the japanese gap

i once believed i would marry a uniqlo model. well, the matrimonial thoughts preceeded the uniqlo modelling, but that was my introduction to the store-the new york advertising.

when i finally got the chance to shop there for myself, a few years back, i noticed that the store was neither unique, nor were the prices low. interesting. but out of the two items that i bought that day, i still wear one of them, so my 50/50 odds have now tied that of divorce. not too shabby.

last year, in a low moment, i decided that i was only going to wear tights, and purchased three pairs from the store. i have since come out of that expression of depression, but have noticed that the tights have worn very well.

this year at TIFF, i received a free heattech long-sleeve t-shirt. i noticed that they were offering the same promotion to open their vaughn mills store this past weekend. i contemplated going for a hot second, and as a result, i now know that there is a shuttle bus that leaves from union station to vaughn mills, at some points of the year.

i did go into the store last week, and dropped some money on the three skirts that will be the backbone of my fall wardrobe, a dress that i wasn’t really sure about, and a trench coat that i have since seen on many other people, but hey-it’s not as noticeable as the zara distressed jean jacket that was the bane of my existence.

so, did the advertising work? absolutely.

but here’s the thing-when i went to return the aforementioned dress earlier, i actually went with the intention on exchanging it for another aforementioned heattech long sleeve tee. while i did do this, i also noticed that the trench was on sale an additional $20, so i grabbed another heattech tee (hey, i’m west coast, i layer), because to me, that makes sense-give me a price adjustment, and you get that money right back.

when i got to the register, i was told that they don’t do price adjustments, but if i could bring back the jacket with the tags and the receipt (which i had), i could return it and re-buy the item. the person who was checking me out was dismissed on break, and when she asked if she should finish the transaction, i said “probably” and her manager (i’m guessing) overrided that and told her “no” and proceeded to ask me everything all over again, in front of a new crop of talent that just learned the wrong lesson-listen to your customer and do not give the impression that lunch/break schedule is more important than the experience.

so, i did not get another tee shirt. also, because i am petty and my student cancelled on me, i went home to get my trench coat and get my $20, which i kept and did not give back to the store.

don’t get me wrong, i will probably go back and spend more money, but for this one day-i beat the japanese gap.

ps. if the lines to vote do not rival the lines outside this place when it opened, i will be v.disappointed with us all.

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hashtag, goals.

here’s an excerpt from an email that i sent to a person i was in a relationship with some time ago, about my intentions for my new life in toronto:

what do I want?

1) to build the confidence necessary to gain my financial freedom (taxes, student loan, all the things I’ve been saying for a million years)
2) to buy a proper bed
3) to stay in Toronto for the full calendar year and then decide whether I will move to NYC then or within 5 years
4) STAY somewhere
5) or get a world ticket and travel the world
6) write and perform more
7) to be cool(er) with my family
8) to read books, all day every day
9) to publish an anthology about only children raised by single parents
10) to go on a book tour
11) to put out a four-issue magazine
12) to publish a book of poetry
13) to source my old journals for material

and, well.

1) DONE.
2) DONE.
3) DONE. 3b) BAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
4) DONE. same crib, same job for almost 8/9 years in the same city.
5) not done. forgot about this for a minute.
6) half done. could be more done.
7) ibid.
8) DONE. (though never done)
9) not done. also forgot about this but hey….
10) not done. (prolly need to do 9 first, or 12)
11) not done. (did i have a theme? or just an end date, haha how like me to have an end date and no theme)
12) not done.
13) DONE.

7/13, 54 non-weighted percent is not really that bad at all. i’ve got a few more to add to the list, but this is a good jumpoff. thanks, old emails.

un/natural cycling

i just tried to lie down because it was four-thirty-something and i have been crying for hours, and it turns out that there is a top limit of clips that i can watch of lebron becoming the GOAT (again).

what season is this? spring? summer? are the birds confused or ecstatic? what is the reason that they are yelling at the top of their lungs at this time? are they organizing? are they catching up? do they know that we don’t have that much time left? are they really free, or are they just in the sky? i mean, they’re definitely not in the sky right now, they are all in these trees, loud as fuck.

have you ever noticed that when you cry lying down, your tears pool in your ears? since equilibrium happens in there, is it actually possible to drown yourself in sorrow?

either way, i’m up and trying this again because i am not tired, even though i am exhausted. or maybe i am not exhausted, even though i am tired. i’ve never been sure where one stops and the other begins.

i put the itunes on shuffle and three songs in, have just been reminded that i haven’t removed kanye from my ipod yet. we haven’t had the chance to debate whether or not we are removing kanye from our ipods yet. because it’s “lost in the world”, i’m not skipping the track. nope-because it’s “lost in the world”, i’m skipping it. hold on.

(“consideration”-rihanna feat. sza)

when i first met you as a fresh-faced music enthusiast, your locks were swinging proudly as you bragged that you became a woman at a lauryn hill concert. i have always wished that was my story.

(“speechless”-beyonce)

i had to tell my single dad that i got my period when i was eleven and he gave me the free samples that came in the mail, immediately called my uncle, and gave me five dollars to ask my sixth grade teacher to buy me “what the girls were using these days”. he did the best he thought he could.

(“needed me”-rihanna)

it’s been twenty years since miseducation and it’s hard to get excited for a reunion when you no longer recognize anyone. i’m there in a heartbeat if there’s even a little chance of original arrangements, so eager that i’m satisfied with the four bars of ex-factor that skratch bastid played on saturday, and i like “nice for what” as much as anyone, but that song is not meant to be a jock jam.

(“kick your game”-TLC)

i heard the hurt in your voice when you rejected the comfort that people offered you at the funeral when they told you that it was their time. “no. it. wasn’t.” i’ve never said that about anyone from that point on.

(“caint use my phone”-badu)

yesterday, my sistar said that about you, and i said, “well….”

she knows the tattoo artist that was supposed to do your chest piece. of course she does, our communities are strong, connected, beauty-full and resistant as fuck.

i heard the news from your ex, who had heard from your other ex-the one that i had a crush on first, for the record, and i introduced you to. nobody ever remembers that part, but i’m not really mad about it, and now is not the time to be petty.

(“what they do”-the roots)

or maybe neither of you took me seriously because you’d seen me cry over that professor, though you never questioned me when i professed my love for him, or his for me-ok, maybe one of you did. you just laughed when i compared him to that big, drooling cat that came with your sublet in mile end, the one we wrote your dissertation in, the one you introduced me to sweet tea in, the one we lay around montrealing and discussing so much music in. i don’t think we ever talked about how he went on to offer a whole course in kanye when it was i who loved him, i never got to tell you that i felt a way about that.

(“skit #4”-kanye west i have to leave it because it’s the “there’s an imposter among us” skit)

i was on the subway when i got the text, on a slow crawl from warden to kennedy.

(“gold digger”-kanye and jamie foxx-fuck fuck fuckity fuck. skipping.)

(“the old prince still lives at home”-shad)

aside: for someone who came from the midwestern united states, born almost in the ’90s, i was very impressed with your knowledge and gusto for canadian hip hop so this is actually getting kind of eerie.

basically, i had too much time to imagine every possible scenario-in this present climate in your country, in your body, it could’ve been any number of things.

(“blood on the leaves”-kanye west fuckity fuck fuck i cannot skip this one.)

but the truth was absolutely not anywhere in the realm of any possibility that i could have imagined. and that’s how you always were-out of this world. honestly, homie, where did you come from? how were you so full of joy, life, experience, curiosity, wisdom, wonder, and how did you have a renewable source for so much more?

even when you were low, and i know you were. you always lived in such an exemplary way. and so you the ending matches the middle that we didn’t know was the middle. your social media accounts are already fading, but i have your letters and know your hand. i love your pictures and that you printed and mailed them to me. i just looked up at your holiday card now and my eyes are misty again.

(“southside”-common and kanye ok, so you trying to have this discussion, huh?)

the thing is, i didn’t realize that i put up so many of your pictures. i was also on my way to resume the library tour with the book you gifted me with as my guidebook when i learned. i was wearing my sue bird jersey. i was reading the first chuck palahniuk book i had read in years. everything was you and pndubs.

i was numb for 48, but this morning on the train uptown, the tears came forth. of course. you always supported metrotextual, you always saw me and my little acts of processing. remember that time my letter got lost because it went to jamaica jamaica and not jamaica plain, boston? and when you wrote back with a giant box filled with all of my favourite snacks from trader joe’s? there was no return address but i knew immediately that it was you. how the fuck did you remember my favourite snacks from trader joe’s? we never went to no trader joe’s.

(“compton”-kendrick feat. dre)

do you remember our babies that last year we were both in montreal? how you couldn’t just let keyanna cry so you ran to pick her up thirteen seconds after she started? i had her under less than ideal circumstances, and you helped me keep her safe. the twins are ten now, and look so much like their parents, i got a picture last year and meant to send it to you, did i send it to you? i never saw a picture of your new twins, but we did talk about all of the twins that seemed to find us.

(“everything i am”-kanye-sigh, i give up)

2016. it had been a minute. washrooms were a hot topic at that time. you were so relieved to be away from it while you were here. i picked you up and we ate so many seafoods with our hands, and you were there when i kicked my newly finished verse to my favourite poet. you floored me by remembering how i prefer to go through revolving doors-everyone in the same door, bobbing like muppets. i cannot remember a single revolving door in montrill so i don’t know how you even knew that, let alone how you remembered it 9 years later….

(“fireworks”-drake feat. alicia keys)

we went to the conference finals that year. you were here for game 7 vs. indiana, when i cried because we made it out of the first round for the first time since forever. you were still here when kyle hit that halfcourt shot to tie the game and i almost puked in hurricane’s, where they’d already switched some of the screens to the jays’ game because toronto sports fans are like that- hashtag,trust issues.

(“hola’ hovito”-jay-z)

you were there when i went “home” to vancouver before i moved here, back when i was still grasping at that idea of “closure”, when i cut off all my hair and was performing a lot. i was processing and you were in love, travelling to the yukon and shit because, that’s what you did, naturally.

(“the healer”-badu)

i didn’t know that i walked fast until you told me when i last saw you. i don’t think i ever noticed that before. did i walk slower in montreal? probably. i don’t recall you having a problem keeping up.

well, you’re ahead of me now, dear friend. i feel that in a lot of ways, you always have been. lightyears ahead, flying past on your bike. i hope the wind on your face brought you freedom and peace.

i love you i love you i love you i love you i love you i love you i love you.

thank you for loving me and making sure that i felt it.

(“desperado”-rihanna)

parkdale-4

i think we were all a bit tired last night.

we did exercises on character, switching gears from place, and i found it challenging for this reason:

“I think it’s easier for me to write about place than character in this neighbourhood because the hood is a character, and so full of real ones, that it’s hard to imagine one in.

Perhaps I should personify the tamarind balls that I forgot are for sale in that OG general store.”

and, so.

perhaps i was just too full of baked onion rings.

we’ll try again next week.

why why why

so, before i went in for the procedure yesterday, the nurse went through the rules about what not to do, and amongst them was not to douche.

it’s 2017-we haven’t learned this yet? who is still doing this?!

DO NOT DOUCHE. ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON.

but then again, i have also read the following instructions:

1. unwrap
2. put in mouth
3. chew

on a gum wrapper as well, so perhaps we do still have work to do.

on all fronts.

storied truths

here are the stories that i heard from podcasts that keep swirling around my mind:

from death, sex and money: in one of the student loan episodes, a woman talks about how she had to default in her loans and her dad eventually committed suicide because he couldn’t handle her debt. now, as horrible as that is, i couldn’t help but wonder what their relationship was like, and maybe daddy was just looking for a way out, or he was super passive-aggressive and finally taught her a money lesson that she would never forget.

from love + radio: i was touched by how disgusting and petty people are-from the guy who clipped his toenails into his roommates’ food because they asked him not to eat it, or the girl who discovered masturbating with her dad’s electric toothbrush-“…and because he knew what a vagina smelled and tasted like….he finally discovered why the battery was always out”.

eeeeeewwwww.

from open run: because the playoffs were so boring, jesse and stefan took to talking about what they’re watching on netflix and other news stories. i can’t get over the dood that sued his date for $17.31 (plus pizza) because she was texting during guardians of the galaxy 2, breaking the rules of the theatre, and, also civil society. but really, his fragile male ego was bruised because she left him stranded at the theatre because he told her to text outside.

37 years old and sounds like an amaaaaazing date. i don’t know why no one has snapped him out yet.

which leads me to the podcast that’s been everything to me the last couple of days-the heart.

i know i’m late, but i can’t stop. it started with aliya‘s interview with caitlin on the imposter, and then i had to see for myself, not just the no series, but every other episode.

consent. confronting abusers. inheritance. losing yourself in a relationship. what’s love got to do with it?

everything, i tell you. every last thing.

30/30

during one of my recent home inventories, i came across the following list of my 30 goals/promises for my 30th year of life. that was the year that i moved to toronto, and seven years later, let’s check it out:

1) NO LONG DISTANCE anything
2) at least 30 performances
3) 30 poems
4) all work writing related
5) learn to drive
6) only nice sleepwear
7) be in contact with (six strong women “mother” figures) on a regular basis
8) don’t gossip or complain
9) deal with student loan
10) pay at least $100 on debt/month
11) cook 75% of my meals
12) make a weekly reading day (at a different library)
13) keep my DREAM FUND
14) look into US visas
15) have a poetry anthology/tour
16) meditate twice daily
17) skip rope/skate/play squash
20) donate $30/month to organizations
21) learn how to use my computer more efficiently
22) dedicate and mail “30 things I love about you” every day of my year
24) learn haka
25) see raptors play
26) live on my own by 31
27) write the freakin’ smut (starting with Bust’s one-handed read)
28) animal crackers-perspective pieces
29) confessions of a hair bitch
30) hip hop sex column

observations:

-i missed entire numbers-18, 19, and 23 are completely not there so this is really 27 goals for 30, and that’s interesting (and i’m sure non-coincidental)
-the ones that are done/integrated into my life are: 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 (both in the sense that i did that and i’m done with that), 22 (even though i limited that to just 30 people overall), 25, 26 and 30 (and that’s 9 so once again…no coincidence there)
-the ones that i’ve moved on from: 29, 28 (i’m not really even sure what this means anymore), 6, 4, and 7-all of those women, i think, are exactly like my mother and thus are hard to keep relationships with

and so that leaves the rest, which i’m in some degree of intention with-either i’m doing it, but not regularly, i’ve started some kind of related project but i haven’t followed through, or i’ve momentarily forgotten that i want to do it (maybe not in the exact way).

here’s to reminders, especially since the beginning of the new year is just around the corner, and a new organizer is nigh.

since we’re here, here is this year’s dream list:

-make a workout calendar a la danette’s flossing one
-figure out a savings plan
-go to pacific mall
– read through holds lists and home books
– finish/start interviews
– contact every woman in the anthology
– cunty carols mixtape
– smut
– get fitted for sunglasses
– buy no more pens! or journals!
– apply for al purdy retreat or banff 2017
– plan mexico trip
– play the piano (hart house, carlton cinema, oakwood library, parkdale library, daniel’s spectrum)
– maybe switch out all jeans for yoga jeans
– high waisted underwear
– tap dancing/ASL

i don’t know why tap dancing and ASL is the same thought, because it would be very hard to do at the same time, but this shows that there is something behind writing things down and mind controlling ourselves….and it’s just reminders to intentions that we’ve already had.

“that mean i forgot better shit than you ever thought of” (forever ever)

i can’t find an uncensored version of the song, so i post no video here, but the sentiment is the same.

diamonds are forever.
xo.