Tuesday, 26 January 2016

1 Part Loser

I woke up and stared at my ceiling for about twenty five minutes before I stopped beating the shit out of myself and crawled out of bed. It was Monday and 9:45 in the morning, a day and time where most people were awake and already hours into their lives, traffic jams, and water cooler convos.

By 10am, I had a coffee in one hand and a pen in the other. I reached for my journal, sat down at my kitchen table and wrote down the date. Every time I write the date, I cringe at how much time has gone by, how many years have passed and how I’m still waiting for the day when I can put it all behind me. As if someday soon a UPS guy will ring my doorbell, ask me to sign for a package covered in "HANDLE WITH CARE" stickers, containing a brand new life, a whole new plot line, and a letter from the heavens that reads:



I had nothing to journal, nothing to report, nothing worth recording. I had a million and one things I wanted to complain about, but keeping written track of what pissed me off didn’t seem like I’d be moving in the right direction, the right direction being NOT pissed off, so instead I spent ten minutes staring at a blank page. 

I had much on my mind. The night before, my partner was trying to get me to comprehend how little I was enjoying my life, and how much time I was spending trying fix myself, so that I’d be ready for the world when It came calling. 

“You need to get out into the world to see how much you’ve grown, so you can measure yourself against other people to see who and what you really are.” He knew more then anyone how different and out of place I felt. 

As I replayed the conversation in my head, I watched a bus pick up its passengers through my window.

Where were they all going? 
Did they know how much they had grown?
Did they know who and what they really were? 
Could they see me staring?

“You think something bad is going to happen when you get out into the world. You think there’s bad things waiting for you.” 
His words echoed in my mind like some soap opera memory sequence. He had hit the nail on the head. I was scared. As if shit luck and horrible experiences were waiting for me to resurface, so they could pick up from where we left off.

I began to cry.

I was trying so hard to get a job, I had so many wonderful people helping me get back on my feet, I had a writer I admired, coaching me. But even with all that awesomeness, I couldn’t help worrying. It seemed as though worrying was the only language my brain spoke lately. I remembered a version of myself that was quite opposite of that and wondered where she’d run off to. I hadn’t seen or heard from her in a long time. I assumed she’d hoofed it to the forgotten parts of my subconscious, the parts where she could dance on wobbly tables or skateboard without a helmet

... must be nice.

But I’ve digressed.

With my emotions being so amplified as they are, I’m not the prettiest crier. My face scrunches up and begins to look like a cats butt, pink and tight. I guess the need to cry hits a little harder and my face can’t handle it. 

As I stood in my kitchen, cat butt crying, I really wanted to get on that bus and run away from myself. I wasn't learning anything from my thoughts that I didn't already know, so why at 10 am... were they harassing me?


I hadn’t even finished my coffee for fucks sake! I started that day beating myself up in my own head, but soon I was about to kick my own physical ass if my brain didn’t cut the “YOU SUCK!” train of thoughts. 

Dividing yourself into two people like that can’t be good.
Wanting to beat yourself up means you’ve divided yourself into two people, the ass kicker and the ass being kicked. And in every ass beating, someone’s got to lose. So one part of you is the loser, making you... 1 part loser.



“I’m not a criminal. I’m not a bad guy or evil do-er. So why the beef? Have I really done anything all that wrong that I deserve to go toe to toe with myself every morning?” I thought out loud.

I looked around. 
No one was there yet it felt like there were thirty people standing around giving me grief. I sipped my coffee then sat back down at the table with my journal and wrote:

“I don’t have much to say today.” 

I closed the book and began to listen to all the worries in my head. I didn’t have much to say, they but they sure did.

Friday, 22 January 2016

A Cat Watching Water

I sometimes watch my cat watch drops of water, drip from the sinks in our home. 

Sometimes I turn the sink on a little, and hope that entices her to come.

All so I can watch her watch the drops.

I don’t really know why I enjoy it so much, or if I enjoy it at all. I just know it’s interesting to me that after so many water drops, she still doesn’t understand that they’re uncatchable. But she keeps trying. 

Every time I round the corner and see her in the bathtub, she has that same face. 
The one that says “Ok. Today you’re mine.” 
Just as determined as her first day of trying. 

Some zen buddha master would probably tell me something like:


He’d be right. 
Catherine’s onto something. 
She’s a smart cat.

The other day, while she was attempting to chomp at the drops, I stood there thinking “A Cat Watching Water, what a great name for the story of my cats life.” 

And then I thought...

 “or how to describe the past few years of my life.”

Hopeful. 
But uneventful. 
My face instantly changed to displeased mode.

I feel like I keep swatting at finding a job, feel like I’ve caught one, but then it just falls through my fingertips. And then some time goes by and the seasons keep changing, and there I am, in my own proverbial sink, showing up everyday, to try and catch water drops.

Looking for work can indeed resemble a cat chasing water, but it can also fuck with your head. 

And that’s where I’m at.
When you are someone who has a lot to offer this world, but no ones biting, you begin to think you’re busted. Like an old toy destined for Goodwill. 


Everyday you have to wake up and tell yourself “you’re worth it” and have a five minute meeting with yourself about how you’r not going to wail in front of your empty inbox or write up contracts to God, explaining what you’ll bring to the table should he decide to throw you a fucking bone or two.

“You are so talented, I don’t understand how you’re not a millionaire by now” are sentences I hear, that truly make me want to search for a loophole within my own inner conscience, that states: 

“You’re not a bad person if you smack dumb people.” 

On my bad days...

 “You are so talented, I don’t understand how you’re not a millionaire by now” sounds a lot like, “You are really awesome and poor.”

Really Awesome and Poor, now there’s a title for the story of my life.

Awesome or not, ya still gotta show up to the sink, and hope that someday soon, you'll catch the uncatchable. 


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Girl Who Cried “Blind Raccoon"

A terrible place to open a coffee shop, is on the same street as a high school. 
On one street in particular, they built two. One end of it, there were rules, uniforms, gym class and text books. School. On the other end, stood a brand spank’n new Second Cup and their competitor...an old Italian man, who made espresso’s and didn’t believe in Canadian coffee. 

Both establishments packed with kids, who were on the wrong end of the street. 

But when first period blows, and second is bullshit, and third period is taught by a colossal cunt...why would a girl want to be anywhere else?


“I’ll take one caramel latte” a girl said, as she scanned around for patrolling teachers. 

The word on the street was that teachers were beginning to search for kids to drag back to class. She had been warned about skipping and had recently returned from a school suspension. She was always late and was constantly written up for not wearing her uniform “properly.” 



The girl was a first class rebel with fire breathing parents. She was scolded from every direction and was so sick of it, that she vowed to turn a new leaf. 

She looked at the clock above the baristas head and was relieved to see she still had twenty minutes to spare before she was considered “late for class." On that day, the girl rewarded her punctuality with a caramel latte, and a spicy jamaican patty. 

As she made her way down the street, she could see something in the distance. She figured “the something” was just a dog, and nothing to worry about.

“You gotta be fucking kidding me” she said, realizing what she was up against.



There, in the middle of the day, blocking her only way into the building, was a big fat rampant city raccoon. 

With only thirteen minutes left to get to class, she knew she had to move quick. The girl didn’t agree that math class was worth getting her leg gnawed off by a rabid animal, but she could not be late! She’d be suspended having just returned from suspension. 

The girl threw her latte in the bush hoping the raccoon would:

a) be curious of the sound, go find it and get the fuck out of the way.

b) be scared of the noise, run away from it and get the fuck out of the way.

Throwing the latte did nothing, but waste a perfectly good caramel latte and notify the raccoon that someone was in front of him.

He froze.
He stood up on his hind legs and began to sniff.
Then... he began to hobble towards the girl, sniffing the whole way.

She took one step back, then another.
He took one step closer, then another.

“Fuck!” 

He was coming for her. 
She ran.
He followed.
Still sniffing.

Finally, a teacher emerged from the school doors and began to coach the girl.

“Stay calm!”

The raccoon-girl chase lasted seven more minutes until someone yelled

“Throw the patty! Throw the patty!”

Turns out the raccoon wasn’t after the girl at all, it was the spicy jamaican patty he wanted. He couldn’t see a damn thing, and wasn’t intentionally blocking her entrance...he was just pissed off and hungry. We’ve all been there.

The teacher chimed in “Yes! Throw the patty! Throw the patty!”

“But this is my lunch! I can’t!”

“Throw the patty! Throw the patty!” Everyone continued to shout.

So she did. 
He followed the scent.
She got away.

The girl tried to explain why she was late but it made no difference. No one believed her and she was suspended from school. During her absence, it came out via the raccoon-coaching-teacher that the girl wasn’t lying and she witnessed the whole thing.

But by then... it didn’t matter.





There are days that I believe in this whole “Bi Polar” thing and there are days that I don’t. There are weeks that go by, that I think I should be locked away in a padded bell tower and the only person with the key is the doctor who swallowed it. Then there are months where I think I'm diagnosed with Awesome. Yup, a good 'ol case of Awesome. 

There are parts of me that believe that what happened to me happened, then there are parts that can’t. Whether or not I can wrap my pretty little head around everything, is irrelevant. The past doesn’t need my approval to have existed. 

The same way I don’t need a doctor to agree when I say “I’m not Bi Polar”
The same way I don’t need a school to agree when I say “I was chased by a blind raccoon.” 


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Bum In The Seat


All my love and attention has gone into this childrens book I’ve been writing and illustrating. Finally, I completed it and sent it off into the universe in hopes that she finds a home.

“She” being my book.
And
“the universe” being the publishers. 

I used to write childrens books all the time when I was a kid. It was easier then. I was producing a plethora of phonetically spelt tales, filled with pictures I felt like drawing vs. ones that pertained to my story. Few made any sense or they were never completed because I’d trail off to a new idea. If the talent was honed, I’d have been the Shirly Temple of kid authors. But now... to dive into the mind of my inner child, so that I may write for children isn’t as easy a task as one might think. 

Even for me.
And I’m a huge fucking kid.

I circled my desk many times before I agreed to sit down at it.
That was the first step. 

“Bum in the seat” was the writing advice my psychologist gave me once. I kept repeating those words to myself every time my feet moved in any direction that wasn’t towards my desk.

“Bum in the seat E! That’s not your seat. That is outside. Get in here” My conscience called out to me from The seat. 

I was having such trouble writing the story. I had already spent a couple months illustrating the pictures, with little to no effort at all. It was easy for me to hold my sharpie and sketch out exactly what I was seeing in my head, but to write something that made sense of what my imagination puked out, enough sense that someone would publish me, was where I struggled. 

As the writers block continued, I began to feel like an asshole.

“Who draws a book first before writing it? My deadline is right around the corner and all I’ve got are a bunch of unexplainable drawings like that fucking kid from The Ring!”

I was not a japanese horror film.
My pictures were going to make sense.
I would make that deadline... if I could just get my BUM IN THE SEAT!

“It’s ironic that you’re stumped writing for children and yet you have no problem acting like one. Get over here!” My thoughts chased me around my apartment like a mother chasing her toddler before bath time. But as soon as my mind gave itself a rest and stopped chasing after me, was when I was able to sit down and put words to my illustrations. To be quite honest, the minute I got off my case, was when I wandered on over to my desk and voluntarily sat down. Some things never change.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to create that book.
I’ve got so much respect for kids, way more then I have for adults, and I wanted to write them something special. I didn’t want to patronize them with some bullshit story about a puppy or “why it’s important to brush your teeth,” even if they are five year olds. I gave them more credit and wrote them something a little more kick ass. 

Once I was done,
I put my markers away and wiped my desk clean. 
I packed up my drawing paper and re-sharpened all my pencils. 
I took a look around my apartment and saw zero evidence that a childrens book at ever come to life in there. All the sharpie marks on my table, due to my inability to color inside the paper (let alone the lines), were all gone. Just as it looked before.

I miss my markers.
I miss my drawing paper.

Seems as if diving into the mind of my inner child only pulled her out of there. 

Fuck it.
I’m going to get my markers.
I’m going to get my drawing paper.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Unscripted

Ext. Our basement apartment. - Day

In a quiet-er part of town, the sound of rain and dirty dishes being washed are all that's heard. Well...that and Taylor Swift.

Int. A messy kitchen

A tall awesome boyfriend enters the kitchen area, where he joins his shorter kick-ass girlfriend as she washes the dishes and listens to music.

Lui
 Is that her voice making that sound? "Re Re Re" She sounds broken. Her voice sounds broken.

E
You don't speak to her that way.

Lui
I'll speak to her anyway I want.

E
You'll have a billion girls coming after you. It would be like those Axe commercials, where women chase you down the beach... except they're coming to kill you.

Lui
I'm not scared.

E
You don't understand. Chicks love Taylor Swift.

Lui
If I'm not scared of one of them, should I be scared of a lot of them? I mean...you're just girls

E
We'll kill you. All girls love Taylor Swift. She's everything we thought being a girl would be like. But then our bubbles popped...and hers just kept floating.

End Scene

Monday, 6 April 2015

Garlic and Beets

Yesterday I accidentally ate a clove of baked garlic thinking it was something else. My facial expression instantly indicated “YUCK”. I wasn’t expecting that flavour. I love garlic,  but not when it sneaks up on me like that. I must be ready for garlic.

With little to no thought at all, I chased it with the first thing I saw. 
Some beets.
Horrible decision.

I understood my logic. 
My mouth said:
“Uh whatever you just put in here is nasty and not what I had anticipated. Flavour change in effect immediately.”

Then I saw the beets
I ate them. 
Flavour changed.
Another horrible decision.
Another unanticipated flavour.

“You chase baked garlic with beets? Really?” I said to myself.

Really.
I looked all around. There was no water in sight. Well...no water in the vicinity of where I was sitting. Lui looked way too comfortable to help me out and the fridge looked way too far. 

“I need water!” I shouted internally.

“Stupid garlic. If you were just what I thought you were when I picked you up and ate you.... I wouldn’t.... I need water!”

I looked at the fridge. 
I felt like it thought I was an idiot. 

“Get up. Come get some water from me, and you can sit back down. Idiot.”

“No way fridge. Last time I trusted your contents I ended up with what the armpit of the produce isle must taste like!”

“What does that even mean? I am where your solution is. I have the water filter. Grab a glass and stop being an idiot.”

I turned my attention to the picture frames on my shelf.
There I saw my nephew and nieces smiling into the lens, producing frame worthy moments. Fuck they're cute. My heart instantly skipped a beat. 

Beat.
Beats.
Beets!!

“I need water!”

I kissed my teeth and stomped my foot, huffed, puffed then got up from my chair. Lui glanced over at me, then turned his attention back to the television. A huff always gets a head turn from him. I assume he’s deciphering the tone of my huff. 

Is it an “I’m bored” huff?

Is it a “I’m frustrated” huff?

Is it a “I’m gonna blow up in 3...2...1...” huff?

It was a “Fuck! Fine! I’ll get the water!” huff.

I walked past the fridge and straight to the sink where the empty water filter was. I stared at it for a good forty five seconds, then at the tap for fifteen more. I felt another huff or groan coming on, but I interrupted it by turning the faucet on. I grabbed the water filter and began the refilling process. 

I glared at my fridge.

“And I’m the idiot!? Your water filter isn’t even filled nor is it inside you!”

I turned back to the sink and completed the refilling process.
I waited as the water dripped through the filter. Slowly but surely I was getting to the point where I could wash the taste of mistake out of my mouth. 

“I thought it was an olive! We don’t even have olives...but we sure as fuck have baked garlic and beets! That I know for sure.”

I opened my cupboard and reached for a glass. A shiver rolled down my spine as I noticed the remnants of “EW!” on my tongue.

I turned on the faucet and filled my glass to the brim.
I downed an entire glass of tap water then walked back to my seat and sat down.
Leaving the water filter on the counter top and the fridge in bewilderment. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Expect Less. Smile More.

A Rant By: E.FG


Many many years ago in a basement far far away, there stood a wall. 
A wall that needed to be painted.



My mother was so close to the sweet victory that is finishing home renovations. Painting was one of the last hurdles. Luckily someone had offered to do the job. She had the conversation with the person and they agreed that the walls would be painted as a favour. No charge. She was grateful. She got to skip the whole 'looking for a painter' process. 



Fast forward a few weeks and press play when you see the disgruntled italian women, annoyed that her walls were still bare and lacking colour. 

Home renovations are already a pain in the ass but renovations on hold are hemorrhoids.  I told my mother to call the volunteer and remind them! It had to get done and they signed up to help....soooooo? What’s the problem? They set the expectation that they were going to do this for her. 




She was totally cool about it. The crease between her eyebrows tightened a little when she spoke but that was about it. That’s all the energy she allowed herself to waste. She had zero expectations of that person from the get-go.

SCENARIO A: It gets done. Cool.

SCENARIO B: It doesn’t get done and we hire someone else. Cool. 


The person ended up coming through in the end and all was well in the world of home decor but the situation wracked my brain for a few days. I remember thinking to myself:

“What is this overwhelming feeling of knowledge? I... think... I just learnt something.” 

From my mother no less. 

Shit gets done. Cool.
It doesn't. Cool.
Life goes on.

Like most cavemen, epiphanies are far and few between. I’d be banging on the wheel for a little while longer till I realized it needed to be pushed. Catch my drift? You can’t be a true Pokemon master until you “catch em all.” Same goes for being smart. You can’t get smart if you don’t get stupid first. We need to take steps in order to take steps.

I don’t believe that people are born smart. I think the lessons in life begin the minute you -pardon the expression- pop out. There’s no grace period. You’re one of us now little infant child. You’re not excused. Get to learning ASAP. Bullshit has no age requirement. He’ll grab you by the bib as a baby and beat you with your own cane as a senior. The sooner you tap into the feeling of “maybe I should start paying attention” (also known as being smart) the better prepared you’ll be when bullshit attacks. 

Hate To Admit This  

I was an over extender to people for a pretty big chunk of my life. I was always willing to go above and beyond for anyone. I was taking bullets for people I barely knew. It was beyond nice. It was pathetic. I had been called “a puppy” many times. One person went as far as letting me know the breed they felt was appropriate.

I wanted to be a good person. I totally understood where I was coming from but the problem didn’t lie in the life choice, it was in the lifestyle. I couldn’t distinguish between helping and being taken advantage of because I had these Hug The World glasses on. I began to notice a pattern. Every time I would attempt a form of helping someone, I would get hurt in the end. In some cases, I even "ugly cried" because the disappointment was so painful. 

You touch the hot stove once. 

Maybe twice. 

But if you start putting your hands all over the dam thing like its a fucking golden retriever, then your an idiot. 

I was an idiot. 
Burnt beyond the point of Polysporin. 

Some people actually need the help and appreciate good deeds. Others will sniff out kindness and make it their prison bitch. With the size of my heart, I was dropping the soap one too many times. 



Being disappointed by someone can be heart breaking. I get it. 
But I think I’ve broken my own heart more then anyone ever has by expecting things from people and then being let down and let down again... that they let me down. That’s a double let down! If I didn’t expect anything from the start, then I’d only have to deal with one let down. Once I’ve tacked on a short lived expectation, bullshit will have doubled in size and probably made its way up to the fan... because of me.

Human beings are miraculous creatures. They are fun to observe and they bring many wonderful things to the table but they are utterly and completely unpredictable. I never know whats lurking when I step out my front door. Sometimes I have really great interactions. 

EXAMPLE: the lady that stopped me on the street to tell me that God loves me and to have a nice day 


and sometimes not so much 

EXAMPLE: the bus driver who gets paid to drive people around but hates people and driving. 

We're entitled to our unpredictability. We have the freedom to feel how ever we want about any situation and no one can stop us. 

In the end everyone will do what they want to anyways. If they want to help you, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. Even when we all have to do things we don’t want to, the initial feeling of “I don’t want to do this” is still there. It’s just unspoken. In majority of situations mankind will always do what’s best for mankind. What’s unpredictable to one could be the obvious choice for another. We are never going to know someones next move. 
Beautiful huh.

Whether it’s buried deep inside the depths of your soul or it’s the only thing you talk about...your feelings are yours. If I expect otherwise, I’m then spitting in the face of my own right to feel. 

It always plays out the same in the end. 
It works out or it doesn’t. 
You are always a deer in headlights in every situation.


I exhausted myself to the point  of no return by always waiting for people to make me as happy as I was trying to make them. Now I wait in the headlights and say 


I smile more these days. 
Truly. 

You want to be the person we have to pry everything out of cause of that electric eel infested moat you built around your voice, be that person. You want to be the person that should consider purchasing real estate in their mouth so the commute for your foot isn’t as long...be that person. At least it’s you and nothing less.

The many wonderful things that I have experienced in my life were always at the expense of an eyebrow raise. You could make a drinking game out of the amount of times I’ve baffled people but you’d die of alcohol poisoning. 

The opening scenes of My Life was where I began realizing, thanks to Sesame Street, "one of these things is in fact not like the other." 


I knew I was different by the things I wanted to do vs. what the other people my age were doing. When I was thirteen-ish all I wanted to do was play dress up, put on shows and act along to the movies I knew off by heart. I always rocked it. My specialty was Disney movies. The music was always catchy and the starring roles were chicks. I grew up with just my mom and my big sister who were also chicks that wore girly things, so I always had a great costume selection. 

The effort I put into these basement productions made for an outstanding show but the wrap party always ended with my sister chasing me around cause I stole her clothes or stretched out her clothes or ripped her clothes. 

Why?
Cause she liked clothes.  
And I was not not a tornado. 

Me being the husky little thirteen year old hippy I was, made strong attempts to out run her while yelling: 

“why can’t we just share!” 

She’d catch meShe was fast. I would have shared with her! That’s a lie. Look, I just needed stuff to be as close to authentic as possible, when I was pretending  to be under the sea, making life altering trades with Octopi.



Whatever.  
The point is: that’s the kinda shit I was into. 
The other kids my age were blasting hip hop while doing "it" on washing machines. Not my style bro. 

People expected me to cut the crap. It was vocalized that I was thought to be a weirdo and that if I wanted to be __________, (← Insert whatever it is that they thought was cool, cause to this day I have no clue what that was) I’d have to begin to morph into the mega teen that would make me accepted. 

I wasn’t ready for any of what was “expected.” I don’t think the other kids were either. I had made the career choice of being a power ranger when I grew up. I had to begin focusing on that. Excuse me for having no time to not be a kid. I was very busy.

My first attempt at being The Expected went horribly wrong. I ended up hurting a little girl enough that when I bumped into her many years later as an adult, she let me know how mean I was/we were to her. 

You can imagine how that conversation went. If you guessed: 

A. awkward as fuck

you are correct!

She was the girl that got it the worst. She was plucked out of the crowd at a very young age for no reason by the queen bee herself and sentenced to over five years of elementary school torment. Considering that the initial reasoning behind the empty rumour was that she was "a slut", it was amazing she got out of there alive and showed up everyday. 


I wanted to talk to this girl. I even secretly went to hang out at her place. I barely knew what a slut was or how you became one...but I was told not to speak to her. I had already been caught once or twice. One more slip up and I was on the fast track to being the next target. 

I was into musicals, I pee’d my pants and hair straighteners were not invented yet. I was already too easy. Plus I had a glimpse of what life was like at the bottom of the food chain. If the queen bee flipped that switch from me being cool to me being dinner, I’d be screwed. 

So I did The Expected. 

I assisted in the murder of this poor girls childhood name and for that I am sorry. I did the expected and in return, expected that my status as “cool” would remain in its current position, as well as benefits. It wasn’t until the queen bee claimed to be having a birthday party in my honor, then ended the party with asking the boy I liked to do her a favour and dance with me all the while preparing the cake that she would soon push my face into for all to see. I was scouted for the cool kid team to play the loser position


If only I had said "FUCK YOU" to other peoples expectations of me and what I expected of them sooner. 



*sigh* The coulda woulda shouldas of life.  


"Fuck you and whatever it is that you feel I need to be so you feel better about yourself! She’s not a slut. You’ve got things twisted. 
And I’m bored of your shitty attitude. How’s that for positions?”  

Then I’d drop the mic, grab my non existent penis, throw my hood on and walk off stage.

Knowing deep down inside that that was what I actually wanted to do/say, was the first flicker of the lightbulb that would eventually shine “Expect less. Smile more.”


The first time my mother reads this will be the first time she'll know of the lesson she planted that day, that eventually blossom’d to be one of things that made my life a little easier. Speaking of pleasant surprises, she’s probably going fall off her chair when she realizes that I’m admitting she somehow made my life "easier". I’m pretty sure she was under the impression that I thought she was the reason my life blew chunks. 

See! 
People are unpredictable.
If your going to expect anything expect that.