Cape Breton Day 6

I like to alternate pure tourist days with almost local days. Today I had one almost local plan – to take in the Pride CB Living Library at the McConnell Library. An early phone call confirmed supper with an old friend, so now I had two plans on an unplanned day 🙂 The Travelodge is close enough for me to me willing to walk to the downtown. The sun wasn’t as relentless as it has been. So the walk took about thirty minutes, with photo & text stops.

The main drag is now in tatters – empty stores, some of which were posh now are dusty vacant remain Lots I did stop in at a couple & picked up some books, trinkets & to ask about obscure east coast music. Stopped for lunch at Flavor – which wouldn’t be out of place one the Danforth. Decent coffee, good service & excellent bacon & eggs with an exceptional in-house sour dough bread. Stopped in at Heritage Museum but nothing much there but it has taken over the superb old Bank of Montreal building.

Hit another souvenir shop for more trinkets. A coffee shop & finally the McConnell. Four members of the lgbt etc community shared some of their coming out – it was like an AA talk without the alcohol. They each brought in focus very different aspects of the queer experience: pan, intersex, non binary, cis, not cis, lesbian experience. Sometime funny, sometimes sad, always real. 

All of them had some sort of community to come out into & found support for their process. I did remind them that as someone who lived in CB the 60s/70s they had a very different experience. Too bad there wasn’t any of the older generation available for the panel to give it a more complete historical context.

Walked back to the hotel, relaxed a bit, showered & out for that dinner with an old friend. Too much food, too stuffy an apartment, but at least she was within walking distance. I find that’s one of the good things about opting for a hotel this visit – I have seen parts of this city that I have never seen before.

Here’s a brand new piece I wrote at Flavor.

Morning Moment

the old home town

not in ruins

yet –

tatters

remodelled for the tourist trade

some shops only open

when the liners are in

cruise ships

with so many passengers

the population is doubled

for a couple of hours

 

I grew up here

before the liners

made this a port of call

escaped when I was young enough

to enjoy my freedom

now old enough

to know

I escaped with my life

I felt then I was in a prison

but didn’t understand

I was under a death sentence

 

the old home town

familiar 

storefronts of abandoned shops

schools burned down

washed away

dead friends

nostalgia not memory

brings me back

 

I don’t want to revisit

as much as reframe

to make new moments

to be what I wasn’t 

once upon a time

maybe to be

what I am not even today

 

so what do I say

to a message

‘dick this morning?’

will I be 

some old guy in a past self

who was a prisoner of shame

or do I let myself

become a man

who takes this moment

to exchange blow jobs

before eight in the morning

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