Censored

Maybe it’s not that I have nothing more to say. Maybe I’m too aware of the audience. I no longer write with abandon. Will so and so think this is about them and take it the wrong way? Become offended? Will anyone know this is fiction or will they believe this happened to me? Will everyone know this is the truth or will they think I made it up? Have I said too much? Have I not said enough?

I’ve been editing a post off and on since Sunday, writing, rewriting, deleting, trying to strike the perfect balance of what I want to reveal. And now I think I’ll just scrap it, delete forever, I can’t get it down. Once upon a time I would just write and publish in a half-hour or however long it took. First draft. No thought to the consequences. Write. Publish. Chips fall where they may. But I was here alone then. And now the threat of consequences paralyses me.

Maybe it’s just a phase. Maybe it’s just part of my weird annual fall cycle, where I quietly fall to pieces all the while putting on the strong front supporting everyone else I know (who seem to also fall to pieces every September). I listen. I reassure. Everyone vents. I nod at all the right places, say all the things I’m supposed to say. I don’t mind it. Listening comes natural. It’s what I do. I listen. I empathise. I look for logical solutions, give a viewpoint. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Even when I was a teenager I was in the centre of my parents marriage, listening, trying to counsel. (A terrible place to put your kids, by the way, I don’t recommend it.)

A long time ago a man told me he fell in love with me while watching me listen to a troubled friend and comfort her. He said he had never seen anyone focus so much attention on another person and he knew then that he needed me in his life. I’ve heard some version of this a few times. I’ve been called intense, passionate, and a bunch of other stuff. But what they all really mean is that they want to be listened to like that, so intently. That’s all. I mean, who doesn’t want somebody to listen? To have someone’s undivided attention and genuine interest in what you’ve got to say . . . that’s what everyone wants.

Even me.

I will write again.

This is the story of my life
And I write it everyday
I know it isn’t black and white
And it’s anything but gray
I know that no, I’m not alright
But I’ll be OK ‘cause
Anything can, everything can happen
That’s the story of my life

— JBJ

Mood: headachy
Drinking: coffee spiked with brandy (or is it brandy with a splash of coffee?)
Listening To: Bon Jovi, Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Hair: hiding my face

Gotcha!

I may or may not have a sinus infection. I’m feeling kinda crappy and have been for a few days. I’ve got that pain around my eyes sinus type thing going on . . . and I am prone to infection, especially this time of the year. I probably could do with an antibiotic but I’ve opted for a home remedy instead and picked up some brandy today. Wish me luck knocking this out of me, whatever it is.

In other news . . .

Bon Jovi tickets for Air Canada Centre in Toronto . . .

Internet pre-sale started this morning . . .

AND I’M GOING!! Got two tickets for me and my girl Stacy. So it’s official, we’ll be heading to our old stomping grounds come January. We may even take the train for old times sake.

Mood: foggy
Drinking: not yet, but some brandy is in order
Listening To: Bon Jovi, Last Cigarette
Hair: greasy

Welcome to Wherever You Are

Maybe we’re all different but we’re still the same
We all got the blood of Eden running through our veins
I know sometimes it’s hard for you to see
You’re caught between just who you are and who you want to be

If you feel alone and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning is some beginning’s end

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here, right now
You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are

When everybody’s in and you’re left out
And you feel you’re drowning in the shadow of a doubt
Everyone’s a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say

When it seems you’re lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody’s different; just take a look around

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
Right here, right now
You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be

Be who you want to be
Be who you are
Everyone’s a hero
Everyone’s a star

When you want to give up and your heart’s about to break
Remember that you’re perfect; God makes no mistakes

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
Right here, right now
You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
And I say welcome…
I say welcome…
Welcome…

— Bon Jovi, Have a Nice Day

Speechless

I appear to have nothing more to say. Aren’t you glad?

Mood: dark
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Our Lady Peace, Clumsy
Hair: bushy

Little Ditty Bout …

Queen & Roncesvalles

Ancient house looks like it might collapse in mild gust of wind, boards falling off, covered in grime. Cindy’s new home with Donnie, the eldest birdseed brother of Newfoundland. Not the one with the wavy blonde hair to his shoulders that I have secret (or not so secret) crush on, quiet David of the honest living that I sneak away with under a bridge on the Lakeshore for shy handholding walk. But the other one with black hair and curling mustache, who knows how to make a good gravy but danger to turn back on him when alone in the kitchen.

This house is rotting, boarded up, is it even legal to live here? The stairwell is dark but Donnie meets us with a flashlight, shines the light at our feet so we won’t fall through the holes in the steps as others have. All the way to the top, attic-like, turn left and into too bright room lit by bare 100 watt bulb dangling from ceiling. One room. Two double mattresses side by side on the floor. For sleeping? For sitting? They are unmade, naked, stained with spilled drinks and . . . ? A half dozen two-fours Ex opened in varying stages of emptiness, three seagrams forties uncapped, no glasses, excuse the backwash. A cardboard box with Cindy’s clothes. I see the yellow sweatshirt, aqua gym pants that used to be part of my laundry, fringed jacket that hitchhiked all the way from North Bay, almost safely. No bathroom. No running water. What did I expect? No jobs.

Cindy perches on the edge of one mattress, an unlit cigarette clenched in her huge smile, twitching, “Gotta light?” A scuzzy guy on either side of her, hair greasy with dirt, eyes circled in darkness, fingers and palms stained yellow, hands touching her thighs, arms draped around her behind. Familiar. She laughs in that hollow throaty way she does when she’s been partying for weeks, flipping her long blonde hair like Cher but looking more like Goldie with those big blue eyes and full lips. Smoke thickens the air, hazing the room that smells of beer, cheap perfume, hash, body odor, cocaine cigarettes, decomposing Pizza Pizza slices. Is this love? Whitesnake on cassette in silver ghetto blaster with black speakers.

I feel overly concerned about the legality of this space, ironically, given leather jackets layered with bricks. None of my business. Cindy notices me and tries to get up for greeting but legs won’t straighten, won’t strengthen. I scoot scuzzy guys who ogle me but don’t touch, settle into the mattress with Cindy, hugging her, swigging from a forty, smiling, singing, whispering . . . don’t need to stay, bed is still empty, come home with me, listen to me Cindy Lou, listen . . . she can’t hear me, but Donnie can or senses, comes to sit beside me, a little too close, filling in a D & C sandwich, protecting his investment. If I push he’ll beat the crap out of her again tonight, he’ll probably do it anyway, but we’ve come alone, outnumbered, for money matters not humanitarian crises. It’s none of my business. So we drink and I smooth her hair and we laugh and when I can I whisper and look for a spark in dull eyes.

We leave as we came, just the three of us, Cindy’s phony laugh trailing us down the stairs.

Three weeks later Donnie bursts into our house looking for Cindy. She’s run away (again). He can’t find her anywhere. I don’t know where she is and he won’t believe me, runs through all the rooms looking for clues, for a hiding girl in a closet. I really don’t know where she is. “I’ll kill her!” And he’s serious, I believe him. He’s got it all figured out, the how-to part. Through the neighborhood I learn she ran away with one of his friends (one of the scuzzy men at the apt?), someone with a trade, job prospects, the ability to make an honest living and take care of her, who doesn’t beat women. I smile.

Eight months later I’m walking to my work when I see Cindy on the street, stop, excited to find her, hugs. She lives in an apartment above a store two doors down from the place I’ve been working for almost a year. It’s a wicked coincidence to find her. She’s straight, sober, and working as a cashier at a grocery, still with Donnie’s ex-friend. She invites me up for tea though she seems fidgety, nervous. Catch up on old neighborhood gossip. Learn new boyfriend has steady income, works in construction, but they’ve been on the run from Donnie, a few near misses, and she’s thinking of leaving the city altogether, going home, thinking of her dad and the north. As the afternoon stretches toward evening and the return of the boyfriend she practically throws me out. He wouldn’t understand me being there, would spook him about Donnie, they’d have to move again and they’ve just got settled, I have the feeling he is not as non-violent as I’ve been led to believe. She makes me promise that I will not tell anyone where they are. I promise. I promise. I promise. And we promise to get together again sometime soon for coffee or lunch. A big hug and I’m off to work.

Two weeks later a For Rent sign lives in the window of Cindy’s apartment and I never see her again.

Mood: achy
Drinking: tea
Listening To: Whitesnake, Here I Go Again
Hair: perfectly ponied

Time

Bon Jovi’s new album drops today. There is no record store in Sackville. Wednesday I go to Moncton for Mighty meetings where I will run to the Highfield Square HMV or whatever it is directly from the bus station and purchase the CD before meeting Mighty crew for supper at as yet undecided location.

Jon will be on Oprah on Wednesday as well, and I’ll be scrambling to see that before catching the bus. I have a 15 minute window . . . unless I can find an earlier showing.

And now the fun part begins. The quest for concert tickets. Because I WILL be seeing them this World Tour. There are only two dates announced in Canada so far — Montreal on December 14th and Toronto on January 23rd . . . but then there’s Boston on December 9th . . . mustn’t rule that out. Pre-sales and special fan club tickets info is sketchy at this point. It seems like you have to actually line up with I.D. to get fan club tickets, which kinda sucks cuz I can’t do that, and you’re limited to one. One ticket in the Golden Circle, 100 people right up front by the stage, some will get onstage, some will get backstage . . . but unless they change the rules and make it so you can get the damn things online, I will not be one of them.

Toronto tickets go on sale first, on September 30th through Ticketmaster. I’ll be trying to get them . . . and I guess if I come up empty I’ll try Montreal the following morning when those tickets go on sale. I’ve signed up for every sort of email update I could find so I should know right away if they add any dates.

New Arrivals

See, I told ya I was busy . . . days might go by without a post. No time to slow down and chat now either, I’ve got to go to the Irving and pick up a parcel. Earlier I picked up my Sears Outlet parcel and tried everything on. Jeans are low-rider, which is a bit unexpected, but they fit okay. They are comfortable, though I might have been able to go a size smaller and get more wear out of them . . . but this was inexpensive shopping spree so it’s okay if they don’t last forever. Also got hot pink tee (I KNOW! What kind of good mood was I in that day?), the form fitting stretchy kind, with lycra, not even a big old loose cotton tee. Which I will probably never wear unless it is under the black poncho . . . yes, you heard correctly, I’ve got a poncho and I’m not afraid to wear it. Also in the grab bag were running shoes and undies (with the undies being the most expensive item of the whole purchase). Fedora coming soon as I find one I love.

Mood: hungry
Drinking: diet gingerale
Listening To: a buzzing razor in the driveway . . . one of the boys might be shaving his head
Hair: tousled