Whole Foods Spit, Etc.

At around 1:30 in the morning, she spat on the window of a Whole Foods on 4th avenue. “That overpriced organic bullshit!” she shouted, and we cheered her on. I relished the small rebellion, the idea that I was part of the cool crowd, the fun crowd, the going-places-can’t-be-stopped crowd. I bragged of my own spitting abilities but when the time came for me to show off the results were unimpressive. A scattered mess, my phlegm on the sidewalk.

“Gross,” we all said. And it was true.

I took a moment to reflect on why it was so important for me to prove I could spit “like a dude.” Maybe I’ve always looked soft, or acted soft, even felt soft, but I’ve never wanted to be soft. As a child I would combat the softness by:

-Refusing to wear figure skates.

-Demanding my parents register me for hockey despite there being no girls team in town. (If I had to play with the boys then so be it.)

-Riding my mountain bike over jumps I was not good enough to tackle, cutting my knees deeply, letting the blood run, bragging about my scars.

-Building a “time machine” out of an old boat propellor in my “workshop.”

-Becoming obsessed with my father’s sledge hammer, using it to smash apart rocks in the back yard. Was I looking for jewels, or an outlet for my 10-year-old rage?

 

When we got to his apartment, I was impressed by his shelving unit, his electric guitar, his stacks of books and wall art. Not many guys with art on their walls. To me, the art suggested something akin to self-actualization. He knew what he liked and I liked it.

Settling onto the couch, we attempted gossip but soon realized we didn’t have it in us to talk smack, not tonight. And so we spoke of our mothers instead, our love for them, our admiration, our misunderstandings during adolescence. What little shits we were back then, we agreed.

“I am who I am because of my mother,” she said.

“I am so lucky it makes me feel guilty,” he said.

“I am in awe of my mother,” I said. “Her strength.”

Saying goodbye at the door, we took turns holding hands with one another, bowing our heads together so that our foreheads touched, as if to transfer thoughts.

We agreed: there was nothing better.

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Along West 10th, 2:30am

By that time, the buses had stopped running. The three of us were all a little tipsy, there on Quebec street, and we didn’t feel the need for a cab, not when the streets looked so very inviting, so very quiet, so very ours. The sidewalks were layered with wet leaves, red orange yellow brown, quiet detritus from the storm that had come and gone with less ceremony than predicted. Typhoon? What typhoon?, we all scoffed as we tromped through puddles in our runners and boots, not caring about wet feet. We had nothing left to accomplish that night; no need for dry socks.

We marvelled at the houses along 10th avenue, their twinkle lights and their climbing vines woven through trellises and porch rails, up walls and across windows. We decided we loved it here. We decided we loved our friends, each other, our circle. We agreed that we were city people at heart and that we wanted more more more! Though we knew we’d need an escape route from time to time, some cabin in some nowhere with large spaces, a lake to skip rocks, few people.

We agreed we needed solitude—just not too much.

We talked about The Sound of Music and reached the consensus that the movie gets less interesting after the two hour mark. We said we wanted to watch Maria flee the nunnery and we wanted to see the kids play pranks and we wanted to hear Gretl say auf wiedersehen, how adorable, but for some reason we didn’t care about the Nazi’s cornering the von Trapp family at the church. We had turned it off by that point. But what did it mean that we didn’t care about the film’s climax? Should we have cared more about the history, the tragic patriotism underscoring Edelweiss? It’s what the movie is about, right? Maybe not for us. Maybe not at the time.

We talked about going to Portland for a weekend. About Powell’s books and bus fares and Air BnB’s. Let’s make it happen, we said. But actually, let’s, for real, guys.

We parted ways at Arbutus street. I hugged you both. I waved, flashed a double peace sign, adjusted my toque. I began to head south.

Trout Poem (feat. Loons)

Here is a weird little poem I wrote about trout and loons and things. I have also provided a visual, which I made on Google docs with their excellent and sophisticated “draw” feature. Cool, yes, I’m an artist now, and if I may express my truth for just a sec, I sort of love my sketchedy loon because even if it’s not identifiable as a loon specifically, it is at least representative of some kind of bird and is also sort of cute. So that’s a win.

(Disclaimer: I’m not a poet. This poem has a lot of problems, like, in terms of being a poem. But I am a fisherwoman and a part-time bird enthusiast, which means I’m half-qualified to write this, maybe.)

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My father slices the trout open and tells me

to look more closely at the stomach:

“This fish ate shrimp, this fish had eggs, this fish was a lady.

Don’t you see what this means?”

 

The gulls circle and the mosquitos needle at my veins—

pop and there’s blood.

Everybody’s hungry.

 

I was a shiny mermaid once, but these loons are lonely too

with their nests of nettle and baseball-sized eggs and yet I—

don’t understand the dryness of the ground

or the wetness of the air

or the worm that bulges on your forehead when you’re mad

 

because the pressure is just sickening.

 

In another life I was a fish

eating mayflies and leeches to kill time

chasing shrimp for sport.

 

Or maybe: I was your son

and we tamed squirrels before trapping them in buckets

beneath the deck.

 

Or maybe: I pulled down my pants

and peed into a patch of milkweed

because this seemed logical and free of shame.

 

You see, sometimes I just want to curl up like a dying, drying pine

and watch the loons kissing their eggs goodnight

and hear my father, Orion, speak to me with all three eyes:

 

“it’s okay to be cut open,” he says.

Full Frontal: A Poem

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The other day I ventured to Wreck Beach, a place in Vancouver where signs deem clothing “optional.” Many beach-goers at Wreck take this option to heart, as shown most obviously by the older male population, who tend to stroll around merrily, flaccid penises enjoying the sun. In an aesthetic sense, I did not find these men or their parts pleasing, but conceptually, there was something oddly comforting about an atmosphere in which everyone seemed to be saying, through nakedness: this is me, and I’m okay with it. 

I did not, however, see any women partaking in full-on public nudity, though many had their tops off. It seems to me that it would be a huge statement for a woman to shed both her top and her bottom layer–but why does it have to be this way? We laugh at the old, fat men who (I assume) undergo the shrinkage brought on in such an environment, but what would we think if an old woman strolled across the dark sands, wrinkled and hairy? Or for that matter, what if a young, attractive female were to walk the shoreline, nothing but sun touching her breasts and bottom? Would the men oggle? Would the women be contemptuous or envious or impervious?

I don’t know.

And what about me? Did I let my girls catch some rays? Well, to that I confess I was compelled by a mix of curiosity and vanity to bare my upper half. Curiosity because how could I deny myself this new and exciting experience? Vanity because I have a wedding coming up and tan lines just really aren’t an option.

Wreck Beach was calming and liberating and amusing. And what better way to express my feelings towards this experience than with a half-formed poem?

 

Inside, he said, things make more sense.

 

But I’d like to get a paddle board

speak French, become self actualized

 

I’d like to forget the difference between

my voice and the wind

your hands and my body

 

If I take time, sit down, write you a letter

will this translate to dedication or neediness?

 

I think I’ve forgotten your laugh, darling.

 

There are too many versions to remember

anyway

 

So here I am, afraid to shed my sports bra

this lycra skin

while the man in front of me has gone

Full Frontal

soaping his ass in the tide

 

We’re just bodies

I suppose.

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts I had from 1:30-2pm

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-I should email Keith. Why haven’t I emailed Keith?

-My throat has a tingle.

-I hope I’m not getting sick.

-Remember to buy R a (belated) birthday beer on Thursday. You don’t want your friends to think you’re cheap/un-generous and so far you haven’t given them reason to think otherwise.

-Maybe my throat hurts because I’ve been talking so much and so loudly with K. When we chat I try to match her enthusiasm but sometimes I need a glass of wine to get that expressive.

-$20 is really nothing in the scheme things. You need to calm down about money.

-What is the best way to re-heat a poached egg after you’ve taken it home from a restaurant? Will the yolk get hard if it’s microwaved? I don’t think I want to eat it cold.

-How about a quick dip in a pot of boiling water?

-I shouldn’t have asked Nat whether Switzerland was a part of Scandinavia. Prefacing something with “I don’t mean to sound ignorant, but…” doesn’t actually give you an excuse to be ignorant.

-Repeat after me: Norway, Sweden, Finland.

-I don’t think I own a slotted spoon. I’ll have to google the egg thing.

-When I saw RB yesterday outside of Whole Foods, she looked like she saw me but acted like she didn’t. Was this intentional? I felt resentful towards her for purchasing things from Whole Foods. Does that count as frivolous spending when you’re a student?

-I’m pretty sure her parents are both doctors. I guess she can afford organics. I used to think her brother was hot.

-What does your character want? What obstacles do they face? Do you even know who your character is? Yes, but do you really?

-You need to empty that suitcase already. It’s been sitting beside your bed for like four days and it’s really time to just do it. Put on the podcast S recommended and unload the damn thing.

-People think I’m not a procrastinator but they might be wrong.

-JH once told me “not to be an ostrich about it” (probably in reference to some unpaid bill) and this really stuck with me. I have no desire to be a flightless bird, or to be thought of as one.

-Potential essay title: Huge Mistakes That Didn’t Actually Matter

xo,

Mica’s brain

 

New Music: Paper Bag Princess

This song has many names in it–Kevin, Peter, Joey, etc. As it happens, I know none of these people; they are simply stand-ins for People Who Think They Know Everything. Nobody knows everything. Not even my Mom!

I’m also working on recording a version of this song with harmonies and other instruments and all the jazz. But it is still very much IN THE WORKS, as they say. And since I felt too impatient to work on it today, I channelled my efforts into this highly amateur video.

Hope you enjoy!

Mica

 

 

Two Dancing Men

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Tonight, after watching a play on Granville Island, I walked around the harbour in the dark, then stood outside a bar watching two men impromptu swing dance.

There was a circle of friends or maybe acquaintances or maybe fellow bar patrons gathered around these men, bopping and tapping, hair a’ flapping. The side door was cracked upon with a menu, wedged, and music floated out. The song was jazzy swingy upbeat rocky zingy. One man wore a bowtie. The other wore thick framed glasses in the style of a glamorous hipster nerd. He pulled it off. The one with the glasses dipped the bowtie-wearer at the end and there was applause. Through the glass I heard a few whoops and whistles, and I felt very happy despite the fact that I was not inside the bar with these strangers, but peering through the window like some lost pet. But I felt warm, comforted by the high rises twinkling behind me and the dancers dancing in the window.

As I watched them continue to dance, happy snappy, I wanted to laugh and sing and spread my arms out and say this is what life is! Of course, that would have been too grandiose. But it didn’t stop me from letting out a small a-ha! ya!, as if to align myself somehow with them. Then, quite suddenly, a cloud cracked open like an egg and it poured rain and I became soaked very very quickly. I was glad for my hood. I ran for the bus, went home, put on my favourite ugly nighttime sweater, decided I really like Vancouver.

-Mica, newish Vancouverite