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Family ties and yelling at strangers.

2004-03-12 - 2:32 p.m.

Today I think I saw my step-cousin John ambling purposefully along the street. I say I think because I didnít verify it was him. It was one of those situations where the person you think you know is across the street and you look at them in a obvious way and hope that they look back across at you and recognition crosses their face. You donít want to shout ďHey John!Ē at them for fear that you donít, in fact know them, and you will see too late that they only bear a passing resemblance to the John you know.

I donít know John well. I donít know his walk, or his coat, or whether he, as this person did, habitually wears earphones when heís on the move. There was nothing really to definitively tell me that I was right and it was him. I do know that he seems like a nice fellow and that my Dad is hoping heíll be a good influence on my brothers while heís staying there while he looks for work in town. My brothers, you see, are just starting the not-quite-human stage of teenage-hood, after just finishing their not not-quite-human stage of childhood. Iíve been waiting for a long time for them to become real people and join the grownups for rational after-dinner conversation, and it looks like Iíll be waiting some more.

John is from a small town in Saskatchewan and, at about 6 feet tall, is an average size for my step-family. He is 21, is polite, has an interest in cooking and red wine, and is in the nationís capital to find a job as a web-designer. (Say, if anyone in Ottawa reads this and knows of any job leads for John, please drop me a line.) Since my Dad lives more than Ĺ an hour from town, J and I have offered to let John stay over if he wants to be downtown early or late. My stepmother has always been great to me and the least we can do is welcome her nephew into our extended-family circle.

So welcome to Ottawa John and say, do you have a dark red jacket? If so, heh, sorry I didnít yell and wave this morning.

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