Sunday, February 28, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Power and the Glory
CANADA WINS OLYMPIC GOLD! (Photo, CTV)
Not a #fridayflash but I had extra words so wrote two stories tonight.. Not braggin or anything, just saying...
This story is dedicated to all my family and friends who told me NOT to watch any more Olympic hockey. *Sigh* By the way, I wrote this while everyone else was watching the Canadian women win a gold medal. I hope you guys are happy.. the game SOUNDED awesome...
Canada is the favourite to win gold at this year’s Olympics.
And like every Canadian worth his or her salt, she makes popcorn and pours herself a Molson Canadian and she sits on the chesterfield, ready to watch her country’s team finally collect its due.
Almost immediately she sees things aren’t going according to plan. The Canadians look awkward, like their skates are dull and they’ve never set foot on an ice pad before. The Americans are all full of grit and gusto and they play like this is their game and they want it, they taste it.
She watches as the Americans score goal after goal and Canada flounders. The popcorn grows cold and so does her interest in the game. She flicks off the TV in the middle of the third period and, despondent, goes to bed. The score at that point is 5-0.
The next morning she wakes to stunning news on her clock radio: Canada has won the game 6-5 in the most amazing comeback ever seen in sports history.
“Cool,” she says.
That night Canada is back playing Russia in the semi-finals. She watches the entire game, even though Canada has obviously forgotten how to play. She wants to turn off the TV and go to bed but she can’t, thinking the Canadians will surely make a comeback. She doesn’t want to miss it this time. And she doesn’t. She watches all night long and the Canadians suck worse and worse and worse.
Russia wins 8-0.
She goes to bed thoroughly depressed, thinking, “I shouldn’t have watched. I shouldn’t have watched....”
The next night Canada plays against Sweden. They have to win, or they’re out of medal contention.
She realizes what she has to do.
She turns on the TV and flips around until she finds an old movie. She’s tempted to peek over at CTV, yearning to know how Canada is doing, but she doesn’t.
She knows she cannot watch. Not if she wants Team Canada to win. When the movie is over she crawls into bed, thinking how exciting it will be when she hears about Canada’s win in the morning.
“CANUCK COMEBACK,” screams the headline on the front of the Toronto Star.
She is happy to have made a contribution to the team. When she doesn’t watch the gold medal round, Canada wins.
She is content.
She decides to apply her newfound powers to other sporting events. Thanks to her not watching, Canadian Joannie Rochette wins gold at the World Figure Skating Championship. The Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series and even the long-suffering Maple Leafs finally win their first Stanley Cup since the 1960s.
Thrilled to see her non-participatory powers in action, she doesn’t vote in the federal election and doesn’t even watch the results on TV. Sure enough, an NDP candidate finally becomes Prime Minister.
When the economy starts playing havoc with her company’s bottom line, she calls in sick and eventually quits. Her company’s fortunes suddenly rocket and she is happy for them.
Eventually she is afraid to become involved in anything, fearful she will cause ill fortune to anyone she casts her eyes on.
She sits at the kitchen table, staring down at her hands, for hours at a time.
She unplugs her phone. She cancels her cable. She throws her crackberry in the garbage.
Eventually she just lies on her bed, eyes closed, hands crossed over her chest.
The world forgets her but she never forgets the world.
She is God, lying on a mildewed coverlet.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The Axe Man Cometh
Thursday, February 18, 2010
No More Happy
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I'd Like To Thank My Mother
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth or six outrageous truths and one outrageous lie.
5. Nominate seven “Creative Writers” who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies and truths.
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.
Monday, February 15, 2010
At Long Last, Love
Friday, February 12, 2010
The wiper blades shush-shushed sheets of water from the windshield of Lynnie’s Durango as it sped through the glistening, rain-soaked night.
Dried tears were crusty on her cheeks.
Her eyes were arid, sore, burning with the chore of keeping on the highway, keeping straight ahead, keeping on.
There was an overnight case in the back seat. It bulged slightly. She had packed it hurriedly and nothing was folded.
Nothing was neat.
She ruffled through her purse, sitting open on the passenger seat, looking for the pack of smokes she had purchased at the gas station a few miles back. Lynnie hadn’t smoked for two decades but tonight seemed like a good time to pick up the habit again.
She peeled back the cellophane sealer strip with her teeth, then ripped it off and opened the fresh pack. The smell of tobacco whooshed up and she smiled crookedly, gratefully, as she snuffed the scent up.
Lynnie hadn’t smiled for days.
She touched her bruised jaw tenderly, grimaced, then pushed in the cigarette lighter.
The highway stretched ahead, middle-of-the-night empty. She pulled a cigarette out of the pack and stuck it in her mouth, staring down the black tunnel of asphalt, waiting for the lighter to pop.
She hummed to herself.
The song was America by Simon and Garfunkel and it began with slow downhill harmony.
Let us be lovers
we’ll marry our fortunes together,
I’ve got some real estate here in my bag ...
The lighter popped, startling her.
Lynnie pulled it out and pressed it against the tip of her cigarette, breathing in. Smoke curled up as the tip reddened. She coughed. Once. And replaced the lighter.
She took a deep drag on the smoke.
It was good.
As good as she remembered.
“So we bought a pack of cigarettes,” she whispered, “and Mrs. Wagner pies.
“And we walked off to look for America.”
Her soft voice trailed off. She remembered the first time she had ever heard this song.
She was so young.
It was her first job after college and she was boarding at a house in the middle of nowhere, owned by an older hippie couple who introduced her to exotica like curry and Simon and Garfunkel.
No one was home at the moment. Just her. She put S & G’s Greatest Hits on the record player, turned up the volume and carried a cup of coffee and her smokes out to the back stoop.
It was late summer, late afternoon and the distant, forested hills glowed in the sun. The air was thick, redolent, rich. Lynnie drank her coffee and smoked her cigarettes and listened to the record, dreaming of the adventures that almost certainly lay ahead.
She wanted to live her life like the couple in the song. There was a world out there to see. It was calling her. She felt her heart swoon in answer.
Yes, it said.
“Toss me a cigarette,
I think there’s one in my raincoat.”
“We smoked the last one an hour ago.”
So I looked at the scenery,
she read her magazine.
And the moon rose over an open field.
The middle-aged Lynnie smoked her cigarette down to the filter, smushed it into the empty ashtray, then lit another one.
She felt slightly high.
“Kathy, I’m lost,” I said,
though I knew she was sleeping.
I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike,
They’ve all gone to look for America...
Lynnie drove through the long night, a melancholy trail of cigarette smoke and broken dreams in her wake.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Alan Was Right
Vacation Diary Day Four: