Friday, February 19, 2010

Mah Puh-teet Vay-cay-shun

Canmore was haunted. Ghosts on every corner, in every cafe. They crowded around me, tugging on my sleeves, and I ignored their pleas for attention. Instead I gathered the tatters of my sensibility even more tightly around me, and let my mind dart from thought to thought without rest.
The clouds stayed low over the mountains, shaking free snow once in a while, and the hikes through dead brush and frozen creeks sent my imagination weaving. We found a single red rose lying on a log in the middle of a claustraphobic forest on Valentine's Day, and it was so perfect that it turned it cheap, and we laughed with the nervous scorn reserved for the sacred.
I got us lost driving back. Fog had descended over the entire province, thick white walls that wafted and moved slightly; tangible. We stopped in a graveyard in the middle of the prairie and hoarfrost coated every thing and gave us goosebumps.
My friend, Mel, was enthusiastic at first: "Look, it's so pretty! What an adventure!". Which gave way to: "It's like a dream..." and then the drippy sad music started and it was: "It aaaall loooooks the saaaaaaame." And then silence as my muscles stayed tense and my eyes strained open, trying to see the road ahead.
Once I was counting telephone poles, trying to focus, and I swerved off the road onto the grass and Mel screamed. I jerked the wheel, sending us back onto asphalt, and then lost control of car. We stopped before we hit anything- not that there was anything to hit, just the edge of the prairie. We looked at each other and started laughing hysterically, then I got out of the car and breathed in the clouds, quelling my nausea. Then I got back in and we started driving again.
We drove too far North through my city, and the out-skirts were dirty and insane, like Athens. We got home eventually though, exhausted of sitting still and of each other. But I accomplished my goal of layering new memories on top of old, and like stratigraphy I can sift through the layers at will with much less pain and focus the farther down they go.


  1. Just as you suspected. Ghosts everywhere. Combine that with the fog and the place sounds quite spectral. I still love your descriptions of the place, though.

    "Laughing with the nervous scorn reserved for the sacred."

    Beautiful. And true, what's more. Sometimes I have to physically remind myself that you're not some ancient sage, or some elderly, cranky, clear-eyed novelist.

    Congratulations on accomplishing your goal.

    With your permission, I have nominated you for an award over on my blog. It's a little out of fashion, but I thought you deserved an accolade and couldn't wait until something suitably austere rolled around. Have a look.

  2. The only reason I floated over here was to see who impressed Postman so much that he had to dredge up an award for you. I now see why.

    I also see that I will need to read you a bit more slowly than other blogs. You say more than you write.

    I look forward to reading more of you.

    I enjoyed this.

  3. Jerry! Thank you for checking this's nice to see new people. Hope to see more of you later :)