My job in the production of Christmas jam-dot shortbread cookies was to dip them hot-from-the-oven with their thumb-print craters filled with jam the temperature of molten lava, into a deep bowl of icing sugar. It felt like silk between my fingers, slippery and soothing. After dipping three cookies, my fingers were coated in 1/8 inch of compacted icing sugar. I licked it off while waiting for the next batch to cool enough to dip them in their first layer of sugar. They had to be completely cool before dipping again, covering the cookies thoroughly. While I waited I ate one. I wasn’t scolded. Continue reading

I don’t remember

I should remember more because it is one of the few half-decent memories I have of my dad. It’s half decent because I was 13 and he drank but the deal was I’d get to go shopping in Vancouver and we’d go see a Canucks’ hockey game together. I don’t remember my mom offering words of warning or wisdom in case he started drinking. No asking “Do you want to go?” No saying “You don’t have to go.” Continue reading

The creature

Comox, British Columbia – Canada

The 5:00 a.m. wake up call, a dull punch on the right side, doesn’t piss me off as much as it used to, but I’d like to get rid of it. It comes from the inside, like a creature is thrashing its way out. I parry the second blow with determined words:  “Settle down” I say. “I’m happy which means you’re happy, so lighten up.”  I employ my lifelong philosophy with the creature: Fake it ‘til you make it. Continue reading