Skip to main content

the dream of walking

well i did say that i was going to try to get some writing done this week and i have, although not much.
i should have a little more time available to me in the not-too-distant november future. i did write this little fragment, which, while it reads like a recollection of a dream, is actually a recollection of something that really happened, or at least an apocryphal recollection of something that i used to do fairly regularly.

with all of the news about toronto mayor rob ford, his tribulations and his unwavering fans dubbed "ford nation", i was reminded of my experiences in the neighbourhood of etobicoke. it's considered his home base, but it's also an area where i used to work. much of etobicoke is quite well-to-do, but the area where i worked was a little strange. it had once been a suburb sitting on the city's western shoulder and it still bears those hallmarks: streets of postwar bungalows adjacent low-lying industrial properties, once state of the art, but now decidedly shabby.

as the city's population ballooned and suburban dwellers sought out more, larger, newer houses, this area of etobicoke was abandoned in favour of "better" neighbourhoods to the north and west, so there is forever an almost inexpressible gloom, like a heavy sigh, that hangs over the place. i could also never shake the feeling that there was something both resentful and sinister lurking there.

ironically, i've just written more about this piece than is contained in the piece, but here is my meandering recollection of lunch hours spent meandering through the neighbourhood around where i worked.

*

I’m still there, wandering those streets and trying simultaneously to find my way out of the heart of these postwar huts, thrown up to appease the masses of returning men, eager to claim the homesteads they’d fought for and the future that was theirs. I am weaving through them, then the residences of the country in action, now the refuge of the second and third generations of families left dazed when progress’s wave crashed over their heads and moved beyond them. They lean against the oldest of industrial patches, once a convenient geographical handshake- the engine of wealth and its workers, marching forward side by side. Now the only engines left are those broken or sputtering, a stink of seedy desperation hanging everywhere about them. And those houses once happy hide sheathed knives in their shadows.

I am walking over the paths, worn down by the stamp of increasingly heavy steps, past the dampened playground voices at schools that have failed and fallen and been forgotten out here in the hole in the city.  Strange plants point me everywhere but out and I spin in circles for an answer. Grey faces glance up from vigils on their squared lawns and see through me, a bird wing on their radar, crossing the screen and gone until another one, identical, flaps through and another after that. I awaken only their hostility to the wild which greys fast enough on my passing.

I want to see something new, or something reborn, something that whispers encouragement to my existence, but the sameness is suffocating and I feel my mind grow weak. This space hides its borders from me. I am lost.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

wrong turn

as some of you are aware, i have a long-term project building a family tree. this has led me to some really interesting discoveries, like the fact that i am partly descended from crazy cat people, including the patron saint of crazy cat ladies, that a progenitor of mine once defeated a french naval assault with an army of scarecrows, that my well-established scottish roots are just as much norwegian as scottish, and that a relative of mine from the early middle ages let one rip with such ferocity that that's basically all he's remembered for. but this week, while i was in the midst of adding some newly obtained information, i found that some of my previous research had gone in an unexpected direction: the wrong one.

where possible, i try to track down stories of my better-known relatives and in doing so this week, i realised that i couldn't connect one of my greatĖ£ grandfathers to his son through any outside sources. what's worse that i found numerous sources that con…

dj kali & mr. dna @ casa del popolo post-punk night

last night was a blast! a big thank you to dj tyg for letting us guest star on her monthly night, because we had a great time. my set was a little more reminiscent of the sets that i used to do at katacombes [i.e., less prone to strange meanderings than what you normally hear at the caustic lounge]. i actually invited someone to the night with the promise "don't worry, it'll be normal". which also gives you an idea of what to expect at the caustic lounge. behold my marketing genius.

mr. dna started off putting the "punk" into the night [which i think technically means i was responsible for the post, which doesn't sound quite so exciting]. i'd say that he definitely had the edge in the bouncy energy department.

many thanks to those who stopped in throughout the night to share in the tunes, the booze and the remarkably tasty nachos and a special thank you to the ska boss who stuck it out until the end of the night and gave our weary bones a ride home…

eat the cup 2018, part seven :: oh, lionheart

it all seemed so magical: england's fresh-faced youngsters marching all the way through to a semi-final for the first time since 1990. everywhere, the delirious chants of "it's coming home". and then, deep into added time, the sad realization: it's not coming home. oh england, my lionheart.

now, if we're being really strict about things, my scottish ancestors would probably disown me for supporting England, because those are the bastards who drove them off their land and sent them packing to this country that's too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. and indeed, shops in scotland have sold through their entire stock of croatian jerseys, as the natives rallied behind england's opponents in the semi-final. however, a few generations before they were starved and hounded from the lands they'd occupied for centuries, my particular brand of scottish ancestors would have encouraged me to support england [assuming that national football had even…