There’s a new ice cream man in our neighbourhood. He has the same style of truck and presumably sells the same sort of soft ice cream as Mr. Marigoudakis, our resident ice cream man, but this interloper will never be successful. Not only because he is infringing on our guy’s turf, but because he plays the creepiest music. Mr. M’s tune is upbeat and happy, but this new one is slow and played in a minor key. Picture an ice cream cone dangling by its neck and sad, nihilistic German children forced to eat it and you get the idea.
People raised in a trailer park in the middle of Essex County don’t camp. But try telling that to my outdoorsy friends, who like polar-fleeced Jehovah’s Witnesses, wax rapturously over places with uncomfortable and worrisome names like Killbear and Grundy. They’re good-hearted souls and apart from their canoe obsession have no other debilitating personality flaws. Once they set up a tent for me, my son and our two dogs. Dan escaped to the Echo. By the third night I’d resigned myself to fitful slumber, alternatively lulled and asphyxiated by the cry of the loon and Siko’s incessant and robust farting.
The wood that stocks the fireplace is the same as built the walls. Does one tremble for the other’s fate? The walls stand staunch, chinks filled, timbers set, saw ends smoothed, cabinet doors pierced through with china knobs. They do not tremble; they cannot.
The smoke from the firewood whispers out over grey and emerald grasses, between the fraying birches, through the spider’s nets to its swaying erstwhile sisters. Particles settle onto bark, glide into resin, drip a slow ecstatic drip to the raven's raucous call. They fall with young cones into leaf mould; they pine for their varnished brethren indoors.