Friday, February 27, 2015
It used to be a joke with my then wife, "If you're not back by midnight, I'll send the SPCA after you." Well, it was almost that way last week when I was picked up by York Regional Police's Canine Unit. This old dog was hobbling up the flagstone stairs just north of McDonalds, on the way to the Metro supermarket, when all of a sudden, collapse. I couldn't take another step. No way. The doctor was right. Legs not getting enough oxygen. Must see a vein specialist. Reduced of late to walking with a cane, I just made the beer store on Leslie, only to find out once I made the purchase--that I couldn't walk. No way. Legs not getting enough oxygen, doc says. What to do? Crawling up the stairs, past the McDonald's, to the 404 plaza, where there was a 56 bus, hopefully. ...But no go. Puff puff, can't go any farther. Splayed out on the stone stairs. It just happens that an officer of the canine unit, York Regional Police--saw me on the stairs and asked if I needeed help. Yep the SPCA (almost) finally picking up Ivan. (Curse you, old Redhead from the past)? So I got a ride home in the big white York Regional taxi ("Can't take you home with the dog still inside), neighbours no doubt wondering if the had finally caught Ivan. lol. It was a lucky thing to happen. Had not the cops come around, I would have still been splayed out at the stairs leading to Metro from the McDonald's. On the ride back I talk of the recent ambushing of three RCMP in the Calgary area. I talk of having been born just before the Second Worl War. I mention of having been a peacetime airman. Police officer says, " Yes, well, but these days, you don't know who the enemy is." I was left off at my apartment on Timothy Street. From the talk with my good samaritan policeman, I got the feeling that in these "interesting times" we are all in this together. I salute the York Regional Police. And thank you
Friday, February 13, 2015
It is Friday the Thirteenth, and unlike most people (for whom most things go bump today), I've always found it to be the luckiest of days. I published my first novel, The Black Icon in TOPIC Magazine, serial form, on a Friday 13, l975 Next Friday 13, I got hired at Seneca College as a teaching master, no doubt the result of my writings on a Friday 13.. I proposed marriage on a Friday 13, and won the gal. Well, today is Friday 13, 2015. I am banking on this day. Broke, depressed, and out of girlfriend (yeah, sometimes divorce can put a crimp on your good luck)--I am nevertheless ready to rock and roll. Heh. Just you watch.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Years ago, after almost having this novel accepted by The House of Anansi Press, I stupidly demanded an advance, only to be told, "Do no more work on this." I got mad. I got computer literate. Take that ya buncha snots! lol. THE HAT PEOPLE a novel By Ivan ................... Chapter One The year was rife with signs, entire series of strange occurrences and unlucky portents, events so ominous that the superstitious in Toronto's great European community took immediate alarm and even the less skittish native Protestants began to entertain secret misgivings. On the westward commute, on the QEW to Hamilton, a new object had appeared in the heavens, an L-shaped chunk of what appeared to be a Corinthian column, larger than the moon and out of all proportion to earthly size. Hardly anyone noticed, in the lengthening days of February that an eclipse had occurred at about the same time, appearing to have the sun setting at five-thirty p.m. instead of a quarter to six. Only on the eleven o'clock news did our commuters learn that the fiery column, replete with its lower chunk of plinth, was an unexplained phenomenon by the local observatory and someone must have been sleeping at the switch, since the accompanying eclipse hadn't been predicted either. A satellite did pick up the torus, and all agreed, that from some angles, it did look like a hat. Torontonians shrugged and waited for other events. Something was happening to the money. The paper banknote seemed to change colour every day, while at the Royal Canadian Mint, die makers were already tooling up to turn old American-style quarters and dimes into huge coins resembling Mexican pesos. Three Conservative political campaigns fell as they rose, giving Bay Street a shudder, and in one Ukrainian Catholic Church, the very pillar of a conservative people, a priest went mad. In the midst of high mass, when the great onion-topped cathedral was crowded to its very doors, the Reverend Moisei Papryka, leaped to the altar, and shouting blasphemies, proceeded to lay violent hands on the Sacred Host, understood by all to be the body and blood of Christ. There was a Ukrainian-Canadian reporter at the mass whose news sense superceded his ethnic pride and he wrote up the story in the Toronto Star, along with all the other strange things that were going to and soon the radio and television reports were full of it. The reporter's name was John Lazarowych and he had noted for some time that the icons, holy images of not only his own church, but that of Bulgarian and Serbian and Macedonian denominations had taken to weeping, great globular tears wiped away by clucking abbots, some having to use mops to dry wet naves. "Why has everything gone topsy-turvy", John Lazarowych wanted to know in a Starweek magazine article which he was editing at the time. "All of our society's icons are flipping over. I've been to Marshall McLuhan's lectures. I was in Copenhagen, just after his conference with the Bildebergers, that group of billionaires who think they run the world. There is no doubt as to what's going on. Rapid social change and the breakup of Canada”. For which he was soon fired from his job, ostensibly because of a campaign of complaints from the Ukrainian community but more properly because his writing had taken on a lunatic quality and a lunatic with a powerful typewriter was dangerous indeed in a newspaper known for its rose-coloured glasses view of things. And so, while the city appeared to go to the Devil, John Lazarowych left Toronto in confusion and disgrace, taken to wandering around southern Ontario looking for God, or, for that matter, anyone who would dissuade him from believing that there was apocalypse just around the corner, if not for his city and his country, then certainly for him. His lovely raven haired Jewish wife had known for years that he was quietly going mad. He hardly drew a response from Laura at his announcement that he was leaving, and from his children, who did not understand yet, a bare shrug and a hug. Back to Title Page Chapter Two