Friday July 21, 2017
from the sign at the 401 on ramp
Wendy and Adele try and stuff their pot into the glove compartment before the state trooper gets to their car.
“Stay cool,” says Adele. “Stay so fucking cool, Wen.”
The dark sunglasses slide down his nose, aided by the tiny pools of sweat collecting on the bridge of it.
“License and registration.” he says, his want poking uncomfortable holes through Adele’s ribbed tank top.
She hands him the paper and pretends there’s a wad of gum in her mouth. She bites her tongue not to address how he is addressing her.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at DH Lodge
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet
Elliot sat on the couch digging into her scalp, searching for the patch of raised skull flesh she liked to play with when she was nervous. It was a quarter past four and her eyelids sometimes closed for longer than a blink while she waited up for Marco to get back. He was late. He told her he’d be back at midnight at the very latest. She had called him a total of seventeen times so far and counting. Elliot fingered the bump on her head and started to yank tufts of hair out with her finger nails, pulling slowly and firmly on a few strands from the root to the ends. Elliot thought about calling the police. The pendulum of the old cuckoo clock on the wall swung out of tune.
Monday, July 6, 2015
“What is creative nonfiction?”
I have locked myself in Martin’s study where Tizz won’t think to look for me. He hates confined spaces and Martin’s study is exactly that. It looks like a secret hideout, converted from a closet. I think that’s actually what it was before it became Martin’s study. I think Martin likes to pretend that this house came with a room specifically for him. He likes a place to put his papers and his legal documents. He doesn’t study in here. He doesn’t even read. He just likes to have a place that people associate with power and mystique. Well now I’m in Martin’s study executing my mystique and power. I alone know where I am and Tizz won’t have a clue. I had to read the letter without the chance of Tizz finding me. I’m only a good liar until I get caught and Tizz has always been an investigator. Should have joined the police force but they just couldn’t take someone with the severity of Tizz’s brain injury. I think they called him a liability. So he might not have a badge but he knows how to keep me in line.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Valens
overheard at the ferry terminal
My brother Reid’s eyelashes were so long they used to get caught in his eyes, like a little cow. He hated how they tangled into each other and refused to grow outward. Because of them he always had red eyes as if they had just been rubbed or showing the effects of recreational substance use. Once this got him in trouble with a police officer who believed his red eyes to be a sign of impaired driving. Reid was embarrassed to admit it was because his eyelashes were so long. That answer doesn’t sound real but I swear to you it is.
Sunday March 22, 2015
I wasn’t sure what to do. I mean, do you report it to the police? Do you pawn it?! What if they trace it back to you? I don’ wanna go to jail for something I didn’t even do! Do you keep it as a trinket in your jewellery box for a year or two before you dare to wear it? I was quitting smoking at the time so I was a real moody SOB. I put it in my pocket and I continued on my way to the Salvation Army. I kept putting my hand in my pocket to make sure it was still there. My grandmother was into antiques and she taught me how to hold a diamond up to the light to see what it’s worth. She taught me how to lick the gold and see if it’s real. She could even name the carat – just from the tinny taste of it… A real talent. Yup… A real talent. I’d done all that, down in the park, in the ravine, so I knew it was worth a heck of a lot. It was worth Charity’s university fund and wedding fund and don’t-you-dare-get-preggers fund.
Saturday December 13, 2014
Top 10 London
When you go to New York, you can see a musical. It’ll be your first one. Make sure you wear a really nice something something. They can tell you’re a tourist but you don’t want to give us Canadians a bad name, right? A good place to start is Phantom of the Opera. Something by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade!
If I were feeling stronger, I’d go with you, but I don’t think I’m up to that city anymore. The first time I went, Marjorie and I took a bus. It took over fifteen hours. At the border they sent dogs on and we were so scared our fingers were shaking. Someone on that bus had dope in their bag and the dogs went crazy, barking and panting. Marjorie almost fainted. But… We made it. And when we had a drink at the Waldorf Astoria I turned to her and said, “I never want to go home.”
Monday November 3, 2014
from an e-mail
He’s there. He’s there. I run up the stairs of the porch and I remember that my Mom has writing group tonight, she’s across the city in High Park. Shit shit shit shit shit. I get my key into the lock and I slam the door and he’s there, on the porch. Heart pounding, tears real, breath high. I call the police. “Um, hi, I just, I just was followed and the man came onto the porch and I’m not sure what to do because I’m home alone and…” This man is going to kill me. I know you’re there. I see you. Two officers come, ring the doorbell. I creep towards the door, wiping tears. “You called?” They circle the house with flashlight and report back that they didn’t find anyone. No one’s there. I say “thank you”. No one’s there.
Thursday October 16,2014 at ITIT Il Sandwich Shop
from a Sandwich board at ITIT
WHY WERE THEY YELLING AT ME? I WAS FINE BEFORE THEY STARTED WITH ME! I WAS SO FINE I COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE. BUT NOT, THEY HAVE TO DO THAT DANCE. THAT STUPID “YOU’RE MAD” DANCE AND THEY ALL KNOW I WASN’T EVEN MAD. I WASN’T MAD UNTIL THEY STARTED ACCUSING ME OF BEING MAD! WHY DON’Y PEOPLE GET THAT? WHY CAN’T THEY READ THE ROOM? THEN SUDDENLY, WOAH, SERENA, THAT’S TOO MUCH. THAT’S TOO FAR. YOU’RE THE ONE WHO CAN’T TAKE A LIGHT ISSUE WITHOUT TURNING IT INTO A FIRETRUCK OF SENSITIVITY.
WHO EVEN THINKS SAYING FIRETRUCK AT A TIME LIKE THIS IS CLEVER? WILL SOMEONE CALL THE COMEDY POLICE AND ARREST THESE BUSH LEAGUE IDIOTS FOR WASTING THE PRECIOUS SPACE OF MOTHER FUCKING HUMANITY?
AND THEN IT WAS JUST DOWN HILL. SO FAR DOWN I COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE. AND THEY WERE LIKE, WOAH, SERENA, ARE YOU OFF YOUR MEDS AGAIN, AND I WAS LIKE, NOOOO, ARE YOU???
Sunday July 28, 2013 at Belly Acres
The Sun Also Rises
“He leaned forward and looked me in the eye. “If you want to roll with us,” he said, “you’re gonna have to prove yourself.” I was expecting it, I was waiting for it, actually. I already had ideas of what I’d offer to do… Strangle a cat or steal a watch or something. I didn’t expect…” Jorge paused and looked down at his hands. They were shaking. His nails were well bitten, his cuticles cracked and dry. Three of the knuckles on his right hand were bruised and bloody. “What happened?” I asked, gently. Talked to Jorge was like easing out a sliver. You couldn’t pull too fast or it would break and you’d really be up shit’s creek.