Friday, May 21, 2010

What's he Building in There?

I had Thai food for lunch today. Might have been some bad pad thai, or else the green curry is taking itself too literally. I can't work. Might as well cram in a post.

Gord Downie's "East Wind" is playing on one of my seldom-used 'Galaxie' channels. Radio on the TV. Or TV On The Radio. I'm not sure. All I know is that this phenomenon is part of the cable company's last hurrah with regards to me. If I wasn't getting channels I'm not paying for, the box would have been yanked a year ago. As it is, I'm digging out the rabbit ears again very soon. Until I can't stand a steady diet of Mansbridge, Strombo and Paikin anymore. At least I'd be rid of those annoying time shift channels. Especially the Can/West ones. Damn, I missed 'a very special episode' of "Two and a Half Men". Oh, I can still catch it on the Regina feed. (Which reminds me, the email linked to this blog doesn't work -- in the highly unlikely event that somebody has sent an email there, I can't access it). I'll have to get used to losing the puck behind the fuzzy gauze, but I'll still be able to hear Bob Cole stumble deeper into senility. But, aside from hockey, I don't really watch TV anymore. Its not going to make it to the other side of the levee. And I'm getting tired of the turf war between the providers. Fuck em both.

"East Wind" is growing on me. And while I don't normally pay attention to words in music, the simple lyrics in this song are brilliant. The laziest wind. It doesn't go around you, it goes through you. It reminds me of our neighbour when I was growing up. Angus was a fur trapper, and the grand old bugger died just about a year ago. As the kid next door with a curious inerest, I was anointed the unofficial curator of the museum lodge that took up most of his back yard. I could run over to his cabin and watch while he skinned a muskrat. No better juvenile education than that. He did his own taxidermy. The one room cabin was a Kunst-Cabinet of baroque bestiality. Leering lemmings, bemused beavers, and the supreme specimen, the giant, antlered moose head that appeared over his front door. Abandon all hope, ye rodents who enter. The air was pungent, thanks to the seemingly endless carafes of castor oil, and the lingering odour of carcasses recently turned inside out. Every winter he would condemn the east wind -- the worst wind, no matter what direction it was coming from.

Square Corner was talking about unreturned CDs the other day. Reminds me of Cousine. While he was working for a big-box electronics store many years ago, he needed a disc to demo stereo equipment. So I gave him Jethro Tull's "Songs from the Wood", as I wasn't all that fond of it -- irregardless, I still wanted it back. Cousine claimed a customer stole it. $20 down the drain. A pitcher and a half of beer, back then. It got added to the darts/Ping Pong/Statis Pro football/Backgammon/tennis/Trivial Pursuit tab. I don't remember ever engaging with him without some significant dough on the line. The more sloshed we got, the more significant it became. A little while ago, Galaxie was playing a song from the wood. Once Ian Anderson's flute kicked in, not to mention his voice, the album cover suddenly forced its way into my consciousness. I wonder whose CD player that thing is spinning around in these days. Or maybe its sitting over at The Turning Point, and I can enact a happy reunion. I suppose I shouldn't complain -- since then, my pirated CD collection has grown substantially. I had to do something while I was building my levee in the Sikh ghetto.

Anyway, back to the subject. During the last few weeks, during my walkabouts, I've been running into a bizarre old man. One day, as I watched Les Glorieux beat the Capitals, he was in the tavern, his backed turned to the game. He was hunched over his laptop computer, oblivious to everything, with an omnipresent and never empty pint of beer placed in front. He would get up, painfully slow, every 15 minutes or so, and go outside to smoke a rolled cigarette. Maybe it was a pipe. I might even have seen this character before the Interrputnum. Right in that bar, at that very table. Seeing him again, I still couldn't tell if he was a bum, or some geriatric genius that has been exiled to the margins of the bourgeois intelligentsia. Or perhaps he had hermitted himself, far away from the grumbling hive.

The other day, I ran into him again. For about the seventh or eighth time since the evening in the pub. I had just got off the bus, still reeling from my encounter with the fat man. It looked like he was freshly emerged from the library. I was heading in, he was heading out. From time to time, I duck into the discard bookstore at the library. I walked away with four stout hardcovers for less than $5. Square Corner would have been proud of me. My bookshelves are getting full -- the three big bookshelves that my Father made in his workshop, like most of the contents of my apartment. Its hard to imagine that now. I remember asking him to make those for me, such a short time ago. To have them, just in case. I had no idea what was coming, and I can never replace them -- they are priceless to me. Someday, I'm going to read all the books on those shelves. When there is World Enough and Time. I'm still trying to evolve into more of a Biblophagist.

I saw the subject again today. After the curry and pad thai, it was off to Popeye's to procure more powder for my daily protein punch. I also had to get change. My wallet was refreshingly full after my fellow Royal, over the cornucopia of the curry, had given me my share of the winnings from one of our hockey pools. On the way to Popeye's, I had passed by a paraplegic busker playing music on a laptop. I told him I'd doubleback with some twonees. I went down to Popeye's, paid cash for my jug of protein powder, and came back to drop off the promised coins. Who do I run into again, but this character. No doubt headed to his table at the tavern, tobacco and laptop in hand. And he'll resume his hunch over the laptop. And I wonder.

What the hell is he building in there?


  1. Good post. And SC is proud of you. Most people wouldn't think that matters a heck of a lot. But if you take some solace in that, who am I to judge.

  2. Good on ya Fish.
    Great post.