Thursday, September 28, 2006

Glowing Orb

The sun is creeping up over the one-story flat houses that line the opposite side of the street. I suppose my place is on a bit of a hill, because those flat houses, despite their stubby presence, seem to begrudge the sun and guard me from it's full obsession.

I'm wondering about cyclical behaviour and the preoccupation with developing familiarity in emotional habits that we work to hard to instill, and then work even harder to rectify: we call ourselves "reborn," "revamped," "reworked," "rejeuvinated," "respected." I don't know. It seems nausiatingly cliche to contemplate the meaning of life on a Thursday morning in my pyjamas, quasi-latte at my side since I forgot to buy cream; tiny sounds of my son breathing and preparing to wake coming from the other room; my back crooked from hours in this chair; cobwebs in my eyes from getting up early for "alone time"; writing extra-long sentences because I'm not sure where to end the purging of my idea. And on and on. And on.

I hear a sound. It's the shutter on my cell phone camera taking a picture of the dark. I am afraid for a second, like there's some intruder in my room with artistic inclinations. I go in. Kaeden is on the floor with my phone taking pictures of the space underneath my bed. He's got a soother in his mouth and two beside him. He's looking at the phone, as surprised at the sound as I am. He is one year old.

Snuggle the baby. Make yogurt and cereal for him to eat. Make his lunch. Wipe him off. Change diaper. Dress. Strap him into his rocking chair in the bathroom while I shower. Dress myself. Pack our bags. Get into the car. Head to school. Bye, Hunny, see you at 4. Light a cigarette and turn up the stereo. Drive away, think about work. The sun is above me now, taunting me for trusting long sleeves were necessary in the morning's tiny cold. It squashes any semblence of restriction the flat houses had, and guides me into seven hours of thinking like an adult.

The day has begun.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Five Moments

They flattened a penny for me and it's sitting on my desk. I'm squinting at it from the corner of my eye because I have this keen sense of awareness that invloves little more than it, because I'm talking about it, and the keys on this credit-borrowed computer. There have to be about 600 things on my desk along with the penny, but all I can see is it, a non-descript, two-dimensional thing I assign no meaning to except the immense comfort that my son isn't watching Tree House while I am flipping pancakes for members of the earth barely heavier than pancakes themselves.


I often wonder how I can bury myself in six years of intense schooling, which garnishes some kind of respect, mostly from people who chose not to do the same, but then feel as though I've gained a huge amount of intellectual knowledge when a 32-year-old sex trade worker addicted to crack informs me that when our thoughts and ideals don't fit into our values and morals we call them mistakes. Do I really find this earth-moving on its own merit, or am I superficially impressed because it came from someone who thinks flip-flops make her like Cinderella? If I do, I am oppressing her with my condescending admiration, and may as well take my place among the long line of people who have turned her heart to pulp.


Sometimes I think that in trying to escape meaninglessness I am fulfilling my greatest fear by working so hard for freedom that I miss out on the liberating moments of my life. Only _____ more _____ and I'll be free, time to settle in, flounder around in a bubble bath, hire a sitter and spend the time under a tree somewhere, get my hair cut by someone else. The time carries on and only the lies I tell myself can keep up.


I want to find the Maa words for "create" and for "peace" so I can introduce them to the average Canadian via a name for my freelancing enterprise and a tattoo on my left wrist, respectively. Maa is spoken by the Maasai, a tribe in Northern Kenya that have complex initiation rites into various stages of life and use pebbles against the cervix for birth control. They live with a simple abundance that inspires a shameful desire in me to go to them and beg them to make me a warrior princess. They probably would, in their kindness, and never teach me the word for "old maid" either.


I have decided to give up my futile hold on the shape of destiny and leave all the big decisions up to the Universe. I will continue to walk in time with my heartbeat, but there is no more room for expectations and other preconceived resentments in my life. Although I cherish them, as familiar as my mama's hands, I must let them fly away now, to the great resting place where negativity gets composted into little piles of that grogginess one feels after napping in the afternoon.


Monday, July 10, 2006

On a Break ...

Sun's long gone, but the air remembers the heat: heavy, sticky, hard on the lungs. Two kids on black and blue bikes, ball caps on sideways. Leaning against the wall in front of the A&W smoking cigarettes and staring at junkies as if memorizing the walk, the talk, the life ... for later ...

J shuffles by, bums a smoke, says his girlfriend's a bitch because she took his dope and sold his shoes for more when it was gone. His glasses are crooked and a month's worth of sleeping outside lingers in the air after he's gone. Used to be a mechanic, has a kid in Courtenay he pretends to visit when he's dope sick ...

... N is pulling her cart, her back is like a question mark and she wobbles back and forth like a dashboard puppy. Drunk. Pulls her gear through the front door: suitcase on a trolly, headscarf, torn dress, fuscia lipstick, leather shoes. She'll sit silently in a wathroom stall for at least 45 minutes before calling a Swiftsure taxi and climbing in it to take her ...

... Blonde woman, jean shorts, bikini top, ink scrolled delicately across her lower back. No shoes, packsack, tiny pink purse with make-up sticking out of the broken zipper. "Working." Say hello and she looks at me like she'd rather stick me than answer back. Avert eyes, kind of afraid: climbs into a pick-up truck with one of hundreds of faceless fucks who made her that way ...

... S limping away from G, who's shouting at him: "Fucking goof, I told you no middling, you piece of shit." G catches up, 1.5 feet taller, grabs S, slaps him: echo. S starts to cry, G pushes him down, walks away. S gets up, dusts off greasy jeans as if he's not been wearing them for two weeks, walks over. "Gotta quarter?" Hand it over, S says G's a pussy and offers to run to Co-op for me. "You'll hate yourself for ripping me off, S, so let's say no." He cries again for my mistrust but doesn't blame me. Whistles at a black Volkswagon, which slows down: he's laughing, gone ...

... Two girls, early 20s, jean skirt/lace skirt, tank top/t-shirt, flip-flops/plastic sandals: "Did you see Steve's face?" "No, what'd he say?" "He said she's a useless bitch, but I think he's fucking her." "Prick." "Who's playing at --"...

Here comes D, cheeks like pockets of death, hugs me then tells me to wash her off my clothes before I touch anything delicate. Hair fire engine red, lilac perfume, too many rings, finger tips black, cracked, broken. Used to give lectures at a recovery house and answer phones at a treatment centre you've probably heard of. Her teeth seem stuck together, smile frozen in place, as she asks questions about my life and doesn't listen for the answers. "Want a balloon?" I'm not sure how to answer so she says, "Oh. I thought I had a balloon." Looks around confused, embarassed, breaks a heel crossing the street ...

... Door opens, F falls out, pukes, wipes his mouth and asks if he can go back in for a tequila. I call him a taxi instead; he tells the driver to beat it. "I never come here, you know. I'm from Alberta." Pukes again. Came in three hours ago with a wad of cash, bought rounds for the house, more instant friends than hairs on his head. Now: sits down, pockets inside out and bare, alone in a doorway: friends on to someone new. S reappears, tries to fleece F for his cigarettes. I give S a look and he wanders off: F keeps his smokes ...

... Wide shouldered cowboy hat guy; frilly dress girl with squeaky voice. Walk up to the A&W drive-thru, shout orders at the orange and brown uniform behind the moveable plexi-glass. Car drives up, cowboy hat thumps on the hood. Girl giggles, grabs his balls and tells him she loves him. Guy abandons driver, who's about to get out and smash him. Cowboy hat and frilly dress shove tongues down each other's throats; orange and brown uniform waits patiently, brown bag and waxed cups in out-stretched hand ...

Break's over.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Glob of Blog

"My fingers are red and swollen from the cold,
I'm getting bold in my old age, so go ahead, try the door
It doesn't matter any more
I know the weak-hearted are stong-willed and we are being kept alive until we are killed
He's up there
The ice is
Clinking in his glass
He sends me little pieces of paper
I don't ask
I just empty
My pockets
And wait ... "

Everytime I open a new blog page that Ani DiFranco quote from her spoken word piece, "Up" comes into my head, though I don't know why. Maybe it's the candence, apparent only when performed, that sticks in my head, but why it comes out in blogging world is beyond me.

It's funny, this business of blogging. We begin because we feel the need / desire / curiousity to share ourselves with strangers, but ultimately create alter egos, hungry for little chunks of dismembered human persona. Yep, that's my name, that's my picture; yes, I'm really interested in ______ , no, I never wanted to ______ ... It's real but it's incomplete, and omission is guilty by default.

I am never going to talk about my most profound truths in this or any blog.
I am never going to tell any of you, in this or any blog, what makes me wake in the night gripped in horror.
I am never going to tell anyone about the things I have done that still hang over my head, nor will I share my greatest joys for fear of dibilitating them with words. At least not in this or any blog.
I am never going to post a picture of myself ill, hurt, crying, angry, or just barely awake.
I am never going to fill in any kind of searchable criteria that reveal anything about my height, weight, shoe size, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or family of origin anywhere on the entire Internet, nevermind in this or any blog.

Is the story I tell of myself true, then? I continue to judge you all as I judge myself, choosing carefully what you might find interesting; what I feel safe enough to share. I create myself as I go, and what I create for this screen comes from me, and makes me too.

This chapter is over.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ramble, ramble, sleep

I live in an urban jungle. Racoons scamper around under my car, staring at me like they can't wait to use their opposable thumbs to choke the shit out of me if I dare think about driving anywhere. They live under my car when it rains, which is handy since I tend to stay in when it does. Snails have invaded my recycling bags, which wasn't a big deal until they (the bags, not the snails) got tagged for having glass inside and I had to dump them out in the driveway and pick through socially conscious trash to find the offending babyfood jars. Four in total. Every morning I am greeted by a spider the size of a golf ball in my bathtub. I capture it and set it free outside, only to meet it's furry gaze again the next morning. This morning there was some big, giant, red and brown, spider-beetle-IslandofMorrow-type thing in there and I'm sorry to say, I couldn't handle it so I drowned it. My first act of intentional violence in about nine years. Everyone in this building has cats who seem to find more comfort in my backseat or in my living room than in their own overstuffed beds. That is, of course, unless they are chasing ferrets, which have also somehow invaded the neighbourhood. I hear there are ants upstairs. Can't wait to meet them.


A travelling evangelist knocked on my door this afternoon eight minutes after I put my son to bed for a nap. She was soaking wet, dripping from every surface, black strappy sandals, no coat. God held my tongue as she offered me an invitation to a religious conference, raising her voice just a little so I could hear her over the sound of Kaeden crying. "Thanks," I said, respecting her sense of obligation instead of innocently suggesting she go look under my car.


I feel safe with my head covered, so I'm wearing a toque with my jammies right now, which is what I do when I'm sad or grouchy, which is how I feel when my normally docile and friendly eight-month-old cries himself to sleep for a week straight, which makes me feel helpless, which makes me more grouchy, which makes me want to blog to feel better, which is an act made purely in the spirit of retaining my utopic bubble.


I bought apricots today for the first time ever. This is kind of funny because "apricot" has been the secret password between my sister and I for over twenty years, but I've never actually eaten one before. I wonder if she has? I finally found plums and peaches too, which bring delight to my day, so much so that I'm writing about it when really, it has no significance whatsoever to anyone but me. (That was painful.)


If anyone is interested, by "other" blog is at but be prepared: I reserve it for purely meaningless meandering and save the important stuff for this one. So don't expect anything genius, as if you do already.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cheater, Me

Okay, it's time to fess up. I've been unfaithful. Instead of paying strict diligence to this happy lil' blog 'o' mine, I've been fooling around on, creating another blog. No, don't cry -- I'll make it right. I promise. I actually signed up over there because I have created a myspace for my work, and I wanted to make myself a profile in order to make my work account feel more at home by adding myself as a friend. As it turns out, there's a lot of action over there and although I meant for my diversion to be a temporary, meaningless, but immediately gratifying romp, I find I just ... can't ... pull away ...

So, I hope this doesn't put strain on our relationship. I mean, you could always join in the fun if you really wanted to ...

I just got home from Edmonton. Went to see my sistah and her snuggle bum, and to flail around in the West Edmonton Mall, just so I could say that I did. I thought that wrapping my head around the idea of a shopping center big enough to house a roller coaster would definitely be worth the trauma of being bombarded with three billion ad-like store signs, and it was. My favourite part was the sea lions. Even though I didn't actually see them, just knowing they were there was comforting. Yay, memories of BC!

My sister's dog, Hanna, and I have a lot in common. We are both snuggly, a little akward around people we really love, and appreciate the charm in a good, solid nap. I'm also not sure who looks more like a human ... it's kind of creepy in a loving, intriguing kind of way. I think Hanna knows a lot about the meaning of life, and that she is quietly seeking a modest way to share her gift with the world.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A List

Things I Have Done While Carrying A Baby On My Back:

1. Walked eight miles.
2. Painted a house.
3. Painted a bar.
4. Painted my toenails.
5. Put on make-up.
6. Gone to a job interview.
7. Conducted job interviews.
8. Packed and unloaded the entire contents of my house. Twice.
9. Attended a flamenco rock concert.
10. Performed in a flamenco rock concert. Just kidding.
11. Done the dishes.
12. Cooked spring rolls.
13. Visited a prison.
14. Swam laps.
15. Attended a poetry reading.
16. Attended class.
17. Attended to a bleeding junkie.
18. Carried groceries home.
19. Cleaned three houses.
20. Wrote seventeen newspaper articles and half a dozen blog entries.

I love being a momma.