phat friday

Night Watch

Friday a group of us are going to the opening of Nightwatch, an atmospheric Russian magic-realism horror film that’s more mythology than horror.

WHERE: The Paramount, 900 Burrard Street, two blocks up the hill from the Burrard st. Skytrain station.

WHEN: Meeting at 6:30, show at 7:20.

WHO: You, if you live here in Vancouver.

After, those interested will be heading down to the Waldorf for a live Funk/Motown night.

WHERE: The Waldorf Hotel, 1489 Hastings Street East, two blocks west of Commercial on Hastings.

WHEN: Approximately 9:30 until whenever.

WHO: You, if you like funk and live in Vancouver.

Feel free to cross-post this. (It would be appreciated).

locking my dreams

Shane Koyczan is my missed arrival. When his curtain called, I was not there. When my opportunity knocked, he was not home. He’s taking a lock of my wool hair on stage with him when he opens for the Violent Femmes at Massey Hall next week.

Laughing on stage, you’re berating me, “Why won’t you be in love with me? You owe me a toast.” Descriptions licking like letters in envelopes closed. Anger measured in minutes and hours and always sweetly winning first prize up on the stage. Darling Sara and I’m always so damned proud. Write, hand, write and I ran after you and held you as your cried. Victories as complex as the sun on your thankful face.

I’m making him a charactor in my entry in the upcoming Sinister Bedfellows Anthology:

I’m in the wrong place, but he’s not. A frieze of clouds over the city, orange light reflecting off wet pavement. This is Vancouver. A pane of glass grubby with too many small town fingers. When dawn comes, the light changes, everything goes gray. I remember his voice breaking in the exact shade of the sky when he told me he’d miss me, like the air he inhaled was an echo.

Hold me, I thought, hold me and protect me with your gift with words. Lift me up to where you are, so that I may look down at my hands too and watch them create lightning and thunder.

Hand in hand, I walked with him into a reflection of all our memories. This was where he touched my cheek, this is where I kissed his roommate and wished it was him. Weird baggage. Every strand of wet grass brushing our ankles is another wish, another significant glance across the cafe at me from him. Wrinkled experiences, creased and nicotine-stained from being kept folded in our pockets, folded and unfolded, pressed flat against tables to be examined like treasured maps to an alchemical marriage. Every six months, on average, he told me he loved me. Every six months for six years.

When he said he was leaving, deliberately slowly, I said I was too. In the shape of my mouth were different chances fluttering away, deconstructed. Our synchronizations were an ode to the opposite of a moth to flame, our lives never available at the same time. The king and queen of ill-timing, he said, frustrated, crowned in fluent poetry. Grieving August versus tomorrow until a hip-hop September. He was touring, I was moving away. Ahead of us was time, new and unused, that we could no longer afford to buy. There would be no following me home across an entire ocean. Dog-paddling would have been the death of him and his arms too thin to fly. Without sufficient concentration, he would have just crashed into an airplane anyway, to show how much he believed in the indestructibility of love, decorating the thin air with orange flames and pieces of melting vinyl seating. He was that kind of guy.

We met long ago, when I still grinding the last edges off being a teenager. There was a show in a shabby semi-legal basement venue on Commercial Drive called The Cavern. I never figured out how I was hired. Our audience sitting in creaky dented fold-out chairs, dark enamel flaking off more every evening, he was part of the wildly rhyming entertainment, waving his hands around, telling it like it was and comparing life to bumper-stickers. I was tech, manipulating video feedback to create psychedelic paranoid explosions of light. However unlikely, something blindly meshed. We enjoyed the summertime flavour in the alley outside the amateurishly black painted plywood door while he smoked and made fun of the dripping red letters that stood in for a sign. The other performers, I still know them sometimes, but never as well. Names fading. Las Vegas pompadours hard like black-jack and legendary Quebecois hockey stories I couldn’t relate to. Girls with guitars singing the same shrinking angel song over and over on little open mike stages.

There was a date once, if you squint. We sat on a playground across from a group of elderly Italian men playing bocci on a long narrow court covered with fine gravel and ate gelato from clear fluorescent cups with luminescent plastic spoons as equally neon bright as the cups, as science-fiction improbable as tampering with the rate of enzyme mediated chemical reactions. Just an afternoon.

Now the only time I see him is in expensive looking interviews on television, cunningly mixed with fluid clips of his glowing performances. They’re so relentlessly polished. I attempt not to examine my reactions too closely. His shirts remain button-ups, but now they’re made of thick coloured Egyptian linen and the buttons are interestingly crafted in the shape of Japanese chrysanthemums instead of round discs of cheap milky plastic. I can see where they’ve tweaked his round face in an attempt to make him look conventionally handsome. I’m not sure if it’s worked. Even pixilated, he looks like a lost tourist. I can still see the blossoming moon through his shotgun glare. It was never a question of trust. We were mythology, as brass bound by story as we were to our relationships.

I watch him, sometimes, when I can, when I remember. I finger the earring I accidentally pulled from his head once, silver like his new buttons, and try not to listen for my missing description.

if I were related to James Burke, it would be illegal for me to seduce him, which would shameful

the brothers ire
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

I just gave my copy of Pattern Recognition to a stranger on the bus. I struck up conversation with him because he’d been hassled by the police while we were waiting. Trafficking, I figured. He looked the type. White sports clothes, white glass stud in his left ear, had that attractive young latino look going for him. Perfect black goatee and perfect black hair, though hidden mostly under a bandanna. He asked what I was reading and I told him, inscribed my name and phone number in the front and handed it to him right before he had to get off.

Today’s been busy. I got up a little early but got out a little late from playing phone tag with one of Cale’s friends. She’s been kicked out of her house and I offered my apartment for a few days or at least as a little storage space while she gets her feet under her again. It’s tough to come home and find the locks changed. I understand. My mother’s boyfriend stole my keys once and would hang up when I phoned. Slight differences in essentially the same situation.

Late, for once, was alright though. Raphealla had already been scheduled to open the store for me today so I could hit up the Office Of Vital Statistics for my Change of Name application. So after my back and forth with a crying Chloe, I plucked my ferret out of bed and went down to the Bureau and picked up my form. There was an unexpected line-up, but nothing deadly, just enough to instill me with nervousness about the whole thing.

I brought my ferret because a student of Alastair‘s needed one to map for wire-framing. That all went without a hitch. Skatia was picked up from Hypatia at around 4 o’clock and returned sometime around five:thirty. The students, an Italian couple, were very nice about it and loved him dearly, in spite of the fact that he slept more than he ran around to give them footage. After work, the barflies at the Waldorf, including James, the bartender, adored him too. Spoiled him rotten even, as apparently he has a taste for beer and pecan pie. I’m going to bring him back for visits on quiet nights. It’s a surprisingly comfortable place to spend time. I would never have guessed.

However, I knew full well that the strip club that Mike picked in New West for his Going Away To England Birthday Party tonight is notoriously terrible. Mugs & Jugs it’s called, and the name, I think, explains almost everything. It’s full of tacky lights, atrocious rock music and inhabitants whose parents drank when pregnant. We had an alright time, some of the girls displayed such amazing feats of anti-gravity on the pole that we actually watched them for more than five minutes at a time, though we didn’t get Mike as drunk as everyone had apparently promised him. Nick tried, it’s true, but he was barely slurring when Rick and I, the last ones standing, brought him to the Skytrain. I waved goodbye from the opposite platform then had to go back to get my William Gibson book, Pattern Recognition, that I’d forgotten at the club, dodging vacous drunk skater kids to do so.