sparkles and flashes

prin umare; ink on math paper.

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The other day I saw a guy with a face that looked like a ticket to a permanent disability cheque. It looked like something fresh and boneless from a butcher's shop. This guy came out of his house and shouted at another guy in a van across the street. He shouted, Hey you fat fuck, we're all waiting for you to get your fat ass out of that van. We want to see if you can get your fucking fat ass across the street.

This was during the day (cover your ears, Oona) but I'm more often walking by this house at night, coming back from my studio, and I always turn my head to see into the kitchen, because there's always a game of solitaire on a computer screen there. Always. I can see the fluorescent green in my dreams.

I also saw the lady of the house out once, with her tiny dog not on a leash, but I tried not to look directly at her.

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Yesterday, just up the street from this: some guy with a shaggy beard and mirrored sunglasses and one of those winter toques with the string underneath. Meanwhile, I had stopped to take off my socks, I was so hot. This guy also had a studded belt with a big chain hanging off it. It was like he was on hipster steroids. I wanted him to turn into the nightmare house, so Oona and I could listen to the screaming, but he just kept going.

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Mailing books to people. All over the place: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Zealand, Alberta, Manitoba, Scotland, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Singapore, Japan. It's fun putting together the little parcel, tucking drawings into books. Art is the best kind of surprise.

If you'd like to be added to the list, the instructions are just over on the right.

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And last but not least, it's C's birthday this weekend. She turns forty. Four. tee. I want to ask her how it feels to be that old. Do your bones actually creak? Does your life actually start rushing before your eyes every morning? It scares me to think about getting that old. Don't they give you a chapter in the Bible or something?

Luckily, I have her well-insured.

The actual birthday we won't celebrate until next week because she's busy hosting a writer's festival event with Terry O'Reilly. Which is something she's thrilled about anyway, so it's all good.


  1. Much more interesting than anything I ever drew in a maths book - really raw.

    Reminds me of some of the weird little stories Tom Waits has recorded about the slightly odd people one doesn't, or tries not to notice. Makes you wonder how they ended up like that, and how others view you too.

  2. Thanks, Ellen. I'll have to look for those.

  3. I have a guy in my neighborhood (way too close for comfort) that I wish you would write about. I think he traps little wild animals next to his front door for his supper.

    Happy birthday to your wife. 40 is nothing. I hear 50 is no picnic, though. I'm moving as slowly as possible to 50 (maybe its because my bones are getting creaky).

    Thanks for my special drawing tucked away in my book.


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