the whole morning

The Whole Morning; mixed media on wood board, 30 x 30 inches.

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The Whole Morning

The whole morning is wasted getting ready for the wedding: shit, shower, shave legs, work the iron, straighten the hair, paint face and put on a fucking dress. Are there people who do this every day? My motel room stinks; it’s layer deodorant, layer steam, layer perfume, layer hair spray, layer face cream, layer farts. Little pop-pop farts. The television gives off some kind of electric fractus. Nadine and her mom pick me up a little after one. She apologizes for running late but really we’re too early and we have to stand around outside the chapel like funeral bugs detached by sunshine before some little man with a hook for a hand lets us in. I’m feeling dim and hungry and suddenly very lonely; the bride is the kind of mutual ‘friend’ I know only through stories from Nadine. I think I’ve met her twice. And although I’m sure the venue was sold as being ‘intimate’, the whole thing has the cheap feel of an elementary school Christmas pageant – an airless room crowded with fat bums made sticky with polyester. The seating is harder than the cross. Nadine is vacant, distracted, diminished. Maybe it’s all the weight she’s lost. We’re almost the same size now. The priest – who looks like Al Capone in a giant bib – serves up the requisite Sermon Lite: the world is about Love, all about Love, it’s everything we need and in the end it’s everything. It is happy-Sunday-School love from the Book of John, yet all I can think about is that exclusionary passage: the only way to the Father is through me. I stare up at the stained glass, at grim Mary perched on her coiling snake. People fiddle with gadgets. Nadine herself is completely oblivious to the proceedings, completely consumed with getting photographs. Surely this is a bad sign, when the evidence of the thing takes precedence over the thing itself. Afterwards, for lack of anything better to do, we go back to Nadine’s parents’ place and sit in the kitchen. It’s shadowy and hot at the same time – on the other side of the blinds there’s some kind of nuclear armageddon going on. Nadine’s mom offers warm cans of no-name pop and a bag of Wagon Wheels from under the sink before she changes into jeans with big hearts stitched on the ass pockets and leaves to meet Nadine’s dad at the local pub. They have a little group that meets there every Saturday afternoon, Nadine says, but all I can think is that I’m no longer the kind of guest you have to stick around for. Then Nadine goes upstairs to dig through some boxes she might want to take back to Calgary. She’s just moved there a month before and everything is still about boxes, not just boxes to hold stuff but the proper sort of boxes for a new life, these conceptual containers that blink away in her mind: New Condo, New Yard, New Puppy, New Friends. New Population of Men. The new job is a step down, the new friends just a starter set courtesy of a cousin, and the new men are almost completely hypothetical, but at least they are all new. The new body is meant to be a better fit for all that. Sitting there, eating soft Wagon Wheels, feeling my best bra itch and pinch and otherwise rend my flesh, I realize that she can’t really concentrate on the our little packet of disposable time because it doesn’t fit in a box anymore, and I don’t need to begrudge her anything, there would be no point, and the only person to be mad at is myself, because I consistently fail to be the kind of person who can sniff out this sort of thing over the phone, and save myself some airfare, before she has me fly all this way, just to tell me she’s gone now, for good.


  1. what a haunting face...

  2. Great blog. Very refreshing and interesting. Great artwork and writing.

  3. You like farts, don't you?

  4. wow this is really something!!!
    im loving it...

  5. refreshing is right. I love her voice.


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