Tuesday, December 29, 2009

yeah i know

It's almost a year since I flew this city brokenhearted, only to land in another city and fall in luv and in lust with every boy I passed on the street. Aside from all the perfect courtships and romances I imagined in an if-only-I-lived-here-forever-and-wasn't-leaving-tomorrow-we-would-love-each-other-always-and-I'd-never-know-what-heartbreak-is sort of way, I fell real in love with the sights and sounds and youthful energy and beautiful but still somewhat gritty charm of Brooklyn. Streets of the best dressed rubbed up against Old Poland or Little Italy. Gentrification may have run rampant, but Brooklyn's roots still stretched long and deep. And I know the same can be said about my own city which I know and love, but there was something magical about Brooklyn and my three days spent with it last year. Perhaps this allure was caused by just the simple unknown of the people and places and the rounding of unknown streets only to encounter more unknown people and places. But. I liked to, and still do, think this magic was caused by much more. Brooklyn is magic. Just walk Bedford at 11am or 11pm and you'll be met with the same energy and understand why. Still doubtful? Listen to this song and everything I've gushed will be imagined and proven true.

Friday, December 25, 2009

merry merry merry

I remember clutching the phone tight to my ear in a dark still teenaged bedroom long after I stopped being a teenager at this very time on this very day for seven years. Waiting for the clock to blink twelve so I'd be the first to say those two words through a phone line across the city and sometimes even more cities to reach his very ear. It seemed important then but today the clock blinked twelve and I reached over and gave my mom a hug and really, there's no other place I'd rather be.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It's December twenty-third and that means it's another year since you left us and I counted backwards today and thought to myself "fourteen years, how can that be" and it's a lifetime sometimes and at others it's like yesterday I sat beside you on a couch or just a week since I caught sight of you through a slit in your bedroom door or at most a month since I held your hand and sometimes it feels like a day a week a month because I can still close my eyes and remember the sound of your voice and what it felt like to ride up that escalator every summer and see you waiting at the top.

But then I also remember that your house is no longer yours and maybe you wouldn't recognize me if we were to pass on the street and there is the most beautiful and sweetest little boy who you don't even know exists. And today I can't help but think how much has changed since fourteen years ago and wonder how things would be if you were here to hug on Friday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

first date

Waiting on a streetcorner in the cold for some boy you can hardly remember right and all you can think about is everything unrelated to this first date about to take place and everything related to that boy who walked you home the other night and how you still feel like bursting when beside him even though so much time has passed and how you hope this boy coming to meet you will be everything like that previous boy but a million times better.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

now my heart is as cold as ice

Last winter I bundled myself in layers and hope and waited on streetcorners under night skies of so many snowflakes. I was on strike and recently heartbroken and still healing from it all and so I believed I could still be healed by a bottle of 50 and the warmth of that neighbourhood bar. Weeknight after weeknight I stumbled home and still found the energy to stumble home on the weekends. No work and no school and suddenly nobody to call at night, I found myself in limbo, in the in-between, in something that could easily feel like stasis but was actually the complete opposite, in the possibility of that moment spent waiting to meet a friend on a streetcorner at 11pm with the whole night ahead of us.

Last night I bundled myself in two sweaters and a scarf that hid half my face and I waited on that same streetcorner in a freeze that felt all too familiar. But this time there were no snowflakes and there may be no school but there is too much work in its place and there is still nobody to call at night. You may still call this the time of the in-between and reassure me that possibilities await that I have yet to imagine, and all this may be true, but last night that neighbourhood bar was warm and buzzing in a way it can only ever be in the winter but I was only cold.

Out of school (for good?), there's less movement, less anticipation, less striving towards something even if it may never be tangible. And maybe I've been looking to replace all that purpose with lost boys who won't ever be fixed. Because even though I always know this, they give me something to work towards and someone to imagine walking through the door of that neighbourhood bar to shed some warmth all over the candelight and all over me. Whatever may be the reason, it's time to give up project after project because flannel can only keep you warm for a night and they never ever call like they say they will.

And sure, I know I deserve more but that doesn't matter right now either. Right now I don't want bad or good or even the perfect in-between. Fifteen days left to the year and I will spend them hibernating with best friends and my one favourite boy who interrupts me mid-conversation only to declare "you know what, I love you."

Monday, December 14, 2009

sister winter

Alone again at the holidays feels both refreshing and sad and this year of the unexpected is almost drawing to a close and if I knew I'd be here a year ago I wouldn't have believed it one bit and that is both refreshing and sad, isn't it?

Monday, November 30, 2009

a whiter shade of pale

Let's go back to a whiter shade of pale and a time when boys always walked you home only to walk you home. And let's go back to that time when boys always called to get to know you and didn't ask "u" all those important questions over t9. And let's especially go back to a time when boys didn't swear at you and only called too late at night and never for brunch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

don't i know you better than the rest?

Time flies and it flew and suddenly it's almost winter again. I know that days and weeks and months and whole seasons passed, and feelings changed, and memories were misremembered, and everything burst green and blue before fading and falling away again, but last night I stepped outside and thought the fog was snow and the sight was only all kinds of familiar and no sorts of surprising.

Spring and summer were spent lost and in school, and fall was spent away, and so the reappearance of winter doesn't feel so much like a reappearance but rather like a reunion after a weekend apart. That tiger is back and glowing brighter than ever and he's guiding me home like all those times before and winter is not mine but this city is and it never feels more like home than in the winter.

When I think of this house and this street and all those other streets, too, everything and everyone and everywhere appears against a backdrop of the whitest snow and the brightest sun bouncing off that white snow or against a navy sky and one yellow moon. Maybe it's because so much growing and changing and losing and gaining were condensed into this season one year ago. Maybe. I feel like everything that mattered and that I can even begin to express can be traced back to this time in this city and so maybe that is why winter feels like home to me.

But as familiar as winter is, I realized how much has changed since a year ago when I passed him on the street this weekend with a new girl hanging off his arm in a way I never did. He looked away before I could realize who he was and what was happening, and I may have cried on what felt like the longest walk home, but it all cemented that he is past is past is past and it is a new winter and that winter was before and this winter is now. And last week I hung off another arm but that's all it was when last winter it would have been so much more.

when i'm with you

I have too many words and not enough time to spill them all. Tomorrow I will tell everything I felt today.

In the meantime, did you know my city went from green to burnt and beautiful?

Friday, November 20, 2009

here comes the sun

I once walked into the rain and saw him for the first time and it is raining today but a year ago it was snowing and he was walking out of my life and I out of his for the last time.

I said don't go and he said I have to and I gripped his hand harder than I ever had before and I said but I love you and he said I can't do this and then he said I have to go and then the door opened and then it closed and that was the last time I saw him.

I woke up and felt as though everything and everyone was breaking and I was crumbling along with it all but I parted my hair in the middle anyways and told myself it was time to stop hiding and I went about my day but I did not eat once and I laughed and I sent too many questions and never got any answers and I walked home at night and sobbed the entire way.

One whole year later I woke up and forgot what today is and I felt mostly happy and hopeful but then it was grey and raining and I felt slightly overcast myself and then work was awful and I kept asking myself what I'm doing there and then it kept raining and before I knew it I was crying and running to the washroom and drying my eyes and then before I knew it again I was walking my city and thinking how it wasn't so awful outside after all and then I was laughing and then I was walking some more and I was so content that when I remembered what today isI could only think how today is so much better than that today a year ago.

Monday, November 9, 2009


And this is how revelations are made:

Before the drinks start flowing, you tell yourself to be strong this time around and to put away that phone and focus on the here and now as opposed to the what is and may be. The clock strikes 12:30, and you are still being true to your word, and you feel both happy and sad doing so. But but then a friend calls and tells you to meet her at a bar and that he is there and suddenly you are just happy because you didn't break your promise but you are still going to see him and you are going to see him in your new favourite outfit and you are going to waltz right into that bar and toss your hair back and pause upon recognition and say "oh! hi."

But the plan changes when you realize you've never waltzed anywhere and so you walk in like you always do and you pause in recognition and you say "oh" but never "hi" because he is there alright but he is there leaning against a wall with a girl you don't know and he is leaning in too close and his back is to you and then you watch as he touches her shoulder and you can only whisper "oh."

And then you think the plan might change back when he spots you later and gives you a hug and asks how you are. But this hug is the worst hug you've ever received because it is followed by you watching as grabs this girl you don't know and holds her close and kisses her kisses her in the middle of the bar and for you to see. And if there was or could ever be any doubt left, you are slapped across the face by it when he passes you on the sidewalk holding her very hand and doesn't even pause in recognition.

Yes, the boy is awful but this is not the revelation to be made. No. The revelation comes the next morning when you wake and the sun is shining so bright and it is so warm it feels like the first day of spring and not the last day of fall and you can't even bother wasting one ounce of sadness on this awful boy. You are surprised that after two months of whatever you were, you don't miss him one bit or feel any trace of anything for what was and what ended. Instead. You feel free. And you run into the past that day, too, and the past still affects you all this time later and this is when the real and true revelation hits. No. You aren't in love with the past but you still love the way the past made (makes?) you feel and you realize you have been floating unaffected through the past few months and the awful boys these past few months brought and you haven't been affected for real since the past was the present and it was winter and you were walking together and you finally believe you deserve to feel that way again.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Players only love you when they're playing.


Friday, November 6, 2009

true love will find you in the end

If I was brave, I would roll over and say "Brunch" just like that and without a question mark or two because of course he would say yes because where else would he want to be.

No questions. Only definites.

If I remembered who I was, I wouldn't let him walk out that door at five am because he would never have been here to begin with because I deserve a spoon and a shiver or two and a good morning hello.

If I was smart, I would stop chasing boys who don't want to be caught and I would stop believing I'm the one to catch them and I would be okay alone at night.

If it was a year ago, he'd be here and he wouldn't be leaving at five am and he would stay all morning and we'd make spoons and criss cross applesauce and he'd make brunch without me even rolling over to ask and at night we would huddle together under covers and lights and read our own stories with hands rested on each other's knees and it would be simple and perfect and he'd look over and his eyes would be shining and he'd say "Sweetums, I love you" and I'd believe it because I knew he meant it without a doubt and despite what may have been said or felt earlier because his look was so true and we were reading under covers and he put down his comic just to reach over to hug me hello and he'd open his arms so wide in those greetings and there was so much love inbetween those arms that it swallowed me so fully and so whole sometimes and I was so happy I could hardly breathe.

True love will find me in the end?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

yellow leaves

Because this song is beautiful and what I imagine nostalgia to sound like, and because it's been exactly one year since I roamed this city for the perfect pieces to complete a perfect costume in the hopes of restoring a perfect love. I wanted to be his personal superhero and I felt I was when he turned to me on the walk home and asked "What should we dress up as next year?" like it was the most simple question because of course there would be a next year, and a next year after that, and another next next next always and forever.

Because every next slipped away three weeks later and now a year has passed and I cannot even remember how it feels to wrap myself around the promise of a next and breathe in the comforts of its taken-for-granted-simplicity. He's a faraway past, and there are no superheroes this Halloween, and there are boys still, and these are boys who may be the next in line and the next right now, but will never carry with them the next morning, or the next weekend, or the next call, or the next perfect look shot during a walk home down a neon lit city street.

Because the leaves outside my window have somehow become yellow again and I do not know where this year went and because no boy has looked at me quite that way in exactly one year and because I don't know what comes next and I don't know if I even want a next but I do know I would like a boy who replies and because he's become a year ago and because this song is beautiful.

Friday, October 23, 2009

new york, i'm going to love you again

Tomorrow my favourite city and I will be reunited and I will feel the tiniest and I will walk the streets like I know where I'm going and I will strut along like I belong there and I will jump and snap and freeze frame the moments and wonder and guess what waits for me in Toronto when I finally return.

And before all this leaving began, this is what mattered.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


This space has been empty for too long because I've been elsewhere (really!) and not because there are no words left because there are actually too many (really!). The past few weeks have been a rush of stasis turning into movement multiplied by a thousand. I went from jobless and unsure to employed and a little less unsure for the time being. I missed a boy I shouldn't and then I missed another boy I also shouldn't and now I don't know who (or what) I miss. I watched my city burst orange and red and I saw the days cool and darken sooner and sooner than before and I felt my spirits sink more and more each and every time. But I ate pumpkin pie four days in a row and I warmed my belly with turkey and stuffing and I danced in the kitchen with my four year old cousin in my arms and I felt a little orange and red inside myself. I went east and I'm packing to head slightly south and I still pinch myself because I can't believe I've been lucky enough to see this much this year. And today I wore a cap and robe and walked across a stage and shook hands and fully closed this chapter and realized I did it alone in the best possible way.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

snip snip

Change was the name of the game this past year and this year is winding down because it's dark by seven suddenly and everything I've been anticipating is now past and I have no thoughts in my head except that my rent just bounced and oh my, shouldn't I do something about that? and why why why is the sky only ever grey these days?

I've taken to walking home after work even though it takes an hour and even if the sky is that grey because the fresh air feels perfect after an afternoon surrounded by computers and I can listen to Sherry on repeat and feel as though there is a whole lot up ahead still waiting to be anticipated.

Monday, October 5, 2009

time is on my side?

It's 3 am and time to get my head (and heart) out of the clouds and plant my feet firmly to the ground. It's time to get my life (back?) on track. It's time to get a job. It's time to stop holding onto the hope of it all. It's time to realize that if he was "into me," like they say, we would have brunched or talked for real or at least texted (!) by now. It's time to realize that broken boys can't be fixed, and even if they could, it's not up to me to do the fixin'. It's time to figure out what I want. It's time to clean this room. It's time to read a book for pleasure again. It's time to take a long walk into the sunshine and it's time to jump in puddles when the rain comes. It's time to hope and dream big and it's also time to let go of some of those hopes and dreams that are weighing me down.

Friday, October 2, 2009

au revoir

Bagels and beautiful boys and this song playing on repeat this weekend. Talk soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

go away i'm no good for you

Since when did "not wanting a boyfriend" turn into sacrificing self-respect? I'm no one night whatever or rebound this or late night that. And maybe these boys don't see that because I'm not letting them see that because I don't want whatever the alternative may be and maybe I'm going for these boys who won't see because I don't want the ones who will. I want to wash everything clean and I want to bury deep under these covers and hide away until the sun promises to stay for real this time. Tonight I walked by his apartment and his bedroom light was on and his curtains were pulled back just far enough to look in and catch a glimpse of a life I barely remember anymore. Standing on that street corner, I was no longer waiting. I was just cold.

And can "not wanting a boyfriend" carry with it a little dignity and comfort? Is it possible to meet before last call and talk about your day and ask about his and have him ask about that day you talked about the last time you two met before last call? And is it possible for him to place his hand on your knee, and keep it there, because he wants to and not just because he knows what follows last call? And can you take this boy home and put on your favourite record and listen to it while he kisses your face and while he kisses your neck and while he kisses you all over and can you even listen to this favourite record when the kissing is all over and the lights are off and you're under the sheets and he's under the sheets too because he's sleeping over and not running home at five am? And can you wake up to this boy still holding you tight and can you turn over and kiss him good morning and kiss him some more and then when the kissing is all over say "hey, do you wanna grab some brunch?" without any hesitation because you know he'll say yes. And afterwards can you hug goodbye and say "talk to you later" because you know you will even though you don't know when and even though you won't think much about when that will be because he said "next time" in passing the night before?

And is "not wanting a boyfriend" even possible when you are me and want the comforts and securities of him without any of the messy expectations and realities that follow?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

no strings attached

The name of the game was simple: don't get attached. Easier said than done for someone who isn't me. Attached to what, I don't know, but attached I've become. Attached to my phone and attached to the possibilities of a new night and attached to that first moment of hope that hits you as you close the door behind you into the dark for the first time and attached to that first breeze that blows your hair just right as you strut down the street believing in the possibilities of the night and attached to the way those possibilities grow and build bigger and bigger with each beer that goes down and how these possibilities soon become possibilities you actually find yourself believing in because it's 12:30 and you are texting him and he is replying yes yes yes and this is the fourth time he's said yes so of course it means something or you at least really really really want to believe it does and attached to the way he places his hand on the small of your back as you swig back more beer because you know how the night is going to end and attached to the giddy cab ride home and one last cigarette before a walk up another flight of stairs and the shutting of a door. And you are mostly attached to the way he holds you tight afterwards and how you believe it' somehow matters each and every time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

love minus zero

Memories don't work the way we expect them to. And memories don't last the way we rely on them to. We are constantly forgetting and misremembering and believing in a true past that is more fiction than anything resembling reality in the end. We remember what we want to when we want to and we change those memories when they don't suit us anymore. But as easy as it is to forget and misremember the past, the real and true past always finds a way of creeping back in and reminding us of who we were and how we are today.

Last weekend, half drunk off beer and fatigue, I made a spoon around a boy who came in and out of my life in less than a month and who I will undoubtedly misremember and probably romanticize in the coming weeks. It was either too late or too early, and my room was so dark I could only make out a faint silhouette against his heavy breathing. Never saying much between bottles and kisses, this boy could barely be called a friend. But in that moment, when his breathing gave way to a light snore and he kicked once no twice in his sleep, he was suddenly him and I was transported two years back into a bed and a room I hardly think of anymore. My hand found its way alongside his belly, and I moved in closer, pressing my cheek to his back like all those times before. But he was not him and all those times before only existed in a room twenty minutes away and memories and memories ago.

And although I knew all this, and even though I don't want to relive that past one bit anymore, the simple comfort of hugging in sleep brought with it memories and feelings I thought were well buried for the time being. A relationship is still in no way the name of the game these days, but perhaps falling asleep to a warm back may be something worth getting used to again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

with a flower in my hair

San Francisco was like a dream of the bluest sky and the bluest water and the most perfect stillwarm breeze that ran up my spine and tossed my hair into the sunshine and held it there and I didn't stop smiling once.

Monday, September 21, 2009


This time of the in-between calls for hibernation until life works itself out again and I figure out how I feel and what I want.

summer turned into september

My summer came and went in the past three weeks. Each day seemed sunnier than the last, and with the sun came long walks home and a bouquet of flowers and more park-sits than the previous three months saw and a flower in my hair and all those gentle people there. Sometimes the sun shon so bright it burst yellow and the sky looked coloured by my favourite shade of blue that I had to stop and aim my camera up up up to hold onto the hope of it all. And this hope carried late into the night when the temperatures said it was no longer summer but the beer swimming around inside said otherwise and messages were sent and phones vibrated in response and I saw him through the dark and my bed was suddenly occupied again and maybe backs were rubbed and maybe spoons were made and maybe that's all it was and maybe I got the summer I was waiting for but didn't even know I wanted.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

we'll dance the night away

I've been avoiding this space because how do you reduce the biggest year of your life into words that can even begin to communicate all that you felt and learned and grew when you felt and learned and grew more than you ever have before?

At 3:30 on Tuesday morning, I submitted my very last paper, and how anti-climatic it all was. With the simple click of that 'Send' button, I could no longer wrap myself around an identity I've clung to for the past twenty years. Suddenly at twenty-three, the future was wide open and the possibilities endless. As this realization slowly hit me over the course of the next few days, the euphoria soon hit, too. Nineteen papers and two-hundred-and-fifty-five pages later, I am done.

School may have been my worst enemy this year, but in spite of it all and because of it all and with it, I survived. I navigated a new campus and remembered new faces and new names and I got my heart broken and I began to imagine a new future and I changed my part and I went on strike and I fell in love with Brooklyn and I opened my heart again and I got my heart broken again and I knew these new faces and new names and I cared less and less and drank more and more and I visited a best friend and a country I loved more than I thought I would and I wrote a bit and I fell down and I fell down again and I embraced this new future and I sang and I danced and I grew and I burst and I swung high into the night last night and never felt happier.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

fisheye party

There is too much to write and not enough space to put it all. A real update will come soon. In the meantime, a party in photos. Thanks to Maria for such beautiful shots.