A Bad Person (Part 2)

October 27, 2011

We continue for a while in silence. I listen to the music I have softly playing.

My father gazes around at everything outside with a focused intensity that is typical of him. He likes to look at things outside, as if to avoid what is going on inside.

Finally, he says, “I saw two owls the other day in our backyard.”

“Oh yea?”

“Yes, I was in the main bathroom, not the little bathroom, but the big one, and I heard one of them calling to the other.” He gets a little more excited. “It was amazing! I could hear the owl through a wall, the other room, and another wall.”

“Did you get to see them?”

“Yes, I went out and I watched them. Two big great-horned owls. Can you believe it?”

“They must fly along the river.” I ponder.

“Yes, I think so too. I remember them in the bush on the other side of the river.”

“I remember that place too.”

“I was amazed I could hear them calling.”

A Bad Person (Part 1)

October 27, 2011

“Can I ask you a serious question? And I would like an honest answer.” I ask.

“Sure, go ahead.” He responds uncomfortably.

The car slows as I ease up off of the gas, approaching a red light.

“Do you think I am a bad person?” I pause, wondering how my father will interpret this. “Or an amoral person? Uncaring?”

The light turns green and cars slowly drag themselves from stasis. I follow them, rolling through the intersection and into the street beyond. He takes a long time to respond.

Suddenly, he laughs, asking me back, “What is the question?”

I glance over at him and I say, “That was the question. ‘Do you think I’m a bad person?'”

His bike jostles in the back of the car and he goes silent again. I wait.

He laughs again with practiced incredulity, “You? Amoral? Quite the opposite! Of course not.”

“When you called me in Yellowknife and you were at our house here,” he continues, “I was amazed that you were there and checking on your mother.”

“Why were you so amazed?”

“I was surprised you would go all the way down there to see if she was okay. I thought you would just leave a message and leave it at that.”

“You were surprised I would care?”

“No, I was…” He trails off.

I mention another time where he was surprised in the same manner.

“I just thought it was above and beyond the norm.” He manages.

“So, normally I would not care, or go out of my way to help someone? That sounds like a bad person to me.”

“Look…” He trails off again and gathers his thoughts. After another long pause, he finishes. “I think you’re thinking too much about this.”

“I think I’m just beginning to think enough.”


October 22, 2011

Been listening to this. Iron. I love that huge brass sound.

Paranoia & Irritation

October 17, 2011

A list of thoughts that crossed my mind tonight.

– My mother dead or dying at the bottom of the stairs.
– My mother beaten or locked in a room by burglars.
– My mother shell-shocked and badly hurt in a car accident.
– My mother having an affair with various emotive men of her age.

I am speeding through the city in my car. Called my parent’s house a moment before and there was no answer. My father is out of town to help look after my newborn twin nephews. My mother is getting old, has heart problems, and other miscellaneous health issues. There are rumours of burglaries in her neighbourhood, and teens pranking houses.

When I pull up to the front driveway, I notice the motion-detecting light is already on. My mind beings cranking through more formulae of intruders.

I quickly check the backyard. I hear voices. Male. They are over the fence, I can smell their campfire. Phew.

I punch in the access code to the garage, and the garage door rises. I wonder if the thieves will hear it. The car is not in the garage. I head for the door inside, but not before checking the toolbox and taking a hammer with me. I pull the door open. The lights are on inside.

I call out. “Mom?”

No answer.

I check each room, flicking the lights on, and checking carefully. My grip relaxes on my makeshift weapon. No collapsed forms, no dead bodies. No one is here.

I return to the garage and return the hammer to the toolbox.

I call my father back. He asks, “Were you in the area?”

I am irritated and unreasonably frustrated by this question.

I wait until my mother returns, and I am mildly irritated at her as well. I finally just brush that aside and tell her I am worried. She is fine. She just spent the evening at a sketch night painting nude models.

Driving home, I silently praise the fact that as long as both my parents are alive, they can take care of each other. I have a vague sense of unease that both will be helpless without the other, and that I will have to somehow be the one to take care of them.


October 15, 2011

I was at Starbucks today and ordered a small latte.

I couldn’t remember the names at the time but they gave me a tall cup. A tall is followed by a grande and then by a venti. All different ways of saying “big”.

I made a realisation then. At some point in the past Starbucks Corporation ran consumer studies and statistics to determine whether or not the greediness of the average customer for more drink outweighed their conscientiousness about how much they were going to be swallowing.

We all want more.

Stay Calm

October 15, 2011

Oh, doctor, doctor. Please modify my delusions.

Tactile and Tangible

October 14, 2011

My hand remembers the swell of your thigh and the curve of your hip. Recalls the sensation of touching you in the courseness of denim, cool but covering hot flesh.

My finger remembers tracing a path from the base of your ear down through the humid air at your neck, the feel of your perspiration dragging at my fingertips until it rolled over the ball of your shoulder.

My lips remember the way your mouth opened against mine, and drew me in with a blazing heat.

And I dream of the way your body fell, soft, beneath my embrace and collapsed around my long fingers. Dream of the way we shivered and moved against each other in silent pleasure.


October 11, 2011

I have memories of my childhood, and the suburbs I grew up in. This post and the one before it are am homage to times long faded.

I remember my first bike, and the fear and struggle I had with getting on it, and riding it on my own. I have scars on my legs and elbows and fingers to this day from my misadventures. However, soon I was cruising around without a fear in the world, no hands, no feet, just a carefree child in a fast bike that was mine and mine alone.

We would roam the neighbourhood in packs, finding things to do, which was not hard. Our young minds were malleable and interested in everything. Everything was a toy or a game ready to be discovered.

Every day, we would ride. And every day, we would explore more and more of our domain, expanding it with confidence.

And then, one day, I heard that I could no longer hear from my best friend. I know not why now, but I believe his father feared that we were getting involved in sexual activities with other neighbours, boys and girls. I never got to see these people again. Not for a long time. I was 12.

The last time I saw my best friend, I was 16, and he must have gotten his license. I recognized his car easing down my street, and as I walked by the window rolled down. I kept on moving only to hear him call from behind, in his distinctive early-deafness enunciation of his, “Fucking asshole.”

That hurt. What had I done? Had his father pounded this hatred into him in the past four years? I can only imagine so. It feels me with sadness. My friends gradually dwindled off them disappeared in grade 8.

I did not make many friends for several more years, which is a post for another day.

What I remember most about those joyous childhood days was the wind in my face, riding a bike anywhere and everywhere. The sheer joy of running, running for long periods of time, breathing rapidly and smoothly, the sweat on my body cooling as I ran. Running made me feel free, like I could travel the world in an instant, with no help at all.

I miss it all now. I don’t know if I will ever get it back. I dream of it often. Of the wind in my face and the ragged breathing in my throat. And I am jealous, and I am angry, and I want it back.

Old Friendships

October 11, 2011

Click image to enlarge.

Let’s go for a drive
See the town tonight
There’s nothing to do but I’ll unwind when I’m with you

This town’s so strange
They built it to change
And while we’re sleeping all the streets, they rearrange

And my old friends, we were so different then
Before your war against the suburbs began
Before it began

And now the music divides
Us into tribes
You grew your hair so I grew mine
They said the past won’t rest
Until we jump the fence and leave it behind

And my old friends, I can remember when
You cut your hair
We never saw you again
Now the cities we live in
Could be distant stars
And I search for you
In every passing car

– Arcade Fire, Suburban War (from The Suburbs, 2010)


First First Friday and it was getting dark before it even started. The streets were empty of people and a brisk wind blew swaths of golden autumn leaves across sidewalks in a grandiose rustling rush.

The world felt like it had crawled in upon itself, the grey sky pulled down tight to encapsulate the moment, the last glimmers of dusk before nightfall. A hush and a murmur lay dormant in the streets.

Indoors, a few people wandered about in a muted and dazed fashion, as though the perplexity of the outside world bore down on them with a tangible weight.

After dark I waded through a drift of crunching leaves and was assailed by memories of being young and carefree in vast back yards. Of raking leaves into piles and jumping in them until they were strewn about once more. The sound of crackling leaves; the smell of damp earth and rotted plants; sinking into mounds of detritus until each one was mashed and mangled. The feeling that everything so chaotic now will soon be gone, white-washed by deep winter.

Autumn is always my favourite season.