March 31, 2012
Prodigal son. Its an interesting story. Hopeful if you’re a parent. But tales like that don’t come true. But they happened to me. After many years struggling to grow up, my son has come around. He has ADD and Tourette Syndrome. And is in the top 5% of the population in intelligence.
Years of trying to find out about his difficulties. Running away from home. We were warned that statistics didn’t favor us. Many ADD kids end up in prison/jail. He’s 30 now. New girlfriend. New attitude. Its like you’re talking to a totally different person. Like he remade himself. I don’t know how much pain he has gone through to make this person. But when I see the man he has become, I’m almost reduced to tears.
THE WHOLE PLACE BLEW UP
Hands on the pedestal. Toes tapping. Fingers snapping. OOOE. Charlie What Was His Last Name slid down the aisle. Knee knockers. Of the drug store. His body incredibly still. His feet like clippers over your neighbourhood hedge. In a swirl. Soft shoe. Sand between his toes. Put your ear to the floor. Don’t it sound sad? Vaudeville. There was laughter in his shoes. His fingers snarled. And the air, it just stood there shy and naked.
Charlie stopped up. At the make-up counter, his chin pointed toward the ceiling. Really He was feeling it. His back arched. Heels spinning. The sequins on his trousers and his vest squinting at the store lights. His fingers tapped the glass top. One over each. Ever so lightly. His fingernails recently manicured. Cured of melancholy. He tipped his green bowler hat, the hat he’d been given by the deputy mayor of St. Patrick’s Day. The hat rolling down his arm. To a hand. Which caught it. Deftly. Like Jack Duffy caught that hay maker. And placed it back on his noggin. There was a smile on his mug. They were chums. Never parted. Like cousins under mosquito netting.
“How are you doing today, Charlie?” Deborah Hall asked. The cosmetician was deeply immersed in a magazine. Fashion research. She Liked It Hot And Rough. Was written across the magazine’s face. And there were lots of tips inside. How to make chocolate cake without putting on a pound. And what he really wants under the sheets. Charlie knew that they liked it rough in Hamilton. Of course there was always the horn section. Dipping their silver mouths into the hot molasses. They liked to call it jazz.
Charlie batted his eyelashes. His head jerked toward Jerusalem. And then toward Deborah. His smile was forked, almost demonic. If only humans had never learned to speak. We could all order hamburger tartar in mime.
“Well,” he declared like a full committee of the learned and the privileged. And added, just as an aside, “And how are you?” His voice was theatrical. As if it had been trained in a private school in Switzerland. His mouth the bulldog in the dog house. Hearing a funny little sound. From his gut. Which he didn’t understand. It being pure slang. Which only the thugs on Queen Street understood. Or cared to understand.
“Whateva!” the cosmetician responded shrugging her shoulders in a very melodic manner as if her movements had been choreographed. By a Spaniard at Juliards. Turning the pages of her magazine. Her fingers like Fred Astaires.
Charlie relaxed. His body melting from some celestial pose. He leaned over the counter. Like a flaccid Dali time piece. Making ‘I’ contact.
“Well, here’s one to put a smile on your lovely face,” Charlie said. And he loved Deborah’s lovely face. Would have put it on a postage stamp. Signed her up to play Joan the last woman on the ark. But a trombone blasted the image of Deborah in his ear. Smudged his hair. And misspent his youth. “A woman walks up to the beautician and asks, ‘Can you make me beautiful?’ ‘Hey,’ cries the beautician, ‘I’m a beautician, not a magician.’”
Charlie smiled, tipped his hat once more with juggling delight, than sashayed gaily down the aisle.
Deborah looked up from her magazine with a bored glance and watched Charlie disappear around the corner.
“Whateva!” she sighed and returned to her work. And the whole place blew up in silence.
March 30, 2012
When people are angry. They need someone to whack. You got to take it out on someone. And so the ‘outsider’. Blame that guy. Because my children won’t listen to me. Or my wife turns away at night. Or my job is gone. Or the world doesn’t pay attention. Blame that guy who smells different. Who has an accent. Whose skin is dark. Or too light. Or blame yourself. And fall into a bottle. Or off the cliff of a syringe. Alone in a motel room. Afterwards. Or a church. Or the couch in front of the television. Instead of facing life. Eye to eye. And seeing its quiet cruelty.
A PROFITABLE RELATIONSHIP DANCES INTO HELL
Mr. Edwards stepped. One two three. Slide. A fox trot into Mr. Newton’s office. His flashy brown slickers smoothly. Across the hand woven tapestry. How happy were his shoes. If they’d been Oxfords. They would have received awards.
Mr. Edwards and Mr. Newton. Filling up the room. With hand shakes and good will. Oh but how dark it was. At the corners of the room. As if they never met. But disappeared into some endless well. Running parallel. Forever. Never touching. Leaving a gap in between. That was equal to the least known irrational number. Except. There’s always an except. From one corner where the back lighting had the effect of highlighting the banker’s profile. Making him look. Sinister. Cruel. Tempting lips Mr. Edwards imagined. Involuntarily. Marauding across the thighs of Mrs. Newton. Where the pink reigned. Down like juice from a sluice. Of watermelon. From a glee hidden in favors received. Mr. Newton’s smile.
Mr. Newton stood up and motioned to the chair. In front of his desk. The chair wiggled a little. Looking forward to. Fanny’s delight. The chair opened her legs. Mr. Edwards surveyed the room. To make sure that there wasn’t someone buried in the shadows. Mr. Edwards sat. In the lap. Of the chair.
“I’m glad we finally have met.” Mr. Newton blinked. A strobe light. In the middle of a dance floor. Except it was his smile. A dark voice was crowded in his mouth. And wanted out.
Mr. Edwards wondered if Mr. Newton hadn’t been born. Early in the morning. On the dangerous shores of the darkened room. Mr. Edwards noticed that the banker seemed to be talking with his mouth full. Like a shark. Too many teeth in his words. Too pearly white. He reminded Mr. Edwards of Marlon Brando. In the Godfather. Offering his condolences. To those about to be deceased.
“I apologize for the darkness of the room,” Mr. Newton said. “I’ve just been to the eye doctor for a new set of glasses. Eyesight isn’t what it once was. All that fine print. Drops in my eyes. Makes them sensitive to light. Not that I’m aware that light has feelings.”
A joke. Who would have thought it. Mr. Edwards smiled. Being polite. Aware that there might be someone around the corner. With a hammer.
“And while I was there,” Mr. Newton continued, “I went to my dentist for a cleaning. He is next door. And what does he do, but pull out a tooth. To add to his pearly necklace. Or maybe he needs to do some work on his cottage. Or pay off a loan shark. So there I was. Drops in my eyes. Cotton baton in my mouth. Doing my imitation of the Godfather. I made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. Which explains why my words seem muffled. But I can assure you, Mr. Edwards, that there will be no words hidden in that muffle. No small print. No secret code. I’m sure you understand. We both have wives who… how can I put it… have a taste for the better life.”
Mr. Edwards nodded. “Yes, our wives. I have always found it a wise policy not to enter into any discussions regarding my wife. But on that other matter, I too am glad that we finally meet, Mr. Newton. Perhaps we should have met earlier. Business being what it is, we both have been very busy.”
Mr. Newton grunted. What amounted to a fart inside of a smile.
“I sent you a preview of my plans,” Mr. Edwards added. “I hope you’ve had time to look them over.”
Mr. Newton’s face shriveled. Like a vampire giving the finger to a glass of orange juice.
What was that? Mr. Edwards thought. Is his body having uncontrollable reactions to my presence? Perhaps we should not be partners.
“Yes, Mr. Edwards,” Mr. Newton continued, “I had an opportunity to glance through them. I had one of my staff check out the figures you sent us. A trustworthy fellow. The details of the report will not go beyond the three of us. Does that suit you?”
Mr. Edwards nodded.
The two men were silent before Mr. Edwards added. “Of course, Mr. Newton, I cannot stress how important it is to keep this information confidential.”
“Of course, Mr. Edwards. My assistant is aware of your need for privacy. These are delicate matters.”
Mr. Newton opened a box of cigars and offered one to Mr. Edwards.
“No, thank you.”
Mr. Newton took one out, ran it under his nose before lighting it up. “I suppose I shouldn’t either, Mr. Edwards. But I have a weakness for Cubans. Even after I have had dental work done.” Smoke sifted out of Mr. Newton’s smile. “My, what a wonderful gift tobacco has been.”
“Yes,” Mr. Edwards responded. “Unfortunately we can no longer sell them in pharmacies.”
Mr. Newton leaned forward. What is he talking about? Tobacco in a drug store? He took the cigar out of his mouth and placed it in an ashtray. He licked his lips.
“If I could, Mr. Edwards, let me précis your request. You want a loan so that you may renovate the furniture store that you believe will presently become vacant. Apparently Mr. Singh’s arrangement with Mr. G. is coming up for reappraisal. And you need money to make sure that that arrangement is ended. And then you will become the new tenant. Is that the gist of if, Mr. Edwards?”
Mr. Edwards smiled. The man is confident.
“Yes. Mr. Singh has made a valiant effort to make a goal of it in the plaza. But I believe that effort has not been rewarded. Perhaps that is Mr. Singh’s fault. Perhaps it is just bad luck. I believe that a furniture store is not a good fit in the Six Points Plaza, that Mr. Singh would be more successful if he relocated in one of the malls.”
Mr. Newton leaned back in his chair, retrieving his cigar, and taking a puff. He chuckled.
“You would make a formidable enemy, Mr. Edwards. I’m grateful that are ambitions coincide. How did Mr. G. react to your proposal?”
“I did not put my ideas to Mr. G. in the form of a proposal. It was more a loose fitting conversation. And he seemed receptive. Mr. G. is a practical creature. And when I pointed out that the practical served his interests as well as my own, he was eager to listen.”
Mr. Newton stood up and stuck out his hand.
“Well, Mr. Edwards, I guess we’re in business.”
Mr. Edwards shook the banker’s hand as he was led to the door.
“I’ll get my assistant to work out the details.”
“That’s fine, Mr. Newton.”
The banker stopped before they reached the door.
“Can I speak to you on a personal matter, Mr. Edwards?”
“Certainly, Mr. Newton.”
“My wife, a dear woman, has had some health problems of late. She is overwrought. The doctor has warned me that we have to keep an eye on her. Now, she may come to you with a story about her medication. Losing them. Something of that sort. Do not believe her, doctor. My wife can be very persuasive. But on no account, give into her. I am terrified of going home one day and finding a corpse in the house. She has had her stomach pumped twice already.”
Mr. Edwards nodded.
“And of course,” the banker added, “I can expect your secrecy on this matter.”
“Of course, Mr. Newton.”
Mr. Newton reached for the door and opened it. He padded Mr. Edwards on the shoulder.
“I think we are going to get along famously, Mr. Edwards.”
The darkness poured over the two newly engaged partners. And stuck to them. Like pitch. Waiting for a torch.
March 27, 2012
I was not always sure of animals. Everyone else seemed to treat them like furniture or pets. As a young lad I used to sit on the fence and look at my grandfather’s cows for hours. People thought I was a little queer. (Things were confirmed when I in my teens I grew my hair long.) But I thought that cows had something to say. To contribute to the conversation. On the planet. Except they never talked. Pigs bothered me. I really think they have their eyes on our position. As the top of the food chain. But pets, like dogs and cats. They are our allies. On this planet. And they do talk to us. But we’re not too clever. Can’t understand them. No matter how many times they rub up against our leg.
I motioned to Fred and the two of us tiptoed out of the bedroom. We went into the living room. I poured myself a scotch. Fred asked for the same. I went into the kitchen and got him a saucer of milk. It was a warm summer evening so we took our drinks and sat out on the back fence, and watched the moon. It was a full moon, like a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream. There were a few wispy clouds wandering around. They looked like lambs that had strayed from the flock. The rest of the sky looked like a parking lot filled with stars.
“Does the moon make ripples when it drifts across the sky?” Fred asked.
I shook my head.
“You’re absolutely sure of that, Dave?”
I shook my head. “I’m not absolutely sure of most things. You should know that by now, Fred. But, I’m damn sure that the moon doesn’t cause ripples when it moves through space.”
“Then you haven’t studied Einstein’s description of gravity which clearly shows that gravity acts as a well to objects around it, like a stone dropped into a pool of water. And that’s not all, Dave. Did you know that there is not enough matter in the universe? Isn’t that depressing? All the dead stars and dead planets, all the flotsam from the Big Bang can’t compensate for all the matter that is needed to balance the books. We’re running out of fresh water, clean air, natural resources, and cottage country, and now we’re told there isn’t enough matter. They should have a lottery and divide what’s left up between us. I’ll bet those rich bastards in Rosedale are hoarding all that matter in numbered bank accounts. They should set up a government commission to investigate.”
Fred gargled his milk.
I took out my pipe and filled it with some Dutch tobacco. “I’ve always admired the Dutch,” I said. “Such a tolerant people.”
Fred muttered something about dikes that I didn’t find amusing. It was to my mind, insensitive. Fred said that everything funny was insensitive.
“The trouble with you, Dave,” Fred said between laps around his saucer of milk, “is that you believe that time really exists. If you could conquer that misconception, you’d find that there was really nothing to keep you awake.”
“You don’t believe that time exists?” I asked, taking a sip of my scotch and a puff of my pipe.
Fred shook his head. “It’s just the way the mind has of filing things, a way of cataloguing events. Time doesn’t exist for example the way a horse exists, or for that matter, Descartes.” Fred slapped his knee with his paw, rolled over on his back, and roared with laughter.
March 25, 2012
I thought that someday I would be wiser. And my thoughts came true. But then I used to be a fool. I believed in my own mythology. Believed that I was some kind of combination. Marlon Brando and Marlena Dietrich. Had the swagger. And the eyes. And the twitch in my lips. That sense of identity. That we all think is so necessary to healthy growth. And now I’ve taken off my overcoat. Blown up the old chevrolet. Bought a pair of suspenders to keep my trousers in place. I am no longer anything. Of importance. My shadow is an orphan. Descartes was wrong. I don’t exist. And I’ve discovered the secret of happiness. Don’t do anything. Practice it every day. And pray. That someone feeds you.
SOMEWHERE IN THE DISTANCE A COCK CROWED TWICE
Luiza smiled. Hand out. Looking for some loose change. As the young couple entered the drug store. Those sliding doors. Passed the magazine stand. Passed the hand creams and relief from heart burn. Passed her and her friend Madeleine.
Luiza and Madeleine. Two Air Cadets. Dressed in blue perky uniforms. Women flying over London. Freshly pressed. Into service. Their hair tied up. In a bun. Not hot crossed. Like a bob. Tuckled neatly under their caps. With small metal merit badges stapled to the sides. Like they’d saved humanity. Cleaning up the neighbourhood. Participation. Is important. Just ask Adam and Eve.
Out to raise money. And awareness. There’s nothing a girl can’t do. After a pat on the head. And a legal damper. For the ides of March.
Blood red lipstick. Eyebrows plucked. Fresh pale foreheads. Fashionably young. Scare crow looks. Alanis Morissette.
The young couple had stared straight ahead. Hands in their pockets. Pretending that no one was there. Pretending not to see the Air Cadets. Pretending to be preoccupied. What if there is a little Oscar on the way? Doctor’s bills. Hospital bills. All those paper. Diapers. Got to think about paying off that mortgage. Or those teeth. Capped.
“Cheap fuckers,” Luiza swore under her breath. Watching the couple disappear passed the nail polish removers. And family control items.
“This sucks.” Madeleine stepped over to Luiza’s side of the door. “ I knew this drugstore was a mistake. People aren’t in a generous mood when they enter a drugstore. They’re too busy thinking why they came. Too busy wheezing. Rubbing those corns. Aches in your back. That dripping nose. Bile in your stool. There is too much damn purpose. Oh, I wish we’d gone to the liquor store.”
“Why didn’t you say anything then?” Luiza asked.
“I didn’t want to get in any more shit with Cooper.” Luiza smiled. Holding it like it was her breath. As a middle-aged woman stepped up to them.
“You girls look just stunning in those uniforms,” she said and stepped into the drug store without dropping a coin in their box.
“Then why don’t you give us a fucking cuntribution,” Luiza muttered between clenched teeth. Luiza didn’t like swearing. In a drugstore. It was bad karma. She was sure nothing good could come of cursing in God’s house. And surely a drugstore was God’s house since people arrived hoping to buy something to relieve their distress. And wasn’t that the definition of the Supreme Being. The great solution. To pain. If not that then what?
“How’d you get in trouble with Cooper?” Madeleine asked. Taking a moment to check. The cell phone that she kept. Inside the left breast of her Air Cadet vest.
“It was so lame,” Luiza responded. “Hardly worth telling.”
An elderly man stepped up to the girls. Bent over. Looking more like a question mark every day. He looked at each of them and smiled. His teeth were bright. Even if they weren’t his. Then he dropped a five dollar bill in Luiza’s box and walked off.
“Pervert!” Luiza said. She turned to Madeleine. “Did you see that?”
“After he dropped the bill in my box he grazed my breast with the back of his hand.”
“Shit!” Madeleine began to giggle. “Was it good for you?”
Luiza smirked. “I’ve had better.”
The girls giggled. A woman in a pink dress. Sashaying toward them. Bobbing her head. Listening to some Cab Calloway in her head phones. Dropped some change in their boxes. Liked to hear that rattle. Like a doctor. To the patient with leukemia.
A couple of teenage boys stepped up to the girls. And dropped a quarter in the box.
One of the boys elbowed the other. In the ribs. To get his attention. To remind him of their wager.
“I will, man.” The boy unsure of what to do. Undecided moment to moment. Then turned to Luiza. “Do you girls date?”
Luiza looked at Madeleine and back at the boy. Grinned. Flattered.
“I guess,” she said.
The boy turned to his friend and cried. “I told you they were lesbos.”
The two boys bent over laughing. One slapped the other on the back. The other reached into his friend’s pocket. And retrieved his wager.
“Morons.” Madeleine spat out. Took a turn. For the worse.
A middle-aged man wearing a Blue Jay hat. Fumbled a large bill into Luiza’s box. What a blunder. Too embarrassed to ask for it back. A young couple with a baby. Change in the girls’ box. Two nuns. Dressed as waitresses. Arguing. Over husbands. Placed an offering in their basket.
When there was a lull. In the traffic, Madeleine turned to Luiza.
“So what happened that pissed off Cooper?”
Luiza turned to Madeleine. Made her promise not to repeat the tale. To anyone else. Madeleine promised. Falsely.
“Well, you know how Cooper is always dressed so pristine.” Luiza began. Madeleine nodded. “Every little thing must be in its place. It’s like he’s obsessed with order and cleanliness.”
“Ya.” Madeleine nodded. For the second time.
“Well,” Luiza moved closer to Madeleine. “I asked him which side of his trousers he put it on.”
Madeleine looked at Luiza with a puzzled expression on her face. Somewhere in the distance a cock crowed twice.
“I was told,” Luiza leaned closer to Madeleine before continuing, “that when a man gets a suit tailored for him, the tailor cuts a little more material on one side of his trouser legs so that the guy has a place to comfortably put it.”
“By it you mean…”
Madeleine howled with laughter.
“And I said to him,” Luiza continued almost in tears, “Cooper, I think you put it on the wrong side.”
March 24, 2012
I wanted to give the speech on the mount. The ‘I have a dream’ speech. I wanted to shake my fist in the air. Take my shoe off and pound the podium. Point my finger at the crowd and cry out ‘ich bin ein berliner’. I wanted to call the multitudes to the Council of Clermont. To count four score and seven years ago. I wanted to fight on the beaches. To tell the madding crowd, how lucky I was. To elevate language to magic. To part the Red Sea… But alas, my language is too frail. My words too humble. I told my children I loved them and sent them off into the world.
Dr. Shelby: “Why did you try and kill yourself?”
Mary Evans: “The pizza man was late. I was waiting for pizza to arrive in the front lobby. My wrists fed two puddles of blood on the floor. Funny, they looked like two small pizzas. Some girls in the lobby started screaming. The delivery boy asked if it was my period.”
Dr. Shelby: “Try and relax, Mary.”
Mary Evans: “I’m sorry, doc. When I get nervous I can’t stop my tongue.”
Dr. Shelby: “We’re not in a race here. It’ll all come out eventually.”
Mary Evans: “Eventually?”
Dr. Shelby: “Your pizza was late so you decided to kill yourself? Is that correct?”
Mary Evans: “Yes. I can’t stand poor service.”
Dr. Shelby: “And that’s why you’re here today?”
Mary Evans: “The Dean ordered me to meet with Dr. Shelby, the campus shrink. That’s you. It was that or be expelled and I didn’t want my father to find out. And so here I am.”
Dr. Shelby: “And what your father thinks matters to you?”
Mary Evans: “My parents paid for my tuition here. That and my student loan, which I’ll probably never be able to pay off.
Dr. Shelby: “You’re embarrassed?”
Mary Evans: “Yes.”
Dr. Shelby: “Don’t be embarrassed, Mary. There is nothing you can tell me that I haven’t heard countless times before.”
Mary Evans: “Then why don’t we put ditto marks in my file and leave it at that? I won’t do it again.”
Dr. Shelby: “I’m afraid this matter is too serious to be swept under the carpet.”
Mary Evans: “Rug.”
Dr. Shelby: “Excuse me?”
Mary Evans: “The expression is swept under the rug.”
Dr. Shelby: “It is? You sure of that?
Mary Evans: “Pretty sure. I wouldn’t want to bet my life on it. I’m being glib.”
Dr. Shelby: “Yes.”
Mary Evans: “This is all uncharted waters for me. There is nothing you can say to me that I’ve heard before.”
Dr. Shelby: “You never talk to your parents?”
Mary Evans: “I don’t have to talk to my mother. There’s nothing I could say that she didn’t already know. My mother is psychic. And my father, he’d rather take me fishing.”
Dr. Shelby: “We must try and discover what brought about your recent behavior, Mary. I’ll be your guide.”
Mary Evans: “I wish I knew what you wanted to hear.”
Dr. Shelby: “Why did you slice your wrists?”
Mary Evans: “I cut myself shaving. Hairy wrists. A genetic trait in the women of our family.”
Dr. Shelby: “Is that what you want me to tell the Dean?”
Mary Evans: “Playing hardball, eh doc?”
Dr. Shelby: “Yep.”
Mary Evans: “I’m sorry. Seems like all I’m doing recently is apologizing.”
Dr. Shelby: “No apologies needed between us, Mary.”
Mary Evans: “It didn’t feel as if I was cutting my wrists. Didn’t hurt. It was as if I were cutting up someone else’s flesh. Like I was performing an autopsy. Not that I have any idea what performing an autopsy is like. It was like cutting up the chicken for Sunday dinner. We eat a lot of chicken at our house.”
Dr. Shelby: “Why?”
Mary Evans: “I want to be loved. Isn’t that the right answer? Isn’t that what it says in the textbook?”
Dr. Shelby: “Do you like college life?”
Mary Evans: “No.”
Dr. Shelby: “Why did you come to university?”
Mary Evans: “My mother died!”
Dr. Shelby: “Where were you born?”
Mary Evans: “Born and raised in Parkdale, the cultural heart of Toronto.”
Dr. Shelby: “What is it about Parkdale that stands out in your mind?”
Mary Evans: “The noise and the heat.”
Dr. Shelby: “Go on.”
Mary Evans: “Summer was hell in Parkdale. No one could afford air-conditioners. The whole neighborhood would go down to the lake, an entourage of air mattresses, sleeping bags, alarm clocks, and pillows. I could never sleep with all the noise: clocks ticking, police horses snorting, their hoofs clicking on the sidewalk, people ranting in their sleep, all that snoring, the small waves of the lake giggling up the stony beach, coughing, a car puttering along the Lakeshore Boulevard, the King Streetcar screeching as it turned northward onto Roncesvalles, the moon rolling slowly across the lake like a bowling ball toward the downtown skyscrapers. I guess you didn’t want to hear all that.”
Dr Shelby: “Do you write poetry, Mary?”
Mary Evans: “Diary stuff. Nothing I’d like anyone to read.”
Doctor Shelby: “You seem to have a flair for…”
Mary Evans: “…the theatrical?”
Doctor Shelby: “I was going to say the poetic. I’d like to read some of your poetry, Mary. Perhaps you could bring some in at our next meeting.”
Mary Evans: “Next meeting? I thought that this was a one shot thing.”
Dr. Shelby: “Why don’t we see what we can get accomplished today. Is there much violence in Parkdale?”
Mary Evans: “We have our moments.”
Dr. Shelby: “Could you give me an example?”
Mary Evans: “One August a few years ago a man strangled his wife with her waist length hair. It had been her great joy. The hair, I mean. No one thought she was too pleased to be strangled. Squad cars surrounded the area, roof lights twirling around like tops splashing red and white globs of light against, homes, storefronts, and parked cars. Everyone was sitting on their porches, half dressed, speaking in hushed voices as the body was carried out. An ambulance siren closely followed by the ambulance pulled up to the murder scene. It was very theatrical.”
Doctor Shelby: “And the reason for the murder?”
Mary Evans: “Everyone had their own theory. People like to chat about these sorts of things especially people in Parkdale who spend 90% of their time out on their front porches. As I said, there weren’t any air-conditioners. In Parkdale, you can’t put up fences to keep out trouble like they do in Rosedale. Someone gets killed in Rosedale no one hears about it. No one wants to hear about it. Rich people don’t care about each other like the poor. That’s why they’re rich.”
Dr. Shelby: “Tell me about the theories.”
Mary Evans: “There are a lot of theories.”
Dr. Shelby: “That’s okay. We’re in no hurry.”
Mary Evans: “You’re interested. I could tell. Everyone finds Parkdale interesting. They just don’t want to live there. Well, they were always fighting. But, a lot of people fight. That don’t mean they’re going to kill each other. They were a quiet couple otherwise. People in Parkdale don’t trust people who are too quiet. They drank too much but then a lot of people drink. I think you can ignore all those theories. He, the killer, had a strange look about him. Have you ever noticed in photographs that murderers have an evil glint in their eyes? You have to wonder why no one notices that look before they commit their awful deeds. He wanted to sell her hair for gin. She hated gin. He was going bald and was jealous of her hair. She just got laid off from Mr. Christie, The Cookie Man. There was going to he a serious money shortage since he didn’t have a job. Everyone in Parkdale has money problems. He was putting on weight. She expected to be killed. It was the look in her eyes. There’s that look again. Maybe it was the heat. Parkdale residents blame the heat for everything. There you have them. Probably some I missed.”
Dr. Shelby: “What happened next?”
Mary Evans: “The husband was brought out of the house crying. One of the cops put his hand on the husband’s head and stuffed him into the back seat of a squad car and sped off. The guy just strangles his wife and the cops are afraid he’ll bang his head. He never did say why he killed his wife. Maybe he didn’t know. Men are dangerous was my mother’s explanation.”
Dr. Shelby: “And this environment of violence, do you think it has had any effect on your behavior?”
Mary Evans: “No! It wasn’t like someone was getting knocked off every weekend. It was fun. Domestic fights are a poor man’s theatre.”
Dr. Shelby: “Tell me about your early sexual experiences?”
Mary Evans: “I don’t know.”
Dr. Shelby: “Did you go out with boys?”
Mary Evans: “Mary, my girlfriend has the same name as me, and I used to go to dances at the CYO. We’d meet these two guys Terry and Brian. We’d sneak out behind the hall and neck. Sometimes I’d be with Terry, sometimes Brian. It wasn’t the boy that was important. It was the necking. We needed practice if we were going to get good at it. We never had real sex.”
Dr. Shelby: “And this was okay with the boys?”
Mary Evans: “Oh ya. Terry was Mary’s brother. And Brian was a little effeminate. Maybe he was gay but he sure could kiss.”
Dr. Shelby: “Did Mary go to college?”
Mary Evans: “Mary? God no! Mary got married to this guy named Gary. He used to knock her about before they screwed. She thought marriage might straighten him out. Spends her time now in a coma or watching the soaps on television.”
Dr. Shelby: “And what do you think of that?”
Mary Evans: “I can’t stand soaps.”
Dr. Shelby: “Anything else you want to tell me about growing up in Parkdale?”
Mary Evans: “I took ballet until I was sixteen and had an operation on my back. I lost grade eleven. Men don’t love hunchbacks. My two older sisters went to college. Ellen became a radiologist. Jan became a high school teacher. They married rich guys and quit their jobs. My brother David went to medical school and became a dentist. What a super guy! All the time growing up he was my best friend. Took me everywhere. He never had many girlfriends. I could never figure that out. Why couldn’t girls see how terrific he was? If men are dangerous, women are stupid.”
Dr. Shelby: “You don’t like women?”
Mary Evans: “Some women. Some I like. Most I’m kind of indifferent toward.”
Dr. Shelby: “Go on.”
Mary Evans: “My parents were given an award because their first three children went to university. In Parkdale, that was considered a miracle. I had to go to college. I would have preferred a job at Eaton’s.”
Dr. Shelby: “Tell me about your father.”
Mary Evans: “I used to sit on my daddy’s lap and read the Sunday funnies. That’s how I learned to read. Daddy hadn’t held a full time job for thirty years, but we were never on welfare. He always found odd jobs. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do, nothing he couldn’t fix. Daddy was always singing. People in the neighborhood called him the happiest man in Parkdale. Sometimes he would take me fishing in Grenadier Pond. Told me about the monster that lived in its depths. Almost forty feet long with a head as big as a horse. Daddy said he hooked into him one Saturday night and really gave him a ride but was forced to cut the line the next morning when it was time to go to Mass.”
Dr. Shelby: “And your mother?”
Mary Evans: “She was a psychic.”
Dr. Shelby: “Yes, you mentioned that before. Can you give me an example?”
Mary Evans: “One evening while mother was sitting at the kitchen sink cleaning a turkey, my grandmother walked in. Mother was surprised because grandma lived with my aunt in Winnipeg and there had been no word of her visiting us. Grandma put her hand on mother’s shoulder and told her she loved her and not to worry. Then grandma walked out of the kitchen and disappeared. Within the hour there was a long distance call from Winnipeg. Grandma had just died.”
Dr. Shelby: “That was unusual.”
Mary Evans: “There was also my mother’s health problems. For years mother had been complaining about headaches. She was sure she had cancer. The doctors thought she was nuts, a hypochondriac. When she was finally diagnosed with a brain tumor, it was too late. The last few weeks of her life were racked by terrible visions. She would sit in a chair on the front porch staring at me and opening her mouth to warn me about something but nothing came out. Mother died peacefully rocking back and forth on the porch waiting for my father to come home from fishing.”
Dr. Shelby: “Did your mother say anything to you before she died?”
Mary Evans: “She told me that no one really dies. They’re just forgotten. I’ll never forget her.”
Dr. Shelby: “Tell me, Mary, what was your first sexual experience?”
Mary Evans: “Back to sex again… eh, doc? The first time was with a boy named Nick at the beginning of this school year.”
Dr. Shelby: “Yes.”
Mary Evans: “We were both in the same psychology course. I talked to Nick about my mother and her powers of perception. Nick was fascinated. We went down to the Dominion House for a drink one night. After a few beers he insisted I read his palms. I laughed and explained that I couldn’t read palms, that I had no such powers. Pushing his beer toward me, he insisted that I read the suds. He looked angry. I was afraid to say no. I looked into his beer. I couldn’t see anything. Nick took this literally, meaning of course that he had no future to see. Grabbing my hand he dragged me out of the pub and down the street. I was too drunk to complain. Soon we were lying in the grass under the Ambassador Bridge. Nick was all over me. He was a big man and I could hardly breath. His hand started tugging at my panties. I guess I didn’t put up much of a fight. Maybe I wanted it to happen. Before I could catch my breath he was in me and out. I couldn’t believe that I had waited all these years and that was it. Nick peeled the condom off his penis and threw it at me. Read that, you bitch! he cried.”
Dr. Shelby: “And how did you feel about that?”
Mary Evans: “I didn’t think it was too romantic.”
Dr. Shelby: “Did you report it to anyone?”
Mary Evans: “Report what?”
Dr. Shelby: “Anything else?”
Mary Evans: “I was glad I’d finally gotten it over with. And I was disappointed. If that’s all that sex was, I couldn’t see the point in going through it again.”
Dr. Shelby: “But there was a next time?”
Mary Evans: “Yes.”
Dr Shelby: “Was your next experience more pleasant?”
Mary Evans: “Not much. It was with a boy named Jeff. I met him at a dance at the
University Center. Tall, blond, handsome, Jeff was very charming. I told him I hated Windsor. The town was dead. Jeff laughed. It seems his father was an undertaker. After the dance we went for a walk through a park by the river. We sat down on a park bench. Jeff began to tickle me. I hate being tickled. I ran into the park. Jeff ran after me, pulling me to the ground and kissing me. His hand slipped up my leg. I asked him to slow down. We were both still laughing. I know what you want, he said. Everyone knows what you want. Jeff’s other hand slid under my blouse and began to tug at my bra. No! I protested, but Jeff wasn’t listening. You’re too big! I cried. Shut up! Jeff barked. I closed my eyes and waited for it to be over. I heard someone calling out for their dog. Opening my eyes, I looked over Jeff’s shoulder and saw a large dog standing behind him, sniffing at Jeff’s bare ass. I couldn’t help myself and started to laugh. Jeff slapped me.”
Dr. Shelby: “Were you raped?”
Mary Evans: “What do you think?”
Dr. Shelby: “No, what do you think, Mary?”
Mary Evans: “I felt as if someone else was being raped. I was along as a chaperone.”
Dr. Shelby: “Could you have said no?”
Mary Evans: “I did say no, but he wouldn’t listen. I was just a slab of meat, something dead and frozen picked up at the local grocery market. I told some girlfriends in residence. They said I shouldn’t have been in the park with him. What did I expect?”
Dr. Shelby: “What did you expect?”
Mary Evans: “I don’t know.”
Dr. Shelby: “Do you blame yourself?”
Mary Evans: “I suppose. Maybe they were right.”
Dr. Shelby: “Do you think that these experiences led to your attempt to kill yourself?”
Mary Evans: “No.”
Dr. Shelby: “I see. What is your explanation for your behavior?”
Mary Evans: “Michael.”
Dr. Shelby: “Tell me about Michael.”
Mary Evans: “I vowed not to get involved with any more men. I met some other girls in residence and we really hit it off. What a howl we would have. Sometimes we would go drinking together at the Bridge House and stumble home together peeing our pants with laughter. One evening I was there with Marie, my closest friend at the time. At one point in the evening Marie invited Michael, a friend of Marie’s that I had seen around campus, to sit down with us. At first I was wary but we had some more beers and Michael was very funny. Marie excused herself soon after claiming she had a test in geography the next day. I suspected that it was a set up. Marie knew what had happened with Nick and Jeff and I knew she wouldn’t leave me with someone who would hurt me again. And I liked Michael so I stayed. We talked and laughed and drank. I guess I got drunk. Michael took me back to his f1at. When we entered his room he kissed me and started taking my clothes off. Shit! Its started all over again, I said to myself. I started to cry. Could we just talk? I asked. Sure, Michael replied. And that’s all we did. After that we spent each evening, naked, in each other’s arms, talking and laughing. Michael was so patient with me. After a couple of weeks of this, Michael asked very politely if we could make love. Michael bought a box of condoms and we used them all up in one night. I could hardly walk the next day. Michael said his dick had diaper rash the day after.”
Dr. Shelby: “What happened then?”
Mary Evans: “Everything was great. I began to take a keener interest in school. Even the city of Windsor became bearable. Everyone said I had a new glow about me. And then one evening I got a call from Nick. He asked to see me again. I felt so strong, almost invincible. I told him where he could stick it. But that weekend Michael went home. There was some problem with his sister. They were very close. Friday night was fine. But Saturday evening I got restless. I thought I’d go down the Bridge House and have a beer. No one wanted to go with me so I went by myself. I met Nick there. He was a different person, so charming, and funny and exciting. He invited me back to his place. I knew I shouldn’t go. I knew it wasn’t right. But, I was curious. When we got to Nick’s place he brought out some weed. I had never smoke marijuana before. I almost coughed out my lungs. And then we made love. I don’t know how it happened. It was wonderful, much better than it had ever been with Michael. After that it was Nick I wanted to be with. I made excuses to Michael, told him I had assignments due, or there was a get together with the girls, or it was my period. All the time I was fucking Nick. I felt guilty as hell but I didn’t care. You see how terrible this is? All my life I have been around wonderful men, my father, brother, and now Michael and…”
Dr. Shelby: “You had been unfaithful?”
Mary Evans: “It wasn’t just that. It wasn’t that I had lied and cheated on Michael. It wasn’t that, because I was quite willing to continue lying and cheating on Michael. I had slept with the lamb and I preferred the beast. I understood the woman with the long hair that had been murdered by her husband. I understood her. She couldn’t leave him; she preferred him. Why doctor? Why am I like this? What is inside me that chooses the Nick’s of the world?”
Dr. Shelby: “I don’t think that all women prefer these type of men. Relationships are a difficult and complicated matter.”
Mary Evans: “It’s not about relationships, doc. It’s about sex.”
Dr. Shelby: “You would eventually get over Nick.”
Mary Evans: “And the next one would be another Nick. Don’t you see, doc? I despise women who chose men like Nick. I can’t stand women who would turn men like my brother away, kind men, gentle men, good men. And I know I am one of those women.”
Dr. Shelby: “You can change Mary.”
Mary Evans: “But you can’t guarantee that.”
Dr. Shelby: “We’ll discuss that in our next meeting. I’m going to write a note to the Dean allowing you to continue classes. What’s this?”
Mary Evans: “It’s a razor blade.”
Dr. Shelby: “You just took that out of your mouth!”
Mary Evans: “Yes. I swallowed the rest.”
March 22, 2012
When was your first memory. I remember mine. I was about 3 weeks old. There were a bunch of people crowded in the front room of my parent’s place. Some were smoking. One hung over me. Smoke rising past his ear. He was smiling. His teeth were yellow. And his eyes so large. And he was tickling me. And my father pulled him back. And told him to quit smoking.
I have this memory. But I’m told I couldn’t. Not possible for a baby that age. Maybe my mother told me the story. And I recreated the scene in my imagination. That later got lodged in the memory vault. Memories are tricky things. The world we create is not the history we lived. What are these untruths that creep in and become us? Where do they come from?
BREAST CANCER IN THE AFTERNOON
Mrs. McGuire wore a red poke-a-dot dress. Her middle name was Eunice. The dress made her look like a farmer’s wife. And the clovers of field. That used to send her into rapture. Mrs. McGuire knew all this. She was hungry for power. People trusted farm wives. Mrs. McGuire liked to be trusted. If she could have been elected. She would have run for the Socialists. They had the best tea parties. Where the young men served. Like crows on a wire. Where all the voices of the girls rattled on.
She was born in Cabbagetown. An old working class area. Of Toronto. Before it became TO. Her parents did not grow cabbages in their front lawn. Like some did. Her grandmother used to preach that folks should keep their farming to the backyard and only grow flowers in the front. It was a dictum that Mrs. McGuire never disagreed with.
Mrs. McGuire did not like her arms. They were too flabby. Sometimes Mrs. McGuire wore padding under the dress to make her hips look wider. She took the padding out of the shoulders of the dress. Mrs. McGuire’s shoulders were already well padded. Like the cell that they’d kept her daddy in.
No one ever called her Eunice. What she wondered until the day she died was why people had middle names. Names that were never used. Maybe a back up. In case you lost your first. But no one ever did.
Mrs. McGuire liked her own space. Which was not always possible given her little acorn. Alvin, her little acorn, loved television. Especially commercials. Especially infomercials. Which is why along with her need for space, Mrs. McGuire left him sitting in his stroller. In front of the television monitor. Next to the drug dispensary. In the drug store. What could be safer? While she shopped around the drug store. By herself. Taking in the sights.
Little Alvin was pleased as punch.
His head cocked up at a 45 degree angle. His eyes trained on the monitor. There was a commercial about breast cancer. Alvin was overjoyed. Gurgling with glee. His eyes were wide open. Spit ran down his chin. He kicked his feet in the air. He was delighted with what he saw. He liked breasts. Although Alvin noticed that of late he saw less and less of Mrs. McGuire’s breasts. She’d begun to complain. Especially after his teeth began to poke through his gums.
A new commercial began. It showed a picture of a woman smoking. It wasn’t Mrs. McGuire. Although it could have been. Mrs. McGuire like to sneak a puff or two after what’s his name went to work. Alvin squinted his eyes. Smoke hurt. He prepared himself to cough. But he didn’t. This was just a commercial. That’s what Alvin liked about television. It was safer.
Another infomercial. More breasts. And they were being squeezed. In a machine and for no apparent reason. Maybe they were trying to make orange juice, Alvin thought. The lady on the television was pretty. Pretty unhappy. Why were they hurting her breasts? Alvin was not pleased. He spit at the television but only managed to soak himself.
Next they showed a large park. With lots of grass and flowers. And butterflies. Alvin was fond of butterflies. They tasted good. Now they showed large stones sticking out of the ground. With people’s names carved in them. There were people dressed in black wandering around the park. Tissues hanging from their eyes. They look lost.
Alvin laughed. It was a picnic. Alvin like picnics. Especially the ants. The big black ones. Which he liked to hide in his nose. They tickled. Alvin looked around. He noticed a lot of people moving through the aisles. There was music playing over the sound system but no one was moving to its rhythm. Alvin kicked his feet up and laughed. Wat-dat-to, Wat-dat-to, Wat-dat-to, Wat-dat-to, dat dat do, da da do.
He began to shake around in his stroller.
One old lady passing by screamed.
“What’s wrong with the child?” Her hands clapped her cheeks.
Alvin clapped his cheeks.
A tall and older gentleman stooped over. Like a boa constrictor. Hanging from a tree.
What the problem was with this child.
There were hairs growing out of his nostrils. Spiders in caves. Alvin reached for them.
“Spasms!” the old man cried.
“Oh, dear,” the old lady said. “What shall we do?”
A second lady, middle-aged and dragging her own nine year old behind her stepped up.
“Why don’t you do something with your child?”
“It’s not my child,” the old lady explained. “I was just walking by.”
“Someone should call someone,” the taller old gentleman suggested.
The middle-aged woman bent over and gently held Alvin’s hands. He turned and looked at her. And smiled. And stopped dancing.
“He wasn’t having a seizure. He was just… moving to the music.”
The taller old gentleman looked up at the ceiling and listened.
“I hardly noticed it.” He smiled. Then the turned to the older woman.
“Would you care to dance?”
The older woman blushed.
“I don’t dance well,” she said.
The old man smiled. “I’ll teach you.” And took her in his arms.
And the older couple waltzed down the aisle.
The middle-aged woman and the nine year old she was dragging behind her moved on.
Alvin sat and smiled, watching the old couple move. And dreamed of pleasant afternoons when he was younger and Mrs. McGuire had danced with him. Her large breasts stuffed in his face. And the butterflies tasted sweet.
I had this urge to create an image of a seriously ugly woman. It could have been a man. But that would have been too easy. And I mean visually. Skin deep. Ugly. And that’s when I came up with the idea to make half her face out of leather. And that would be the attractive side. The thing is. I like her. And I think in her rather gubular way, she likes me.
March 19, 2012
In high school I worked in a pastry shop. One of their specialties was beef stew pies. They used to cook the stew in long trays. About two inches deep. Let it cool outside. And then when it was cool, bring the trays in and scoop it into pie crusts then thrown back into the oven to be baked some more until the crusts were done. People lined up every Saturday morning for these. One Saturday after we’d put them out to cool, I was left alone to do a cleaning job. Through the window I could see the stew cooling. And then I saw a dog come up to the stew. He sniffed at it. And then raised his hind leg. And pissed in the stew. I thought about saying something. But didn’t.
BOB’S CAKE AND PASTRY SUPPLIES
“Your heart sounds fine,” the doctor said. He wanted to say jolly. But jolly went out with black and white television. He put away his stethoscope. The doctor has a slight lisp. And limp. But only slight.
Mr. Chambers smiled. Well you wouldn’t call it a smile. He was almost laughing as he put on his shirt. A nice plaid shirt. That he wore with a nice plaid tie. Different clans. Mr. Chambers was a grey haired man. Grey hair on his head and his chest. Short tiny grey hairs in his nose. And ears. Heavy set with a quick pointed nose. He would have been described, even in his sixties, as a handsome man. A distant cry from the toad like appearance of his younger days. When he was compared to all sorts of low life. No, there had been a flattering evolution in Mr. Chambers’ appearance. Life liked Mr. Chambers. It always had. He was no cream puff. Granite. Truck tough. There were muscles in his face.
“The two little buggers thought I was a goner.”
Mr. Chambers shook his head. And smiled.
“Out there. Right now dividing up my garments. Their rosy cheeks filled with chipmunk ambition. Fighting like two old women. Who was going to replace me. Take my dough. Spend it on broads. Booze. At the track. Leave their wives at home. Oh my sweet little boys”
“Ironic. Peggy and Theresa, their wives, look a bit like horses. Should hear those two whinny. When they’re in the thralls. Of love. As they like to describe their machinations. Their legs up in the stirrups. Those ninnies.”
“Nothing I abhor more. A spouse complaining. About their men’s wild ways. Boys want me to put them in their place. I wasn’t the one that bed them. Don’t ask me to do your work. My sons are head strong. Not that I don’t understand. They’ve got their wild oats. To spread. Had my own. Still up to do a little spilling. Nothing wrong with that. Boys better watch themselves now. I’m back. They ain’t going to get their share. Not yet. Have to wait. I might outlive them both. Just for spite. No, they want to have a time. It won’t be on my sweat. Not on my time. Not with my hard earned cash. You can put that in the bank. And smoke it.”
Mr. Chambers did up each button like it was the period at the end of each one of his sentences. In a stump speech. By a politician who realizes that no one would dare run against him. His jaw set. His chest pumped. Shoulders expanding. Hands in his fists.
“I have only myself to blame. Boys are spoiled. By their mother. I was too busy working. Well, hey. You want kids. You take your chances. Like a lottery ticket. Maybe I should have had daughters. They might have had more balls. Gone for breeders instead of rodents. My poor boys. My sons. Weasels.”
“Shows they care,” the doctor said. He rolled up the blood pressure wrap. Nice and tidy. He liked things neat. It made him feel that all was well. His summary. The compendium of things previously stated.
Mr. Chambers shook his head.
“Well, some times even death can be an eye opener. I never thought that the threat of my demise would make things so clear. Mortality has awakened the lion. Clear to me now. Used to walk in the shade. How refreshing is the sunlight. Before I was clouded by sentimentality. I wanted my boys to be like the old man. Now I can leave all those thoughts behind me. Neither one of my sons is prepared to take over the reins. They don’t have the balls. They have the power of their kidneys. But not of the will. Taken me a lifetime to build up my business. You’d think that a man like me would have spun some sons with a backbone. Do you know what I did when my old man died, doc? I laughed. He had a full life and now he was dead. What a joke, eh? No tears for my old man. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It wasn’t avarice on my part. But drive. Now these two marshmallows are fighting over my empire. Like it was carrion.”
Mr. Chambers fell into his own thoughts. What if I started over again. With a new woman. Younger. New sons. I might get lucky. Mr. Chambers turned back to the doctor.
“What do you think it was that gave me the scare?”
“Indigestion,” the doctor offered.
Mr. Chambers laughed.
“I guess that’s why they call it heart burn, eh doc?”
The doctor nodded. “You might think about losing some weight though, Mr. Chambers.”
Mr. Chambers stood up and stepped toward the doctor.
“You think I’m fat?”
The doctor stepped back. He looked down at his clipboard.
“I think you could lose a little weight, Mr. Chambers. Hard on the heart carrying around extra pounds.”
Mr. Chambers laughed as he shook his head.
“You really think I’m fat. You don’t know a real man when you see one, doc.”
“I wasn’t trying to upset you, Mr. Chambers.”
“Is that right?” Mr. Chambers responded. “I’m not fat, doc. I can do the work of two men any day of the week.”
“I’m sure you can.”
“What the fuck is this all about then?” Mr. Chambers moved toward the doctor.
The doctor put out his hand to stop Mr. Chambers approach.
“Telling me I’m fat!” Mr. Chambers continued. “I think you’re stupid. Do you like that?”
“I think we’ve had enough of this conversation, Mr. Chambers.” The doctor holding his clipboard in one hand, crossed his arms in front of him. Waiting. For what he was not sure. Except that it was sure to be unpleasant.
“Can’t take it when it’s tossed your way, eh doc? I swallow guys like you every day, then spit them out.” Mr. Chambers chuckled.
The doctor sighed.
“You’re a bully, Mr. Chambers.”
Mr. Chambers leaned threateningly forward, clenching his chin like a fist.
“You’re calling me a what?” he cried.
“A bully, sir.” The doctor held his ground.
Mr. Chambers stared at the doctor for a moment. Then he stepped back. He laughed. He reached out and slapped the doctor affectionately on the arm.
“You’re alright, doc,” he said. “I was just having a little fun. You’ve got to lighten up.”
Mr. Chambers stepped past the doctor and out of the room.
Outside in the office his two grown sons waited. Terry, the youngest stood up when he saw his father.
“So what’s the verdict, dad?”
Mr. Chambers laughed. He put on his jacket.
“I’ll outlive both you bastards,” Mr. Chambers replied.
The doctor followed behind Mr. Chambers. The boys looked at the doctor.
“Your father is as strong as an ox,” the doctor said.
Both boys looked dismayed. Mr. Chambers grabbed both of his boys by the necks and pushed them out the door. He followed behind. Bob’s Pastry and Cake Supplies. Written across his back.
March 17, 2012
Like Plato’s cave. Blogging. What is on the screen does not exist. In the internet. The internet. Like a series of numbers.
The numbers are 1 and 2. On and off. But that is just translation.
The reality (to us) is chaos. Like watching the interference on your television when there are no channels.
A friend of mine spent hours watching interference. He was on acid. I asked him why. He said he couldn’t help himself. It was like a magnet.
The interference is where everything is. Not yet divided, tagged, and filed. Interference is the treasure. The sun. The source of all light. Of reality. Except for one.
Consciousness. Consciousness creates reality. Creates the universe.
Not just human consciousness. Any consciousness.
If I read this on another blog, I would think that the author was pretentious. Explaining everything by saying nothing. Or. That he was mad. Speaking tongues. Drivel. Or that he was putting me on. Pulling my leg. Having some fun. Guilty on all counts.
But I had to say it. It was like a magnet.
Its reading week and it brings back memories. To college. Where we used to call this week ‘suicide week’..
I was asked to edit a small residence magazine at university. It was supposed to be mostly a newsletter telling everyone about events to come, what was news in the residences etc. I made it into a literary mag. Which pissed a lot of people off. Around the middle of February there was a week we used to call ‘Suicide Week” because it was the week with the highest number of suicides among college kids. Mostly kids who had squandered their time or money and were now feeling the pressure of papers and exams and their parents wrath in the spring.
I put a special edition of the mag out in February called DEATH. It was an irresponsible thing to do. From my viewpoint now. But at the time, it seemed important to ridicule what no one wanted to talk about. (The next year they inauggerated ‘reading week’ that week…
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