From time to time, my friends may ask me what my favourite story is. “After all,” they would add, “you do read so much.” And I’ve been hard-pressed to answer this question, as the answer may change at each turn; indeed I am nothing if not capricious and tiresomely inconsistent. Yet today, as I was walking along a street filled with Christmas trees and fairy lights, as the heart-warming smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted over and beckoned to me, this story came to mind….Continue Reading “The Happy Prince”

You eat. You drink. You wake and try to sleep. You write or not. They call or won’t. The sun will shine or it will rain. You notice this; you may choose to ignore it. There’s work to be done; there always is. You wonder why you’re staring at a wall or at someone who won’t stop talking. Your mind’s not here, and neither is your heart. Soon you will leave, whether you can or should not. The things you do when you’re alone, they’re…Continue Reading “The things you do when you’re alone”

When she was younger, before she had earned enough money for her college tuition, she used to dance. She can’t remember the names of the strip clubs now or the faces of the men. Not even the music; it was merely a cue, when to begin and when to stop. The only thing that mattered was the freedom caught within the span of each song, the feeling she was doing exactly what she wanted. For the half hour she was on, she could make the…Continue Reading “The dancer”

I read a little William Blake today. If only we could as he did, he who glimpsed a world, a universe, in a grain of sand, in a wild flower, and he who held infinity in the palm of his hand. Or perhaps only sought to. I certainly have endured “Eternity in an hour” while waiting in line at the post office. To see everything in an instance, and hold it only for as long as that. Poetry should always be this romantic, this foolish,…Continue Reading ““Eternity in an hour””

1. One day all of this will make sense. In the meantime, put your best foot forward. Describe yourself as the cheerful, interesting and intelligent personality a large segment of society seeks to be acquainted with. Smile, but not too wide. Don’t forget to use a breath freshener. Brush any dust or dandruff off your shoulders. You too can look neat and proper. Don’t speak too fast; they can’t make out what you’re saying. Stand up straight, my boy. This is not an introduction to…Continue Reading “It don’t hurt no more”

“How can you go on living when death is always an option?” he cried out, almost in tears. She looked at him grimly for a while, then burst into laughter. “Oh, if you can only hear half of the things you’re saying. You idiot. Death is not an option; only life is.”

It has been raining a lot the past few days. I haven’t been coming out and who can blame me? It’s all cold and wet and cold and wet. But mostly cold. I slip the last key that is not mine off the chain and place it on Blue Mike’s almost bare table. Thursday night was a small party, suitably so, I think. I did not drink much. I did not drink the abominable arak, though not through the fault of the well-meaning thugs I…Continue Reading “The ninth floor”