Why Do We Talk So Much About Endings?

We have trouble staying present. Whether its anxiety about the future or depression about the past, it seems culturally we have a focus outside of ourselves and our current – almost always.

We talk about our game plans for the future and the jobs we will leave, when we will move, when all the chapters that are currently building those futures will cease. We talk a lot, also, about the end of relationships.

I used to date a guy who would always say “one day when we break up”. I don’t think this was the demise of our relationship as he also peed in bottles in my attic and used to tell me and my roommate that we “stole his maturity” but I think it primed me from the beginning that it was never that serious, or to at least not take serious things seriously.

My best friends have been in a relationship for 6 years. At 23 that’s a long time – high school sweethearts romanticized. Like anything there are pros and cons to this, and even though I’m close to them both separately and as a unit, there are obviously things I don’t see, know, or understand.

I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for just under 6 months. At this point it feels like things will last forever when its good, and like it could fall apart at any whim. This is not because of him or our relationship, but because there is the behind the scenes notion that I think a lot of us experience. That feeling of no time is ever enough, no amount of experience or attachment is enough. This could be because my parents are divorced or it seems like the only reason people I know seem to stay together is out of obligation more than want. Perhaps it does come down to that. Perhaps I romanticize that I will want to be with a person for the rest of my life – not just feel like it’s my best option.

My best friends hypothesize about what would happen if they broke up. How each of them would react, how it would change them and their lives. I sometimes wonder if you have been together for so long that you stay together for everyone else – this is a thought I have about my grandparents. I understand the urge to want to still feel like we have an option at an independent life. That if something did or does happen we will still be able to be whole.

I think these inquiries into “what will happen if” bring about a lot of questions for me, most of them hard to answer.

Do I feel just as much myself with this person as I do alone?
Am I giving up experiences being in a relationship?
Am I gaining enough in return?
Would I really be able to pick myself back up again? Would I want to?
Why do I feel the need to have a sense of permanency in my relationships?
How do I keep a sense of identity?
How can I find fulfillment in the now instead of always looking to the future?
Will I be whole again if I do not have this person?
Does this person make me whole?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking about the future, and potentialities in the future. I think in the way that it can be painful to link our futures with another person and to rely on them to attain certain goals, it can be just as painful to not do this. It seems like we have no sense of security – not even within our relationships. We lack security within ourselves.

A important thing I’ve learned before coming into my current relationship is that I am whole. I will always be whole, and so will my life. Wholeness does not always mean a feeling of fulfillment or that things are “large”. It means that whatever in me and my life exists wholly in each moment. My partner is not my “other half” that completes me, but my equal that creates their own part in our relationship. I exist wholly within this structure. This structure fluctuates as we both grow and let go of parts of ourselves. We are equal because we both contribute to the making of this relationship we exist it – but we are not our relationship. Our relationship is us.

This concept, or whatever you want to call it, has been revolutionary for me. Although there is balance and a sense of completion around my partner, I also feel complete by myself. In this moment. Right now. As I enjoy a glass of wine and cry at queer eye and feel totally at ease alone in my bachelor apartment. As my partner is at basketball and going to his own respective home to live out his own life for the next 24 hours in his own completion.

So, again, this brings me back to this question of why do we talk so much about endings? Why is it so important? What is so scary or unattainable right now? Do we even realize we’re in this conditioned state of making moves for an end that is just as fleeting as each moment of building, or are we willfully looking towards something because we’ve lost the ability to be in a state of wonderment at the now?

This can be about relationships, jobs, books, meals. We truly relish how things turn out. Although the uncertainty is what keeps us involved in getting there, it is also what makes the certainty we have that these moments we are immersed in special. I wonder, where is the recognition for what is so enticing about the present that is provokes us to be curious about how things turn out?

I don’t think it’s wrong to wonder, but I do think there could be more focus on what makes right now important. How this moment is also an end as the other begins. How once this glass is emptied my feelings of warm cheeks and a full heart will evolve with it. How I can sit with myself in a completely different way under my current circumstances than I would have or have fathomed a year ago.

Hypothesizing our future can be interesting, beautiful, and wondrous. But inquiring about our present and if we are truly showing up in a way that makes us proud to be the person we are in this moment I think is just as worthy. What do you want to do right now? What are the experiences you want to work towards? What are you, in this moment, willing to sacrifice? What is it you are willing to expand?

The present is amazing. Talk about it. It is just as transformable as every ending.

Self-Portraits / 2019/ Session Nº3

Last night I went to a live recording of Turn Me On and felt that wonderful spark I remember from my own podcast Impractical Women’s Studies – a spark that signifies liberation, curiosity, and empowerment.

When people say they’re going to be talking about sex its simultaneously exciting and stressful. What will you learn? What are you hiding? What conversations are you still uncomfortable having? What are you scared about other people knowing?

They started the evening off with some audience games, that included having to stand if you answered yes to a question and stay standing until your next no. There were moments that I felt relieved (like when they asked if you like butt stuff, and I gladly sat) and others that made me blush, like when they asked if you spit or swallow. I was sitting next to my boyfriend and our friends, so while we say we are working towards a sex-positive culture I had to question what that really meant for me, including the question “Does sex positive mean I want everyone to know what I like in bed?”.

I’ve realized my biggest insecurity is how I make other people feel. I didn’t want to embarrass my boyfriend, but I wanted to participate in the game. I didn’t want our friends to feel uncomfortable knowing that I prefer to swallow (which you all do now, too… sorry). Sure, I have my own embarrassments. I think for the most part any shame I have comes from how I think it will be perceived more than shame around those “kinks”.

I started thinking about what it is that I find sexy. What do I like doing? When do I feel my best? What fucking turns me on?!

I wore red fishnets under my outfit last night. Partly because I wanted the little peep of them at my ankle for my outfit. But also because it was fun to be secretly dressed up under my sporty-black-kind-of-generic outfit. I like the way I look in them, the way they make me feel, my boyfriends reaction. It is personal empowerment – empowerment that doesn’t ask other people to validate me to feel sexy. In fact, I realized the less people that knew the better I felt. I like being able to choose when I’m seen and how.

To contrast the spice of lingerie, I also love being cozy. I feel most in my element at home in a big sweater and panties. I am the typical girl-next-door and I think thats how I’ve always idealized myself sexually as well. Perceived innocence. The knowing things you’re not supposed to know. The beauty of the mundanities of life.

These themes inspired a fun self-portrait session. I threw on some Blink-182 and danced in my clothes from yesterday as soon as I got home. No showering, no changing my underwear, no props. Just dancing and having fun and remembering that at the end of the day I want to embrace my sexuality for me. I get to choose who I share it with and why. I get to feel powerful in my own skin, clothes, and relationship.

There have been times when my sexuality was something I wasn’t empowered by. I felt crushed under its weight and like it was something I could use to gain power. It was a tool in manipulation and being manipulated. I believed for a long time that my body was the most profitable thing I had to offer and totally disconnected myself emotionally from my sexuality and sexual experiences. Now I thrive on the emotional link, on feeling sexy for myself and knowing that I don’t need anyone else to validate that or put a price on it.

While this only skims the surface of sexuality and my experiences and learning with it, it is still these moments and instances that make me feel powerful and in control. That remind me that I am able to own myself and my body and that power only belongs to those I choose to give it to. My commitment to myself is to choose empowerment.

Self Portraits / 2019 / Session Nº2

Having moved into a new space I feel unburdened. I feel light. I feel grounded. I feel sexy and free and creative and all of the things that make a good equation for a self-portrait session.

I wanted to capture remnants of this time in my life. The last self-portraits I took were the day my now-boyfriend first told me he loved me and asked me to officially be his girlfriend after months of dating.

Now, I wanted to capture this time where I moved into my first solo studio. Where I was called off work because of a snow storm and had a beautiful morning and where I now get to spend my first whole day here.

This is a moment in time where I feel capable. Powerful. Comfortable. It is a time where I am open to and humbled by my own vulnerability. Where I know that Halifax is truly the place I call home.

The snow outside has turned to freezing rain and I can feel myself dissolving. Each moment the stress lessens. Each moment I am relieved and grateful.

I have no plans except to do what makes me happy. I have nothing around me to do other than create or strengthen my abilities. I have food I love in the fridge. My heart is as full as my cupboards, and I feel just as organized in my home as I do in my mind.

This is home on the inside and outside.


Follow me on instagram to see more of what I’m up to on the daily!

Solo Suite

I’ve wanted to live on my own pretty much always. My mom used to bug me as a teenager, with her own rituals and way of having her house. I felt confined to one room and always felt stifled – like I was trying to fit into a place that was half the size of me.

As an “adult” I was obsessive about my apartments with roommates that drove me crazy because of how towels were folded or like I was a bad person because I hated doing my dishes in a tiny sink. I am far from perfect to live with, but in that I also have high expectations for living. What do you mean you don’t wipe down your baseboards once a month?!

For the longest time – since I was a child – I have always lived in quirky homes. Old places with nooks and character and weird boxes of clothes left in portions of closets that were beyond forgotten. Places that induced weird dreams and feelings of being watched late at night by things I couldn’t see. I got good at curating these spaces and finding my own spin on them.

I found this couch and a matching ottoman at HomeSense for 450$! It’s a soft velvet, has storage in both pieces, is firm yet comfortable; it’s modern, light-weight, and the perfect place to curl up for a nap, read, coffee, or with a pal.

Living with people is hard. It’s even harder when you like the person because you want to share – for there to be less rules and more relationship. When you live with someone you have to be cognizant of their energy as well as yours. You have to create boundaries with empathy and find compromise and be able to pick up the slack sometimes but also not take shit when another is slacking.

After 4 years of paying rent with other people, of having higher standards and bought’s of irritation and disappointment and confusion over who I am in the eyes of others, I made a move. The move.

I’m not very good at endings. Usually because I will hold out until it is too bitter to keep with; because I want to believe the best in others and the worst in myself before I come to a clear place of assessment. Because sometimes I can’t tell where my anxiety is coming from or if it’s warranted. After a conversation with my roommate saying I would be happier on my own, I signed a lease 3 days later. It was like the universe was waiting patiently to support me in a dream I’ve had since I was a kid – like it knew I had come to the last spring in a marathon of patience. Like the world wanted me to flourish and knew the exact plot to plant me in.

So here I am. Living in a modern studio – so much of a difference from my sprawling, awkward, and antique abodes of the past. It has built in storage everywhere (that my organizationally inclined side adores), all the appliances to make life easy, and feels like the bedroom I always dreamt of as a child. There is something so relaxing about having everything in one room. It’s accessible, efficient, and easy to decorate.

This is the first book of the 80 penguin classics I am reading this year – it feels grounding to know that I am already working on my list of resolutions + goals for the year.

I have only been here a few days, and only spent my first night here last night.Even though it has been a short time, the change is palpable. I can taste how relaxed I feel. I enjoyed one of the best sleeps I’ve had in months. I woke up early and lit candles, made coffee, listened to classical music. I called my mom and had breakfast and even did my dishes after. I had time to shower and to get dressed in an outfit I love and walk to work early. Every single moment feels like a ritual of love and dedication to myself – like I’m was looking out for my best interest. Like I’m not planning my life anymore but somehow had gotten to a place where my life is just flowing in a way that I know it should have been all along – that I know I was getting to all along.

My first real evening here I made nachos for my boyfriend and I. We listened to music and laid on the bed talking before he made his short journey home. I had a bath and lit candles. I meditated and enjoyed tea and went to bed when I was tired. These are mundane details of my life but I think the point is that there was so much meaning behind them. These were small moments where I felt at home in the life I’ve created. It’s humbling to see the life I’ve dreamed of; wished for; written about materialize around me.

I would never take back my experiences living with other people. I have so many fond memories. There was so much more laughter than there ever was frustration. The lessons I learned are invaluable not only in living solo, but in life in general. I worked more on my flaws than I would have alone because I was accountable for a shared space and shared energy. I discovered boundaries that are essential for my well-being. I was given opportunity to learn and strengthen myself everyday. And now I have the chance to do that in a new way.


If you want to see more of my new digs and keep updated on the goings-on of my world you can follow me on instagram @edgarallanfoe

Don’t forget to pre-order my new book! January 31st is the last day to get it for 15$! Check it out.

WILDER CAFE

This is one of those places – those times, memories, experiences that was hell on earth but you didn’t know it until you look back at what you’ve learned from it.

It’s one of those times where life teaches you that you don’t always know what’s best for you, that intuition is fickle, that lessons can’t be avoided, and that sometimes all you get out of something is knowing who you are.

I won’t get into all the gnarly details because that isn’t what this is about, and it’s not what I want to put out there! This is about the work I did do, the opportunities I had and took and was lucky to have at the end of the day despite the rest.

THE ‘GRAM

This was the first workplace I was able to not only fully utilize all my skills, but to give myself opportunities in them as well. One of my first and main tasks working here was to run their social media. In my 3 months working there I had gained over 500 instagram followers organically – I took all of the photos in the above pictures and curated the feed. I made the food presentations in the pictures (although did not make the actual recipes), edited the photos, made the captions and used my handy hashtags to get us noticed authentically in an over-crowded city.

Not only was it a creative outlet in terms of making beautiful food, photographs, and even hand-lettering signs. This was also a place for community.

bottom far right image is not mine! check out Sam Polzin

THE GROWTH

I met one of my now best-friends, then customer at Wilder. I made connections in other industries, with other artists, with a huge community of Junction-iters. I was able to host my first open mic (which also doubled as my first public event) , apply for my first liquor license, and also my first performances of spoken word and even singing.

I was given chance to open up our doors and plan with the Junction BIA for things like their Halloween walk in which I built a spooky sculpture for the window, set up a costume donation drive, decorated the cafe and had fun games for the kids like finding the key in the slime to earn candy. We participated in a holiday market pop-up in which I gathered local makers and artisans to be featured in our shop.

photos above taken by Calm Elliot-Armstrong for our Open Mic – see more here


There were lots of plans that didn’t see the light of day – like a fermentation workshop series. But three months there paved the ground for everything I did in 2018, which brought me to where I am in 2019.

While there are parts of this experience that are raw and painful, looking back on what I garnered from that experience I feel proud of the work and honoured I got to see out some of my dreams. Nothing is without challenges if it comes with growth.

RESOLUTIONS / GOALS / DREAMS 2019

I love lists, and I love manifesting. So it’s safe to say that resolutions are right up my alley. Looking back on so many things I’ve written over time that have come true, it’s hard not to believe in the power of putting your intentions down on paper.

My favourite example of this is when I wrote in my journal that I wanted to live in Halifax in 2 years. I didn’t know what 2 years was going to hold for me when I wrote that. I didn’t know how it was going to happen and there was a time when it was more than off the back burner – it wasn’t even on the stove.

2 years to the month I wrote that I pulled up to my house after moving across the country. That wasn’t a new years resolution, but it was something I was resolved to do.

I think what I like particularly about new year resolutions is that we energetically are at a time to let go of the old and start fresh. We want to move forward, feel unburdened. We thrive off that motivation to get going and get stuff done. We are more apt to notice what we do and don’t want in our life anymore because we have the permission to make changes without judgement from ourselves or others.

THE LIST

  • DO THE SPLITS
  • HOLD SELF IN SPACE IN A HANDSTAND
  • GET AN EXCELLENT PUBLISHING CONTRACT
  • ABUNDANCE THROUGH ART
  • FIRST TRIP OVER SEAS
  • WIN GRANT/ARTIST RESIDENCY
  • CONTINUE DELVING INTO SPIRITUALITY
  • MEDITATE EVERY DAY
  • LESSEN REFINED SUGAR INTAKE
  • PAY OFF CREDIT CARD DEBT
Continue reading

Self-Portraits / January 2019

I’ve always loved self-portraits. I think it was actually the reason I ever became invested in photography.

The ability to capture yourself in a raw, whole state. To see yourself objectively, as a subject. To think about how you want to portray yourself and work within how that actually comes across. It feels like a practice of proprioception – seeing how we come across vs. how it feels in ourselves.

My smile is never as big as it is in my head. A particular angle makes me look young. I think I am happy yet I look lost. It’s funny how self-portraiture has always made me feel foreign to myself as much as it has made me feel at home in myself as well.

I think that “selfie” culture, something I actively participate in, got somehow diluted. Our way of thinking about people when they are taking a picture of themselves is almost inherently negative, frowned upon. Seen as attention seeking, or somehow inappropriate. Somehow we have made a line in the sand between a selfie and a self portrait as if they aren’t the same affect. As if documenting ourselves and our own beauty and happiness and experience of life isn’t something to be celebrated.

I love the quality that comes from a real camera, like I can see the density of myself more with it. I like the privacy of it; of getting away from the epicentre of communication that is our phones; our perceptions of ourselves, of our places, of our faces.

I have an older DSLR camera and you cannot see the photo on the face of the screen. You have to look through the eyehole to see the picture. You have to trust your set up, have patience, be able to see yourself in half-formed ways immortalized in the between photos. I love the pile of books and rocks and odd objects I balance my camera on because I lost my tripod. I love the way lighting sometimes just fucking works. The moment you look at yourself immortalized exactly as you feel and realizing just how it is you feel once you see the photo.

I was self-conscious for so long about what people would think of someone who took so many photos of themselves. Am I a narcissist? Am I full of myself? Is there a reason for all of this? Is it really art? Does it need to be art?

I like the bags under my eyes. The red lipstick. My boyfriends sweater. That I’m sitting on a stack of books. That my hair feels like it belongs to a higher version of myself – like I was shedding half-lives when I cut it. That I don’t feel like I need to wear face makeup and that these are photos I will probably use as head shots and I love the idea that I’m getting over the “stigma” of taking my own head shots. That I can display so many parts of myself here and honour all of them. I love that I am excited.

I’m excited to take on one of my resolutions this year to take more photos with my real camera, and I’m happy to include myself in that process as well.

Embracing how we want to be seen. How we want to see ourselves. What we want our world to look like.


For more writings, snippets of thought, and art follow me on at @edgarallanfoe

Want to check out my latest book? Click here to read a short story from it and follow me for more updates on pre-orders and its release date!

Closed Windows Are Still Made of Glass

 A short story from my newest book Under The Callous


“yeah I don’t know man, I feel like, why would I want to sleep with someone you’ve slept with, and care about, when we live in a city of like… a couple million people, ya know? It just lacks, like… integrity.” I wiggle my fingers at this last sentence, and bring them together in a neat little tipi to illustrate that I have found the word I am looking for. That I give it a home in my palm.
 

“Hmm, I mean in a way I can’t say anything because I’ve done it. But I did it when I was denying that I’m a garbage human. Now I know I’m a garbage human.”
There was conflict in her eyes, the insecurity she felt coagulating with the anger of the situation. I’m not sure I even know what the situation is or if we are discussing the potential of one. Wondering if either was justified. “I feel like she’s just doing it because she can.” 

“Maybe. I can’t speak for her, obviously, but it seems like if you’ve talked about you liking him before and she knows that you’ve slept with him, then why even bother pursuing it? I think it would be different if there wasn’t any knowledge, or if she had had feelings for him before hand. But this seems almost like a seed was planted or something? And she has some like, competitive thing to prove to herself? Or maybe she isn’t even aware and is just insecure in the way that she’ll go after him because she knows he’s interested in someone else. Like a power ploy.” I was trying to justify the way she felt about the actions without giving away that I think she is the one who needs to do the work. That analyzations of others don’t amount to an understanding of your own feelings; feelings she would be in denial about until she could face them with something that would transform them.
 

Continue reading

Ode To Peachfish and Watermelon Flesh

A preview of my personal upcoming writing project. Stay tuned for more!

 

//


I am learning slowly to honour myself. In the grocery store when I say I want watermelon – this isn’t necessarily true. I am impartial to watermelon but partial to asserting myself and it just so happens that this urge takes over in the produce isle. It’s pink flash calling out to me like the raw parts of myself that I have cut the callouses off. This is what we have in common – exposure. Vulnerability all wrapped up in clear coated plastic waiting for approval.

No-one talks about the price of honouring yourself. No-one says that is is quite the challenge to take ownership. The cost of the 4.75$ watermelon I likely won’t finish that upped my grocery bill to about 75$ total – for 3 days of food. This is not unlike the 100$ bill to be able to guilt free buy what I want at dinner. Yes I do want the seafood platter and muscles and a glass of wine. To know I’ve worked for the shoes on my feet and the food in my belly. There are seldom few who are going to take it from me  – the low number designated to people who already have. Ex-boyfriends, brothers, the homeless who of no volition of their own make me feel I’ve done something wrong for having eaten such a large quantity of seafood while they are in turmoil about the large quantity of space in their own stomach.

It’s very easy to start imagining these people as my siblings. To take away some of the energy you put into your own responsibility; to lighten their load. The funny thing about the stories of these street people though is how often you hear about the wrong-doings and snatched back hands of help. Seldom to they tell the stories with blatant honesty of where they went wrong in that process. Maybe I am projecting my own experiences of a brother without a home – it’s possible that a lot of these people are only children. This makes it harder to trust these people; I don’t mind so much if someones done something wrong. I just can’t stand the thought that they won’t admit to it. I almost wrote can’t but I am certain that everything in life is a choice. I’ll tell you now, I’ve been more wrong times than I’ve been right. I’ve had to make every kind of mistake to be sure that the last option is really my best option – at least until more cards are put on the table. If you know how many ways things can go wrong then you’re more aware of how little things go right.

Life for me is like having snacks on the table. I’ll eat even when I’m full just because it’s there. That’s Toronto; an all-you-can-eat buffet of opportunity. Stuffing my schedule to a point of discomfort but really if I’m going to spend so much to sit at a table in this city I may as well get my money’s worth. Even if it makes me sick – which I am learning most things do. It’s hard to leave such a good deal. An over-priced plate that is always full; on the precipice of overflowing. No time to digest. No appreciation for dessert – it is expected like everything else. Just low quality, large quantity things to do with a fullness that leads straight to lethargy. A fullness that leads you to an inability to do anything but continue to sit at the table. There is no temptation as strong as habit. Nothing as gratifying.  No reassuring your belief that these bad habits are, in fact, bad. But how will you know? How can you be sure? Well in the same way that we test this buffet food is, in fact, still bad. You must keep eating to keep being sure. You must consume to prove the point that perhaps we don’t need so much consumption. You must continue the bad habits to know that the new ones we try to form are good.

But I’m full and if there’s anything having several eating disorders has taught me it is to eat only your fill. And when you eat your fill make it worth it; that is to say, eat the things you love or eat the things that will nourish you. If there is an abundance… Being well fed doesn’t necessarily fall inline with being overfed. That’s a certain kind of gluttony. Not to take more than you need, but to take what you don’t like without necessity. This is how we become bloated and miserable in life – filling ourselves with things we don’t enjoy.

I suppose I say without necessity because there needs to be a scape goat as with all things. Mine happened to come when I bought the watermelon. There was a necessity to prove to myself that I could know what I needed (and wanted) but to also make that knowing tangible in the world. It is our thing – us humans –  to know. We always hear that knowledge is power but decidedly few mention that it is only powerful if you use it. To hold it is not enough; just how to look at pictures of a yoga pose is not the same knowledge as to be in the yoga pose. There is an intimacy in action. A specific chemical reaction that is a combination of courage, the stink of pheromones as we do the things that attract us, a dose of understanding. Just enough of the idea of not caring to propel you off the launch. Caring is not something to do when you launch yourself – it’s far too heavy a burden to care. Instead we use caring as a platform in which to build our performance. Leave it underground in the privacy of the under-stage – of where people think the work is done. The magic happens. To care is to give an essential element of control to other people. Instead it is better to leave them with the illusion of control. This all denotes that perhaps we need an audience. This is not true either. Although I think in a lot of cases it is inevitable. Especially when you are plummeting towards a landing of the flamingo flesh of watermelon. When you – unlike everyone else who are so heavy and full – are flying nearly weightless. The act of not eating at the buffet means there are few other options available.

The first is to serve at the buffet. As I do not take orders entirely well, nor do I like cleaning up after others this is a terrible fit. I am also not very good at abiding temptation so I consider this a non-option.

The second is to hide in the bathroom with the bulimics and those with diarrhoea but this still eventually leads you back to the table eventually and perpetuates the never ending circle. And the lines are too long.

The third is to entertain the buffet.

For all intents and purposes the third option is my best. Really, my only. But I don’t blame or judge you for partaking in the indulgences. A Caesar salad is pretty good anywhere. Tempura is still experientially enjoyable even when it’s lukewarm and splattered with sweet and sour sauce. As it is, no-one much notices the entertainment when they have their backs turned to the dimmed out windows in which I appear behind. The entertainment isn’t what you’re paying for, but it’s perhaps what we should pay attention for. This isn’t a part of the dining experience so much as the life experience but we’re selfish and want to impress those at our table by eating the most plates not realizing that we become the entertainment when we ignore the world around us – who then are we supposed to entertain it everyone is only paying attention to how people perceive them. You see, no one misses the watermelon if they have honeydew or the succulent skin of a strawberry to surprise you under a suffocation of chocolate coating. I mean who has ever heard of chocolate covered watermelon? It’s too damn wet. No sprig of green to denote the goodness that grows beneath the sugary mud like a lotus of luscious luxury swimming beneath the surface. No, watermelon is put to much better use as a landing pad for my new self prophecy than as a neglected part of the dessert table.

As I mentioned earlier, I myself do not particularly like it, but is is safe in a less than 5$ way and my scape goat is that my intention for the purchase was not for the eating of it but for the experience of buying it. Alas, it is a fast dissolving substance and I won’t have to worry about it much; even after it’s sticky juices dry to my arms and feet. I’ll run around town asking for favours and wet naps. Maybe these leaps of faith are what I have in common with the homeless; not the slotting of change into an empty cup but that perception of what help really looks like. There are few people who would understand if I told them a raw pink flesh was my saviour without explaining that I don’t mean my vagina.

//

Speaking of vaginas, there’s nothing that has caused me more trouble in my life than, as Tom Robbins so eloquently put it, this peachfish. This also describes my feelings for it as I have a deep affinity for seafood but only a seasonal appreciation for peaches. I suppose I can’t blame it for being what it is – and how it is. I can only hold a hard peach in my pantry for so long before it ripens. Whether I’m ready for it or not. And once it has ripened it so often – so quickly goes rotten. Tell me, who ever willingly ate a bruised peach? It’s sweetness it almost unbearable. Like maple syrup was pumped through the broken veins of the hematoma on its surface. And who ever enjoyed the numbness on the roof of their mouth from the thick fuzz?

The peachfish has a symbiotic relationship with itself; like a clownfish and a sea anemone. Where I find myself cleansed and safe others find themselves stung. This is of course no responsibility of mine – everyone knows quite well where they should and shouldn’t be. Either at the buffet or in the bathroom.

Unless you are me of course, in which case you have a sea which happens to reside next to the city in which the buffet serves at. Unless, you are me, with a sea-fruit between your legs that electrifies any sensation that ripening welcomes. That crushes anything too ripe into a mash,  but for the familiar flow of fingers finding their way home like sardines packing themselves into a can. This thing likes things that are hard. Not necessarily an erection but things like self-satisfaction, healthy choices, restraint. Moderation. The full fucking moon. Everything that sounds like masturbation but is as tedious as a telling a young man with a jack-hammer tongue to find the roll of a percussionists; to do this instead of finding the slow steady march of your own practiced finger pads. This last one though, the moon, is the most challenging. I am utterly at the whim of it’s tides, fish calling to swim home. But it gets tricky because sometimes I see the full moon in someones eyes; in the puff of smoke that escapes my laps after a bong hit. So even the thing that has diligently controlled the tides for millennia can’t really be trusted when we’ve had so much opportunity to duplicate it.  Of course, I am not surprised by this. I am sure a werewolf has it’s own grievances with the cheese wheel floating above us, starving him innocently of a bite. Provoking him to satiate his hunger in more human ways.

There are other things I bought at the grocery store: Tzatziki. Chocolate covered almonds. Blueberry yogurt. Rice crackers. Almond Milk. About 12 other various items. Some of these are quite normal for me. Others luxurious; like buying a fur coat second hand in Spring. Just the idea of it can be enough to make the experience of it worth buying. Then you have 3 seasons to think yourself into wearing it. Or sell it again. Here I don’t have the tedium or luxury of 3 seasons to sweep away the burden of the purchase if I don’t feel like eating it, but I do only have 3 days to eat the mass of groceries so that is my scape goat for not finishing them. Still time, but not to fester. Just a simple “constraint” that gives me leverage to the leeway I need in these situations of self-exploration. And the knowledge that my counter part will likely eat what I don’t when leave. Personal waste, perhaps. But not entirely economically wasteful. Besides, there is a price to pay that is higher than monetary to not give myself utter freedom in food – in all things really. One must always be ready for snacks; this translates to also having snacks ready for one.

It is perhaps a little strange to liken the self so closely with food. And fish (if you want to consider these separate, as I’m sure many vegans would oblige by). But what else is there really? Cars? They are egotistical and self-loathing in their pride. I do not think we like ourselves enough to relate the two. Clothes are too personal yet impersonal in their universality; there is something that looks good on everyone. A mark that everyone searches for. Food is not a mask. We are made on a biomolecular level of the things we eat. Kale is in my bones – and so are a lot of mayonnaise and eggs and I’m sure at this point semen makes up about .01% which is significant in a way – at least until the next 7 years pass and my body makes it’s miraculous transformation of recycled cells that will bring that number to about .00001% to account for the oath of celibacy I took for 6 months, paired with the perfect longing of another long-distance lover. We wear food inside and often it gives us away more than we would like. It is honest as it makes its way outward; pimples, bloating, fat, greasy finger prints on our phone screens. Shit in the toilet. Food, you cannot hide from. And fish that don’t know that land fucking exists.

When fish die they are not afraid they are dying; they are simply just fighting the inevitable to make their way home. This is what they are convinced of anyway. In buddhism this is true as our “soul” does not die, but the fish are not aware of the depth of their knowledge (which makes me wonder, again, if to know without depth is really to be able to harness that power?) Relentless in their hopeless position. This is the greatest summary of the human condition that I can muster. Flopping around on the deck like fools, trying to get to where we know because that is surely the only place that really exists (I am assuming fish do not know about sushi, where they equally belong but that is a different story).

The rest is just transit, even death. As we bade out last breath a meaningless farewell – not truly believing our own fate we make a fruitless attempt in our loping sign-language of flipping fins and fingers on deck to let the God’s know we really do have a purpose. “That wasn’t gluttony you saw us indulge in at the buffet! It was just a very extensive review of the shittiest yet most fastidiously visited establishment known to man! No, we don’t have the notes as now we are fish with sign-language flippers!”

This is how I imagine the conversation goes. The bulging eyes proving to sway us more than our equally bulging bellies. And then we are slaughtered. Or really, they are slaughtered. I am not a fish. I’m just at the experiential will of them. I’ll tell you, not much changes. I’ve put this one on a strictly peach diet. Then I told it to fast for 6 months. The survival instincts of fish and humans are remarkably similar; mostly in that we believe that which we cling to is the only reality there is to exist in. Yet, do we experience this existence at all? Making small talk from around the buffet tables?

Here’s the thing: With me, this fish knows how to be out of water. Or it’s learning to be – even if it’s only for a few minutes. Or months. It also knows if I choose not to feed it I am more than likely choosing for it to live. There’s a lot of poison in our oceans these days. And like most things, if you become too aware of  a life span you become distinctly in tune with just how short it is. Everything is always too short; this is the trouble with living with expiry dates amongst something that is boundless. Even in the middle of an open field we are still trapped on fucking earth which we’re bullying into suicide.

//

As it is, I have two homes here on this planet. One an orchard, and one the ocean.

The orchard is my fathers land. The ocean is my mothers. They met for a one-night-stand long ago. My mother had left by morning, well after my father had fallen into an unshakeable slumber. The rendezvous still happens if you watch for the red sky while the sun sets and the moon rises.

My mother chose the ocean. Or perhaps it chose her. She has a commanding attitude but is clandestinely gentle. Taking to the darkness to hold the world in her palm without being watched too much herself, without the worry of distorted patterns that happens when we know we are being observed. The tabloids lies and grievances of her are more than made up for by the worship of her, but still she is shy. Or, I should say modest.

My fathers lands was an inheritance of sorts. A natural progression. His brothers planted the seeds yet needed him to show up. My father is generous but also troubled. Often disappearing for days at a time in a hung-over haze. The clouds his sunglasses as he waits for them to deliver a glass of water. Yet when he doesn’t go on a bender he is equally unbearable. Burning the freshness off everything. The only things left are the things that make him sick. That lead him to drink. The orchard of peaches are his reprieve. The best place to find his good intentions are in the seasonal ripening of soft flesh. The hard pit of his endurance a reminder in your mouth that you are powerless – but that power has the potential to be overrated anyway. The peach pit also happens to be in memory of your mother, with her many craters and indigestible self sitting in the midst of the sky. He paints the canvas of fuzz with the colours of their love stories. A romantic guy when he’s not sizzling red-heads to try and match the hue of their skin to his fruits.

This hard peach pit, I thought, lived in my stomach. As it turns out, the salty tides of my mothers territory reside here. A predictable flux. After many a crack without much change, the pit I realize is in the place of my heart. Textured enough to be of interest for a while. Stubborn enough to be discarded. Either with a gentle resolve in which the only awareness I’ve had that there has been a change is in my finally steady and upright perspective that happens when you are truly rooted. But mostly it is that impact. The jolt of a frustrated hand discarding me haphazardly, saying something like “it’s a pit!” (although for a long time I thought this meant a black hole ) “It’s compostable I can throw it anywhere.”

Yet, this is not true. You cannot rid of me in the garbage, only a garden. At least as far as I’m concerned although I haven’t been asked much where I want to get dropped off.  This is one of the few places of transformation. This is where I am in awe of my mother; her exposures changing just like breathing. Predictable. She always shows up when she says she will, even when we forget she is coming. And don’t forget that we don’t have to look up for proof of her presence. We merely need to look at the tide at our feet. Let it wash away the shit we stepped in. Some call shit fertilizer, but I feel like that doesn’t apply if you’re not rooted. Yet I must be venial of this and remember in this instance I am washing watermelon juice from my feet. I must be grateful for a mushy landing in which I can walk after. I must be aware that if I were truly washing shit from my feet in this ocean then I would be contaminating the home of this peachfish with it’s private anemone; killing off it’s practicality. What an honour to wade in the sticky pink waters. Cooling myself in this diluted melon juice as everyone else gorging or gouging themselves at the buffet. Watermelon is for nourishment and peaches are for love – their juice dribbling down my chin.

I forgot to mention the purchasing of their flesh on my grocery trip, bought purely for the reason that they were perfectly ripe; a reminder that I am too.