Friday, August 3, 2012

Rough, and not nearly aggressive enough

Bus is hot so hot in the summer heat. It's the wetness the dampness makes it so unbearable. Step on board and this heat fucking drenches you same as that building heat under covers first just holding each other but then it hits flashpoint. Clothes come off flesh sweat glide against each other. Everything has to be needs to be touched.

No one ever gets naked on the bus. No one fucks. This is why we hate public transit.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What's the point of bleeding if you can't even draw pictures with it?

I cut open my index finger at work today. It starts right at the edge of the fingernail and extends somewhere between one third and one half the circumference of the finger. I can feel my pulse in the capillaries, buzzing and pushing up against the edge of the cut, waiting for me to bump it or put pressure on it the wrong way so the blood can escape. I don't think there's anything blood wants more than to be let out of our bodies.

I can't play ukulele so I'm writing here instead. A few nights ago I had an idea for a story that goes like this:

These two kids, a guy and a girl, are walking along the train tracks and the guy wants to show the girl this waterfall that the tracks go over-top of. There's a bridge right over this forty, fifty foot waterfall. So they get there and he's peering over the edge, staring straight down into this plummeting water and she's standing a few feet back, cautiously stretching her body out so she can feel closer without having to take a step. The boy says, "Why don't you come have a good look?" and she says, "I'm scared".

There's spaces between the railway ties and she's been looking between them, right down into the water, and it'd only take a slight misstep for her to get her foot caught and trip and fall all the way down. So she just stands there quietly and the boy continues to talk, "I always wonder what it would feel like. To let go and jump and join up with the water and sink into the pool at the bottom. I look down and I always wonder. That could be me, I could be there in seconds. I think it'd be the best feeling - falling without any worries or fears - falling because it simply feels like the right thing to do".

The girl asks, "Aren't you scared at all?" and the boy replies "I'm terrified. That's why I've never jumped".

And that's the whole story. There isn't any point to it cause really it's just about how the boy wants to tell the girl that he loves her but he can't. Just like he can't jump off the waterfall. It's only a metaphor. They tell you that in writing class, "Use objects and metaphors to convey emotion", they say, because no one wants to read a story that goes "A boy loves a girl but can't tell her because he's too scared and insecure. The End". They'd rather read about falling into waterfalls.

But then, what happens to the metaphor when the boy does jump off a waterfall? Not the same waterfall - a smaller, safer waterfall - but still a waterfall. Is there a sudden epiphany or burst of inspiration? Does he swoop in, tilt the girl back and kiss her like he always wanted to? No. He just gets cold and wet. That's what happens when you jump off a fucking waterfall.


I tried playing the ukulele anyway, using my three good fingers. You only really need three fingers to play the ukulele. My pinkie knows all of the places it is supposed to go but is too stubborn and lazy to get there on time. I'm too impatient to wait for it so I go for a walk instead.

There's a plane in the sky moving the same direction as I am so I race it. I used to race planes all the time, sprinting after them, hoping I'd catch up and throw a grappling hook around them and have them drag me wherever they were headed. I'd quit doing that without even realizing it, without even remembering it was a thing I used to do. Only when I start to race again do I remember all the other planes I'd raced. How'd I ever forget this? A taxi thinks I'm trying to flag him down and pulls over but I sprint past. No taxi can help me catch that plane.

It keeps getting further away from me. No matter how fast I run they always get further and further away. Eventually the plane disappears behind a cloud and I give up.

There's a song about unashamedly celebrating the things you love even if you're shit at them. It has the line,
"Play until your fingers suffer".
Well, only one finger of mine was suffering so I figured that I might as well suck it up and try using my index finger to play. Instinctively, my body rejected the pain like when I broke my wrist and two days later decided "Fuck it, I'm still playing hockey". The weight of the puck on my stick alone made my wrist ache and even though I was mentally prepared to accept the pain when I tried to shoot or pass, there was a physical barrier and I just couldn't do it. "No, you fucking idiot", my body said, "your wrist is broken. Don't do that".

I kept trying with the ukulele though and slanted my finger so I was fretting with the side that wasn't cut. It was a bit awkward, and still hurt a little, but my body allowed it. I laughed, contently strumming away. A minute later, I noticed my blood being smeared across the fretboard.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. I wanted to draw a peace sign in my blood on the back of the uke. I don't know why. Maybe because I couldn't do anything else. But I wasn't bleeding enough to even do that. All I could manage was a half-circle smudge that I had to wipe off.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Notes on: Travelling Home

Shiny cars. Subwoofers. Smokes. Tattoos.

I hear the bass pulsating from the bottom of the valley.
“That’ll be Nick”, Matt tells me.
We’ve been waiting a half hour but not really waiting. Just passing the time together, sitting on my car.
Matt even gave me a tour of his new place: the house with the tiny door.
It feels like crawling into the side of the mountain.

A blue Civic winds around the narrow mountain road and parks beside us.

“Hey man! I haven’t seen you since, well, must have been high school” Nick says. We shake hands through the car window.
“What brings you back here?”
“Finished school, looking for work. “
“Good luck, man.”

Matt starts up the barbecue. I go in to grab a beer and the hot dogs.
Nick follows and asks me what Irish people are like.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland,” he says.
“It’s cool. I went surfing with some Irish lads. Good people.”

It seemed like a silly question, but I liked that he was asking it.
Earlier, when I picked up the six pack, I told the bartender I was Johnnie’s son.
“You must be the traveler then.”
I liked that too.

Brandon lights up a cigarette.

The smokestacks are across the valley behind him.
I wonder out loud why the smelter has the best real estate, right on a hill overlooking the Columbia.
Matt tells me that the ground beneath us used to be a landfill.
“So it literally is garbage here,” I say.

“Who brought the rum?” Brandon asks, holding up my litre of Bacardi AƱejo.
“Help yourself. It was six dollars.”
“Six dollars?”
“Yeah. From the duty-free. God bless America.”
Nick tells me that’s the only time I get to say ‘God bless America’.
Later, when Brandon shows off his Dodge tattoo, Nick says ,
“ Nice one, buddy!”

Matt and I head out to a bar.

There’s blood on the ground and a DJ that no one is listening to.
I go get a drink and search for the ten dollar bill in my wallet.
There’s a flash of purple.
I pull it out and give it to the bartender. He hands it back.
“Canadian dollars”
“Sorry”, I say and put the Lithuanian bill away before handing him ‘real’ money.
I take my drink and calculate the exchange rate. Ten litai should be enough to buy a pint.

The bouncer is six-foot-five, maybe three hundred pounds, with an unkempt beard. On a slow night, he’ll come over and talk comic books and make origami swans for the girls. The bar was empty tonight, but it was far from being slow.

I follow Matt out to the patio and get lost in the crowd.

“Yeah buddy!” calls out a voice I half remember. Dylan. “Fifty-six notches on my belt this summer, boys!” The last time I saw him, he tried to punch me.
He missed but I was wearing rollerblades and fell anyways.
It would have been funny if his friend didn’t jump on me.

Outside, a lady is harassing a cop.

“My grandma was having a seizure and driving to the hospital and the police pulled her over and she died.”
Good thing they stopped her from killing anyone else, I wanted to say.
Instead, I wait for her to leave and then apologize to the cop.

On the way back to Matt’s, I see Robbie Barr.

“Coutts! What are you doing here?”
“I have no idea. What about you?”
“Summer break. I go back to Vancouver tomorrow.”
Matt and I follow Rob back to his friends place.
There’s beer pong, and I set up a game with Rob. It’s too competitive, like we’re back on the ice again practicing one-on-ones and I’m trying to squeak past before Robbie rubs me out against the boards. We run out of beer but can’t stop playing; it’s tied at one game apiece. Instead we switch to rum.

Back on Matt’s patio, the sun is just behind the peak of the mountains.

The coffee makes everything feel more together, more relaxed.
Matt is beside me, not talking.
On the side of the coffee cup it says ‘7-Eleven’ but I don’t remember where it came from.
“I bought that for you when you were hurling in the alley”
“Right,” I say, “Thanks.”