Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I went to your mom’s house. Because that’s what people do. They make the effort to visit in times like these. She greeted me at the door with a smile and a hug. I knew she was smiling simply for the company. I’m sure she was lonely, despite the fact that you moved out a few years earlier. Her kind of lonely wasn’t something one gets used to.

We made small talk in the doorway, and that was when I noticed you at the top of the stairs. In a t-shirt and shorts; Umbros or Champions. You were lounging. Totally at home. And I was stunned to see you there. You ran down the carpeted stairs, smoothly, and when you got to me you enveloped me in an embrace.

At your request I followed you downstairs, to your room, just as your mom was heading out the door. She called out a goodbye, waved and closed the door. “So, how is your mom doing?” I asked you when she’d gone. “She’s fine,” you told me, “She’s just stressed because we are going on a vacation and she has so much to do before we leave.”

You seemed to know what was going on, yet I was still confused. You lead me to your room, where I sat on one of two twin beds. I didn’t get comfortable; instead I perched on the edge. “So… how are you?” You turned from your desk, what appeared to be too small for you, left over from Junior High/High School days, “Good. I just have a lot of studying and work to do with these exams coming up.” Something was wrong. It just didn’t make sense. You were finished with school years ago.

I stood up from the bed, just as two of our other friends came into the room. They jumped up and down on the beds like monkeys. One would go up as the other was coming down. I wasn’t watching them but could see them in the reflection of the mirror.

We had a conversation through the mirror, both of us not facing each other, but the wall.

I asked you, “Do you know, Steph, that you died two months ago?”

tiny dancer

She believes things come in threes. Namely deaths. She believes this as though it were a natural law. When one person dies, two more are sure to follow. It’s to be expected.

A celebrity dies, breaking news on CNN, followed by one of her acquaintances, she will announce, “They come in threes.” She thinks any one person can die and that will tie into the third. But they have to have relation to each other. Three celebrities. Three politicians. Three friends. Three family. Not a celebrity, a religious leader and a family member. We roll our eyes at her, but she continues to believe.

If it’s on the news, or written about, it must be true. She reads the obituaries every morning with her coffee. She’s far from graceful, but she always answers the phone with a smile on her face. She has a tendency to steal things from restaurants. Like salt & pepper shakers, ashtrays, or water jugs. Of course this means nothing in her kitchen matches, but they’re all treasured by her.

She repeats clich├ęs so often that it becomes timed. “Lining their pockets” is a favourite of hers, said mostly in regards to politicians. She won’t say the word ‘fat’ instead she chooses to demonstrate what fat looks like as she circles her arms around her body in wide circles. She thinks this is less obvious than saying the word itself.

There are times that she looks old, older than she is, usually when she is worried. And there are times when she looks young, younger than she is, usually when she is tucked under his arm. She doesn’t laugh at herself.

She’s obsessive to a degree that is dangerously close to compulsive, but not just yet. She’s fearless, yet she panics in the face of a challenge. She’s thoughtful, but part of me wonders if it isn’t just habit. She nods and mmm-hmmms when she agrees with something on TV and when she disagrees she clucks her tongue at the screen. She gives a run-down of everything going on around her even though we can see it as well.

She can’t keep a secret, even at Christmas. When she laughs, you can’t help but join in. Even when the joke is on you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

brett (1992)

Then: My sixth grade crush.

Now: My twenty-six year old crush.

Later: Let’s just see how you look tonight before I crush on you for next sixty-seven years of my life.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

jamie (circa 1984)

A blonde headed little boy with a bowl cut living in my neighbourhood.

We were friends. Then you moved. Haven’t seen you since.

I sometimes think I might actually marry you.