Archive | February, 2019

Random Shiz

24 Feb

I thought I’d write a post about the stuff that goes on in my brain during an average week. I am not a linear thinker so if you are, this post might make you crazy. This does not mean that I shun logic and let emotions rule my life. Nor does it mean that I am scattered, it just means that the path I choose to take up the mountain may be completely unpredictable.

I have never been a predictable person. Don’t ever try and finish my sentences because the odds are a million to one you do not know what I am about to say and if you try this more than once in the course of a conversation, I will stop talking altogether.

I never understand why peeps want to do this anyway. Do they believe that if they are able to finish your sentences, you are soul mates?

I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother because I am relating more and more to her now and I really miss her.

Nana and I had a complicated relationship, even before the days of “it’s complicated”. I hated her, resented her, ran to her with tears streaming down my face when I was hurting, screamed at her when I was angry, hid behind her when I was scared… she loved me unconditionally.

Growing up, I never knew that my mother had Borderline Personality Disorder. It didn’t reveal itself to me, until my grandmother moved in with us, after my grandfather died. And even then I didn’t know what it was, I just knew that my mother was a completely different person. She was cruel, withdrawn and occasionally in the middle of the night she would attempt suicide.

But this is not a post about my childhood or my mother being crazy, this paragraph is by way of explaining why I behaved the way I did with Nan.

Looking back on it all, I think my grandmother was the strongest person I have ever known. She was devastated by her husband’s death, her daughter went off the rails and her granddaughter blamed her for everything that was happening. And on top of everything, her world was changing in ways that horrified her. It was the 60’s and just like her family, everything was spinning out of control. Everything she loved was either disappearing or lashing out. And everyday she woke up and faced it like it was a new day, she never held grudges and was always there for me, always.

It took me a long time and many years of saying that I raised myself, before I realized that I had an incredible mother in my Nan.

So here I am in 2019, around the same age as Nana was in the 60’s and my world is disappearing just like hers did. Everything my peers (hippies) fought for has been rolled back or is under attack. And I am spending a lot of time reminiscing about the times I have lived in.

I think everyone hits a point in their life where they look back and decide that they are glad they were born when they were.

I love it when I get a memory of my past that’s so clear, it’s like time travel. Everything resurfaces, emotions, taste, smell, sounds, the way things felt as I touched them or they touched me.

The time my father made a chocolate malt cake and we ate it and drank orange pop while watching Them, a movie about giant ants that invade LA and terrorize everyone, especially me at the age of 5. Daddy fell asleep. I continued to watch till the ants were destroyed and America was safe. That movie gave me two things; nightmares that would last for months and a love of horror movies.

The night I left home when I was 16 and I stopped off at Shoppers World (the teen hangout in Brampton) to say a final farewell to my friends and ended up talking to a guy that was in my homeroom class that I didn’t know. He was a greaser, black leather jacket, slicked back hair, hung out with Satan’s Choice and he was trying to convince me not to leave home. He started telling me all about his life and how leaving home young changes you. I argued that he didn’t know me or my situation and that he should respect my freedom of choice. He argued back, saying that I didn’t know him or anything about him. I said “I know exactly who you are. You’re a boy from the past.” He broke down crying.

I was thinking about my job as a singing waiter at a restaurant, I can’t even remember the name of, during the time I was taking acting classes with Ken Gass at George Brown and dance classes at Toronto Dance Theatre during my first year in Toronto when my rent was 165.00 a month. Rene Highway (the most beautiful human who ever existed) smiling at me because of the conversation I was having with a possessive guy about the black leather pants I was going to buy at Le Chateau.

Occasionally a not so pleasant memory will surface but I no longer have any emotional attachment to those, beyond the lessons that they taught.

I’m like that. Like my grandmother actually, no matter what I am going through, I will work on it until I can let it go. There’s a lot of truth in the expression “No Justice. No Peace.” It may take decades but I persevere until it no longer disrupts my groove.

It’s no secret that I’m a social democrat. I believe that people are more important than money. I don’t give a fuck about the deficit. In fact I don’t believe that social programs cause it, I believe that bureaucracy and corruption does. I believe in neighbourhoods not the right of “richer than God” people to be able to displace thousands of lives just because they want something. I believe we have a drug crisis because governments are taking away any vestige of hope that people with lower incomes have in a future, instead of working on trying to help them find one. Hell there are times when the future looks so bleak to me that I can’t wait to come home and spark up. It makes me crazy that people can effectively blank out the living hell that is happening all around them to people, because it is not happening to them. And being white these things have only been apparent in the last 4 years, POC have lived this forever. Their strength blows my mind.

So I have this game, where I try and find good things that have come in spit of all these things that I hate. One of these things is H Mart. They are a chain of Korean grocery stores that have popped up all over Yonge street that have a ton of inexpensive pre-made Korean food and lots of produce and grocery items to make Asian food. I love the Pork and Kimchi dumplings. I make it a habit to hang out in places that can’t ever be torn down to build condos like the AGO, ROM, heritage properties, new neighbourhoods that actually have character like Cork Town and the Distillery. I immerse myself in the arts especially those created by true independents. Of course what I really need to do is immerse myself in writing a book based on a world I would love to be living in. Especially since I have worked out everything I need to start it. The only routine I am good at beyond work, is no routine.

It has been well over 6 months since I got rid of my cell phone. It has been the most liberating thing I have done in a long time. It is a revolutionary act on my part. I did not want to carry a device on my person that authority could send messages, alerts etc.through. And the fact that they gave us no choice in the matter made me wonder what else they were or might start to do. I am not a big conspiracy theory person but it isn’t much of a leap to go from the connecting of everyone’s cell phones to Big Brother or a Dr. Who episode that deals with mind control (jokes).

Remember when you didn’t have to tell people you were joking?

Anyway this has been my brain during the week of Feb. 18-24 2019. What’s been going on in your brain? #socialism #hippies #writing #revolutionforthehellofit #anti-capitalist #freethought

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Dying By The Seat Of My Pants

12 Feb

I have never been afraid to die. Not when my stepfather threatened to kill me, not when a jealous ex-boyfriend held me over the side of a balcony 15 stories from the ground and not even when I flung myself out of a truck going 80 on the 401, because some things are worse than death. In fact a lot of things are and not to be overly dramatic but I have experienced a lot of them, so for me death was always an option, not my go to choice but maybe my plan z.

For example, nine years ago I was prepared to take an overdose of heroin because there was a very real possibility I was going to be homeless and I don’t have the courage to live on the streets.

Quite recently my attitude changed. It happened when David Bowie died. I’m not sure why, but after listening to his final album with the understanding that it truly was his final album and that he had recorded it knowing that these were his last words musically, perhaps even creatively… his goodbye was a meticulously brilliant communication.

Actually I do know why. I realized that I haven’t planned anything. If I die tonight, I don’t have any money saved up to deal with the disposal of my body, and who would take my cats?

I’m still not afraid to go, but I am terrified of leaving a big mess. And I am afraid that being sixty-three and not having a good income, I will not be able to do anything to rectify it in the time I have left.

Now I know you are all thinking “Marc, you’re a writer/performer. Why don’t you just put on a show? Raise the money that way. It should be easy, you are the queen of dark comedy… or do a Go Fund Me.”

I actually have seen Go Fund Me posts on Facebook for people’s funerals. And when I saw them I thought, ‘no way, can you raise enough money’, because for some reason, I thought death was prohibitively expensive.

I was under the impression that with the exception of an unmarked grave, thanks to the City of Toronto’s poverty plan, that anything else would be at least five thousand. This is a myth likely started by those in the death biz. You can actually be picked up, cremated and put in a cardboard box for $1449.00. This also covers your death certificate, but no copies, and no delivery of your remains. If your friends want you, they have to pick you up.

Now if you don’t think cardboard becomes you, you can buy a tasteful brass urn for 125.00 or have your ashes put in a clay container that holds what will grow into a tree which really appeals to me except for the fact that it doesn’t hold all your ashes. What happens to the rest of them?

1500. to 1700 is affordable. I have at least 3 times that limit on my credit card, credit card I got ironically for travel.

So I likely will do a show to raise money for my death. In fact I might as well start promoting that now. You’ll all come right?

Now I just have to come to terms with the fact that I will have no control over my memorial. This is hard because I have a very clear vision and nobody is going to be able to do my memorial as well as I could.
#death #thelastlaugh #killingjoke #writing #thefinalchapter

And Now For Something Completely Different…

6 Feb

On days like this
I forget who I am
A regret caught in my throat
A reflection of surrender
In my rear view mirror

Too old
Too late
Too tired
Too far behind to catch up

My laurels, an imprint
I’ve rested so long
My disrepute, mere fragments
I’ve fallen so hard

Too beat
Too angry
Too blue
Too heavy with doubt to rise above it

On nights like this
I wear my brightest lipstick
And try hard to remember
Who I was.

#randompoem #writerwriting #blues #word