Saturday June 10, 2017
Overheard at Pearson
Takin’ the first flight to Hammerhead and no one’s gonna stop me. When I’m there, I’m gonna find a little shack in the woods by the river. Ever heard of the butterflies down there? Oh yeah, they are yellow and purple and they smell like candy. Pompom told me and Pompom never lies. He’s been down there, right? He’s seen ’em with his own eyes? I never get lonely, right, because I got seven brothers and sisters so I never had a second to myself between the ages of birth and seventeen when I got the heck outta there. Hammerhead’s population? Sixty four. And apparently the woman who runs the post office might be pregnant so that would bring the total population up to sixty five. Oh! And me, of course. Sixty six.
Friday June 9, 2017 at Ideal Coffee
The Globe And Mail
When Maggie feeds her snake, she says a prayer for the mouse. It actually isn’t her snake, it’s Tova’s, but Tova is in Switzerland and Maggie isn’t sure when she’ll be back so as far as she’s concerned the snake now belongs to her. It was actually Tova’s sister’s boyfriend’s snake, but his landlady lost her mind when she found out a snake was in the apartment, so what was Tova’s sister supposed to do? Take the snake. And then Tova’s sister, ever the pacifist, couldn’t get over the feedings so Tova took pity and said she’d take the fucking snake.
Thursday June 8, 2017
Overheard at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre
“It’s okay if you want to cry. I can see that you’re – ”
“I’m not going to cry.” Dan smacks my hand away from his face.
His flight leaves in three hours and we haven’t decided if I’m taking him to the airport or he’s going in a taxi. Public transit is now no longer an option.
“I could still come with you?” I look at my toes.
“No. No… I need to do this alone,” he says, finally making eye contact. Tears brimming.
“Why won’t you let me support you?” I try not to sound like I’m asking something of him. Everyone is asking something of him.
“I’m trying, Gem, but it’s just like – … I don’t even know what I need so how am I supposed to tell you what I – …”
His phone rings. It’s Joanne, his stepmother. Everything in the room gets very still
Friday June 9, 2017
The Globe And Mail
I have been avoiding calling my mother because I know I am going to cry.
She is avoiding me too for the same reason.
Earlier this week my sister tells me that the family reunion is off.
After swearing in the bathroom and crying and yelling and crying some more,
I tell her I’m sorry for overreacting.
My sister tells me she could listen to me swear for days, and if it’s any consolation,
I was not overreacting, but reacting, and both would be okay.
Today I finally phone her and for whatever reason we start speaking french to each other.
I think because this softens the blow.
Keeps things light, after all, it is only a family that will not be reuniting.
It’s not the end of the world.
I hear the sigh in her voice as she mixes in some words in Italian, some a combination of both.
I tell her I already know.
Then later she cries.
We both do.