Sunday, October 25, 2009

East meets West.

This one’s for me.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, Yosh penned those very lyrics years ago and just now they floated up to the surface of thought and I quickly remembered to thank him quietly for doing just so. My music knowledge is pitiful and at times quite embarrassing. I am shit at karaoke and I will never be one of those people (like Yosh) who can memorize entire songs both lyrically and musically. I will never, ever be able to quote them whole or write them messily on the back of junk mail or take out menus (like Yosh). But once in a while, bits and pieces of things I have heard or read at one point will float up in thought at the very appropriate moment and become relevant. Tonight, this one’s for me.

For days and days and days I have sat at this very computer wanting to write, needing to write and most definitely not being able to write. One of my favorite women (Rags) and I were chatting two days ago about this very thing. I sat on her kitchen counter eating yogurt out of the tub and she shaped a quinoa burger into a mouthwatering patty and while I watched her hands work (mine were idle, save for the yogurt spooning), we mulled over our collective writer’s blocks. She got over hers with a beautifully written post (read it and weep) and I have yet to get over mine.

Hi Andrea, you are boarding a train (!!!) with your husband as I type. All of your beautifully packed snacks are bumping softly against your thigh as you haul all of your and Scott’s shit into your very first sleeper berth. Your eyes are shining and I can so easily picture the grin that you have pasted to your face.


And for good measure. Enjoy your first train trip, girl. (You will read this when you get home and nod because you will remember that grin pasted on your face too). God, what I would give to sleep in a train tonight (Rabbi, you with me on this one?). The gentle jostling, the noisy breathing, the whooshing of wheels, the blinding fluorescent lights at all the stations; I remember now. Rags, tomorrow you will wake up in pretty Ontario, having long slept through boring Manitoba. A lot of interesting things can occur in thought while looking through a train window.

Exactly two years ago to date, Katie, Rebecca and I boarded a train in Berlin, bidding the city and the sinking light adieu and wound through German countryside towards our new home, Prague. For some reason we were given a private room on the train and I remember how carefully we had packed fruit, baguette, cheese, chocolate (Milka) and a few bottles of dollar wine for the ride. Kit and Rab slumped together across from me, sharing an ipod like sisters and I listened to Yosh sing and I couldn’t stop my eyes from searching the dark as the train flew further into the dark.

I want to go back.
I want to go back.
I want to go back.

I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was—I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the diving line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon.

- an excerpt from Kerouac’s On the Road

Will I ever be content with exactly where I am? I have this gorgeous new home filled to the tits with all of my favorite things, my bicycles with nice parts (my best friend Jessica Alba, and my boyfriend The Surly), a wine rack that is heaving with family generosity (thank you Tante and Uncle James), a fakey fireplace, a desk sighing under the weight of art supplies and mock ups and prints of Christmas past. I have silkscreen jobs lined up until kingdom come and yet I am still left wanting. What? Travel? Yes. Work? Yes. Love? Always.

When is enough, enough?
Tonight as I straddle my own line of youth and future, I am content sitting at home listening to vinyl (Timbre Timbre) and drinking the beer that my dad left for me (thank you, I just took the last sip and thought of you), but I cannot help but wish for a gorgeous mouth to keep me company.

A confession. Two nights in a row now I have found myself dressed head to toe in planting wear (tights, smock, wool sweater, socks, toque etc.) and every time I catch myself pulling on the familiar clothes (it is a very slow process) I have to laugh. At least it is nice to know that I fell in love with that. I am already gearing up for next season by the looks of things.

Praying for spring, Madge.


  1. I read this now, my first night in Toronto. Our room, that sits above a chinese grocery and a greek restaurant, looks down on Bloor street and I am about to go to sleep once I finish my wine.


    The train was the happiest place in my life.

    There is a kitchen store across the street.

    We hit the streets running. Before I even had time to shower after getting off the train we hit Zara, CM, Urban Outfitters, etc. I got a bunch of clothes and NEW GLASSES but they don't ship to me until December. But they will be worth the wait.

    O, this is not an e-mail. Whoops.


  2. Shit shit shit. So glad your train trip is off to a running start. SHEEEEESH, this was long overdue for you love birds. I have a scary job interview at Oui tonight and I am shitting my pantalons, wishing you were here to drill me on the menu (the menu is eight hundred pages long, in French--FML). I miss you is a mega mega understatement. Can't wait to watch the stories tumble from your mouth upon your return. COME OVER. Have fun with Scotty, shop your face off. Yeaaaaaah Zara, stock up before all the dumb bitches in this city are wearing the shit out of it too. Love you Rags, M