Writing

From You’ll Know Even Then (a novel, currently in the works)

The time between leaving the warehouse and arriving at Rebecca’s apartment is wordless. Rebecca carries herself stiffly, as if she were wearing a ceremonial garment. Marlin trails a little behind, always at the edge of her line of vision. He wavers this way and that along the sidewalk, slowing his pace, sometimes, to look in a window. It seems that he might change his mind at any time, turn around and go back the way they came.

There is great trouble in his face as he looks over his glasses, scanning everything around him. Sometimes, he mutters a few words she cannot hear. She wants, more than anything else, for muttering – and the trouble – to be about her. But she knows nothing, nothing about what Marlin thinks or feels or wants, nothing about anything, any more.


outside-the-boxFrom Outside the Box: The Life and Legacy of Writer Mona Gould, the Grandmother I Thought I Knew. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011

At the end of the day I gathered a pile of dust from the counter of the study carrel with a wet paper towel, swept it into my hand and threw it in the garbage. The dust had sat in Mona’s various apartments and gone into the boxes when she moved, settled on top of other dust from other apartments and traveled with her to the next place. Molecules of Mona surrounded me. Her familiar smell was on my hands when I left the place. Sometimes, I found one of Mona’s white hairs. Sometimes, I found one of my own white hairs.


The M Word“Junior”
From: The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood. Goose Lane Editions, 2014

“What can I do?” my husband asked.

“Make me a doll, the most disgusting doll you can imagine. Make it freakish and hairy, and make it the size of a newborn.”

My husband likes making things. He said, “I can do that.”

 


“Rules”
From At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die. Creative Non-Fiction, 2011

I encouraged my mother to wait for my visits before taking a “walk.” I leaned over and steer her scooter for her, using the lever on the armrest. She rested her hand on my hand. Two ladies who always sat in the lounge inclined their heads together as we passed. “The daughter,” one said to another. “Very nice.”

 


The Last Judgment” Found Press, 2011

the-last-judegementI learned about God on Yonge Street. I glimpsed a cluster of people in blue, hooded capes with silver crosses around their necks. Lightning passed through me. I drew nearer, cautiously, never looking away. I wished I could become invisible, walk into their midst without being seen. Stand amid all that blue as if standing in the sky. They were handing out pamphlets. I lost my nerve and stood watching from where they could not see me. I picked up a pamphlet from the ground. “ARE YOU READY FOR THE LAST JUDGMENT?” it said in big letters on the front page, and then, underneath: “The prophet Elijah Moses has heard the call. March 4, 1975, is the day of the Last Judgment. PREPARE YOURSELF.”