Category: Issue One
The clock says 1 a.m. I’ve been clutching my Winchester for three solid hours now. I know it isn’t much but it makes me feel a little safer. I made the meanest man alive very mad today. It had to happen. Some things in life you just don’t walk away and say nothing.
Last year walk away is what I would have done; it’s weird how fast a person can change. I got stronger though. I don’t feel much stronger right now, but I know I am, at least in the mind if not in the body too.
You wake up. Your eyes are closed. You feel a tug, and now you are being held up. Your eyes blink, open for the first time, but you see only nonsense. There are sounds, but you can’t really hear them, just an undifferentiated mess. You see blackness, a bit of greyish light as you are passed around.
When I was 13, my parents, siblings and I walked into a crowded McDonald’s restaurant and stood at the back of the lineup. It was a busy Saturday, and Mom was too tired to resist when Dad offered up the option of not cooking. My parents warned me that I’d better have figured out what I wanted to order beforehand, but I was still debating my decision. When my parents were satisfied that I’d made up my mind, our little posse shuffled to the bored lady waiting to take our order. As Dad began ordering for himself, I quickly nudged Mom.
A large black bear had been hanging around our backyard area. It was a bit of a shared green space, although if you asked my crotchety old neighbours on the one side, they certainly wouldn’t have considered it shared. Shade was provided by about ten large cedars and bear food was available via an old cherry tree, some berry bushes, and garbage cans.
I always start my pedicures with a thorough examination of the feet, before I instruct the client to place them in the soapy water to soak. It’s rare that I will run across a contraindication worrisome enough to stop me from proceeding, but it does happen. Athlete’s foot, planter’s warts, varicose veins and toenail fungus are all a possibility, among worse things. Nothing was out of the ordinary today─ just tanned, clean shaven legs and neatly trimmed toenails painted a shade of vibrant pink. These feet didn’t look like they needed a pedicure; the heels were soft and smooth as peaches, and the base of the polish was exactly 1/8th of an inch from the evenly pushed-back cuticles. The polish hadn’t even chipped or lost its shine yet.
Another oil spill in Vancouver’s harbour. The media features bedraggled bitumen-laden gulls, terns and other birds dead or dying on sandy beaches to the consternation of the animal rescue crews who are desperately cleaning those still living. A sense of deja vu, then a fully formed image pops into my mental vision of an event more than fifty years ago. The black gobs of coalesced tar-like mounds littering Kitsilano beach from one end to the other, the suffering, suffocating dying sea birds of all descriptions expiring in large numbers as far as the eye could see, all the same. But therein lies a more twisted tale…
An old radio,
trickles out classic oldies.
The soulful sound
of the historical rock
describes the grizzled man
sitting closely to the ancient stereo
in the large dirty ashtray
inducing a bright blue trail of toxic smoke
wafting into the air,
releasing the strong but homely stench.
The unmistakeable smell of coffee looms faintly
like a small beacon of bliss.