Thursday, April 19, 2012

ivan has an enemy.


Suddenly, I realize through the ether of emails, bureacracy and government, that I have an enemy.

Does the enemy know what sort of person he stalks? Is he blind, lazy, or just stupid?

You know you have an enemy when simple, routine things are suddenly very difficult to do...It's like the feeling you have when you're separated.
Suddenly you get no mail. The government wants to know you social security number where you've had one for years, and can't the dweebs see it on you income tax return or past correspondence with you. Somebody has given you a problem withe paying your bills; there is no acknowledgement and you get final notices on bills you had paid months ago. It is suddenly hard to get a job in the media. You think it's paranoia... but for sure, a man with a Fedora hat and a dated Lincoln rolls down his window and yells, "The sweetest sound I can hear, Ivan, is your GO bus leaving town."

"Of course you have an enemy, Ivan. I have too," says the new girlfriend. "We have IQ's of a hundred and forty. We can make things out of wire and wood, quote entire passages and write some of our own. People hate us.

(Well, maybe she has a genius IQ, but mine is at about the leven of a mildly retarded high school teacher).

In any event, she, goes on, "People hate us because we can animate things, make them sing and dance....Like conjure artists, like performance artists."

Myself, I hate words like "creative" or "empowered," but I guess that's what she meant.

Nevertheless the enemy is playing with my empowerment. Artistic power, of course, always bows to financial power, but then you have the truth on your side, and everybody, all compromised long ago, seems to hate you.

You, of course, have your supporting army, your own Anthill Mob, old students, fellow writers and maybe a goodhearted hooker or two. Charlie still has a sheen.

But I have an enemy.

What did the enemy have for breakfast today? Where does he sleep? Is he a drinker like me? Does he have a master?
For years, I strove to be a master, but at Trinity College, all I seemed to achieve was a C. "The Polish mark," says my friend Stashiu.
And yet, there was some slight vanity in graduating....At least from the former Ryerson Pyromaniacal Institute. And achieving standing at that institution with all the trees a wasps. "Teacher-smeecher" goads the Portuguese guy wanting to argue.

And yet I have an enemy.
I imagine him in his 1940's hat and reptilian appearance. He keeps driving by and says, "When are you leaving town, Ivan?"

The Hat Man.

Maybe I've got a psychosis.

But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean he isn't out to get you.
But one is eccentric. A fool is a powerful figure on the board, because you don't know what he is going to do next.

Take that, Hat Man.
Knock your lid off.

16 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

You didn't see him when you were looking in the mirror did you? Cause that would be really bad. :)

ivan@ccreativewriting.ca said...

Segacious comment, Charles.

Balanced between Bram Stoker's lack of mirror image for Dracula and my late uncle's perception that my "Hat Man" was a negative self image. You must be a hell of a teacher out there.

the walking man said...

If revenge is a dish best served cold whoever is stalking and terrorizing your accounts forgot to take into account that it's best served cold not moldy.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Chill revenge, I guesss. Lately though, seems more like chill poverty.And you have to go like that? :)

Anonymous said...

you knocked him good Ivan. Thanks for this, love your writing."

Anonymous said...

you knocked him good Ivan. Thanks for this, love your writing.

ivan said...

Speaking of Belinda's Place, nice to read in the Newmarket Era that the to be 'single women's shelter" as well as the other 7 shelters in York Region that accept women (abused - includes immediate access to social housing - 3), family-1, single women to age 27- 1 (plus transitional housing), In / Out from the Cold's(2) are going to have apartments, transitional housing and "programs' to assist them all. This in addition of course I assume to whatever programs are offered out by the Y.R. Womens Centre.

Y.R.'s men get no apartments or transitional housing and are kicked to the curb at 8am until evening for their "programs', then shipped to Toronto or Barrie to be rid of. I guess the region didn't get the memo that with the opening of the new family shelter the women's shelters use numbers are all down. But hey, we can't spoil a planned party now, especially if its going to deify Belinda for her wondrous foresight aided of course by the etchings of the local newspaper Editor Deb Kelly who is also on the Belinda's Place's (closed group) committee, and helped present it to the Regional Council to acquire funding / support. Funny they haven't printed one letter I've written about the shelter idea and the fact that affordable housing for singles including men is what's needed, not another expensive to run shelter, even though I co-authored York Region's social audit " Behind The Masks" and Chair it's only grassroots organization with a mandate to reduce poverty. I've said it before and I'll say it again this proposed new shelter will have to bring single women (over age 27 since we have youth shelters already for single women up to 26) in from outside York Region to fill it, but Joe and Jill Public will ever be the wiser since all they'll be told through our mainstream local media (via the same Editor) is that everything is wonderful there. The same spin that happens now.
Homeless man visits for the first time since his death, the "home" of former homeless person John Fletcher. John's saying was " It's 60-40 for the good guys". He left behind two children when he died in Newmarket.
Two homeless men I know of have died homeless in Newmarket in the past few years such as John Fletcher, a former golden gloves boxing champion who lived behind the Metro grocery store at the 404 plaza, and not a word in the local newspapers was written about them, nor any new programs to save our men announced - although funding for some upstart group claiming to be helping young low income girls was announced..I guess Girls Incorporated and Big Sisters or free activities programs offered up by Operation Sparrow which PACC helped create, does not segregate and costs nothing for users wasn't enough? Why not just fund them so they can expand a model already set up and sensitive to those living on the margins.

I know it's nice to save our women and children first, just like the Titanic, but like the Titanic the model is destined to sink because it overloads one area while neglecting another. At some point they/we must all co-exist. You don't skip over 90% of a problem area to focus most of our resources( grants, gov $, charitable donations, media) to another because it's "sexier".

90% of our truly homeless are men, 90% of those killed on the streets are men, and 90% killed in wars for this country are / were men...It's ugly yea, but surely the ones in need who didn't ask for a life of street violence, crime, and hunger deserve some consideration, respect and hope...just saying...

Tom out

ivan@creativewritng.ca said...

Whoops!

That should be from Tom Pearson,
speaker for the poor in York Region.

Anonymous said...

A father's legacy .........



Alyshia Van Veen and her family were confronted with the issue of organ donation through her father's death. It was his legacy as an organ donor that inspired Alyshia to spearhead the founding of the York Region Gift of Life Association, which was being announced at this press conference.



“With more than 1,500 people on the wait list and a provincial registration rate of 21 %, we need to make a change" said Mrs. Van Veen. “Through our stories and education and awareness initiatives, we hope to increase the registration rate both in York Region and province-wide".



The goal is to raise awareness and increase registration through community outreach. The organization is hoping to connect with service clubs, churches and other community groups who would be willing to help.



One person dies every three days waiting for a transplant.....



Aurora resident Bruce Cuthbert was perilously close to being counted into that statistic. He and his family know all too well what it's like to wonder whether he will live long enough to receive a transplant. A grateful transplant recipient, Bruce is also a founding member of the York Region Gift of Life Association.









How can it be .......



During my remarks at the press conference, I asked how can it be....that under the umbrella of a $48 billion health care system in Ontario, we have more than 1,500 on a wait list for organ transplants and that one of those people has to die every three days ?



Why is it, that in some jurisdictions, the rate of registered donors is as high as 80 percent, and in Ontario it's only 21 % ?



The answer is simple: Organ and tissue donation has not been a priority of the Ontario government.



Until recently, Ontario's system of registering organ donors has been antiquated and cumbersome. It wasn't until late last year, that the government finally responded to repeated calls to put in place an on-line organ donor registry system. And in comparison to the need, we have invested little in making the public aware of the importance and benefits of organ and tissue donation.



On behalf of us all, I want to thank the doctors and nurses who have dedicated themselves to this highly specialized and life-saving area of medical practice. It is not well-known that the work of our Ontario research and transplant teams are world-renowned.



Do miracles still happen ?



Yes they do ! They happen through the minds of the researchers who discover new ways of preserving and transplanting tissues and organs. They happen through the skills of surgeons and medical teams who have been entrusted with transferring the gift of life to a dying patient so freely given by another.



And miracles happen through the efforts of people like Alyshia Van Veen and Bruce Cuthbert, though their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation in our community.



I want to thank them and the many volunteers who will be supporting the work of the York Region Gift of Life Association in the years ahead.



And I would ask you to do your part to make miracles happen by registering as an organ donor at www.beadonor.ca



As always, I look forward to your comments and advice. I can be reached at my constituency office at 905 750 0019 or through my website at www.frankklees.com



Frank Klees, MPP

Newmarket-Aurora

ivan said...

Hi folks,

A newborn girl named Nelly has been ruling my world since April 10, so I haven't had a chance to send these out, or do much new work. But, here are my most recent offerings from The Coast:

A very short review of the short novel,The Truth About Marie, by Jean-Philippe Toussaint: http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/the-truth-about-marie/Content?oid=3140148

My mandatory annual Earth Day article, this one on how some artists are trying to create a deeper cultural change than we can get from one-off events: http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/culture-jamming/Content?oid=3131266

My thoughts on the Kony 2012 video and fallout of its going viral: http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/kony-collateral/Content?oid=3116326

Happy weekend!
Chris

--
Eco-Innovators has been shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award! See the list of nominees at http://www.atlanticbookawards.ca/.

Chris Benjamin is a freelance journalist, fiction writer, CBC News web writer/editor and a columnist for The Coast. He is the author of Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada and the critically acclaimed novel, Drive-by Saviours. In 2006/2007 he worked as a journalist in Ghana. He shared an honourable mention in the 2009 National Magazine Awards. Chris has also written for The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Chronicle Herald, VoicePrint Canada, This Magazine, Now Magazine, Canadian Dimension, Descant, OpenFile, Arts East, East Coast Kitchen Party, Third Person Press, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Press, Rattling Books, The Society, University of Waterloo Press, Z Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, Coastlands, Progress Magazine, Rural Delivery and many others.

www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com
http://twitter.com/benjaminwrites

AB DE -Villers said...

thanks for this post

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