After high school I moved to 77 Wellesley Street West in Toronto.
The picture above is the apartment building. Of course, those stores around the bottom weren’t there when back then. The centre part was a courtyard — the very courtyard into which Ellie and I threw our Christmas tree in March when we discovered it was too dried out to drag through the halls. The windows to my apartment can be seen two stories above the ground level shops in the right side of the building.
Anyhow, one day I answered a knock on my door to find a pretty blonde on the other side. She introduced herself as Paula and said she was doing a poll pertaining to some political thing (the specifics escape me). When I told her I wasn’t interested she came in and we talked for an hour or so, partly about how she’d just recently moved to Toronto from Finland. On her way out she said she’d like someone to show her around the city and left her number.
And all those visits in the story where Paula greets Fielding at the door wearing nothing but a towel? Yeah — really happened. Even the scene where she sits him in a chair and then plants herself on his lap as well as the scene in the bedroom. All happened. And I really did figure that she was just so comfortable with nudity and near-nudity that she would consider any pass I made as being inappropriate and typical of an unenlightened North Americans.
I know. I know. I’ve got no idea how I ever managed to procreate.
Still, I think I’m glad our relationship went the way it did. We became good pals. Besides, she ended up leaving Toronto to live in Vancouver after a few months. I saw her off at the airport and we had a very nice goodbye. The in-flight movie was Jeremiah Johnson. (I have no idea why I knew that, nor why I still remember it.)
There are differences, of course. She was very pretty, but she wasn’t the sex kitten I’ve portrayed here. Should the real Paula ever chance to read this, I hope she will forgive the liberties I’ve taken with her character in fiction that I never took with her person in real life.
I have a portrait drawing I did of Paula back at the time. I’ll be going home today (we’ve been taking care of a friend’s cats for a while and haven’t seen our apartment for a while), and if I can find it, I’ll post it in tomorrow’s notes. If so, keep in mind that it was done fairly quickly and by an artist who, like Fielding, is rather mediocre.
Of course, it’s not possible for a Firefly fan like myself (and, coincidentally, Fielding) to talk about a woman in a bath towel without thinking of the scene in which the conniving “Saffron/Bridget/Yolanda” first tries seducing Captain Reynolds by temporarily wearing only a towel. (“But she was all naked and articulate,” he later says.)
Sadly, the internet has let me down as far as finding a good photo of the scene, and these two are the best I could do.
As a result, I feel duty-bound to include this photo of Christina Hendricks, who played the role of Saffron, to make up for this failure.
And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t credit Fielding’s last line, “I love it when a plan comes together,” which was John “Hannibal” Smith’s catch-phrase in TV’s The A Team.