Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm sick.  That's twice this school year.  Stupid dirty teenagers.  I took today off work and will take tomorrow too.  I only managed to stay awake for about fifteen consecutive minutes at any point today, which doesn't bode well for returning tomorrow.  The dogs are driving me crazy.  They like being nestled up close to my hot, fever-addled body, which just makes me feel worse.  But if I put them in jail they bark and keep me awake.  I haven't trained these rotten creatures for this sort of situation.


Yesterday J turned eighteen.  Odd, that, to have a legal adult in place of the child.  She is beautiful and smart.  And delightfully self-conscious and awkward.  I wonder where she gets that latter part from…


Friday, November 14, 2014


I hate October.  One of the best things about the move here has been the fact that October does not invade the coast the way it does the prairies.  Some winters it does not make it here at all, and I feel as though I have gotten away with something; many years since then I have gotten away without living through October.  Here on the coast we spend that season wrapped in a sodden pewter blanket of rain and cloud.  October sneaks up and disguises itself as crisp, cold morning sunlight.  Through the window it looks like the right month to go running outside.  Even through the car window, if you happen to have a garage, which I do.  It prevents October from seeping in through the seals.

But it catches you when you step out into the air, even if it's just to walk from the car into a building.  There are poplar leaves here, yellow, after all, and they have a smell that is amber and death.  The blades of grass stand up straight, each encrusted in its own capsule of frost.  And the sunlight is bright and blinding, but it's cold, it's so cold.  And in those seventeen steps toward the door you cannot help but inhale it, and it stings going in and it comes back out as a sob that has been trapped beneath the rib cage for years.  And then you take another breath that hurts less only because you expect it to hurt more.  And that is October.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

keep it in your pocket

I work with idiots.  Today CreepyBeard did some extra stupid things that got him reported to Human Resources.  I was amused that the Principal stated that she felt no discipline was necessary but she was reporting him to HR just in case.  As staff rep I am supposed to help defend him, but it is difficult to defend CreepyBeard because he is just such an idiot.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sarajevo still

It occurs to me as I read this book that I once dated a man from Sarajevo. (Or maybe he was only a boy.  I was in my early twenties, and perhaps he was five years older.)  It occurs to me that he must have left Sarajevo in the nineties because of the war.  It occurs to me that he must have witnessed terrible things.  And it occurs to me now that he probably suffered terribly.

And I was only dimly aware of a war in Sarajevo.  Sarajevo only existed on the periphery of a world that was all about me, and I did not connect this young man with what little I knew.  Perhaps this contributed to my charm, the fact that I was too stupid to ask him any questions about his experience, about his life before moving to Canada.  More likely he wondered what was wrong with me.  But this was before I fell in love with the CBC and Peter Mansbridge.  I wish I had asked questions, I wish I had paid attention to the world.  I wish I still knew him today.


Monday, November 10, 2014

fully furnished

On Saturday afternoon I was IDed at the liquor store buying a bottle of wine.  ID laws have becoming ridiculously stringent in my province when liquor store owners feel compelled to check the ID of someone who passed the age of majority twenty years ago.  The shop owner tried to be charming about it, telling me I looked far younger.  So I impressed him by being unable to recall my own phone number, which he requested for the points program.  I stumbled over the first three numbers repeatedly, like a senior citizen overcome with dementia.


There is a Japanese Maple tree on my front lawn.  I admire its Japanese Canadian temperament, its confidence to do its own thing in the face of pressure from other trees on the street.  In late August while every other tree was shaking off its leaves as fast as possible, the Japanese Maple changed nothing about itself at all.  In early October, some of the leaves changed from deep purple to pink, but only some of them.  Certain branches changed, others did not.  Now it has decided to let go of some of the pink leaves, which have fluttered to the ground where they look like confetti.  Other branches have not changed since summer.  It is a strange, unpredictable tree, and I like it very much.


I am reading The Cellist of Sarajevo, which is a difficult read for a couple of reasons.  It does not fit within my limited frame of reference and experience (which needs expanding).  And it is sad, terribly sad.  There are times I read for immersion.  There are times like this I read to learn, and learning is sometimes an uncomfortable feeling.