Friday, February 05, 2010

about the size of it

One afternoon last September, a co-worker walked me to an interview, while a ton of people sent good vibes my way, hoping very much that I'd be successful. Some had even murmured that, while the process was, as always, scrupulously fair, this was, in a way, a formality. One person outright asked, saying they'd heard I was returning to the job I loved.

It was, you see, an interview for a job that I'd done before, and at which I'd been relatively good, and that I'd loved to pieces. It broke my heart when my secondment was up and I had to return to my regular job.

I kept myself numbed out, feeling quiet, trying not to think about the interview and testing, knowing that if there was any hope of getting in front of the interview panel, let alone through the competition, it would mean not preparing. Preparation would lead to overt self-hatred and feelings of uselessness, and jeopardise my health and well-being. Instead of feeling ready to take on all comers, I'd be doing other candidates the favour of psyching myself out and withdrawing.

In the end, it didn't matter. Despite trying to breathe, rationalise, talk myself down from the tides of panic and self-flagellation, I dissolved during the pre-interview test, and fled.

The day was sparkling, and I was resplendent in my interview finery, whimpering, devastated, hating myself and my weakness as the streetcar carried me home.

I was just managing to keep it together, breathing raggedly, tomato-faced, and refraining from sub-vocal cries of despair.

And then...

The poor, poor, slimy man approaching me made the mistake of slimily saying, "Hello, beautiful lady."

The floodgates opened. I bawled like a baby right in his face. Loudly. I bawled my way home, all the way down the last block.

I'm pretty sure he was too terrified to indulge his lecherous tendencies for at least a week.

Poor slimy man.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I’m a fairly pale, delicate-skinned, single girl with a finely-tuned sense of the ridiculous. I happen to live in a loft with no air conditioning and one window, sans bug screen. It’s been…how you say in my language…HOT over the last couple of days. So of course, I’ve had the window open at night to encourage some air circulation so that the cats, the litterbox, and I can sleep in relative comfort.

I awoke at 5 a.m. with that incredible, lucid awakeness that can only happen when you’ve been roused unnaturally…and which one later realises was a state of semi-sleep. I was dreaming about…something…something to do with my hands, and my shoulders, and my face. Something…vaguely distressing and repeated and…itchy. OH MY GOD I’M ON ITCH-FIRE!!!

What better prey for a mosquito than a pale, recumbent creature with a few patches of conveniently-exposed, above-the-sheets flesh? And what better mosquito for such reactively itchy, swell-like-a-puffer-fish prey than one compelled to bite a there-should-be-a-law-against-it number of times?

Several fingers. Shoulder (twice). Back. Eyelid. Eyelid? Yes. You’ve got to be kidding me.

I saw the little bastard(ess) shortly after The Incident. She saw me, too, and flew through a wormhole in the space-time continuum. Dammit.

But then…ohoho then…I saw her again. It was an epic battle, which culminated in my STOMPING her but good, and smearing my own blood (courtesy of fingers, shoulder, back, and eyelid (eyelid? yes. you’ve got to be kidding me)) across the floor. I’ve never been so satisfied in wiping up my own blood before, let me tell you.

So if you happen to be downtown in the early afternoon and witness Quasimodo lurching screaming from a building, that’ll be me, driven insane by hallucinations due to the combined torture of the itchy and the lack of sleep.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


two drivellings, a week apart, here together courtesy of the weather.

Thunderperfect. Mine.
The soap ran down the windows
in the force of the torrent.
Mine were clean to the eye, I thought,
but not in truth.

It took an outburst
to show the residue left behind
(a clinging film)
Did it affect my view?

Can't see. Can't focus. Can't think.
Casual office talk of heartbreak-not-mine
that cuts me to the core.

I wish for a film, a skin,
a permeable membrane
to protect me from impingement
...but which would let the missing elements in.

A downpour, and a thunder canon.

* * *

The thunder between us
A cityscape apart; we're blue sparks in the ether
But the rolling sound
travels between, unfurls across.
An aural connection;
We hear it together.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I’ve decided I want to be a traveller in my own city. I want to see everything with fresh eyes. I want to make more art. Stick things to other things. Sketch. Play with paint. Go on adventures, solo or otherwise. Feed my brain with colour and ideas. Read poetry. Create perspective.

Art supply shops do this to me. I’m not an artist by training or design, but the vaguely grubby aisles, the the wet and dry media – gessoes, pastes, powders, inks – the plethora of surfaces – light and heavy and handmade paper, canvas, cold-pressed, varied in weight and tooth – the implements – rollers, awls, brushes, palettes and nibs – it all speaks to me. It feels familiar and foreign; home and far-off lands combined. It speaks of solitude and community both.

I drink it in, but nowadays stop short of playing with any of it. Perhaps because, deep down, I’d like to work with it, and I’m forever dissatisfied with my efforts. Or I’m so overwhelmed at the choice of media that I freeze.

I feel no need to make pretty, empty art (pretty empty?), but I’m paralysed when it comes to embarking on something with meaning to or for me.

Hence my refuge in words…though my fear of the pretty empty and the tragically terrible has kept me from producing anything of substance even in words…if words can be said to have substance.

I think there’s a dichotomy within – creativity (freedom) and structure continually batter at one another and none of us wins.

And so I’ve decided I want to be a traveller in my own city. I want to see everything with fresh eyes…

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

trucking hell

I'm overhauling a document (no pun intended, as you'll see...), which contains many gems like the following. The editor in me takes a horrified delight in stuff like this, whilst my planner-self and my actual self cringe...for different reasons.

For example, instead of one vehicle with two drivers (one daytime and one night-time), each performing an eight hour workday, time of day restrictions (typically twelve hours) force use of a second vehicle because 16 hours worth of work cannot be accomplished in 12 hours because of time taken loading and unloading products.

It is of such things as this that my work-days are currently made. In a cube farm, no less. Laugh? Cry? Have a quiet seizure? I've really got to get around to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I wonder how many more years I'll spend saying that to myself...

Friday, July 03, 2009


I made the usual mundane trundle up to my tobacconist to buy cigs. Weird to say I have a tobacconist (whose name, I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve forgotten). Guess I must be a grown-up, huh. He was there, as always, but there was an unknown woman helping him behind the counter. “She’s a mixed-media artist,” he said. “Show Sophia your work.” She pulled out an expensive artsy magazine with which I’m familiar (“I know this mag. Very well.” “See?” she said to him), and showed me an article based on her latest project. She was apparently the cover last issue.

So we got to talking about collage, and carving our own rubber stamps, and painting, and inspiration versus darker moments of being completely overwhelmed and putting it all away. Finding structure in other things, like knitting, or, in her case, crochet. “See?” she said to him. “She knows. She knows.” Common haunts, common acquaintances, common interests.

She invited me to join her artist trading card group. I'm almost to the point where I just might.

Friday, June 26, 2009

best work e-mail exchange in forever

Manager: u there?

Me: yes.

Manager: Manager at college street entrance offering to buy soft serve ice cream from truck. any interest?

Me: hang on...we'll do up a memo... (i.e. hold tight)

Me: 2 say, yes please! 4 awol. should we come down?

Manager: Manager at college street entrance doesn't deliver.