Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oh Yeah! It was (sorta) like Lightning!

Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz is playing. As part of the grade eight end of school party, Christine, Carolyn, Cheryl and myself performed an interpretive dance to that tune. We wore cut offs, white T-shirts and tinfoil lightening bolts and were backed up by boys dressed in full KISS drag. Mike could inhale butane from a lighter so he got to be Gene Simmons, and bless him, stayed in character by shouting sexually charged remarks about our behinds. This was 1976 and I was thirteen, so any complement, however boorish, worked. In that moment, I was truly a Fox on the Run.
Photo: Cheryl Dowhan Metcalfe

Friday, August 30, 2013

Barcelona Bouquet, Part III

Someone brought them through security. They were screened and cleared. No threat, those stalks, those thorns, those thin-skinned petals.
      The two protagonists weren’t there in the departures area. They couldn’t be. Who would bring pink roses through security and then present them? That happened when they said goodbye. The recipient smiled and placed the bouquet in a bin and collected it on the other side. Then, did they wave? Blow kisses? What could the giver see?
      The recipient proceeded to the gate, bouquet in hand.
      There, it was dropped or tossed away.
      Again, I looked around, this time for callousness.

Photo by Ron Thompson at Barcelona Airport, August 2013
See how it began here.  The next instalment is here

Monday, August 26, 2013

Barcelona Bouquet, Part II

They were limp but not yet wilted. Had I been five minutes earlier I might have caught the scene.
     It struck me suddenly that they might still be present.  
     I glanced around with keen new interest. There: those two, canoodling in the lounge? Or the couple in the coffee shop, huddled over their phones, ignoring each other? No, neither pair was right, not for the bouquet’s colour:  not for pink, for sweet thoughts, gentle emotions, hope, happiness, affection; for innocent love not yet erupted.
     The flowers were carefully chosen. How did they get there? How did it come to this?

Photo by Ron Thompson at Barcelona Airport, August 2013
See how it began here.    See what happens next here.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ode to Mary Jo

“Wild and wooly” the term used by surfers when expressing oceanic conditions.
     For me it is the state of affairs when I see your hair, a lush black mane peppered with streaks of gray going white. Convoluted at the root, springing haphazardly aware of its surrounding at all times, reflecting the architect that you are. I often wonder how long it actually is since the coiled nature tightly taut never seems to grow. Its origins thicken, striking a buoyancy that parrots your walk. A subterranean layer peeking out, projecting a weathervane-like form predicting inclement conditions days before the storm lands.
Photo: Cec Lepage

Friday, August 23, 2013

Barcelona Bouquet, I

If they could only talk, what sad tale would they tell?
     Not quite red, nor white: what did their giver intend? And where they lay, upon the concourse floor:  what did that signify? Apology rejected? Love’s hopeful gesture spurned? Or bon voyage, a last call from the gate and hands too full . . .
     People milled, waiting for flights to Moscow, Majorca, Toronto, Istanbul, paying no note yet keeping a respectful distance. Even those rushing for gates treated those forsaken flowers like a sidewalk crack. Something had just happened and they’d seen it. I looked around but no one met my eye.

Photo by Ron Thompson at Barcelona Airport, August 2013
See how the story continues here.

Portrait of a Marriage, I

“It’s more gravel than grass, just as I remember it,” said Mrs Seabolt as the Seabolts wandered disconsolately along a hot little street alongside the Jardin de Luxembourg.
     Mr Seabolt could not bring himself to agree. It was a matter of principle to him that to bring one’s wife to Paris on one’s tenth anniversary called for no apology. Further, he positively liked the Jardin. Even more than its broad vistas, he liked its modest gravels. He admired the industry with which the children sailed their boats upon its pond, though he knew better than to call attention to it.

Image: S.M. Tunli.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Big Fat Fun with the Metric System

Some American politicians are arguing that sending “Fat Letters” home to the parents of obese children could be harmful. Sweet Jesus. I can tell you that being a Grade Three Dumpling was no psychological chicken pock but rather the mental version of Quint’s leg. I still remember when Miss Hogue decided it would be a pedagogic wheeze to have us step on a scale in front of the class, read out our weight and convert it from pounds to kilograms. Mortified in my elastic-waisted crimplene, I prayed Zimbo would tire of the front-row commentary before we got to the “L”s.
Photo from The Globe and Mail

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thou Shall Not Jeg

This long weekend I will be streamlining my closet. Scarves, shoes, bags, clothes – all to be assessed and sorted. Like Moses I’ll be parting the sea into Keeps and Peeps, casting out the oversized Goth-Pirates, the Maya Angelos, the ghetto Kate Lanphears. I’ve always blamed my enabling seamstress mother for my costume dressing; her nimble fingers churning out miles of handkerchief hems during my Stevie Nicks phase, and later, yellow plaid pants and shoulder pads when I was all about the Talking Heads. But as July was rather revelatory, I must now take responsibility for my own sartorial poutine.
Photo taken from Femmepirical Evidence.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Corn Queen

This week I worked on the Kettle Point reserve and stayed overnight in Sarnia. Since I’m directionally-challenged, finding my hotel became an Escheresque exercise of tootling, asking for help, doubling back and asking again. Yet, I didn’t mind because I was almost home. Lambton County isn’t much different from Tecumseh, and I’d forgotten what it all smelled like: The cornfields, the humidity, the freshly-cut grass. When Kathy and I sold Peaches and Cream from the back of her mom’s truck down on Manning Road we charged a buck a dozen. Thirty-five years later it goes for $5. Still a deal.
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