Toronto, Meet Pavel the Lover




Toronto, Meet Pavel the Lover

20081216pavel4.jpgAs if one wasn’t already far too many, there’s a new Dimitri the Lover in town.
Dimitri, of course, is James Sears, the man whose unsavoury history is well-documented and whose distressing voicemail messages to a woman recently made him the deserved subject of worldwide ridicule. In spite of ego hit after ego hit, Dimitri is still making the rounds and still scheduling meetings, and it seems he now has something of a protégé to carry on the brand: Pavel the Lover.
Since the beginning of this month, a man identifying himself as Pavel has been following in Dimitri’s footsteps—approaching young women around the city, calling them “elegant,” and handing out business cards (at right) that offer a phone number, e-mail address, and the chance to “swing on a star.” You may not have met Pavel yet, so let’s introduce you.

Though there are some murmurs that he’s been around town just being generally creepy since at least August, Pavel’s really only stepped up his game in December. That’s when he’s been spotted giving female customers at the Apple Store and a Tim Hortons his card, that’s when he joined Facebook under the moniker Pavel (the profile is, of course, public, at least as of 10 a.m. Friday morning), and that’s when he twice approached seventeen-year-old Lex Pearce, who wisely took her plight—and Pavel’s business card—to LiveJournal.
Pearce relayed her stories to Torontoist earlier this week:

The first time, I was at Broadview station sitting upstairs playing solitaire on my iPod. He came up to me and I don’t like being rude to people so I was nice and said thank you to him when he complimented me. He extended his hand and introduced himself as Pavel and I shook his hand (not wanting to be impolite) and said that my name was Lex. He asked if I was eighteen, and I said “No, I’m seventeen,” and he kind of made this face like he was deciding if he should go any further. He then asked if I was single and I told him that I wasn’t, then he said, “Damn, some guys have all the luck,” and pretty much left it at that. I think somewhere in there he said he liked my hair.
The second time I was in the subway around Bloor-Yonge station, he said the same thing he did the first time: “Do you know you look very elegant?” I thanked him politely. I thought to myself that this sounded familiar and a few seconds later it hit me that it was the same guy. So he went straight to asking me if I was over the age of eighteen. I told him no and that I was seventeen. He said a few things that I can’t remember for the life of me and then told me he liked my hair. (It’s bright orange, quite a few people like it.) He asked if I was going to be turning eighteen soon and I lied and told him that it wasn’t going to be for another year. He started reaching into his pocket and I braced myself because I just knew he was going to get out a card or something. He handed me the card and said: “Well, just in case.” I just took the card laughed nervously and slipped it into my pocket. Then he said something that I can’t remember right before he said something about me having a good sexual aura. After that I just said “Uhm, oookay,” and he just wandered off down the car.

Pavel is “pretty regular looking,” Pearce told Torontoist, of “average weight” with “a brown buzz cut,” “a slight lazy eye,” and “an eastern European accent but nothing too thick. He also wore cologne.” (Pavel did not reply to an e-mail sent earlier this week requesting an interview with Torontoist.) Until she had been approached by Pavel, Pearce had never heard of Dimitri, and even though the two men’s modi operandi match up, their faces don’t, and she’s sure that they’re not the same guy. But as Pearce puts it, “if [Pavel] actually took that $600 program that he graduated from then I assume they’re almost the same.” Yeah, that’s what we were thinking.
Top photo courtesy of Lex Pearce.