Taking it straight out of the can

We were so distracted we agreed to let Lily get her hair dyed purple and it cost $50 plus tip, and I wasn’t even there when she was picking out the color because I was on the cell phone trying to keep an eye on Charlotte, who was getting into the bottles of hair care products, rearranging the magazines in the waiting lounge, circling the cookies. Then I let them have hard candy when it was over, even though they’d just been to the dentist who explicitly said don’t give them anything hard and crunchy, not for two hours. So they agreed to just suck them down and not bite.

The dentist has a long face like a talking dragon, calls out the numbers of the teeth and codes to his assistant — the Class 1 overbite category — removes his glasses, his rubber gloves, addresses me about each of the girls, the diagnosis, but I can’t hear him, I just nod and watch myself pretending to listen.

It takes 45 minutes to wire the money into a German bank for the immigration lawyers we hired and my bank says go to Western Union instead — it costs less, and I get the feeling the branch manager isn’t really up for it, when you get right down to it, it’s going to cost $75 in fees.

I have nowhere else to listen to the new Mark Kozelek CD but my garage. It’s verboten in the car with the girls because of all the F-bombs and Dawn has started putting her foot down with certain artists, like Kozelek or Joanna Newsom, with her harp.

There’s a bracing realness in Mark Kozelek that’s like you’ve walked in on him at some intimate moment, but he’s half-hoping you would, he left the door open.

He’d be hard to date, Dawn says.

I burn sage and point it in each corner of the garage, light candles to keep the mosquitoes away, write a poem about the bats, their uncanny flips in the air, the time between day and night, a changing of the guard.

Even though we live across the road from four single guys in their 30s with like, eight cars in their driveway and two dogs, teams of professional mountain bikers passing through for races, somehow I’m louder than they are — I’m more of a bad male stereotype walking around barefoot at odd times of the morning or night, half-hoping one of them will want to have a beer with me but they never do, they’re busy sleeping because they all have jobs.

Lily’s friend Kamaile gets dropped off by her Hawaiian grandfather who gestures to the garage and says Man-Cave, as if identifying volcanic rock.

You can watch the nail of the moon creep its way behind the trees and reappear on the other side.

There’s really no other sounds out here in the suburbs than the ones I’m making. The house next door got sold at auction, bought by a flipper, resold to a family wanting to sub-divide but it fell through, and now nothing gets watered there, it’s all dying in the back and the grass is knee-high. It feels like we’re really in the country at last.






Categories: humor

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Dawn’s probably right, you know.
    I’m about a quarter through Tropic of Cancer. I keep picking it up and putting it down. I don’t think I’ll make it. It’s hard to read someone you wouldn’t want to be in the same room with. Probably hard to date also.
    It’s a holiday here in Quebec, but don’t worry; the engine-throbbing car/four-wheeler family across the street is ruining it for me.


    • Dawn is definitely right. I’ve gotten over the fact that one of my favorite musician/artists is an utter douche. It makes me feel better about myself (the same logic why I got into Morrissey a while back).

      Sorry about the Miller: another case where I think I fell in love with his awful behavior, tried to identify with it or something. Some said Mick Jagger’s so ugly he’s kind of sexy. What’s the holiday? I’ve lost track of what month we’re in. End of June – is that some kind of pre-Bastille Day thing? Plug in some white noise to block out your neighbours.


      • Last night I watched Otis Redding’s Monterey set in YouTube — sometimes you just want to feel good about your music… except that whole dying young thing.
        It’s la Fete de St-Jean, AKA la Fete Nationale, AKA the holiday that non-French Quebecers feel slightly uncomfortable with but take the day anyway. Next week is Canada Day, July 1, and the tables are turned.
        I’m wearing a leftover 2013 Cree Nation golf tournament shirt that my Cree student gave me as a thank you gift, which makes me an honorary Cree, I guess. I’ll take it.


  2. I enjoy these posts of yours. They make me feel like I’m watching a documentary on your life, narrated by you, with lots of jump cuts. Suggested title: The Poetry of the Suburbs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you’re enjoying them Walt and thanks for reading along. I’m having this compulsive desire to blog every M-F since I took a break on my memoir, and feel the need to document this silly time of ours. Thank you for the title; I like it. The suburbs don’t normally speak poetry to me, but why not? Your recent Dick Hercules was my favorite so far, particularly your use of the monocle. Your thumbnail was coming alive then. Or Anton’s.


  3. It sounds to me like you are outnumbered in your own home. A man in a mob of females. That isn’t necessarily bad – but I can relate. I was in the same boat only in reverse. Four sons and a husband who are all testosterone packed he men. It was tough at times for me because I grew up to be a girly girl and hiking through woods, swatting bugs away, fishing and digging my own worms wasn’t the quintessential me. They are all grown up now with sons of their own. ( HA – got one grand daughter and she’s a tomboy) . Anyway, enjoy! It goes by too fast – although it doesn’t seem like it while you’re in the midst of it all. Just keep the faith Hoo Rah! and know some people
    do really understand. Go kick A$$!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thanks for sharing this story of yours and your encouragement. Of course it does go by too fast, you’re right — and it’s good even though I know that to hear it and be reminded to enjoy. Thanks ‘joisygoil’ – that’s a killer moniker. – Bill


  4. i like these polaroids of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

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