Lunch

 

I’ve seen Lydia Lunch perform a few times. Daring edgy, funny, vulgar & fun. She heads an mp3 collection that includes her Queen of Siam; Dagger & Guitar; & Big Sexy Noise. Also here are Flying Lizards 1, Top 10; Moondog 1, 2; Laurie Anderson: Mister Heartbreak.

 

I’m not sure if heard her perform before I heard Queen of Siam. The music is a mix of retro beatnik, a touch of big band, surf music & spoke word. She doesn’t exactly sing & her spoken style is a slightly detached almost indifference to the words themselves, captivating. but it is all good. I’m always happy to hear this Queen. The other two I have are good & more of the same with the same beatnik vibe. I say beatnik to separate her from the flower power hippy 60’s/70’s.

The same is true for Laurie Anderson. Laurie has more pop in her songs than Lydia, even dueting with Peter Gabriel. The music is experimental yet easy listening at the same time. Not aggressive musically but intellectually stimulating. Laurie presents sharp emotional commentary in a sweet deceptive wrap. Similar to Lydia she is more of a spoken word performer than a singer. Multi-tracking & loop songs wash over you. Serious, humorous but not campy.

Flying Lizards on the other hand are deadpan campy fun. The offer “bent interpretations of pop music constructs.” I loved their deconstruction of Summertime Blues & the album is a delight . Top Ten continues with astonishing demolitions of classic such as Get Up (I Feel like Being A) Sex Machine. These guys fill me with delight.

To round this collection of I added two by Moondog. This is a true beatnik musical rebel. Jazz? certainly not pop. 1 is experimental, unpredictable & avant-garde. 2 is a set of madrigal rounds. He realized a number of recordings in he mid50’s, drawback & returned when Big Bother & The Holding Company did a recording of one of his songs & he started writing & recording again. A true pioneer, iconoclast who influenced Lunch, Anderson, Bjork (to name a few) I should be part of your musical education.

The Milky Way

My bother wanted us to get out of the car. He’d never seen a cow before. Neither had I but I had no interest in seeing a cow. We were on one of my Dad’s Sunday adventure drives. He’d hop in the car with us kids – me the oldest, my bother then our two little sister. Then drive without a goal. 

There were some places we’d see at least once a month. Places our Dad knew we’d like. But at least once a month we’d have no idea where he was taking us.

This time he’d suddenly turned off the highway – nice and smooth paved – onto a dirt road. Gravel pecking at the underside of the car.

Empty fields then forest clumps more empty fields. Up hills then down. A puddle from recent rain at the bottom of this last hill where we made the biggest splash I’d ever seen.

My sisters screamed with glee and fear as my bother shouted. “We’re going down down down. We’re going to drown drown drown.”

We didn’t drown but the bottom of the car scraped something with an ugly grind. At the level end of this lane Dad got out to look underneath.

“Looks fine. Nothing leaking.”

That’s when the cows came over. Only four of them. not in a hurry but slowly they came over to the fnece as we got back int he car. dad started off again and the cows seemed to follow us along the fence as my dad drove slowly. My bother wanted to stop.

So we stopped. Me and my brother got out and stepped over to the cows.

Their gigantic headed drooling as they nodded down to us. The smell of dung was over powering. 

“They stink.” My brother laughed. “They smell worse that you girls.”

My sisters got out of the car. Their eyes bigger than cow eyes. Each of them had half an apple that our mother had cut for a snack later.

One held it up to the nearest cow. Big pink tongue licked out of the saliva for the apples and both my sisters screamed and ran back to the car.

We boys got back in. 

“What did you think was going to happen.” I asked. 

“They don’t have hands to take food from you.”

One sister was wiping her hand on a towel. Smelling it and wiping it some more.

“Now you know where milk comes from.” My dad said as we eased back on the road.

“Milk?” My sister turned pale. She was never fond of milk after that.
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This Isn’t A Compliment

 Discernment

it’s not that it isn’t satisfying

in no way is this a judgement 

of the quality

the quantity

there may be deeper flavours

those aren’t the issues

really

it’s not that there’s a alternative

or some way

of not accepting what is offered

in favour of something else

enough is enough

even if it is only available now 

there is no need to apologize

explain

or delay

what is here

will have to do

this isn’t a complaint 

merely compliance 

taking it in

making the most of it

while admitting

this desire not to have more

at least not more of the same

We live in a paradoxical culture in which we are either polite to the point of codependency or enraged when our desire to control is thwarted. We say or do things we’d rather not do just to spare someone feelings then get pissed if they aren’t grateful enough. 

Often we’re dealing with people who see our disinterest as a person attack. Not to noisily agree with them is seen as arrogant, judgemental closed mindedness. 

Discernment becomes pretentiousness. As the current USA President demonstrates, to be even mildly critical is to be dismissed as an unpatriotic hater – if you aren’t blindly with us you are against us.

This piece is a list poem not one with with a direct plot line, no narrative other than the one the reader imposes on it. So if you didn’t find it had a beginning middle or logical ending – it doesn’t. It respects the readers’ ability to make connections, to find their way without every moment being sign-posted with neon arrows.

Some of the lines are things I’ve overheard, hear on TV/movies, read where people are talking about identity, sexuality, or food. Words have been given a spin but changing a letter, adding a letter etc. Pulling them out of one context & dropping them into another. Like the piece, this chat about the piece feels there is no need to apologize or explain. I’ve discovered that what I say & what you hear can be two different things anyway. 


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Picture Perfect 21

Riding his bike to work Dan was surprised that over the past four days he didn’t mind Sanjay sleeping in the guest room. Having his bed to himself was a pleasant change. No worries about waking Sanjay when he had to go to the can in the night. Not having to pry his arm out from under another body.

The hard part was to not say anything about it. He wrote conversations in his head in which he talked Sanjay into accepting his apology but he didn’t want to have to talk Sanjay into anything. He knew it wouldn’t go on much longer. At least they were warmly civil with each other rather than cold and snarky.

He kept himself in check to avoid saying things that were bitter or hurtful just to teach Sanjay a lesson. So by Thursday Dan was relived to sense a bit of a thaw in things between them.

Though he hadn’t heard anything from Baxter he had been doing his own research on the missing children. He’d printed out articles from newspaper on-line archives. He tapped into school records when he could find them. Some school districts had began to scan and upload class pictures.

Too bad his Dad had cleared out most of the work he had done of that nature. They’d only kept his and Linda school shots. Looking at a couple of those he couldn’t recall the name of a single person in some of them. Not even of the teachers he had had. Much of that memory had been washed away with getting settled in Toronto. The few names he did remember he couldn’t put to faces.

He’d made a more through search of the store’s archives and found a few more old family movies and another file of saucy pictures. What would his mother know about these?

The second set showed the woman’s face in one shot. As is the others her back was mostly to the camera or in profile. In the few full frontals she held her splayed, black gloved, fingers over her face just showing her eyes or mouth in come hither poses. In these she was alone.

They started with the woman dressed in garters, nylons, panties, bra and heels; in each she wore one less garment; by the last one she was nude, spread eagle on a bed – a beaver shot but always wearing heels. He was happy to be spared her dirty feet.

The series started on the studio set but the last few were in a bedroom somewhere. It wasn’t any of the ones in their house, so maybe they took the shoot to a motel. The under lit room had that impersonal look.

There were twenty-two pictures in this set. If it was from a standard roll of 24 that meant there were two missing, maybe a couple that didn’t turn out. The sequence of poses were random enough that he couldn’t guess where the two missing shots might have been.

The body itself was in good shape. He’d guess mid-20’s from the face. But that was hard to tell with the make up the model was wearing. It reminded him of Liz Taylor in Cleopatra – accented eyes and the hair cut square across the eyebrows. No, it was definitely the Betty Page look.

He locked his bike and went into the store.

“Morning, boss man.” Sandy greeted him.

“Morning it is.” He looked at mail by the register. “Paper catalogues! What a novel idea.”

He thumbed through the catalogues. Cameras, camera bags, pants with loads of pockets perfect for any camera man.

“Get a load of these.” He showed the pants to Ushio. “Imagine the clinking sound you’d make with all those pockets filled.”

“How would you keep them up?” Ushio said. “You could never sit down either. You’d have lenses up the butt.”

“Now there’s a camera you need to design.” Sandy said. “The butt cam,”

“It would take shitty pictures.” Ushio laughed.

“The rect-a-cam recked him.” Dan couldn’t stop laughing.

“That asshole sure can take great pictures.” Sandy was gasping for air.

“There was a tripod here a minute ago.” Ushio held his stomach.

“What’s this, Candid Camera?”

Dan caught his breath. It was Stephanie Carter from Quintex. With her was John Kilpatrick, the Unsolved host; a camera woman and a lighting man.

“No. No. Just some crappy camera humour.” Dan said.

This sent Ushio and Sandy into a fit of giggles.

“What brings you and your crew here. Running out of batteries?”

“Didn’t Cyrtys tell you we were coming to interview you?” She said.

“Hi.” John reached out and shook his hand. “I’ll be conducting the interview. This is Francie and Mike.” He introduced the crew.

Dan was a bit confused. He thought Kilpatrick was moving on to another project.

“Uh … Okay. Here?”

“We can start here then move it somewhere more private.” John said looking to Stephanie.

“Cyrtys did tell you we were coming.” Stephanie asked Dan. “That’d I’d be directing the interview?”

“I haven’t heard from him since last week. Unless he sent an email.”

“Nah. The fucker.” Stephanie said. “Just like him. You’re cool with this?”

“This is a work day. How long will it take?” Dan asked.

“Two hours max.” John said. “I’ve done enough of these by now.”

“You’ll have to sign this release before we start though.” Stephanie took out two page form from her briefcase. “Standard stuff.”

“Look, I’m not signing anything without looking it over first. I know copyright law and intellectual property rights. That’s why I don’t do Facebook and the like.”

“What!” Stephanie exclaimed. “I drag a crew here, paying for their time, and now you balk because of intellectual property rights?” She took a deep breath. “We will only talk about Timmy Dunlop. That’s it. We won’t ask about your investigative process but we will certainly make that known as well. It adds to your credibility.”

Sandy looked over the release form. “It is standard stuff, boss, but gives Quintet permission to use the footage in any of their shows not just Unsolved Cold. No mention of payment for other such usage.”

“Think of it as exposure for your business.”

“My business doesn’t need the exposure. Besides you aren’t interviewing me as owner of James Family Photographers are you. That guy only sells cameras. You want to talk to me because of supposed creditability, right.”

“This is more trouble that it’s worth, Steph.” The camera woman said. She and the sound man gathered their equipment and began to leave.

“I’d say do it bossman.”

“Here’s the deal then.” Dan said. “My rate is two-hundred and fifty an hour.”

“Two-fifty!” John exclaimed. “Who you think you are?”

“Someone you want to talk to for starters. That’s what I change any client for my time, materials are extra.”

“What if we don’t get anything we can use?”

“That could happen with anyone you get a release form from right.”

“Right. So where do we go with this next.”

“Start where you were going to start. We got this all on tape anyway. You are agreeing, right.”

“Yes, I, Stephanie Carter on behalf of Quintex Productions agree. Now let’s get to it. We’ve wasted enough time. Your time begins now I presume and not from when we walked in the door.”

“Yes.” Dan looked to John. “What would you like to know?”

“We’re here at the James Photo Depot talking with owner Daniel James.” John read from a script. “Daniel is a photographic forensics expert who has a special interest in the Missing East Coast case. Tell us about your connection to the case.”

“I was watching the episode of Unsolved Cold and recognized the picture of Timmy Dunlop.”

“Recognized it how?” John asked.

“I was in the picture with him. It was a photograph my father took.”

“Stop.” Stephanie said. “Do we have a copy of the picture here? Did you bring one?” She asked Mike as she rooted in her brief case.

“I have the originals upstairs in my office.”

“Excellent.” Stephanie said. “Go up. John you keep talking and Francie you go ahead.

“Look we’re not insured for falling camera people.” Dan said.

“Understood.” Francie said.

They started walking with the crew in front backing up carefully.

“Daniel.” John began. “You’ve become a go to person for the RCMP when it comes to photographic evidence.”

“Go-to? I’m not sure about that but yes, I have assisted on several cases for them.”

“Most recently it was a child porn case.”

“Yes.” Daniel pushed past Francie to open his office door. “I developed soft wear that refines elements in an image for greater clarity and identification. Using it we were able to narrow down the location of some of the photographs that had been circulated.”

John glanced his notes as Daniel got the Timmy photos out of his file.

“Let’s stop here. Everything will be sorted out in editing anyway.” Stephanie said. “Off the record can you tell us how that was done.”

“That info was all in the newspaper. In several of the pictures I saw a similar bedspread but in different room layouts. I isolated that image. That lead us to the manufacturer, to the buyer and ultimately to him.”

“So part of what you do is find details in photographs that the average person might not pick up on.” John asked.

“Yes.”

“Care to demonstrate that for the camera?” Stephanie asked. “It might come in use at some point. I have a feeling.”

“Well, Okay.” Dan agreed.

“We’re here in the office of Daniel James.” John started with the camera on him. 

The camera panned to him. Then to the arm-in -arm photo of him and Timmy that he had put on the table.

“What can you tell us about this picture?” John asked.

“Oh, this is stupid.” Dan said. “I know too much about this picture as it is. I can’t pretend to find things out like that. Besides there wasn’t anything in this picture.”

“Stop.” said Stephanie. “Try a couple of these.” She pulled some photos from her brief case and put them out he table. “Rolling.”

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Wrestling With Connection

Week 7 on The Artist’s Way is about connection to creativity – as opposed to our connection with others. One of things that hampers that creative connection is perfectionism. I have a writing friend who has been perfecting the same thirty page opening to his novel for some ten years now. It has to be perfect so he can send it to an agent etc. He no longer asks me for advice 🙂 I stopped that by telling him it would cost $100 an hour for a minimum of three hours before I would be willing to look at his work-in-progress.

There is a section on risk – the willingness to try & not succeed as we envisioned. For me this is part of the process of letting go of expectations, of control. In recovery they say you plan the plans but the results are in the universe’s hands. I’ve painted rooms one colour only to have the paint dry in a different one 🙂

As with the Ways chapters so far there some sifting through the past for missed opportunities & for good turning points. In my covid house-cleaning frenzy I’ve unearthed old note books, old rough drafts, old photographs. Those photos reconnected me with where I was in my early 20’s, long before I moved to Toronto. I’ve also been reading Old Trout Funnies – an excellent book about a comic book series by Paul  ‘Moose’ MacKinnon that was first issued while I was living in Cape Breton. (https://www.facebook.com/OldTroutFunnies).

Moose was one of my drinking crowd & he included real people (some of whom I knew) in the comics & calendars. In one issue there is even a plug (page 70) for my poetry book ‘Distant Music’ which had been published at the time. So there was actual creative support for me in that community at that time.

 

One of the tasks was to wear a favourite item of clothing for no special reason. All my clothes are favourites, so what I did was to pick some things I rarely wear but save for intimate encounters 🙂 Namely some wrestling singlets & some revealing undies I bought a few years ago. Very snug but also very sexy. Photos “fansonly” 🙂

My Underwear

it seems the best way 

to put out the fire

in your heart

was to run over to a bar

drink till there was 

only a stumble of drunks 

to deal with

there was no way out of it

except to break the windows

push your grandma down the stairs

so what if there weren’t 

any stairs in our apartment

you still get the picture

 

yeah I know

drawing it in crayons

all over the hall to our place

wasn’t a great idea

but you have to admit

it caught the lighting of the fire

without using up all the reds

only the blues

the blues you give everyone

who is lucky enough

to catch you on your balcony

ready to jump

don’t do it

or if you have to 

wait till I get back with coffee

I have to be careful 

the contents may be hot

but wet will always 

put out the flame

it makes no difference to me 

what burns you out of my system

hot coffee or direct flame

 

maybe tossing all your undies 

in the shredder was a bit much

but it seems the only way 

to keep you out of them

to keep you fresh

ready and pliant

not that you wore them 

that often anyway

going commando

wasn’t a rare event

bare-assed at McDonalds

where did you park those buns

yeah not so funny

does it look like I’m laughing

all the way home

to the shadowed moment 

when there once was a dart of hope

now just a bunch 

of empty coat hangers

in a clump 

I can’t pull apart

hangers that once held

everything you ever wore

around the house

out in the street

 

yeah I’m a total liar

I never picked up a drink 

because of you

that isn’t going to happen

wasn’t even tempted

you took something out of my life 

but you left behind 

more that you took

I don’t need to breath 

it’s all up to you now

as if it alway wasn’t

 

I can’t get over

the number of times

I wanted to paint the hall way

that I wanted to use 

your tooth brush to clean 

the coffee machine

so I wouldn’t have to go out 

for a fresh cup to dump 

in your laugh

because I’m sure 

that behind closed eyes

you are smirking like a tried urinal

knowing that you pissed 

me off one too many times

 

you know

if you were here now

I’d probably take you back

but still wouldn’t trust you 

as far as you could throw 

my underwear

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Order via the paypal along with where to send it.

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Ghosts and Haunted Stumps Toronto

Pan on the Danforth – good Greek/Mediterranean food

tile entrance to Pan which is still there

Seduction on Yonge – sex no longer sells

Greek City on the Danforth – moved then vanished

corner of Sherbourne & Bloor – soon to be a covid ghost – Timothy’s gone & Starbucks took over – then pandemic

Danforth & Logan – the Tim’s stain refuses to be gone

tree on lawn of house next door

haunted stump & bones of tree professionals came later in the year to remove the stump

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Bye Bye Monopoly

Thanks to the weather this has been yet another week of deep house cleaning, purging & rearranging. That is three mornings of social isolation in which I listen to podcast & dust, vacuum & lose the weight of stuff. The weather has cooperated somewhat with rainy or overcast mornings so staying indoors isn’t so challenging. 

Advances in technology have made the purging process easier – I found a drawer full of those little diskettes that predated cds. Bye. Bye. So much paper that our recycle bin is full to the brim. I can’t wait to see it emptied by the city at the end of the week because I already have more to get rid of 🙂 

The covid crisis hasn’t been personally stressful but I has let me stop & do things I’ve been meaning to do for too long. The meditative power of the walk seemed more spiritually elevating than getting rid of cobwebs (yes there lots of those in not so dark corners). Food a pile of board games : Scrabble, Monopoly etc that hasn’t seen the light of day in over 20 years. I put them near the sidewalk for folks to take & most of them, except Monopoly where gone within a couple of hours. Put the remains out the next & those that didn’t get new homes were unboxed & sorted into the blue bin. Bye bye Monopoly. 

I opted to do this home isolation a few morning a week to comply with the stay home rule. Now that I’ve pulled out the vacuum I am pleased with the sense of peace that comes seeing no dust, no twenty-year-old caches of never-to-be-used paper & to see actual empty space. The house is cleaner. More rooms yet to be done though as I am only devoting 90 focused minute at a time to this process. Who knows how much longer this lockdown might last & I don’t want to do a whirlwind job just to get it out of the way, then have no productive distractions left. Yes, I can eat one chocolate a day from a box of chocolates 🙂

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Photos Don Valley April 23, 2020

Ravel, Tartini and Bach

Next on the classical shelf is a nearly 8 hour mp3 collection of work by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Giuseppe Tartini (1692 –1770) & soprano Amelita Galli-Curci (1882 –1963).

Ravel is best know for his Bolero & perhaps his Pavane for A Dead Princess But he did actually write more than that :-). His string quartet is often paired with Debussy’s string quartet which reflects the impressionist style that Ravel wrote in. I have the Bolero & Pavane in other collections. In this one I have the complete solo piano music & his piano Concertos, which includes the concerto for left hand written for a concert pianist who lost his right hand in the war.

The Bolero unwittingly set the template for much popular music. It starts with a single instrument & every 8 bars or so adds another layer or beat – which is how many jazz, pop arrangements are constructed. It’s almost mathematic in the progression & variations. Sadly Bolero itself is a piece of music I don’t care every to hear again though. The Pavane is elegant & so relaxing it frequently shows up in collections of the most relaxing music ever.

The solo piano is similar to Debussy but a bit more mathematical as opposed to impressionist. Dreamy, relaxing. I love the sonatas. The String Quartet is surprisingly sensuous as the strings wrap around each other & you.

I had one of Tartini’s violin concertos as lp to cd transfer but wanted a better quality, so picked up the Complete Violin concertos. Best known for the Devil’s Trill, these are great Baroque pieces full of trills &, I’ve been told, virtuoso challenges for violinists.

Also in this collection is Leopold Stokowski’s Bach Transcriptions which includes the Toccata & Fugue. The orchestral sound is lush, soothing & even spiritual at times. I love the toccata & this is one my favourite versions. Stokowski turns Baroque Bach into orchestral Beethoven. Stokowski is best known for his work on Walt Disney’s Fantasia – which is a movie that introduced many generations to the power of classical music & his orchestrations are the key to the success of the movie.

Finally in this collection is Amelita Galli-Curci. She was one of the most popular operatic singers of the 20th century. I’m not a big opera fan but this set of 1917-1928 recordings is one way of stretching my ears to music I’m not that familiar with. The sound quality is okay, as it is often is with these period recordings. I’m happy with these but don’t ask me to decide who is better her or Maria Callas 🙂

Ink

“Get your lazy ass over here! You hear me. Get that lazy ass of yours over here pronto!” Jen hung up the phone satisfied she had done all she had to do. 

It wouldn’t be her fault if Jim didn’t get there on time. No one could find fault with her. Unless it was because she had made the call. It wasn’t up to her to be anyone’s alarm clock but she didn’t want to see Jim get fired. 

Jim was told if he was late one more time that would be it. She didn’t really like Jim but was used to him. She didn’t want to have to learn how to put up with some other jerk off.

She went to the customer washroom. There was still time to check to make sure she looked okay. Her hair was not too wild but not too tame either. Her lip ring was healing. The redness gone. It didn’t distract too much from the eyebrow piercing or the shock of pink she’d had put in her hair for the week. Something  to change appearances around a little. The customers liked variation. Jim felt consistency was reassuring. He didn’t like change.

She could tell by the way his eyes sort of narrowed looking for a safe place on her face to look at. There were no safe places.

She glanced at her wrist watch. Hello Kitty’s face looked so snug strapped in the middle of her full sleeve, roses & koi tattoos. Expensive but not nearly as painful as the she had expected. Both arms. A girl never had to worry about what to wear with these. She held both arms out in front of her, turned them to enjoy the wrapping and overlapping vines, castles stars & comets that danced along and over her shoulders down her back. Sweet. Sweet Sweet. What would she get done next.

Jen went to the front of the shop. She didn’t want to open up till someone else was there. The design books were laid out, a sketched pad was by her station & she began working on the pirate ship she knew would look good on Jim. 

Yes today was the day he would get his lazy ass inked once and for all.
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Replace Me

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

Replace Me

excuse me 

while I slip into something 

more comfortable

does this fit

does it look good on me

do I look sane in it

does it turn you on

do I look educated in this

does it suit the occasion

will it get me laid

can it open doors for me

will it need to be ironed

can I wear it in public

will it turn heads

does it make me look old

look desperate 

it comes in other colours

maybe a size larger

can it be replaced

can it replace me

does it make up for my lack of style

do I have the guts to wear it

does it wear me

will it last longer than a glance

is it why you want me

am I anything without it

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Nothing Doing

Get Off The Pot

there is a time & place

for everything

except this

because this a time for nothing

a time to do nothing

to save nothing

this isn’t that rainy day

this isn’t when

the cows come home

when the crows roost

so stop waiting

for those eggs to hatch

no matter what you have on your hands

this is not the time or place

to save stitches

to waste your breath

or make yet more excuses 

no more chances

there is no grace period 

it’s not now nor never

neither suits me fine

there is no better time

for doing nothing

Doing nothing is a difficult concept in a culture geared to productivity. Being idle is seen as a waste of time, or as being lazy. Time off time doesn’t really exist when one has laundry to do, a house to clean, a yard to rake, children to look after, pets to tend to, boxsets of hit TV shows to binge watch. When we are deprived of distractions we panic.

What do you do in your ‘spare time?’ Plan a vacation check flights & hotels so you can get away from your routine & do nothing? When you get there is a rush from museum to restaurant – hiking trails – or finding a quiet spot in a park & sitting there breathing 🙂 Doing nothing is hard work/

I have been trying to break some of my busy habits. One step was to stop carting my iPod around with me whenever I left the house. My life had a sound track that never seemed to stop. A sound track that became a buffer between me & what was actually around me. If I ran into friends while on my walk I would be miffed that I’d have to turn off my iPod to listen to them. Or think – don’t they see I’m busy listening.

I recently stopped reading when I take a pee – I didn’t want to piss away those previous moments when I could be reading a few pages of some vitally important book. Why not do one thing at time, right. Enjoy the flow of the moment 🙂

I am not yet at the point where I can do nothing though. The closest I get is on my walks but even those have extra layers: eyes opened for photos, mulling over blog posts, wondering what to cook for dinner on the weekend. I think one of the reasons for my routines is so I can think less. I essential know what I’m going to serve every day for dinner – variations on the same things. i.e. Monday is always rice with veggies, steamed cabbage & steamed salmon. Herbs & spices for the rice will change from week to week.

One of the Artist’s Way tasks was to listen to a side of an lp. To just listen to it without doing anything else. Sit there & do nothing but listen. Let the music be music not background, not inspiration, memory cue or even meditation. It was a challenge. Are you up to it?
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Picture Perfect 20

A few minutes later Sanjay walked into the lane way.

“Long time no see.” He said as they kissed quickly.

“Yeah. How was the party?”

“Same old. I left before Sylvan could pressure me to help with the service. Feels like I haven’t slept for days.”

“I’m just finishing up here.”

“Anything I can give you hand with?” Sanjay started to roll one of the bins.

“As a matter of fact there is.” Dan grappled with Sanjay from behind and pulled him into the nook. He’d never had sex out there himself. What would that be like. How would it look on the monitors. He could star in his own moment.

“What the fuck.” Sanjay struggled to get away.

“It’s okay.” Dan unzipped Sanjay’s jeans and tried to get his cock out.

“It is not okay. Someone might see us.”

“Not here. Too dark.” He stepped into the darkest corner of the nook. “Can you see me?” Dan knew would be the best spot for the camera to catch any action. He undid his fly and let his erection catch the light.

“Sort of but … that’s not the point.” Sanjay stepped back and into the limited light. “What’s got into you?”

For the time they’d been together Dan had kept his lane way fascination a secret. There didn’t seem to be any of starting a conversation about it with anyone. He didn’t discuss it with his V-Files buddies. He saw no point. But now that he the chance to share it this way with Sanjay was too much for him to resist. He pulled Sanjay back into him and sank to knees. Sanjay pushed away.

“You been drinking or what?”

“No.” Dan said as he finally wrested Sanjay’s thick dick out of his underwear. He lunged forward and got in into his mouth. Was the light right? The angle. It better be for all the work his was doing to get this shot.

“Stop.” Sanjay shoved him hard into the wall. “This isn’t like you.” He shoved his cock back in his pants, did up the fly as he moved away from Dan.

“Sorry.” Dan stood doing up his own fly. A minute more and he would have shot off. “I was just happy to see you. Happy and horny.”

“I can tell.” Sanjay glanced around to see if anyone might have seen them. 

They pushed the bins into the nook. Dan went back into the store to get his bike. He desperately wanted to check the security cameras to see what they picked up. He could access them when he got home.

He strapped his bike to the trunk rack and got in the car.

“Man what a day.” He said. “I’m surprised someone didn’t throw a vcr through the window. Even with the signs saying No VCR’s people insist on bringing them to trade in. They take it personally, as if I was telling they weren’t worth the money, not their tired old equipment. Funny how some people resent being told no.”

“Look, I’m sorry.” Sanjay patted Dan on the knee. “About back there. So you can stop yammering about nothing.”

“I wasn’t.”

“Dan, I know you well enough to know when you are talking around something rather than facing it. I didn’t mind really I didn’t. It was just a bit unexpected.”

“Another time maybe?” Dan said. He knew that the element of the unexpected was a big part for him in making it truly hot. Planning would spoil things too much.

“I doubt it. You know how I feel about …”

“Public displays of affection.”

“Honey that was no display of affection, that was damn near rape.”

“Can’t rape the willing.”

“Or the unwilling.” Sanjay pulled the car into their garage. He handed Dan a plastic bag with some take-out containers in it.

He glanced in the bag as he went into the house. “Chinese?”

“What passes for it anyway.” Sanjay followed him in. “You change and I’ll set the table.”

“Change?”

“You smell like an electronics factory.”

“You don’t like my robot lubricator scent?”

“No more than you do. Now git.”

“Yes, sir. I love it when you tell me what to do.” He took the stairs two at a time. 

“Shower while you’re at it.” Sanjay called up to him.

“What about you?” He called back.

“Did that before I left the pie factory. Be quick so I can do some laundry.”

The water pressure in the house didn’t allow for shower and laundry at the same time. 

When Dam came down Sanjay had set their dinner on the coffee table in the living room.

“Top Chef.” He said. “I have two episodes to catch up on. Start without me. I’ll be right back after I slip into some looser.”

Dan spooned shrimp fried rice, red gooey something done to chicken by a General and some ginger beef onto a plate.

Sanjay came back down in a tank top and sarong. 

“Loose enough?” He asked as he sat down. He took the remote and turned on the TV, found the episodes of Top Chef and pressed play.

“You should try out for that.” Dan said. 

“Not pretty enough.” Sanjay said.

“Doesn’t seem to matter much for this show. The gals can be a bit glam but the guys are truly ordinary. Even chunky.”

“You mean fat. Say it.”

“You know that’s what I mean. I mean hefty. Some of us prefer the hefty handful, as you well know.”

“Shh …” Sanjay glanced him.

Dan finished his plate of food, during the commercial break helped himself to another and got up from the couch. “I’ll leave you to it. I got work to check out anyway.”

“You’re worse than me for always having work to do. Another case?”

“No. Still doing my research on those missing kids.”

“Right.” The commercials were over. “See you in bed.”

Dan went to his desk. Turned on the store computer to see what the monitors might have picked up of his flirtation with with Sanjay. If there was anything he’d send to his personal computer. He’d learned years ago to keep his work computer free of personal files.

He reversed the feed to the approximate time. Yes, there they were. He glanced to make sure Sanjay hadn’t left Top Chef. It happened so quickly Dan had to watch it a few times to see what was happening. None of it was at the right angles for him to see what he longed to see. Sanjay’s cock going into his mouth for a moment. If he had been in the office at the time he could have moved the camera enough to get what he wants. Probably. Damn! What a wasted opportunity.

He set the feed back to the present time. There were some people in the laneway. Perfect timing. Again he checked to make sure Sanjay was still caught up in Top Chef.

It was two people. One was pushing a bundle buggy. The other opened the garbage bin and began rooting in it. Pickers. He was used to that activity. They’s have a field day with the trade in discards. He used to spend time sorting that stuff but when he noticed that it was all often gone by morning before the garbage trucks had been by he stopped being so thorough. 

These two were pretty happy to find what was in the bins tonight. Now this was reality TV. No editing for drama. He shut the work computer off and turned on his personal one. His post on V-Files was still generating likes and looks. He watched it again. Not bad. He shut that computer off as well.

Enough is enough. He stretched and took his dirty dish to the kitchen. Sanjay came in just after him.

“The latino guy was sent packing. I’m not surprised though. Would think these guys had never watched Top Chef they keep making the same mistakes year after year.”

“I guess that’s part of the screening. Have you even seen Top Chef before?” he adopted a comic bass voice. “We have ways of making you cook.”

Sanjay laughed. 

“I’m going to turn in.” Dan said. “Its been an exhausting day. An exhausting week in fact. Missing children, Cuppa threat, RCMP looking for clues, me looking at my past.”

“What about your past?”

“Stuff about when we moved here. The why. Stuff about Timmy Dunlop that I was too young to realize or understand I guess. Funny how childhood can be rewritten when new facts come to light.

“I thought Timmy visited me because he missed me but it was most likely to escape abuse in his own home. We just happened to offer safe shelter. And … ” he almost told Sanjay about the soft-core porn he’d found. He didn’t know what to make of that himself. 

“And?”

“Nothing. Just thinking aloud. You coming up soon?”

“In a bit. I’m still unwinding.”

“By watching other chefs?”

“Yeah, not having to worry about supervise them is soothing for some reason. I’ll be up once my laundry is done.”

Dan yawned. He was falling asleep on his feet. 

Dan woke to Sanjay muttering as he got into the bed.

“What is it.” Dan asked.

“You never put away after yourself.”

“What?”

“Your laundry was all over the laundry room. I had to fold it up and put it away before I could do my own.”

“Sorry.” Without opening his eyes he reached over to where Sanjay was. “I’ll do it the morning. Promise.” He drifted back to sleep.

He woken again sometime later to go the bathroom. Sanjay was no longer in the bed. In the dark he made his way to the washroom. He peeked into the other room and Sanjay was there reading a book in a dime light.

“Can’t sleep?” Dan sat on the edge of the bed.

“Guess not.” Sanjay looked up from his book. 

“You still sore about before. In the lane way?”

Sanjay pulled Dan to him and pushed him onto the bed, kissing him.

“Stop.” Dan pulled away.

“Oh!” Sanjay stopped. “It is okay for you to … to ambush me in public but not okay for me to do the same in private.”

“I get your point. I said I was sorry. What more can I say.”

Sanjay pushed his blanket down.

“Say you want to suck this.” He pushed Dan’s head onto his cock.

Dan struggled to get away but couldn’t. 

“Suck it. You know you want to?” Sanjay said. “Suck it.”

Dam opened his mouth and as he began to suck Sanjay pulled him away.

“That is how I felt. Violated. Did you think I would get off on being violated like that.”

“Sanjay, it’s not as if we were strangers. Not as if we have never had sex before. We’ve done it on the patio, in the car that time. Remember you pulled over so hot from that movie we’d seen. You had to get blown there and then.”

“That was different. In the car you had been touching me. You had started things, I merely let you have your way.”

“Okay I get it.” Dan started to stand.

Sanjay pulled him back to the bed. 

“You starting something you want me to finish?” Dan pulled his t-shirt off over his head.

“No. I just wanted to kiss you good night.”

Sanjay kissed him lightly on the mouth and pushed him way from the bed.

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