Friday, October 5, 2018

Wondering what happened.

Until I was in grade five my best friend was the girl who lived across the road. She was a year older, and she was the adopted youngest child in a home with three older brothers. She was abused. I know that now, although I didn’t recognize it then. She got older; we drifted apart. She started hanging with the wrong crowd. She became scary. When she was in her late teens she ran away from home and we never saw her again. Her mother got a phone call a year later saying, “don't worry, I’m fine. I’m not coming home.” I understand why she would run off. I hope she found happiness and got her life together. But I wonder if truth isn’t much darker than that. She was chalked up as another troubled runaway, but my secret fear is that something happened to her at the hands of her family, and no one bothered to look for her.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Blair Squirrel Project

Two weeks ago a squirrel appeared on the railing of the porch at my new job. It stood there, clutching its tiny hands over its chest, chattering and letting out a pained squirrel scream every minute or so. Was it hurt? Was it a mother squirrel whose baby squirrel was missing? Was it the soul of a condemned human spirit forever doomed to travel the world in the body of a black squirrel, unable to communicate with the humans around him? On Friday, the same squirrel appeared on a branch outside my 2nd-storey office window. It stared into my office, screaming at me. When I went to the window it scampered up the branch, then turned to watch me, as if I was supposed to follow. I think I’m living the opening of a horror movie. If I should happen to disappear, please tell the police about the screaming squirrel.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Parenting is hard. Everything you do is wrong. It's a nightmare.

Before my first baby was born, I had read as much as I could find about breastfeeding – so I when he failed to latch immediately, I assumed I must have inverted nipples. He was latching and nursing like a pro within 24 hours – so yeah… nipples were fine. I doubted my abilities to parent with every new challenge that came up – so I read every book on the subject. When I was exhausted, I thought maybe I should let them cry it out. Nope. That can’t be right. Maybe we should have a family bed. Better, but still not exactly right. I flipped between parenting theories so often it’s a miracle my kids aren’t completely screwed up. Maybe they are. My kids are grown. We are still figuring things out. My advice to new mothers would be to trust your gut. Don’t read anything. And for the love of God, don’t google anything.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

FTSM. Seriously.

What the actual fuck, United States. What is happening to you? I like to think of this bizarre, nightmare phase that you are going through as the “great unmasking”. Maybe it’s just a prolonged blip, and at the end of it the universe will self-correct and the monsters will have revealed themselves, stupidly showing exactly who they are for all the world to see. Maybe these despicable (mostly) men will end up in jail because, during this window, a grotesque, privileged, orange-tinted, toilet-paper trailing, pussy-grabbing, gas-lighting schoolyard bully let them think they safely could. Maybe they will all be purged in November. That’s what I hope, but the real horror is that maybe they won’t. Between Russian interference, gerrymandering and voter suppression, maybe they won’t. Fuck.

Monday, October 1, 2018


I’m lying in bed, listening to a podcast and the podcaster mentions her favourite book. I don’t remember the title, but it is the story of someone tightrope walking between the twin towers. Instantly, the vertigo is back. I watch Dateline, 48 Hours, 20/20, and I listen to endless true-crime podcasts. I might be a ghoul. I can keep most of the horrors that man commits upon man (more often, that man commits upon woman) at arm’s length. But the idea of someone falling from a great height, or being pushed, affects me viscerally, it makes my head spin. Once I start thinking about it, I can’t stop. Can’t. I see people jump from the WTC. I imagine Eric Clapton’s little boy. I imagine myself standing on the balcony of a 40th floor apartment. There is nothing more horrifying than that long and terrible fall.

Catching up day 3

May 21, 2018 My grandparents were the first people I knew to own a microwave oven. Theirs was brown*, had a tiny wind...