I no longer feel like a kid going out on a date. I'm a foot-soldier being sent into battle with life-or-death instructions from his sergeant.
—Jenkins, character in "Dating: A Novel"
Do you remember what it was like when you were first dating? Chances are you (like me) were in your teens - unsure, hesitant and excited all at the same time.
Well imagine going through that decades later. The emotions might be the same, but the physicality of the situation will have no doubt changed, over time.
Winnipeg writer Dave Williamson has written a few comic novels and he's about to launch another one, on Thursday April 12 at McNally Robinson Books.
Dating: A Novel
features a character named Jenkins who never dreamed he'd be dating again but after his
wife dies, he finds himself in that awkward situation yet again. Jenkins
relives his experiences over the decades and yet somehow manages to make
the most of things.
Here is an excerpt:The door opens. A handsome man with a receding hairline stands there looking at me as if I might be selling chocolate bars for my school. He's wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt open at the collar.
"Hi, I'm Jenkins," I say. I'm not sure what else to say. He knows why I'm here.
"Mr. Jenkins, come on in, sir. Mother should be down in a minute."
I enter. He closes the door and holds out his hand.
"I'm Jason Hunter," he says. "A word before she comes down. She cannot, I repeat, cannot, under any circumstances, have anything to drink of an alcoholic nature. Do you understand?"
"Good. I'm holding you responsible. She'll tell you she can have a glass of wine. She can't. That's one of the reasons we moved her here. So we can keep an eye on her."
"And if you drink?"
"I'll get a taxi to bring us home--but I likely won't drink--in fairness."
"Good. She has some pills. She'll have them with her, but you might have to remind her to take them. With water. Before dinner. Got it?"
"Got it." I no longer feel like a kid going out on a date. I'm a foot-soldier being sent into battle with life-or-death instructions from his sergeant.
Dave Williamson (Turnstone Press)
Dave Williamson has written four previous comic novels, drama for television and stage, reviews and non-fiction. Founder of the Creative Communications program at Red River College, he was Dean of Business and Applied Arts there, retiring in 2006. Dave has served as President of the Manitoba Writers' Guild, Chair of The Writers' Union of Canada, and Chair of the Winnipeg Arts Council. His short fiction collection Accountable Advances
was previously published by Turnstone Press. He lives in Winnipeg.