Monday, January 30, 2012

daddy issues

I went to see Hugo today with my kid. She is recovering from the flu and we needed to escape from the excavation of our basement. Maybe there are bodies down there, I wouldn't be surprised. Why do they kill parents? They love to kill parents. It seems that a kid can't be a hero unless they are orphaned.

I met a guy recently. He likes to take photographs. I dislike having my picture taken. It is like my face is trying to escape the scrutiny. He had lights on me and was obscured behind a lens. Then he started to ask me things. He asked me about my dad and I found myself at a loss. I wanted to tell him something. He seemed like the right person to tell things to, but I was blocked, I was thinking, all girls have daddy issues.

My father was a photographer. He was also unhinged. He had been a brilliant PHD student, destined for academic stardom, but he got sidetracked. Sidetracked by a Leica and a collective of New Mexican hippies, acid, Buddhism and a wanderlust. My mother and he had a very different relationship, I think, although it is all conjecture. She doesn't talk about it. She would if I asked, but I seem to know not to. He would wander and she would sometimes follow and sometimes not.I know he must have had girlfriends, I can see it in the eyes of one of his photo subjects.

Eventually she moved to Montreal from New York City and had me. My sister was already 3. We lived in Outremont, next door to a houseful of kids called the Rings. My father came to visit sometimes, until he had a psychotic break and was carted off to the local crazy house after leaping on my mum. My sister, 5 or 6 at the time, ran to the Rings for help. After that he went back to NYC where he continued to take photos of crumbling garbage heaps and dilapidated signage. I don't have any memories of him. The only one I can recall is looking out the window at the rain spattered glass while my mum told us that he had died. He fell out of a window she said. I was 4 and she says I cried. I don't remember. I just recall the view, obscured by those plastic decals of triangles and squares and circles that you could stick and remove and make houses out of.

New York's finest were thieves back then, and they stole his cameras. They left the prints though, and I have them. They are my only evidence. I can see his humor, his intelligence and his complicated view. There was interest a couple years back and a gallery contacted me so they could mount a show. They did and through that I got in contact with a woman who was one of his closest friends. She sent me the story of his death, because she had been there. By now I knew he did not fall. The story was heart wrenching. He did not die right away. She found him, three stories down on the ground, and in the ambulance he was telling her it was alright, he was going where he wanted. She thought he was going to survive.

I thought about the pain this must have caused her. She knew something was wrong some days before, but hippies like to let people be. They don't question the weird. Strangely enough, I don't either. Sometimes I feel that I should feel more. Some kind of loss, some kind of deep pain. That I should be broken somehow, as orphans often are. I am not. I had family and love and I was young. I don't miss him. There is no hole.

I like this photographer, and I also have a weakness for academics, it seems. My daddy issues must be there somewhere, like it is for most girls. I come to the end of this post feeling much the same way i did when I was questioned under the lights. Thinking that I am trying to say something, but not sure what it is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


First off I want to say thank you to those of you who wrote me such kind words of encouragement. It is not that I forget that I have an audience, after all, I am writing with you in mind. It is more that I am continually surprised that you stay and listen decide to come back. It moves me that this blog gives you something.

I was torn about what to write about this time. I wanted to write about my shit eating dog and then I also wanted to write about love. I wonder if there is a way to put them together? Let us start with the dog.

I have a dog. He is perfect in every way. Except one. One very very imperfect way. He likes to eat shit. More specifically, his own shit. Well he will eat the shit of other dogs too, but what he loves most is his own fresh shit. This dog is beautiful, sweet, loving, obedient and silly. I would let a two year old walk him. I want to train him to be a therapy dog because he is so perfect. I think I love him.

I got this dog because my ex husband was depressed. I have always had cats. I still have them. My ex had a dog when he was a kid, and somehow I thought a dog would help him. Maybe get him to walk outside and have a buddy. Someone on his side that he could just get support from in a way only a big furry mop of a dog can do. So I found this big black muppet of a dog and he had a fatal flaw. The kind of flaw that makes you hate him. The kind of flaw that makes you consider getting rid of one for. How can you love a dog who just ate his own shit?

I fell in love with my husband at first sight. That has never happened before to me or since. I remember walking into the bar where I was supposed to meet him and sitting down across from him and looking into his face and knowing instantly that the game was over. That this person across from me was who I was going to be with. I even knew he felt exactly the same thing at the same time. We were together every day from that point onwards. We were repulsively affectionate and sex was in a place I had not been before. We fit. I remember the second time I saw him. He came over and we sat on my porch swing surrounded by the branches of the tree that was planted below and we held hands. We stood up in the kitchen and we kissed. All I wanted to do was lift my shirt so that the skin of my belly would touch the skin of his. I did. And when our stomachs touched it radiated a warmth that melted me.

Later in our marriage he wanted fish. I hate fish. I said to him, they are your fish. I am never taking care of them. He wanted them anyways so we had fish. When he moved out he left them. I saw it as a passive aggressive fuck you and at the time I was mad at him still. Mad at him for not being happy I suppose. I was stuck with the shit eating dog and the stupid fucking fish. I am not proud of what I did next, but I did it anyways. I could not bring myself to flush the fish, and i certainly did not want to be vacuuming up fish poo and cleaning filters and dealing with all the horror that it is to maintain a tiny glass box filled with imprisoned fish forced to live in a world of plastic plants and weirdly coloured rocks. I was always told that fish were delicate, that if the water got cold or the filter was broken that that would die instantly. Well it turns out that is not true. it turns out that guppies and neon tetras can live for a couple of months.. in stasis.. with no food, no filter no water change in a green sludge of algae. I would go in each day, hoping that they would be dead, but they weren't. I was horrified at my cruelty, yet I could not bring myself to either flush them or feed them. I just sat there and watched them slowly die. They did finally. There is guilt there .

I still have the dog though. Over the years I have learned how to curtail his shit eating ways. He gets some sometimes, but it is not often enough for me to hate him. My yard is spotless and I diligently ensure that I can still love him. My ex takes the dog on the weekends with our kid. I think the dog makes him happy now, they wrestle and hang out. The fish tank is long gone. Thank fucking christ.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not Unicorns

It has been a long time since I have written. I could blame it on the holidays, but I wont. A friend of mine who reads this blog told me he thought that I wrote it one step removed. That I wrote other people's stories and ones from my past and that these were at safe distances. I think he is right. I want to write about unicorns. Metaphorical ones. But I can't because it is about me and sex and love and I am not up to exposing that yet, mostly because of the story I am about to tell you. It is a story about me. In the present. And I am writing it because I was angry.

I am trusting when online, I chat with people with brutal honesty. If they ask me something I like to tell them the truth back. As I mentioned before, I am online dating. I have met some friends, and even some unicorns, but I have also met ones with whom I was not well matched. Blame the robot, his matchmaking statistics are sometimes way off base. (This is a shout out to my OKC clan.) Well I must have pissed someone off.

I was chatting to a guy who decided to google me. You know, you have done it. We all google ourselves. If you are unlucky enough to be in the entertainment biz, IMDB will tell you your rank and how many points you lost this week. If you are a doctor or a teacher, go to rate-my-whatever-profession-people-want-to-bitch-about and see what the gossip is. If you are someone: wikipedia will know you or, if you are a just a plebeian, you can just see what comes up in the google search.

Well this dude turned up me, giving hand jobs, being "fucked by bull dykes" and other such lovely descriptors. It seems someone was mad at me. They posted impersonating me on all kinds of comment boards and then linking them back to my work site. Conversely they posted on gay and lesbian sites having me make homophobic and right wing christian statements. Which belies a certain sense of humour I suppose, the irony not lost.

It was the ultimate bathroom wall stunt. I can't lie, it shook me. It frightened me and it made me feel like I was back in grade school being bullied in the hallway. It served its purpose, it made me stop writing things that were personal. It made me feel exposed and vulnerable and criticized. It made me feel shame. As I have written before, I am not a big fan of shame. It highlighted to me that there is
so much hate and homophobia and repressed sexuality still in the world.

The thing is, I am not a pudgy smart kid in grade four anymore. So I say this.. fuck you and your shame. It is not mine. At least not anymore. I will write about unicorns, and kinky sex and queers and love and death and more. I promise.

Next time. After I have finished washing off the bathroom wall.