Roast beef dinners


How terrifying it must be for parents, to see their children inexorably growing older.

Sometimes I can scarcely watch as my parents age. And watch them, as they watch their parents too.

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Granville Island Winter Ale


The bar is all cement floors, its patio wood-paneled. But they are inside at the moment, and this place with its faux-American name is playing swing music, or music that you can swing to, she does not know the difference.

He is French, slim like her, and the crown of his head but an inch or two above her own, always in chinos and hand-stitched shoes. She has never properly danced with someone before, outside the grinding of high school and clubs. But old books had her convinced that this must be fun; when he asks her she leaps at the chance, and she is not disappointed.

She finds that she can follow him and he has no compunctions about how close they should be.

At the table, earlier, newly-minted friends testing each other’s waters over chocolate-coloured pints, someone had asked her if she was in love with her absent boyfriend. Several faces turned to look at her and they were intimate, serious; it was her turn to share. She certainly loved her boyfriend, but with the intensity behind that question, the turn of the voice on in and the sense of being measured for all time, how could she know for sure at a mere 22 years of age? How could she match the nakedness of that question? Why were they asking her such a thing?

She was nonplussed, embarrassed, tipsy. Unwilling to lie. She wanted to get to know them and she answered with what first came to mind.

It is only as she is dancing with her classmate, their frames matching, movement becoming delight becoming laughter, that she realizes honesty can amount to disloyalty.

And it is much, much later before she realizes that her boyfriend, who proves indifferent to her love of dancing, is the sort who does not like his girlfriend to dance with anyone else, even if he has no intention of dancing with her.

Parallel Outlet: 13


Image result for cosy winter painting

loving you is like walking in the door, warm
the snow soaks into my clothes
turning to water and
rinsing me clean

Even with the curtains shut, and no fireplace to be seen in my bachelor apartment, poem number 61 from ELLEGUYENCE gives me the sensation of looking out onto a crisp snowy landscape, frost on the glass and a fire crackling at my side.

What is the difference between that kind of coziness, and the feeling of love? Hot cocoa and kisses, flannel sheets and hugs. I have been pondering this without finding a factor that I can use to delineate those two sensations. Even though their origins may differ wildly, viscerally they feel so very similar to me, and I don’t mean this to trivialize love. Maybe the opposite.

your pillow is always the softest.

Whether it is the softest pillow I have ever held or the gentlest person I have ever known, these things jumble together to form gratitude. Snowy days are carrying away my wistfulness at another year’s leaves falling, and I’m happy to be sitting inside with my tea, re-reading Elle’s 61, which I think you should read too.

you said you never believed in luck
until you saw my chances
and cast a bet anyway.

~

Image from Pinterest.

Walk 3.01


Alone, she would be three lights ahead and going sideways between a lamppost and a garbage bin to get ahead of that slow-moving family.

Instead his arm is a leash and when she tries to hurry at the end of the walk signals his disparagement has her ashamed at consideration for others. Never mind personal safety, or respect for the rules of the road.

She should not be proactive about trying to move out of the way of people’s pictures. She should not try to pull him back from a subway map when others are trying to look too.

He sees her half-assed, and struggling against instincts for speed, for politeness.

He isn’t there when her ankles are flashing, her chin up and eyes scanning. Anticipating when the lights will turn. He doesn’t see her weaving through a crowd, or skirting two girls taking pictures on the bridge, without breaking stride. Zipping down the stairs into the park.

He doesn’t know what she is like when she is walking without him.

A parting still


My lady, a voluptuous sky her only rest,

The bedchamber become a bower, become a glade,

Sings fain to dampen cheeks and furrow brows

All her own

Of what she sees, I know nothing save

She bespoke rays cleaving Apollo’s dome

Antique palettes creeping ‘pon the clouds

Once, long ago

And here this mawkish discontent of mine

Amid notes spilling chamber to chamber

Amid delights dulled to erasure

Within my breast

My lady, an unseen sky her only rest,

Seeks strings over vanished, varnished wood

And burgeoning days of warmth gone by

Now lonesome

~

Elizabeth Cook, 2016