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Tales of youth, delinquency, joy.

An Edinburgh Quartet

I suppose it starts with jazz, as all good tales must. I’m in Edinburgh, the day is July 25th. After a supper of Indian food in old town, I cross the street to the venue of my night’s entertainment: The Jazz Bar. I descend from cobblestone to black steps and the lighting shifts from twilight to the choice LED red, which speckles the basement lounge. It is 8:45, or thereabouts. To the door-keep —...

Infirmum a loco

(1)I was only forty minutes away from the house that I was raised in. Lying on a beach. There was nothing disrupting the blue of the sky except for the pale disc of the sun. The temperature was mild. Despite the lack of clouds, you could tell that the UV rating was only moderate. A cool breeze pushed in steadily off of Georgian Bay’s boundless waters. “Why don’t we come here more often?” I asked...

Spotlights

If you watched me do the dishes, saw the way I stacked the plates and bowls first, then ran the water. If you could see how I did laundry, how I remove every fold, every crease, while the clothes dry on the rack. If you saw my insecurities — how I examine myself in the mirror or how I behave on a first date. If you could hear all the things I’ve ever said when talking to myself, or could witness...

WORDS FOR THE MINISTER

For the first half of my life, both sets of my grandparents lived in Sarnia. When my mom, dad, brother, and I went to visit, we would stay at my mom’s parents house, and spend some of the time visiting my dad’s parents. When I was around thirteen, my mom’s parents moved to Barrie, and trips to Sarnia became only for visiting my grandpa and nana on my dad’s side. The drive from Barrie to Sarnia is...

Never Again

Success has changed. From the age of five until twenty-three—eighteen critical years— the terms and measures of my success were summated into a quantitative report delivered right to my person. Termly, semesterly, yearly, at four institutions, through each stage of humanly development, I received report cards. We all did. The last report card that I received was one I had to check myself, from...

IF EVER I WERE SO ACUTELY NERVOUS AGAIN, I WOULDN’T HESITATE TO SEEK THE SAME REPRIEVE

I had a reoccurring nightmare as a child in which I was confined in a large mausoleum by threat of numerous slow moving ice zombies. In this dream, I could always outrun the individual zombies but I could never outmaneuver the horde; I would duck and weave between the creeping bodies, I would hope over the altar in the middle of the room, circle around the bordering pillars. I would look...

Confessions of a Young Driver

In the hallway of the driving school that I attended at sixteen, there was a poster that said the school’s hope for their graduates, with their newly gained knowledge and skills, was for them to be accident free until twenty-five. “Accident Free ’Til 25!” Which was a funny way to put it — I know what they meant, but it also kind of sounded like they wanted me to get T-boned on my twenty-fifth...

Happenings and Takeaways, Sleepover Camp circa 2009

I’m surely imagining the sounds of snapping bones and rupturing insides when I recall the memory of striking a mouse with a canoe paddle all those years ago. But not imagined are the sudden limpness of the body nor the chorus of oohs and ewws when the boys in my cabin saw it dead. It had scurried from under a bunk when we were horsing around one afternoon. “A mouse!” was yelled out. It made a...

I have no plans tomorrow. Right now it’s Wednesday July 14th, 12:43 AM. Tomorrow is here. When I got into bed not long ago, it was yesterday, but after lying sleeplessly — my mind flipping as though controlled by a light switch, between the two extremes of motivated and despondent; with open eyes, seeking something, something — tomorrow has come. I listen to songs on repeat. For hours. Right now...

Eight Metaphors for Being Guarded

In April 2019, I was sitting in the University of Guelph library, on the third floor at 8 PM. I was studying. Early April marked the end of regular scheduled classes and the beginning of the exam period. I was in my fourth year of five, it was the semester before summer break. I dreamed of going home to Barrie and diving into summer, but I had no idea of what I wanted my summer to consist of. I...

 

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