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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Little Doctor Ninja

(This was an actual conversation I had with a little girl at a bus stop, on Canada Day 2014)

4 year old Little girl at the bus stop:

"You can take off your sunglasses, it's not sunny here... I don't have mine on and my daddy don't have his, so it's okay for you to take them off."

Me: *Takes off sunglasses* "Thank you, I didn't realize it wasn't sunny."
Little girl: *Points at the STOP RACISM pin on my purse* "What does that say?"
Me: "It says that you should be nice to people"
Little girl: "Why is it shaped like a hand?"
Me: "It is a way of saying stop... like saying STOP being bad and be nice"
Little Girl: *Points at the LGBT pin on my purse that says EQUALITY IS MY AGENDA* "What does that one mean?"
Me: "That one is also about being nice to people"
Little girl: "Why"
Me: "Because everyone likes when people are nice to them"
Little girl: "You sure have a lot of rainbow pins!"
Me: "Yup, Rainbows are my favourite color!"
Girls Father: "I'm sorry she asks a lot of questions"
Me: "That's ok, my good friend George Carlin told me that we should question everything"
Girls Father: *Laughs*
Little girl: *Sticks out her leg and says* "Sometimes I stretch and sometimes I don't"
Me: "I stretch a lot."
Little Girl: "Why???"
Me: "Because I am a ninja"
Little girl: "Why are you a ninja?"
Me: "Because that's what I wanted to be when I grew up"
Girls father: *Looks down, says*: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Little girl: "I WANNA BE A NINJA!"
Girls dad: "I thought you wanted to be a doctor? maybe we should get rid of your doctor toys???"
Little girl: "Yeah! I wanna be a ninja!!!"
Me: "Well you can be both! you could be a doctor ninja.. like a superhero! I'm a Jukebox ninja, so you can be a doctor ninja!"
Little girl: "What do Jukebox ninjas do?"
Me: "They play music and make people have fun"
Little Girl: "Daddy can I be a doctor ninja?"
Girls father: "I think that could work, you have to practice more on your trampoline though."
Girl: "I love trampoline!... *Jumps around then stops looks at my feet* Why are your socks and shoes two different colors???"
Me: "Because I have two different feet."

***We proceed to get on the bus... There is a woman with a baby in a stroller sitting next to the little girl***

Little Girl:
"Why do you have a baby???"
Woman *Looks at girls father* and says: "I don't... know how to answer that"
Little girl: "I'm four and my daddy is thirty five. I used to have a thing like that to ride in, but I grew up."
Woman: "You are still a baby."
Little girl: "I'm gonna be a ninja doctor when I get big but I have to stretch and trampoline first."

I  got off the bus with the biggest smile, the sun was beaming out of my face.

*Another conversion of a child's dream, from ordinary to extraordinary. Someday when I need my life saved 30 years down the road I will smile the same smile, with the sun beaming from my face, as the ninja doctor walks into the room.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Three Blinks On A Monday

I shook hands with Monday, its firm grip reminded me to force a smile. The kind of smile you give to someone who doesn't remember they owe you that favor or didn't answer the call when you needed them but they pretend it never happened.

As soon as Monday went to greet the others, I decided not to let it's cheery disposition ruin my own. Then I realized, that was the reason no one liked Monday. Monday didn't acknowledge what people felt entitled to.
I was always working on figuring out the things in others that made me cringe. Either coming to an understanding of the root cause of their behavior or simply seeing a reflection of myself in them, that I'd not really dealt with directly. Such diligence with the frailty of humans.
But to look at a day and see it like it were a greasy salesman who screws people over, was something new.

I put a face on Monday. A personality. And I realized Monday was like all the other days really. On the inside. The actions of Monday puts us at a defense because it presents itself with the prospect of a new beginning but never delivers up to the expectation. Then we compare it to laid back weekends and it leaves us wanting more.
Never in my life did I see this shift in perspective coming....

I turned around took a deep, long breath, made a big smile. I backtracked to where I'd left Monday, shaking hands with the teeth gritting, stiff bodied, crowds that came in hoards and droves. With the pointiest of point fingers, I tapped him on the shoulder of his suit. It was padded and he barely felt my urgency. I cleared my throat and said in a loud voice "Excuse me!!!"

Monday turned around completely surprised to see me twice in one day. The crowd stopped in their tracks. No sounds of slacks whipping together quickly to brush by and no clicking heels on shiny floors or paved sidewalk.

Me: "I just wanted to ask you..."
Monday: (In a panic sensing the confrontation that many have given)
"Look, Is this about.."
Me: "No. I'm not here to yell at you and give you the finger."
Monday: (Nervously looks back at the perfectly still crowd) "Aaam ok.. well, I... I sort of don't have a lot of time to.."
Me: "You have just as much time as every other day of the week."
Monday: "Yeah but..." (Gestures to the USUALLY angry crowd. Then realizes they are at a calm stand still, waiting to see what I have to say and is completely caught off guard by the standstill)
Me: "I just want a hug."
Monday: "What?"
Me: "I want to apologize for all the times I misunderstood you all these years. I want to apologize for me, and for everyone." (I look at  the crowd. Some are still looking at their shiny watches or phones wondering what the holdup is. Others hearts are fluttering and are  totally with me.) "Monday, I'm sorry. I was fake to you, I was mad at you and it was never your fault."
Monday: (Gets a little choked up and hugs me)

I drift above the scene and see the hearts of the teeth gritters melt. Three blinks later I realize that this whole time I was in a daze waiting for my coffee to percolate but I smile and I start my Monday.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

A Piano In The Night

(Written April 6th 2010)

I can’t say that when I saw the thing, I was impressed or inspired to any degree but there it was, peeking from under the rotten weathered tarp.
I’m out to get my groceries, I left my home with a purpose. I left, with every meaning to enter at Sobeys, within the 15 minutes it takes to walk there but fate had another idea for me.

Sometimes when I leave my apartment, I am not prepared. Perhaps I am tempted to stop and eat, drink, use the washroom, exchange in conversation. All of these things are counted, when I plan not to be late.

When walking to work I allow at least 10 minutes of extra travel time, knowing a priority will present itself along the way.
Whenever I have plans, I never carry a watch but am always conscious of time . . . Except this could not have been predicted nor avoided.

My headphones were in my ears but only as disguise to those around me, that I was in my own world because I realize in the evening, when the sun goes down, people look for excuses for random communication.

Here I am making good time, one block from my first turn to the left, two houses in, my head magnetically turns…

No shine, no movement, nothing. And to spot it even made no sense, as it's location was tucked between a scrapped car and a doorstep.
I floated with no effort, no thought.
My finger was even pointing before I could muster the ingredients of an idea.

Without pause I touched it and heard the most unforgettable sound of an out of tune note.


I’m in a room full of dancing dark skinned bright smiling folk, in a house where all of the furniture is pushed against the walls.
The floor bends as a man with his foot stamping, bangs on the ivory and ebony keys.

My heart swells with sunlight and the butterflies that mix only with inspiration.
I can feel the cups of cheer, and the same crisp air as this night, seeping through an open window.

An instinctive and involuntary breath, bursts anxiously, into my thirsty lungs.

A second note by my left hand, enters the atmosphere.
I can taste it.
The change of time.

Stale, with an earthy, soilish, dankness. I feel a long, harsh, spring, breaking the frost with cold grounds of earth and grit, grinding between molars.

Here he plays alone, his cup of cheer a poison, for drowning out the silence. Notes and tears mix and drip together, both dark and blue, as the wavy clouded skyline.

I sway, in an aching raw worship of painful hunger for his connection. The bond of his soul to these vacant notes, ripped tears out of unwilling eyes.

He looks toward the window, expecting inner reflection but seems to capture sight of my ghastly spirit. And the music stops.

The candles burn out in synchronized time, immediate and abrupt. It is as if every morsel of warmth had been murdered.

Smoke lingering on the air, drifting with the last echo of sound.

Here am I, with every sentiment lingering and no justification. The reminiscence feels excavated and stirred, stolen and fabricated.
I’d been held captive in a time that wasn’t mine, intruded on an intense and personal moment.

In awe, I stand with no witness, to an implausible self inflicted journey.

As a person must I recoiled, wiped any significance of vividness from my conscious thought and absurdly ignored the incident.

So here I sit, with a fresh glass of almond milk from Sobeys, before bed. I am still pretending that perceived alternate memory, is dishonor of reality.

…But that piano will haunt me, no doubt, for longer than it lasts. There between the doorstep and junk metal, 3 blocks to the left, under a half turned tarp.

It will echo again those two keys, left and right.
No one will notice the dust my fingers took or emotions that man put in the crisp night air.
I will NEVER forget.