Thursday, September 28, 2006

Unbidden Thoughts

A wispy vision of your smile, and the freckles on your face drifts through my memory. Your long slender hands, and the peanut butter sandwich’s you made us for lunch that summer when I couldn’t cope. Spooning on the couch and the crackle of a fire in the dead of winter, your arms holding me tight. Tears blur my vision and I try to put the past out of my thoughts. It’s hard to look forward knowing you’re not there beside me, even as a friend.

Sometimes when good things happen during my day I want to call you up to share my elation and excitement, knowing you’d be happy to hear about it. With a twinge of sadness I realize that part of my life is no more. I can’t call you up to share my highs and lows. In the late hours of the night, as I ponder over a turn of phrase, a line of inquiry, a methodological problem in my work I think back to the time when we could go over it together and work towards a solution. It was so easy with you because we were both budding professional historians. If I couldn’t find the words to explain the problem you could pick up the clues and help me solve the puzzle. The easy banter back and forth over our work. I wonder if you miss that too.

But I’ll never know, and so I must pick myself up and continue on. Slowly one foot in front of the other towards something I can’t distinguish anymore. The echo of your words drifting in and out of my thoughts.

“I like to think of you just continuing on. Some where out there, growing old…”

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


From a 1922 book entitled, "Cheating the Junk-Pile: The Purchase and Maintenance of Household Equipments"

I'm at a loss for words to talk about my current personal situation, so a picture from my research will have to suffice. I love the turn of phrase for these captions. This advertisement from the N.Y. Edison Co. was in the chapter entitled, The Fire Hazard. There's something so amusing about reading through these old home makers manuals.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Unnecessary Criticism

I lay next to you on my side with my head propped up on one hand and watched the late afternoon sun filter through the blinds and over your naked chest. As we lounge in bed, my eyes fix on your face but my mind is elsewhere. Absently you run your hand over my hip and graze my stomach, letting it rest for a moment before you pinched a small roll of flesh between your thumb and forefinger, gently shaking it back and forth.

“Time for you to start playing hockey again, eh?” You say, as you look disapprovingly at my stomach.

I am shocked back into the present as I slap away your hand, my brow furrowing, as I make an offhanded comment about the season starting soon, and you feeding me too well.

Later on, when I begin to think about it I become increasingly perturbed. By no means am I fat, quite the opposite really. I lean to the low end of the BMI index to the point where I’m almost underweight and sometimes feel emaciated. My housemates call me tiny to my dismay, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with my stomach. My anger flares when I think about you, and the excess weight you’re carrying that I never mention, knowing it’s a sore spot for you.

Is this all you value for me- how I look on your arm? Are you so shallow that if I gain a pound or change over time you will no longer want to be with me?

Fuck you and your third-trimester beer gut.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

First Dates

I love the possibilities that a first date represents. I love the blank slate, and all the potential that is inherent in each new man. I love that you only know a little bit about your date, leaving the rest up to your imagination or to the anticipation of finding out the rest of the story. Inevitably the reality never quite matches up to the fantasy and in some unfortunate cases it’s not even close.

Last week I went on two first dates. Date number one was a guy I wasn’t all that keen on, but figured why not. I’m new to this city, don’t know any really great places to go yet and at the very least it was shaping up to be a date rife with entertainment value. After morphing from a simple cup of coffee, to dessert at an upscale cafĂ© with purportedly divine desserts, it finally ended up being a double date with two of his good friends at a new restaurant in town that was modern and trendy looking. While the man hadn’t really impressed me over the phone, or our email contact, I ended up having a good time, mostly because he was clever in bringing along two good friends. They were a really great couple and I enjoyed their company. The beauty of it was there were no lulls in the conversation or awkward moments because the double date provided a buffer for any of his nervousness, or an inability to come up with a topic of conversation. The bad part was that I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him one on one so there was no opportunity to see how he really was face to face.

Date number two was a meeting at Dairy Queen for Blizzards. Initially I had a great feeling about this one since we had been having really great conversations on msn and our phone calls had been pretty good as well. However, prior to our date I got a hint of the possibility it might not be all I thought it was. In person date number two did not live up to the hype. His personality and conversational abilities fell completely flat. Most of the time was spent with him talking about his job in a field I don’t know much about and doesn’t exactly make for riveting conversation. After a rather painful hour and a half of listening to him talk about himself, I was able to extract myself to breath a deep sigh of relief and head on home for some peace and quiet. While the ice cream was fantastic, the rest of it was a write off, since he couldn’t even be bothered to ask me any questions about myself.

I’m going out with the first date again later this week for dinner and a movie since he seems like a really nice guy with some potential after all. Plus, he deserves the chance to show me what he’s all about on his own. Any future overtures at a second meeting with date number two will be quickly shut down. I have no desire to spend any more time with someone who is that self-absorbed, and thinks more highly of themselves than is warranted. I’m thinking of just calling him up tonight and telling him that while he’s a nice guy, I just didn’t feel any spark between us and that because we’re both busy individuals I don’t think we should waste our time pursuing something that isn’t going to go anywhere. I’ve never been good at rejecting people, and for some reason my previous methods have always left the door open for them to believe that if they tried harder they could reverse my decision when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Bright Spot in My Day

I love that you call me sunshine, just like my mother used to when I was a child.

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Ago

Five years ago, I awoke to the sound of the phone. It was my Mother on the other end of the line telling me to turn on the television, something big was happening. It took my sleepy mind several minutes to grasp what I was seeing and I remember vaguely the words “World War III” coming from the somewhat frantic conversation I shared with my Mother that morning. What I saw that day, and in the newspapers the next morning sickened me. Images of people jumping from the burning towers were like a visceral punch in the gut to my 20 year old self. I bowed my head, closed my eyes from these horrible images and willed this to not have happened, but nothing could turn back time.

One image in particular struck me that next day. It was a small red-haired rag doll, nestled amidst piles of now useless paper, covered in ash and debris on the street below where the Towers used to stand. To me that image spoke of the futility of the life that was spent in those offices, amassing files and shuffling paper, only to have it blown out the building and rendered absolutely useless. All that work, and for what? On that day, no one spoke of missed work and deadlines. It was about family and loved ones and the sorrow of life lost. That doll seemed so out of place in that scene, yet so poignant. I later learned that this rag doll, Little Red, was created by Sarah Ferguson for her New York charity, Chances for Children. Their offices were located on the 101st floor of Tower One in donated space from Cantor Fitzgerald. This wasn’t the first time Little Red had been exposed to senseless acts of destruction.

Seven years prior, Little Red was present at the Oklahoma City Bombing. A young boy, badly burned was rescued out of what was left of the building. He was given one of Sarah Ferguson’s rag dolls for comfort while he was being treated by medical personnel. It is disheartening for me to see children so badly hurt by adults, and adult problems and the image of this doll resting in the ruins of an adult world brought that home to me once again.

I didn’t cry that day five years ago, but thinking of all the children who were affected that day, through no fault of their own, brings me to tears today. Perhaps it comes with age, a deepened sensitivity towards the frailty of life and time, which allowed me to gain perspective on that day. Whatever it is, my thoughts go out to all the families who lost a loved one that day, because every single person who lost their life that day was someone’s child.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I took this picture for a photography course in Undergrad approximately 4 years ago now. It was a shot to use up the roll of film and ended up being one of my favourite pictures. It inspired a series of pictures taken of every day objects and scenes on the farm.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Inch by inch you are breaking me down. Even my own self-loathing feels like sweet caresses compared to the stinging criticism and cruel remarks aimed for maximum damage. When nothing I do is ever enough, and nothing I am is good enough.

Shameful, dirty…depraved and unlovable. Backed into a corner and cowering.

I wish you would just hit me instead. I could understand the physical aggression, but this emotional and mental onslaught is insidious and confusing. Pouncing out of nowhere and retreating. Circling, searching for that tender spot and pouring salt into my wounds.

Where a victory is marked by my tears and an apology is never forth coming.

I wonder how much longer I can hold you off before there is nothing left of me. Before the desperation to end my pain, to end the pain you heap on me becomes all consuming.

I am left wondering what I ever did to deserve your vitriolic retribution.