Canadian nuances, Rantings, Uncategorized

Canadian nuances – Part 6: Wading through sludge

I spent my New Year’s Eve in an empty house. The warm kiss of sherry coating my lungs, and the gentle sigh of a dog narrating my thoughts. It was lonely, but perfect. Quiet moments give us time to reflect. On everything, really.

I babbled to a few people on Facebook, my thumbs thundering against the glass face of my phone. I checked the time 23:34…shit, time to leave. I threw on my headphones, slung my bottle of sherry back into my bag, began my ascent through the ice and sludge. The succulent anger of Slipknot thundering threw me.

I approach the SkyTrain. Reach for my wallet. Seconds after my hand collides with its porous body, my eyes dart to the sticker adjacent to the turnstiles Free Ride on New Year’s Eve. 8 P.M. until 5 A.M. A smile creeps over me. “Thank you Canada,” I mutter to myself.

I get off at my station. A few of my heavy metal anthems are now slithering across my playlist. I start headbanging and beating drums like invisible ghosts in the air. Somehow this doesn’t seem like enough. I kick up a bit of snow and do an Irish jig in the middle of the street. (It’s like a version of Riverdance you should never watch. Trust me.) A thought came to me this morning as I began etching out the events of last night. I think I’ve fallen in love with this country. Or perhaps it’s fallen in love with me? I don’t care which way you slice it.

During the summer of 2016 I had a romance with a beautiful Japanese girl. I see an interesting parallel between loving a person and loving an environment. There’s the initial awe of something new coupled with anxiety of being able juggle the complexity of it all. Maybe one has an angry parent buzzing in their head saying “You’re in a new country / relationship now. Don’t fuck it up!”

Initially being in Canada felt like wading through sludge. There’s so many details, -isms, directions, slang and faces thrown your way, all that’s left to do is slowly wade through it. The sludge. Now that I’m two and a bit years into being “settled”, there’s less sludge. I can still see parts of it, others haven’t found me yet.

Where am I going with all this? Well, you remember the earlier analogy about the lover? A tipping point comes in any relationship. It is when you let your guard down. You express yourself, and run with it. It feels like flying. It tastes like freedom. That was exactly how I felt a few hours ago, churning up snow and dancing like dyslexic spaghetti.

Yeah…I may have looked like a fool, but I’m cool with that. Man must frolic, and so should you!

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Thoughts

Selling uncomfortable silence

Apart from the dull hiss of pop music oozing through the speakers at work, and the regimental stare from my half-used coffee cup…nothing else is happening. I feel that when you leave something long enough in one place, it begins to stare. It’s almost as if you forgot it was there, and now it’s silence is baring down on your neck. Most people ignore the character that forms around your office implements. Most people ignore most things.

 

It’s sobering to see how most people amble along without looking carefully at the things they are saying. At the moment I’m a salesman. Plenty of times I see people remarking “I bet they sell like hot cakes.” Now, this is where I stop and pause. Have you ever gone to the bakery and asked for a hot cake? In fact have you met someone who has come out of the bakery raving about there hot cake they just bought. I’ve seen people queue outside a store for the latest Harry Potter book…never for a hot cake. They must be somewhere since everyone is talking about them.

 

Very rarely do we stop to examine the  words we’re using. Why is that? Perhaps it’s exhausting. I suppose the real reason is it will in turn make us start to question who we are. The minute you start to question yourself and your own motives, things become a little scary. Are we a product of what we talk about? Words are vehicles that help us make friends, get through school, get through our first job interview, loose friends, lie to our colleagues and betray others.

 

I’m a salesman, and talking is part of my day. When someone inquires about a product I naturally question their needs, then once I get a feel for them I continue onto my general sales pitch. I have to be careful, sometimes I’ll side with one product over the other if I feel it’s going to win over the customer. Words are the tool I use to earn money, the more persuasive the more I sell…the more money I make.

 

Tonight I did feel a sting of regret though I must be honest. Every odd night I see the last minute customer who rush breathless to our doors once we have closed them. There was a middle-aged man who rushed to our doors tonight. He was dressed in a mediocre way. A signal I always look out for which tells me (most of the time) how much money the customer is willing to spend.

 

He explained to me (through tremendous gulps of air) that he was leaving the country tomorrow morning and desperately needed our one adapter we sold. Like many other people before him I turned him down, explaining that the shopping centre would fine us, if we continued to trade after hours. I saw the pain and desperation in his face, the look like life was about to fade away into a plughole. I felt like a snob. Selfish. I was a young working class kid, who wanted to get home after the long day and didn’t care a thing about him.

 

That is most likely a better way of looking in on yourself. Like many other uncomfortable feelings, I tucked it under the carpet that stores other dirty memories.

 

PhilosopherPoet

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poetry

whirling

he wishes for feelings of ecstasy
and the sigh of morbid bones
in the morning

today he jogs like a piston
down the road
into the sun
into the wind
that chuckles between
the folds in his face

sweat stick to his spine
like the crease of a fresh book
and he hurtles on through
the crinkle of leaves
beneath his shoes

he saw two girls
stranded stressed straddled
on a scooter the driver gazed
at the speedometer as if peering
through the portal of a sinking ship
the one at the back
with a precisely stamped uniform
looked around with a scared expression

he wishes for feelings of anxiety
a tight electric snap
the firing-on of neurons
collecting handbags of fear
in the gaps in your head

watching plain sketched events
ripple and collide at dusk
changes your old self
that lay behind the dusty books
and dreamt only of the trickle of words

 

PhilosopherPoet

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