all’s fair: there are so many kinds of love

By W. S. Merwin

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.


I started wearing perfume again just over a year ago, not daily, but on occasions I want to be remembered. Because the olfactory bulb in the brain has such an intimate relationship with the emotional amygdala and the hippocampus, responsible for associative learning, scent can conjure memories like nothing else. Therefore my perfume, warmed by my body, becomes a language, waterlily sweet thickened with amber musk, sharp with vanilla, my name as a ripple through the air, ever changing, the apple bright notes fading quickly, replaced by apricot skin, delicious with chocolate and as smooth to welcome hands. It was chosen specifically to be as honest a self-representation as possible, so that I can be conjured with it, a spirit named. Triggered, linked, set, and match. My scent part of the toolkit, like my pen, like my tongue. Mercenary social graces, my hair my banner, my fight my own.

A touch in the fiery tangle on top of my head and a touch on the collar of his shirt, a drop to the hollow of my throat, a drop behind his ear, a mist that became my invisible self, recognized as deep as the lizard brain.

Knife bearer, dream walker, post-geographic mythologist. I have been claimed again, a shadow drifting through space and time, a gift I left in a small green bag. He was downstairs, I was helping upstairs, packing alone. Enough time to leave my memory in his luggage, the only way I could think of to go with him, the scent clinging to his things like we did to each other, rarely farther than arm’s reach, as brassy but as certain as when I met his eyes, picked his necklace up from the dresser, and slipped the pendant into my mouth, (I, too, am like you), defiance, acceptance, a dare and a promise both. Story-telling subconscious, unconscious together, our minds told the same narrative while asleep our first night, something I had forgotten could happen, if I even ever knew, a cold-reading shared between us, a city to explore, climbing old buildings with rusted stairs, our footsteps clanging, a ladder. When we woke, even as it defied logic, all I wanted was to say, “Thank you”, “That was beautiful”, “I love you”, and “Let’s do that again.”

He unearthed it this week. I had been wondering when he would find my hidden, invisible gift, the only way I could be there when I need to be, even if only as a conditioned response. My ghost sent, wrapped in memory, a reminder of comfort and love during troubled times. My hope had been pinned on the chance that he wouldn’t open the bag during a mundane day, but only when he traveled again, leaving home to take care of heavy events. Now it has happened, a relative dying, I find myself waiting, my breath held, for the other penny to drop.

I don’t know where Lethbridge is, but the name is nice

Standing on the C-train, I’m looking out the window, trying to pinpoint what stop I need to be closest to the bookstore, (I had accidentally left my book, The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, on the floor of the taxi we took from the airport to the temporary hotel), when she taps me on the arm. “Excuse me,” she says, and asks a woman’s name, something with multiple syllables I don’t exactly catch. “I’m sorry, no. You’re mistaken.” I reply, shaking my head. She’s somewhere in her fifties, well dressed, slightly expensive. The top of her head comes up to my chin. “I’m sorry,” her voice catches, “for a moment.. you reminded me of my.. my daughter.” Suddenly, she’s crying. I reach forward, take her in my arms, and let her lean into my body as she crumples. What else is there to do?

We stood like a statue of women welded together until the train slowed into the next stop. “Are you alright?” She nodded into my chest, took a deep breath, shakily stepped back, and thanked me. “Would you like to go for coffee?” I asked, “Talk about it?”

I bought her a dark hot chocolate and sat with her in an oversized chair, our knees touching. “She was the sweetest thing in my life. We had the same colour hair, but her voice was her father’s, do you understand that?” I said that I did, and she continued, “I was wonderfully young, around your age. Such a nightmare. I felt so stupid. We searched the whole place, got security to shut down the doors, check the parking lot. Didn’t matter.” Her story was sad, terrible, simple, and not unexpected, considering how we met. About twenty years ago, she said, her nine year old daughter was snatched from a Lethbridge grocery store.

“This is only the third time I’ve ever mistaken someone for her, you know, and the other two people wouldn’t give me the time of day.” I put an arm around her and she rest against it, warming her tiny hands on her cup, and we sat, silent, with our heads together. “I’m glad you found me,” I said. “Me too.”

Missing Persons

*am dancing*

One of my missing people has been discovered! My personal mythology has one less gap in it’s history.
Christopher, the whimsical computer lord, hath been found!
(Or rather, he hath found me!)

And solved the roomate situation, in one, may I dare say it? Fell swoop.

Missing Persons:

Charles Pascual
Douglas Forbes aka Crow
-thought to be in the Fraser & 41st area
Gavin, painter, clown, & human siamese
-thought to be in Calgary, {GreenFools??}

I’m going now to count pennies until they add up to busfare.