September 24, 2013
August 6, 2012
Mitt Romney has made a mitfull of mistakes on his tour of Europe and the middle-east. Media centres in the U.S. are debating whether this should disqualify him from being President. But American ignorance of anything outside their own borders is legendary. In Windsor, Ontario across from Detroit there is the story of Americans crossing the border in the middle of August with skis on the roofs of their car. Or mid-westerners bragging about the size of the Mississippi the first time they reach a river in France. If you disqualified people for the office of President because they were ignorant, you’d disqualify most of the public.
Why you should vote for Mitt.
1. He has good hair. No one whose bald every gets elected for President.
2. He’s got big teeth. And they are white. Everyone who is elected for President must be able to pass the toothpaste commercial test.
3. He can say Massachusetts. Which means he’s not an alcoholic.
4. If he would grow a moustache, he’d have the gay vote.
5. He’s better looking than his wife. Every president after Lincoln has been better looking than his wife.
I know you expect 10 reasons in this list. But there are only five. Any more would be a waste of resources.
April 28, 2012
Eating a Mars Bar
Eating a Mars Bar. While its down there. In T.O. I told her. A Mick Jagger sex tip. She tried it with her next boyfriend. Everything I did for her. She could have given me something more than a smile. And then she got pregnant. And I was in Seattle. When I met her daughter. Who was a nurse. A little portly. An obvious weakness. For chocolate.
April 9, 2012
You were a flower girl. I was a tramp. With no prospects. Hanging out at the same corner of the planet. I warned you. That the world was empty. Except for us. And I’m not sure about.You. Must have been blind. To pick me. But life has a way of opening your eyes. There’s more disappointment there. Than I can bare. But here. At this corner. I’m still holding those flowers. That you threw at me. I was Charlie Chaplin. I cannot remember who you were.
April 7, 2012
I remember when she said. You’re heartless. Like that was going to hurt me. I remember when he said. You’re talented. But it won’t get you anywhere. With me. You called me a sociopath. When I told you I didn’t need your love. Or anyone else’s. I care about so much. That I don’t give a damn. I will not be a prisoner of your cliches. I will not be a profile on a bathroom wall. Go floss. And then fist yourself.
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 4, 2012
The wind in your smile. Is like the look of the trees. When there was a swing. And a boy. And a girl. And your hair was orange. Brighter than the sun’s. And the long grass was weaving. Memories. I don’t want to be reminded of where I’ve been. Don’t want to be reminded of what I’ve seen.
January 16, 2012
It is sobering. Meryl Streep stars in a new movie about Margaret Thatcher. Haven’t seen it. Don’t like Ms. Streep. As an actress. I fell in love with her in Deer Hunter. She shows Ms. Thatcher in later life. And I read. Without all her faculties. Ronald Reagan same. His fall with Alzheimer’s. Saw a picture of Mohammed Ali. Parkinson’s. 70 years old. A great fall from the prime of his life. This is all life. And the young can’t believe that those old farts were every kids. That old lady pushing the walker and losing her hair was at one time a real beauty. Bette Davis said that ‘getting old wasn’t for cowards’. I love my wife. But I still engage in fantasies of one last fling. Do we ever grow up? And what does that mean?
January 11, 2012
Everyone loves to laugh at them. So it seems. On television. But not in the supermarket. And not in the local pub. At one point when my hair had grown to the middle of my back my mother was afraid that I was becoming one. Gay. She wanted me see a psychiatrist. I reminded her that Jesus had long hair. Sometimes its not worth winning an argument. One of my best friend’s brother is gay. Funniest guy you’d ever meet. Like Larry David in ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’. He was in a restaurant one time. When he went to the washroom he discovered that there was no toilet paper. Demanded to see the manager. He held his hands up to the manager’s face. Made him smell them. And demanded to know what he was expected to do now.
This story is just about people in business together. It doesn’t matter if they’re gay or straight. Or any other arrangement. You gotta love anyone who can make you laugh.
MOVE OVER DARLING
Big Bob bit down. First saw James Garner with Doris Day. Didn’t know what the attraction was. James was better looking. Doris didn’t smoke. But there was always a cigarette. On his lip and looked around. What a sight. The aisle of the drug store. All that product. Moving. As fast as it could be stocked. Maybe it wasn’t James Garner. Could have been Rock Hudson.
“Was this necessary?” Bob asked. Bob looks like Rock. Same overwhelming height. And broad shoulders. Women looked like dwarfs next to him.
Tom Payne was Bob’s friend. He was short. Like Tom Cruise. Who he looked like.
Tom and Rock. Same good looks. In different sizes. Like Macdonald’s.
Tom Payne looked at the pile of paper towels. Stacked like the Alamo. Oh look, there’s Davy Crocket up near the air conditioning. Tom winked. And stretched. Reaching for the top package. But could not. Big Bob took a two step. Put one foot in between two of Tom’s. And grabbed the package. He handed it to Tom who put it in his cart.
“Was that necessary?” Tom asked and shook the long brown hair of his wig. Was there a knot? Was there something he had forgotten. To wear. To do up. To surrender.
“You!” Big Bob tried to explain. “Dressed up like…”
Tom was dressed in a dress. Bob was miffed.
“You don’t mind me dressing up in the apartment.” Tom had his own arguments. Mostly aimed at excusing his behavior. And he was thirsty. Shopping did that to you. More than once Tom had felt on the edge of exhaustion. Should have brought a bottle of… something. Too exhausted to say what.
“That’s different.” Bob retorted. Bob was big on retorts. He’d always wanted to be a lawyer but his grade eleven marks weren’t up to snuff.
Tom looked at Bob for a moment and shook his head. Why can’t he enjoy this moment? Tom turned and grabbed a bottle of dish detergent then gestured to another stack of potato chips. Bob grabbed one, than two, of the packages.
“It’s no different,” Tom dropped the dish soap on top of the potato chips. Sure to crush them. Or make them into chicken feed. Tom checked his list again. “I think we’ve got enough cat food.”
“We should have,” Bob replied. “The cat died last month.”
Tom looked at Bob. His voice breaking. A tear ran down his cheek and slipped into his mouth. Where it hid. For the time being. Later to slide out and run down his chin.
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“What was there to say? Hair Ball was eighteen years old. She had her day.”
Tom took a tissue out of his purse and blew his nose. God, he felt like shit. He missed Hair Ball.
“I would like to have known.”
“You hated the cat,” Bob said.
“No matter. Hair Ball was family.” Tom sniffled. “You don’t have to like family to feel close to them. You don’t understand what it means to be family. Brought up like you were. Almost an orphan. Eating food directly out of tins. Never cleaning pots. Couldn’t your father have learned to cook?”
“What else is on the list?” Bob asked impatiently. “Let’s get this over with.”
“Why do you have to rush me?” Tom shook his head. “You’re always in such a hurry. You miss so much in life if you don’t take time. All things are enjoyed slowly. That’s something else you could blame on your old man. God, did he ever take you to a ball game? A dad should take his son to a ball game.”
Tom didn’t sound like Tom Cruise. More like Tony Randall. And Bob didn’t sound like Rock Hudson. More like Tony Randall.
“This can’t be good for business,” Bob said. And wondered why he had said it. It wasn’t business they were talking about. But the argument still held some water. So Bob was reluctant to give it up.
“You’re always so worried about what other people think. You have to live for yourself, Bob. All the time we’ve been together and you never learned a thing.”
“This is so exhausting. You’re so exhausting. It’s like you’re purposely trying to drain me of my last shred of patience.”
“You’re so afraid of intimacy,” Tom said, sniffling.
“And you’re living on Hallmark cards,” Bob replied. “Our life has come down to a series of melodramas. We’ve become the stereotypical flag raging faggots. It’s too stupid!”
“At least I’ve got my feelings.” Tom wiped his nose. “What happened to you, Bob? So cold. So out of touch with your…”
“Tom, you’re dressed up… in a dress.” Bob shook his head. “People suspect that we’re a gay couple but you don’t have to rub their nose in it. You’re not going to wear that dress in the shop, are you?”
“Of course not,” Tom responded. “I have a lovely pokka-dot item that I thought was more appropriate. And cross-dressing has nothing to do with one’s sexual preferences.”
“God, Tom. Wake up. We’re running a hardware store.”
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“Hardware!” Bob sighed. “Guys come in looking for nails, hammers, screws, don’t want to see you in a dress.”
“You don’t find me attractive?”
“I didn’t say that.” Bob took a deep breath. And looked around the drug store. “Could we have this conversation at home?”
Tom stared at Bob. And then smiled.
Actually Tom sounded just like Doris Day. And Bob like James Garner.
“Oh you little devil,” he said and smacked Bob’s hand coquettishly.
Bob glared at Tom.
“Don’t push this, Tom. I’m begging you not to push this.”
“Oh, don’t be silly, Bob. You always overreact.”
“Quit dismissing me!” Bob cried.
Tom laughed and waved his fingers in Bob’s face. Bob turned and before he could stop himself, sent Tom to the floor with one blow.
Bob looked down at Tom who was out cold. His mouth dropped. He dropped to his knees and leaned over to make sure that Tom was breathing. When he discovered that he was still pushing germs out, he lay on the floor beside his friend.
“Move over darling,” he said. And fell asleep.
January 2, 2012
Our hearts were broken. I was 8. My sister was 7. Toots was 1. Maybe. And she wasn’t trained. But we didn’t care. She was Toots. One day gone. No Toots. Our mother told us that she had run off. We knew it was a lie. No more cats in my life, I determined. But all the women I have lived with loved cats. And they were all pests. Or jealous. One always ran at your ankles when you were descending the steps. Trying to send you plummeting to your death. Another had a taste for testicles. In the middle of the night the beast would grab a hold of your manhood. Some were fat. Sitting there on the couch where I wanted to lay down. Daring you. We did have a cat when my son was born. He lived for over 20 years. He was my son’s cat. Never came near me. Until I had to bury him. But now we have a cat. B&W. Most affectionate animal I have every encountered. We sleep whiskers to whiskers. He likes me. I like him.
HER TAIL RAN ACROSS THE SMALL BOY’S FACE
Like a fashion model down the ramp. Step by step. Eyes riveted. Ahead. Shoulders in a military pose. Tip toes. Her tail rose perpendicular to her body. Her golden hairs were smooth and soft. There was a certain demure smile on her face. Whiskers curled melodiously out from her cheeks. The golden cat moved across the top of the shelves. She looked down at Alvin sitting in his stroller. His little head turned upwards to the monitor. He was enthralled. With what he saw on the screen. It annoyed the golden cat. This child captivated by the monitor hanging from the ceiling. While she was there. To be looked at. Her foot steps became smaller. She found some invisible steps. To the floor. Arched her body against the stroller and rubbed. Alvin did not react. She rubbed against his legs. Still there was no reaction. He kept looking at the screen. She leaned closer to the little boy, her body almost perpendicular to the ground so intent was she on grasping the boy’s attention. Her tail ran across the small boy’s face. He smiled. And grabbed the tail. The cat screeched. Caught. Tried to pull loose. Turned on Alvin. Hissed. But it was the boy who pulled. There was a look of triumph in his eyes. His teeth jagged. He laughed. Feline eyes bulged. The golden cat panicked. And struggled to free herself. Alvin held on tighter. The cat crouched, crawling down the aisle, pulling the stroller behind her. Alvin threw his head back. Like Judah Ben Hur. His mouth open to the breeze. And laughed.