Sunday, April 25, 2010

We both agree that my bra is soft and comfortable.


Laissez tomber

I started to read the Qur'an today. Not the original because it is in Arabic, but a translation. I wish I could speak Arabic. I have some utterly disgusting Arabic insults thanks to my grandmother who never found it worthwhile to teach us any conversational language but who obviously believed it was practical to know how to curse someone out thoroughly. But I strongly suspect her phrases are not in the Qur'an, and she was not Muslim anyway though many of her swears called upon Mohammed and Allah. I am not sure why I want to read the Qur'an or whether I will be able to get through the entire thing. But for now it is interesting me. My grandmother would undoubtedly have had something disgusting to say about this and it makes me laugh to imagine her voice, the broken English and the cussing. The Arabs really know how to say bad words and they taste delicious in my mouth.


This afternoon I noticed that I love K. I was complaining to him about the spiders in the backyard. I'm rugged about mowing but I'm girly about spiders. I was explaining to him how I have let the back corner of the garden go completely wild so as to provide a place for the spiders and insects and slimy things to live undisturbed. I was telling him that I do not understand why they cannot be satisfied with living in that space, why they have to try and live in the parts of the yard that I consider mine when I have so considerately carved out a little place for them to live. Why can't they stay there and stay the hell away from me? K listened without changing expression and then told me I sound like the Canadian government talking about our First Nations. I felt proud of him like he was my creation, like I had made him myself. I told him so and he told me to shut the fuck up and quit being such an intimacy-whore. I am going to miss him when he moves back to his wife.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The president of the union is bugging me again. She wants a second meeting. I told her at our last meeting that I did not need to meet with her again as her position was only to defend their previous actions. I asked Captain Union, my school representative, if I could tell her to go blow goats and he helped me write something a little more politically correct but which clearly expressed my disinterest in meeting again. I hope that's the end of it but something tells me it won't be.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Got this feeling that today doesn't like me ... the air tastes like flowers and paint...

We celebrated Earth Day a day early for reasons known to no one, and the festivities for me included standing in the rain supervising a terrarium filled with compost while damp teenagers shoved each other in line for free ice cream and paid no attention whatsoever to the fascination that is compost. By the time I noticed the enormous slug that had made its way out of the terrarium and onto the side of my water bottle I had had enough. I think I hate Earth Day. K told me that I am an Enemy of the Planet because I like to have the heat on and the window open at the same time. He says I make David Suzuki cry. I think he's right, which stings, because this is the kind of thing I usually think I care about.


I used to have a dream about an oscilloscope. I think that's what it's called... the thing that measures the accuracy of a musical note, its pitch I mean. I could see the lines straining to stay straight but always straying slightly from that perfect control. The line would wave minutely and then increasingly wildly and internally I would feel the same thing happening to me. Tumultuousness. I was afraid of that feeling, struggling to stay upright, slipping and slipping and slipping. The air would roar inside my head while I watched the electronic line snap and and stretch until I woke up breathless with my heart pounding. I always felt that by this point I should be somewhere very far from where these kinds of dangers were still so real. With so much time between you and me, I still wanted to call you and ask if you would come get me.


Friday, April 16, 2010

simple prop to occupy my time

It's not a love song at all. Sometimes you really have to listen.


I decided to wait for Beatrice & Virgil which is what my father would do, wait for the paperback. He's practical like that. I can wait.


When I was seventeen Jeff ran over me in his VW van, which should have caused me harm but did not. Instead it crushed my harmonica and left me only with a slight bruise, rectangular, near my hip where it had been in my pocket. How is that possible? I cannot think of a time since that night that I played harmonica with any conviction. I was never any good.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

when I'm done I feel like talking, without you here there is less to say

The Sikh boys call me Gori which means white woman. I tell them to call me Maharani if they want to call me names. They laugh at my accent when I try to say things in Punjabi. I like it that they can laugh at racism and that they taught me how to as well, instead of staying fearful of it.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Today I decided to answer the phone when C called which is something I have not done since August. I haven't spoken to her in about eight months. I didn't want to speak to her now either because I have grown fond of being able to draw a deep breath once again but she has been phoning incessantly asking for me. Sometimes I think about what the last thing I will have said to her will be when she dies. For that reason I try to keep it gentle, but it's only for the benefit of my conscience because she won't remember what I have said to her more than a few minutes. The last thing I said to her was okay. I said Okay. If that's it, I'm okay with that.


Yann Martel and Cyprus Hill together on Strombo tonight. Strange combination. Martel's new book is being released tomorrow. I want to watch but I want to go to bed more. I don't know how to work the PVR properly but Shawn says he'll do it for me. Sometimes he's even more useful than decorative. Why am I so tired?


Sunday, April 11, 2010

important things that connect back to grass

When I mow the back lawn I divide it into sections, four of them, not equal in size but equally difficult. The sloped sides are more difficult than the flat parts which is why they are smaller. The spidery side of the fence is worse than the sunny side so it is also smaller. This is the same way I eat, dividing the plate into sections. I don't want salad to touch bread. I don't want bread to touch vegetables. I deal with each section in its entirety before moving on to the next. Is this a symptom of OCD? (Yes.)

I like mowing the lawn. I like it the same way I like painting a room, because I can see significant change and progress in a relatively short period of time. A few hours of work yields big results. This is the problem I have with teaching. Six months into the investment things often look pretty much the same, and sometimes I could swear we're going backward. I want to see that we're making progress. I like seeing a wake of good behind me.

A woman from work called me Rocky Balboa this afternoon. Maybe she was referring to the bruise under my eye caused by the wasp who flew into my face and stung me while I was mowing the lawn today. Or maybe she was alluding to how quickly and clearly I express myself in English. Read into this what you will, but I prefer to think she was complimenting me on my impressive biceps, the product of mowing that third of an acre with a push mower once a week.

I think I accidentally went on a date tonight with a man who was not my husband. He was nice but it was strange to be dating again, unexpectedly this way after all these years. Shawn says I'm allowed to see him again if I want to which is demonstrative of his confidence, or of his liberal-mindedness, or perhaps of how much he values all I bring to his life. Funny how he gets all bossy about what shoes I wear while mowing the lawn but doesn't mind me dating on a Saturday night.

Last night Shawn snored so loudly he gave me a nightmare that the lawnmower was broken.


Friday, April 09, 2010

it washes me away

I have a three week break between courses and I'm bored. Is it possible there are only the two extremes: overworked and bored? I need deadlines, I need pressure, I need something to be annoyed about.

GDJ called me on Wednesday - the first time since Christmas. He wants me to write a few scripts. Simple dialogue. It's just a matter of being hilarious on command but I don't feel particularly hilarious at the moment. I feel tired. But I took the job anyway because I need something to keep me awake. Mirth to follow.

And last night there was an old friend who contacted me. I wasn't really as excited as I'd have expected. Sometimes old friends connect you with versions of yourself you miss. Because I have known this friend very well for nearly fifteen years she connects me to many versions of myself - but I can't seem to work up much feeling for any of them. Because I am bored, I am very very boring.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

effortlessly average

I hate my union. This is not like me, not like me at all. If anyone had asked me prior to this year what I thought of unions my response would have been lukewarm. I'd never seen any impressive evidence that the union was helping me out in any real way, but neither was I interested in finding out what would happen if employers were unmoderated. I thought the employer was Enemy and the union was Friend. Someone I trusted must have told me so once.

This year has changed my mind about unions, or at least about my union. My union is not my friend. My union takes nearly $400 a month from my paycheque, in exchange for which my most recent reward was to be subpoenaed to testify in a legal arbitration against my employer who is clearly being screwed by a colleague. I backed up my employer because my colleague is a cheat. The union lawyer, the one being paid by my union dues, called me a liar. My union sucks.

I wanted them to know they suck, which is also not like me, not at all. Usually I don't bother letting people know that I think they suck. How can you know if I think you suck? Because I stay away from you, that's how. This makes someone who sucks no different from someone that I am too busy to call.

But I wanted to leave no room for doubt in this case, so I sent a letter to my union to tell them that they suck. The president wrote back and asked if she could come out to meet with me. I told her to do that. She came to meet with me today and wasted my lunch break.

The meeting was contentious. Also not like me. I am pretty non-confrontational. I was more angry than I realized I was. I think I bordered on snappish. The president of the union defended all their terrible behaviour. She said that the union defends the CONTRACT, not people. After going around in circles awhile I told her she was wasting my time and told her I was leaving. Also not like me. She said she could come back later to continue the conversation. I told her not to.

She couldn't understand what I wanted since it wasn't money, a job, or anything tangible. Apparently it doesn't get her back up if someone calls her a liar. I think she was genuinely surprised that it had me so irritated.

Not that it makes any difference than the union president knows I think the union sucks, but there's something about telling her so that made me feel a little happier. Funny thing. Maybe I should start telling everyone who sucks what I really think of them.

Serious question. How come fire extinguishers are behind glass that has to be broken in order to access them? Why would the makers of fire extinguishers want a barrier between the fire extinguisher and the person who wants to use it to put out a fire? It doesn't make sense to me. Is that glass hard to break? Sometimes when I watch RW cooking his oatmeal in the staffroom microwave I look at the fire extinguisher on the wall and wonder if I will cut myself when I break the glass.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

I have a friend who competed in the Olympics in Australia in 2000. I have a friend who has survived more than 20 cancer surgeries. I have a friend who cannot tell the difference between REM and The Tragically Hip. I have a friend who adopted six children. I have a friend who gave birth to twelve children. I have a friend who lives with clinical depression. I have a friend who rescues animals. I have a friend who has published several books of poetry. I have a friend who is living with AIDS. I have a friend who works for the United Nations. I have a friend who always wears black. I have a friend who makes me laugh. I have a friend who loves me.