Walking on an Early Autumn Evening

“So it turns out I’m actually sick.”
“Black death?”
“Nah, the doctor said it’s strep, which explains why I’ve been so tired. I have to take a bunch of medication.”
“Ugh. Sorry to hear that. Did you have to make any calls?”
“Any calls?”
“Yeah, to previous make-out partners. Let them know what you’ve done to them.”
“I haven’t been doing much making-out lately so I don’t have to worry about that.”
“Sorry to hear that, too.”
“That’d be lame anyways, it’s just strep.”
“What do you mean? If you’re going to phone someone to let them know you’ve potentially transmitted something to them you’d prefer it to be for something worthwhile?”
“Yeah. Gonorrhea, maybe.”
“Definitely gonorrhea. The clap.”
“You could just send the ‘??’ emoji. That would be more time efficient and Millenials would appreciate it. Don’t think there’s a genital wart emoji, though.”
“What about the erupting volcano?”
“Gross, but accurate––I can only assume.”
“Sure, bud.”

Celebration of Life

I fell down the hole. It hap­pens. You go in with the inten­tion of send­ing a quick Facebook message, then forty-five min­utes later you’re still on the inter­net and you’ve ordered all eleven seasons of M*A*S*H on VHS from Ama­zon and you don’t even have a VCR. This time I was catch­ing up on the news when I read about Harper’s Fair Elec­tions Act. That nat­u­rally lead me to Googling assisted sui­cide and funeral chapels––you want to have all of your bases covered.

Even­tu­ally I found my way to the web­site of a funeral chapel in Prince George, BC. It was under the umbrella of Dig­nity Memo­r­ial, who, with over 2,000 loca­tions, dole out fran­chises like McDonalds but with live­lier atmos­pheres. The name of this par­tic­u­lar fran­chise was Assman’s Funeral Chapel, because you can’t spell Dig­nity with­out A-S-S.

Imma­ture delight aside, I’m all for the name. If when I die my fam­ily decides to have a memo­r­ial service instead of tak­ing my ashes to Dis­ney­land and throw­ing them into the air on the final descent of Splash Moun­tain like my will dic­tates, then take my body up north. The only per­son I want embalm­ing me is Assman.

Saturday (Windfall)

The wind had pushed it over like a drunk on a bicycle––timbre. I wish I could have heard it. The guttural rumble of roots falling up through the dirt, the snap of branches punctuating the wind’s howling stream of consciousness rant against no one in particular. My dad once told me a tree fell on his childhood dog Rex. It had sat and watched as my grandpa sawed away at the base of a teetering birch and continued to sit and watch as my grandpa shouted and frantically waved his arms until a swift darkness landed between its flopping deaf ears.

This tree landed in the box of an old Ford pickup and across the roof of a Telus service van, spanning the road and giving me something to limbo under. It was pretty clear to me that this was Momma Nature’s retribution for my Telus Internet bill being seventy-goddamn-dollars this month. I put two fingers to the bark. No pulse.