Tuesday, February 28, 2006

bent into a z

I dreamt we sat in the front row of a large jumbo jet. The plane hovered and retreated from the ground as it came into the last leg of the descent. From the window I searched out runway. I realized we were coming in too fast and I braced myself. The plane passed the runway and continued on.

I assumed that there was more runway or that we would circle back, until I saw the railroad tracks. We were about to touch down. The tracks were surrounded by snow and a metal fence widely bordered each side. I resumed the crash position.

The plane came down softer than I expected. It slid with deceiving innocence. The nose clipped the fence and the plane slowly buckled into a jagged 'Z' under its massive weight.

Then I was outside on a field to the right of the tracks, looking at the aircraft, bent and broken.

I woke up. It was 3:47 AM.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

too tired

I am going to a wedding this weekend. Why the hell would anyone want to get married in February? Unless you're somewhere tropical, it makes no sense. Cold and dead is far from romantic.

I took something to sleep and I can barely keep my eyes open. Sometimes I just need to put it to bed, you know? I Tivoed 24 but I can't focus. And suddenly I am in the mood for talking context. Talking anything. Insert something about the 'dying light' and 'rage'. I know how much I like to read context from others. I want to break away from the metronome for a moment. Back to the races.

The big deal about this weekend is that I'm going to a wedding and I will see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while. I'm nervous about it for a variety of reasons, but to add a layer of complication, Jess will be there. On one hand having Jess there is a huge comfort, but on the other, taking comfort with him comes with land mines. For the masses who read this on a regular basis, in case you didn't read that far back, Jess is one of my lifelong friends who told me he had feelings for me over a year ago. At first it was a drunken exchange at another wedding, but he persisted over the followng weeks. He hasn't mentioned anything in a long time. For a variety of reasons, I had to tell him it was never going to happen. I had to be swift and decisive because he wasn't getting it right away. This wasn't easy given that I love him and frankly, on the surface, he would seem like a perfect 'catch'. He could give me everything I have ever hoped for, but every'thing' is not enough.

It's hard when you're ready to settle down and someone waves the proverbial carrot. He makes me feel sexy. I can see it in the way he looks at me. Always with the looking, but it is more than that. I also see a flash of a real future. It catches my eye, but when I try to pin it down, I can no longer find it. I know it isn't there. I just do. It's hard that in the back of my mind I wonder. I will either wonder forever or until I meet someone that I fall in love with and then I will never wonder again. That's what will happen. I will or I won't...wonder.

Whatever. I just can't read through this, edit it, or make it any more interesting.

Monday, February 20, 2006


We communicate in lyrics but there is no song
A metronome, spotless white plastic
No music, no rhythm, no pulse
No blood coursing
No sinew

She smacked my hands into the piano
Her jowls shook with a steady rage
All the ingredients were there
Sitting dry and dead as flour
No crust

Brand new eyes look around the room, fists squeezing
Like a man cut in half by a train
Sad eyes that don’t see watch
No lungs, no heart
No life

Always rooting for me but is it just easy?
Artificially pressed into his arms
Fixed empathic eyes
Does insight crowd
Out love

Saturday, February 18, 2006

triple crown

It was the night Smarty Jones was expected to win the Triple Crown and the weekend Ronald Reagan died. We came from every direction. We made our way to a small fishing town on the southern tip of Nova Scotia. It was as happy as a sad occasion could be. There were moments when we forgot what it was we were doing there, all together for the first time in years.

When I spoke to my father on my way to the airport he sounded no different than he had the night before, when I had called him for advice on a skin v. krazy glue mishap.

"How'd you manage that", he had asked.

"Don't ask - just tell me what to do".

And he did.

He picked me up at the airport the next morning. The weather was unseasonably warm and the spring sun beat down through the fog. We pulled up to the familiar yellow-shuttered cape cod.

It seemed smaller than I remembered. At first, laughter wafted through the house, but soon tension began to mount. My grandmother’s patience was clearly being tested. Her kitchen was taken hostage by the women of the family and transformed into an impromptu system of feeding and cleaning. Feeling overpowered, she exerted herself the only way she could. She insisted on hosting an elaborate lunch following my Grandfather’s funeral, complete with her granddaughters serving tea to the guests from her silver tea service and her best china.

"We need pink candles to go with the napkins", she asserted. We only had white.

"We'll get them in the morning," one of us promised her. People traded glances. There were muffled exchanges.

"She's not coping well."

"She can't stand all of the hovering."

I fell asleep that night thinking about candles and napkins.

The next day the procession was led by flashing lights. Men stopped on the sidewalk and removed their hats.

We had lunch, served tea, and on the table there were pink candles that were never lit.

Later I sat in the airport in my funeral clothes, sipping coffee from a cardboard cup. I thought of my grandmother at the cemetery with her red nose, watching her husband of 61 years being lowered into the ground, and my father’s face finally crumpling to the sound of dirt against wood. I pictured all of us gathered around the television - cousins, aunts, uncles, and my grandmother, in the wood paneled study hung with art and lined with books. My Grandfather would have been thrilled. The room was bursting with life as we waited in anticipation. Smarty Jones finished in second place, upset in a late charge by a long shot.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

off to the races

I'm up for hanging out with some boys lately. It's been too long. I'm not talking sex here, just big hands, chicken wings, beer, and man humour. Evan may be someone else's husband now (thankfully), but he was my best friend and roommate first. He once told me that he wished we were the only two people in the world that farted because when we fart it's funny, but when anyone else does it's disgusting. That's how close we are.

"Hey Ev, what are you doing this weekend?"

"Not much really. I'm going to the races on Saturday with a group of guys I'm in no mood to go out with."

"Fun. The races! Can I come?"

"Yeah, for sure!"

"Who's going?"

"All the husbands of Lucy's friends."

"Oh." I couldn't keep the dissapointment out of my voice. A girl can't just go out as a lone female with a group of married men...can she....? Yet, I still had hope. "I guess maybe I shoudn't really be coming out for that kind of a guys night, right?" Please say 'of course you should', please say 'of course you should', please say 'of course you should', chanted my inner voice.

"Yeah, you're probably right."

Who the fuck wants to see the trotters anyway? That's all that races at this time of year. That's so 'best in show'. Pansies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

heart of darkness

V-day sucks. So far my plans involve yoga after work, immediately followed by bosu ball and then the rest of my evening is undecided. Shoshana asked me to meet up later but when I realized what day it was I assumed she made a mistake. I called her to remind her.

"Hey Shosh, you can't meet up with me later, it's Valentine's Day. Don't you and Josh have plans?"

"I know what day it is, but we have no plans. If Josh remembers what day it is, maybe I'll make plans with him, but until then..."

Until then what? Your idiot single friend will do? When he remembers (and he will be forced to remember), I'll be dropped. Not cool, but the problem is, every other person I know has their own V-day activity or they're away. I am trying so hard to come up with a reason to cancel Shoshana before she cancels me. So far I can only come up with one idea:

Go see the new movie "Neil Young: Heart of Gold", wearing a balaclava to avoid the embarrassment of a solo movie on February 14th.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

do not pass go, do not collect $200

I did everything I set out to do last night. No more. No less. I laughed with my girlfriends, danced, talked to strangers, flirted. I did what I was built to do, unobstructed.

This morning, perched somewhere between asleep and awake, my thoughts were pressured. It was my own voice in my head, talking loud and fast, explaining, making frantic excuses, trying to smooth things out. A wave of heat and nausea washed over me. My eyes still closed, I threw back the covers and peeled off my t-shirt. I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth.

The dialogue involuntarily resumed. It had to be slowed, like breathing into a paper bag. The room spun with unearned regret and I did the only thing I could do. I took it on. I focused all of my energy on clearing the clutter. I talked myself down.

"The only price you need to pay," I told myself, "is the hangover. Let's face it, you drank enough to know you're going to feel it in the morning. That's all. Ignore all of the rest."

I tried to get up at 8:30 AM but I was hit by another wave of nausea. The sound of the dripping faucet in the kitchen was torture. It took all I had to get off the couch to tighten the tap. I made it, but instead of returning to the couch I went straight for my bed. I drifted from dream to dream. I dreamt of a long ordinary telephone conversation with my brothers, I drove on a highway through treacherous snow drifts and ice, trying to stay alive.

I meandered between extremes. I didn't pay the quick $50. I stayed in bed until I awoke to a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Friday, February 10, 2006

wild staring eyes

Is it really Friday again?

Exactly like last Friday, tonight I came home after work, the gym, and the grocery store. I sat down here on the couch with my notebook, Pink Floyd on the radio, coat tossed on a chair, and my bags at my feet.

Just like that, the week is gone in a flash and here I am again, bursting at the seams.

We are all seven days older. I am only 4 points behind first place in my hockey pool AND I only have one injury (well Hamrlik is injured, but for the purpose of my pool, he is mine). Good thing I am injury-free because tomorrow I am going to spinning class to sweat this shitty week away. Later I will have my nails filed short and painted dark red. Tomorrow night there will be lots of wine and people. I will go with it - let the wine get to my head. I will have impractical conversations and I will feel the heat in my cheeks.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

under the crust

The more raw the emotion the more inadequate whole sentances become
Conversations turn to sounds
There is an efficiency of a thousand words in one slide of a brush
This is beyond message
It is three dimensional
Lapping at the sides
Of every sense
It is what everything is not
It fills the spaces
And we can feel our way toward it
Feel our way with lobster tentacles
Between the seaweed
On the floor
Of the deepest ocean

Sunday, February 05, 2006

edit-free sunday

For a variety of reasons, most of which were out of my control, I spent almost an entire weekend in solitude. It did very little toward making a case for staying in this city. It feels more and more over for me here.

It did show me how I have gotten used to being entirely self sufficient. I even went to a movie yesterday alone, for the first time in my life. I didn't mind. It was Match Point, Woody Allen. I love the tennis analogy. Love the tennis. Hey, I guess there is something I can't do alone.

I also discovered that I have stamina. I can run for 45 minutes, do a one hour pilates class and then later, still make it through an hour long spinning class.

Another thing - there is something to be said for carrying around an apple. Much like carrying flowers, holding a crisp green apple when you're walking down the street, looking in shop windows, waiting for the right moment to take a bite, feels special somehow. it just does.

The problem with all of this is, learning how to be alone is not what I needed. I have been doing that for an awfully long time. As I waited for the movie to start, it seemed absurd that I am still alone. There has got to be someone out there for me. Someone who is waiting for me just like I am waiting for them.

This afternoon at a beauty product store, when the saleslady asked me if I wanted the jumbo size of a product, I told her,

"Oh G-D no. I wouldn't buy a bottle that big. Hell, I could be dead before I finish that."

And I wasn't really joking. The look on her face was priceless. I know it almost sounds like a cry for help, but it isn't. It's just that we live in a world of possibility, and inherently luck could send the ball to either side of the net.

Friday, February 03, 2006

no vacancy

I swallowed the last mouthful of wine. I left the table in search of the washroom and found myself disoriented. There seemed to be an overwhelming number of doorways in the basement of the restaurant. Doors and mirrors and rooms and twinkling lights. I stood there, unable to make any sense of it. I wondered what was wrong with me, for the second time in a matter of minutes.

Moments earlier I sat at a table, pushing food around my plate. Two of my girlfriends were absorbed in conversation.

"And I said, look Jeff, you can't just tell me your parents are coming for dinner - you have to give me notice. These are the kinds of things you need to check with me about first."

"So what did he say?"

"Well he just wouldn't say anything at all. He kept watching television, as if I had never said anything."

"You're kidding."

I worked at spearing a lettuce leaf and a piece of yellow pepper.

"No, so I just said to him, you are NOT watching TV and pretending I am not in the room!"

Every now and then I looked up, trying to jump in somewhere but I couldn't even see a door. I couldn't find enough space at that table. I didn't even want to, but I thought it was only right to try. I made half-hearted attempts, but like a few minutes later in the basement hallway of the restaurant, I was stuck.

I took a hesitant step toward one door, only to find a room with cleaning supplies. The next, urinals. Nothing for me there..

There was no room for me on the menu tonight. No Room.

The funny thing is, I chose the place. I chose the company.

Imagine if I interrrupted them and told them,

"yesterday I posted a poem on my blog"

"No, you are right. I have never mentioned a blog. I have been writing in a weblog for well over a year now"

"I write different things, memories, excerpts from life, small fictions, poems, whatever I feel like posting. At least it gives me an outlet for some of the things I think and write, you know."

Cricket, cricket. Guaranteed two confused faces would stare back. Maybe slightly uncomfortable and a little bored.

"Yeah, so I posted a poem I wrote a while back that really gets at something that I go through over and over again. It is all about empty spaces and wanting to have them filled in. Wanting to be loved the way no one can ever love anyone. Wanting not to be dissapointed in a world where dissapointment is life's lining. Get too comfortable and the dish slips out of your hands and terrifies you, you know?"

"Wow, someone here is feeling deep today. You are so into that stuff."

"It's not about being deep, it's about the fear that fills me and paralyzes me and leaves me alone in heart pouding fear...I guess that is how I feel right now," I would tell them.

or then again I wouldn't. I haven't. I wonder if I ever will.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

washing dishes

I want someone to save me
To scoop me up and save me
And for a moment
I want to believe that I can be saved

It is possible from afar
A distant notion warming me like a fire
Closer, it shifts and disappears
Or slips like a dish
From my soapy hands
My heart skips a beat
From the fear
Rather than love