now my hands are bleeding and my knees are raw

slaves to money
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

There are no birds today. The sky has become a hard stone floor waiting to be swept by wings, but there are none forthcoming. The threat of rain hangs too heavily over my neighborhood. All the flying voices are hunkering down, trying to get comfortable, and waiting for the inevitable soaking. I understand where they’re coming from. My desire to go outside is being stifled by the overbearing clouds as well. Cities feel out-dated on days like today, like no one’s progressed in architecture since the seventies but we’re all too cowardly to say so.

New Googlebomb: Scientology. Pass it on.

Two days of barely moving from in front of my sleepless computer, surfing the tepid industry* of employment websites, I feel like I’ve been joylessly glued to a square of carpet. Telus turned be down, albeit as politely as they could and with many personal remarks upon my general awesomeness, so now I’m holding my hand out to the internet, hoping to feel a brush of work upon my palm. Sara is in town scouring for funky apartments, so tomorrow her and I are going to attack the city classifieds as a brightly coloured yet highly dependable unit that you so want to know.

New Music: my Masque Soundtrack that never aired.

Tonight I was supposed to be with Jacques at a Karaoke Fundraiser for something, but I accidentally double-booked, so I’m due up at UBC for a bit of an analytical nature-walk through the endowment lands instead. Due in about twenty minutes, actually, if I’m going to be a little bit early. Apparently I’m to bring an umbrella. Amusingly, my friend who’s arranging this didn’t expect me to actually own one.

* Russia’s something too awesome for words.

I’m going to be a liquid tired later

a delicate step forward
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

There is a soft rain falling.

Saturday morning we were as tangled as a gordian knot, no way to extricate a hand or a leg without changing reality. Who knows where this piece of skin begins and that one ends? We are too comfortably warm to care.

A train is howling sorrow into the weather, as if the water is bringing it pain.

The flower has been put into a dairy bottle half filled with water. It’s on the kitchen counter, where we can’t see it, because we’re trapped in the bedroom with the door closed. This feels like the memory of an anniversary. We make two spoons, melted out of shape, conversation crawling famously between us, draining ourselves of impurities, setting ourselves up for a fall. He makes me laugh.

It’s earlier than I’m used to, but part of this is allowing ourselves to get to work on time.

Two in the afternoon and we finally go for breakfast. Aiden is there with his friend Graham. The woman behind the counter knows me. I make another mental note to bring her flowers as we slide into the window seat. I forget, but Sara is downtown, waiting for us in the basement of Dressew. We have to go. On the bus, a girl smiles at us in approval, half a couple perceiving another pair. I feel under siege by only pretty things.

The bits of food I have squirreled in my room are running out. I may have to find myself breakfast.

Sara is pretty, fresh and welcome. We poke heads into goth stores, a second hand shop, the studio. We’re on a quest for things to wear at SinCity. He and I are failing, but she’s doing okay. We take gorget from the studio and take the bus to my house. I collect my black things, a fishnet shirt that ties at the sleeve, a bra thick enough to dance in, and we wave goodbye to Sarah at Broadway. There is a tree full of birdhouses, stuffed branches with a little town. Kinsgway we decide, to get back to the boat, after Rowan’s. Our fingers lace together as we walk and I’m not sure when I notice.

I’m considering going to Uprising Bakery, but I’m too nested to feel any urgency.

The boat is beautiful, inspiring. I have never felt a pull to sail across an ocean before, but the impulse was dizzying once I’d stepped inside the hull. Panama, it tugged at me, photographs of industrial locks filling with water, the idea of being entirely surrounded by nothing but water. The sway of seasons pushing us across to a place with a different language, a different set of gestures and streets. A city sky lit by different stars at night, a ship to rest against a dock made of stone. Italy, the masks of Venice. The curve of the hull drew me in and drew me through, led me scouring the constellation of books around the bed tucked away in the prow. The sort of place part of me calls home, more so than where I live.

I wonder if there’s a letter downstairs. When does the mail come? My alarm will ring too soon again.

there’s a membrane drawn over my week

Originally uploaded by camil tulcan.

A sound like god, what happens when a man covered in microphones walks into a room full of speakers.

I have been measuring things more in my eyes than my hands this week, which leads to interesting bits of missing time that I worry for, as if they’re my children and I’ve abandoned them for that crucial minute too long in the shopping mall where now the only way to get them back is in newspaper articles I clip out and tape to my fridge.

Last weekend, Burrow was in town. I know that for certain. The order of her arrival is written down, there were pictures taken. She stayed over Friday night with Sam, the evening of Meat Eatery. Sam and I had walked to BJ’s after dinner, watched atrocious movies with Bob and his girl-darling from Parksville, then returned to curl up with Burrow asleep in my bed. We were quiet, but woke her unintentionally.

Saturday we crawled out of bed in time for the Fool’s Parade. Sam went home to shackle himself to his desk and Burrow and I rolled like tired thunder downtown and met with Duncan, Jenn, Georg, and her pink-dyed ferret, Silky. The parade was rainy and under-attended, so after coming close to winning the Fool of the Year award with ferret breasts, we abandoned the street for Taf’s. When work didn’t have my paycheque ready, we turned around and walked to the Bay to visit with Eva at her clinical cosmetics booth. It was fascinating, in a quiet colourful way, but not enough to keep Burrow and I from going home to rest before Duncan pulled us out to the graceful Fool’s Cabaret on Main st. Reine‘s mother was there, and Siobhan, a friend of friend’s we went to dinner with after.

Monday is missing, a played out afterburn. I took some self-portraits, but I don’t know if I slept there at home or not. There was one, two ideas. A number, undifferentiated. Something.

Tuesday is more concrete, not only written down, but recorded. Video, audio, photographs. Imogyne and I at Hawksley Workman with darling Sophie. The Cultch in all it’s warmly worn desiccating glory, intimate, red curtained. I remembered all the shows I’d played there. Running through the back when I was a child, that one time making love inside the roof. Downstairs hot-boxing the worn office, how there was once a pane of glass violently shattered in the middle of an orchestral piece, how the beads of my necklace clattered as I bounced and clapped. The music was good too, his acoustic version of striptease sincerely captivating.

After, Devon came over and we stayed up until the last bus, listening to our bootlegs and drinking weary tea. Imogyne eventually went home, and Devon and I talked until far too late, making me late for work Wednesday. The day I went to Andrew‘s after work and Georg and I re-dyed my hair into the colour of sticky quill ink while watching Ghost in the Shell. She came back to my place after, and we let the ferret run free through my apartment as we talked about partners and lives lost, the soulmates of just then and not today and maybe yesterday we knew something and maybe tomorrow we’ll have some hope. She wrote poetry and I woke up in the morning holding her hand.

Thursday I had a date with Sam, a real live date, not one of those on-line long-distance approximations my life seems to enjoy lauding me with. Cleaned up versions of us met at Tinseltown for the Brick preview and had dinner at Wild Ginger before walking out to False Creek to hang out on a water fountain and eat caramel ice-cream. We sat under the moon passing the tub back and forth like a cheap cigarette and talked about some of the same things that Georg did. We’re all divorced, the lot of us. It’s like a curse or a disease catching in all the social circles. It seems like every split has had very little to do with love and everything to do with a basic need to keep evolving, to keep trying to touch forever.

Friday Michael stole me out from under dinner with Andrew, Navi, Ryan, and Eva, and accompanied Robin and I to Thank You For Smoking instead. It was gleeful, with some damned nice moments, (there was a montage of Bad People that slaughtered us like baby seals), and led well into creeping alone up the stairs into Duello for the end of Fight Practice, a small red flower as my sword. I sat on the couch with Lee, letting him show me knife tricks, as people cleaned up and we sat for coffee until it was too late to think of going anywhere else but home. Friday nights, however, traditionally lead into mornings without work, so we survived.

We survived well, in fact, not doing a damned thing until somewhere after two in the afternoon, until the body-call to breakfast was too deafening to ignore.

I saved a life and slapped my cheating ex, what did you do?

New Year 2006
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

&nbsp I fell asleep once in front of tending a fire, an over sized teddy-bear as my pillow. When I awoke, it was startling. My hair thrown back, my feet half under me, the long slender piece of wood I’d used to prod the burning logs poised like a weapon over my baby/bear, I became a flame bronzed sculpture of the classic pose a woman makes protecting her child. Perfectly confident in myself and my action, I awoke the devil’s daughter because the sleeping bear Must Be Kept Safe. I was ready to spring, defend.

&nbsp I’m a little worn out from feeling like that all the time. I would appreciate respite, a chance even to merely rest aside someone else who is responsible for guarding others, like the two of us together would not have to be quite as alert to ward off danger and so have a chance to relax.

This is for you, Warren.

I have been silent here not from lack of content, (quite the opposite), but because my ex-roommate, James, in a fit of infinite wisdom, decided to take my modem with him when he moved out and hasn’t answered his door yet when I go across the hall to ask for it back. Tomorrow I plan on leaving a note. Thank you for the concerned letters. I am not as absent as the internet currently claims I am.

&nbsp &nbsp My New Year celebrations began as whispers in water. Distant from the occasion, I was swimming through SinCity, (click for pictures), nothing astray from the usual. Dancing, moving, the occasional warm hello. Matthew passed me while I was talking with Sarah and I ran my fingers through his hair when his back was turned, as I used to do. He held me close for a moment, said he was sorry, then walked away.

&nbsp &nbsp Counting down from five seconds to midnight happened on the dance-floor. The music calmed, we stopped thrashing about and reached out for each other, holding hands with whomever was next to us. There was an announcement of free champagne at the pool table. “Five,” we shouted, “Four.”. We started jumping with every number. “Three. Two.” and at “One”, I put my hands up and threw a prayer. May it all be right again some day. I miss you.
&nbsp &nbsp Precious Lasilana and I were meant to skedaddle off to the Annex House-party on the heels of midnight, but it didn’t quite work out that way. First there was a brief medical emergency, a friend of ours, incautious with a high-tension social situation, had an anxiety attack and had to be sent to the hospital. Then we lost each other in the morass of black fishnets and too tight corsets. Finally Nick found me, told me that she was outside waiting. First, I thought, say my goodbyes. A hug for Christopher, a faux swoon for Meghan, and a moment being lifted off my feet by Ross, and I thought I was gone, but no. I turn and there he is, that annoying bane.

I’m going now.
Ah, I hope you had fun. Good night.
There is a motion for a hug.
First you’re going to kiss me for New Years.
I don’t think I could handle that.
It didn’t ask you if you could.
I don’t have a choice in the matter, eh?
He smiles.
No, I don’t believe you do. Find us a dark corner.

&nbsp &nbsp On the back porch, in a tiny pool of space that the smokers have left by the rail, we stand together, quietly examining another with words. “How have you been?” “Stressed, you?” “Maybe worse, hard to tell.” “Yeah.” We hug and something snaps and melts, it’s small, but I can feel it in his spine. Our faces are both buried in hair, in shoulders, our arms are warm. We pull back to see again and abruptly, Richard yanks open the door from inside, “Matthew, Jhayne, sorry, it’s an emergency, you have to come now!”

&nbsp &nbsp I begin to laugh, because how consummately flawless is his timing. If we were a film, this would be the moment where the music changes. Our heroes interrupted. I kissed him anyway, and then we ran impossibly quickly, hand in hand through the thick spiky crowd of heavily made-up women in towering heels and men in leather kilts and g-strings, all the way from the very back to out front the building.

&nbsp &nbsp On the ground, propped up by the wall, is an unconscious girl in a green fairy costume surrounded by too many people who don’t know what to do. Immediately, Matthew and I pull off her panicking friends. Lasilana is already there, she had caught them trying to pour water down the girls throat in a poorly thought out attempt at reviving her and now as we arrived, she began holding people back, trying to calm them down, giving us room to work. I took her clammy body from the cold wall, lean her sitting sprawled against my own and tilted her head back against my arm, trying to open a clear passage for air. We get her name, Jennifer, from one of the smeary tear-faced friends and I begin saying her name, pinching her lightly, checking the tracking of her eyes. Her breathing was laboured as I checked her weakening pulse. Matthew gets on the phone with the paramedics.

&nbsp &nbsp One one-thousand. Two one-thousand. Three one-thousand, feels a little like the counting inside from earlier, but she doesn’t get to four. I switch quickly from her wrist to her neck. Still no pulse. Four is simply not on the agenda unless I do something. Matthew is busy on the phone, almost standing on the street, and I can’t see Lasilana. I assume she’s behind one of the cement pillars calming crowd people, so I go it alone.

&nbsp &nbsp The heel of one hand in the middle of the chest, between her breasts, the other on top of it. I press down hard, pulling toward me sharply, press down again, again, remembering what to do without any consciousness. She coughs, fiercely gasps, and her eye-lids flutter. Something comes up that was blocking the air in her chest and her heart thuds almost audibly. I count eighteen a minute. The world spins again.

She is alive.

&nbsp &nbsp I sit with her body against me, one hand holding her jaw forward, trying to prompt a response from her until the medics arrive. I don’t even know if anyone saw what I did. We interrogate the fiance, find out that she’d only had one drink, but also a pill and a sip of something that might have been GHB, but nobody knows for certain. We can’t find the guy who gave her the drugs to confirm anything, but at that point, it didn’t really matter. His description is fairly generic for a fetish club, he probably left after midnight. If we’re lucky, he was from out of town. In the end, we sent the fiance into the ambulance with her and explained the effects of shock to her friends. Lasilana lit up a cigarette and Matthew and I fell into each other.

&nbsp &nbsp Again, I begin laughing. “Are you laughing at me?” “No, love.” I take his hand and we begin dancing to the faint music coming through the wall of the club. We’re calm and in control. I am, in fact, for a while. My forehead rests against his chin, then I start crying, just a little, through the smile. It’s a painful fairy-tale moment. Together we saved a life, together we’re singing softly to the music, I never meant to hurt you, together we’re dancing almost as flawlessly as we worked as a team.

&nbsp &nbsp “Too precious to discard, too painful to keep.” It’s nice, no matter I don’t know how much it’s meant, no matter that I said it first, months ago, the sentiment is appreciated. It sums up so much of my painful year. It casts the right kind of glow to what happens next. He steps back, holds me a step away from him. “I think it’s time.” We’re gleaming, mischievous now. “Are you sure?” “Can’t think of a better time than now,” he says, and I can’t help but agree. There’s tears in my eyes still a little, but my heart must have shone like the moon on fire that moment. I begin to take off my rings and Lasilana approaches, “Would you like me to take those?” She proffers her hand, “Yes, please. Thank you.” I’m so glad.

“Are you sure? I’m not sure I can do this.”
“Never more sure of anything. I owe you more than this.
&nbsp Really you should be giving me a swift kick between the legs.”
“But then there would never be any children and that would be a shame.
&nbsp You might want to close your eyes.”
“No thanks darling, I want to see this one coming.”

&nbsp &nbsp My hand felt like frostbite. As the snap of impact echoed off the building he put a dazed hand to his face and blinked his eyes. My fingers were imprinted white across his left cheek as if they’d been painted on with chalk. “Now I know why men roll with punches.” Lasilana approached and gave me back my rings, asked if he’d disappointed me in bed. We laughed and said Yes, but that was old news. “Not even with both hands and a flashlight” he said. I felt like we’d just starred in a series of events that had the strange accuracy of a post-typewriter conspiracy.

“I’ll call you.”
“That would be good.”

Then Lasilana and I, we walked out into the night like two vessels setting forth to sea.
For the first time in a long time, I felt beautiful.