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selections from the imaginary kaleidescope, part 2

I

What are you now? Not anyone’s. Only your own. And what does that mean in the end? What does it mean if you are without owner? If an animal, a stray. Those who have no owner are gathered up and taken away, awaiting adoption or death.


II

Everything was different for Alice in this new place. The faces, the tempo, the course of her day. Different was good and bad. She did not have much time for anything and after a couple of weeks, the sight of her own painting propped up against the wall of what was supposed to be her studio was depressing. Who had time to paint?

On the other hand, the featureless white of her walls was also a little depressing. When she had moved her meagre belongings in, there had been others with their doors open and she had seen inside their rooms. She had pictured her own home being diffierent. It was lucky that the people from work kept her busy on a regular basis and kept her from sitting at home and staring at those walls.

III

This is in the past for us now, sitting, scents of incense and perspiration hanging on us, my head inclined into his shoulder. In ten years, he’ll be married and it won’t matter that his ex-girlfriend went crazy on him and smashed up his things. It won’t matter that she got jealous and it confused things between us, because we both started to wonder if I was asking for something more. He’ll be happy and I’ll be happy for him. But I don’t know that now. For now, I just know that the two of us have no concrete plans, nothing locked in as the summer slides away from us like the tide. There’ll be another one, soon enough, but not this one. Not this moment. This moment is singular and gone.

IV

I’d rather stay on the train and read my book until I fall asleep. I’ve awoken confused and drooling on the chair in my living room so many times that I don’t see how the seats on the metro car could be any worse. This will eventually kill me, I know, because it isn’t healthy for an adult human being to survive on ten minute cat naps and adrenaline. Maybe that’s what’s happened to the guy at the other end of the platform. He didn’t start out crazy, but here he is, getting his jollies pretending that he wants other people to think he’s contemplating a jump. This is what I have to look forward to when I finally lose it at work and start to scare people. When I cross the line between laughing in an uncomfortable way at my supervisor’s jokes and cackling as I try to microwave his head. It’s a finer line than you might think.

V

When it finally did stop, either from his exhaustion or confusion over the sounds and movements I was making, it was like all the air was vacuumed out of the room. There we were, silent and dehydrated.

The light in the kitchen, and I can’t imagine why I didn’t notice this before, is red. It’s spilling red all over the room, over David and over the cat in his arms. Over me.

“I think that she might be pregnant,” he laments, pushing her towards me for a second opinion.

It’s true that her belly is suspiciously round, but with her thrust in this awkward position, it’s hard to tell anything. And would a pregnant female really let me run my hand over her vulnerable belly? Wouldn’t she have some instinct to protect herself? Some inborn need to shelter her imminent young? If she were pregnant, would I be able to feel the forms of kittens through the taut skin? I know nothing about this.

I woke up this morning in the centre of a cloud, real and invisible as carbon monoxide, eroding the protective layers I had developed for myself.

Comments

Mieze said…
Really like your writing here.

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

the world at war?

in my semi-smug but genuinely curious way, i posted a question on my facebook page earlier: how much of the world has to be at war before it counts as world war iii?



the first response i got raised the very legitimate point that this is the sort of question that gets answered by historians, once the haze of the present has faded. the other important factor is that people don't just declare war on each other the way that they used to. major powers entered both the of the world wars with the blessings of their own parliaments, whereas conflicts since world war ii have happened in coded language, sometimes circumventing the political process in the interests of expediency. president reagan never declared war on the nicaraguan government in the eighties, for example, but the united states was clearly in a state of armed conflict, even if most of the arms were being carried by their proxies, the contras.

whether or not we are living in a world at war is a tricky question. despite what…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

diet diary, part 2

so the battle with the bulge continues. i'm actually becoming used to the pace, although for some reason my stomach still seems to think it needs far more food than it actually does.

week days, when eating is more of a functional than a festive activity, are fairly easy to cope with. weekends are a challenge, especially living in a city that has as many good restaurants as toronto. i'm not restricting myself to the home, but i am finding that i have to pay careul attention when i go out. last night, i overindulged on injera atthe ethiopian house. injera (the soft, moist, spongy bread that serves as food and cutlery in ethiopian cuisine) makes food fun by forcing you to eat with your fingers. it's hard to exercise restraint in such conditions.

when i first moved to toronto, i was expecting to find it much as i remembered it from years ago- with a dearth of good eating places. apparently, things have changed. there are great places to eat just about every kind of food you&…