My instructor’s got dark roots. Black near the scalp, like a clutch of mobster uncles. Blonde curls dance unabashedly – young and bright and playful, for all and sundry to gaze upon. The uncles, jealous and proud, are always hunched over a table in the background. Watching. Waiting. Winking.
His nose is arched, like a Roman stag. His nostrils flare slightly whenever he gets excited about a lesson, which is often. The hairs peek out when this happens, and you can’t help but look. You cringe, even wince, but you can’t help yourself – it’s an injury on the field, a car accident, a couple having sex in public – you have to look.
Last week it was causal relationships in foreign market crashes.
Flare, like a bad temper.
Yesterday he nearly wet himself talking about fraudulent telemarketing schemes.
Flare, like second-hand pants.
This morning he invoked the spectre of our looming, growing student loans, how they parallel the insurmountable debt that’s crippling so many African economies. His hand came down on the podium for emphasis, each smack louder than the last. Without relief, he said, you poor developing nations will remain trapped in an eternal cycle of under-payment, under-training and Third World ignorance.
Flare, like fireworks. Like an S.O.S. Like a freeway entrance.
Eighty-five minutes later, I’m driving a stolen car on the TransCanada Highway, heading east for all I’m worth. My fiance’s in Toronto for a conference, and his parting joke rings like a church bell in my ears: I’ll be back in a few days, honey. And if not, don’t worry: my life insurance pays off triple if I die on a business trip.