Friday, May 30, 2014

A Day in My Life

I have no idea what is going on.

Actually, I do know a few things. I am afraid of ducks and, only slightly less so, swans. I'm wearing brand new socks. I'm sporting newly straightened hair. And I'm on a bus right now. Not much else. While I probably should be concerned about this, I'm not. I don't know where I'm coming from or where I'm going to. But, I am enjoying the whole bus experience - trying to live in the present like that quack doctor advised me to (living in the past was getting way too expensive anyways). I am probably coming from home, but I really can't be sure. I could have gone shopping or maybe I have a job....do I have a job? Do I shop? Should I have or do either? Maybe I live on this bus? No, I probably do not live on this bus, as if I did, I would almost definitely smell worse and I smell really spectacular. I don't even want to spend one more minute contemplating the living-on-the-bus reality, although maybe in that reality I'd be taller. I have this feeling I'm on my way from something - like maybe I am running away from my fears or troubles - I've done that before and I'll do it again. Or maybe I am late on my way somewhere...or if I was late, wouldn't I take a cab?

Looking around it dawns on me that I'm currently sitting on a bus surrounded by a motley crew of weirdos. What else is new? I feel like I've been on this very bus a thousand times. Everywhere I go weird people find me. It is like my doctor implanted a homing beacon calling out to all weirdos when all I asked for was a informational pamphlet on nose bleeds. I wonder how I look to them? Do I appear weird? Are they moaning inside about having to share a bus with me? Or possibly I am the best thing that has ever happened to them as far as fellow, anonymous bus passengers go. I contemplate looking around and smiling and waving at them all, but I decide to dive back into my book. I'm currently reading the classic novel, Little Women - a moving book about...NORMAL-SIZED WOMEN!?!?!? what a misleading and ultimately disappointing title. I was highly anticipating a thrilling story about a group of crime-fighting tiny females who save humanity from extra-terrestrial gargoyle-type creatures who want to harvest our brains for sport. This book was sort of like that except more emotional moments and coming of age aspects. Today's bus riders do not disappoint - they are weird.

On my left is a guy who looks like a combination of someone who was just released from a prison for the criminally insane and someone who just finished shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond. He is either speaking to an imaginary friend trapped in the window sill or speaking to himself - I'm not sure which is better for him or for me. I try to imagine what he did to get committed and how he was able to convince them he was okay. I entertain this thought for a moment until remembering that his mental health or lack there of, is completely my invention and he could be teaching sanity lessons at the local community college. I could learn a thing or two from this living-on-the-edge sort of guy. I am spellbound by the limitless dimensions of his hair which seems to be living proof of the existence of the 24th dimension. It juts off in every direction and would be cool if he was in a boy band or just finished removing his helmet after skating on a half-pipe. My senses are confused. He looks as if he should smell horribly, but instead, I am overwhelmed with the aroma of lilacs. Lucky for him, I have a thing for lilacs. Also, lucky for him, I am not hungry for lilacs - I learned my lesson years ago in our neighbour's backyard.

I turn to my right and there is a woman who just can't stop smiling and doing everything in her power to stifle a laugh while flipping through the magazine she is reading. I'm sorry, there is no way that Cosmo is that funny - regardless of how many overly ridiculously inaccurate lists they have on how to please your man or ways to dress for summer. I mean do they actually survey real flesh-and-blood men? And are there really 99 ways to be pleased? I'm pretty sure I only have 11 and at least three of those is "feed me chocolate". Or possibly she is finding some of the airbrushed pictures particularly humourous? I like the ones where the female models appear to have naturally glossy skin that would be particularly useful if preparing for a slip n' slide. I have heard of some studies that smiling and laughing is infectious. In this case, it is having the opposite effect as I want to scream or cringe or itch something. She is smiling so widely that it is almost as if she has just been to a physiotherapist who instructed her to stretch her facial muscles daily. But, who am I to critique someone else's emotional state? I should aspire to be more like her! Why be all gloomy? Maybe I should read more Cosmo? It couldn't hurt, unless someone like me decided to rip it from my hands and hurt me with it.

In front me there is a young couple with a baby who looks about 6 days old. Why are they taking such a young child on a bus, I'm not sure? Stay at home, enjoy the peace and quiet, change a diaper or two, maybe go for a walk - don't subject the rest of us to a never-ending stream of high-pitched crying and wailing. Impressive lungs though, I have to admit, and the shade of red that her face is turning is making me hungry for my friend Emilio's tomato sauce. Coincidentally, he also screams like that while making his sauce, but usually due to the scalding (once because I "accidentally" stabbed him with a knife to proof a point...or was it to win a bet?) The couple, despite the crying child, is so much in love that I come close to suggesting they get a room, but I'm guessing, based on the baby, they already have...a few times. The baby abruptly stops crying and seems to fixate on my nose, which I have been told on multiple occasions, is quite nipple-like. My reactions to being told this range from anger to concern to curious and then back to anger again. But, it is so hard to be angry with a 6 day old cute baby even though I can tell, by it's look, that it is suggesting some sort of major reconstructive surgery for my nose. Or it is just hungry. I reconsider it's age. It is definitely not a day over eight days old, I think confidently. After a minute, I have some doubt - he may be 9 or 10 days old. Possibly he just looks young for his age.

And behind me are a couple of teenagers whining and complaining about how horrible their lives are. They are taking turns describing the depths of their sorrow and pain and suffering and it actually works out perfectly as it gives me an unforeseen opportunity to mentally rehearse my infinitely sad violin concerto that I've been composing for moments exactly like this. According to them, no one understands these teens (or buys them anything), but I think I do and I'm tempted to stand up and verbally shake some sense into them or orally smack them silly or just buy them a non-fat ice cream cone possibly filled with low-fat ice cream - I just need them to be quiet as they are reminding me too vividly of my own teenage angst which bled into my early twenties angst which led to my late twenties angst which naturally led to that job at the post office. Surprisingly delivering and sorting mail was the cure for my angst and I briefly debate suggesting this to these forlorn teens only to reconsider when they are hit by a fit of the giggles that surprisingly causes me more concern than the angst. Uncontrollable giggles should make me smile, but instead it makes me yawn as I am really really tired, plus the exact pitch of their high-pitched giggles makes me yearn for dog treats for some reason beyond my comprehension. Fortunately, I am carrying an unopened bag of dog treats. I divert my attention elsewhere before they start to notice my calculated stares and either contemplate reporting me or, even worse, start talking to me. The last thing I need is to be tricked into giggling right now. Not on this bus.

I still wasn't totally sure what I was doing on the bus. I was tired and wondered if I could use that to my advantage somehow or at least not have it be the reason for being taken advantage of for a change. Why was I so tired? Why did I feel like I hadn't slept at all in a long time? As I pondered those questions, I itched my nose, scratched my head and stretched and then did the same three things in opposite order for symmetry sake. Then I had to fight the urge to try them all at the same time, which I am pretty sure would have not only worked but may have inspired others to try as well. And then we could have broke out into a well-choreographed song and dance number. But, I quickly decided against it as I am sure I wouldn't have been cast as the lead and I'm tired. Also, I recently made the mistake of being asymmetrical and I am working on that. How long have I been riding this bus? How long will I stay on? At some point, I thought, I should rise with confidence and get off the bus, just so no one else clues into my lack of awareness and direction. I could write a book about my lack of awareness and direction, let me tell you. If I wrote a book every time I thought about writing a book, I'd have written a couple of books by now. Maybe I should do it now? Or just get off the bus already? As I alternatively psyche myself up into making the move and fighting the temptation, I notice the ads on the bus above the windows.

Usually I sit on the bus and am oblivious to these ads, and sometimes I rant and rave in message boards online about bus ads and how they are contributing towards the moral decaying of society. For fun, I often select a random message board -those ladies on that quilting forum must have been taken by surprise. But today I focus in on these ads and maybe it's my mood, but they really get me thinking and questioning myself and how I am living my life. Do I want a new cell phone? Especially one that comes with a plan, and not just any plan, an amazing plan that doesn't outwardly state, but seems to implicitly imply, that it will significantly improve my life, especially in my ability to text more frequently and get more data. I knew something was missing in my life - was it more texting? Perhaps, but I was leaning towards just needing more fiber. Too bad texting isn't also good for digestive health. And what could I do with all of that data! The possibilities are endless and I honestly don't know what any of them are. Will I need a bigger house! Can I still hang out at the coffee shop drinking tea? Should I say goodbye to my old friends who are definitely not big data users? Should I buy a parrot? (actually I have always wanted a parrot and just thought this would be a great time to ask) Previously, I was fairly sure I didn't want or need a new phone, but this highly glossy sign on the bus with its neon colours and large size 120 font letters is fairly convincing. I feel oddly drawn to the sign and decide after some thought, that maybe it is the actual sign that I want and not the phone. I wonder where I can buy a copy of this gloriously aggressive sign.

Then I notice another ad trying to convince the observer to attend the local community college. The two students (or actors posing as students as they look a little too "student-ish" in my mind to be actual students) are seen sitting in the library "studying" and have the two biggest, happiest smiles that are humanly possible. Now, I haven't studied at that college or sat in their library myself, but there is no way they are having that much fun at that library studying. What did the director of that shot want to convey? That students studying at that college are over-the-moon happy all the time especially when studying at the library? And that, if I was to go there, it would lift me out of my sad-sack life and give me a new found optimism and a sense of humour? And what are they studying? History? Not too many laugh-out-loud moments there. Medicine? Possibly they are overjoyed with all of the money they will make one day. Or maybe she just told him a funny joke, maybe something a bit risque or overly high-brow. Maybe, just maybe, they tried a photo of them displaying other emotions like fear ("so, school is scary like I thought" people may say before running away and joining the armed forces), anxious ("if these students, the leaders of tomorrow, are that worried and stressed, I shouldn't be relaxing on my sofa right now" people may say before looking into the logistics of cryogenic freezing), glum ("nothing annoys me more and makes me more angry than young, attractive people in ads looking sad" people may say before storming the campus with flaming torches, yelling angry slogans, attempting to rid the city of the institutions of higher learning that cloud us from the truth starting first with the libraries) or staring straight at the camera with an ultra-serious look ("are you looking at me? Oh, it's on!" people would say before making idle threats that they were in no position to issue, especially when you consider that they were speaking to a two-dimensional advertisement that was in no position to defend itself). Regardless, I am too busy and still scarred from my previous school experience - nobody warned me that universities didn't have playgrounds. But, I will store this info away, if I am in the neighbourhood and what a little emotional pick-me-up, I know where to go.

The rest of the ads are all public service announcements reminding me not to litter, vandalize, ride without paying or smoke. "Thanks mom", I mutter to myself, all of a sudden,.missing my mother even though, ironically she was a habitual litterer, a constant threat to vandalize, addicted to free rides and, although she was highly sensitive to smoke, she smoked like a chimney - taking huge massive inhalations followed by an endless stream of ash and soot. People would always tell her she was doing it wrong and that she shouldn't get so dirty from smoking, and she mostly ignored them and continued on her life work, a musical based on the unabridged dictionary. She didn't seem to enjoy smoking or any of its perks - like the incessant coughing, the perpetually raspy voice and having a built-in excuse to take multiple long breaks at work. I always felt that her smoking was merely a result of her confusingly strong attachment to both cylinders and fire. I spent a lot of time at grandma and grandpa's farm growing up and if I heard the story about how mom vigorously hated squares and rhombuses once, I heard it a thousand times. She was raised to love only three-dimensional shapes and had such a hard time deciding between a sphere ("kind of a like a ball, in many ways...actually, how are they different?", she always remarked about spheres, especially when I was playing with a bouncy ball, which oddly was slightly oblong-shaped due to her leaving cartons of cigarettes pressed on top of it much of the time), a cylinder ("nothing like a long, slim, filtered cylinder to start the day off with" she would say at breakfast) and the lesser-known dodecahedron ("so many angles, so many sides, I could just sit here and get lost in your sides" she whispered to her purple 20-sided Dungeons and Dragons' die the morning that father left with his girlfriend. Father drew the line at 10-sided shapes - who could blame him?). And fire? Mom was so caveman-like in her love for fire. She once spanked me for acting slightly nonchalant about fires and demanded a near-round-the-clock fire-appreciation mindset. That was so tough to keep up, but I tried. I tried for mom. Good old chain-smoking, cylindrical-focused, fire-fiendish mom. She was my mom, and we were always pretty concerned about her.

Abruptly, I stand making an unnecessarily big production out of it drawing the attention of a number of other passengers. Their focus on me is fleeting. Once they see that I am not going to break into song, ask for money or attack them (you always have to be on guard for those solo-belting, currency-focussed, knife-wielding maniacs on our city's buses) they go back to what they are doing (probably plotting their own plans to either sing, ask for money or attack the others). Why did I stand? Am I leaving this rectangular, metal "home" that seems to be rocketing towards some unknown destination that was not of my choosing? I want to leave, but the doors seem really far away. After a moment standing there, I realize that the far away doors are actually quite far away, but they aren't the doors on this bus, instead they are the doors to an apartment building across the street - I have always been confusing doors in my life - an odd, and ultimately quite debilitating problem. I pause, standing there, contemplating my next move. Do I sit again? No! That would be announcing my submission, my defeat, my clear need to add more squats to my currently non-existent work-out routine. Do I commence a yoga-like stretching routine? I mean I do need to stretch right now and I recall the advice from my counsellor - "live in the present". I was never quite sure what she meant and I should have asked if I was giving off the impression that I was living in the past due to my wearing an outfit from another time complete with a hat with adorned with a beautiful feather. I want to stretch very badly - check that - I yearn to stretch, but I don't. Maybe stretching is exactly what "they" want me to do. (my counsellor also wants me to stop worrying about these other people I always refer to as "they", for many reasons - "they" may have really peculiar tastes, "they" may not have my best interests at heart, "they" may not actually care nor exist - I have an inkling that she is trying to push me towards realizing the latter, but I am just not ready to take that step in my therapy, mostly because I like my therapist and am trying to see her more often. Not to ask her out, but to slowly try to reverse our roles so that one day, seamlessly, I can become her therapist and she, my patient, and then I will push her towards asking me out. I haven't decided if I will say yes). I decide to leave. Yes! I want to leave and leave I will. Then I wonder how I should approach the rear doors - confidently? (could be a good call - it would give the illusion that I know where I am going not just now, but in life) - non-confidently? (would be hard to display this and have it appear different from hesitatingly and I just don't feel like appearing hesitatingly any more today) Since I am unsure how to proceed, but am certain I need to leave immediately, I get up and race towards the doors and trip on the top step which catapults me into the air end-over-end. I'm not sure how this happened, but I ended up completing two complete flips and sticking my landing causing the entire bus and all of the pedestrian on the street to break out into a standing ovation. While I enjoyed their applause, I quickly started to worry about next time as it would be really hard to match or surpass that.

I walk a few blocks receiving tons of high fives and slaps on the back along the way. Finally I find some peace and quiet and sit on a park bench next to a busy tennis court where a dad is trying to teach his young girls to play tennis. In the part of the lesson I am watching they are learning how to make bone-rattling grunts and how to incorporate gymnastic-style tumbling maneuvers into their tennis game. I feel that this dad is either a crackpot or on to something, but I can't decide so to take mind off the tennis I take out a small handheld mirror I always carry with me in my bag and look at myself (an overly macho friend once commented that this mirror is so small, it is really a compact and that maybe I "needed a purse" to carry it in, so I went out the next day and bought a purse and he hasn't talked to me since). I love looking at my reflection in the mirror and could do so for hours almost as if attempting to memorize the size and placement of each freckle (and possibly naming them much as stars have been named by astronomers - the big one near by right shoulder I always wanted to call  "Cancer", but was talked out of it by my overly cautious dermatologist who thought that the name was tempting fate a little too much, so I settled on "Benign Tumor", which he liked slightly more). I tried to limit my self mirror watching to my home as doing so publicly is generally frowned upon for reasons I've never been sure about. Is it because it is "nicer" to look at others? Or possibly I'm supposed to share my mirror with all of the sad sacks around me who either don't own their own mirrors or are just very forgetful? Or maybe my looking into the mirror makes it seem that I "love" myself and that I should be more "normal" and less "strange". "Thanks Ms. Pinter" I always say whenever I think those thoughts in my head, which is strange because the actual Ms. Pinter was my grade 5 teacher who taught every lesson  looking into a large mirror instead of directly facing us students, which meant that we learned from the reflection of Ms. Pinter who I had a massive crush on (I was often a bit confused if I preferred her right side to her left side and which side that actually was seeing as it was her reflection). Oddly, my school-boy crush didn't extend to the actual Ms. Pinter. Her reflection helped me so much that year - I have been looking for a motivating, attractive reflection to fill that void ever since.

I also love playing facial games in the mirror. My favourite, by far, was exercising my eyebrows, an exhausting, hilarious way to waste away the afternoon which had the upside of utilizing my Grouch Marx-sized eyebrows that I super-glued to my face and  making my forehead quite a bit more muscular and strong which could come in handy one day. I prided myself upon being ready for just about any situation and having a stronger than average face seemed to be a good idea - I mean it couldn't hurt unless a situation called for a weak face. I'd like to have a face that can not only withstand all types of weather and being tar and feathered (I know this doesn't come up much and may not even be used any more) but can also be that face that can adorn posters and pamphlets and help the masses see that there is so much to live for and that there is good in the world and maybe, just maybe, my face could inspire and motivate people to exercise their faces as well (could be some money in this for me).

The park I was in was very serene and I was taking huge, deep breaths of the fresh air which caused the person sitting three benches away to get up and leave - it wasn't as if I was trying to use all of the air or anything! Weirdo! My goal this week is attempting to be kinder to people. I have a weekly goal and spend Sunday evenings either with a huge celebration or a few hours of constant berating and humiliation based on how I have done in regards to the previous week's goal. In anticipation of the celebration I bake an elaborate cake adorned with motivational slogans. In the event I succeed with accomplishing my weekly goal, I sit down to a huge plate of congratulatory cake and if I am not able to succeed, I end up crying profusely, all the while mashing the cake with my fists. Since success feels so much better than failure, you would think I'd steer away from hard to achieve goals and settle on super simple ones, but I don't. I learned that the hard way. It was only Wednesday, and I hadn't done a great job so far, so I decided then and there to stand on the street corner smiling, waving and saying whatever kind thing first popped into my head about the stranger (in some cases this was hard as the first five to ten random thoughts were definitely NOT kind and had to be discarded or saved in case a future goal involved being unkind to people). Being kind to strangers feels good inside and after a few hours of this I was both exhausted (that was a lot of smiling) and much happier. "I am a good person" I thought and wished my ex-girlfriend who always claimed that I was "such a loser" could be here right now, so I could stick this in her face for old times-sake.

The whole goal setting thing came about mostly out of boredom and wanting to avenge the tragic death of my pet mouse (at first he seemed to be enjoying the boat ride in the toilet) and the death of my second pet mouse who sat too close to the fireplace (actually, I sort of "threw" him in when he wouldn't share his cheese tray that was WAY too much cheese for him to eat by himself anyways. I did feel horrible about it, but also kind of justified as sharing was explicitly stated as the number one rule in the house when he first came home from the pet store) and the demise of pet mouse number three who "somehow" ended up in my famous chicken noodle soup when my parents came to visit (the story goes like this - I promised my parents that I would make the soup that they loved and then realized I didn't quite have enough chicken and was just too lazy to go tot the store to buy some more. Look, I'm not happy about it either and if there is such a thing as mouse-hell, I know I'm heading there someday). I also thought that the setting of goals "sounded good" in nearly any social setting and if nothing else may help me find a few more people to help me in times of need (not sure how those two dots are connected, but next time I am trapped at the bottom of the well - don't ask, it's happened a number of times - maybe one of those people exposed to my goal setting may happen to wonder by and either take pity or randomly decide to help - you just never know).

I walk all the way home mostly to avoid a repeat of the morning's experience on the bus. I alternate between walking very slowly and speed walking depending on what song is playing. Then the music shifts abruptly to classical and I start to "dance" my way home like I am at a grand ball. One particularly long song with a very slow, meandering opening that is building towards the "meat" of the song comes on and I decide to sit cross-legged on the sidewalk until the tempo picks up. A guy across the street sees me and comes over and sits next to me. I'm not sure why - maybe he is listening to the same song? Or perhaps he thinks I'm protesting something and wants to join in for the cause? Has a couple of screws loose? I momentarily close my eyes and upon opening them there is a long line of people sitting on the sidewalk with me and this guy. I want to ask questions and then I notice that they are all very attractive. Like really attractive. So much so that I feel like I am hogging up all of the ugly, again. After a few minutes sitting in silence with all of these beautiful strangers wondering what we should do together (tag? a choreographed dance number? cheer-leading?) a huge gust of wind blows by and I find myself alone again. Did that actually happen? Were those people actually here a minute ago and gone the next? Maybe I missed an ice cream truck a block away that they all ran off to? Or possibly they all jumped really high when I looked and they landed and then ran off after I looked away. Maybe they suddenly became two-dimensional? Can that actually happen? Or possibly I'm still on the bus. Maybe I shouldn't have eaten those five long-expired yogurts this morning as I had given in to my odd craving for bacteria. But hey, at least this hallucination didn't try to steal my pants.

I arrive at my house and sit on the steps.

As I breath in and out, I contemplate the complexities of life.

It is fairly clear - I have no idea what is going on.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

His Shirt Was So Tight

He chopped wood outside all of the day,
Heavily invested in making "them" pay,
To sound more "street" started calling himself Tre,
Accidentally glued his hands together when he started to pray,
To win a girl's heart, he put on a play,
And eats muffins with gusto.

He longingly looks up at the stars,
Stores all sorts of odd things in a collection of jars,
Often spends the night crying after hitting the bars,
Left with a huge pile of sand after extracting the tars,
Got a job as a pirate with really great "Yaaaarrrr"s,
And goes to the store every Friday.

He got a new job tenderizing some beef,
When he was little he lost his front "teef",
Got horribly itchy for caressing the wrong leaf,
Once ran away from home to go live on the reef,
Needs to drink a litre of OJ just to feel some relief,
And wears his socks when he showers.

He spent the whole holidays playing the game,
Felt pretty annoyed when he received only 9 minutes of fame,
Lived the first four years of his life without a first name,
Wrongly believes any wild animal can be tame,
Won the first prize for being the most lame,
And has an excuse if you need one.

He uses only designer soap to clean his white towels,
Wrote a short story using only some vowels,
Is known around town as the man with the scowls,
Draws concerned looks from all for his collection of fowls,
When dating a new girl gets excited and howls,
And eats his oatmeal with sugar.

He had a weird dream where he got a lot fatter,
When given a choice, opts for the latter,
Hates his wife's pancakes, but gulps down the batter,
Wrote a beautiful song featuring teeth all a chatter,
While he prefers hugs, his mom was a patter,
And wrinkles his nose like a bunny.

He looked really good because his shirt was so tight,
Broke up with his girlfriend because of that bite,
Walks around looking sad because a dog ate his kite,
Afraid he'll grow fangs when day turns to night,
Painted his body to make his skin actually white,
And washes his car in the rain.

He lost his job at the factory when he barked like some dogs,
In a search for a princess he kissed all the frogs,
To satisfy his vanity he goes for lots of jogs,
Considers himself European because he wears wooden clogs,
Made a Morse code pattern using all the beach logs,
And wears his hair in a 'fro.

He made the crowd laugh when he told that rude joke,
Almost got himself gored because of a poke,
Spent the night staring at his sister until she awoke,
Tried a new treatment engulfed in thick smoke,
Gave away his bank savings to make himself broke,
And kicked the ball in his yard.

He has so much invested in finding that cure,
Refuses to eat anything less than 99% pure,
After the trip to Arabia, can't get enough myrrh,
Envious of bears mostly cause of their thick coat of fur,
Never catches a fish, as he eats the lure,
And quietly toasts some bread.

He thought he'd get smarter by reading that book,
Gets all of the parts, because he got "the look"
When someone bores him he gives them the hook,
Can't play chess; cares to much for the rook,
Served everyone raw food as he never learned to cook,
And rolls his eyes at the moon.

He scrubbed and he scrubbed to get rid of the blood,
Bought lots of canned food to prepare for the flood,
Got a bad rash cause he used the wrong mud,
To fit in with the cows, started chewing some cud,
Screwed in all 1000 lightbulbs in search of the dud,
And eats celery for the fibre.

He got kicked out of the gang because told the police,
Broke his ring finger when he high-fived his niece,
Lost his new place when he misread the lease,
Can't tell the different between some swans and some geese,
Brought the house down by using some fruit as his piece,
And hems his own pants in the summer.

He only writes poems that are very deep,
Mistook the tree for his neighbour when nearly asleep,
Refuses to buy some more wax; the price is too steep,
Walks all around the town in search of noses to beep,
Embarrassingly attracted to Little Bo Peep,
And brushes his hair every morning.

He came home from work and ate all the fish,
Set as his goal, to be served on a dish,
Revealed his true colours when granted his wish,
Only buys new pants that make a loud swish,
Made his dad proud when he bought that knish,
And rubs his seashell for good luck.

He lost all his friends for not ceasing to tickle,
Constantly on the loookout for new foods to pickle,
Won't eat the second-rate caviar as he is fickle
Wouldn't hug the girl at the fair for only a nickle,
Went all the way to Russia to purchase a sickle,
And clicks his heels when excited.




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

She Loves to Eat Bowlfuls of Rice

She wears a lot of different shades of green,
Spent her weekend creatively inserting an "I" into team,
Alternates her dinner choices between too fatty and too lean,
Forced her boyfriend to give her his spleen,
Decides when and where to be mean,
And always enjoys her afternoon apple.

She loves to eat bowlfuls of rice,
Puts aside time each night combing for lice,
Answers every question asked of her with "no dice",
Is a lover of grips, especially the vise,
Has vivid dreams as the leader of a colony of mice,
And loves watching the 6 pm news.

She learned to sail on a partially submerged boat,
Has a deep, verging on unhealthy, respect for her goat,
Paid a large fine to the city for digging that moat,
Occasionally wears nothing under her big furry coat,
Would be considered a great pianist if songs had only one note,
And is excited by standing in the rain.

She confusingly refers to her car as a jet,
Charges her father lots of interest on his humongous debt,
Was conceived as a result of her mom losing a bet,
Often rubs against her dog just wanting a pet,
Wrote a quality research paper but got it all wet,
And bounces on her sofa like a child.

She often awakes with a tick and a frown,
Walks alone in the darkness wearing a wedding gown,
When she throws it, she throws it down,
Often mixes up what's a city and what's a town,
Unrelentingly bullied her brother into becoming a clown,
And washes her shirts inside out.

She loves oh so much to hear herself talk,
Won a year's supply of industrial strength caulk,
Hurt the umpire's feelings for calling that balk,
Once slapped herself all night with a celery stalk,
Refers to running as a really fast walk,
And kisses her nose in the mirror.

She often stares up at the moon,
Breaks out her best dance move always around noon,
When asked when she'll be done in the shower she always says "soon",
Aspires to be an ice-skating goon,
Plans to go far, far away sometime, perhaps around June,
And swings so her feet touch the tree.

She spent her summers away at "the camp",
Keeps things painfully bright with the use of a lamp,
When it is wet, she prefers to call things just slightly damp,
Bought a comically-large, reserved-for-special-occasions, red-and-blue stamp,
Replaced all of the stairs in her house with a slippery ramp,
And occasionally sips her milk slowly.

She sprinkles the counter daily with flour,
Never does any activity for exactly one hour,
Always tells anyone who will listen that she "got the power",
As a girl, never built even one single block tower,
Lost the competition when her baked lemon cookies were WAY too sour,
And sings to herself in the mornings.

She responds promptly to the ring of a bell,
Lives according to the rule "don't ask, don't tell",
Believes there is no such thing as too much hair gel,
Always wondered what is up with the farmer in the dell,
To teach herself a lesson, she spent a week in a cell,
And scratches her back when it itches.

She greedily invented all of those hidden fees,
Imagines she is being rightfully chased by killer bees,
Once sang the national anthem with a really harsh wheeze,
On a dare once ate a bowl full of flees,
Sent Santa to the hospital for too tight a squeeze,
And bites her lip when she is nervous.

She lounges at leisure in a kiddie pool,
Balances precariously for hours on top of a stool,
Canvases the streets challenging all comers to duel,
Scorched her mouth on her dinner and soothed it with some raspberry fool,
In the school play she's a typecasted ghoul,
And wears her baseball hat sideways.

She is considered just this side of crazy,
Calls her eye "relaxed"; doesn't like lazy,
Called off the wedding when given a rose not a daisy,
After that weekend in Vegas changed her name briefly to Maisy,
Cleans her glasses only when things start to look hazy,
And dances in front of her mirror.

She was born as the child in the middle,
Broke her violin when she told it was only a fiddle,
Spent a month in silence solving that riddle,
Wishes she could rapidly think of more synonyms for little,
Burnt herself badly when she sat on the griddle,
And takes out books from the library.

She enjoys one or two a tropical drink,
Had an inexplicable desire to melt the ice rink,
Took a poorly-timed break from the surgery to think,
Once lost her job for an inadvertent wink,
Envious of pigs for looking so pink,
And colours outside of the lines.

She is on the lookout for vegetables to mash,
Will change her mind for the right amount of cash,
Proudly shows off her dark purple rash,
Once knocked a guy out when she bat her eyelash
Upstaged her best friend at her birthday party bash,
And smiles for nothing at breakfast.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

**********I Embrace Randomness

I find myself walking east on a busy sidewalk while everyone else and their dogs are walking west. I'm tempted to reverse my course, to fit in, but I must buy myself a shirt as the wind chill is bracing to say the least.

You are swimming in the lake, wondering how the experience would be different if the lake was deep enough to demonstrate the synchronized swimming techniques you were forced to learn as a child.

I am roasting winter vegetables. It is the middle of the summer, but I am just so hungry.

You are travelling to Japan attempting to buy a really large tuna to make a huge sandwich for the company picnic. That will teach them to make fun of your tuna salad sandwich making abilities.

I am playing a new game I invented where I pretend that I am trapped inside a block of ice just waiting for it to thaw. Some days, the ice melts quickly and other days I am stuck inside this ice block for hours forcing me to order in.

You have just bought 20 lbs of fresh, baby spinach and have decided to cover yourself in a big pile of dark green, leafy goodness. You are little upset that no one you know is even slightly surprised.

I am making my bed and I keep having to straighten the sheets as I am attempting to mentally solve simultaneous algebraic equations at the same time and they always make me twitch.

You are excitedly eating carrot stick after carrot stick in an attempt to "get to" that annoying, know-it-all bunny I gave you for your birthday. 

I have decided to cut my hair, only this time as an ode to Escher.

You are utilizing increasingly more symbolism in your speech to the point where we are all pleading for a little bit of realism.

I long to return to the jungle.

You spend hours drawing silly, round, cartoonish faces on a large piece of white paper on the floor only taking a short intermission to go online to mock your friends for having silly, round and cartoonish faces.

I have decided to police the police.

You have made a resolution to do more glazing, especially, but not limited to, cakes.

I have opened the door to the outside, I pause momentarily and, after looking back one last time, I cross over to the other side. What a view!

You have finally decided to pay your fees to the club and now we have nothing left to talk about aside from your ridiculous love of turtleneck sweaters.

I will admit it, I'm addicted to that feeling I get when I have just finished a long run, and have come home and have an awesome shower and then I change into some nice clean clothes and then I go downstairs and eat all of the chocolate I can get my hands on and then I get "the shakes" from too many sweets and then I have to drink tons of milk and finally I lay down on the couch and watch some crappy reality TV. That feeling. 

I will only blow bubbles on Fridays adding to my father's considerable amount of shame.

You have harvested the pumpkin from your garden and make an incredible pie that is enjoyed by all. After the guests have all gone home, you sit at the table looking at the crumb-filled empty pie pan,  slowly caressing the stem that was once attached to the pumpkin and you sigh. Never have you felt so alone.

I have made it my goal to quench as many people's thirsts as possible without having to go too far out of my way. I mean if they are near by or want to come over, but aside from that they can get their own cold drinks. I mean what am I, a mobile, refreshment provider?!!?! What's that you say? My business card says that I am? Fine then, just don't expect a large variety of drinks or a smile.

You are itching my back and laughing like a little school girl the whole time. Another win win experience for both of us.

I am wearing old ratty clothes and haven't bathed or brushed my hair for days. You, on the other hand, look marvellous. You're welcome!

You are suspiciously cute.

I wish that I could go back in time, sneak up on you and tickle you. I guess I could just tickle you now, but for some reason I long to tickle you in the past as I regret passing up on that opportunity when it presented itself.

You drive like a madman in the middle of the night, nostrils flaring, eyes ablaze, looking like a crazed wolf-man and screaming at the top of your lungs about your love of butterflies and tulips.

I am steaming cauliflower, mastering the art of origami, and straining my hips while attempting an extreme yoga position all in an attempt to woo you.

You are collecting shells and seaweed from the local beach as your master has commanded. You have many concerns and questions about your master and his grand plan, but the free roast beef is too good to walk away from.

I love mindlessly wandering in a grassy expanse. I love reading dictionary entries while working on my biceps. I love flapping my arms like wings and gaily leaping up and down in front of my house, forcing all passersby to quickly cross to the other side. I love sitting by myself next to a nice warm bath. I embrace randomness.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Am Way Out In Left Field

I spilled the beans yesterday and aside from trying to sweep up all of the ones that rolled under the oven and the fridge, it was honestly not that bad. I also have decided to stop attempting to cover up the truth so frequently, especially when telling stories involving legumes.

You know walking in the park is just a walk in the park after all. Not sure what else I expected. Nice walk though. Super easy to do. Fresh air, beautiful flowers, only one bee sting. You know one thing that is no walk in the park? Swimming in the ocean. It just isn't.

I've been told that the walls have ears. I've been told lots of things. Can't tell you about them right now, not with those walls around, especially as some of the things pertain to the new "soundproof" paint I'm planning on covering those nosy walls with.

Even if I wanted to be a chip off the old block, I don't think it is possible. I've seen lots of blocks and chips in my time and what I would give to be considered a chip, let me tell you. Then again, maybe I am thinking too literally about this (something I've been rightly accused of doing on multiple occasions before). Maybe "the block" is more of an ideal, a perfect form, like a circle; something we all aspire to be and spend our lives working towards and I am this small "chip" aspiring to be more like my "block", almost like an arc or a tangent. Yes! I like this!  The "block" may represent this huge, possibly fictitious, rectangular prism "block" collection of humanity of which I was a mere chip in my infancy (and am still a chip, just a slightly larger one). Or maybe the block is just my dad and I am his son, the chip, and that means we are similar in many ways and that I came "from" him....I guess? Based on my limited understanding of human reproduction I think this analogy is a tad misleading.

I am painstakingly a man of my word. Whatever I say, even an embarrassing slip of the tongue, a blush-inducing joke, a high-brow soliloquy or just repeating "blah" ad nauseum - I do what ever is in my power to embody those words and live by them to the extreme. Nothing I say is of no, or minimal consequence (even when I say "no consequences", although that doesn't come up too often in my highly consequential existence)! Words leave my lips, even if by total accident or in some random, completely meaningless order and I will be a man of those words. Sometimes I release words from the prison of my brain and mouth (I'm actually a little unclear where they are housed inside my body) to see if I am up to the challenge of living by them (I used to, in my younger, naive days, try to be a man "with" my words but they would have nothing of it. And upon reflection, at my ripened age, who was I to think that I could be "with" them? They are words after all and I was just a boy, albeit a wordy boy. I was always told by my teachers that I asked too many questions and my unspoken rational was that I was trying to be "with" my words.) I hold these truths to be self-evident - all words are created equal and it is my responsibility, nae my duty, to honour each word and treat is as I would want to be treated if I was said words, as someday, I may be. 

You bring out the best in me, but we swore never to mention that gut-wrenching, energy-sapping, hyper-embarrassing evening and all that you had to do to me to get it out. Some things just aren't worth the effort.

I long to be worth writing home about. I can just imagine it - we meet (it can be across a crowded room or pretty much anywhere, crowded or not - that is not the point of this aside and I would like to stay on track if that is okay with you) and something I say or do or am wearing (who would I be wearing in this imaginary event?) is so profound or satirical or offensive (could it be profoundly, satirically offensive all at once? I hope so!) that you just must whip out an actual piece of paper (they still make those?) and a pencil (kept around for solely gnawing purposes) and script a letter for the people at home who are doing nothing better then sitting around waiting for a letter containing home-writing worthy material. As you can imagine, I have been longing for this for a while. 

Man! That guy is on fire! He is so hard core and I'm not sure how he can continue to shoot hoops with such a high efficiency while actually experiencing a variety of degrees of burning all over his body! Why did I decide to try and roast marshmallows on the sideline of the game anyways? 

The other night I was home alone and my face turned white (and for those that consider me a white person, it turned even whiter then my usual reddish-pinkish hue). Actually it would be more accurate to say I turned my own face white. I just can't leave that Geisha-makeup alone for even one night and don't get me started on those fabulous kimonos that are nearly literally calling out for me to wear them.

I can't stand that guy at work! I am so angry and frustrated that I plan to march into his office first thing tomorrow, stare him in the eyes and give him a piece of my mind. Aside from the anticipated long-term neurological damage, I am sure that it will be worth seeing the look on his face. Last time he takes my parking spot, most likely as I won't be able to work there any longer as even the most menial tasks will be beyond me, what with a part of my brain missing and all. 

Everyone has always gathering around and excitedly asked me to say cheese. I have steadfastly said no to this request (although on a number of occasions I was tempted to see which cheese would be procured if I had said it) until one day a camera-wielding maniac posing as my close friend, Marcus (or it could have been Marcus posing as a camera-wielding maniac or possibly just Marcus using the camera I bought him for his birthday with his usual joie de vivre) took a picture of me using the brightest flash available on the black market which stunned me and reduced me to a catatonic state where all I said for days on end was cheese and was only snapped out of it when dressed up in a life-like mouse costume (my friends tried to squeeze my girth inside an actual mouse-sized mouse costume to no avail, so they had to buy me gargantuan mouse duds which not only fit well, but made me quite a bit more attractive, especially to my near-starving cat) and force-fed me small pieces of chewed-up cheese a la parent bird to baby bird-style. I came to and for the next month had a strange reaction to hearing the word "cheese" - it made me want to escape to the nearby mountain top and pet mountain goats (really hard to do as they mostly just want to headbutt you). In hindsight it would probably have been easier to just smile for the camera.

I am quite easy going in life and not much cramps my style - aside from actual cramps, those are quite painful and debilitating. I am working on incorporating actual cramps into my style so they will be rendered unnoticeable to all but the keenest eye.

When people tell me that that boat has sailed I'm never totally sure how to react. Should I be angry? Possibly - as strangely the mere sight of a boat sailing is usually enough to make my blood boil. Should I be regretful? Over what? Not being on the boat? I'm happier on land any day. Should I be gleeful? Maybe throw a big, boat-has-sailed party for all of the people who are so happy that that gigantic, hulking, eye-sore of a boat is finally out of the way so we can just enjoy looking at the water. As I am wondering how to react to hearing about the boat sailing away, the person who said it usually leaves as well, much like the boat. If I am lucky he was also standing in front of some water that I can now focus my sole attention on.

For years now, I've been hearing that something I said is the oldest one in the book. And for years, I have nodded knowingly when hearing that. And then one day it hit me -am I so painfully unoriginal that all of my ideas have already been printed, published and sold worldwide! This would be quite the blow to my psyche as I've been walking around for years with a huge and probably off-putting attitude that everything that left my mouth was completely unique. And what book is this?!? If things I am saying are essentially re-treads and totally unoriginal ideas, I need to find this book and either destroy it, thus making me seem more original or read it so I know what is in the book, so I can attempt to say things to people that are not in the book. So, I spent every day for months researching trying to find this book, to no avail. Eventually I gave up and decided to just say every other word of all of my ideas, instantly making them new and fresh and almost completely impossible to follow.

I've been asked on a number of occasions to fork my money over, and I always refuse. It is probably a result of how I've been raised, but I will only use a spoon in matters involving the transferring of monetary funds and occasionally a ladle, which I believe belongs in the spoon-family regardless of what my "ladle is it's own form of cutlery" neighbour repeatedly tells me.

Someone told me the other day that I was just digging my own grave. What?!?! You mean after all of my toil and trouble for years, having to deal with the seemingly endless line of weirdos and all of the patronizing and the total lack of good chocolate, I am now expected to also dig my own grave?!?!? That better be just an expression! And even if it is, what sort of loser utilizes such morbid and confusing expressions to make their speeches stand out, points clearer and conversations sound more exciting? The sort of loser who can start digging my grave post haste, that's who.

I am in the process of stealing your thunder. I had considered trying to make a deal with you for it or even just asking to borrow it for a little while, but then you bothered me incessantly about my lack of understanding of brontophobia and I just had to get you back. We'll see who is afraid of thunder now, won't we?

Ouch!!!!!! I can't believe you actually lit a fire underneath me while I was sleeping in my hammock (you owe me a new hammock too by the way)!!! When I said, I think I need you to light a fire under me, I wasn't being literal! Yes, I know I am very literal most of the time and that I constantly castigate others for their overabundant use of flowery and metaphorical language. So, I sort of get why you have started taking me at my word and I do appreciate that.. But, a fire!?!?! Under what circumstance would I ever want a smoldering fire directly beneath me? Do I want my buns toasted, you ask? Yes, but not those buns! And why did you have to make such a large fire? Did the situation really call for a large bonfire or was that just a tad bit of excitement and over-zealousness on your part? When I said, light a fire under me, I meant that I needed your help finding the motivation to get out of the hammock and stop napping when it is such a nice afternoon. Now I have 2nd degree burns on my ass! You know, I've always had an inkling that you would hurt me one day, but I never thought this is how that would go down. I guess it is my fault - what did I expect would happen when I paired a hyper-literal person such as myself, with an extremely gullible person like you and then I compounded that by treating you to a year's supply of kindling and matches for your birthday.

Once again you have put yourself behind the 8 ball and you seem so stressed and anxious. If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, that 8 ball is so small and it isn't really in your way at all. I really don't think you need to let it bother you. That huge, spherical, unmovable black rock that is on top of all of your important work that needs to be done tomorrow - that is your real problem - forget about the 8 ball. And while you are at it, I wish you would stop taking that ball from my pool table, making it very hard to play and placing it in front of you using it's proximity as an excuse for why you are feeling so stressed. Just admit it, I'm better at pool then you.

I know, I know, I know, I am way out in left field. Can I come home now?





Thursday, May 1, 2014

If It Walks Like A Duck...

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. Or quite possibly a small person dressed in a duck suit or a family pet encouraged to act duck-like or get flushed. Or a highly trained and camouflaged marsupial who has infiltrated the duck ranks, learned to waddle and quack without drawing any attention to itself, with the intent to take the ducks down from the inside. Not likely I know, just saying that it is possible and that you would benefit, in my opinion, from expanding your what-could-pass-as-a-duck framework.

If I say Bert is my friend then he is my friend no matter how imaginary your team of doctors and other mental health professionals say he is. And I don't care if the "putting a hat on his head experiment" resulted in a huge pile of feathered hats on the floor or not - that could mean lots of things....like maybe Bert has a particularly slippery head of hair, which could be solved by using a new anti-greasy shampoo. I know, I know that is my answer to everything.

If it looks like a corporate takeover and it feels like a corporate takeover, then chances are you haven't been doing your job and have been too busy checking out the classified ads looking for rare Japanese songbirds. You are so unfocused you wouldn't know a corporate takeover if it hit you in the face. Oh, and by the way, your services are no longer required here. Enjoy the songbird search.

If it looks like butter and it tastes like butter, then it must be butter! And if it ain't butter, but I can still cover myself with it and go sliding around on my belly on my hardwood floors to my hearts's desire then you don't see this guy complaining.

If it looks like an oasis and you are in the dessert and starting to hallucinate due to an extreme thirst and you are starting to see a whole collection of white-clothed men and their camels starting to perform incredibly choreographed numbers from West Side Story, then who am I to tell you it is a mirage. Drink away!

If it looks like a plate of noodles and tastes like a plate of noodles, it is probably a plate of noodles, although these days they are most likely not your grandfather's noodles (but it is probably still your grandfather's discoloured, chipped plate - buy some new plates, cheapo!). Nope, those noodles you just ate were made of either brown rice, quinoa, corn, spelt or some mix of the above. I guess the terrorists have won.

If I act like I own the place and I talk like I own the place could you at least allow me to pretend that I actually do own the place especially when my parents are visiting in June? I've kind of, sort of been telling them that I do own the place and they will probably arrive here expecting me to own the place most likely as a result of all of the photo-shopped photos I've sent them and the multiple t-shirts I made up saying things like "My son - the owner of the place", "My son, we've never been so contingently proud of him" and "My son is no longer a huge disappointment to us, at least for now - it is all dependent on us seeing some actual proof when we visit him in June." (I know, I know kind of long for a printed message on a t-shirt and maybe it smacks of me trying to hard, but I think they bought it).

If people collect it like it is great art and they are willing to pay tons of money for it, it must be great art, no matter how ugly, confusing and gaudy it may appear to you. You are clearly not that cultured and would it hurt you to visit the art gallery once and a while so you could stop embarrassing us with your lack of culture? And by "us", I mean "me". I am embarrassed daily by your lack of culture. And would it hurt to change your shirt from time to time as well?

If I decide to sing everything I say today as if I were in an opera and it sounds like an opera to my tone-deaf ears, then it is a opera. Either that, or just one really long, meandering song. Regardless, my two wishes for today are coming true - people are leaving me alone (I had a horrible sleep last night) and I am shattering wine glasses (I have plans to buy all of my friends new wine glasses for Christmas).

If it looks like a cow and produces milk like a cow, then it must be a cow. I can't tell you what it means, if it also says "oink". It just doesn't make any sense at all. Maybe some pigs decided to teach the cow to "speak" another language or possibly a few pigs made a cow suit and are hiding inside to scare the farmer or possibly the cow took part in a farm-animal exchange program where a young cow and young pig switch homes for a while. Another explanation is that it was a pig all along and you shouldn't be trusted with differentiating between various farm animals and the sounds they do or do not make or anything else of high importance as well.

If I move my hips and swing my arms and I call it dancing then it must be dancing no matter how much it reminds you of a dying swan.

If I cross my Ts like a mass-murderer and I loop my Ls like a mass murderer, I still don't care what your slew of handwriting experts say - I didn't do it! I know the evidence seems to point to my guilt, but in the end you will see that I am also the victim here. On the night in question I just happened to be running around the abandoned rose garden brandishing my pruning shears with my face covered in shaving cream after eating a delicious beet salad albeit very messily wearing my mother's Hawaiian dress. That's weird to you? Listen - I don't come to your house and question your gardening skills, methods of grooming, choice of healthy salads and why you have kept your mother's really old and horribly out-of-style Hawaiian dress, let alone your sanity, so why are you doing it to me? I understand that my writing is pretty strange and worrisome - I get that, I do. I remember my grade two teacher screamed and retreated to the corner the first time she saw me use cursive writing (she also cursed whenever I screamed and retreated to the corner, but that is story for another day), and I also get that the evidence is piled up against me, but what I don't get is how one becomes a handwriting expert. Really, I'm just saying that it seems like a cool profession and I have no idea how someone gets into that line of work. Do they go to college? Maybe something offered online? Maybe through a series of audio tapes? I'm just saying if I am somehow found innocent, I could be interested.

If he looks like a tall drink of water and is cool like a tall drink of water, that is all well and good, but stop trying to drink him or lick what you think is condensation off of his arms (it actually is condensation which raises a whole series of questions about him and what he is up to, but this isn't about him right now)- it is just so weird and off-putting. No wonder you are still single and dehydrated all of the time.

If it beeps like a phone and rings like a phone then it must be phone. What is that you say? Your friend Fiona also beeps and rings? Sorry, what? Are you telling me that all this time when I thought I was ordering pizza, texting my girlfriend and playing games I was actually just touching Fiona? I like to think outside the box and all, but this is fairly strange and it doesn't even make sense on a number of levels. Stop asking so many questions and "answer" Fiona's ring? I'm outta here. Can I have my phone back?

If it feels like a rich self-created fantasy land full of friendly witches, trolls with hearts of gold and unicorns and the fantasy land not only doesn't disappear when I pinch myself but continues to grow more interesting and compelling as I venture into the forest on my silver steed, then stop trying to wake me up! Isn't it abundantly clear that I'm happier here?

If it feels like the end stop questioning things, it is the end. Yeesh, what is with you people always over-thinking things and analyzing every little tidbit?...Oh yeah, that's me.