Thursday, December 18, 2014

None of this is real.

She wasn't mine last week.
I only know her from from the shouts i heard in the hallway, and her nurse's exasperated look when she can't be settled.  I know that her tiny frail body body takes nothing to boost up to the top of the bed.

When we really meet, i say "I'm going to ask you three silly questions." and she tells me her name and where we are.  She can't remember the rest.

She doesn't say much at first.  Says she's fine.  Nothing else.  But i keep making dumb jokes,  and i don't let her send me away,  and after a little while, there's a look, a tiny glint in the eyes and the beginnings of a smirk on the side of her mouth that the stroke didn't smear.

I try to make her comfortable.  I show her the call bell.  When i ask if she needs anything she says no. I say i'll come back and bother her again in an hour and she laughs and says she'll look forward to it.

Later I bring her some pills.  Some juice.  More pills.  Each time I leave I ask again if she needs anything.  She says:
"A million dollars"
"A trip to Barbados"
"A Good looking man"

I brush her teeth with a little sponge on a stick.  Wash her face.  She tells she feels human again.  She says its been a long time, I brush it off and say something silly in response and i don't let myself think about it.
Later it will break my heart.

Each time I care for her she compliments me.  Says i'm pretty.  (debatable). Says I have nice teeth. (a lie).  She tries to feed me cookies.  These are the only things she has to give, and these compliments come with apologies.  She sorry she needs to be cared for.  Sorry i am stuck with her.  Sorry to waste my time. She's sorry she had to go to the bathroom.
I refuse the apologies.
"Everyone poops" i tell her.  "There's even a book about it for children" and she laughs.

Eventually, she stops trying to make it up to me and at odd moments we talk a little about travel and she tells me a funny story.  Its long and can't quite catch all of the words, but i try my best to laugh the right amount at the right times and she believes me and pats my arm with that now satisfied smirk.

She says i am too kind to her.
"Impossible!" i say.
Again, she insists.
"No",  I tell her,  this time resolute.
"There is no such thing as too much kindness"

She wakes up disoriented in the night, and begins to slip back into confusion.  By morning the smile is gone and when I ask her if there's anything i can do for her she says "shoot me".

All my dumb jokes can't bring the smile back, and we are both of us defeated.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


The road through the valley was blocked, choked with crowds of people milling about. We could have picked our way through, shuffling along at a near standstill, mumbling our pardons and apologies for trod-on toes and banged up shins, but I was too impatient to wait.

"come with me"

I grabbed his arm, spun back the way we'd come and took off at a brisk run. We circled around, heading up the mountain pass and once we were out of sight I let the speed take me over. My stride lengthened until the polite little hopping steps I'd been using we're eaten up by a long rolling gallop. My arms reached out in front of me, fingers digging into the ground for purchase and hurling me forward, momentum building with each pull. I could feel the boy tugging at my hip, struggling to keep up.

"RUN!", I snarled, my voice already ragged and rasping through my too wide grin.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Sunday Smile

So I'm blogging from the sprawling comfort of a post drunk laze, on my phone, no less. The full size keyboard is busy streaming Netflix, which we're watching in bed, at 1pm, in our underpants, each of us armed with a mighty cup of strong coffee.

Things are good here.
We've got some changes coming down the pipe, but without the usual sense of dread and panicky damage control. It's a good feeling to be able to look a challenge in the eye and see an unexpected opportunity for growth and positive change.

We've got good things lining up for us too, Kris' business is hopping, I've got two weddings lined up to shoot this fall. I'm working locum shifts at the Ottawa Humane Society, which I love, and the job at the Civic seems to have finally solidified into something concrete. It has taken the better part of the summer to happen, but it will be an excellent foot in the door for next summer, not to mention post graduation.

We're actually adopting that dog I was talking about earlier. It's embarrassing how excited we are to bring him home. I was sure it would be at least a year after graduation before we'd even be able to think about it, so its a really welcome surprise to be a full two years ahead of schedule. Even Kris' parents are excited, despite initially trying to talk us out of it. (parental obligation, nothing personal lol).

Blue skies is less than ONE WEEK away!! Kristin and Mason will be joining us this year, so that's super exciting, and I'm of course looking forward to seeing all the usual suspects too!

My parents serendipitously bought a house in Victoria, and there is talk of west coast visits sometime soon. They seem really happy with it, and it must be a really good feeling for them to have established such a firm foothold in their west coast adventure.

I finally got round to spray painting my little black beater bike. I had a lot of fun doing it, and I'm really pleased with with how it turned out. It's perfectly obnoxious - gold glitter with fluorescent pink forks and black metallic splatter a la Maxx. Despite my intention to keep the beater look I may just have to indulge in a hot pink bike chain to top it all off. Heh.

That's all for now,
Talk soon,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

little dudes

little dudes, originally uploaded by gi99lepunch (titanium-white).
Happy plants! Seeing these little dudes first thing in the morning -they live in my shower - never fails to put me in a good mood. :D

This one too.... with the super pretty pink-y greens....


Thursday, November 3, 2011


The days are getting warmer,  but the air is still cool and smells like rain and rivers most of the time.  Inside the house,  my Grandmother and my Aunt are baking sugar cookies.  Most will be shaped like bunnies, and eggs, and Easter baskets.  Despite being well out of season, a  few will be shaped like bats, at my firm insistence, for Batman, of course.

Too busy for baking, I am outside, climbing the picnic table and gleefully flinging myself off of it again, endlessly entertained and completely immune to self trauma.  I could fight bad guys and villains all afternoon and never tire.  I am invincible, as only a child can be.

Tied snugly around my neck is a ratty blue tea towel that has seen better and more dignified days.  Its crocheted, covered in pale blue flowers with buttery yellow centers.  At one end, the dark blue border is stretched out into two long, irregular points, where it ties under my chin.  This is, undoubtedly, my favourite cape.

I am running down the length of the table,  about to hurl myself through the air, when something changes...

I can't say what it is that catches my attention first.  It might have been  the way the light seems to disappear from the sky, siphoned away like liquid below the horizon, or it might be the way the clouds seem suddenly oppressively and suffocatingly close, grown thick with shadows and menace.

My body has frozen.  I cannot move.  At the end of the table i am stopped for all time, eyes glued to the rapidly darkening sky.  All I can do is stare and stare.  There are no sounds.  The entire world has emptied.  A slow panic builds, my guts make lazy loop-de loops, building waves of nausea.  My throat closes, to stop them from escaping.  My heart hammers in my chest.

Nothing is right.


But no sound will come.  I try and try but all the sounds are gone and i can not make any new ones.

I spend an eternity there, in a world gone still.



Suddenly, my body goes limp as I am swept, like a quaking leaf,  into the air by a pair of strong, well furred arms.  My grandfather has come to collect me.  I burst into tears, at once relieved and terrified.  He's looking at me,  brow wrinkled in puzzlement.  I bounce in his arms as he carries me towards the porch, bawling nonsense syllables and sucking air back into my lungs huge ragged gasps.

I cannot speak it.  Cannot tell.

I never knew what happened.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I told my parents about the MRI thing tonight, about what happened at the theatre,  and the referral to neurology, and waiting to hear back about when the test will be,  and i told them its not really a big deal.  That there's no point in worrying until somebody has answers, that it would be silly to get worked up about something that might be nothing.

I told them all the things i've been telling myself all week.

But when i told them that i had given their number to my friends in case anything DID happen again, thats when my mom just started to cry and cry and cry.

There was a thick silence right before the sobs welled up, that tiny space in time where her brain calculated all the long distances between us,  and all the terrible great unknowns, and all the what ifs and all the possible outcomes and end points.

Later, there was a scramble of words, as she tried to fix it, as though she could just Mom the situation into something acceptable for all of us.

Silence again, when she couldn't.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Stains, originally uploaded by titanium-white.

i love this one!!

sometimes messing with crap shots is the most fun.