Ready, aye, ready.

GardenFrogTwo small stones mark the graves. Each was chosen with great care to commemorate the tiny souls beneath them. A beautiful piece of pink granite tops one, and a smooth round grey orb graces the other where lie Bagel the hamster and Sunset the goldfish, beloved pets of our middle daughter. Continue reading

Owed to a man

The underwear lay on the bedroom floor where he dropped them. He was going home for Christmas and I was staying behind in snowy St. John’s, in a frigid basement apartment with a bedroom as cold as a meat locker.  The bedroom had an antechamber which is where my dresser was along with a single bed fit for a monk. The apartment was advertised as two bedrooms on the strength of this absurd cell. It was fit more for a prisoner in a drunk-tank or maybe solitary confinement. Mostly it served as a place for me to drop clothes and kick off shoes en route to the bedroom after a night dancing, or drinking at my new favourite spot, The Ship, a folkie hangout. It was his favourite place and, since we were in love, I decided I liked it, too.

My platform shoes, sparkly tops and tight pants that showed off my dance moves did not fit in with the folk at “The Ship”. His John Lennon wire-rimmed glasses, baggy pants, and Onitsuka sneakers were more in keeping with the peace, love, and understanding crowd except he wasn’t a radical leftie. He was a card-carrying capital C conservative, before they were progressive. I was a “Stop Kamchatka” protester, a pro-abortion feminist.

We fought. A lot. The frigid bedroom got steamed up and then frosted over on the inside. One morning after a brutal argument I woke up to a heart carved into the ice on the window saying “I love you.”  I scraped it off. I held on to anger like a heating pad on a sore back.

Back to the underwear. They were Stanfields, white – well, dingy white because he didn’t separate white laundry from dark and so they were a miserable grey. Lying there on the floor, they became a test of wills. I refused to pick them up and so did he. Only he didn’t know it was a test. As I have discovered these 35 years later, he didn’t even notice them. It’s the same now except I pick them up so you could say he won, except he didn’t. He just doesn’t see stuff like that. They sit on the bathroom counter (I don’t know why and I don’t want to know why), on my jewelry box, on the bathroom floor, on the floor outside the closet door where the laundry hamper is, where every night with a loud and exasperated sigh I pick them up, slide the door open and drop them into the stinky hamper.

He hasn’t changed one bit. I’ve given up trying but not in a bad way. It’s acceptance.

Back in that cold apartment I eventually told my boyfriend I loved him and then I advised him to not let it go to his head. He ignored my advice. When I asked him to marry me I knew what he’d say. He said “Yes, but I want to ask you, too.”  So he did, and much to my surprise, I said yes.

Funny how things work out.

Mea culpa appetizer. Crow main course.

My memories, I’m discovering, are full of flaws. The further back I dig in the memory mine, the murkier the memory gets. My headlamp, you might say, gets dim.  Often I rely on my siblings stories to flesh out my own. You see, they are vastly older than me (they also read this blog) and have firmer memories than mine. Sometimes I take their words and form my own impression of events. That’s common enough, isn’t it? We all filter our memories through the net of our own life experiences and consequently see things very differently than other family members.

My eldest brother is a scientist and facts are his friends. Each fact holds hands with evidence and the evidence tells an irrefutable story. He likes to speculate – or hypothesize – but he’d never present his hypothesis as the truth without a thorough investigation. On the other hand, I never let the lack of facts get in the way of a good story. This can lead to a misinterpretation of the truth. Case in point: a post I wrote called “Love letter”. Here are the facts:

1. Our father was NOT drunk when he met our mother on their wedding day.

2. My brother ENJOYED arguing with our father. He was, after all, a teenager.

3. Crying may or may not have occurred on the wedding night.

So, to my sibs I say I’m so sorry for messing up the facts. In future I shall confine myself to the portion of our family’s dysfunction that I can directly recall from my own experience. I love you and deeply regret any hurt I may have caused.

Black squirrel down


Ms. Cigarillo Beret had a dream about squirrels and this is what she dreamed.

Originally posted on wuthering bites:

Lurching from my office in the old convent, my toes jammed in tight pumps, I minced down the hill to my car, checking for a new spot to park as I went. Because the damn parking lot was full, I had to park on the street and jockey the car every three hours to avoid a ticket. Why? Behind the leaded glass windows of the houses in this old, heavily treed neighbourhood, resentment resided. Peeking out from behind sheer drapes the serenity police watched. Parking by-law officers were in their back pockets.

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Humanity, costermongers, and Facebook

Look at me!

Look at me!

Look at those two! Such a beautiful Pearly King and Queen! It’s hard to ignore them, isn’t it? On a bright, hot July day in Covent Garden they were a mouthful of freshly cleaned teeth sparkling in the crowd, willing all passersby to smile. Hard to be miserable in their presence, right? Kind of like Facebook life. Continue reading