Sophie's Secrets - Chapter Seven


Marc was up bright and early the next morning, as was his habit. He rarely slept past 6:30. He went to run his usual 7 km up and down Mount-Royal and was back in his apartment on Milton near McGill University before 7:30.

The movie was still running in his head. Thelma & Louise was a popular film, and for many good reasons. The plot was exciting, the characters well cast, the filmography impeccable. Hell, Ridley Scott. The man knew what he was doing. But there was something else about that movie that kept bringing him back. Other than Brad Pitt’s abs, I mean.

Critics were having a field day blasting Scott for his feminist male-bashing ways. And I guess they had a point, thought Marc. All the bad characters are men. All the idiotic characters are men (not all the same characters are both, but that husband, yeesh). The women are portrayed as strong, even in death. Resourceful and fiercely independent. And they clearly did not trust men to do anything right.

“You’re a philosophy student,” he asked Sebastian the night before. “Do you think this is male bashing?”

Sebastian didn’t laugh out loud very often, but he sure indulged this time. “You don’t need to study philosophy to know this debate is retarded. It’s just a movie, for fuck’s sake.”

“I guess. Wouldn’t be the first time conservatives exaggerated the importance of something insignificant.” He stroke his partner’s luxuriant hair. “I suppose I agree with you,” he lied. “It’s just a movie.”

Sebastian was still asleep. He kept graduate student hours, never in bed much earlier than 2 am and not up until 10 unless he had early class on Mondays.

Marc was scanning his newspapers. La Presse, Le Devoir, the Gazette and the Globe and Mail, with toast and coffee. He was ready to start working on his plan.

Next to his usual newspapers he also had a Journal de Montréal he’d picked up on his way home from his jog. The tabloid had the longest series of ads for escorts and suchlike. In most cases just a name with a phone number. Sometimes a few bits of information designed to titillate the least discerning customers. “Petite,” or “Generously proportioned,” or “European-looking,” or “Big chest,” or “Adolescent-looking”. Marc noticed with a smirk the women who added “Friendly” to their description. As if.

Right. Time to make phone calls. He decided to go down the list from the Journal and call the ones who also had an ad in one of the other newspapers. He figured this would indicate method and a certain thoroughness, two traits not customarily associated with crack addicts.

Marc worked diligently until 9:30 and realized he had about three dozen names on his list. He put it aside, took a shower, and walked the 25 minutes between his apartment and office. The sun on this glorious mid-September morning was crisp and not too warm. That was easily his favorite time of year. He was surprised his list was that long. What an industry. There was an entire market for sex operating just a titch below the surface of polite society. But it was a world upon itself.

Marc was optimistic about his chances of finding someone to interview, so much so that he failed to notice the homeless fellow who lived with his sleeping back at the corner of Sherbrooke and Park whistling along with him.

How to grade horror like a boss

Sophie's Secrets - Chapter Six