Champagne Lifestyle

A new neighbour. Severe looking: every hair in place, intense eyes, thin lips politely turned up at the edges and tasteful quality clothing giving shape to a skin-covered skeleton (hiding cracks burns calories). The unkind face makes for unkind judgemental thoughts.

A single mother of her age buying a fairly large apartment implies financial independence. Not lawyer level money. Para-legal. Laws. She’s just the type to like spending her day with rule books.

And the legal profession is demanding. It’s a career that can be blamed for the lack of long-term relationships, responsible for letting time tick away and the reason for the bad choice of a father for the child.

A charming child, a goody two-shoes, repeating his scales every Sunday before bed, being taught the manners and mannerisms of a generation past. High School is going to be difficult.

Champagne bottles in the public bins. Noticed because teenagers don’t get drunk on expensive sparkling drinks.

The boy follows his mother. He picks up a stick, strikes three notes on the fence bars. The stick is back on ground before the mother can turn around. The timing perfect. Evaluation revisited: High School is going to be difficult for the mother.

Nominative determinism: Her name is Severine.

It’s Severine emptying the Champagne bottles. The discovery makes the frequency visible.

Back story re-imagined to accommodate the new facts: An expensive affectation to limit consumption; A history, if seen repeating, threatening the custody of her child. Poor kid.

A Flailing Monkey

A frivolous break. The unchanged psychiatrist recovers. An incredible complaint crushes the novice lunatic. Can’t talk in the morning!

The soft wall displays pictures. A concise blurb leaks. The lovely breath: the doorway to an exotic stay. Can the tiny tool really carve travel?

The waiting cash, the striped unit scares the income, met the coffee.

It was then that the guiltless emotion met the research. The type fades into malicious specific. What if the dizzy stay ate the bouncy fortune?

Did the ecstatic complaint really take the lead? The impassioned resolve dissolves into the distant tonight.

The New Way to Trip Jazzy

The Imaginezine #9

October 1993

First there was Psychedelic Jazz; Now there is Acid Jazz. It’s the new improved one-size-fits-all companion for your hallucinogenic experiences.

It’s hallucinogen optional music. Simply shut your eyes and you will be transported.

You’re a journeyman? Acid Jazz’s special groove-based approach has what it takes to trigger a mild flashback.

Micro-dosing? It’s the perfect companion. It will enhance your experience without interfering with your vibe.

Full dose? Clouds. Enough said.

Tripping balls? Isn’t it better when the walls have a friendly conversation with you?

Acid Jazz, because whatever your state of mind, it’s there for you.

Warning: Listening to Acid Jazz when coming down may lead you to prematurely think the trip is over. This can lead to disorientation, especially when encountering people.

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Step Towards the Edge

You scare me.

I feel we could live a story. A hot and steamy story interspersed with playfulness and discovery. And I know the story would turn out to be a Greek tragedy.

It’s your adventurousness, your curiosity, your singing the soundtrack for the moment. Enchanting. Audrey-Hepburn-like but with longer hair.

And these would be the source of the tragedy. Adventurousness relabeled restlessness. A restlessness that makes you go from one thing to another, that makes you ask another question before the first one is answered. And the soundtrack will become irritating because it will no longer match the action.

Now, I just tease you when you start looking at the next shiny object in the middle of a conversation about the last one. Like I teased my exes about their foibles.

I also know that once started, I will have to complete the journey. All the way to its bloody ending. Making memories is inebriating.

I would call the complicit looks imagined, an ingredient in my fantasy but I overheard a conversation about us. Something about us looking like a funny couple. “Not funny funny, cute funny.”

Memories. The good ones remain. Pain fades. I start thinking it’s worth the price. I start thinking maybe.

And for some reason I thought I would ask instead of try. As-if this is less awkward. Especially now that this is turning into a long monologue.

It’s as-if I am overthinking this but what I’m doing is thinking with my mouth open. Hmm. Maybe I’m overthinking this with my mouth open. That’s even worse.

The more I hear myself talk, the more I think I sound like a love-sick teenager. Great.

Maybe my nonstop talking is to stop you from responding. So? …

I’m really frightened now. Here I am going on like in a poorly written romance and you haven’t laughed at me once.

Snippet Party

Stepping through the door, Vince rolls his shoulders, makes himself big… for his entrance.

He navigates the crowd. From every direction, snippets float his way.

“I often have this strange dream…”

“…if it’s not forever. Classic existentialism.”

“Age, that age-old enemy.”

“You take a circle…”

“…decolletage. I was expecting her to remind me where…”

“It was, well, short.”

“What was he supposed to do in a…”

“…if she’d said it with any more pleasure.”

“What’s the point if you can’t also complain?”

“You have beautiful eyes, you know.”

“Well I know that two plus …”

“…work to live.”

“…useless. Crap at everything, man.”

“I don’ hate you. Leave!”

“And the poor cat was…”

“It was sudden.”

“If I was in his…”

The red wine is in the middle of the drinks table. Vince takes a glass. He turns around. He looks at the sea of people. He tries to match snippets to faces.

Untucked Only

You’re in a shopping mall. You see that the man walking in front of you likes to put his elbow on the desk when talking on the phone. It makes for a funny walk. You step in to a store to stop yourself from aping him.

You see a red flannel lumberjack’s shirt. You’ve always wanted one; Since the 70’s. In those days they were everywhere in BC. Probably all over the Pacific Northwest. All the cool kids had them. It’s on sale.

You examine the shirt. It’s too thin to be authentic. It wouldn’t keep a lumberjack warm. You call it the hipster version — meant to be worn tucked in with sleeves rolled. But it’s flannel. And you wont be wearing it in the woods.

People are going to think you are stuck in the 90’s. A guy who evolved with the times for twenty years and then stopped. They would be mistaken. You are still trying to dress in 1970’s cool.

Safe Haven

Matter-of-factly, because that is what it is now to him, a matter of fact. Because the tone will say everything the words don’t. “Hey! Ursula! Come in. Where are you coming back from?”

The words have long been chosen. Since just after the last time she left. The time he felt relieved when she gone chase the sun. Or perhaps it was a fantasy. Or both.

She could never stay in one place long. After a few months she would feel caged. And she would start dreaming her next project. One that would take her to a new place. And every once in a while, some thing would go wrong. And she would show up in Paris.

They are on equal terms this time. He is newly single. She would be gone by spring.