This place was dope
February 5, 2018, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Canada, nomadisms, nostalgia

Sitting, making coffee in the trusty french press, waiting to hear if the deal is done.


Not a lot of people have been to this apartment in four years.  It was acquired through hot luck, google-fu and math.

The math part being that, aside from the deposit, it was as much to pay the mortgage as it was to rent (and it came with new perks like in-suite laundry and a dishwasher, which everyone should live without for awhile just to truly appreciate these marvels).  The deposit was a solid chunk but nothing exceptional, an amount that could be recovered from if the market swan dived.

Google-fu because the listing was garbage.  Figuring out the building led to figuring out what pictures were likely not shown and that it was actually a little beauty.  It’s amazing what wrongly sized furniture, a bad feature wall and some ugly marketing can do to obscure potential.

Hot luck is the main one.  A series of events, timing.  In a few weeks going from not even thinking about buying to making offers.  The right place at the right time.


One time, I owned a beautiful stained glass enclosed balcony with views of the port and the old city and the mountains, big enough to spend long summer nights on. 

The apartment was a refuge from the grey days and the world, all clean bright design and comforting features.  A deep tub, a gas range, ample closets and cupboards.  Over time, furniture found its way in – from alleys and roadsides, other expats going home, a man who sold diamonds and retired hotel furniture, a couple making salvaged wood and metal benches.  Everything now looks like it was put together, somehow it all finally matches, and now it’s time to go.

The neighborhood was an instant fit; the blend of high and low, the ultra modern alongside the very old, the weird and the welcoming.   In a city that never made sense, these blocks did.  Leaving it is like leaving a close friend you know you won’t keep in touch with.  In these last few weeks, all the old haunts call out for one more visit, as though that last time could capture the exact way things taste and feel, smell and sound.


People have become mercenary about square footage in this city.  This place is a good spot.  Please enjoy it and take care of it.


I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
April 26, 2017, 1:06 am
Filed under: insight, nostalgia

On the street, passing by, is it?  This is about to get Alanis Morisette 1995.

It’s easy to put a lot of the pieces together.  She’s still around, years later.  Did she know, then, who the clothes in the closet belonged to?  Did she know anything?  Since me, it seems, only her.  Almost satisfying.

They’re not married, not engaged, she puts up a picture of a faux rock, makes a joke.  In that way, you know.  The picture stream is:  disposable beverage cups, gym selfies, a Vegas trip or two, some generic warm holidays (but not so many, and nothing too exotic).  Collects stuffed animals.  Posts average plates of food, variable lighting, enthusiastic captions.  Makes fun of his outdated wardrobe, comments he hardly cooks.

This is what’s so strange.

He always cooked for me, sometimes we’d cook together.  Have dinner parties for friends. He was particular about his clothes and holidays, expensive taste.

She’s not much like me.

Everything is as it should be, nothing seems dark, nothing seems private.  No wit, no mess.  She gave up her career, or what seems like a career, to muddle along out here in a hard stream that doesn’t seem to be paying off.  The ultimate supporter.

All this time, I had imagined this fabulous life after me.  Someone perfect, more challenging, funnier.  Someone with her life together, who could carry the conversation at the party that much better.  They’d spend holidays on the ski hills and at expensive island resorts.  He’d buy her romantic gifts and cards, the kind I can’t remember getting, make time to visit her.  They would live somewhere amazing, a perfect house, this remarkable life.  Effortlessly successful and happy.  Everything we never were but should have been on paper.

And there wasn’t much regret, because it went on too long and was often so tepid (why are all the memories this white noise fuzz? Where there should be bright flashes?), but don’t you wonder if sometimes his mind wanders all the way back through those years, to the last wild thing, the crazy one.



Gawker is Dead
August 23, 2016, 5:13 am
Filed under: nostalgia, Uncategorized

It’s 2005.

Returning from the USA, I finally join Facebook, maybe to see the pictures my friends are posting.  In a school of about 20,000 there are less than 100 in my university network.  You need a North American university email to join at this point, I think.  Imagine.

I tell my roommate about this thing, Facebook.

“That sounds dumb,” he says.

A significant amount of time not studying, so pretty much all the time, is spent reading blogs.  It’s 2005 and I’m reading posts on Gawker about The Misshapes and whatever else they want to write about.  I think they directed me to Tracie Egan’s then anon One D at a Time.  It’s a strange land, with sprinklings of celebrity before the Kardashians.  I read a lot of Gawker at this point, so much that I become convinced everyone is reading it, and that eventually I will need to go to New York.

“You know, like Gawker” I say to a classmate.

“What’s Gawker?” he says.

I explain, sort of.  Something.

“Why would anyone care about that?” he says.

It’s 2016 and today is the day that one of those things indirectly destroys the other.