Monday, August 31, 2015


The party was good.  My fussing was unnecessary, of course.  In what universe would anyone notice if my baseboards were dusty?  These are the kinds of things that can overtake my OCD-inclined mind in the countdown hours.  And then I drank gin and tonic and felt better.  Lots of people, lots of food.  I had a good time.

Saturday the storm blew in and knocked out all the power lines for 48 hours.  You wouldn't believe how many times I could walk into a dark room and automatically flick a useless light switch without thinking about it.  The mall was overrun with teenagers charging their cell phones at outlets in the corridors.  And fast food places ran out of food while all our food spoiled in the dead refrigerators.  A little taste of the apocalypse.  I hope it's over.  There are still pockets of neighbourhoods without power restored.  I hope those unfortunate people won't come and try to break into my house and eat my brain and charge their phones in my outlets.


Friday, August 28, 2015

luck and lint

Five and a half hours until the party is supposed to begin.  I sort of wish I hadn't planned this.  Waking up extra early to put raw meat in the oven made me feel ill.  And now the whole house smells like meat.  And my clothes, and my hair.  Gross.  And since then I have been doing things, doing things, doing things.  Like making ice.  And vaccuuming the carpet.  And fussing.  I hate this kind of thing.  It's not me.  What was I thinking?


Yesterday my dentist fucked up my dizzy head again.  It was going really well, no dizzies for almost a month.  Then he ignored my request and tipped that stupid chair way too far back and it all went to hell.  I was able to do the physio maneuvers effectively by myself when I got home, which was good, but it's a setback nonetheless, yet another injury to the ear canal that will require time to feel normal again.  Today I feel better, not actively spinning, just off, the way this thing goes.  To add insult to injury, the dentist was irritated with me and made it clear that he thought I was overreacting when I told him I could not lie back anymore.  I am now looking for a new dentist who will listen to me, and work with me to make it safe for me to get my teeth cleaned.  But not until this party is over.


Monday, August 24, 2015

vital processes

My mother is preparing to die.  She is not ill, she does not have a disease or a reason to believe she is dying, apart from the fact she is sixty-seven and growing, like all of us, statistically more likely to die with each passing year.  She prepares for death by giving away most of her clothes to the Salvation Army, and paring down her possessions to almost nothing.  She tells me after their dog dies they won't get another, because there is no way to be sure they will live long enough to look after it for its entire life.  She has my father give me information about where to find their wills, and not to sell his stamp collection for less than the estimated value he provides.  I find this kind of talk difficult to bear.  The thought of my parents' death is awful; the thought of one of them having to live without the other is worse.

When I was a child, my mother's mother used to show us her rings - still on her fingers - and tell us which one would be left for each of us.  My father's mother showed us little tags stuck to the bottom of each of her china figurines, each one bearing the name of one her grandchildren.  I inherited Little Boy Blue, but not the ring, because it was never put in writing.  I would much rather have my grandparents.

The omnipresence of death is so complete it is nearly invisible.  I hardly notice it most of the time, resting there on my chest and tangled in my breath.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I was just asked to click a box to "please prove you're not a robot".  This question always makes me pensive.  How do I even know for sure I am not a robot?  I clicked the box anyway.  But then it jumped to another screen that asked me to click on images of food which contained eggs.  Apparently robots cannot possibly discern an egg from a yellow pepper.  Some of the eggs were fried eggs, easy to spot.  But how do I know if there are eggs in donuts?  I don't make donuts.  The screen timed out while I pondered this.  Perhaps this proves I am a robot after all.


Friday, August 14, 2015

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone

One of my students was murdered this year, the last day of school before Christmas break.  By another of my students.  I have not yet been able to say this to myself enough times that I can quite believe it.


It has been more than five years now since my sister died.  When her funeral song plays on the radio it still crushes my throat.  I wonder why that song plays on the radio so long after its time.  For a brief while a non-profit was using the song to convince us to send donations.  You couldn't get away from it.  I guess it's that sort of song, the sort that's meant to crush your throat closed even when it doesn't evoke specific images of your dead loved ones.  I find it unbearable.  J chose it; she knew it as something her mother listened to.  I would like to think she was too young to really hear the lyrics, but she probably was not.  That song may be the reason I cannot go home any more.


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

stay focused

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon in the basement crushing empty cardboard boxes to be recycled, and throwing away bags filled with styrofoam packing.  I rarely go in the basement at all (too spidery) and my horror of spiders was overshadowed by my horror at the mess.  Turns out Shawn is a hoarder.  Who knew?

I pounced on him when he came home and interrogated him about why he was collecting hundreds of cardboard boxes and styrofoam.  He claims he has no sentimental attachment to the boxes, and that he has just been lazy about taking care of them.  While we were talking about this, the doorbell rang and the Purolator guy dropped off three more cardboard boxes with Shawn's name on them.  Must monitor this situation in case the boxes begin multiplying again.


I am hosting a party.  A big party.  This isn't the kind of thing I normally do, being antisocial and all.  I think the last time I hosted a party was twenty years ago, and I don't really remember how to do it, but I think it will involve my doing things I don't like doing.  Like cleaning.  And cooking food.  And so forth.  I had trouble sleeping last night after sending out the invitations.