am a little desperate. I told you, I'm getting older and I would really like to have children.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Nathalie" I stretched out my hand to greed the two of them. I wanted them to notice that I have nice hands, besides it is only polite to shake hands in the golf. People do it all the time; it is part of being civil and respectful. Although golf now days is played with less formalities, there are still many who reserve a civic attitude many times misinterpreted as snobbish. "Are you members here?" I was curious because I never saw them there.

"No were not. It's our first time here," responded Carlos.

"Oh! But the Royal Quebec is a private Golf Club. Have you been invited to play by some of the members?" I was disappointed. I Was hoping to play with them.

"But, you are a member; I can see the sticker on your golf bag. Would a nice looking lady like you be so kind to invite us to play?" asked Vittorio. He really knew how to work his charm on a lady. He didn't really have too

"Yes, I am alone today." I'm alone most of the time but they don't need to know that. Most of my friends don't play golf and although I know many of the members I don't feel close enough to them to consider them friends, just golf partners.

"You are very kind," responded Carlos.

"Yes. Thank you Nathalie. It's Carlos birthday and I really wanted to take him out on a golf game," said Vittorio.

"Well happy birthday Carlos," I said wondering if I should ask how many.

"Thank you," said Carlos.

"I'm very pleased to invite you to play with me, but I'm still going to hit some balls and I don't have a tee off time. If you don't mind waiting we can play together?" I hope they say yes, I crossed my fingers.

"That sounds like a plan. You're very kind. We shall have breakfast first. Your welcome to join us and then you can go hit your balls into the open air." Invited Vittorio.

"I already had breakfast, but I'll join you for a cup of coffee." I had my breakfast at five o'clock in the morning. I left it all ready the night before as always, but I didn't have coffee. I usually don't put any poison into my body, but to be social I will have one today.

The three of us started the walk from the parking lot to the club house. All with our spike shoes already on and our bags on our backs just like pros.

They might be handsome, but I don't play golf with out a good preparation. I always stretch well and I hit a basket of ball on the driving range. Then I spend a good twenty minutes on chipping and putting green. Its like getting ready for war, I want to succeed and I don't want to get hurt. If the king of France had done the same with Canada he would never had lost it to the British. Eight men it took to make the first Golf Club in North America, the Montreal, and eight men survived the first winter of the foundation of Quebec. Imagine that! The King of France wanted to start a country with eight men when he knew, according to Jacques Cartier report 1536; the Saint Laurence had more than 800 places. No wonder Michael Angelo painted the Last Judgement at the bottom wall of the chapel 16 at the same era. So if I want to shoot below eighty I better warm up. Playing with men is always a kick for me, because I play well, but some men don't like it. It hurts their ego to have a lady who does not shoot as far as them finish a game with a better score.

We arrived at the club house and as usually my mind is all over the place. Being a critical professor does not help

"I think I better go see the Starter for our chances at a tee off time. You guys can go in and order your breakfast. I'll just be few minutes" I was hopping there would be some cancellations. I went to the Pro Shop to see the handsome and bachelor Jean Francois, the cub Pro.

"Good morning Nathalie. How are you this morning" Jean Francois was always polite but he never made a move on me. Pity, because I would say yes. Even if his mind is all golf and golf it would make a good balance because my mind is always everything.

"Good morning Jean Francois, I am very well. Thank you for asking." I would be better if we had woken up together but I could not say that. It would most likely make him very uncomfortable; he seems like a shy person.

"I saw through the window that you finally bring some company with you."

What does he mean: finally. Am I always alone? Who does he think he is? I never saw him with anyone either? 

"Yes Jean Francois I finally found two great lovers. I've been waiting for some French man to make a move on me but I got tiered of waiting. So I got myself two Italianos. Now do you have any cancellations and a tee off time available?" I was angry and I didn't realise Jean Francois face for a few moments. I was busy looking at his list on the counter to see with times were open. Then it came to me that I really stepped out of my usual self by the expression he had on his face. He seemed in shock and surprised. "Well? Are you just going to stare at me? Book us in for eight o'clock. I see theres an opening on your sheet."

"Sure" his voice was trembling." As you wish Nathalie." I looked at his eyes and I felt strange. I didn't mean to react like that. Maybe I was being defensive. Maybe I have a great sadness and pain inside for being alone that I misinterpreted what he meant.

"Jean Francois, I was only joking. I know I sounded aggressive, I just didn't like the way you said, and finally I brought someone. I'm sorry." I was sorry. He was such a nice guy too.

"I just meant that I never saw you invite anyone to play golf with you. Many other members bring friends, but not you. Maybe one day"

"Look Jean Francois, my friends don't like golf and no one invites me either. You know I play good and lady members don't really want to play with the Club Champion. Most of the men on the club don't want to play with me either..."

"Well I wouldn't mind playing with you"

"Their ego is too big and I sure am not going to play down for a man what did you say?"

"I said I would like to play with you some time. There I said it." He took a deep breath.

"It was difficult for you to say that?" I looked at his shiny blue eyes and I could see my reflection. I wondered if he had the courage to ask me out. I need a man who can take action and be confident about himself. I need a man who can take me into his arms and melt me.

"Well yes. It's been on my mind for a long time."

"Well? What are you waiting? Ask me then?"

"I don't know when. Your already busy today and I need to see my schedule"

"It's Okay. You let me know when you consult you schedule. Mean time I have to go because I have two handsome Europeans waiting. They invited me for breakfast Bye Jean Francois." I guess he was no Jacques Cartier of Samuel de Champlain but his shyness made him honest. Cant say the same about Pierre Trudeau, his arrogance and his action on October 1970. Maybe Sir Wilfrid Laurier is more my style, but then again, Jean Francois is alive of course

"Bye Nathalie. Have a nice game. Oh by the way, if your going to hit some balls as usual, would you be so kind to inform a gentleman that is there alone that he will be playing at eight with you and your two friends. I think his name is Parmelo."

"Another gentleman? It's my luck day," I said as I left the Pro Shop. Poor Jean Francois, I surely teased him today. I hope I didn't hurt him or scare him off completely.

I made my way to the Club House to have my cup of coffee with Carlos and Vittorio and still curious about these two men. When I arrived they were both installed with a huge breakfast in front of them. It didn't seem like they cared much about their body. How did they manage to look so great?

"Excuse me gentleman but I'm ready for my coffee now. We shall tee off at eight so you can relax and enjoy you grease meal. How can you guys eat like that and keep in shape?"

"We both play soccer Nathalie," responded Carlos.

"Were you from? You don't look like you were brought up in Quebec." I wanted to know although I thought they were first or second generation Italian Quebecois.

"I was brought up in Ottawa since a baby, but I was born in Italy. Carlos here was brought up Kitchener Waterloo but he was born in Portugal. We were not brought up in Quebec, but we both lived in Gatineau for the past twenty years and that is Quebec."

"That explains your charming accent." My God I'm not shy at all. I need to learn a few lessons from Jean Francois about shyness or shall I say being less direct

"How about you Nathalie? Were you brought up here in Quebec?" Asked Carlos.

"Yes, I'm a true Quebecois. My parents were brought up on the Island of Orleans and so were my grandparents. I think I come from a mixture of Irish and French."

"Do your parents still live on Orleans?"

"Yes, they are apple and wine farmers. I haven't seen them in a while, but they are doing well."

"That's great, maybe tomorrow we can go for a car ride and buy some apples and wine for my restaurant," said Vittorio.

"You have a restaurant?" I bet it is Italian too. Most emigrants who set up restaurants fall into the same category of business concepts. They set up business based of cultural identity! It's even ironic because some of these businesses have very little demand and they end up by never making a decent living, but their pride of showing off their cooking skills and traditions is worth every bit of hardship. Thanks to cultural fools of this nature I am able to enjoy all cuisine's of the world right here in the heart of the Capital of Quebec. I guess we have something in common: we shine when we are proud of what we can shine. Self esteem works in the same way. If we are shy and embarrassed of our past or of who we are and what we can do we will always have difficulty in shining.

"Yes I have an Italian restaurant and we cook the best of Italy, but most of all we cook with love. Maybe you can write down the address of you parents farm for me." Vittorio confirmed my thoughts. His Italian accent was sensual and could make my vocal cords vibrate. Okay, okay maybe he could make me vibrate elsewhere too.

"How about you Carlos? What do you do for a living?" Maybe he has Portuguese Restaurant. I sure wish there was one in Quebec. I have been to a few in Montreal and their food is delicious.

"I'm in the lumber trading business. I act as a broker between Quebec companies and Portugal. And you?" He asked me.

"I'm a teacher" I think I better tell them what I teach and where or else they might think I'm a product of Quebec's repressed society where all woman were supposed to be nurses, teachers, secretaries, or housewives "I teach History at Laval University."

"That's great, maybe you can help solve a dispute me and Carlos were having on the way here early this morning." Vittorio seemed all enthusiastic about this opportunity.

"If it doesn't take long because I need to go hit some balls and it's seven o'clock already."

"I told Carlos that the first ones to map north America were the Italians. Christopher Colombo, although at the service of Spain had the knowledge of Marco Polo and other Italian navigators. So it must have been the Italians who first sailed to North America."

"And I told Vittorio that Christopher Colombo was rejected by the king of Portugal because he was not bringing Portugal any new news. Portugal already new about America and especially north America because the Portuguese Fishermen of Azores, like Joao Corte Real were already fishing on the Grand-Banks and the opening of the Saint Laurence forty years before Colombo. Why do you think Portugal asked the Pope to extend their explorations territory forty knots to the west with the agreement of Tordesilhas in 1494? Because Portugal already knew of the land and they wanted to assure Brazil and the Grand-Banks."

"Well don't actually teach History the way you look at it. I teach Critical Historical Theory. If I understood correctly, you are both patriotically concerned and proud of your history and the dates of who did what and when. The proof I have is that Christopher Colombo was the first one and then the Spanish and the Portuguese in central and south America. In this region as a result of the expeditions of the Italian Coboto and Verrazano and Cartier we now have Quebec. I don't believe it is up for argument, which was the first or who had the right to what, but rather what we have become since then and how we can learn from the mistakes of History to better improve our future.

"You both sound so proud of your native country involvement in the discovery of America and I must say the French and the English do the same, but at what cost. The Portuguese and the Spanish wiped out entire civilisation in central and south America. Whether they killed them or brought germs that the Amerindians could not survive. The French and the English did the same in North America.

"Portugal was indeed the one to start the great Explorations of the world. One that together with the Spanish the English and the French made major transformations in human exploitation. And if we look at history in those terms we will argue a little less, keep our head a little lower and try to get along today or have you forgotten about all the slavery that was transported from Africa?"

"Your right Nathalie, but how do you explain the continued repression and assimilation of the Natives in North America?" Asked Carlos.

"It's not just in north America, the same happens throughout central and South America. Youre in the lumber business. Where do you think Brazilian cherry wood comes from? The Amazon the land of the indigenous of Brazil! We have destroyed many nations and we are still repressing them and assimilating them. Just look at our Quebec French pride it has blinded us to the point that some of us believe in independence from Canada. This group of separatists doesn't even care about what the native people of this land think. They say they are too small in numbers. Others justify the colonisation with theories that the natives had no notion of land and property. It's not important who did what any more. It's simply too late. Now it's about finding solution to live in harmony with our differences."

"Hey Nathalie is it true this is America's first golf course," asked Vittorio proud of his knowledge of golf history.

"Well the first one was the Montreal Golf Club in 1873 founded by a group of eight men led by Alexander Dennistoun. The Quebec Golf Club came second in 1880. Either way they are both called the Royal since the Queen gave her permission on 1884 and true that Quebec was the first place in north America to found a Golf Club."

"Wow! Aren't we lucky to have such an intelligent woman play with us today Carlos?"

"It is like a gift for my birthday Vittorio. Where did we find her again? Ah yes! On a parking lot acting as the weather channel." They both laughed. Now I was shy. I knew I shouldn't have talked about the weather.

"We will see who laughs at the end of the golf game you bacon eaters. I'm going to warm up. Make sure your out on the tee at eight or I'm departing without you guys."

"We're just kidding around Nathalie. its Carlos birthday, we're going to have a great time," Vittorio reassured me that I did not make a mistake in inviting them. They seemed like a fun two, but I needed my warm up. Oh! And I cant forget the other poor gentle man that Jean Francois talked to me about.

I grabbed my putter, wedge and three irons and made my way to the driving range. I was seven fifteen and I had just forty five minutes for my warm up, but it was enough. When I got to the driving range I saw only one golfer hitting away slowly with a short iron. I approached and asked if he was Mr. Parmelo.

"Yes, I am. You can call me Roberto," he said with a nice smile. He was just like Vittorio and Carlos. His looks were identical and I felt bizarre. Three men all about the same age, European looking and very handsome. I think I'm more desperate than I thought because all men are beginning to look good. Or maybe they are good looking. Regret came to my mind. I forgot to ask Vittorio and Carlos if they are married.

"Are you married Roberto?" My God what did I just ask this stranger? Well to late now I wonder what he's going to answer. What if he thinks I want to flirt with him? He's just another guy of course he is going to lie. Hes going to try to get into my pants, especially now that I came out strong like that. I'm an easy target! Hey calm down Missy, if he gets into my pants it is not all that bad... I hate these double voice dialogues.

"Oh Yes! I'm very well married and very happy. Who might you be, beautiful woman?" My God it's rare to find an honest man. No, not about him being married, about him recognising that I'm a beautiful woman, you silly.

"I'm Nathalie, and I'm here to tell you that you are playing at eight. We are playing together."

"Oh wonderful. That gives me more time to finish my warm up, he said as he continued to calmly hit a short iron. I was pleased to see that some men do practise their short irons, most just like hitting their driver and when they get on the course all they can do is get angry.

I decide to do the same and start with my lower wedge and short shots. I kept only a few balls to try to hit long and straight. Then I left to the putting green for a good go at my putter.

Im going to warm up my putter, Well see you on the tee at eight?

Im going to join you Nathalie. You seem like a good golfer and I sure could use some advice on my putting. Did he just say he wanted advice form a woman? Wow!

If I can help I will. We started to make our way to the putting green.


 

There. That is enough for tonight. It sure is a nice though to go to bed with. Two golfers walking calmly to a putting green in the great out doors on a Saturday morning. I have to get back into the game myself. Maybe next summer after all the snow melts again, he said as he got up from his chair to go to bed. I was still a little drowsy and I did not manage to get any sleep in his head. All that golf! I hate golf! I was hit once by a golf ball on the Plains of Abraham. It was the summer of 1883 of Tee number eight. A sloppy Englishman decided try getting to the green by cutting the dogs leg making it fly over the left were I was happy installed on the trees.  

I was lucky at the time the balls were made of leather and feathers or I would have lost my eternity.