there is no title for this land

Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

Dr. Thorpe: My car has a line of spraypainted stencils of ankhs with X’s through them.

It is quiet enough in Andrew‘s apartment right now I fancy that I could almost hear the frequency my freckles vibrate against the rest of my pale skin underneath the constant flooding calm hum of his white enameled kitchen appliances. I would have to stop typing, however, to try my ear to such a pressure test, and I’m rather enjoying the illusion my fingers are giving me at seventy words a minute, that soft sound of rain that appears once I’m typing fast enough. I think I want to be lying in a room with a lover sometime to this kind of sound, this sort of quiet storm of water against a pane of glass. I remember days that almost approached what I’m beginning to want to look for, the sun slanting in through water distorted too much to see through to the trees.

There’s always trees here, Vancouver is rife with them. It’s our natural beauty, our tourist trap. Snap. Pose for the picture. Tap, that clicking sound as collected water drips from the branches after a wash. Both metal sides of it crashing then crushing your ankle, leaving you unable to walk without a limp. It’s an asymmetrical sound and familiar all the world over. Here it’s background, a thousand thousand moments every day in the summer, the winter, we don’t have real seasons. If you live here, you mention rain. Every day it’s the same. Gray with sunshine. Gray with mountains and ocean and that one single lighthouse that shines with a dull frequency, too slow to pretend it has a secret language, too regular to be kind.

Why do you live where you are?

I live here because it’s what I can afford to do. Only once did I have the fiscal momentum to leave and instead I was a fool, stayed for a man. Never again, I swore. Since then, I’ve never had the means to leave, though there might be nothing at all I want more. Instead, I have collected a veritable army of good and clever people, the sort that a person might always want to talk to, as fascinating as a town can allow them to be and so often more. I like to introduce them to each other, spread out the balance of dissimilar personalities, like if maybe I connect enough of them before I leave the network will stay alive without my interference. It’s hard to meet new people, I’ve been at this so long. Instead I dream of strangers and throw my hands in deeper. If I ever disappear, maybe some of them will come with me. Conquer the mountains, the constant rain, the endless small town drudgeries, and escape and be free.

There are worse ways of living, worse places to be, but when I came back from Montreal, all the wooden houses looked like shacks and all the heritage buildings seemed to me small frontier ideas of grandeur. Everything grated freshly because I’d been immersed again in a city big enough and new enough to keep me happy. No matter how ignoble some moments or how tiring walking through snow could become, it felt so perfect not to be breathing salt, not to be watched when I wandered or recognized every time I left the house. Old story. Small town, little girl. That cigarette adult craving for the big lights and endless entertainment of simply being where it’s possible to get lost. I missed my people, some of them. I wanted them to be waiting for me in coffeeshops or at the Metro, ready to go to a movie or skating on the river, but it wasn’t enough. There are always people, I tell myself. They are only prolific.

It’s proved true. No matter where I go, it’s always possible to find someone likable. There are too many people in the world for it to work any other way. You’re never going to find that perfect smile unless you go outside, that perfect delightful smile unless you walk and finally say something to a stranger. It doesn’t even have to be clever. Everything can start with one simple shift, one hello or complaint about the current administration. Sometimes I know it’s difficult. The constant complaint of being shy, it rattles in my brain and I do my best to demolish it. Stomp it like an unwelcome insect and let my will find a way to insert that extra glance or wave of hand instead. That tiny thing that informs the world that I’m open to conversation and not as meek as previous impression may have led you to believe. Insist my chosen victim to ignore my book of fairy-tales, mentally erase my out-dated hat full of feathers, instead pay attention to my instigation, my eyes drilling into yours. Instead help me try to bring down the world, let it fall around us as we talk about nothing and finally find ourselves trading phone numbers or e-mail addresses.

I have a camera again, which helps ease. Ray was sneaky, enlisted Aiden, Nicole, Jenn, Nicholas, and Ryan to chip in and replace my dead lump of circuitry that had betrayed me viciously and inexplicably while I was away. I have to find some way to thank them properly. Suggestions welcome, though it’s highly doubtful I’ll take any naked pictures.

time to play doctor

For those also interested in silly antique cultural events, our Vancouver Morris Dancers will be taking on weird old Plough Sunday celebrations at Grandville Island on January 8th around 12:30. These are the fellows who dress up similarly to Alex in a Clockwork Orange but with bells tied to their ankles and either bang sticks together while they skip about or wave hankies in the air like surrender flags. (For some reason, Liam, will be dressed awkwardly as a woman instead. Do not ask me why, I do not know). They’re meeting up at the Backstage Lounge, (the bar behind the Arts Club Theatre), and performing in the little stage area just west of The Net Loft, (the marketplace directly across the road from the main Island Market). Being an english thing, the dancing will be sandwiched between bouts of drinking beer, with people bringing instruments and singing after.

  • A teen girl deeply violated military security on four occasions through sheer chutzpah.

    My blog is worth $7,339.02.
    How much is your blog worth?

    In more international news, the ever-fascinating crisper has announced a “second verse, same as the first”, a reminder of our most favourite of holidays:

    In honor of the birthday of author Lewis Carroll, three weeks from today– Friday, January 27th, 2006— will be the Second Annual LiveJournal Rabbit Hole Day.

    “For one day, instead of all the usual normal stuff you would write about in the course of a day, wake up somewhere else, wake up in another time, wake up as someone different and write about a day that isn’t like any other. Fall down the rabbit hole for 24 hours and see what you find. Those who did it last year were, I think, quite pleased that they did!

    For consideration: mark on calendar, tell a friend, etc. etc.”

    I took part in this event last year and it was deeply satisfying to log in and find creative chaos, no matter how far in any direction I surfed through my friends. I implore everyone to plan for this, (tag it with RABBIT HOLE DAY), and pass it on as best you can. We’ve got three weeks to collect as many writers as we can, the goal’s to infect as much of our lists as possible, and I’m certain we can do this. We have a fantastic network, really. It’s as good a time as any to prove it. Ready, set, go.