Sunday, October 18, 2009

And then.

I hit "post" at exactly 12:34. A personal favourite time of day.


The kettle howls, a gale force wind sound, announcing it's looming heat. Outside, the light rain. The wind-roar subsides, reduced to a low gurgle. A quiet boil. Not brewing up a storm after all. Peppermint green tea. William Gibson. The Akira soundtrack. I feel as though I've shifted laterally into another domain of nerdhood. The only evidence I'm still regular old me is the bundle of blankets and pillows I've cornered up for myself. That familiar nesting instinct.

The chants and percussions swirl about my head, inside an invisible sphere of headphonic influence, syncopating smoothly with the flow of Gibson's story. Lovely, unimportant synchronicity, it generates an underflow in my thoughts, just below the reading mind. Holistic ideas, interconnectedness of mankind, the immutability of self. Vague, comforting notions. Try something new, behave like someone else. If it's any good, it will be subsumed, and for any changes, you will remain you.

For years I maintained that it was, while good, fairly overrated. Now I would really like to watch Akira again. But in this day and age, how am I to make use of my 5 dollar VHS copy?

The book is Pattern Recognition. It's very good, striking me in ways I cannot verbalize.

The last Akira track is winding down. Chapter 36 has ended. I feel the need to get all this down. I close the book, and turn to the screen at what appears to be exactly midnight.

Pleasant, meaningless coincidence. I relax into my apophenia like a warm bath.

Good night.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The House on the Borderlands

On our way out of the city we drove into and out of a storm. The rain pelts the windshield view into almost complete obscurity. Fifteen minutes from Mum's new house and we're right on the edge. Ahead of us bright sunshine, behind us dark gloom. The weather shifts dramatically with every turn of the road. It's quite unlike any drive I've ever been on.

The house itself is small, quaint, potentially darling. I use the word "hovel", but I'm just trying to be funny. From the car to the back door, the atmosphere is a combination of freshness and threat, as the storm seethes not so far off. Inside, everything smells of a house being finished, but not yet done. Some walls are there, some are not. Some are a little of both. The fridge is rather well-stocked, entirely from the previous owner. Two half-full bottles of real maple syrup. In my eyes, the actions of some mad king. He left a lot of himself behind, like a man fleeing the country under duress. Which, I suppose, some mad kings have had to do. There are two wooden practice swords. I take one and head into the yard.

A small pond sits quietly, as small ponds will do, just past the driveway. On closer inspection, a plastic lining expertly betrays it's artificiality, but life abounds nonetheless. A beetle, probably a water-boatman, darts back and forth across the surface. Every time it stops, I brush the water just barely with the tip of the sword and he sets off again, sending out ripples like sonar. Leaving the pond for the moment, I head for the forest at the back of the yard. A chorus of crickets surrounds me, individuals getting silent when I'm too near. It's like an odd game of tag. Crouching down, I can see them tumbling through the grass. Tiny brown ones and big shiny black ones, hopping along like jolly oafs with their three tails sprouting out behind. Off to the right, a little black spider with a fat white abdomen trundles by, all business.

The forest is full of the sound of rain, almost as though still echoing the earlier storm that still lurks far behind me. Even with my newfound trusty sword, plenty of reasons not to go in there. Not least of which, I don't want to get wet. Rain may fall more gradually among the trees, but fall it does. I find what's nearly a clothesline, and a boulder which apparently is the favoured hangout of a local pheasant. Then I go back to the pond. Still no frogs or dragonflies. A british plumber arrives.

Bored wit talk of toilets and ductwork, I go back to the yard. This time grasshoppers herald my aproach, snapping through the lawn. I love to watch them go, their movements are so sharp. I spy a lazy slug, curled up and napping across three blades of grass. And then I find the workshed, a workshed so "workshed" that all I can hear is Bruce Campbell's dubbed-over voice. Saying, "Workshed".

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How could I forget so soon?

The lesson, just learned, fled very quickly indeed. And perhaps I have suffered for it. But no more. I learned it not from anything she said, or did, but from her very presence. And how foolish to let lack of her presence take it from me. Somehow, without knowing it, she has still brought it back to me. Best as I can put it: Love life as it happens around you. The magic is everywhere. Grab it when you see it. Live and love the gusto. But don't ever try to force it.

That said, I prefer it without the words. It's a lesson better felt than anything else.
When you know it, you know it. I think she knows it. And I'm pretty sure I know it. And maybe even the Beatles knew it:

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting my friend.

All I'm saying is, I'm really enjoying the Beatles right now. That's all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just now, just minutes ago!

Mere moments previous, I just watched a man run desperately, and perhaps drunkenly, in a particularly madcap fashion across the street, nearly tripping over the edge of the sidewalk, down to the Subway submarine sandwich shop. As soon as he reached it he realized it was in no way open, turned around, and wandered calmly back the way he came. To European Pizza.

Around the corner, I heard a completely different man yelling, perhaps sarcastically, about how much coke was in his back pocket, because he was such an enormous cokehead. He seemed to be yelling it to the people in the hotel lobby. Who also seemed not particularly interested in any of it. He was pointing at his ass through most of it.

It's only Wednesday night. And I haven't even told you the crazy parts.

What on Earth will the weekend hold?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This was meant to go up on Sunday . . .

. . . but, well, time makes fools of us all. Anyhow:

Last Thursday, I went over to a friend's house to barbecue up some hamburgers. Upon arriving, I realized that I had forgotten to bring my barbecue sauce. Not to be defeated by my own absentmindedness, I proceeded to mix together some catsup, vinegar, olive oil, sugar-in-the-raw, and some herbs described on the package as "Italian". And, as a matter of fact, this turned out to be a quite serviceable barbecue sauce. The burgers turned out quite well in the end.

But this is more than just me bragging about my saucery skills. What I realized, while stirring things up with a fork, is how it is that I was able to do this. The answer, of course, is my mother (or Mom, as I affectionately call her). Although I may not be famous for my common sense and practical application of knowledge, pretty much every time I do any of that, it's thanks to my mother. She's taught me an awful lot over the years. She's encouraged me when I'm doing well, pushed me when I'm not so much, and patiently understood when certain things have proved to be lost causes. And she continues so to this day. Certainly others have contributed over the years to shape who I am, but the little things that help me get by through this nutty ol' world I owe almost entirely to my ol' Ma.

I recently went out to dinner with several friends, associates, and Mom. It was a fine time, but a few times over the course of the evening she said a few things that embarrassed me in the way that only your parents can ever make you feel embarrassed. But then it occurred to me that I was the only one who felt embarrassed, I was the only one who knew I felt embarrassed, and I was only embarrassed because it was my mother. It was a warm, comfortable realization, and it made me feel even closer to my closest living relative.

That's what's on my mind this Mother's Day.

. . . and, well, this Tuesday, also.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Speak to me something
something in a language not my own

Say it honest
and say it true

We'll see what I can hear without my mind