Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Frostbite in Madrid

We flew to Munich and the urinals
had a fly painted on them, to avoid
splashback. Then we landed in Madrid.
She had broken her arm falling off
her bicycle, waving to the Korean
fruit vendor. We froze the ice pack
and slipped it into her sling. She
didnt notice it in the heat. She
must be the only person in Spain
to suffer frostbite.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A night in Lakefield

Two ladies at breakfast. You learn a lot,
one says, from what people reveal about
themselves. If a person loses a husband,
we help. We had a Japanese Canadian in
our book club. And did that book, Snow
Falling on Cedars. Well, she told us
what Trudeau gave her when they offered
restitution. She went out and had her
teeth straightened and bought a new car.

On the bus a man was wearing jeans made
of aluminum fibre. Along the river towards
Trent pleasure craft are
being lifted through the locks.
A nurse tells me she once made a house call
and the woman who answered had something
rummaging under her shirt. It was two
baby raccoons that were suckling. Their
mother had been hit by a car.

We're to read on the campus where Prince
Andrew went to school. In the cemetery
is buried Catherine Parr Trail. Her
stone has a knotty wooden cross carved
at an angle. I walk to Margaret Laurence's
house and draw it. There's a classic
Mustang in the driveway.

A volunteer approaches me. Are you one of
the youth winners? Before I could answer
she says, One day you'll have books on the
table, just like those writers.
Later, she sees me filling glasses of
water on stage for the readers. She thought
that was considerate of me. Then I sat
down in one of the chairs and she began
to wonder if I was presumptious. But
finally I was introduced and she realized
her mistake.