Monday, December 6, 2010

Laying the Groundwork

Having escaped December’s damp chill in Venice for the deeply penetrating crisp and toothy cold of Cortina, Robert and I were smugly pleased with ourselves for we had missed, by one day, being trapped in Venice by a record aqua alta. Water in San Marco had reached over a meter. For those of you not familiar with the metric system, think wearing hip waders and fly-fishing in the centre of town.

Our brisk late morning constitutional walk, on our second day in Cortina, had brought us to a café that if not becoming our favourite, was certainly becoming our habit. And if not a habit, then a testament to the ease with which we fall into patterns.
All huddled up around our steaming cappuccino and cafe Americano inside of the Cafe Royal and pooling body heat while reading the newspapers, we started our proactive discussion in the face of an event that was about to change the course of our relationship; my return to what Robert euphemistically refers to as “the working-class”, voluntarily no less.
Although he had worked for a large part of his adult life, it seemed during this initial discussion that the concept was rather foreign to him. At best ‘employment’ was pithy theoretical fodder for editorials as opposed to something one actually engages in. At worst, the concept carried with it the great weight of the dreaded unknown.
It was not as if the day had arrived without warning, like a terribly unforeseen affliction that gets subtly spelled out in small group huddles at cocktail parties: “Did you hear about David? He has a j-o-b.” Quite the contrary, while perhaps an affliction to some, the possibility had been in the offing for quite awhile. I had been looking; scandalous.

This will likely be the cover of our Christmas Card
Perhaps it had been the timing of the email from the executive placement agency that had thrown Robert off. During our getaway to Cortina, (“a getaway from what” is indeed a fair question) this bit of news from the outside world may have been made all the more disconcerting for him because of its intrusiveness. Whatever the reason, the subject was soon dropped in favour of what Robert felt to be the more pressing matter, Italian chocolate.
The groundwork had been laid.

No comments:

Post a Comment