Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jolie lectrice

We noticed it for the first time coming home from the airport last week, just blocks from home. "That's one lonely old man." "Helluva romantic." "Rich, either way."

Où es-tu
la jolie lectrice à la
robe rouge?
Tu étais ici.
Un samedi au parc, tu faisais la lecture à un homme âgé.
Nous lisons le même livre.
J'aimerais te revoir.

I spotted it again in Old Montreal (pictured here).

It plasters the wall of the metro's central hub.

In English it would go something like this:

Where are you
pretty reader in the
red dress?
You were here.
One Saturday in the park, you were reading to an old man.
We were reading the same book.
I'd like to see you again.

The arrow points to a bench, clearly in Parc Lafontaine. Although, the park hasn't looked so green in many months.

And we keep asking each other, can it be for real? Then why now (it's been a bit cold for sitting on park benches)? Or is it some obscure publicity stunt, the purpose of which is yet to be revealed? But publicity for what — a dress shop? reading in the park? What if we call the number? I dare you to call the number. It's a bit pervy if you think about it. Maybe he wants to bequeath his fortune to her. Or start a book club.

Whatever it is, it's costing a fortune.

[Actually, it's the sort of thing I can see an ex-boyfriend of mine doing. I mean a particular ex, of 25 years ago. I mean, I don't mean for me, but as an expression of his character. He's in advertising now.]

One short series of tweets testifies to poster sitings in Laval and Trois-Rivières. It has a brief newspaper mention in Sherbrooke. Apparently the man's name is William.

Most mystifying to us is how little internet trace these posters have left. What seems wildly impactful on an individual level might in fact be deemed a media failure. It's as if its tracks are being deliberately swept away.

We want it to be real. We want grand gestures. We believe in the potential of hopeless causes. We want it to be face value. I kind of want to be the girl in the park.

But the most pressing question of all has yet gone unasked: What was she reading?
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