I am what I am … I am M.

“But now, only one thing remains …. The brute will to survive! ¹ “The story of adoption is a ghost story, full of fantasy, mystery, and missing persons, who … are “as if” dead, unlike respectable ghosts, who are … dead. ² I am one of those ghosts. I am M. I am an adoptee….

Reading … a gentle madness.

“Remember what the dormouse said, Feed your head, Feed your head” ~ White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane, from Surrealistic Pillow, 1967 As I hit rock bottom, books (my old friends) saved my life. As life became desperate and dark, I forgot them, neglected my brain … life slowly drained away. During those dark years, those offspring…

Roasted chestnuts.

Kensington Market. 21 January, 2017. I was sitting outside La Casa having a coffee and a bag of roasted chestnuts from the street side vendor parked next to me when a guy stopped to talk to me. The smell … it takes me back to my youth. I grew up here. Just over the shop…

Down and Out in Toronto and London.

31 December 2016. Loneliness is hearing the sound of your own footsteps in the middle of a busy metropolis. Didn’t take too long ‘fore I found out … What people mean by down and out. ¹ It is the growing number of people who feel they are no longer useful, no longer needed, no longer…

Racoon City.

Markham, ON. April, 2015. It was a crisp, clear night. I was roughing it on the grassy bank of a stream that runs through the old and recently affluent part of Markham, nearby the original village. I’d silently scuttled into this nook under cover of dark, gathered around me all my belongings — a small…

‘You’ve got to pick a pocket or two dear …

I’ve stolen things. Many things. Little things and mostly meaningless curios. As a kid, it was shoplifting gum, candy bars and curiously, golf balls. I’d say, anything I could lay my hands on. As I grew from ‘tween’ to teen, it was books, records, and porn magazines – lots of those. Pretty sure I was…

Boys, you have Irish, Syrian and Serbian blood in your genes.

I often joke that I’m an adoptee of Irish and Syrian background, who married  Serb … if that isn’t a recipe for terrorism, I don’t know what is. However, I was adopted into an English family, so environment pushed my genetics to the background for a while. The English subjugated the Irish for centuries,  triggering…

Johnny and the Pauper Burials.

Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! Thinking back to my time on the Island of Lost Souls, if my ‘Reading Lolita in Recovery’ friends Nick, John or I had died, would anyone have noticed?  Once I’d left the island and begun to feel the first faint pulses of hope, I could no longer…

The Baby Market.

I’m sitting in a Starbucks, pasted onto just one more cookie-cutter open concept mall in the suburban wasteland. While sipping away at my faux-Italian cup of Mocha Java, I overhear two young women talking. One works there, the other seems to be a friend from high school. Both have just been regurgitated from post-secondary onto…

A Death in the Country

Rural Ontario, 2013/14. I witnessed the slow death of a beautiful piece of rural history. As an historian and adoptee, I loath the destruction of old things, the loss of the past. That’s why I was there … to document its last days. It was erected around 1860 as the voices of secession and abolition…

Revenant! My Escape from the Island of Lost Souls.

I am a revenant. I refused to stay buried. They should have driven the stake in when they had the chance. I’d been given up for dead, cast out of the ‘community’ only to find myself surrounded by another community, one united by addiction, by loss, and expulsion. Yet it was here on the Island…

Separation, Exile and the Dance Macabre.

I was cast out in July of 2014. Ripped apart from my boys and exiled … to the Island of Lost Souls. — While Reading Lolita in Recovery, I picked up my battered copy of Camus’ La Pest (The Plague). Last time I read it was in university, I found it fascinating then, but now…

Bastard!

Jon Snow: “What’s my name?“ Samwell Tarly: “Jon Snow.“ Jon Snow: “And why is my surname ‘Snow’?“ Samwell Tarly: “Because you’re a bastard from the North.“ bas·tard(s) (ˈbastərd) noun, (archaic derogatory) a person born of parents not married to each other, synonyms: illegitimate child, child born out of wedlock; dated: love child, by-blow; natural child/son/daughter….