amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Bank Street to Gladstone to Knife Fork Book to Last Year's Troubles

 today I walked outside for a longish ramble. I seldom do these anymore. I was glad to be out. From my apartment I walked west to Bank Street. I noticed that Connors Pub has closed and there’s a notice that says it’s going to be the home of the Gilmour, an ordinary Canadian pub. This is a pub Charles and I occasionally stopped into, in the Before Times. We would go there on a Saturday afternoon and end up not going grocery shopping. Procrastinating and ending up so into our conversation that we would wander about and just celebrate the day.


There seem to be numerous weed shops and vape shops now on Bank. I went to the LCBO at Bank and McLeod to pick up chardonnay. I had a craving. It happens in the spring. I got Wolf Blass Yellow Label, which is ok, but a tad too sweet and not oaky enough for me. I drink so seldomly these days, if I’m going to imbibe I want it to be extra good. Do you know of a truly oaky, substantial chardonnay? Give me a shout.


That’s my new favourite expression: give me a shout. Not a holler or a call, but a shout. Drop me a line? Send me some frangible tokens.


In the LCBO, I was asking the clerk where the WBYL chardonnay was. As she was telling me, and we were at the appropriate distance, wearing masks etc…I choked on my own saliva and coughed up a storm. The horror. The poor woman. I backed away slowly, as did she. I was frozen. Mortified. What could I say?


I went to the Shoppers to pick up my semi-monthly goods, applying my Seniors (55+) discount to eye drops, body wash, emery boards, a pair of scissors with a red handle, some mini Scotch tape (no mini whisky bottles attached alas), a box of travelling Lactaid, a bottle of roll on aromatherapy oil for curing headaches. I use this by my bed at night. It helps me to sleep. I roll a little on the inside of my wrists and my temples. It’s like rolling peace over them. And calm. This one is spearmint.


I walked along Gladstone. The White Monkey antique store is closed. It’s been there for years. I used to love to look in the window. I chatted with a gent who came out of what I think was a barbershop. He was standing there. We were both wearing masks. I asked him how his day was going. He said it was good and asked about mine. I said it’s going fine, if I behave myself. I have no idea why I sent that.


I passed a bread place, a chicken place that has looked closed since I moved to the area, and a new Indian restaurant, that I think was called the Curry Place. I turned up North to my street and looked for crocuses, but it’s too soon. The snow is mostly gone but the ground is solid khaki green/mud brown. There was a bit of ground cover and a few shoots from bulbs.

This evening I tuned in to the Knife Fork Book reading JESSI MACEACHERN A NUMBER OF STUNNING ATTACKS LAUNCH w/Special Guests KLARA DU PLESSIS + JESSIE JONES – on Zoom. I kept my video off, my sound on mute and I closed my eyes and listened to phonemes, rising and tumbling into pictures. This is my favourite way to attend a virtual reading. I lay on my couch for an hour in the dark. I may have dozed off now and again, just because I was so at peace. I love voices. If I love anything about poetry it is its sound. To have it given to me so purely without any demand from me at all. It was a luxury. I felt surrounded by good folks too. There’s a companionship in being together that way.


Kirby is a gentle, supportive and welcoming host. Knife Fork Book is a haven. These days we need all the havens and gentleness we can get.


I came home. Ha! See what I did there? I was at home already.


I listened to the Spoken Web podcast for a bit. An episode about women and sound, silence and abuse. I drew. I made three faceless girls in pencil. The Grey Girls. I gave them an alphabet of trauma.


Tomorrow Ottawa is back in the red zone, a new way of saying – restrictions again, don’t ask me the details. It’s a harrowing time.


Here’s Last Year’s Troubles from Suzanne Vega, Songs in Red and Gray


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