Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2004


It is loud, this wide world.
It is loud, watching the cars, the busy intersections where I now catch my buses.
The cars crowding themselves, like another form of sub-species, lives of their own, different sounds from each. Listen to the big trucks coughing up their lungs. Sputtering as the fit slows down. Don't they sound like the chainsmoker?
Hell, last night, even my kid said people are just not quiet anymore.
And then there are the people at my new Everyday.
2, 000 less people than the town I grew-up in, if you can believe that.
Thousands of sounds circling the never-ending building on a not-so-big lot of land.
To be sure, it has it's moments.
But it does not matter where you are or where you go.
There is always sound.

Except for at my house.
For the first 10 minutes of my day, I get to control sound.
O.K. Usually. Almost. Mostly.
Because my children seldom slip-up. They even encourage each other quietly to be quiet, if the need arises.
They smile encouragingly at me wh…

Being In The World

Everything is like steel today, grey and thick in it's undercurrent of cold. Just touching the surface of everything; radiation. The people can feel it coming from the nothing sky. They can feel it from the hydro poles, the sidewalks and the earth, up from the dirt. Soft, cool and grainy between your fingers. How tricked the fingertips get, feeling a wetness that is not there.
Today is the day where you can feel each breath, your nose is alive.
And your bones, they almost tremor, they almost ache because they feel hollow from the chill in the air.
The wind blows heavy, trailing her own fingers up through the trees. Oh, and the leaves shake.
If is was spring, we would smile at their dance!
But when we look now, we notice more gaps between the leaves and branches. We can start to look through and see what lies beyond. More sky.
Look at the death apparent. The green leaves darker, starting to spot with brown, crinkled and curled in edges. Clinging. Wasting. Wasted. Born into d…


Morning Recess

I remember this day. I had just started Grade Seven not too long before and I was probably wearing those jeans. The ones that had the white circles and stars all over them.
We were standing in the front of the school. On the little sidewalk that ran beside the brown brick library addition to the clay brick school.
I know there was dew still on the grass, coolness to the air. I can see the sun slicing harsh against the pale blue sky.
And there is June. In front of me. In a red t-shirt. Her light blonde hair, cut short above her chin line.
And she is laughing. Her head thrown slightly back. And her mouth is open so wide. God, everything about her so real and honest.
I hope she knows she's beautiful.


I have a real cool friend. His name is Mark. He has the best hair ever. It is this wonderful mass of uncontained curl you want to sink your fingers into. Often.
He provides me with great tunes.
He makes me figure out my own computer problems unless he suspects I might crash. He acted very proud of me when I figured out how to put in a link.
Did I tell you? Mark is a web designer. Of some sort. Or something.
He is really smart.
Went to university for like eight years.
And not just for the pot, man.

Mark calls me Chick-lette. I like that. His play with words.

Mark has a daughter. She is beautiful.
But Mark and I like to hang out when we do not have children. He brings coffee and we talk for hours.
He has spent the night over a few times.
I invite all my friends to at least my couch if they do not feel like traveling home. Most of them have far to go.
Mark is no exception.
Mark has slept in my bed with me.
But the last time he was over, he said Let's go to my place.
And …

Teen Dreams

16 Years Old

Tommy flushed the condom down the toilet. He did not care if it went down or not; he turned, heading out of the too purple bathroom. The small space made his head hurt.
Minnie laid, stretched, on the pull-out and it's flimsy matress; back in her red shirt that matched her lips. She had quite a few shirts she could do that with. Tommy thought it was wonderful she even could.
"You wanna watch a movie or something?" she asked.
But Tommy did not want to stay. He was tired. It was after 11.
"I am already grounded. And I am here. I better go," he said to her.
And Minnie shrugged.
"Whatever," she smiled. And he did not know if it was nice.

Momma had been having a bad week. She had called home after midnight from Moonshines the night before last, telling him where the money was in her room. How he had to wait up for her to come in the taxi. The guy she had been with had left her and she was paranoid.
Because everyone there was talking…

One Good Trick Deserves Another

I have no eyebrows. But it is not my fault.
Well, I should be correct and say that I have half, more or less, of one eyebrow.
The smaller half.
My eyelashes are still lovely though. And I do enjoy their long thickness.

I have become more comfortable through the years with missing eyebrows since, after all, it’s the heart of a person that matters. And sometimes it’s fun too, to put on a sock cap and play tricks on people.
Tell them I am going through Chemo. I watch their eyes get big and wide.
“"REALLY?"” they say.
“"Yah, but not really though,"” I say as I shake my head up and down.
Then they get mad and smack me, but it’s still grand fun.
It stopped being fun as soon as I actually had to go through Chemo.
I did not think I was quite as cute then. Though it still seemed only fair to play a trick since it was a dirty trick that generally has them missing in the first place.

I have this thought see, that people in manufacturing, bored as they might be, like to do things. Little…

Doug I

He sits in an upright metal chair his wife has put up against the white kitchen wall she has cleared. Sunlight filters in from the balcony door. He is in his hospital gown, provided by members of hospice. He has in his feeding tube. His face is sagging and wrinkling, drooping like tea bags from his cheekbones. The whites have his eyes are a soft shade of grey. He is losing his hair, despite not using chemo. He does not realize he has lost close to a hundred pounds.
She has a video camera.
"Okay, baby, are you ready?"
"Ye-," he clears his throat. "Yeah, I guess."
"Okay, this is going to be good. It will really help kids out there or something."
"Yeah, ok, let's do this."
She nods and gives him a grim-lipped smile. "Alright."
She makes her adjustments and motions for him to begin when she is ready for him.
He is so cold.

Go Figure

When I let my hair out of the towel this morning, I was not expecting miracles. I never do.
I was still living off the wave of a different high. I had started the dryer before bed. And everything had dried.
How often does that happen? You just have to ask yourself that sometimes.
My new Everday is pretty cool. You are allowed comfort. If you want it, that is.
It was great to pull my heaviest, baggiest, most comfortable sweater out of the dryer and not find one spot on it damp.
I had already had my morning miracle.

I try to leave a brush by my front door now. I comb my hair before I go. This morning when I was leaving, I was combing my hair for the first time.
Now you might be lucky. Be one of those people who have lovely hair most days.
I figured out a long time ago, I am not one of those people.
Seems my hair is mostly in various forms of need-to-be-combed.
It's messy. It's limp. It flys-away, I guess.
It's bedhead...
Whatever. I do not worry about it much.

Sunday Thoughts

It was the green circle of trees that caught your eye,
the white fog covering them. There was room
in the midst. You stood and danced
like a fleet nymph on my eyes, legs stomping over
the under haze golden leaves that burned
like a fire. We laughed at turning back.

We felt the skin being pealed away,
one layer, one piece at a time—
and how we danced! to the songs that were never before sung,
to the rhythms of a heart beat,
to the cool mist of an overflowing love.
There was nothing but a green circle of trees
and a white fog and
the whole world watching as we lay in the shade of the sun.
Little circles of leaves covered us, dust swirling above.

Do you remember that sunrise? That cool lavender youth?


The sun was too bright, the sky too blue. I had just stepped outside my door on the way to get some groceries.
Except for now I was not. I had stopped on my top step.
I turned back into my house and grabbed my notebook and pen.
It was time for a walk.
I have on my biggest, most comfortable sweater.

The Woods

There is a patch of wooded area behind my son's school.
The air is fresh today; you cannot smell the city.
The day feels like hometown.
And when I walk into the woods, I know I have been to days like this before.
I remember those days, and I find myself smiling.
I was alone.
And I felt like I was 8 years old for a full two minutes.

I walk through the wide, dirt paths. They are damp and alive, but the mud is not sticking to my shoes. Everything is still so green inside of this large canopy of trees.
Oh, the fairies would frolic for sure today.

I spot a log on my walk, up four feet from the ground, trapped by other wood.
There is no stream.
But I think Dirty Dancing and hop …

Visit My Little World

Cat Blogging?

I was sitting on my toilet. And boy, was I happy to be there. Sometimes it is worth the pain of holding your bladder for a two hour bus ride to a Government Building and back.
Oh, sure, I could have went to the washroom in the Government Building-but we all know about Them.
But I am losing my train of thought.
I had an enjoyable pee.
Until I realized when I looked down there was nothing on my toilet paper holder.
My toilet paper holder is cute. It holds four rolls. And it is made of wood. Shaped into a Cat. She dons a beautiful green ribbon and her mouth is turned up in such a pretty, little smile.
There was no toilet paper there.
I looked up to see if there was any on my bathroom counter.
Great, I thought when I saw none.
So, I opened the cupboard door for under the sink and reached.
But I already knew.
I could see the bag of toilet paper.
Just barely out of my reach.
So, there I was sitting on the toilet, dripping.
And the thought of waiting for that to end and …

The Other Side Of The Mirror

Eight Years Old

Billy-Boy's desk was beside Mrs. Livingston's at the back of the classroom. Sometimes Billy-Boy sang. Sometimes he swore. He always laughed.
Minnie sat near the back of the classroom, too.
She would watch Billy-Boy. His nostrils were big, naturally, and she was certain he was doing no good for himself picking his nose all the time.
He had a lot of boogers and they were usually big.
He would look at them, study them. Sometimes reaching back up to catch more.
He would smile suddenly, looking at his finger, then start rolling the snot between his fingers, sometimes for minutes.
Minnie would watch Billy-Boy take aim and flick his boogers at some of the other kids.
Mostly the boys who beat him up at recess.
Billy-Boy seldom missed his target.

Billy-Boy loved playing baseball.
He was glad for gym class.
The teacher had picked two people to make up the teams. Billy-Boy did not even look to see who the captains were.
It mattered little to him they would groan, wh…

Don't Waste Your Breath

I did some laundry on Sunday.
I hate doing laundry.
But the whole house was out of towels. And blankets.
Hell, the kids were gonna be out of underwear, too.
I noticed when I was folding everything, I had put in The Blanket.
The Cat Birth Blanket.

Sometimes, I try to make laundry fun.
So, sometimes something I would normally throw in the garbage, I will wash. The Blanket was a beautiful yellow sheet I had used in haste when Stray Cat went into labour a few years back.
It ended up being a pretty awesome mess.
I wanted to know if it could be cleaned.
I found out it could be.
You would never know a Stray Cat had babies on it.
Except, there is this patch of faded blood on the one corner.
The Blanket was such a sunny shade of colour, I decided to keep it anyway.

Monday evening, I decided to have a bath. I often decide to do this. But tonight I wanted it out of the way before Cindy came back. Tuesdays are my early days. My way too early days. Cindy now spends the night on Mondays.
I h…

Scatter Ass

I am telling myself that I am not an idiot when Frank comes over. If I could find my keys I would already be gone.
Frank though, he just walks in and heads directly to test the fridge, feeling at home.
I think somehow it must be my fault he feels that way.
At some point, I'll have to correct that, but for now the crevices of the couch look like they might be a good hiding place.
I eye Frank wondering if he might be strong enough to turn it over and shake--
I'm not about to put my hand down there.
“Why is the pint of milk in your microwave?” Frank asks looking at me like I might have lost my mind.
I try to think if I had, in truth, misplaced it. Maybe left it on the porch?
The birds would no doubt be pecking at it, taking little nibbles of my precious thoughts. I made a mental note to check there later, and gave Frank one of those looks that said he was a moron for even asking why.
“Because my cup of coffee is in the refrigerator,” I said mater of factly.
He went back over to the f…

A Porch Over

Church Lady is nutty. Church Lady lives next door to me. She has five teenagers, six cats and two big dogs.
A friend of mine met one of Church Lady's dogs recently. Of course, if he had not been sleeping in my backyard at eight o'clock in the morning, he might not have.

"I must talk to you!" Ian swore she said it, swore again she had her finger in the air.
Poor Ian. Hulk with the hairy back in his blue shorts, his eyes only open for an hour. I had made him answer the door.
And I guess he just stood there trying to focus on her broken English. I can see him trying to shake the dumb out of his head and it makes me giggle.
"There is a lady and something about church and kids and she has a weird nose," Ian pointed to the door, when he came to tell me, slightly scared.
"Of course, it is Saturday," I grinned at him, heading to the front door.

"Ahh, hello," Church Lady smiled her best smile at me.
"Hello," I said back, sitting dow…

Growing Pains

He would watch sometimes from the backyard, sitting on the picnic bench, cigarette in hand. She would watch the thin wisps of smoke out of the corners of her eyes from two stories up.
And sometimes when he watched, he was nothing more than shadow separating shadow in the hallway outside the bedroom door.
She would take her time, moving around, preparing herself.
She had always prolonged dressing for him, finding ways to slow herself down.
But now he was home so seldom. It tortured her how much slower she had to become, learning to make it better for him.
Her body constantly ached, waiting for the night. Waiting for more than his eyes. She wanted his hands on her.
And now the night was here.
And he was in the hallway.

She had her coloured underwear on when she turned from brushing her hair in the mirror. She turned to face the open door and she said his name, hushed on the waves of darkness.
And he came to stand before her in his blue jeans; his fingers outstretched and taut on loose arms…

Tests and Signs

Today’s room was the worst possible room to give a test.
The seats, they stretched up like ones you might find in a theater, only closer front-to-back.
Paul walked in with a goofy, innocent grin on his face.
He turned towards me and smiled. He was the first one there.
“Hi, I’m Paul,” he said.
I stared at him briefly, wondering.
“Hi Paul,” I told him. “Have a seat and we’ll start soon.”
The rest came in slow, and without introductions.
The last girl had to labor to reach the remaining empty seat. It was the one halfway up and in the center. I was sorry she had to squeeze.
At last though, they were all settled, cozy, and desperate.

As a student myself, I knew how they feel. It was nice for a change, to watch them cringe and see them looking up at me, hoping one day they would be there.
It was nice, too, knowing that tomorrow I wouldn’t have to be.
“Turn your tests over and begin,” I announced.

The first question was easy.
And it came quick.
“On number one, the fist choice, ‘a,’ says both options …

First Day On The Job

Grade One

Beyblade was on TV, when I walked in the door. My son was quick to wrap his arms around me, he offered me his lips and I kissed him quick.
Sadly, my son seems to always have wet lips.
He moved fast away from me, eyes back on the show.
"Hey!" I said.
And he ignored me.
I tried his name, maybe I was too hopeful?
"I don't want to talk," he said, so firm.
"Nope, it does not work that way on the first day of grade one!" Happy Mommy said. "What was the best part of your day?"
"Songs," he said.
And I smiled. He has just started wanting to listen to music. I have been proud of his taste so far. I like to think he tasted the music I played daily like someone should pick fine wine, slow and with care. He has heard so much over the years.
"And what was the worst part?" I asked next.
He was fully turned to me now. He cocked his head.
"Listening," he said.
He was honest.
So I should have just shut-up for th…

The Village Itself

Across the road from my home is an apartment building. It is made of brown brick and has three stories.
It also has plenty of windows I often forget about while I go about my daily and nightly routines.
I also forget my curtains are white, lacey and see-through scraps purchased from an aisle in Wal-Mart.
Fifteen apartments. That may all house people with binoculars.

It was the muggiest night this past summer had owned.
Brenda was down for a visit and when she comes, it usually means a night spent over on my couch for her. Brenda lives in another town.
It was one in the morning, no sleep to be found between the two us. We sat slouched on my front porch trying to capture the occasional breeze offered, sucking it deep into our lungs, praying it would cool us down.
Our glasses of Pepsi sweated warning us how warm the drink would taste in our mouths.
"Tilly! Tilly!" the shout sat our spines straight as we looked across the street to the where the sound was coming from.

Conversations With The Roommate

Opinions On Opinions

I inform Ian, loudly, so he could hear me in the living room, that I rather enjoy Ice In A Bag.
"Have a drink of the Jack," he replies, coming out. "I think I will have one, too."
I make a pretty good rye and coke, I gotta say, but I am always wondering if other people are any good at it.
One time, I let Amber make me a drink. I thought my nose was going to bleed when I took my first swallow.
Because I am stupid. While I always want to know how other people make their drinks, I figure they also know how to make their drinks.
Amber did not. I feel bad for her, really.
"You make it, I do not know how much to put in. I am a girl," I say to Ian.
"I will teach you," he says, and he is smiling.
"I got the Ice already," I say to him, holding it up and he rolls his eyes at me.
"Yeah, I am glad Amber left it. Don't you own Ice Cube Trays?"
I looked at him, my eyes round with shock. "Yes."

Phoebe Moons

Tommy was excited. He had never been to a Drive-In before.
And he was getting out of this house for awhile.
He had been at Dave and Barbara's house for almost a month now. They were nice people, but they lied to him all the time.
She was the only one who told him the truth. He waited for her, his earnest face pressed against the wooden screen door watching dusk settle on the front lawn.
When her car pulled up, he yelled, not looking behind him.
"She is here!"
He ran outside and slid his lean body into the passenger seat of the car, looking up to a warm smile.
"Hey, Kiddo, ready to go see Gremlins?" she asked.
He nodded his head, turning it then to wave at Barbara standing on the porch as the car pulled out of the driveway.

Tommy was quiet as they rode through the streets on the way out of town; but she was used to it.
Tommy was still hard to get talking and she knew better than to say much. She was not surprised when he did speak. He always asked the same question f…

Swallow Everything

I have an unexpected roommate for awhile. I am a good enough person to help someone. I am also a good enough person to know how long I can force my good temper. I am glad that when I say 'Shut-up now', this person feels comfortable enough in my home to find something else to occupy himself with. He can buy more time for that. Plus, Ian buys me coffee. And he brought his remote control fan.

It happened on Sunday, my Alarm Clock went off by itself.
Ian's head snapped toward me.
"What is that," his eyes wide.
"My Alarm Clock," I said puzzled and went to shut it off. It was 3:38 p.m.

On Monday, I was home alone listening to music loud, sweeping the floor. I could hear the phone ring and when I turned down the music, I heard my Alarm Clock going off.
"Hold on," I said into the phone.
And went to shut it off.
It was 5:58 p.m.
"What the hell is the matter with you," I seethed, as I clicked the off button.

It was 9:23 p.m. when the Alar…

One Fish Up, One Fish Down

I had a goldfish once.
I won him at the fair.
I remember walking passed the booth three times before I got up enough nerve to ask if I could try to win one.
I thought all the fish in their clear bowls looked like marvelous fun.
"These games are rigged," warned Aunt Sue.
I did not believe her and I believed her less, when the third ball I threw landed in one of the bowls.
I was a little mad when the lady put my prize in a freezer bag. I wanted the bowl the he was in, too.
"It will be dead by tomorrow," warned my Mother, shaking her head.
I rolled my eyes and said hi to Sam.

Sam was a good fish and I learned within three days, Sam did not care if I paid attention to him or not.
Soon I forgot I even had a fish.

I remember coming home from a weekend away.
Two years later.
"I have bad news," my Mother said.
She showed me Sam.
She had saved him on a paper towel on the kitchen counter. The whole weekend.
"Mom!" I said. "That's gross."…