Saturday, September 13, 2003

Two things that are glorious, in such away that little can compare, with the exception of Vietnamese food or a good nap in the trees. These two things are: Barbecue Chicken Pizza from Panago, and passing out on the couch in front of the tv.

The weekends are the only time that I can fall asleep on the couch, so I try to make a point of doing so. I move my pillow and teddy bear (yes that's right, I sleep with a teddy bear. He's mister to you. Mister Limpy, and he helps me sleep) and I pop in a dvd, set the tv to sleep and give it an hour or so. Last night I watched Romeo Must Die, for a few minutes anyway. Then I passed out and I guess the DVD just kept repeating itself because when I woke up and turned the tv back on, it was still playing. So now I get to see the end.

You see? Everything works out for those who fear God.

I woke up and stumbled into an empty pipe that runs along an inconveniently placed support pillar, in the basement, that is. As I did, the pipe made a loud noise, but I didn't feel a thing. Maybe I'll feel it tomorrow morning.

Anyways, I highly recommend barbecue chicken pizza.
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You know this just figures, I always used to read these books in High School.

Friday, September 12, 2003

You are my closest friend today,
I love you, Rain, but go away.

It came and went all day long, the rain, that is. I arrived at work with a cloud over my head, after recieving a call from Musungu to say that she hadn't got on the bus, and she wasn't coming after all. So when the rain first arrived, I welcomed it, because it reflected my mood.

But somehow, wallowing in self pity didn't seem like a productive way to spend my day, so I welcomed the sunshine. They traded off until the afternoon, when they reached a compromise and proceeded to sun-shower for a while, which was just perfect, as far as I could see.

Now, I know I'm way late, but I've finally started reading The Lord of the Rings. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long. I've been intending to read it since I was 12, and was particularly intending to read it before the first movie came out. Well now I've finally gone and done it, and I'm discovering a lot of food for thought..... good book hey? who'd a thunk?

Walking to Sev tonight, I wished I had a camera. Right outside the store, there's a big sign, the kind with the removable letters, which normally says...

3 Blocks North.....

Except that someone had replaced the "Bl" with a "C" so instead, it read "3 Cocks North...." tee hee...... I found that funny, does that make me a bad person? Probably.

Well I still ordered my pizza this evening, musungu or no musungu, according to plan, except that I also rented a violent video game and bought some pepsi with which I will proceed to drown my disappointment until I go pick up my sister tomorrow afternoon.

Now I have to focus on the TV.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

In one day Musungu will magically appear in the center of my fair city, and I will pick her up and take her to my house, which isn't exactly my house, but my home nevertheless.

I've been buried in my thoughts, more so than usual, for the majority of the day. I had been unpleasantly thrust into thoughts of a certain friend, and her mismanagement of her life, and the fact that we used to be best friends but now we don't even talk, and most of all, the reasons why it's better this way.

As much as I'd like to say it's always appropriate to stick close no matter what...... it's not. Sometimes getting out is the only way to find oneself.... and sometimes the only way to grow is to leave codepency behind, cut the cord, and venture out on your own. My deepest instincts tell me that a true friend never leaves, no matter what, and so I'm left with a deep conflict.

After all, I spent a good portion of my life in fear of abandonment. Am I now the perpetrator? Am I now the asshole? Have I been terribly selfish?

The correct answer is no. But I feel as though maybe she doesn't agree, and I'm afraid that if she feels abandoned, I may as well have abandoned her. In reality, I've never stopped "being there" and I never will. I love her dearly and I'll continue to pray for her.

I just really hate the flurry of unresolved questions in my head. There's so much history..... so many conversations that contribute to the context, so many memories, and it seems so strange that we are now the way we are. At the same time, in my mind's eye I can watch it all come tumbling down, I can see where it turned bad, I can see why it's better this way.

There's just too much stuff.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

It was super windy during my lunch, but otherwise a beautiful day, so I took my lunch down to the river. Behind the building, down the hill through the bush, around the corner, and down on the concrete slab. The thing about this particular spot, in relation to the direction of the wind, is that the trees and building blocked the wind completely. I could hear the wind, and a ferocious wind it was, roaring through the trees behind me, but all I felt was a light, comfortable breeze.

I ripped into my cheeseburger and looked out at the water, where the wind was driving whitecaps north....... against the stream of the river. How very odd, I thought. The river continued to flow south, naturally, and yet the surface of the water raced north. Anyone who didn't know this river might stumble out of the bush and think it was a north flowing river.

It's my personal belief that, in nature more than ever, God speaks about stuff.... be it Him, or spiritual truths, or life in general, so naturally I got to wondering what I could take away from watching the Red River run north.

I decided that it was one more reminder not to let circumstances influence my judgment. The weather will never reverse the flow of a river..... that's the way it works in nature, and that's the way it works in my life. Deep, hey? What is it they say about deep water?? It runs slow?? uh...... I don't know if that's what they say, but I've observed this to be true..... oh wait..... still waters run deep? I don't know.

Okay, so....... the Joe Schmo Show.


Has anyone seen it? What are your thoughts? I'm curious.....

Because as stupid and cruel and low budget and skanky as it is, I'm enthralled.... mostly due to my fascination with human behaviour. Just in case you don't know about this show..... It's set up like a typical reality show called Lap of Luxury, except that everyone is an actor. Everyone but Matt, a typical north american yuppie putz. The actors fulfill token rolls suck as the gay guy, the asshole, the 22 year old virgin (ouch, stop making fun of her) the old guy, the hot chick, and the bitch. They remain in character 24 hours a day, manipulating their relationships to Matt, making fun of him when he's not around.

This might even be funny (despite its cruelty) if it weren't for the fact that Matt, clueless and bewildered though he is, seems to ultimately be a really sincere, caring guy. In fact, due to the nature of the show, he's the only sincere individual.... therefore the most likeable.

The teasers for next weeks episode shows him crying, saying he should have taken more things into consideration before coming on the show..... and it makes me angry.

Even so, I have to watch next week...... I mean why would he start crying? I have to know.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I love Seinfeld. Kramer makes me laugh.

On Saturday afternoon I did something EXTREMELY out of character...... I was chatting with a guy on msn who I used to work with. He was rounding up some people to play Risk and wanted to know if I was in. Naturally, I wasn't overly eager to leave the house, I wasn't overly eager to hang out with strangers, and I wasn't overly eager to play Risk.

Yet for some reason I said, "sure I'm in. where do you live?" and the next thing I had jumped into the shower and rushed out the door, bound for the unknown house in the unknown neighborhood with the unknown guys. Yikes!!

The afternoon became a fascinating study in how 5 young computer techie beer drinking fuck saying guys respond when a girl suddenly descends upon them to hustle them in a game of Risk (I don't really know how to play...... tee hee) I didn't win, but I was the last entity to be abolished, and I held out long and tough amidst cries of "Beaten by a woman!!" and exchanging quotes from SouthPark and Simpsons.

Strange, very strange, the way I spent that afternoon.

Today a firetruck and an ambulance came to work and took away one of our tenants. We don't know why. We don't know if she's okay. The reality struck me as I peered from the doorway of one of my buildings, out to where the red flashing lights set up shop in the high rise's front drive, I didn't know who was in trouble. It could have been anyone, it could have been one of my friends.

But let's not spend too much time there. Star Trek has sucked me in, and I am defenceless against it's charms.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Okay God...... so like...... what's the plan?

Not that I wanna rush you or anything.... it's not as though I'm not happy here. Because I am. In fact I'm so content with my life as it is that I fear I may become so content that even should you reveal something else, I'd rather just stay put. I don't want to ever get THAT comfortable.

It's just that you've given me such a desire to do other things, and yet you require me to just sit down and stay put. I can see why, I understand the things that I'm learning here. I understand all the ways in which I'm not ready for any element of responsibility. I also understand that you can accomplish anything, at any time...... and I'm not in a hurry for the pace to pick up, because as I said, I'm happy right here.

I guess what I'm looking for is hope for the future, because right now all I can see is one foot in front of the other stumbling down this rat race that I spent my childhood dreading.

And I guess if I'd stop treating you like one more of my many long distance friends, I wouldn't feel galaxies away from you. It's not as though I don't love you. I guess I'm no less ashamed of my weaknesses than I was before. I guess in some ways I still associate you with religion, as though growing close to you again will suck me right back into that vortex of meetings and evangelism and christianese..... as though those things are prerequisites for our relationship.

I know that they're not...... I still have this sharp memory of working so hard for something I never wanted, all the while not knowing who you really are...... it's like a wound that healed but never stopped aching when the weather got bad.

Did we really know each other, all that time ago? When I didn't know who I was and I couldn't tell the truth about myself to anyone, lifting my hands and dancing around and singing those songs.... was it about blending in? I'd rather spend the rest of my life sitting with my head in my hands and know that I was with you there, than dancing and pacing and praying loudly in the language of my church...... I'd rather sit with you in this basement than travel the world with really good theology and a degree to back it up.

And if I draw close to you again, what will you require of me? Part of me doubts that you will protect me. There's a part of me that expects to be thrown to the sharks. I can survive that, but if I'm alone, I'd rather they tore me apart.

Does that make any sense?

I really do love you. I know that you're the One that I simply can't live without. And yet I'm so afraid of you. I'm sorry about that. I know that love and fear don't belong in the same sentence. I suppose that my humanity lends me to ambivalence. Will I stay, or will I go?

I guess that depends on You..... but it's a tough climb out of this hole I've dug for myself.

When I look at you, I squint. You are that beautiful. - Ani Difranco.

Two years ago, during that pivotal summer of 2001 (the summer of my first beating, the summer I made friends, and the summer I decided to go to bible school) I was attending the Winnipeg Centre Vineyard in the North End of Winnipeg. I liked it very much there. The people were quirky but engaging, and you could get high on sniff passing the bootleggers on the way in, but I felt like I meshed pretty well in that particular fellowship, so I continued to drive an hour in to go to my church where I was quite content to sit in the balcony and watch all the interesting people.

One of the very interesting people who went to that church (and recently reappeared) shall remain nameless, but eventually I affectionately named her "Suzy Psychopath." This is the story of why I watch my back when I go to church.

It was late Saturday night, and the evening service "Celebration" was just wrapping up. I was there with three friends from Steinbach, and two of us went to the basement to use the facilities. As we were coming up the stairs, we rain into the third and youngest of our group, Steph, whose older sister was still upstairs. Steph was in tears and nearing hyperventilation. When we asked her what was wrong, she only said that some girl was upstairs and wouldn't let go of her sister.

I thought it was really strange that Steph would be upset about it, but thinking that Steph was just really emotional, I didn't heed the warning that flashed through my mind. I marched up the stairs to find Suzy clinging to Kristi's t-shirt. Kristi was talking to her in low tones, cornered against the wall. I recognized Suzy as a girl who had struck up a conversation with me earlier that night, and I remembered thinking at the time that something was off...... but once again, I failed to listen to my intuition. I approached the two girls and commented matter of factly....

"Okay, this is totally not cool."

To which she replied, "Touch me and I'll kill you."

I had no intention of touching her. Had I any inkling of where the evening would go I would have gone straight to the leadership cleaning up sound equipment on the stage and requested an exorcist to assist. However, I was inexperienced with such scenarios, and more than a little annoyed. I tend to be quite protective, and one of my favorite people was crying.

It was nearly an hour before we managed to rip her talons from our clothing, with the help of a few guys. Even those three guys were nearly helpless in the face of her seemingly supernatural strength. We took off down the front steps and down the street, where Steph's overnight things were in her sister's car. We would need to turn around and pass the church again in order to get to my car, since she was coming with me to spend the night in the city.

As we were passing the church, we spotted Suzy coming out of the church. One of the guys suggested to me that I run ahead and get my car unlocked, so I began to jog down the street. I thought it was over. There was no way I expected that we would be chased down the street.

But that's exactly what happened. Suzy began screaming and cursing and took off at a run. I heard yelling behind me and bolted for the car as quickly as I'd ever run before. No sooner had I jumped in and unlocked the passenger side, than girls were diving in after me, and though we'd all had a lengthy head start, Suzy landed on the hood of my car only a moment later. She was cursing and screaming and slamming her fists onto the hood. The three guys were still around, but she didn't bother them. She only wanted us.

One of the guys still had Steph's things, and wanted to put them in the trunk. He was trying to talk to me, but I couldn't hear him. Since Suzy was still on the hood screaming obscenities, I opened the window, just a crack, so we could communicate. In a flash, Suzy had rushed around to my window and had her hands around my throat. She was still screaming but now she had three guys with their arms around her, trying to pull her away from the car. Inside the car, my friends were trying to unlatch her fingers from my throat. I was only trying to tear my eyes away from hers. They were black, reflective, angry.

Finally, the efforts of 5 people released me from her grip and I rolled up the window. As the guys pulled her back from the car, I hit the gas and we sped away down the street. About a block down, we pulled into a parking lot and waited for word that things were okay. It wasn't long before a dark van came and took her away, and the guys came to make sure that everyone was alright. A couple of us had been hit, and kicked, but we were mostly just shaken up.

This began my happy relationship with Suzy Psychopath. It came to my attention at church the next morning that she was supposed to be on meds, but had refused to take them. Many incidences followed, none quite so severe. Suzy had a fascination with me and my friends. She liked to hang around with us, ask us lots of questions, play with our hair, finger our jewellery. We did our best to avoid her, and she occasionally acted up and was escorted out of whatever event we were attending.

This was around the time I began sitting up in the balcony, in the far right wing, where the entire church was visible, and no-one was behind me. I was always on the watch for Suzy, as I was terribly afraid of her. HOLY COW!! DATA IS KISSING THE BORG!!!

Anyways, now we meet in a different building, one without a balcony, and Suzy has recently reappeared. I wasn't aware of this until I was walking along the back of the church one sunday morning, and she hugged me from behind.

"Guess Who!!!" she sang out and I nearly lost my breakfast.

Church is always an adventure in the North End.
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