Sunday, 21 December 2014



An Insomniac’s Nightmare


The winter solstice is upon us, high times for pagans and prowlers. Overtime on the nightshift. And as I lie awake I’ll wonder, wa-wa-wonder about maybe having a beef and bean burrito later on in Sinatra’s wee small hours. Read what I haven’t already read in the latest Economist. Look out the window and spot the camouflaged hares in the snow. Listen to the coyotes yipping in the river valley.


The skip of the curling squad we sub for wants to bring his Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen album over since I revealed that we’d bought the ‘house’ a new turntable. There’s enough casual interest among our circle of friends to form a vinyl club, play the old songs once a month or so. We did that all the time back in high school and beyond. Maybe, in a way, you can go back again.


What’s become of my old friend Daniel with whom I shared a subscription to Musician magazine? We spent hours together record shopping, recording mix tapes and arguing about music. I’d like him to know that there are now Eno CDs in the house. There was Peter from Westmount High who turned me on to Peter Gabriel and pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd. We lost touch. I will never forget hearing ‘Careful with That Axe, Eugene’ for the first time in Peter’s parents’ basement.


My black leather address book is 25-years-old. The penciled entries have smudged. Corrections are in various colours of ink. A lot of the information in its pages is hopelessly out of date. It is an alphabetical listing of people who have long since moved on, or people I have moved on from. It is a diary of mistakes and good intentions, of relief and regrets, of sorrow and joy. It is, increasingly, a roll of the dead.

So many departed to wonder and worry about during the longest night of the year. Perhaps they are the ghosts lurking in the closet or underneath the bed. But Christmas is coming, which means the days will lengthen soon enough. And anyway, there’s Mexican food in the freezer.

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