That which the inferno does not consume, it forges.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” ~ Maya Angelou

“What are you doing, can I help?” I murmured, softly pulled from sleep by the man who was quietly getting ready to leave for work. It was the day before my birthday. He had been very careful, but the sound of a suitcase zipper had been enough to wake me. He chuckled and sat down on the hotel bed beside me, his weight creating a curve in the mattress that pulled my body to his. I gratefully curled against his broad torso like a cat to warmth in the winter. “You sweet girl,” he said, “how delicious of you. I can think of a way.” He reached out and stroked my hair, then leaned down and tilted my face to meet his. I was sleepy and soft. His hand was gentle on my face, as were his lips on mine. It was perfect.

(Writing this is difficult.)

Another hotel, another man, someone I used to love. We unexpectedly tumbled into each other years after we had last been close, a surprise coda to an awful time, and after I remarked on how strange a beast memory can be. “This.” I said, pressing my hand against his shoulder for emphasis. “I remembered exactly how your hands fit with mine, the geometry of your fingers, but this, how the length of my arm is precisely the width of your shoulders when you cradle in my grasp, this I had forgotten. I still know you while I do not. It surprises me.” He smiled wryly, “You’re not writing about us in your head again, are you? Writers. Incorrigible.” But I hadn’t been. I had lost the knack when I lost my heart. Yet now I am, months and months later. My time since has opened the gate.

(Writing that was easier.)

Neither of these men are people I could claim as mine, but they were, just as I was theirs. How near we all are to disaster at all times. I’m starting to type this from a plane, finding comfort in the turbulence that is distressing the other passengers. To such tolerances airplanes are made! With such cleverness and scientific understanding! The wings flex even as the snout pushes forward through the air unconcerned, the shaking accounted for, the math figured. This is not how airline disasters are made. Each engineered piece interlocks to create a miraculous whole. The more we jostle, the safer I feel.

If only it were so in relationships.

My heart, lightly returning to me, feels haunted. I shuffle through our time together, examining every interaction and conversation like tarot cards for clues. I find nothing. He was honest in every particular, but one. His family.


I met him on the dance-floor at a conference, completely unexpected. (The odds are good there, but the goods odd.) I wasn’t certain our first few dates. I was hesitant to kiss him goodbye, hesitant to start something long-distance again, yet we found magic writing together on-line. He was well read, political, and his sharp wit inspired me. He was smart, funny, and harassed me without mercy. Eventually I point-blank asked what the catch was, “How is it that you’re single?” He explained that he travels too much for work, the same problem that plagues plenty of my more interesting friends. I felt encouraged, cared for, and delighted, enough that I shelved my long-distance relationship concerns and replied, “I can live with that.” “I hoped so.” It was two in the morning. He got us a hotel room. We had a pillow fight. It was on.

We were meant to have another night together for my birthday, I was going to ditch Vancouver to travel down to see him, but he had to cancel. Work scheduled him away that week. This was not unexpected, this was part of the engagement, so I told him I understood and expressed the appropriate California-envy. Fourty-eight hours later, he proposed flying me down with some of his endless air-miles. If I could find somewhere to stay after he head home to Seattle, he told me, I could stay as long as I like.

I stumbled, but I recovered. Gladly, gratefully. And blind. I didn’t know where we were staying or when I was flying out. I knew nothing. Eventually it was puzzled that my flight left on a Tuesday, but I didn’t have an itinerary until 4:30 Monday morning. And that was fine. It’s was trust exercise. It was fun. I was happy.

He picked me up at the airport, checked us into a hotel in San Jose, and kissed me like I had been missing for years. Once his work-trip was done, we moved into my ex’s flat in the Castro in San Francisco.

I was smitten. I hesitate to speak for him, but he seemed equally so. He met my friends, we went on little exploratory ventures, he sang flawless, soul-shattering, classically trained opera in the shower. Everything was all splendid. He was incredible. We, together, were marvelous. We get on so well it was improbable. He was generous, kind, and effortlessly carried me up a tall flight of stairs when my ankle gave out like I was stuffed full of feathers instead of chagrin and admiration. I felt blessed and adored and adored him in turn. We didn’t sleep at night. He smiled all the time. I blossomed.


My urge to write about us is basic. I can’t not. He’s not mine, but he was. And he risked his entire personal life to be. It is sad and tragic and hurts, yet I respect how much that’s worth. I want to write about everything. Honor his indisputably stupid sacrifice by capturing every moment of our time together in amber, sweetly displayed in this glass screened case as an exhibit of That Time. “This is what he risked his world for. It was not small, nor tawdry.” We felt lucky, we found joy, what we made together was satisfying and darling. Was it worth it? It’s not for me to say, but I would guess no, not for him.

He didn’t betray me, but himself. The tragedy isn’t mine, but his and theirs.


He left after a week, singing so loudly out the window of the rental car that I could hear him from a block away. Even as he left, he made sure I was alright. Then I moved in with Heather for a bonus week full of good people and happenings. It was an enriching time. There were long walks through new places, a cocktail party, a rooftop BBQ, a rave in an abandoned train station, time with new friends and with people I already love. Then I flew back to Seattle for more fun and good people. I went dancing, I made new connections, I had a tai chi lesson on a roof downtown in the sunshine. Life was good. My sweetheart was in Colorado for work, but I was looking forward to seeing him the next time I could.

Then I went for lunch with a friend who I met through the same conference, though years ago. New information. To say I was suddenly having a bad day is an understatement. We were hopeful, there was a lot of benefit of the doubt, but then the phone numbers matched. The phone number of my sweetheart and “my friend of ten years whose wife is…” Oh. Pregnant. Not with their first child.

Our relationship was obviously not a thought out decision. Aside from the deletion of his family and claiming to be single, he didn’t hide a thing. Everything else he told me checked out.


I was in Vancouver less than 48 hours once I came back from Seattle. Time enough to put my passport in for renewal, basically, then repack and head to an airport to sleep, so I could head back east to visit Toronto and Montreal for Recon.

My plans shivered a bit once I was out there, and I ended up spending more time than expected in Waterloo with one of my best friends, Ian, his charming wife, and two lively children. We all spent one warm night in his back yard, their daughter cuddled against my body, our feet in the pool while Ian dove and twisted like an otter through the water. We lay on our backs and watched the sky. I pointed out the International Space Station as it drifted overhead. Their daughter sighed and lay her head on my shoulder, asked about the stars as I explained constellations. His wife’s laughter was just beautiful as the heavens.

Is this what my lover had balanced me against? This sort of home? This ease and grace and care and trust? I’ve never had anything so honeyed as this small slice of family. No one has ever tried to build so much with me. How divine it seemed! I wondered what my presence could have pumped through his veins. How much did his heart race? There are easier ways to find adrenaline. Lying there, surrounded by their life, I didn’t feel worthy of the sacrifice. I was grateful the darkness meant that no one could see me cry.


I was attacked the morning of my birthday on my way to the Facebook campus for lunch. Pedestrian sexual street harassment that I stood up against until he escalated too far, until I had to run. Eventually I fled along a train from car to car, concerned for my physical safety, desperately searching for a conductor while a stranger stalked after me shouting awful things, “Cunt, whore, I’m going to break you.”

He was thrown off the train, but it rattled my entire day, threw me off my stride.

My lover salvaged even that. He arrived too late to join the hot-tub evening, I was being kicked out for the night when he came to the gate, but he was late because he’d brought a surprise. We sat at an iron table outside my friend’s apartment, (an anonymous place in a terrible suburb of anonymous buildings and fussy street security), while he produced a tub of ice-cream from a bag, then a package of candles that spelled H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y, and a birthday card and a lighter.

No one sang and I forgot to make a wish, but I felt more cared for in that gesture of grace than I had in a very long time. It was darling and sweet. “I understand it’s late,” he said with some satisfaction, “but we had to celebrate!”

My distress fell away. I may have been attacked, but I was in California, swathed in adventure, and this man had sent for me, flown me down for a romantic birthday get-away, to be embraced in his care. This man, this thoughtful, considerate, and brilliant man, he liked me back. The world was unexpected, but finally benevolent. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had.


(Have mercy on me, even knowing the truth, I do miss him.)


Everyone else who knows is furious, but I have a lot of hope for him. For his relationship, for his family. (He’s a good communicator. I don’t know anything about her as a person, past her name, but if they’re together, I expect she must be excellent as well.) It’s going to hurt, it’s going to be hard. As it should be. I am sorry that his choices led him to test his home in this fashion, but I don’t hate him, I’m not angry, and I’m not bitter. I feel for him, even. How afraid and sad he must be.

I’m down a relationship that was gracious, compassionate, and loving, and a friend, but it was a new thing. I’m just abruptly single again. New things fail all the time. He may have lost something much greater.

So that’s that. I am disappointed, but mostly I am sorry for his partner. I’ve been somewhat in her position, though certainly never to such an extreme. I wonder what will happen. If it has happened before. If this will be the end of either his affair(s?) or their relationship.

I wonder and I wait and I know, soon, we will again say hello. It took a few weeks, but he finally reached out and replied to one of my messages while I was in Toronto. I’m leaving for Seattle today for ToorCamp. He has asked to meet up to talk as soon as our schedules can allow. I gratefully said yes. He is cancelling travel in order to make it right away. We should be in the same place at the same time next week.

I can barely wait to find out what he has to say.

saved from my own ways by beautiful boys

sanfran leap
San Francisco 2008

My summer is about to explode. It has already started, a little, (I sneaked into a rave on Friday night, spent Saturday on a cross-Atlantic guitar lesson with Richard, Saturday night with dear friends at a dinner, blowing people’s minds with synchronicity, and Sunday at an epic wedding that involved a boat, a full-sized, bright red, radio controlled dalek wedding cake that shouted EXTERMINATE, (part gluten free, too!), a hexacopter ring-bearer, and friends from six or seven countries), but this past weekend was just the amuse bouche.

My comrade Nathan is taking us to Cirque Du Soliex’s Totem tonight for my upcoming birthday, then we’re leaving on Thursday evening for the Sasquatch Music Festival. The line-up is absolutely fantastic, many of my favourite bands are playing, (Elbow, Mogwai, Die Antwood, The National, Cut Copy, TuNe-YaRds, etc.), and it’s going to be our first road-trip. I almost cannot wait. I feel like a little kid, counting sleeps.

Then, on the way back, Nathan is dropping me off in Seattle and I’m going to California for my birthday, courtesy of my ability to fit into a suitcase AKA a sweetheart’s business trip to the Google mothership! Flexibility pays off. Apparently I’ll be flying from Seattle on the 26th or 27th and staying for approximately two weeks.

I leave Canada in four days, but know zero about my flights or even where or when I’m to meet up with my dear B. It is so strange and yet delightful to know I am to be travelling, but not know when or precisely where to. It’s like a trust exercise with the universe that I am surprisingly completely fine with. Are we meeting in Seattle? In California? Where? No idea. I have zero information, but it’s.. gratifying? It feels proper. Makes it more of an adventure, for sure.

I imagine I’ll be taking the train a lot back and forth between SF and Silicon Valley for the first week and tucking in for work during the days, but other than that, my time is open. B. will only be there for the first week and mostly busy with work, which is a bit sad, he is smart and sassy and wonderful, but I’m still thrilled. Once I wave my kerchief goodbye to him at the airport, I’ll couch-float with friends in the Mission or the Castro or the Tenderloin.

The only plans I have so far: Jed and I are making sultry eyes at Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind on May 30th, (come with us!), and Richard has informed me that must visit him at the Vulcan on the first Thursday in June. And Morissa says I can use her house for a birthday dinner party! (Party date as yet to be determined). Other than that, it’s almost all a giant question mark. Do you know of anything going on in SF between May 26th and June 6th-ish? Let’s adventure!

Then I’m back to Seattle for a week to go to the the Georgetown Carnival and the Power Tool Drag Races and all that fun stuff. Maybe play some flaming tether ball. Mars and I are learning to be friends again, too, which makes Seattle much better to visit. I don’t know if B. will be around, but I hope so. (If he isn’t totally sick of me after sharing a hotel room for a week, that is. “Why are all the towels stained scarlet?”, “Why is my pillow purple?”, “How did the room ceiling end up covered in glow-in-the-dark stars? Are those constellations.. accurate?”)

I plan to return to Vancouver on June 15th, immediately put my passport in for renewal the day I get back!, collect certain papers from my mother, Vicki, that she’s bringing back from Ireland, do all of the laundry in the world, maybe throw a quick Vancouver-based birthday party, then head out to Ontario. The plan is to go to REcon (June 23rd – 29th) in Montreal via Waterloo courtesy of Ian, my besty who wants to drive up from Ontario in my fine company. Improbable, yes. Possible, very. I owe his cat Dewie about a thousand snuggles. And I think he’s starting to get tired of carrying his favourite Internet Girl around in his phone à la Her. And Audra has offered us her charming AirBnB apartment in Toronto for a couple of nights, (she has a cotton candy machine!!!), so we could home base out of Toronto and visit with people and stay up late in the city rather than having to go back to Waterloo. I’m sure we’ll use it, as I’m five or six years overdue for a visit and the good people just keep piling up. I even have an uncle there I’ve never met who seems supracool. Why don’t I live in Toronto? I Do Not Even Know.

We’ll be stopping by in Ottawa on our way to Montreal, too, to stop by the river market and stuff our faces with scrumptious berries and sugary beaver tails and APPLY FOR MY IRISH PASSPORT WITH THE EMBASSY! Happy birthday to me! I’m Irish! I HAVE EU AND EVERYTHING. As of, like, six days ago. My mother, bless her, went to Ireland as part of a Canada Council art project with Paul and took the packet of my needful documents with her, followed the very detailed instructions, and has filed my birth with the Irish government!

REcon is apparently a marvelous time, too. It’s run by Hugo, who I love to hang out with at CanSec. I’ve never spent as much time with him or his friends as I would like, so this is perfect. And apparently the Circus Festival starts in Montreal on July 2nd, so maybe we’ll get away with sticking around for a day or two longer for that. Either way, I plan to get fat and happy on delicious food, hug a lot of people, dance my face off, and ride a lot of city bikes. Christine wants to go to the new Cirque show, Kurios, too. I approve. There will also be chocolate and a stop by Santropol. Oh yes.

And no, I don’t know anything solid about flight dates on this trip yet either. IT IS ALL A FANTASTIC MYSTERY.

And then I’m in Vancouver until ToorCamp. (That might be for less than a week, oi). ToorCamp is another hacker event, but in Washington State on July 9th. Nathan wants me to go with him, so of course I said yes. Hopefully my passport will have come back by then and I’ll be good to go. I don’t know much about it, except that the people I know who’ve gone in the past are all excellent.

I have also been tapped to work as the Art Director for Hacked Festival, another hacker event from August 11th – 14th, but this one in Vancouver. It’s their inaugural year and maybe I’ll be able to help, even though I’m barely going to be around for the next few months. (Apply to be a speaker or an artist naow!) I’ve told them about my travel schedule, but the founder met me at BIL and he seems to want me involved anyway, so I might end up going through with it just because. If that ends up being the case, that will fit in right after ToorCamp. And right before Burning Man.

I have a number of options for Burning Man this year, but I think I might be tossing a bunch of them over to stay with a lawyer friend from Seattle. Not only do I appreciate him a metric ton just in general, I cannot get enough of his art project, an infrared photobooth. People step inside into pitch blackness, the infrared flash goes off, and though all they see is a small red light, the pictures look like they were taken in daylight.

And then, come September, rest. Playing with ferrets. Adventure is fine, (dying is fine)but Death), but I’m going to miss my ferrets. Pepper and Selenium are the best.

TLDR; If all goes well, I’m going to live out of a suitcase this summer.

once you’ve found your way back

Tonight a whole bunch of us will be performing at Catfish and other Delicacies, Beth Brown‘s musical brainchild. (Nicholas is coming from Victoria to play).

Johnny Depp to play Sweeny Todd.

Have you ever met someone who tasted like wind? Their hands feel pleasingly tarnished, as if at one point they were molten. One day, walking, you may find yourself an inch above the ground. They will not notice and you will not tell them. They open their clear water eyes and the earth slips away, tumbling away like rainclouds. It rushes away with the sound of quick violin.

Treading on shadow, voice like the vectors of a moths wing, he is skin tattooed with opiates. Installed into his world, I feel the fortune-teller again, like my body is becoming a messy chapbook of small beautiful prophecies. My kiss becoming inexplicable, knowledge pooling in the crevices of my joints, ready to spill out and stain my lips with black twists of old-fashioned ink. His name becoming something other in my mouth, a brocade curtain illuminated as a religious manuscript, each letter exhaled as stars, reclaimed into treble clefs, sharps, bright notes of terrifying purity.

He has built a thousand ships so that I may capsize within them, day by day, every time I step toward him. My eyes are cameras that will never be good enough. Our plans coalesce from whims, they thicken and grow from thin candles to blazing soprano ravens. This is a man who grew up in homes, celebrating roots and history and form. He speaks of security as a casual thing, the waxing of the moon, as I watch and feel as a mouse might, worried about being trod underfoot. It is as foreign a concept as a rainbow in a catacomb.

Mexico’s Partial Vote Recount Confirms Massive and Systematic Election Fraud.

For those who are interested, I have been informed that the zombiewalk will probably be covered on Canada Now at 6PM PST tonight.

CBC TV as well as CBC Radio both spent the last 45 mins interviewing Andrew and getting some of his photos of the event, including the car photos, (license plate & driver). They’re possibly interviewing a couple of high school kids as well and the whole thing will apparently be on sometime in the 6 o clock news hour.

Apparently the driver of the car has only received a traffic ticket at this time. The police are getting in touch with Andrew tomorrow, so expect further details then.

Bush Now Says What He Wouldn’t Say Before War: Iraq Had ‘Nothing’ To Do With 9/11.

spellcheck doesn’t think “motherfucker” is a word

“London, London” a video by Cibelle featuring Devendra Banhart.

I went to Vancouver Island alone for the first time in my life on Friday. All I knew was that somewhere in front of me was Oliver, whose name creates the feel of kisses on my tongue. He is an older man, as mine are, and sweet as I always wanted them to be. He won’t tell me he loves me yet, but says instead that it’s close, as if the words are a race he hopes to win.

I like the way he looks at me, mildly stunned, as if I am some ultimate unexpected good fortune. Silva likes it too. He is a nervous man, but his worries are only an outward mark of his extreme consideration, like a gold birthmark that stutters in the sun. He wraps his body around mine when we sleep, so always I wake with his arms curled around me, warm ribbons tying me comfortably to him.

I wonder if I will like his parents.

My inclination is for description, for setting down my appreciation for his hair and the length of his body, but no matter how charmed I am with his colours, his skin darker than mine, the streaks of tarnished blond silver that paint the frame of his friendly Brian Froud smile, it is other things that want to drop here. Moments of personality, of detached devotion. Thanks you’s for finally bringing me to somewhere safe. Today he gave me a key to his house. On my way home, I had the men at the hardware store cut him copies of mine.

Mexican court rejects full ballot recount, leftist candidate blasts partial tally.

Coming back was not as difficult as going. In spite of a messenger glitch, meaning I didn’t get one damned message all weekend, there was plenty of news waiting. I didn’t get the job I’d hoped for and there’s nothing I can think to do about it. I have a little design portfolio made-up now that was in case of a second interview, perhaps it will come in handy later. At any rate, there was good news too. This week looks to be intensely and awesomely busy.
Tonight (or tomorrow night, her and the websites have different opinions on when), April and I are going to the Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band concert at Richards on Richards. (A group led by founding Godspeed You! Black Emperor guitarist Efrim).

Thursday and Friday I have extra work on a film named Hot Rod, out at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. (I have to figure out how to bus there first thing in the morning, augh).

Friday is the Robot Skytrain Party plus Sam‘s big party at the Treehouse. (“Come to the party that will send a shiver down your back years from now as you suddenly think “Oh, God… I remember that party.””).

Saturday is Vancouver’s first Flugtag, our Second Annual Zombiewalk, and Bob‘s party.

Wolf Parade plays the Commodore on Sunday, (not that I have a ticket, I’m just lusting after one), and Andrew says there’s something else but he forgets, so if you remember, I’d love a heads up.

Oh! And Snakes On a Motherfucking Plane is this Thursday at the Rio, (Broadway & Commercial), at 10pm.

If you comment here saying you can’t come, Andrew will have Samuel L. Jackson call and persuade you.

Also, he checked with the box office, you can buy your tickets at the Rio anytime it’s open now.

Oh, and CROSSPOST this mofo! We want to own the theatre.

Geocities + Web 2.0 = Myspace

Toot-a-Lute has put me in charge of their website. This makes me happy, as it needs a hell of an overhaul, and they’re a good group of people. They deserve a better on-line face. I’m thinking something sparse and clean, with a little bit of edging in green. In the interests of up-keep, would anyone with appropriate photos send them to me? Your work will be fully credited, with a link to you when possible.

Nouvelle Vague is coming to Vancouver!

So I’ve returned from Clinton, which wasn’t as strange as I thought it would be. In spite of my worries, I fit in well. It turned out I had fifty or so semi-unexpected friends and acquaintances there. More than I knew the names of, by far. As soon as we arrived, some pirates tucked us into a good camp spot and we were told to make ourselves at home at a number of different camps. Everyone was surprised to see me, but glad. It was fun though the sun beat us hard enough for me to question its self-esteem.

On Saturday, after an initial exploratory wander, Isabella tied me to her merchant tent and put up for ransom. Eventually James set out with this news and fetched Oliver back to rescue me, who manfully offered them his accordion. A price too steep, we decided, so instead we dressed him up in women’s clothing and took pictures. Emancipation was not so easy, as then she wickedly tied him up too.

Later in the evening, we started a dance circle and I taught steps to people and sang with the band. I’d forgotten what that could be like. Lantern lit and dust everywhere, hallelujah. Singing isn’t as terrifying as I remember it to be. It got dark as we were there. I partnered with Gerald for Morris dancing after that. I don’t think I would have gone through with it had I been paired off with anyone else. He’s a lovely giant of a man with tawny gold hair longer than my arm, and our crazies are so compatible that I used his machete instead of a stick during one of our rehearsal run-throughs and the only thing he did was laugh. See, I had this problem where I was breaking his sticks, all of them, until he finally gave up and, because he’s big enough to do so, used a length of tree trunk instead.

Sunday was more of the same. During the day was socializing with the ridiculous number of people I knew and wandering about with Oliver, who didn’t know a tenth of them, playing music, and eventually visiting the lake. It was atrociously cold. When people tell you something is brisk, what they mean to say is, “I would be a coward if I didn’t jump in and cowards are reviled, therefore…” I don’t recommend it. The chance to wash clean of the desert was nice, but the price was a little too high for comfort.

We were dancing and singing again by the time the sun set. When it came to be night, too dark to dance in large groups, I took out my chemical packets of powder and threw them in fires as we traveled from camp to camp, acting as an alchemist, bruising the flames into different beautiful colours. Blues and greens and purples. Instead of a lantern, I used extra long sparklers. The light was fantastical, radiating magic to the drunk people who were watching and didn’t quite understand. I felt like I was creating a circus all by myself. It was almost as glorious as fireworks.

On a more somber now, Veronica and I sorted out as much as is possible in such circumstances. We sat under the shooting stars and didn’t quite cry together, but it was close. We are in sympathy, we both know where the other person is, and I’m glad it worked out. I believe she’ll take time to vanish for a little while, but we’ll carve out a place to be friends again soon. I’m proud of her as I’m proud of myself. I was going to do what she’s doing now, and walk away, but she beat me to it. Honourable we. I’d like to catch her as she’s falling, but it’s not my place. I hope she knows I understand how it’s a lonely thing to be, brave.

Nicole is needing a two bedroom apartment for September. She’s looking for $1000/month maximum, East Van from Commercial drive area to Kits, and nothing over 30th Ave. Laundry on-site and with a deck or a yard. It’s a tricky one, but if you see anything, please drop her a line at 604-306-6188.

to keep you damned kids busy and off my lawn

the kiss
Originally uploaded by Agata….

Icelandic nitro-jeep hydroplaning.

The click of teeth. I kissed his mouth and felt like Salome.

Being held, it’s that feeling, being held. A stone beneath my feet, the desire to both crawl inside and all consume.

Part of my recent news is that I’ve agreed to go to the SCA Clinton Wars this year, the west coast’s biggest medieval nerd-prom. I have resisting invitation for approximately half a decade, but I’ve finally been given an offer I can’t refuse. Terrifying, but lovely and enchanting all at once. I am both honoured and respected.

Duncan has epitomized my Clinton warnings all at once:

“Clinton’s a hoot. I hope you have fun. I got married there to five women when I went. and then their head concubine killed me the next day. and one night I was a woman. and I got burnt to a crisp. The battle’s frickin’ awesome to watch though.”

For those not stupid and or insane, this weekend can still be an exciting slew of events.

Friday is the very last day of Boca Del Lupo‘s astonishingly delightful The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces, their yearly “Free, Outdoors, All-ages, Roving Spectacular” performed in Stanley Park. (At Picnic Place, just past Prospect Point, because you know how much we all love alliteration). I went today and, hours later, my face still aches from smiling so much. Their exceedingly clever fairy-tale, full of self referentials and witty tongue-in-cheek, pulls you through the forest, following the often prettily singing actors as they dance from aerial wires or hang in nets from high up in the trees. Tom Jones does an excellent job aiming humour at the children, but the over-all charm is barely limited by the format. It’s free admission, but you have to call ahead and put your name down, because spaces fill up. 604-684-2622.

Later on Friday, Tiffany is in town with her Taiko Drumming show: JODAIKO, presented by Pride in Art, Friday, August 4, 8:00pm, at the Roundhouse Community Centre, (181 Roundhouse Mews). Tickets: $10 -$18 sliding scale, available at the door and at Little Sister’s Books, (1238 Davie St, 1-800-567-1662), and Rhizome Café, (317 East Broadway, 604-872-3166).

Saturday is the DykeMarch from McSpadden Park, (fourth and Victoria), to Grandview Park. It starts at noon and ends by dissolving into a party, the Dykemarch Festival, at one o’clock.

Either that, or the Powell St. Festival, themed this year as Memory Streams: 30 years of Japanese Canadian Arts on Powell Street. It’s fairly standard culture-fest fare – taiko drumming, sumo wrestling, martial arts demos, folk and modern dance, Kokoro, alternative pop/rock/urban music, visual arts, film/video, etcetera, as well as the expected array of Japanese food, crafts and displays.

Sunday, of course, is the Pride Parade from 12 – 2. The route along Beach Avenue is the same every year, starting from Denman and Robson and ending at Pacific and Thurlow, by the Aquatic Center. This year there’s over 130 floats scheduled and approximately 185,000 spectators expected. I recommend heading down early to get good seats, the earlier in the parade, the better, before the performers use up all their energy with booty waving. (Wave at the cow-girls for me, will you?). When the parade ends, it turns into the Sunset Beach Festival, which goes until 6pm.

doing things to her that belong to you

Elephant Three
Originally uploaded by anavrin.

Ever speculated on how much of a bad idea something would be, then jumped off the bridge anyway, inevitably changing everything and quietly saying “oops” under your breath, almost as if you meant it?

I’m beginning to think it’s simply how I run things. I can’t escape my name, my natural anthem of love’s disaster. Missing chances to death, walking strong and emotionally detached, I want it to end so much that it hurts bone deep. I feel like a stranger to my own body, to my own needs and choices and liabilities. Upon my breath, Sunday morning I was flying enough to let my impulses die a steady slumbering death, but today, in the smeary hour of midnight, I didn’t bother to keep myself in check.

Wearing myself out with all this sticky importance, I was in my element Saturday, not a visitor. Usually I feel somewhat out of context, a tourist in my own country, but stomping around in work boots and a corset was utterly perfect. This was the first year in five that I was also a visible performer. Pyrotech, dancer, different clothes, different steps. Tiny changes and all smiles. I almost kissed someone when they walked into a room. The partner impulse there and whole, downloaded entire into my frame without thought. Familiar and strange. I almost ruined the edges of my heart.

(Today my feet are criss-crossed with black electrical tape, my answer to the common plaster. In one place, it’s possible to see bone where I wore through my foot. Poor little toes, they will recover, but the body politic, it is not happy.)

I said I was planning on getting a good night’s sleep last night, but subtext occurred instead. I went to bed near five a.m. full of double-meant conversations, explanations slipped between words. It’s been going on all week, all before too. Supportive people, my hand being held, a place to fall to if I need it. It’s terrifying, this encouragement. I’d forgotten what it’s like.

(The mad poet, the awesome-sauce Mike McGee, wants the world to see this.)

I should have and I did enough of a little bit to count for something

Thunder at five in the morning. Thunder as long as my kind of kiss. I have only just sat down in my two foot office, the square at the foot of my bed, and outside, the sky has sung to me in the tones of metal shaken behind a stage or perhaps the sound that old houses use to appreciate the heavy wooden furniture that moves across their floors. Now the seagulls are screaming. Entire flocks of them disturbed by the magnificent cloud drum-roll.

I believe in anything

All day there was the threat of rain. Jay would call in and the weather forecast would give us depressing percentages. Fourty percent, seventy percent. Conner shook his head, Nancy Lee shook her head. All this work for nothing, camaraderie aside. Instead, it didn’t happen. We lit fine. We lit and it was glorious. Dangerous light.

And now with dawn comes the rain. It’s a sweet sound now, welcome, fresh and pleasing. I want to be out in it, while knowing that this is about the best place I’m going to get right now, warm and safe, next to my bed, with dawn beginning and threatening to crawl in with me. It was close to fourty-eight hours long, but still the nicest day I’ve had in a very long time.

I did it my wa-a-a-a-y

When I was a kid, I wanted a tree-house. I liked the idea of having a little place that was my own, high up, and floored in the cloth bound books I liked to read. I would hang tassels, I would paper with comics and pieces of sari. I wanted to tumble down the ladder in a rush of limbs to a mother waiting with ice-cream. I wanted what the real kids had, only to try. I could see them sometimes, transitory, from the window of the truck I was growing up in as we drove past little houses. Surrounded by trees, always on the highway, these houses, with a gas station at the end of the row that would sell cold things and packets of shrink wrapped pepperoni sticks that my father would open with his teeth. My favourite treat was the Cadbury cream eggs with shiny tinfoil that I would flatten with the back of my fingernail until I could pretend it was tain I’d peeled whole from some antique washroom mirror.

Andrew had a comment published on BoingBoing this week.

Have you ever been in love with someone to the point where you’re afraid? They meet your eyes and the amount of feeling that shoots in to your blood must betray you, it feels certain, but then they blink and look away. Disaster averted. It’s terrifying, like suddenly discovering you’ve got a red jewel of cancer in the palm of your heart.

I’m selling my old monitor on Craiglist for $50.

The fireworks last night were nice. I led everyone directly to the waterfront, with nothing between us and the show but for water. Blooming explosions of mostly gold, laced with red and Italy’s particular green. Their music choice was a little damning, no match of Denmark’s Abba medley of last year, the cheesiest possible clips of Celine Dion, Queen, & Ennio Morricone, but they made up for it with the intense amount of bang.

After, though, was better than nice, it was magical. Police arrived on horses, with back-up from police boats and helicopters, to clear people from the beach. Horses in riot gear, to be more precise, with little see-thru plastic helmets and shiny reflective socks. Lit only by beacons and searchlights, they came out of the heavy sulpherous smoke like a slowly solidifying dream. It was impossible to focus on them, they were so ephemeral, such perfect phantasmagorical memories come real. They seemed both bigger and smaller than horses are, because they faded in and out of the flashing lights so strangely, so beautifully. The police on top seemed grown from the same dark flesh, details were so randomly precise. A leg would show in stark detail then vanish again into the sand and night. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine wonder, approaching.

based on a brick of a pillow and a plank of what it used to be like to be me

She looked all curves and shiny eyes. Posed as woman as a simple cure-all, her body a pill, the waiting chemistry of the word Yes. One word untying every victim of life from the railway tracks. New blood, brooding on the futility of sexual capacity. Those bastards draped in honey-suckle, in ample feeling. Hands with too much strength trapped inside. Drunk on missing lovers, driving to the homes of people they all used to know together, they never had each other biblically, except in her city-block verses and tired dreaming. So she hotly looked at him and thought, I could leave right now. I could walk out that door saying, hey, just don’t call me for awhile, okay?

Shuddering into a more sober awareness, the touch of grass beneath her reminds her of fiction. Stains of umbilical fantasy grabbing at her memories, images of kissing, of improbable situations where she gets to be impressive. Doctors saying, we don’t know how long until she’s leaving, but out of everyone, she’s asking for you. The scream of anniversary panic, not in this life, she thought of carrying him through passageways, his body light as music, until she comes to a door with a red exit light and puts him down as if that was the plan all along. Running from wolves, pulling him from fires. Solid threats she could rescue him from. Gratitude dripping from his smiles, another day blocking the doorway with her body.

She can put an edge on any word, turning it on the lathe of her tongue to remind him of all the things that he hasn’t given her, treating him like a sarcastic stranger. The verdict, hell to pay. Incredibly, they kept going. Independence a death in the family. It was like the stop-gap job she took in college, steady, with no real reason to leave. It had never been meant to last so long, but it paid the bills, and she kept hoarding his voice in her fantasies. She began to smile as if goodbye was one last joke between them, and she saw instantly how easily he could defeat her. All he would have to do is laugh. Laugh and turn to her and all her certainty would vanish, replaced by his universe. How can you leave someone who implies that black velvet threats are the smallest plant in an undistinguished windowsill garden?

This was all part of his plan, a map of telling secrets in her dancing. He knew how to pull her hair, how to find her fingertip sounds. Her limited view gave her this, like dust that persists, in spite of the fact that he’d never touched her. It was a game as sharp as the rays of daylight that sent her to sleep on winter mornings. Tall, she thinks, staring fixedly at the ceiling as if there were nothing blocking her gaze from the mirror of the sky. Did I used to like them tall? She thinks she’s stupid and immature, only able to think in boy with girl relationships, unable to conceive of a place where she understands only friends. Fifty ways to leave your lover – by keeping her adoration a secret, by winking uncertainly at a taxi-driver and paying him all the money she could find, by suddenly playing aloof like she was on t.v. Running out of fingers, counting issues instead, so much baggage it’s a matched set.