Jun 2019 12

Draw

Posted In Blog,The world

While the computer is in the shop, trying out some different writing composed on the confines of an iPhone screen.

“Mommy, there’s a bad man in the hallway”
Confronted by a six year old while he waits for the elevator.
She stares at him from 20 yards down the hall, frozen.
He does what any person standing in an apartment hallway and looking menacing wearing a large hat and sunglasses indoors at 8:20 am would do.
He makes finger guns, and draws them upon her.
Pow pow.
He blows on his barrels and holsters.
She is speechless. Shot alive much, kid?
Her sister, even younger, runs out of their apartment, unafraid, and holding out her stuffed dog to meet him.
Script change.
“Um, hi. What’s your dog’s name?”
“Pups” she says.
He gives ol Pups a deserved pat on the head.
“Good dog”
The elevator arrives.
The man, two girls, pups, and their mom get in the elevator.
Four eyes, also wearing sunglasses peer up at him in silence. Assessing.
“I like your sunglasses” he says.
The doors open and they part ways.
Perhaps to meet again in another hallway standoff in the future.
Is he a bad man?
He is not sure.
Suppose it depends on where you’re standing.

 

 

 

Jun 2019 05

 

“You’re a beagle.”

“No, you are.”

“No, you.”

She’s about 4 years old and involved in some verbal sparring with her mom in the only way she knows how at this point – calling her a name. In this case, ‘a beagle’. Over and over.

It’s this morning. I’m on the subway on the way to my freelance gig. I’m pretending to read a book but now I’m really observing the two of them as they sit there, giggling, and exchanging barbs.

I stopped biking to work for now. I like the solitude of being in a crowd, funnily enough. Although biking to work made me arrive feeling alive – literally, it’s such a rush dodging traffic and trying to not get killed on the streets at 9am – I’m enjoying the zen energy of disappearing into the herd everyday and getting to work feeling strangely, um focused, and from not focusing on anything for 30 minutes.

And sometimes I get to witness things like this…

“You’re a beagle.”

“You are.”

“No, you.”

“You know what that word means, right?” asks her mom.

The little girl looks perplexed. “Beagle?”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Well, you know that dog that lives at the end of our hall?”

“Yes.”

“That’s a beagle. It’s a type of dog.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

The little girl is quiet for a moment. I am literally seeing the moment where new information is uploaded into her young brain and her world is forever changed by the new knowledge.

“Beagle. Beagle. Beagle. Beagle.”

She says it over and over, as if she’s trying on her new world for fit. A test drive.

It’s hard-coded now. Overwriting old programming.

She just shed her skin and I watched it happen.

Kid, I get it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 2019 04

 

I dropped in on my dad last night. He’s back home, living on his own. And I stopped by to catch ‘Jeopardy!’ with him, and tell him of my latest strange encounter with the people of Toronto – the most recent happened on the subway while coming to see him.

ME: I don’t know what it is about me but homeless people and junkies just like to start talking to me lately.

DAD: What do you mean?

ME: They just start up conversations with me. They’re normal conversations. But they seem to pick me out of crowds and just start talking to me.

DAD: They must think you’re one of them.

ME: Oh.

 

 

 

May 2019 28

So I’m going to be a dad.

A pigeon dad.

Okay, maybe Uncle.

A pair of pigeons has moved onto the balcony. And now there are two eggs.

Fucking sky rats.

The world doesn’t need two more pigeons, no. But what really bothers me about this is that my attempts to thwart their squatting failed miserably.

I saw the two future parents casing the joint weeks ago, like bank robbers who were just sussin out the conditions. I’d wake up in the morning and two pigeons would be sitting on the railing, taking in the view of Parkdale. A white spotted one, and a more stout grey one.

‘Aw,’ I thought. ‘Kind of romantic.’

Future visions of cleaning up pigeon shit all summer snapped me out of it and I was off to get one of those ‘Fuck Off’ Owls. Google says ‘Pigeons are afraid of predators like Owls’. Suddenly all those dollar store owls made sense. Not decorative apparently. Old ladies don’t just like the look of owls in their gardens – functional.

At Canadian Tire, I picked up the crème de la crème of garden owls. $20. A heavy sucker on its own pedestal. A good, serious scowl that said ‘You shall not pass’ and ‘Cross me and the last thing you will see is my beak devouring your intestines like ramen’.

Satisfied with my choice, over the last few weeks I’d peak out on the balcony to see the owl. Quiet sentry, doing his or her job. No pigeon nests. Yes. Mental note to buy some fake mice to feed it.

Then I got distracted for a week.

And I suppose the Owl did too. Cause I went outside the other day to see… Mom pigeon snug in a nest in the corner of the balcony. And directly behind the Owl just to add a ‘fuck you’ exclamation point to her moxie.

You spend $20 on an owl. My trusted sentry. Utter fail. I would deal with it later.

I went inside and grabbed an eviction notice broom and returned to see she was perched on two perfect white eggs.

Shit. Shit. Fuck.

So I did what any sane person that wants to enjoy their balcony all summer would do.

I went on the internet and googled ‘Pigeon egg hatching time’.

3 weeks.

And 4 weeks after hatching to learn to fly before they leave the nest. So my choice was broom or sayonara balcony until July.

I looked outside again. Mom looked at me and cooed.

Fucking Alabama. Fucking pigeons. Fine. Her choice. She wants to be a mom. I’m in. Shit goddamn it. Fuck.

So now, every morning, I look out to see who is sitting on the eggs. Dad takes the day shift. Mom takes the night shift. They are following Googled information to a T so far.

July. I can do this.

The Universe better fucking pay me back though. Somehow I think this statement shows I have the wrong attitude, but I’m still coming to terms with this, everyone.

In a very strange year already, full of unexplainable coincidences where life has been giving me a subtle wink to say ‘Go with it, let go of the wheel and just enjoy the ride’, I have been dealt this pigeon family for some reason.

Fine.

Does the world need two more pigeons in it? Fuck no.

But maybe right now, for some reason my world does.

I am not fucking giving up chicken though.

 

 

 

May 2019 24

“Well, Dad. How do you want to die? If you could choose?”

My father got some bad news yesterday. And although I could keep it private out of respect to him, I’m a writer, dammit. I write to process. And he’s not on the internet anyhow. In the future, I may want to refer back to this time in my life and remember how I was feeling.

Dear diary – My dad is dying. For the fourth time.

But he may be out of aces up his sleeve this time.

So I ask you, how would you choose to die?

I mean, if you could choose. None of us really can though, can we? You can try to choose how you live up until that moment, I suppose. But writing the ideal scenario for how you leave this world is wishful thinking, isn’t it?

My father has a choice to make.

His heart problem is a lot worse than the doctors were hoping for. He has three options. Two of them involve risky surgery for his age. So far, more than one surgeon has passed on the challenge. Even if he lives through the procedures,(a big if) he’d be facing a lot of hospital recovery time, which would certainly kill his spirit before turning its dark sights on whatever was left of his body. Infection. Blood clots. Pneumonia. Bed sores. Choking on a grape from the hospital meals. Hospitals are truly Darwinism survival of the luckiest.

His third option is do nothing. Go home with some new drugs and continue on. But it will kill him. A matter of time.

As he lies in his hospital bed, occassionally feeling some chest pain, he’s thinking it over.

“What do you think, Andrew?”

“I think you’re a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. And we can’t see the timer.”

“Ya. Shit. And get better? For what? To still be an old man huffing and puffing out of breath?”

No operation will make him 70 again. Or 80. Shit, I bet he’d take 85 right now.

“Well, Dad. How would you choose to die if you could choose? Out of the realistic scenarios you have in front of you. Not on a tropical island, surrounded by women in coconut bras or anything. On an operating table, going for it?”

“Not in a hospital. I’d rather be walking down the street and just collapse.”

He’ll stay in hospital a few more days until he decides on the surgery or not. But this may be his choice.

The third option.

Go home and live as best as he can, and wait for it. But live like he’s not waiting for it.

Which I suppose is how we should all be choosing to live, isn’t it?

 

 

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