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Air mix…

June 29, 2010

I never spoke of it,

even though they laughed when I came back empty handed…

I ate supper silently,

and when I got to bed that night I thanked that fish for the challenge…

They never would have understood…

They never would have appreciated the enormity of the encounter,

or how sitting on the riverbank,

after it was over,

I could cry and feel incredible joy at the same time…

That river pike was freedom in my hands…

When I chose to let it go,

I chose life…

For the Indian that lived in me,

that fish was honour and respect and love…

They never would have gotten that either…

— in One Native Life by Richard Wagamese…

And you took the words right out of my mouth…

Yesterday I had to satisfy my constant craving for President’s Choice smoked meat,

sold in a four pack of boil in the bags…

So I got in my station wagon and drove up East Hastings towards the Great Canadian Superstore,

on Grandview Highway…

It wasn’t the most direct route from my house and I wondered why I’d gone that way,

but then as I was going along I remembered how when I was in my teacher training program up at SFU,

in 1993,

and I didn’t have a car,

and one of my classmates would pick me up to give me a ride up the hill,

and he had boa constrictors,

so the deal was I had to wait in the car,

while he stopped off at the pet store to pick up rats and mice,

for after school snake snacks…

And low and behold who should walk into the Superstore beside me,

but snakeman pushing a shopping cart with his two children perched inside…

I have a freakish memory for faces,

and in this case I’d already had a heads up on this particular sighting…

Just so happens he’s a high school chemistry teacher,

at the same school where Starshine and Little Gem’s step-mom used to work,

AND a punk rocker in the Aging Youth Gang…

We were like two fish out of water in that Inner City teacher training module…

As much as he was completely different from me,

we had our difference in common,

and that was a comfort for those few weeks in seminars,

before we started our practicum placements,,

and I was convinced I was in the wrong place at the wrong time…

I’m trying to balance my smoked meat addiction,

with a healthy daily liver cleansing tonic,

of fresh squeezed lemon and ginger juice,

a shot of maple syrup,

and some San Pellegrino…

So far things are working out in the wash…

A few nitrates never killed anyone,

but they sure can keep a person up,

in the night…

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