Saturday, September 30, 2006

An inch to the left

My room is very ordered. Everything is in its place, where things sit, the colours of the hangers, the height of the art on the walls. I can't concentrate unless it's exactly the way I want it. It didn't start until I left home, and then crept up gradually. Before I knew it, I was re-ordering books and records, ornaments at special angles, perfect, controlled. It's so nice to be in there, drinking in the decor, the feelings that bounce between objects, the invisible lines, the aaah

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Mmm pretty. I'm not sure who's the mastermind, I found them on flickr, they're in mogo's account...

Just so

I am the worst nitpicker I know. I try to ignore things, but god it's hard. Now I just keep them to myself, stuff them down into the dark recesses, try to cover them over with bright fuzzy things. When I was single, it was horrible, the things that could disturb me about the opposite sex. Just a word could do it. I have many words that are taboo. Highest on the list: funky. It hurts even to write it. It's the word of the desperately-trying-to-be-hip early thirties yuppy (I work with a lot of these). Satin boxers, big no-no. Eyebrow piercings. Fucked up spelling or grammer. Wet lips. Waxed chest. Too much eye contact. Not enough. The list goes on. And shoes, I think all women agree, can make or break a first date.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Repeat daily

Every night, dial that number, the code to bliss, wait twice as long as they predict, no other thoughts, hear the honk, slide over three twenties, get a tiny packet back, run to bathroom, pour packet into spoon, squeeze in a drop of water, light two matches, hold them until they burn my fingers, that bitter smell, the drugs sparkle, clear and rich, fill my needle, tie my coat around my arm, or if I'm only wearing a dress, take it off, sit naked with it tied around my arm, feel silly, but it's over in a flash, a scrap of toilet paper stops up the blood, so happy to be alive, every nerve smiles, stumble to standing, that taste in my throat, mind clean and fresh, my heart relaxes, funny thoughts, keep stopping my bike to write them down, want more

Monday, September 25, 2006

Killing things

When she was just a tiny kitten she was locked in a cooler with her five siblings. A wild 2 year old did it. By the time they were found it was too late, they were all dead, suffocated, except for one. The runt of the litter. destined to be ours.

The damage wasn't immediately apparent, she was very sweet, not too timid. She just didn't grow. She looked like a kitten all her life. She was incredibly good natured in my four year old world of endless groping, playing dress up and being lugged here and there. Her name changed as often as my mind did. She was everything from Rainbow to Veronica. We were worried when she became pregnant, being so small, but she didn't seem too troubled by it, leaving us one lone kitten in a sticky bloody mess on a favourite sweater at the bottom of my mother's wardrobe. I watched it through the crack where the doors met.

I remember having the same feeling I did in the bunny dream, when I was around kittens as a small child. I was scared of myself. Holding one, an intense love would grip me, a feeling that I struggled to express. Simply, I just wanted to squeeze them as tightly as possible. No matter how hard I squuezed, I always wanted to do it harder. They were just so cute. This is so hard to explain.

I took that kitten with me everywhere, playing in the garden, building houses out of boxes. My runt, its mother, watching warily, not far away. My little arms and fingers found it hard holding onto that kitten. it wriggled and squirmed, wanting to run in the grass. I heaved up the rabbit cage, no rabbit had lived in it for years, it was a large, heavy rectangular frame covered in wire fencing and cobwebs, with a wooden shelter at one end. No way in or out except via the bottom, which was completely open to the ground. That had been the problem, the rabbits would dig under and out within a day. To put the kitten in the cage I had to try to hold it with one little arm and shoo it in with the other. The funny little ball of fur looked at me with big blue eyes, it didn't want to go in the cage. It must have been so tired of four year old me and all my love, desperate and squeezing. The kitten ran part way out. The weight of the cage on my hands became unbearable, escalating in a flash. I screamed as my arms gave way. That moment of terror seemed to last forever. The solid metal frame was going to land on my kitten's neck. And it did. I remember that run, from the rabbit cage, sobbing across the long dewy grass of our lawn to the back door, as if it were yesterday. The first thing my parents couldn't fix. It was the first time I met that feeling of a final ending. Deep shame. And watching the mother nuzzle at her only baby's lifeless body, life darkened.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


How clean is clean? My roommate returned, from 3 weeks away, and flipped out at me. The odd thing, I'd swept and mopped every few days, cleaning surfaces, wiping light switches, fridge doors, dishwasher handles constantly and thoroughly. I feel like I must be crazy. I was excited for her to be home, just for the appreciation of how well I'd kept the house. My intuition didn't give me a whisper. I've never been good at being told off, or criticized. Always a goody goody, teacher's pet, daddy's girl. It's still inside me, a wound. Drugs help me care less. They file off the edges, if you know what I mean.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Last night was filled with dreams of dark sick sex, terrifying to remember, I won't write them here in case it makes them more real. Here is one I can repeat...

I'd found a little bunny, and befriended it. It was the sweetest thing, small and downy, affectionate like a cat. It followed me everywhere. Into the kitchen, to make a smoothie. I dumped in a banana, fresh strawberries, and full milk, which I never use. It will make it creamier, my dream mind thought. As I watched everything get eaten up by the blender, colours streaking around like a sunset, I realized I was looking for blood. Bunny blood. I suddenly remembered that I had put the small, soft bunny in first, to add iron to my milkshake. Panicked, I turned off the machine and lifted the lid. With a big spoon, I stirred the milkshake to the sides, so I could see the bottom of the blender clearly. There was my little bunny, looking up at me. Intact. Somehow, like the way chunks of banana can escape the blade, so had he. Shaking, I scooped him up and snuggled his milky fur to my face, scared of myself.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Poor me

Been puking into my office trash can at half-hour intervals. Holding it in until colleague click knuckles leaves the room. Bad hangover. Evil.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Always, right when I think I'm too smart. I've been ripped off so many times. I always think I'll learn, I never do. It's because junkys get these big eyes. Honest eyes. And I'm miss trustworthy, I have a complex, i'm proud. So I trust them. I'm stupid I know. But this day, I had no one else to ask. My options were all out. One picking up. One's phone fucked. One not where he was supposed to be. And so I went with this strange man, Roberto. He told me not to be nervous. I said I was sick, really sick. And I was. It was 8pm at least by that time, and I hadn't had anything. Sweat was pouring off me. Sticking my dress to me, pasted on. My hair was wet too, it could have been raining. He said it was just around the corner. He said, "wait here, at this corner. I will be four streetlights down." He pointed. I looked, it was all shadowy. I nodded. He had my money in his hands, it was $40 I'd borrowed off a friend. It was all my money in the world (as always). Of course I didn't wait there, I rode my bike down to the fouth streetlight the minute he disappeared into the shadows. I waited for an hour at least. Then I rode back and forth shouting "Roberto... Roberto" at the top of my lungs. No one told me to shut up, but I felt guilty and a bit wierd, doing it too much. So I rode my bike home and watched television. It doesn't feel so painful now, but it was.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My new office mate stretches, sighs and clicks his knuckles, every half an hour or so. It's so fucking annoying.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


We were waiting for our parents after school one day, when we were six. Me and a friend. We alternately liked or hated each other, sometimes fighting in our sleep. My mother would wake up worried, but we were fast asleep, arguing. That was much later when we were in our teens. Although even young I was wary of her. It was the way she stroked my mother's hair, and wound it around her little fingers, eyes trying to gaze into my mother's. Her mother was flakey, and it made me boil with jealousy to think she was trying to steal mine.

So there we were, waiting. The other kids had all gone, their parents had come on time. Sometimes my mouth would just say things, surprising me as much as anyone. This was one of those days. "Lets run away," I turned to my friend. It was a thrilling thought. I lived more in books than out. I wanted to be like the adventurous children I read about. She took a lot of persuading, she didn't want to get in trouble. Finally I had her with me, always a reluctant step behind.

Up the stone path to the house where the nuns lived. It had an air of mystery, everything that was 'out of bounds' always did. Small finger purposefully pressing on the doorbell. We could hear footsteps from deep within the house. The door creaked open. She barely looked like a nun at all. Pale blue habit and matching dress, a homemade cardigan buttoned high. She looked more like a nana, than someone holy, who should pierce our hearts with awe. "We're running away," I piped up, maybe to impress her. "Oh children! Don't do that" she exclaimed with a thin, quavery voice "go home to your parents." We were polite until the moment the door closed. We ran off shrieking with the excitement of being so daring. Life felt more real than ever before. So this was how characters in books felt. We were powerful. I wanted to explore the public school across the road next. In a flash, the moment of happiness had turned, my friend started to cry. She didn't want to be told off.

Dutifully, back I went to meet the parents. There they were, relief relaxing their faces. "Who's idea was this?" Dad asked. "Hers!" We both crossed our hearts and argued and cried. Dad believed me. It was late by this time, so we stopped to pick up fish and chips from our favourite place. He got a big bottle of lemonade too. Everyone else enjoyed it, but I wasn't allowed. That was to teach me not to run away again. For months, every time my friend saw my dad, when he was at school to pick me up, or drop off some lunch, she'd run up to him, "it was Tui's idea to runaway, not mine" she'd try to convince him, the little sneak. But it was me he loved, and me he believed. I didn't run away again for over ten years.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I sat on a bright yellow chair in the bright yellow sun. It was for sale, for a dollar. Everything was. Three little French boys lurked around, touching everything, grubby fingers pulling and prodding. "Combien?" Every two seconds. The smallest one picked up another shopper's cell phone, he wanted to buy it. He was quick that kid. Next, he was opening the cash box. Although he did turn a bit red when he realised. My boyfriend gave them the mini tramp without legs. They rolled it away quite satisfied. I was glad nothing of mine was for sale. I don't like people looking at my things like that, it makes me uncomfortable. I went to a deceased estate sale once. The house of the dead man was exactly as he had left it. We shuffled through, making offers on anything and everything. Sifting through the still full kitchen and bedroom drawers. Hunting in the closets, in the bathroom cabinets. It didn't feel polite. But I got a cheap set of golf clubs, so I was happy.

Don't blink

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Feeling balloons

Right on schedule, the homeless man set up his magazine and roll of paper towels in the corner of our garden. It seems to be his Sunday ritual.

I love taking cabs, head leaning back, gazing at life flicking past. Safe, cocooned. If the drivers want to talk, we talk, I like to find out about the country they left for Canada, and what they think. Most come from Haiti or Lebanon. On Friday night, leaving work, last as usual, we drove slowly through the dimming streets. A blind man was standing poised to cross the road. In his hands, he held the strings to an enormous bunch of helium balloons. Red, yellow, white, pink. The strings to happiness.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I dreamt last night I was in a dangerous place. The men had moustaches and the women were too young to be pregnant, dark skinned, beautiful. I'm not such a good shot, but I managed to kill a lot of people. I'm practised at hiding, but as the shadows get closer and the air changes, it's scary, I won't lie. Every night I get drenched with other people's blood. But at least I don't wake up crying anymore.

Something is wrong. Everything is sharper, but so sharp it cuts. Sometimes I wonder if anything is inside me. It doesn't feel like it. I feel very cold. And very empty. It's hard to explain.


I've been making a lot of mistakes lately. It's so strange to have voice inside you that's stronger than your own. (I don't want drugs today/ you will do anything for drugs today). The deeper and further away I hide it, the louder it shouts.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Get thirsty

I've been trying to track this ad down ever since I saw it at a talk by Neil French, an odd hero of mine. He's always saying something controversial and he writes the best long copy ads I've ever read. If you have some time, look him up.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I ruined all my dolls by cutting their hair, and in some cases, applying 'make-up' (felt pen) as well. I remember trying to trim the cats hair, off the top of her head. I've always cut my fingernails too low, so they hurt. Evening them up, until there's nothing left. Cut, cut, cut.

My mother's best friend confided in me that she didn't know what to do, her daughter (17) had just destroyed the brand new laundry basket with a pair of scissors. Why? The daughter's only explanation was that the scissors were in her hand and she felt like cutting something. I know exactly how she feels. Of course I didn't tell her mother that. I just let her tut on for a bit, It seemed easier than expaining why.

There's something about cutting that thing you shouldn't. The before seperated by the after. Capturing time and making your mark. And the feeling. The moment the blades meet. The different texture, the way a phone cord, for example, would roll a bit, before scissor teeth squished it too much and the rubbery blunting would finish with the gristle of wires. Almost like cutting a limb off, I imagine. Which I have imagined actually, quite frequently.

But there's one thing that really makes me want to cut more than anything. It's a longer than usual ponytail. Someone elses, when seen from behind. Chunky or thin, swirly or wispy. Split ends. In a braid, whatever. If I have a pair of scissors in my hands I have to keep my distance. Watch out.


When I was a little girl I had my future planned. Two daughters, two sons, I knew their names, I'd even planned the menu for each week. A roast on sunday, fish and chips on Friday night. Food I'd heard of, but never even seen. My parents, militant vegetarians, packed my lunch box with organic home made sandwiches and lovingly made healthy snacks, grown in our garden. Sometimes I wouldn't even open my lunch box. I longed to have white bread, for my dad to not have beard, to be normal.

My birthday parties were the height of embarrasment. I was allowed to choose one 'junk food' item. It was usually animal cookies, the ones with coloured icing. Now I feel ashamed, looking at the home videos through my parent's eyes, long close ups of my little expressions, everything I said, the way I laughed. I was the first child, they thought I'd be the only one. I was all that tied my parents together. I was horrible.

Their lives revolved around educating and entertaining me. Trips to the beach, or hiking, or horse riding. Yes, I had my own pony. We'd pull up, excitement in my parent's voices. I'd flatly refuse to get out of the car. 6 years old, and a master at manipulating their emotions. I don't know why I was like that. It comes to me in flashes. Every present they gave me, nothing was good enough, and I made sure they knew it. It makes me sick, just thinking about it. Why do they still love me, after all of that?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The non-people

A man is masturbating in my backyard. Now he's wiping his bottom, front to back to front to back. He has a huge bag, the kind of ruck sack homeless people carry. I watch him as I drink my coffee. His hair is long and wild. He is standing with his back to me, trousers at his ankles. I lose interest, and when I check back, he's gone.

My friend arrived home after drinking last year, it was late on a Saturday night. A homeless man was asleep in her bed.

The homeless have been banned from the parks, from the sidewalks. The council wants them to disappear. Like picking up trash, and putting in the trash can, they're cleaning. Won't the streets be prettier?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Testing my new cell phone

Yesterday, the day before pay. I had a few unhelpful NZ coins. It was time to beg.

"Tui! Where are you?"
"Tony...wait...uh...can you front me a 60 until tomorrow, I get paid at midnight. Please!"
"No. I don't do that anymore. Not for anyone."
"I'll pay you back 8am tomorrow morning..."
"C'mon, I've always paid you back on time."
"Try Bobby, I'll get him to call you."

"Bobby... please front me a 60, it's just until tomorrow."
"I'm not working tomorrow."
"I'll subway out to meet you."
"I'll see if I can, I have to call someone."
"I'll call you back."
I did a victory dance.

20 minutes later.

"What's happening?"
"I'm just waiting for him to give me an answer, I'll call you as soon as he does."

40 minutes later.

"Bobby, what's going on?"
"I said I'D call YOU when I know."

20 minutes later.

"Hey Steve..."
"Tui! Hi!"
", can I please front a 60 until tomorrow."
"You know I can't do that."
"Can you do anything?"
"20, I can do 20. Be at the alley in 15"
"Thanks. God, thanks."

5 minutes later

"Hey Brian..."
"I have a favour to ask..."
"Well I hope it's not what I think it is. It's been a bad day. I partied all night and spent my money. Everyone owes me. I've only had three customers today."
"Please, just a point... just something small,,, I can pay you back first thing tomorrow morning."
"Oh yeah?"
"At 8am, just tell me where to come."
"Okay then. Here. You owe me 40. say thank-you."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fuzzy edges

Fuck the cat is cute. I think it's trying to kill me. Melt me from the inside out.

You almost need sunglasses in the pharmacy. Lovely fluorescent bulbs, they've taken over the world. Methodically, I scan as I head to the counter. It would be dire to bump into a colleague here. I put my dollar on the counter. Everyone ignores me. They know the drill. Only the pharmacist can serve me. He must monitor me. Make sure I don't swiftly pour my medicine into another bottle, or hold it in my mouth to 'on-sell'. Ridiculously, this has actually been done before. It's so cheap even on the blackmarket, the whole thing seems silly to me. The pharmacist small-talked as I gulped down the yellow, bitter liquid. I double checked the date as I passed it back. From memory, this was my last dose, I need another appointment to get my script refilled. The 5th of October? Not September? He agreed that it seemed strange. Off he went, professionally typing into the computer. The magic box of answers. He stopped abruptly. Red fled up his neck to darken his face. Quebecois accent stronger than usual. Voice lowered, spoken away from the old people queuing. "Oh Tui, I'm so sorry, I made some error. I give you the dose of the other person!" Pause. "It's twice as much as your dose." I calmed him down, reassured him I would hardly notice it, and I wouldn't 'tell'. Secretly, I was looking forward to it kicking in. And I have to say, I feel so nice right now, my nerve endings tingling with happiness. Maybe methadone isn't so bad.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


He's the one with his hat over his face. Old. A bush of frizzy grey hair. Eyes milky, unfocused. Shaking his empty cup at passers by. He's my favourite dealer. He smells a bit, rants a lot. Looks poor, has rolls and rolls of twenties in his grubby pockets. Every time it's the same. "Brian?" "Tui... $70?" "Ahmm." "Gimme 5 minutes." He lumbers over to the Subway across the street, buys a bright orange pop in a Subway cup, uses their bathroom for eternity. Comes back lids even lower. Hugs me, tells me to be careful. Not to do too much. Some boys come up. He asks them for the money they owe him. He grumbles. I'm skidding on heels, across the tiled floor of the mall, to the bathroom at the end of the corridor. I cook it all, do it in one shot. Start thinking in riddles, ride my bike home, snuggle my cat. Feel like more.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Show me your guts

NIce idea Janet Morton. (Chain of Fools, 2003)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Over my shoulder

It's so cold it's made me extremely lazy. I've been snuggled in bed all day. Ridiculous, I know. I have to go pawn my laptop for the 40 millionith time and buy some drugs, and go out with my friend for breakfast tomorrow. I hate scavenging under cushions for quarters. Especially when I've exhausted the supply a long time ago. My new house is so spacious I feel like I've been exercisng more, just by living here. Two lounges, a dining room with a chandeliar, a kitchen with a huge window, and a nice green view. Rare in Montreal, most views are a foot a way from a concrete wall, or someone's toilet window, or something equallay unpleasant.

I haven't fully unpacked, the files and clothing need sorting, so I've been procrastinating, but I've unpacked the precious things, that make me feel at home anywhere. My NZ postcards, green and blue, beside my pillow, where I see them first thing, and last thing. Alongside, a picture of the two friends I miss the most. One who's dead, one who's so different she's not in my life anymore anyway. Often, I think about her, and wish past things hadn't happened. I try to forgive her, but I know I'll never be able to trust her. She's always been like that, a boyfriend hunter. It perks her up, having things she shouldn't, even if they never call her again. But still, I have her in my heart, I can't get her out. I wish I could claw myself way back, to that moment in the photograph. The three of us, as close as friends cans be. I can feel that night, I know it inside out. But I want to live it again for real, if only I could.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I'm 27. Everything hurts. I just moved the contents of one small, grubby house into a bigger, quite nice other house. Now I have to go and clean my old house 'spic n span'. The landlord was the main reason I wanted to move. A strange scarily changeable man, either soft and smiley or screaming and raging, letting himself into my appartment at 1.30am. This is my new leaf turning. The cat will have a leafy neighbourhood to explore. Everything will be grand. It's an odd birthday, I just wish I had more than 20 bucks till Thursday. Life continues.