Shona

Rain pounds the tin roof.  I think that was thunder.  Audible even over the V8. And I’m sweating to death. Like a whore in church. That’s how she says it. Sweating to death; that’s funny. 
My shirt clings from sweat. Pinstripe shirt as she prefers.  Leaning back, clenching the wheel.  My gut touches it now.  So many years lost: wasted.  I want a window opened.  Its too late for that.  The windows are sealed shut.  My arms feel so heavy.  They surrender to the leather.  Memories are in these seats.  A connection to better days.  She never understood keeping Shona.  Both of us gone together.  Two birds with one stone.
I’ve tried to be strong. Tried to swallow my pills.  Talk away the lingering suffocation.  Nothing takes away the taste.  Can’t wash out my mouth.  I’ve gone through the motions.  Did what I was told.  Numbed myself to the pain.  Death’s potentent medicine is strong.  More than I really need.  Nothing else has cured me.  Can’t stop living without death.
She’ll find the note there.  On the bedside table frame.  On point to the backyard. I wrote it all down.  Gave clear instructions and directions. A map to new life.  Explained the release in preparations.  The clarity in my decision.  She’ll find me here after.  I hope I am smiling. 
This car seems so small.  Maybe she won’t be mad.  I did this for her.  She’ll see why very soon.  The rumbling engine is soothing.  I feel sleepy: I’m drifting.  It hurts more than expected. 

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Vroom

I don’t own a car.  I have no intention of owning a car.   I live a city big enough to have a transit system and no reason to move to a place that doesn’t.  And people think I’m crazy.

I’ve heard strange arguments, about owning a car would mean i wouldn’t need to be as organized as I am.  I”m not sure how, since it seems I would just be trading one set of organization for another.  I’ve heard that I’m missing out on things because I don’t have a car, but considering most of those people haven’t even left the country, never mind travelled as much as I have, I’m pretty sure I’m doing ok.  I’ve also just had people who were completely baffled with my choice, can’t fathom how I function without one.

I can’t afford a car.  And I don’t mean in the sense of not having enough money, I mean in the sense that I can’t afford to give up my current lifestyles just so I can have a luxury of having a car.

Let’s do some math.

The average cost of car insurance in Ontario where I live was $1544 in 2012.  If i were to purchase a 10-year-old ford taurus car, and use the calculator here, it would cost me about $4940 per year to own a car. That’s about $370 a month… I currently spend approx $118 per month so owning a car would only three times as much.  And in the summer, my transportation costs are even less because I walk and bike everywhere.

Owning cars have hidden costs that most people take into consideration.  If a car person runs out of milk, they drive to the grocery store, pick up milk, and probably a bunch of other things as well and goes home.  If I run out of (soy) milk, I wait until the next time I plan to do a grocery run.  I do without.

You know what else car people do?  Shop.  Out of boredom.  That saves me a ton too.

I find car people become too dependant on their car.  If their car is busted, they are trapped in their house.  Car problems, well, they just don’t go to work.  I actually had a friend who cancelled an outing with me, because they had lent their car to someone else.  Meanwhile there was a bus stop in front of their house, and they were meeting me at the bus station.

So, yes, I may be crazy for not owning a car.  And yes, random spontaneous road trips to the beach are out of the question.  But I don’t have the stress of owning a car.  And my car doesn’t make me broke.  A small sacrifice as far as I’m concerned.

What are your thoughts?  Have I overlooked something huge in my protest to own a car?  Thoughts are welcome.

Bass Line

He moves with the rhythm, as though animated solely by it.  A lock of hair, normally tucked behind his ear, lay on his face and follows the curve of a high cheek bone. A bass is slung around his neck, and with discerning, indistinct fluidity he plays as if the instrument were an extension of his own hands.  He is oblivious to the spilled beer on the floor, the smell of sweat and bodies crammed into the small space, the crescendo of a crowd worked to the point of a frenzy.  His eyes are closed, his head low, he is grounded in a way that only the stage has been able to ease him down.

Something changes in the room, changes the air around him, and a cringe sweeps across his brow, crinkling the skin around his eyes.

Concentrate.  Don’t look.

He opens his eyes to see his vice before him in full colour.  She moves among the crowd, but as a separate entity; her cavort revealing what she is holding for him.  She places a smile on his face, but he wipes it clean off again looking for strength to uphold the duodenary promises he made.  His heart drums with heavy booming beats in his chest, and the guilt of what he knows he cannot fight plunges deep down in his stomach before the pipe has touched his lips, before he  steps off stage, before the song has even ended.

The set ends, and with slow, laboured, methodical movements, he unleashes himself from his instrument and breathes deep.  He steps off the stage, through the invisible barrier that separates band from aid and follows her outside, where he trades a bit more of his talent to feed the addiction that forever lurks and laughs in the corners.

You too, can make Vegan Chilli

Inevitably, someone will ask what the hell is in vegan chilli, to which I reply ‘Vegans.  Fresh. Young. Vegans.  Cause I like them young.’  (Making things awkward is my best defence to avoiding further questions.)

I’ve been asked for this recipe a lot.  And I usually have to tell people, that I just don’t have a recipe for it.  Chilli is one of those things that I just keep adding things to until it smells right, looks right: there’s art to it.  That and I’m just too f-ing lazy to bother writing it down.

But each time there is a potluck, this is what I’m asked to bring.  I’m a bit sick of chilli, to the point where I don’t even really eat any of it.  I just make it.  So I wrote it down this time so ya’ll can fuck off and make it yourself next time.

First, make sure you are nice and congested.  Like to the point that you can only breath through a chap lipped mouth.  Then, dose yourself with caffeine, sugar and cold meds.  Put some really loud music on.  It’s part of the process.  Pull out the biggest crock pot you can, cause this makes a ton.

Turn it to high, and Into said crock pot, dump the following items:

2 cans tomatoes (Before dumping out the tin, I like to run a sharp knife though the contents a few times, just to make the chunks a bit smaller, but do what you want, you rebel.)

1 cup dried chickpeas

2 cans baked beans in tomato sauce

1 can kidney beans (rinse that weird red slim off them first)

1 veggie bouillon cube

2 tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp cayenne pepper.

⅛ cup of white vinegar

1 cup nutritional yeast

1 cup chopped celery (I usually use the tops and middle of a stalk of celery cause who the hell else is going to eat it?)

One red, yellow and orange pepper, chopped (Aren’t they pretty?)

One package of button mushrooms, minus the four you donated to quality control, and the one that dropped onto the floor for the dog.  Slice those babies up.

Half a yellow onion, chopped.

One cup frozen peas, cause why not?

One cup frozen corn, because it’s beside the peas in the freezer

 

Give it a stir, put the lid on, and go do some shit.  I recommend singing loudly to the music that you turned on.  Dancing helps too.  It’s all part of the process.  Trust me.

Once the veggies are cooked through and the chick peas are nearly soft, add in:

2 cups TVP

1 cup shredded spinach  (It adds very little to the taste, it’s just a diversion.  Someone will ask me what the green shit is, which usually gets me out of the ‘What’s TVP’ question.)

The veggies should release enough water for the chick peas to soften, but if it’s a bit too thick, add a quarter cup of water at a time until the reaches the desired consistency.

About 4 hours on high should be long enough, but the chick peas will be the dictator of this rule.  Have a taste test.  The cayenne pepper will suddenly clear your sinus better than the stupid cold meds did.  Might as well just throw them out while you are at it.

This Is The Last TIme I Get High

Long is the way
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light
JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost

A Buick in the Land of Lexus

heroin 2

I snapped a picture of my surroundings and sent it to him, so somebody would know where I was.

“Pretty,” he said. “Where is that?”

“Downtown Newark.”

Downtown Newark, New Jersey is anything but pretty, but nighttime hides a multitude of sins.

“Are you going to score?”

“Yes” I  texted.

“Don’t be a dumbass” he responded.

“If you don’t hear from me in an hour-there’s a problem.”

An hour later, I was laying in front of a magical Christmas fireplace with the whole family I never had.

The most magnificent church bells rang in my soul.

My brain was massaged by Kafka and Burroughs,

as I bathed in the warm golden sunshine of a perfect life.

I squinted at my cell phone at 7:45 the next morning. My cell phone alarm had been beeping for 45 minutes.

7:45? Fuck. I usually am up at 6:30. Get my kid up at 7.

My heart…

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