Category Archives: My Father the Illusion My Mother the Mirror

If I Don’t Get Lost Today No One Will Search For Me Tomorrow: Addiction Beckons

If I Don’t Get Lost Today No One Will Search For Me Tomorrow: Addiction Beckons

I was lost when I met Anita.

My father’s battle with cancer had captured, shadowed and imprisoned my youth. Three-years before I was flying high from high school graduation: vibrant, attractive, lean, with a flare for bodybuilding and boxing and desperate to leave home when Dad, literally, collapsed under the prognostic-doom of his cancer diagnosis. Three-years later I was fat, emotionally defeated and on a three-day train trip across Canada to attend college. For three days and nights I sat and stared out a train window at the desperate and the lonely.Read More

Camelot’s Harvest

Every day after school I ran through the acres of trees and every day the orchard was stripped of more fruit. The farm that was alive with activity became emptier and quieter until all the trees were barren and silent. I walked alone beneath the rows of naked, lonely branches. My warm breath formed fog as I exhaled, and I shivered from the first chill of autumn. I ran down the deserted rows of trees, afraid to look behind; chased by a cold, cutting fear running up my spine. A veiled phantom had control of the orchard, of my playground. I ran into the house, slammed the door behind me and shivered by the stove.

After a dinner of English pot roast and roasted vegetables with burnt gravy, everyone sat around the stove and toasted the end of another season. The entire sixty acres of apples had been nurtured, picked and delivered. “Why is it so cold in here?” My mother asked. “The stove is stoked up so high we should be roasting.”

Grandpa checked the outside thermometer. “It’s ten below zero (Fahrenheit).” He said shivering from cold and uneasiness. “It shouldn’t be this cold for two months.”

“I think we’d better keep the fire burning until we’re ready for bed.” Dad packed in more firewood. “Damn it’s cold out there.” He threw an armload of fresh-cut wood into the wood box.

“Heat up some water for the hot water bottles, Maritsa.” Grandpa’s teeth chattered as he spoke to Grandma. “Our bed will be cold.” Chairs scrapped across the floor as we formed a semicircle around the big stove in an effort to get warm before braving the frigid bedrooms and the icy sheets. Last night was so hot we sat out on the verandah and watched the sunset through the haze of tobacco smoke as the heat from cooking supper drove us outside. Tonight we huddled together in silence; the only sound was the crackling fire. Everyone was quiet, listening. Listening for what?

The first sound was a loud, piercing crack as if a high powered rifle was fired outside the kitchen door. The next was a rumble from a distance, an echo, but so close. “What was that, Dad?” I warily asked my father.Read More