Mar 2019 23

After a bizarre month, some normal would be good. Please universe, can I please have some ‘normal’? But from the further tales of strange, I present my Thursday night…

“Maybe some cereal and a quart of milk?”

First of all, who in Canada refers to it as a ‘quart’ of milk? But this was my first thought when this person in the supermarket asked me if I could buy him something to eat.

I won’t go into too many details about what he looked like but he was in his 30s, limping a bit, and carrying a very large backpack. He said ‘Excuse me’ as he squeezed past me (those cereal aisles aren’t wide) and frankly I was impressed that he said that.

Cause, like, have you been downtown lately? Or anywhere outside really? Does anyone say ‘excuse me’ if they squeeze past you these days? Where are our basic manners, people? That’s right, gone. So yes, he immediately made an impression on me, and I moved aside and said ‘No problem’.

He looked back, struck up a conversation, and the next thing I knew I was buying cereal and a ‘quart’ of milk for him. As he and I walked through the supermarket and I picked out my own items, I also got a very long story about his situation, medical condition, night in a shelter, and inability to get a bus ticket home. And he was hoping his mom would drive down from Northern Ontario to come and get him but was going to head to the bus station, anyhow.

I’ll be honest. I’m pretty sure I was being scammed. Or hypnotized and was suddenly very susceptible to being robbed. But it was the most interesting conversation I’ve had in ages, for sure. He could either weave a very good tale or this was someone in need.

As we parted near the checkout, I even gave him the bus ticket money (it was under $20, everyone) and he said “Thank you so much. I swear I’m telling you the truth.”

And maybe he was, and maybe he wasn’t. And I suppose I should have just said goodbye, and “You’re welcome.”

But I left him with “Well, whether you are or not, only you know. It’s now on you. I wish you well. Pass it forward maybe if you get the chance.”

And we parted.

As I walked towards the subway, I thought back to our conversation as I was grabbing a tub of boccocini. He was convinced that you get what you put out there and I was the universe answering his call. It made him giddy, actually.

I couldn’t share in it because although lately I’d like to believe the universe works this way, after bidding him goodbye, I was more convinced that the universe finds some sucker to buy your cereal.

In my head, I was thinking, “Pfft. It’s all bullshit. Everything is random. Well, I’ll have a good story to tell about the guy that even got me to buy him 2 kiwis on top of a box of cereal and milk” – you are reading it.

“There’s no way the universe answers your call for anything,” my thoughts finalized.

And then almost at the subway, I turned a corner. And there was my friend, D, walking right towards me.

“Andrew-san, my friend!”. He calls me that because of my half-Japanese background.

D is, in addition to other very interesting things involving cryptography and business, a very respected mindfulness meditation master here in Toronto. I’ve known him for years but we have had long talks over soda water the last few months about my sobriety (he doesn’t drink), and energy, and the universe, yes… answering your call.

And there he was.

“It is so lucky to run into you!” said D, big grin on his face. “I was just thinking about you!”

The universe. She is certainly having her way with me these days.












Mar 2019 20

Phone sex, even for a noble cause, can teach you a lot about yourself. Explicit language warning for all you eight-year olds who read my page.

‘Do I say I’m stroking my thick hard cock, now? Is that what I’m supposed to say?’

This is what went through my mind the other day as I was on the phone, in the car, and in the garage. Oh, and the door was closed so it was pitch black.

The person on the other end of the line was waiting for me to say something. And I realized I was out of dirty talk. Where was my normally foul mouth when I really needed it?

I had to find another gear.

I know what you’re thinking, you degenerates. But let me back up.

I get phone calls. Strange phone calls. Scam calls. You get them too.

You know how many cruises I’ve won? Plenty, pal. I could be Captain Jack Fucking Sparrow if only I had the time to accept all of them.

I’m also wanted by the government. In fact, at this point the CRA is just going to shoot me on sight due to my delinquent tax situation that I haven’t cleared up on the phone.

You know the calls I mean.

I usually don’t even answer calls where I don’t recognize the number. However with my father out of commission for awhile I’ve been having his calls forwarded to my phone. So I actually have no clue who is legit unless I answer. Who knows who’s trying to reach him? It’s kind of exciting actually. It reminds me of the 1990s, when you just had no idea who was calling. It was a surprise everytime. Like a Kinder Egg you opened and hey, Aunt Linda is inside! Sciatica acting up again, you don’t say!

Anyhow, I digress.

So last week on the third call in a couple of days from “Visa Mastercard” (cause they’re one company, y’know) and a recorded message about what a great payment history I have (that was my second tipoff, by the way), and how I was eligible for zero percent interest or something like that if I ‘PRESS 1 NOW’, I decided I’d had enough.

I fucking pressed 1.

I happened to have just parked the car in my garage when the phone rang. Hence the sitting in the car, alone, in the dark. The garage door had just shut behind me. Get the picture? Pants were on.

‘Please hold while we transfer your call’

I’ll show them, dammit. A ring, and someone answers.

1st VOICE: [Speaks in Spanish, something India-based or possibly Portuguese]

ME: Who are you looking for?

1st VOICE: [yells for someone else] English! English!

NEW VOICE: [takes phone] Hello, congratulations. Can I get your VISA or MASTERCARD number?

He was Male. Young 20s. South East Asian accent.

ME: (I use my creepy low, slow voice, kind of whispery) Mmmm…. Who is this?

VOICE: Hi. I’m from VISA MASTERCARD, can I get your number?

ME: You sound sexy.

VOICE: Are you interested in the VISA MASTERCARD offer today? Your payment history is outstanding.

ME: No. Tell me about you.

VOICE: I… am a man.

ME: Yes, I can hear that. What are you wearing?

So at this point, I’m thinking – ya, I got this motherfucker. He doesn’t know what to do. Fuck you. You scamming mother fucker.


VOICE: … What … do you want me to be wearing? What would please you?

And he starts talking low and slow too. All breathy.

ME: (INSIDE VOICE: shit, what just happened…) Um, I want you to be wearing … nothing. Naked.

Cause telling someone you want them naked is sexy.

VOICE: Oh, ya. You like that? What kind of men do you like?

ME: Men… like you.

VOICE: Oh ya. I’m the kind of man you like, huh?

ME: Oh. Yes. So much.

So at this point I pause. Cause I don’t know where the fuck I’m going with this. I got called on my bluff of calling him on his bluff. And now he doesn’t even sound like he wants my credit card number. I thought this was transactional, dammit. So I have to restrategize.

ME: Send me a picture.

VOICE: Ya, you like pictures huh?

ME: I do. So, so much.

VOICE: Okay, tell me your Facebook account name.

ME: No, just send them to my phone.  I like to look at them on my phone.

VOICE: No, I want to send them to your Facebook.

ME: C’mon, you called me. So you have my number. Just text them to my phone.

Where I was going with this, I don’t know. But it was too late. We were in a game of chicken now.

ME: Ya, I’m getting excited just thinking about them. Are you taking off your pants like I am?

VOICE: Yes. Oh yes. Send me your Facebook account name and I’ll show you.

Sigh. How do these 1-900 people do this? How do couples do this? New respect. The whole situation was getting ridiculous. It wasn’t sexy. Mental note – scam artist trying to bilk me out of money is not good sex role play for me. So believe me, I wasn’t hard. In fact, I think my penis had retracted into my body, like a reverse erection, and was somewhere near my kidney at this point.

Anyhow, so yes. I was in a dirty talk conversation with some guy in another country who was trying to scam me with this phone call. And I was getting out dirted. Which wouldn’t have bothered me except it sounded like english was his second language, which is fine – good for him for knowing more than one language, impressive  – but I’m a professional writer in this language, and a known pervert to boot and so I should be winning this, dammit.

I was so disappointed with myself. I didn’t even want to touch myself.

I knew right then I had to go away and think about my dirty talk game. I wasn’t ready for this. I had to end this call quickly the only way I knew how.

After a long, expectant pause where he was waiting for my Facebook account name…

ME: Uggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (let out a really good anguished roar). I just came, baby.

Silence on other end. And I hung up.

I exited the garage looking very shameful and guilty. Cause my dirty talk game sucks. I couldn’t perform.

Anyway, here we are now. It is next week. And I am waiting for that phone to ring to offer me zero percent interest on my VISA MASTERCARD.

I have new shit. All new dirty shit that will make this guy’s hair curl.

I realize the above statement about making someone’s hair curl is not a good indicator of smut quality, cause never in my history of looking at pornography have I ever witnessed anyone’s hair curl from how dirty things got, but it’s just a saying. If anyone’s faking an orgasm this time, it’s gonna be the other person.

Fine, I sound a bit unhinged. But this is how us degenerates sound.

We hang out in garages. In the dark. Answering calls forwarded from our elderly parents’ phones cause they’re sick in the hospital.

We must teach these scam callers a lesson.

Good god, is it spring yet?











Mar 2019 19


Posted In Blog,The world




#Nikon #300mm #BW


Mar 2019 18

I wrote this yesterday and chickened-out on posting it. Instead, posting some half-truth other post about St. Patrick’s Day. But this. This is how I really feel. 

There is a picture of me that Facebook is delighted to remind me of every March 17th. It is St. Patrick’s Day, maybe a decade ago, taken in a pub in St. John’s, Newfoundland. It depicts a small window into the whirling chaos you can imagine that city is on that day. There is endless music and dancing, camraderie no matter who you are, where you’re from, and where you go. And the first pint was put in front of me legally at 8 am.

And in this photo, there is me amongst all that. Sitting quietly. A large green felt hat on my head, sporting my annual Lucky Charms green t-shirt, and sipping coffee.

This year Facebook sent it to me again.

In previous years, I would think ‘Geez, what’s your problem? Go have fun.” But this year, it’s a reminder of why I’m 98 days sober. This person, I know this guy. I’ve known him for 98 days now.

Now let me just say that St. Patrick’s Day is a fucking awesome day. And other than Ireland itself, I can’t imagine there is any better place to mark the occasion than in St. John’s. The people are amazing. And they are proud Newfoundlanders, Canadians, and an honourary extension of Ireland – sometimes that order changes, and it changes on who you talk to out there. But it’s a fun day, and they certainly do their best to make you feel like one of them.

However, my mindset at the time of the photo was ‘I have to get out of here’.

St. Patrick’s Day is a day of extroverts. And as I have found during my 98 days of not touching alcohol, I am an introvert who only becomes an extrovert through drinking. In recent years, a friend and I would lament March 17th– it was a day of the amateur drinkers, like showing up to the Super Bowl party and asking “So, who’s playing?”. And we were out there getting it done 364 days a year.

The photo. It was 2 pm. I was already 6 or so pints in and possibly some shots on top of that and I was at that point I know too well. In between. I longed for some peace, some solitude. I get overwhelmed in crowds. The chaos becomes a noise that makes me anxious like being at airport security. Give me a long walk or a bike ride or an animal to sit quietly with.

Or, give me lots more alcohol to club that longing into submission and silence.

I used to drink to fit in. I would drink to stand out. I would drink to make other people feel comfortable. I would drink to feel comfortable. I would drink to silence it all in an easier way rather than listening to myself.

The photo, when posted, got a lot of attention. Some people who know me well saw it as the cry for escape that it was. But most people saw it as ‘Andrew, that stick in the mud. He doesn’t know how to have fun.’ But I did know. Or thought I did at the time, it involved a lot of alcohol. And that photo captured my inbetween state. I was about to surrender to my need to fit in.

The most hurtful thing someone has said to me during these 98 days is “You were more fun when you drank.”

At 98 days, I am finding new, less destructive ways, to have fun. No, it’s not much fun sometimes.

I am envious of people who can do it so effortlessly. Someday, perhaps I can be in a mindset to be around it, witness it, and feel good without drinking. To feel compersion.

But not today. Today, I’m not wearing green. I’m not in a pub. I have no plans to try to fit in.

I’m going for a long walk with the dogs and some fresh air on the trails of High Park. And just being me. Fitting in with myself.

It ain’t easy being green.


10 years ago. I sure looked liked a scrawny, clean bastard.

Mar 2019 18


Posted In Blog,The world






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