I found it to be heartening, the way we talked intimately with strangers. I’m accepted more as family every time I arrive. Hard times ahead because they’re going to be so easy. Faith required, assumption distraction, pulling me into temptation of the very best kind. I like to be where I am, I like that I can walk through this with a swagger and be justified. This is my people, this is my place. My hands can roam where they need to, where they want to, because there will be no hand against me. I slipped words to the roommate, I talked my way into a room full of people and scattered doubts into everything important. The cheesecake wasn’t half as bad as reports led us to believe.

Maybe I need a PrayerBot.

I can’t believe it’s been so many years. With my mask on, only three people recognized me in the two and a half hour SinCity line-up. One of them was Jason Brandt, which was a little bit disconcerting, (he and I have never quite gotten along), until I remembered that he’s seen me with lighter hair before. Ross knew me by my dancing and Shane’s known me since I was sixteen. Odd how it’s possible to have good friends you only see once a month for years. We keep vague track of each-others lives but never really interact. I’ve drifted out of contact with so many people simply because they never use their e-mail or show up on messenger.

Friday Robin came over and we head out to meet Andrew. We climbed the red Q of the North Shore Quay and sat at the top over looking the city and eating Beaver Tails. I blurted my knowledge of Ottawa while we were ordering, “now we should go outside and watch the hot air balloons drift over and away.” Our eyes met and I realized how long it’s been since I’ve been back east. Almost five years since I left my life behind in Toronto.

After the sugar dissolved between our teeth and into our bloodstream, we caught the SeaBus back downtown and made out way to Tinseltown, home of the worlds emptiest shopping mall. The place is a dead zone, there’s never been a shop to thrive. They have a half life of six months and then they’re gone, vanished as if they’ve never been, leaving behind paper taped to the doors of the slots they used to live in. WE HAVE MOVED with no forwarding address attached. I feel sometimes like raising my hand to any store in there, pressing it against the glass and intoning, “go back to sleep”. The dragon danced and blessed every business in the building yet even when filled with so many people, you can feel the place in unfortunate. A hollow warehouse, shallow with decor trying to fill the blind screaming space. There’s faux Tiffany lamps under one set of stairs and uninteresting couches in many of the open floor spaces. The only place I’m rooting for is the art gallery upstairs. Sometimes there’s beautiful work, student and established both. Magical glimpses of imagination and creative growth. There was a particular piece once, of birds, that I was taken by. I wanted to bring it home with me. It would have inspired me to keep myself in a better place.

Chinese New Year was being celebrated. We think we just missed the parade, but we got there in time for the stuffy part of the ceremonies to begin. Suits on stage one after the other, “and here we have the Mayor of Coquitlam to introduce our afternoon with a short speech!?” in a strange sea of oddly existential kiosks selling little bits of stone and flea market pillows. We ditched that after taking some pictures instead going to Wild Ginger, the William Gibson-esque restaurant I’m in love with on the second floor. It hides in plain view in the food court, a brilliant place with delicious decor, food, and atmosphere. We were there for over an hour, talking about life and the possibilities of romance. We taught Robin to use chopsticks almost successfully and Andrew played a nasty trick on me, pretending to call Matthew with an embarrassing valentines confession.

We did eventually call him, on our way from the restaurant to Granville Street. We’d decided to meet at Golden Age and spend some time with Mike before catching Ong-Bak, another in the new breed of martial arts movies, though this one is almost unique in that there are no special effects. No wires, no stuntmen. The film is thrilling, a dance of movement and laughter. I was and remain thoroughly impressed. “This man does things to gravity that she doesn’t want to know about for they are far too intimate and sexy to be shown so publicly.

Mike wanted to go but had an unavoidable hour and a half of work left. Matthew met up briefly to make plans for the evening with us then vanished into the bus on Granville street after screaming orgasms into the crowd with me. “It’s alright people! It’s fine! Just National Orgasm day! You! You there! Have an orgasm today!” Then we crossed the street crying out. Alicia‘s annual Valentines Sux party started at nine, but we got there at eleven.

advertising a worthy thing again

This week marks the anticipated run of the experimental performance poetry show we’ve all been waiting for, “That’s My Brain… And You’re KILLING It!” — the most fun you can legally have with six mouths and an accordion. (I know, sounds kinda like something outta Revelation.) Choice cuts, beefed up for a stage setting, from the tongues of Al Mader, R.C. Weslowski, Matthew Glick, Rowan Lipkovits, Fernando Raguero, and Martin van Steinburg all on stage at the same time — come to see which one cracks first! Tuesday through Saturday, February 15th to 19th, only at Havana (1212 Commercial Drive at William, across the street from Grandview Park.) Every night is different, and a dollar from each $10 ticket goes to the CKNW Orphans’ fund.