The Cold Shoulder

the cold shoulder

Letter Series Chapter 3: Creamy Cravings

Dear Ice Cream Truck Driver,

Stop trying to sabotage my attempt at living a, “Fit & healthy,” “ Strong is the new skinny,” “Dairy & processed sugar free,” life! Why do you have such a knack for creeping by my window and playing your seductive tune right after my workout? As I sip my raw, vegan protein shake I can almost taste every one of your creamy treasures and feel the melting love juice dripping down the corner of my chin…

I mean what kind of person doesn’t like ice cream? Something has to seriously, be wrong with you!

Ice cream generates instant smiles and brings us all back to our childhood and a time of simple, pure happiness. With so many flavours to choose from,  you’re bound to find the one that with each extra lick helps to dissolve all of your deepest, darkest sorrows…

I know I’m not the only one who has cried herself right to the bottom of an empty ice cream tub after a bad breakup?! Who hasn’t savoured a little après fête ice cream cake slathered all over their lover’s nether regions? If by slim chance you haven’t tried this please do pencil it in a.s.a.p, it’s sticky fun for everyone! I would much rather pour some nice prosecco down your vaj, but variety is what keeps things interesting. 😉

Why does ice cream have the power to make us crave it as soon as we see someone else enjoying some? Does kale have that effect? When you see someone eating a kale salad are you all like,

Wow, I really want some kale!”

Maybe what we need is a little more ice cream in our lives. Ice cream that we just lick and enjoy without worrying about sugar and fat content or calorie count or how much we should run on the treadmill to work off the icy delight the next day.

I propose the adult version of an Ice Cream Truck, the “Margarita Van.” I was going to say, “Marijuana” but decided to stick with, “Margarita.”

Cue Fergie’s, “M.I.L.F. $” Song…

Yes! That is the soundtrack playing in the background while all the happy adults walk, run, skip and traipse their way to the Margarita Van! Can’t you just picture it?

Now, how do I get one of those to drive through my neighbourhood…

F.

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Trash to Treasure

Garbage

Garbage. One simple, nasty word that can be applied to so many things these days…

The inescapable epidemic of violence, American politics, the web of lies that both the pharmaceutical and advertising industries weave, or the nutrient lacking mountain of chemicals we refer to as our food supply. ALL GARBAGE.

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Mahatma Gandhi

One of the views from our Toronto high rise displays the lack of balance in our world. Day after day those that have nothing search through the garbage of those that have too much. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, literally. Poverty or suffering without one’s basic human needs being met is a timeless, universal problem. One that we have obviously no interest in solving.

Where is the balance?

Maybe it’s trapped at the bottom of that stuffed to capacity garbage bin. Under the old stuff I got rid of because I bought some new stuff or the extra stuff I had for a while that I wasn’t using or the stuff I bought on sale even though I already had the same stuff at home…BALANCE.

Most of us can’t even wrap our heads around any reality that is too far removed from our perfect, disconnected, selfish lives. Isn’t posting something on social media proactive? Fuck social media, fuck the little cocoons we build around ourselves while we stare at the flickering blue screens on our cell phones. I dare you just for a moment, to truthfully imagine this:

Once upon a time,

You own and have absolutely nothing. Everything you eat is either a hand out or comes from what you can find in someone else’s garbage. You have nowhere to sleep tonight and every other night…The End

F.

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Recipes of Love

Nonna

Letters Series Chapter 2: Letter to Nonna’s Grave

Dear Nonna,

You were missed this past easter. More specifically, I missed your tough baker’s hands and my ultimate favourite indulgence, Calzone di cipolla, heavenly onion pie. I never appreciated enough when you were alive how important upholding these traditions were. I wish I would have taken the time to learn more about some of these recipes.

Magic ingredients you used to craft taste sensations year after year with your skilled hands. Into your eighties, upper body rounded over a countertop, you kept up with the back breaking work making batch after batch of enough food to feed a small army.

I’m not sure now, how much we really knew about you. Obviously quite strong, you moved oceans away from home to a country where everyone spoke a different language. Leaving one place, following the hope of a better life somewhere in the unknown.

Your smile always seemed at it’s brightest, in pictures when you went back to visit. Did you ever really want to move?

Like a fragile leaf, torn and broken on your knees, you screamed the name of your beloved dead son…

Only as we were loosing you in the hospital, did this intense vulnerability appear again. With heavy breath, time and the world stopped because nothing else mattered. Cold room warmed by loving hands. Trembling hands held still, questioning hands reassured by prayer, dying hands waving goodbye to hands holding on tightly for one last time.

I hope we were able to bring you some comfort and that you knew you were cared for and loved. Now your spirit lives on in eternal peace, never having to feel loss or be physically slowed down by aches and pains, when it yearns to remain active and free. You are free now Nonna, free from anything that ever stopped you from having that big bright smile on your face all the time.

Love,

your granddaughter

F.

 

Spanked: A unicorn’s story

 

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Letters Series Chapter 1: Meet Pete

From Matilda to her unicorn Pete:

I have offended you my precious and for this I am truly sorry. Please let me softly whisper secrets one more time in your cute little fluffy ear! Remember, it’s you and me against the world sweet cheeks and nothing in this great big crazy world could ever change that.

Spanking you on the bus was just something that had to be done and there was no avoiding it. How many times have we had the talk about things that are appropriate when we are in public and how we spend our time when it’s just the two of us at home in the big marble castle?

I don’t enjoy humiliating you, especially so close to our wedding anniversary. ❤ ❤ ❤

Oh don’t look at me like that with those irresistible big, shiny eyes. I am trying to make a good impression on the other members of the royal kingdom. When one laughs alone to themselves it might give strangers an indication of, a few screws loose or something missing upstairs. I cannot encourage this kind of first impression.

When I pull you out of my purse and we are anywhere but our private quarters, be the jewel at my side that only makes me appear to shine even brighter in the afternoon’s warm sunlight!

You must not point and snicker at people on the bus even if they smell, are fat or have absolutely no sense of fashion. Not all of God’s creatures can be as color coordinated and adorable as you are, my love. Compliments aside I will raise my hand to your behind again if I need to.

Signed with love & longing…

Matilda Queen of the Universe. xxx

P.S. I have laid your pajama out on the couch. I need a bit of time alone to get my head straight.

P.P.S. Don’t try to win me back by doing that, thing you do. I’m officially immune to your advances.

From Pete to Matilda Queen of the Universe:

Touché my dear, touché. I am guilty and therefore deserve any form of abuse you may see fit. I often find myself thinking about how much better I am than everyone else which unfortunately provokes inappropriate laughter in public. Why should I mute any part of myself just to be socially acceptable in a clearly corrupt society?

While we are on the topic of keeping up appearances, a little eyeliner would be a good idea. If I can find a way to look this cute in every type of lighting, you can invest in some long-wear lipstick to spice up our sex life.  I’d die to see how long it will take to wipe those red rings off my privates…

See what you do to me? Now I’m all riled up on the bus and you’re not even here so I could do something about it. All I have to distract me is the overwhelming stench of body odour and I think someone shit themselves – I can’t tell which direction the smell is coming from…The subway is delayed again & this bitch is due for a caffeine fix.  It’s about to get nasty in here!

A fat woman, who clearly doesn’t own a mirror, keeps pushing me and playing with her phone. If I don’t ever see you again because she fell and I got crushed, remember you, my little skin tag, were roughly the best samba under the sheets I ever had. Shave your mustache and get that ass in the air baby, papa’s throwing down some old people and coming straight home.

Pete

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F.

 

The Beautiful People

Dangerously walked into Sephora today with no makeup on…

As I had suspected, several over done little helpers quickly made their way in my direction, ready to provide solutions to all the important problems in the world.

I was obviously visiting the store today because I urgently needed to replace the 10 plus pretty bottles of crap some women and men feel the need to slather themselves in before leaving the house. Moisturizer, primer, concealer, highlighter, eyeliner…& the list continues.

If you’re smart, a BB or CC cream is your top coat of choice and you just saved yourself a few minutes! This high tech substance in a tube takes care of not one but 3 of these mandatory rituals.

I am a newbie to the primer “gang”. Frankly, I’m quite impressed with how eerily well it can hold makeup in place. You can do anything and it will not move. Long day at work, public transport in Canadian weather, workout hard enough to make you vomit, filthy sex…

Eyeliner check = still absolutely unnecessary. These humble activities are no match for your Primer Power! Perfect makeup forever, even if you want to take it off its alive and it tries to stop you!

Gone are the days when I had to worry my eyeliner was making me look like Marilyn Manson. Now I know every eyelash is always in just the right place.

 Beauty can be natural even if that concept feels far off somewhere in the distance. Going against professional advice, I refuse to use a brow kit to perfect my eyebrows. It’s a feeble attempt to leave one feature without cosmetic improvement because Drag Queens are the only ones who look good with that much stuff on their faces.

It’s really ok not to enhance and correct every detail. Flaws are not failure; they are what make us individuals. Let’s give the world a chance to see our beauty; it might be trapped under a few layers of insecurity & ugliness.

F.

What do you think? Does the cosmetic industry prey on people’s insecurities and offer expensive solutions to imaginary problems?

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PIC 2 FINAL

Mental Illness: Breaking the Silence

The big, puffy dark cloud that is mental illness has a much thicker outline during the bitter cold winter months. Have you noticed anyone in your path that looked like they could really use a hug today? Maybe even just a reassuring nod or a quick hello?

You never know when you could be someone’s last chance. Someone’s last chance at trying, someone’s last sliver of hope, someone’s very last attempt at not giving up, forever.

Without the freedom to roam about that the warm weather brings, you’ll notice an accumulation of lost souls repetitively riding public transportation or setting up shop in dark corners of malls that are open late and that have security guards kind enough to pretend they don’t notice.

Save me,” you thought you heard someone whisper, but it isn’t your problem and you have enough stuff to do today.

No one could ever say that Robin Williams died in vain. His genius and the fact that he was so well respected enabled us all to begin a conversation about something that can’t help but remain a dirty little secret.

Recently everyone looks like they are battling their day, as if through mounds of heavy mud. The mud surrounds them in all directions as they take turns which way to fall, each time waiting a bit longer for someone to catch them or at least lean over to help them up.

In the name of avoiding discomfort we commonly try to deal with mental illness only from a safe distance. We tell ourselves that, “Crazy” is some eccentric stranger on a street corner deeply enthralled in a conversation with themselves.

It’s time to break the silence; these lonely ships shouldn’t have to sail in treacherous waters alone.

F.

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Message in a Bottle

One of my deepest wishes for 2015 would be for women to stop being reduced to their appearance. Have we discussed what any of the men were wearing at the Grammys? Why are two women as powerful and talented as Madonna and Annie Lennox belittled to the level of who made the more age appropriate choice of how much naked skin should be exposed? Let’s talk about the music they have made and everything that they both have managed to accomplish, also maybe the fact that Madonna is in her mid-fifties and can still wrap her leg right around her fucken head. Wouldn’t these topics be much more interesting? Can we honestly handle one more ground breaking article about how we can’t recognize some actress we haven’t seen in a while? Renee Zellweger, Kim Novak, Uma Thurman just to name three that have been harshly judged. Serious contemplations about whether its surgery, less make-up, badly ageing, or unkempt eyebrows. How could she have done this to her face when she used to be so beautiful? WE are the reason why women in the public eye do terrible things to themselves in the name of youth and beauty. Simply nothing is ever good enough and no matter what you accomplish with your heart and mind, if you’re a woman it always comes back to who you’re wearing and what you look like. Are we really that shallow? Shame on you world! Shame, shame, shame. Let’s take the energy we are going to waste this year talking about who is wearing whom, who got fatter or thinner or tucked and pumped up and collect it all in a large glass bottle for use on something of actual fucking importance. Let’s see what we are left with at the end of this year.

F.

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Childhood Monster

Most kids are afraid of monsters that live under their bed or inside their closet, I was afraid of the one living in my chest. His growls, whistles and wheezing have kept me up many nights and without a doubt have made me very, very afraid. A little boy walked into the hole in the wall where B. and I were having breakfast in Delhi, accompanied by his parents. He stood out to me among the early morning ramblings and the sound of hurried spoons hitting the colorfully stuffed, tin plates. His drawn little face told a story of eyes that had seen too much and a young soul that was already overburdened. He wore a hep-lock on his hand and had recently been receiving some form of treatment. The restaurant went quiet for a moment and I couldn’t help but stare as the tears started streaming uncontrollably down my face. They were all still there. The nightmarish memories I had tucked away somewhere. Intensive Care, hospital buddies that never returned, the smallest bald heads and fearing I was going to lose my hair too…I don’t think I ever really understood why some kids never came back,  it just made me really sad not to ever get to see them again. Round little angelic moon faces, puffed up from medication, missed holidays and being sick on your birthday too.  If you’re loved, nights in the hospital include someone caring for you sitting uncomfortably at the edge of your bed.  They are there to bring you everything and anything, trying to find a way to make you better, never giving up even when there’s no solution but waiting.  For me, it was my mom. Holding my hand at all hours, taking my fear away and making me feel like this terrifying, unfamiliar room was somehow a little bit safe at least for this one moment.  She would always be sitting there awake even when her eyes were closed, just in case I would wake up. In the end, love will always conquer every single scary monster….

F.

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Spadina’s Tunnel

I made the mistake of coming to Toronto’s Eaton Center on a Saturday. Why did I do that? Oh well, buying stuff is always a mood booster, right? The loud click of my boots hitting the tile echoed the full length of Spadina subway’s tunnel. A musician was playing Metallica’s,” Nothing else matters” as random liquids leaked from dirty cracks at every corner. It’s been 8 long months and I feel like I’m slowly going insane. In the days immediately following this post, you may catch a glimpse of my face on the news for violently attacking a small Portuguese man.  I will creep quietly downstairs and hammer his greasy little face off. How at this point is there even anything left to be done to the building? He has had enough time to tear it down with us still living in it and rebuild it all from scratch. Never ever take peace & quiet for granted because living without it really is impossible. I happened to mention that I was apartment hunting the other day in a relatively trendy salon on the Ossington strip. Everyone stopped what they were doing and collectively turned their heads to one side and gave me their cutest sad face. We live in Toronto and they sure knew what I was talking about!

Day 247. I wake up from sticky sleeplessness in a puddle of blue droplets forming a pattern on my pillow. He is still hammering…..

A little over a month till we move and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited. We could be moving into a sewer at this point and I would still be thrilled. I’ve had the urge to carry mace since we moved to Toronto. Occasionally, riding the subway and in some of the sketchier neighbourhoods like ours, you can definitely experience what dangerous, ghetto OMG I’m about to get fucking stabbed moments might feel like. Not making eye contact & fast paced walking become your best friend. Walking around the ‘hood alone in yoga pants simply is not an option. Some brotha’s sure do love dem da round bootay! The amount of effort I would have to exert to avoid being sexually harassed every 3 minutes just isn’t worth it. Our new place is in the same neighbourhood as what used to be known in the 90’s as, “Crack Tower.” Hmmmmmm….Need I say more? This is the picture of Toronto. A bunch of very different things all thrown into a blender and the product is a varied mix of everything.  A halfway house, a fancy new condo building, a café that exists only to serve as a mob front & a row of lovely green manicured lawns belonging to some large, famously over priced homes all on the same block. It’s time to say goodbye. I’m glad one of us didn’t key their car. There are some miserable money hungry people in this world. People who are the very clear example that there should be a course taught on how to be a proper human being.  How one should conduct themselves when in relations with, other human beings. Does a final big, “Fuck you” ever really make any situation better?  I think I’m about to find out…

F.

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Keele & Eglinton

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She hobbles her way up and down the hill every night, one wobbly step at a time.  Always to the same spot at the same corner, she’s had the most luck while she was standing right there.

It’s the busiest intersection in the neighbourhood, more cars always amount to better chances and every bit of extra change counts.  The bus shelter is an added bonus, a much needed refuge on the bitter cold nights. Fearlessly weaving her way through the cluster of stopped cars, she knows exactly how long the red light lasts and how quickly she needs to do her job.

There have been quite a few close calls where she almost got hit, but even those scary moments haven’t been enough to make her afraid. In a city this size if you spend that much time standing in the middle of the street you’re going to get hit at some point, or at least almost.

While trying to forget some of the other days, this day provides her with a much needed gift, one or two relaxed sighs of relief. It’s warm out which means at least for tonight, she has a few less things to worry about. Her chapped hands will start to heal and the wind chill won’t bring those little tears that start to form in the corners of her eyes. Since she can’t walk so well anymore that black ice can be a hidden danger she doesn’t need. Not tonight. Tonight she’ll walk a little taller with a bit more spring in her step, breathing easier.

With it the warm weather often brings better moods, smiling faces and more generosity.  Fingers crossed, this usually works in her favour. One too many angry or annoyed looks can stay with her for days. Reduced productivity ruins her chances of possibly being able to take a night off, maybe.

Each vehicle a stage for its own silent performance, rapid cut out hints of relationships and day to day life piled one on top of each other.  Still, quiet faces turned in opposite directions, eternally searching and endlessly caught in a long pause with absolutely nothing to say.

She holds her sign here and there hoping for it to be noticed. She raises it up as high as she can when you pass, wanting you to take just one moment to give it a read. That little square of cardboard has almost started to feel like a part of her but she does not miss it when it isn’t there.

It took her forever to decide what to write on it. Money for Food.  A simple enough request, just stop and read the sign. Water, food, shelter and pleading. Please, I have nothing, give something, give a little every bit counts. I need, haven’t made much today.

Stare into her eyes.  It isn’t as easy as you might think, handing it all over. Her actions are a reflection of hopelessness, empty mountains of woulda, coulda, shoulda been. Life is so much simpler now, water, food, shelter. With help, help you, help me, help her.

Stop what you’re doing and please take a moment just to read her beat up cardboard sign.

F.

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